Saturday, April 25, 2009

Standpoint theory (John 2)

"Standpoint theory" asserts that underlings tend to be more aware of what's going on than their bosses are. People of lower status need to be able to negotiate their own social reality, as well as that of their "betters." Bob Dylan wrote a bitter ballad, Like a Rolling Stone, about a girl's sudden loss of status, and the new insights the process generated for her:

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
You thought they were all kiddin' you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin' out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you ...

Yuhanna 2 opens up with a story about how different observers see, and say, different things based on where they stand. The master of the feast makes a puzzled remark, based on his ignorance of what's going on. The servants, however, knew.

    Joh 2:1 Üçüncü gün Celile'nin Kana Köyü'nde bir düğün vardı. İsa'nın annesi de oradaydı. 
    Joh 2:2 İsa'yla öğrencileri de düğüne çağrılmışlardı. 
    Joh 2:3 Şarap tükenince annesi İsa'ya, "Şarapları kalmadı" dedi. 
    Joh 2:4 İsa, "Anne, benden ne istiyorsun? Benim saatim daha gelmedi" dedi. 
    Joh 2:5 Annesi hizmet edenlere, "Size ne derse onu yapın" dedi. 
    Joh 2:6 Yahudiler'in geleneksel temizliği için oraya konmuş, her biri seksenle yüz yirmi litre alan altı taş küp vardı. 
    Joh 2:7 İsa hizmet edenlere, "Küpleri suyla doldurun" dedi. Küpleri ağızlarına kadar doldurdular. 
    Joh 2:8 Sonra hizmet edenlere, "Şimdi biraz alıp şölen başkanına götürün" dedi. Onlar da götürdüler. 
    Joh 2:9 Şölen başkanı, şaraba dönüşmüş suyu tattı. Bunun nereden geldiğini bilmiyordu, oysa suyu küpten alan hizmetkârlar biliyorlardı. Şölen başkanı güveyi çağırıp, "Herkes önce iyi şarabı, çok içildikten sonra da kötüsünü sunar" dedi, "Ama sen iyi şarabı şimdiye dek saklamışsın." 

Let's look at a single sentence pair here:

    • Küpleri -- The vessels. küp -- vessel. Clay pot. -ler- plural ending. i -- direct object ending
  • suyla --  with water. su -- water. -la -- the "with" ending. (parenthetically, su is the only irregular noun in Turkish, using a y as a buffer consonant, instead of the usual n.)
    • doldurmak  -- to fill.
    • ağızlarına kadar -- up to the brim. ağız-- mouth. lar -- plural sign. ın -- possessive sign. Turkish uses a "belt and suspenders" system for indicating possessives, with the item that possesses and the item that is possessed each having its own ending. a -- indirect object sign. kadar -- up to. kadar is another post-position.

This is the fun part of living one's life with Jesus. Today, as then, he has this habit of producing unexpected results as the outcome of our routine obedience. And those around us, and perhaps above us, look stunned and say, "Now where did THAT come from?"

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