3633RE: [Synoptic-L] Are there any parallels to Lk 22:15-16 anywhere?
- Aug 2, 2011To: Synoptic (GPG)
In Response To: David Inglis
On: Lk 22:15-16
As David correctly notes, I missed a complication in this passage. Herewith
a second try.
Lk 22:15. And he said to them, I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover
with you before I suffer, . . . / COMMENT: An original line, invented by
Luke as an emotionally necessary transition to his next, and less menacing,
scene. I earlier suggested an orchestration. Does Luke himself have
background music? The idiom behind "earnestly desired" has been said to be a
Septuagintalism. It has also been more specifically linked to Genesis 31:30
(so several; FItzmyer actually italicizes the phrase in his translation,
with a Genesis footnote). I don't think so; Luke is not trying to evoke this
scene as nondiegetic background for this sentence, or for the scene to which
it leads. The function of the line is to insulate the broken comradeship of
the preceding scene from the restored comradeship of the following scene.
Luke B likes to use Septuagintal language at solemn moments, but he is not
alluding to the Genesis story, and does not wish his readers to summon it up
as enrichment material.
Lk 22:16. . . . for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in
the Kingdom of God. / COMMENT: This is an intentional doublet of Mark's
anticlimactic saying in Mk 14:25b. This is a good line in Mark, but it comes
as an afterthought. Luke is a dramatist, and he wants to apply that idea,
not just to the cup, but to the whole occasion: the prospective Lord's
Supper observance. We here see a Lukan doublet in the process of creation.
Lk 22:17-18. And he took a cup . . . until the Kingdom of God comes." /
COMMENT: Here, Luke reverses the order of bread and cup to adapt the ritual
as Mark knew it to the ritual as he and the Didache knew it. He preserves
the "until the Kingdom of God" part, perhaps maladroitly (Luke normally
eliminates relocated materials at their source), but also perhaps
Lk 22:19a. And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it, and
gave it to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you. Do this in
remembrance of me. And likewise the cup after supper, saying, This cup which
is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood." / COMMENT: We are
now back in the zone of strict parallel to Mk 14:22-24, which is all that is
left of Mark's account after Mk 14:25 has been relocated to Lk 22:18b.
Notice that the "given for you" does not unambiguously evoke the Atonement
doctrine, as the omitted part of Mark ("poured out for many") clearly does.
Compare again Luke's treatment of Mk 10:45. Notice also that Lk ends his
account with a clear prediction, not (as Mark) of Jesus's future in Heaven,
but of the believers' future in life and afterwards: the New Covenant. It is
thus reader oriented, rather than biographically Jesus oriented. That
contrast in intention runs through both Gospels, as James Hardy Ropes (The
Synoptic Gospels) had seen long ago.
Luke's cup-bread-cup sequence is the kind of thing on which Lietzmann could
write a thousand-page book. In sum, there were different Lord's Prayer
practices, and even days of observance, in the various early churches, and
Luke is here adjusting Mark to suit his and his fellow members' tradition
Will that serve?
E Bruce Brooks
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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