The Samaritan Woman Meets the Bridegroom Messiah: An Implied Christology

This paper looks to demonstrate that the conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4 is a betrothal scene which points to Jesus’s self-perception of his own deity, and that the Gospel writer was telling his readers such in his account of that meeting.

In the Bible’s metaphoric marital imagery, we are asked to imagine that God is the husband of Israel, and that Jesus is the bridegroom of his church. The Old Testament imagery has a fairly large corpus of material devoted to it, but not so the New Testament imagery—before the 2015 publication of my PhD study there appears to have been only two published explorations of the imagery as a whole, one in 1940 and the other in 1971.

And Jocelyn McWhirter claims that before her own 2006 published PhD study there had been no comprehensive analysis of the allusions to marital imagery in John’s gospel; even though she, like Phillip Long (2013), and Brant Pitre (2014), see that the Gospel writers portray Jesus as self-consciously adopting the role of a bridegroom to his people. What is more, even though much of the corpus of literature that is devoted to Old Testament metaphoric marital imagery engages, albeit in a limited way, with metaphor theory, none of these New Testament scholars attempt such an analysis.