Filthy Roman Sponge

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6 thoughts on “Filthy Roman Sponge

  1. Driscoll takes some liberties with the narrative but I don’t think he’s strayed too far from the “spirit” of the texts he’s referencing… (Which seems like it’s mostly based on John’s account with a dab of Luke’s)

    Matthew 27:47-49 (New International Version)

    47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

    48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

    Mark 15:35-37 (New International Version)

    35When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

    36One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

    37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

    Luke 23:35-37 (New International Version)

    35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”

    36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

    John 19:28-30 (New International Version)

    28Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

  2. I’ve (obviously?) never heard this interpretation before. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how it all went down. But it does make the passage make more sense.

    I, like Driscoll mentioned, have always interpreted that passage to be an act of (mild) compassion. However, I guess this could explain why they just happened to have sponges and wine vinegar on hand at the scene. And it would fit with the rest of the events from that day.

    Oy.

  3. what’s funny is i never really thought of it as an act of compassion, because i always thought, ew, vinegar, i mean that’s not going to quench your thirst. but then reading it again i see how you could see wine instead and it could seem like compassion.
    it is a very interesting interpretation, and he could very well be right. i think there are a whole lot of little things like this that slip by us cause we don’t understand things about the culture of the day. even being in the middle east for awhile and coming to understand that culture (even in a ‘modern’ sense) made me read and interpret different parts of scripture in a different light.
    enter quote of the day.

  4. That’s gross. I tend to agree with the “somewhat compassionate” interpretation.
    This sermon kinda makes me question what other “cultural background” info I have picked up from the radio or a sermon somewhere and take for granted as true….

    From Wikipedia:
    “Posca was a drink popular in ancient Rome and Greece, made by mixing sour wine or vinegar with water and flavouring herbs…. It became an everyday drink for the Roman army and the lower classes from around the 2nd century BC”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posca

    I found this on the internet, it must be true! 🙂

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