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Re: Eucharistic eating in John 6:51-58

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  • Mike Grondin
    Hi Bob- I see that you and others are focusing on the switch from FAGW to TRWGW in 6.51-58. That s certainly an interesting question, but it doesn t seem to me
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 1, 2003
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      Hi Bob-

      I see that you and others are focusing on the switch from FAGW to
      TRWGW in 6.51-58. That's certainly an interesting question, but it
      doesn't seem to me to be nearly as hard a question as the one I
      raised, which is this: WHY did the author/redactor use the very
      same verb-phrase (hO TRWGWN) for the Eucharist in 6.54-58 that he
      used of Judas in 13.18? I think I can sharpen this up a bit now,
      with reference to the LXX. Brenton's translation of Ps 41.7-10 is
      as follows:

      41.7: All my enemies whispered against me; against me they devised
      my hurt.
      41.8: They denounced a wicked word against me, saying, 'Now that
      he lies, shall he not rise up again?'
      41.9: For even the man of my peace, in whom I trusted, who ate of
      my bread, lifted up his heel against me.
      41.10: But thou, O Lord, have compassion upon me, and raise me up,
      and I shall requite them.

      Given the reference to "rise up again", it's easy to see why this
      passage would have seemed appropriate. But the Greek of the relevant
      portion of 41.9 is different than that of GJn 13.18. The LXX has:

      hO ESTHIWN ARTOUS MOU (he who eats my bread)

      ... whereas 13.18 has:

      hO TRWGWN MOU TON ARTON (he who eats the bread of me)

      ... which is strikingly similar to a portion of 6.58:

      hO TRWGWN TOUTON TON ARTON (he who eats this bread)

      With apologies in advance for possible errors in transliteration,
      what seems to be important here is that the originator of 13.18 has
      changed the verb of Ps. 41.9, and has then used that very same verb
      in 6.53-58. Of course, it's always possible that we're paying much
      closer attention to the exact wording than he did, but if, as H.
      Jeffery Hodges suggests, the author/redactor placed the Eucharistic
      formula in ch.6 instead of ch.13 in order to avoid connection with
      the Judas reference in 13.18, why would he (the author/redactor)
      have used the very same verb in 13.18 that he's so careful to
      distinguish from FAGW in 6.51-58? Why not use the LXX's hO ESTHIWN
      in 13.18 instead of hO TRWGWN?

      It looks as if the author/redactor of 6.53-58 has deliberately set
      up the very connection with 13.18 that Jeffery H. suggests he wanted
      to avoid. In doing so, he's presented us with a puzzle: on the one
      hand (6.58), anyone who eats the bread of heaven will gain
      unconditional eternal life (if that's what the literal "living to
      the age" means), but on the other hand, if one doesn't eat it with
      a pure heart (as in 13.18), he evidently won't. Hodges posits that
      eating the "holy bread" activated Judas' intrinsic evil (my
      wording), but if so, why not make the "pure heart" condition clear
      in 6.53-58, instead of issuing the unconditionals? Again, a
      difference in verb would have helped to point to this difference,
      but the author/redactor didn't choose to do that.

      Puzzled,
      Mike Grondin
      Mt. Clemens, MI

      Ref:
      > 13.18: hO TRWGWN my bread lifted up his heel against me.
      >
      > 6.54: hO TRWGWN my flesh and drinking my blood has eternal life.
      > 6.56: hO TRWGWN my flesh and drinking my blood remains in me,
      > and I in him.
      > 6.57b: hO TRWGWN me, he also will live because of me.
      > 6.58b: hO TRWGWN this bread will live eternally.

      p.s.: I've made up the sub-verse letter 'b' because I don't know
      where one can find the standard sub-versification. Can anyone help
      with that? (MWG)
    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
      Mike Grondin wrote:
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 1, 2003
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        Mike Grondin wrote:

        <[I]f, as H. Jeffery Hodges suggests, the
        author/redactor placed the Eucharistic formula in ch.6
        instead of ch.13 in order to avoid connection with the
        Judas reference in 13.18, why would he (the
        author/redactor) have used the very same verb in 13.18
        that he's so careful to distinguish from FAGW in
        6.51-58? Why not use the LXX's hO ESTHIWN in 13.18
        instead of hO TRWGWN?>

        I'd better interject a clarification here. My point
        about the evangelist's placing of the eucharist in
        John 6 rather than John 13 was not to avoid linking
        Judas with the eucharist. Rather, I argue that the
        evangelist fully intended to link Judas to the
        eucharist and to focus upon Judas eating the eucharist
        unworthily. Verse 13:18 requires specificity to act as
        a prophecy of Judas's betrayal, but if the eucharistic
        formula were presented in John 13, with all of the
        disciples partaking, then the specificity to Judas
        alone would be lost since everyone would be shown
        eating the bread.

        I don't think that the evangelist intends to deny that
        the eucharist was instituted at the last supper; I
        think that he (most likely) presupposes its
        institution. Be that as it may, my argument is that
        the evangelist intended the reader to understand the
        morsel that Jesus gives to Judas as a eucharistic
        morsel of bread and that the evangelist made this link
        through verse 13:18, which uses trogein to allude to
        6:54, 56, and 57, which also use trogein.

        I'll have to look again at my article to see if my
        point was less than clear.

        <It looks as if the author/redactor of 6.53-58 has
        deliberately set up the very connection with 13.18
        that Jeffery H. suggests he wanted to avoid.>

        It should be clear by now that the connection with
        6:54-58 is precisely what I meant to show.

        <In doing so, he's presented us with a puzzle: on the
        one hand (6.58), anyone who eats the bread of heaven
        will gain unconditional eternal life (if that's what
        the literal "living to the age" means), but on the
        other hand, if one doesn't eat it with a pure heart
        (as in 13.18), he evidently won't. Hodges posits that
        eating the "holy bread" activated Judas' intrinsic
        evil (my wording), but if so, why not make the "pure
        heart" condition clear in 6.53-58, instead of issuing
        the unconditionals? Again, a difference in verb would
        have helped to point to this difference, but the
        author/redactor didn't choose to do that.>

        This is a good question. Partly, it's what my article
        intended to explore through the interrelated concepts
        of holy/common and impure/pure. The holy and the
        impure are at odds with each other, and Judas, by not
        truly belonging to the community, is an impure
        outsider who has already inwardly chosen to follow
        Satan (6:70; 13:2)

        But we could also look at 6:47, which states that the
        one who believes has eternal life. The evangelist
        closely links believing and eating. Both proper faith
        and sacrament seem to be important for the evangelist.

        Jeffery Hodges

        =====
        Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges (Inv.) [Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley]
        Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
        447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
        Yangsandong 411
        South Korea

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      • Mike Grondin
        ... Seems to me the author could have put the Eucharistic formula into ch.13 by merely adding to it something like Yet there is one eating my bread who will
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 1, 2003
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          --- Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
          > I'd better interject a clarification here. My point about the
          > evangelist's placing of the eucharist in John 6 rather than John
          > 13 was not to avoid linking Judas with the eucharist. Rather, I
          > argue that the evangelist fully intended to link Judas to the
          > eucharist and to focus upon Judas eating the eucharist unworthily.
          > Verse 13:18 requires specificity to act as a prophecy of Judas's
          > betrayal, but if the eucharistic formula were presented in John
          > 13, with all of the disciples partaking, then the specificity to
          > Judas alone would be lost since everyone would be shown eating
          > the bread.

          Seems to me the author could have put the Eucharistic formula into
          ch.13 by merely adding to it something like "Yet there is one
          eating my bread who will lift up his heel against me." But even
          that may not have been necessary, since the required specificity
          seems to be already contained in "I do not speak of all of you"
          and "That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to
          him." Presumably, Jesus didn't "dip the morsel" for anyone else -
          although "supper" is mentioned twice before the interaction with
          Judas (on your account, Jesus doesn't partake in the supper, but
          there's no indication of that in the immediate context).

          To anticipate what follows, what I want to say in general is that,
          although I grant that your suggested explanation for the placement
          of the Eucharistic formula is plausible, I don't find it quite
          wholly satisfying. I think the suggestion at the very end of your
          note provides the key to a better explanation, but I'll let that
          wait until I've worked my way down to it.

          > I don't think that the evangelist intends to deny that the
          > eucharist was instituted at the last supper; I think that he
          > (most likely) presupposes its institution.

          Agreed, but I'd suggest that he was putting it to a new use.

          > Be that as it may, my argument is that the evangelist intended
          > the reader to understand the morsel that Jesus gives to Judas as
          > a eucharistic morsel of bread and that the evangelist made this
          > link through verse 13:18, which uses trogein to allude to 6:54,
          > 56, and 57, which also use trogein.

          I agree that it was likely an intentional link.

          > I'll have to look again at my article to see if my point was
          > less than clear.

          No need to look; the fault was mine for misstating your views.

          [MWG]:
          > ... why not make the "pure heart" condition clear in 6.53-58,
          > instead of issuing the unconditionals?
          [HJH]:
          > This is a good question. Partly, it's what my article intended
          > to explore through the interrelated concepts of holy/common and
          > impure/pure. The holy and the impure are at odds with each other,
          > and Judas, by not truly belonging to the community, is an impure
          > outsider who has already inwardly chosen to follow Satan (6:70;
          > 13:2)

          Yes, and it may be relevant that what GJn has to say about Judas at
          various points seems to indicate that the author is not so careful
          in his writing as one might imagine. At 6.70, Judas is said to BE
          a devil (DIABOLOS), at 13.2 (a verse curiously discordant with its
          immediately-surrounding context), THE devil is said to have put
          betrayal into his heart, and at 13.27 (after eating the morsel)
          Satan is said to enter into him. These shifts and/or equivocations
          about the Judas character may be a caution that we shouldn't expect
          the author to be too careful in every case. Sometimes he seems to
          have been, sometimes not. So how careful was he in ch.6?

          > But we could also look at 6:47, which states that the one who
          > believes has eternal life. The evangelist closely links believing
          > and eating. Both proper faith and sacrament seem to be important
          > for the evangelist.

          Yes, I think this is the crux of the matter. The way I would put
          it is that the Eucharistic language can't be considered separately
          from the issue of belief. Since ch.6 is all about belief, I would
          say that the Eucharistic language was inserted there in order to
          tie it to belief - in particular, the belief that Jesus himself
          (as opposed to his words) was the "bread of life". But now we come
          to what I regard as a conundrum: did the author/redactor think it
          unimportant (or simply forget) to qualify his statements in 6.51-58
          by adding something like "and if he believes in me", or was the
          language of "eating" itself constitutive of such belief in the mind
          of the author? To put it another way: was the "eating" literal -
          such that one had to understand belief as being _added to it_ in
          order to gain the benefits mentioned - or was it a metaphor for
          that very belief, with the benefits thus following unconditionally
          as the Eucharistic formulations themselves suggest? It may come as
          no surprise (since I've written in this vein from the beginning)
          that I'd plunk for the latter; the choice seems intuitively sound,
          even though I'm still mulling over the implications of it.

          Respects,
          Mike Grondin
        • Geoff Hudson
          ... From: Mike Grondin [mailto:mwgrondin@comcast.net] Sent: 01 September 2003 16:29 To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com Subject: [XTalk] Re: Eucharistic eating in
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 2, 2003
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            -----Original Message-----
            From: Mike Grondin [mailto:mwgrondin@...]
            Sent: 01 September 2003 16:29
            To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [XTalk] Re: Eucharistic eating in John 6:51-58


            41.7: All my enemies whispered against me; against me they devised
            my hurt.
            41.8: They denounced a wicked word against me, saying, 'Now that
            he lies, shall he not rise up again?'
            41.9: For even the man of my peace, in whom I trusted, who ate of
            my bread, lifted up his heel against me.
            41.10: But thou, O Lord, have compassion upon me, and raise me up,
            and I shall requite them.

            Given the reference to "rise up again", it's easy to see why this
            passage would have seemed appropriate. But the Greek of the relevant
            portion of 41.9 is different than that of GJn 13.18. The LXX has:

            hO ESTHIWN ARTOUS MOU (he who eats my bread)

            ... whereas 13.18 has:

            hO TRWGWN MOU TON ARTON (he who eats the bread of me)

            ... which is strikingly similar to a portion of 6.58:

            hO TRWGWN TOUTON TON ARTON (he who eats this bread)

            With apologies in advance for possible errors in transliteration,
            what seems to be important here is that the originator of 13.18 has
            changed the verb of Ps. 41.9, and has then used that very same verb
            in 6.53-58. Of course, it's always possible that we're paying much
            closer attention to the exact wording than he did, but if, as H.
            Jeffery Hodges suggests, the author/redactor placed the Eucharistic
            formula in ch.6 instead of ch.13 in order to avoid connection with
            the Judas reference in 13.18, why would he (the author/redactor)
            have used the very same verb in 13.18 that he's so careful to
            distinguish from FAGW in 6.51-58? Why not use the LXX's hO ESTHIWN
            in 13.18 instead of hO TRWGWN?

            It looks as if the author/redactor of 6.53-58 has deliberately set
            up the very connection with 13.18 that Jeffery H. suggests he wanted
            to avoid. Puzzled,
            Mike Grondin
            Mt. Clemens, MI

            *******
            So the original author of Jn.13:18 presumably meant exactly what the writer
            of Ps. 41:9 meant. In both cases the NIV perhaps comes nearer to the
            correct idea. It was "he who shares my bread has lifted up his heal against
            me." I would suggest that this had nothing to do with a one-off common or
            eucharistic meal, but described something that was on-going. If HJ was of a
            priestly character, such as Rechabite, then he could have claimed a right to
            share in the tithe "bread" of the priests. The betrayer of HJ was a priest
            who shared HJ's "bread".

            Geoff
          • Jacob Knee
            Folks may be interested in the recent publication of Larry Hurtado s magnum opus: Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianiy (Eerdmans 2003)
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 2, 2003
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              Folks may be interested in the recent publication of Larry Hurtado's magnum
              opus:

              Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianiy (Eerdmans 2003)

              In particular it has the first application to Q, that I have seen, of
              Richard Bauckham's suggestive work on the intended audience of the gospels.

              Best wishes,
              Jacob Knee
              (Cam, Glos.)
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