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Sermon by the Rev. Dr. George Hermanson, "."
The lectionary ends its 5 weeks of dabbling in John and returns to Mark. No murmurs from me about this.
Once again Malina and Rohrbaugh provide helpful background on this passage. (Pages 174-176, see footnote below.)
At one level, the controversy here is between the Judean elite who were 5% of the population, and everyone else. The elites lived in towns and cities and had access, time, and money for the water needed to follow their interpretation of the washing required to follow the Torah.
* Link to Amazon.com Bibliography for Bruce J. Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social Science Commentary on ... The Synoptic Gospels; The Gospel of John; The Book of Acts; The Letters of Paul; The Book of Revelation; and others.
+ Link to Amazon.com Bibliography for Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, Jewish Annotated New Testament, The Bible With and Without Jesus, Short Stories by Jesus, Entering the Passion of Jesus, and others.