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RE: [Synoptic-L] Lk 22:17-20 - Blessing or giving thanks?

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  • David Mealand
    David Inglis wrote ... However, I do have to ask whether what you are suggesting here is a bit like Q, in that you are hypothesizing what seems to be an
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 4, 2012
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      David Inglis wrote
      ---------
      However, I do have to ask whether what you are suggesting
      here is a bit like Q, in that you are hypothesizing
      what seems to be an underlying written Hebrew/Aramaic
      source from which the details of the last supper were
      taken by the authors of 1 Cor and the synoptics, in order
      to explain the similarities. Are you actually suggesting
      that, or am I reading too much into your post?
      ----------

      I am not necessarily going as far as thinking of a _written_
      source in Aramaic or Hebrew.

      I personally would think that either A) the words were
      formulated in Hebrew or Aramaic, used and amplified and
      remembered, and eventually written down in Greek translation
      or B) the words were formulated in Greek but by people
      for whom the words for thanksgiving and blessing overlapped.
      (I happen to think A more likely, but either to be possible)

      The fact that we have the two Greek words in the tradition
      indicates (to my mind) that, whenever it began, the idea was
      that of giving thanks or of blessing God. That would of
      course fit either with the berakah for bread at an ordinary
      meal, or that over the cup (if there was such and the meal
      was at Passover). See Jewish examples of berakot over bread.

      Given the semantic range of the various words we have to
      take the variation between the words, and also the context into
      account when deciding on the meaning, or the translation into
      a modern language.

      We also need to bear in mind that the semantic overlap
      is somewhere above 50% but not total i.e. some uses of
      eulogew or its precursor in other passages are in contexts
      where it is clear that thanks or praise is not the issue but
      the conferring of a blessing on a person or object. I suspect
      that this is less frequent, but it is certainly there in some
      passages.

      You draw attention to the many qualifications in my earlier
      post on this topic. This passage is one which has been hugely
      debated, and where there are a large number of very complex
      issues to chase before attempting to piece it all together,
      and come up with some kind of coherent account of its origin
      and meaning.

      David M.

      ---------
      David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


      --
      The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
      Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
    • David Mealand
      ... we need to ask ourselves whether these may in fact just be slightly different translations of the same word in whatever was (or may have been) the
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 4, 2012
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        David Inglis also asked me if I meant:
        -------------
        we need to ask ourselves whether these may in fact just be slightly
        different translations of the same word in whatever was (or may have
        been) the underlying language
        ------------
        Yes, (but the version in the underlying language may not
        have been written down). The same word in the underlying language
        could have come out either as eucharistew or as eulogew when turned
        into Greek.

        David M.


        ---------
        David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


        --
        The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
        Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic In Response To: Recent Comments On: Previous Language From: Bruce In recent discussion of translation phenomena in the NT texts, we had: A: we
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 4, 2012
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          To: Synoptic
          In Response To: Recent Comments
          On: Previous Language
          From: Bruce

          In recent discussion of translation phenomena in the NT texts, we had:

          A: we need to ask ourselves whether these may in fact just be slightly
          different translations of the same word in whatever was (or may have
          been) the underlying language

          B: Yes, (but the version in the underlying language may not have been
          written down).

          BRUCE: I think there may be a problem of conception here: the paradox of the
          "oral text." If there is mere information, it can be transmitted orally in
          any way a given speaker wants to phrase it at the time of interpersonal
          contact. That is, oral transmission (and more than one oral transmission in
          a series makes an oral tradition) does not typically involve precise
          wordforms. Someone who knows a fact in his home language A, in putting that
          down for the first time in writing in second language B, may be influenced
          by deep patterns of usage in the home language A, but not by any precise
          wordform in language A, because ex hypothesi there is no precise verbal
          structure in language A.

          The other option is where there ARE verbally precise wordforms in language
          A. This in most ways is equivalent to a written text in language A. But in
          the absence of a written version it is hard to keep such wordings precise.
          There are several well known ways, all of them involving social repetition.
          Prayers and game-songs, by the fact of continual repetition in social (not
          private) contexts, tend to keep themselves in being. Memorized genealogical
          lists are another possibility (though it has been proved that these lists
          are highly subject to interpolation and mythification, for the usual power
          reasons). The Japanese koto piece Rokudan is another - notation exists, but
          the typical performer learns it by direct imitation, not by the use of a
          score. Again, the repetition involved in practice and performance tends to
          keep the music constant - though not over a thousand years, as a colleague
          and I once demonstrated at an American Musicological Association conference.


          So we have roughly two alternatives, if we stick to what is known or
          observable about oral cultures (and all cultures are in part oral cultures):
          the linguistically fixed text and the linguistically free information
          module. I think it would aid discussion if these two were carefully
          distinguished. Where a precise verbal form exists (whether or not written,
          but somehow fixed - and it should be possible in a given instance to say how
          it came to be fixed), we can validly speak of translation. Where it does
          not, the written expression in language B is going to be a first formulation
          of something previously inarticulate (in the fixed verbal sense), not a
          second,

          Thus it looks from here.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • David Inglis
          David M wrote: “You draw attention to the many qualifications in my earlier post on this topic. This passage is one which has been hugely debated, and where
          Message 4 of 18 , Jul 5, 2012
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            David M wrote:

            “You draw attention to the many qualifications in my earlier post on this topic. This passage is one which has been hugely debated, and where there are a large number of very complex issues to chase before attempting to piece it all together, and come up with some kind of coherent account of its origin and meaning.”



            David, I don’t think that the issue that I’m dealing with here is particularly complex. We have:

            • In Lk 22:17 and the parallels in Mk 14:23 and Mt 26:27 Jesus is giving thanks; (eucharistçsas)

            • In Lk 22:19a and the parallel in 1 Cor 11:24a Jesus is also giving thanks, (eucharistçsas) while in the parallels in Mk 14:22b and Mt 26:26b Jesus is blessing (eulogçsas.)

            This is one of a number of clues that suggest that the text of Lk 22:17 originated in either Mk 14:23 or Mt 26:27, while Lk 22:19a originated in 1 Cor 11:24a instead. However, it is reasonable to ask whether eucharistçsas and eulogçsas (having similar meanings) simply reflect slightly different translations of the same word from the underlying Hebrew or Aramaic (presumably) source.



            Assuming it was the same non-Greek word then we can say that the difference we see in the Greek cannot have originated in the underlying source, and is therefore the result of different (but having similar meanings) translations of the same word. This would explain the difference between 1 Cor 11:24a and Mk 14:22b/Mt 26:26b (different authors), but not that between Mk 14:23/Mt 26:27 and Mk 14:22b/Mt 26:26b, where the author is the same.



            On this basis it therefore seems likely that there were two underlying non-Greek words, which meant similar but slightly different things, and that this difference is mirrored in the Greek. If so, then Mk and Mt have maintained this difference, while Lk (at least in the Majority Text variant) has not. 1 Cor 11 does things slightly different, as it refers to giving thanks (once only) and does not mention blessing at all. Instead, 1 Cor 11:25a has “ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον”, “Likewise also the cup,” and simply does not record whether Jesus blessed or gave thanks at this point. We do not know why the author of 1 Cor (whether Paul or not) did this. Perhaps he was less familiar with the underlying language than the author of Mk (or Mt), but the point is that at the point where the breaking of the bread is mentioned, 1 Cor 11 differs from Mk/Mt in the description of Jesus’ actions.



            The Majority Text of Lk is also different. Despite being based on Mk/Mt (taking Markan priority as read), Lk diverges from these sources in a number of ways. There is no equivalent to Mk 14:22a/Mt 26:26a, there is the blessing/giving thanks difference in Lk 22:19a, and no parallel to Lk 22:10b-20a in either Mk or Mt. Given that 1 Cor 11 exists, and contains text very similar to that in Lk 22:19-20, the most parsimonious explanation for what we see in here in Lk is that someone (not necessarily the original author of Lk) merged (interpolated) the text from 1 Cor 11 into that of Lk (The text in Lk is not identical to that in 1 Cor 11, but it is sufficiently close to say that there is a literary relationship between the two here, and hence no need to invoke a ‘mini-Q’ or an unknown non-Greek source to explain the differences).



            Now, there are variants of Lk that do not appear to have any of this additional text, i.e. they do not have vv. 22:19b-20a. Consequently, in any of these variants in which vv. 22:19a and/or 20b exist, we would expect them to here have words similar to those in the Mk/Mt parallels, and not the parallels at 1 Cor 11:24a and 25b. So, by examining the words in Lk 22:19a and 20b, we have a plausible test for which variants of Lk 22:17-20 are likely to originate in a variant prior to the merging with text from 1 Cor 11, and which are likely to have originated in a post-merge variant.



            This seems a fairly robust argument to me, but please let me know of any holes you may find.



            David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA







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          • David Mealand
            David Inglis sent in a sustained case for one way of solving issues in Lk.22, which I am printing out and will need to spend some time on. I will reply in due
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 5, 2012
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              David Inglis sent in a sustained case
              for one way of solving issues in Lk.22,
              which I am printing out and will need
              to spend some time on. I will reply in
              due course. I will probably need to
              take into account, and reconsider, at least
              half a dozen further items which I think are
              relevant to the issue, so it won't be completed
              this evening.

              David M.






              ---------
              David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


              --
              The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
              Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
            • David Mealand
              These are some responses to and comments on David Inglis email I will try to keep to the same sequence as in his piece Yes the cup section in all three
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 5, 2012
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                These are some responses to and comments on David Inglis email
                I will try to keep to the same sequence as in his piece

                Yes the cup section in all three Synoptists uses euxaristew (though
                Luke has the cup earlier, as at Passover).

                In Mark and Matthew the bread section has eulogew but in
                1 Cor 11.24a euxaristew is used. However in 1 Cor 10.16 eulogew
                is used with reference to the cup! So 1 Cor does use both Greek
                words but the other way around!

                Yes Lk. 22.17-18 are close to Mark in referring to the cup, and to the
                fruit of the vine, and to the future kingdom, but of course here the
                cup comes first (as in 1 Cor 10.16 and as at Passover).

                Lk 22.19a is close both to Mark and to Paul, except for the relevant
                verbs we are looking at, where it uses the same verb as in the cup
                section earlier (or as in the bread section of 1 Cor 11).

                Yes it is possible two different Greek words are used where the
                underlying version(s) used one word. However the idea that one author
                always uses the same Greek word for the same underlying word is
                not correct. The difference between 1 Cor 10 and 1 Cor 11 shows that.**
                Authors may switch between synonyms, or near synonyms, just to
                avoid repetition. It would seem to be the case that Mark does it in
                one direction, Paul the other, one word in the bread section, the
                other in the cup section. Luke has the same word twice, in the cup
                word agreeing with Mark and then in the bread section keeping the
                same word, (or perhaps importing the relevant word from Paul).
                But we would only think the latter if we regard the longer text as
                Lukan (which I do not).

                Because of the above I do not think there is any reason to think that
                two different words were used in the underlying stratum. Perhaps they
                were, perhaps they were not, I am not persuaded either way.

                I would agree that the longer text is dependent on 1 Cor 11 though I
                think that it is an interpolation, and that the shorter text is original.
                Q is not at issue here, but some explanation for the extra material
                earlier in Luke 22.15a is needed. Either Luke has created an introductory
                Passover word, or he has extra material which matches the eschatological
                word about the fruit of the vine and the kingdom.

                I haven't got as far as the last two paragraphs, but apart from noting
                that I think Lk.22.10b should be 19b I don't really have anything to
                add just now.

                David M.

                ** I think I would prefer to say we should not assume a different
                word in some underlying Hebrew/Aramaic version just because we have
                a different but near synonymous Greek word used.

                ---------
                David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


                --
                The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
              • Bob Schacht
                ... Keeping in mind that there may be as much as several generations between Paul s Letter, and the composition of Luke, there might also be an evolution in
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 5, 2012
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                  At 11:51 AM 7/5/2012, David Mealand wrote:
                  >,,,Yes it is possible two different Greek words are used where the
                  >underlying version(s) used one word. However the idea that one author
                  >always uses the same Greek word for the same underlying word is
                  >not correct. The difference between 1 Cor 10 and 1 Cor 11 shows that.**
                  >Authors may switch between synonyms, or near synonyms, just to
                  >avoid repetition.,,,

                  Keeping in mind that there may be as much as several generations
                  between Paul's "Letter," and the composition of Luke, there might
                  also be an evolution in theology that is absent in the early source,
                  but beginning to become manifest in the later source. The world in
                  which Luke was written was a different place than the sitz of Paul.
                  I'm not able to make a case that this evidence points in that
                  direction, but it is a consideration that should not be ignored.

                  Bob Schacht
                  Northern Arizona University

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • David Mealand
                  One further factor which might go in the direction which I think David Inglis is indicating would be this. Luke 9.16 has euloghsen in agreement with Mark (and
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 7, 2012
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                    One further factor which might go in the direction
                    which I think David Inglis is indicating would be this.
                    Luke 9.16 has euloghsen in agreement with Mark
                    (and Matthew). Luke 24.30 also uses euloghsen.
                    The stories in these places are obviously similar to Lk.22.
                    Given that in these two places Luke is not at all
                    averse to using eulogew one could argue that it is
                    then slightly odd that the shorter text of Luke 22
                    has euxaristhsas rather than Mark's euloghsas.

                    As for the wider issues connected with this passage
                    I found a lot of very interesting material in an article
                    by Deborah Bleicher Carmichael in JSNT for 1991 which
                    makes serious use of David Daube's (1966) comparison of the
                    traditions about the meal with Jewish Passover tradition.
                    Many would argue that information about Passover practices
                    mostly dates from after 70CE, but Daube and Carmichael
                    are fairly cautious in this regard, and Naomi Cohen has,
                    I think, shown that it is reasonable to claim that Philo
                    was aware of a tradition of interpreting the bread or the
                    meal - as "bread of affliction". It would therefore seem
                    that there may have been precedent for interpreting the bread
                    but not the wine. That would make the shorter text in Luke,
                    and the repeated references in Acts to breaking of bread the
                    more interesting. The longer text in Luke seems anxious to
                    harmonize what were presumably divergent earlier traditions,
                    its reference to blood is also more vocal on issues about
                    which Luke is elsewhere more reticent.

                    David M.


                    ---------
                    David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


                    --
                    The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                    Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                  • David Inglis
                    David M earlier wrote: I would agree that the longer text is dependent on 1 Cor 11 though I think that it is an interpolation, and that the shorter text is
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 7, 2012
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                      David M earlier wrote: "I would agree that the longer text is dependent on 1 Cor 11 though I think that it is an
                      interpolation, and that the shorter text is original." This is very much my position, except that there is no single
                      "shorter text." There are six different extant variants of Lk 22:17-20, of which the Majority Text is the longest. If
                      you consider that the parallel passages in Mk and Mt, and also 1 Cor 11:24-25, are other variants of the same text, then
                      there are eight variants that are shorter than the Majority Text. The trick is to figure out which can best be
                      considered to have given rise to the others. My money is on the Mk/Mt variants giving rise to an early (non-extant) very
                      similar variant of Lk, into which 1 Cor 11:24-25 was then interpolated. The problems this caused then gave rise to most
                      of the other variants. I'm still polishing my arguments for this scenario, but if anyone would like to see an early
                      version please let me know.

                      David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



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                    • David Inglis
                      This McDaniel: Miscellaneous Biblical Studies, Chapter Ten, Recovering Jesus Words By Which He Iinitiated The Eucharist - Thomas F. McDaniel, Ph.D., 2009
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 9, 2012
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                        This "McDaniel: Miscellaneous Biblical Studies, Chapter Ten, Recovering Jesus' Words By Which He Iinitiated The
                        Eucharist - Thomas F. McDaniel, Ph.D., 2009

                        http://tmcdaniel.palmerseminary.edu/MBS_10_Eucharist.pdf appears to bear somewhat on this topic. However, I'm not in any
                        way qualified to comment on it.



                        David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



                        From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bob Schacht
                        Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 11:20 AM
                        To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Lk 22:17-20 - Blessing or giving thanks?

                        At 10:32 AM 7/3/2012, David Mealand wrote:
                        >Isn't it the case that in many cases where
                        >there is an underlying Hebrew or other Semitic stratum
                        >there might not be very much difference between
                        >"giving thanks" and "blessing" i.e. praising or
                        >thanking God?

                        Or, similarly, that this might be a translation issue from an underlying source text in a different language? For
                        example, is there a difference between blessing and giving thanks in Aramaic?

                        Bob Schacht
                        Northern Arizona University





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