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Scholar Baffled With Pastor Cokanauto’s Interpretation On Water Of Everlasting Life

Scholar Baffled With Pastor Cokanauto’s  Interpretation On Water Of Everlasting Life
Pastor Jone Cokanauto (right) outside court on June 19, 2017. Photo: Jessica Savike
June 20
11:00 2017

Judge Justice Salesi Temo will make a ruling today on the defence application of no case to answer in the trial of Pastor Jone Cokanauto of Jezreel Lion of Judah church.

After the state ended its case with its seventh prosecution witness defence lawyer Semi Valenitabua filed an application of no case to answer.

Mr Valenitabua said that an offence committed prior to 2010 cannot be maintained under the Penal Code.

“All charges under the Penal Code must be dismissed as they are non-existent,” he said.

He further said the element of consent had not been disproven hence all the victims had consented to the alleged acts so in that case no offence was committed.

State lawyer Meli Vosawale had submitted two case authorities that relate to the issue of false representation on rape offences and sexual offences.


Cokanauto is charged with three counts each of rape of the first alleged victim which is alleged to have happened between February 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006 at Taveuni and Nadera.

Cokanauto is again charged with a count each of rape and indecent assault of the second complainant which is alleged to have happened between January 1, 2006 and July 31, 2012 at Taveuni and Nadera.

Cokanauto is further charged with a count each of rape and indecent assault of the third alleged victim which is alleged to have happened between November 1, 2005 and December 31, 2005 at Nasinu.

He is also charged with a count of attempted rape and two counts of indecent assault of the fourth victim which is alleged to have happened between February 1, 2006 and February 28, 2006 at Nadera.

The fourth woman during cross-examination told the court that she consented to the alleged acts.

Mr Valenitabua put to her that according to Cokanauto the alleged acts never happened to which she said she was not sure.

Prosecution witness five:

Reverend Dr Donal McIlraith

Reverend McIlraith, who had been a lecturer in scripture at the Pacific Regional Seminary for 28 years, told the court that John Chapter 4 is about the Samaritan woman.

Reverend McIlraith, who has studied the Hebrew and Greek language in which the original Bible is written, told the court that John Chapter 4 is divided into three parts.

Mr Vosawale asked Rev McIlraith if the chapter involved sexual relations between Jesus and the Samaritan woman.

Reverend McIlraith said: “Absolutely not, it’s purely a dialogue Jesus tried, to interest her in faith and it’s not about giving or taking anything.

“There is nothing about sexuality in this passage and is merely a conversation about water.

“The water has two meanings; one is the ordinary water from the well and second is the living water which is probably the Holy Spirit that Jesus offers.”

He further confirmed to the court that the living water does not involve semen from a man.

During cross-examination Mr Valenitabua asked Reverend McIlraith how could one be redeemed of their sins of adultery. He replied saying that firstly the person needed to confess to God and have it forgiven and then they should move on with their lives.

“Confession means I am sorry and I promise to do my level best not to do it again with the Lord’s help,” the Reverend said.

“If you do it again then that means you’re not serious with your repentance.”

Reverend McIlraith told the court that the point of the whole story in John Chapter 4 is that a woman moves from no faith to faith in Jesus.

“The Gospel was written for somebody to have faith in Jesus,” he said.

Justice Temo asked Reverend McIlraith if there was any mention in John 4:14 that the Samaritan woman was a prostitute to which he replied saying ‘no’.

He was further questioned by Justice Temo regarding the evidence given by the alleged victims that the water of life is equated with a sperm of a man.

“The phrase ‘water of everlasting life’ is not the same as semen of a man and I have never come across that interpretation in my life,” said Reverend McIlraith.

Justice Temo also asked him if the women in that chapter were equated to the temple of God.

“In John’s gospel Chapter 2, Jesus is the new temple and in Saint Paul every Christian is the temple of God,” he said.

It was further stated by Justice Temo that some of the prosecution witnesses had said that they were told that they were the temple of God and that they needed to be purified and cleansed by a man’s semen.

“I have never in my life heard of that interpretation and the cleansing of a woman by a man’s semen has no basis in the scripture,” said Reverend McIlraith.

He further said that Jesus was speaking metaphorically about the water.

The case continues today.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola


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