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The Samaritan Woman at the Well

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Two early Christian traditions about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.

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The Samaritan Woman at the Well

  1. 1. The Samaritan Woman at the Well: Two Texts and Two Traditions in Art
  2. 2. The Samaritan woman at the well was the first evangelist to the gentiles. Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony. - John 4:39a (RSV) Two very different early traditions depicted her status in early art.
  3. 3. In the first tradition, she and Jesus stood as equals. Sarcophagus, Gaul, 4th century
  4. 4. Both stand. Catacomb fresco, Rome, 4th century She and Jesus stood together. Catacomb fresco, Rome, 4th century
  5. 5. She and Jesus both stood. Tile from northern Africa, 5th century
  6. 6. She and Jesus both stood. Bishop’s gold enkolpion from near Ancient Syria, 6th c.
  7. 7. She and Jesus stood together. Constantinople, 550s
  8. 8. Two Texts, Two Traditions The text of John 4:27 in a 4th -century manuscript written in a dialect of Aramaic (old Syriac) says: His disciples came and wondered that he was standing and talking with a woman. Later manuscripts (and our modern bibles) do not say Jesus was standing with her. They only say: His disciples came and wondered that he was talking with a woman.
  9. 9. In the second tradition, she stood alone. Jesus sat, as if her master. Saint Apollinaire Nuovo, Ravenna, 6th century
  10. 10. She stood. Jesus sat. Coptic Egypt, 6th century
  11. 11. His disciples came and wondered that he was standing and talking with a woman. What a difference two words made.
  12. 12. Art as Text By Ally Kateusz In honor of Mary Ann Beavis

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