3631RE: [Synoptic-L] Are there any parallels to Lk 22:15-16 anywhere?
- Aug 1, 2011To: Synoptic (GPG)
In Response To: David Inglis
On: Lk 22:15-16
DAVID: A simple question, and I hope it has a simple answer. Basically, are
Lk 22:15-16 (apparently) pure Lk, or is there any evidence that these verses
could have started somewhere else?
BRUCE: I think it gets simple, or anyway simpler, if we consider the whole
passage, Lk 22:15-20. (1) The first thing that seems obvious is that Lk is
reversing the order of Mk, with a few other differences. (2) The second
thing is that (following WH on the Western Non, as Metzger and I do) Luke
has here omitted the Markan reference to the Atonement meaning of Jesus's
death (the other one was Mk 10:45, which Luke also omits; see any synopsis,
Huck-Throckmorton p133, 166). Someone has filled in that space, from a
mixture of Mark and 1 Cor 11:24-25 (so Caird and others), in deference to
the Pauline view of things, but it seems that Luke was attempting something
else. (3) What that was seems clear when we consider that the effect of it
is to reverse the order of the bread and cup (in later Eucharistic
observance) to cup and bread. (4) Why should Luke want to do such a thing?
Because the preferred order in his church was that of the Didache, which is
also cup plus bread. (5) What does it mean that Luke belonged to a
Didache-type church? It means that Luke came out of Alpha Christian
surroundings, as I have pointed out in extenso in my SBL/NE paper earlier
this year. This is a separate bit of evidence for that relation.
Given this reversal, and the fact that there are Alpha reasons, not only for
his omission of the Markan Atonement doctrine, but for his reversal of bread
and cup, I think we can more helpfully take up the original question: Lk
22:15-16. (6) 22:16 is simply the transposed Mk 14:25. (7) That leaves
22:15, which appears to be a lead-in sentence. (8) Why was one desired? For
that, we need to look at the preceding passage, which is the prediction of
Judas's betrayal. Matthew has Jesus actually identify Judas as the
betrayer. Luke (22:23) instead leaves them wondering. But he evidently feels
that some sort of spacer is needed, to bring this tense scene to an end lest
it interfere with the solemn but nonthreatening Lord's Supper scene which
follows, and which puts the disciple group back together again as a coherent
body. I suggest that Lk 22:15 is Luke's spacer, his insulator, his protected
transition to the next thing.
If I were writing music for this part of Luke, I would certainly do two
things: (1) contrast the menace of the betrayal prediction (F minor,
bassoons, basses, horn), however it is worded, with the gentleness of the
following Lord's Supper scene (C major, violas, clarinets, timpani), and (2)
space between the two, by about, oh, seven seconds. Someone who can read
Greek aloud with suitable dramatic propriety can tell us (I, at least, would
be interested to know) how long it takes to deliver Lk 22:15.
Thanks in advance,
E Bruce Brooks
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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