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As someone who is always on the lookout for neologisms that combine two words in punny fashion, it took me a moment to register that the word “anointment” is just an already-existing everyday word, and one that I already knew somewhere in the back of my mind, although I don’t use it often and so it took me a moment. But even so, it is probably the best word to use when talking about Jesus being anointed with ointment.
It is not a coincidence or mere happenstance that I am returning not only to blogging about my book project, What Jesus Learned From Women, but specifically to the story of Jesus’ anointment, on this Maundy Thursday. There are many unanswered questions about this event (or events – see below). But one thing seems clear to me. A woman washes Jesus’ feet, and then according to the Gospel of John, Jesus follows her example. He sees a woman breaking convention and humiliating herself in an act of kindness (the precise significance of which we don’t have space to get into here), and learns from her, following her example and in turn giving this example as teaching to his students.
Question - Interpreters - Gospels - Sense - Accounts
As I alluded to above, one major question that faces interpreters of the Gospels is how to make sense of the divergent accounts of Jesus having a woman pour expensive perfume on him and/or wipe his feet with her hair. The really puzzling part is what to do with the version in Luke that is so very different. I am playing around with some possible ways to make sense of how the traditions might have developed,...
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