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Re: tc-list: versions of the eucharist

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  • Yuri Kuchinsky
    ... Dear Rod, This may be so. ... This is interesting. It is true that there are also other instances where scholarly opinions seem to diverge depending on
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 24, 1998
      On Mon, 23 Mar 1998, Roderic L. Mullen wrote:

      > On the basis of the manscript traditions, and on what I perceive
      > as the general development of eucharistic traditions, a la Gregory Dix
      > in THE SHAPE OF THE EUCHARIST, I tend to favor the longer text of Luke.
      > Bart Ehrman and I had this discussion when I was doing my dissertation
      > under him, and I had some similar comments from D.C. Parker following a
      > presentation I made at AAR/SBL some years back. It seems to me that
      > what one decides about this text depends in part on what types of
      > evidence one prefers.

      Dear Rod,

      This may be so.

      > It also seems that the shorter reading tends to
      > get more respect among scholars in the U.K., so perhaps there is
      > something of a scholarly tradition at work here.

      This is interesting. It is true that there are also other instances where
      scholarly opinions seem to diverge depending on which side of the Big Pond
      one finds oneself.

      > Both Ehrman and Parker
      > lean heavily on internal criteria at this point.

      I agree.

      > As far as the external evidence of the textual tradition goes,
      > an important point to be made is that not only do the Alexandrian mss.
      > support the longer reading against their customary brevity, but that the
      > "Western" mss. support the shorter reading against their customary
      > fulness. Since both early ms. groups run counter to type in this
      > reading, one cannot simply suggest that either group deserves our
      > confidence a priori. What does impress me is the wide range of textual
      > groups and patristic witnesses in favor of the longer reading.

      Yes, this is so.

      > I'm not sure I would care to argue on textual grounds that the
      > entire pericope dates to a later stage of Lucan composition.

      Well, at least it seems pretty clear that this pericope does stand apart
      from the main body of Lk. Since it is very likely that this text
      originally represented a liturgical formula, and a key one at that, it may
      have a different history compared to the rest of Lk.

      > What I am
      > curious about though is how you reach the conclusion that I Corinthians
      > 11 is a later insertion into the Pauline material? --Rod Mullen

      Yes, this indeed is my position. As I understand it, this theory is
      virtually completely unknown at this time, and yet it was formulated in
      great detail by Alfred Loisy many years ago.

      He has dealt with this matter specifically in:

      Alfred Loisy, LES ORIGINES DE LA CENE EUCHARISTIQUE in CONGRES D'HISTOIRE
      DU CHRISTIANISME (A. LOISY FESTSCHRIFT), p. 83f., Paris, 1928,

      But other treatments by him are also available in his other publications,
      including in:

      Loisy, Alfred Firmin (1857-1940), _The birth of the Christian religion (La
      naissance du Christianisme)_; authorized translation from the French by
      L.P. Jacks, London, G. Allen [and] Unwin [1948].

      In order to appreciate his arguments for 1 Cor. 11.23-26 being an
      interpolation, one needs to take into consideration his much bigger theory
      about what he saw as numerous and wide-ranging interpolations in the
      Pauline literature. His arguments re: 1 Cor. 11.23-26 are only a small
      part of his larger thesis.

      To put it briefly, most commentators are well aware that the (presumably)
      genuine letters of Paul often seem confusing and inconsistent. But usually
      this is explained either as indicating that Paul's theology went through
      various developments over time, or that he wrote in different styles for
      different audiences. Well, Loisy was bold enough to suggest that these
      usual explanations are inadequate, and that the way out is to accept that
      Paul's writings were in fact widely interpolated in later periods.

      Such theories were actually first apparently pioneered by Joseph Turmel,
      who was a friend and co-worker of Loisy, e.g.:

      Turmel, Joseph (1859-1943) _Histoire des dogmes_, Paris, Rieder, 1933.

      But Loisy has developed them in his own way. His theories were not
      accepted too widely at the time.

      While these theories are still very little known, some modern scholars are
      working in this area. In particular, the best development of Loisy's
      theories in this area is found in Winsome Munro, AUTHORITY IN PAUL AND
      PETER, Cambridge UP, 1983.

      Also William O. Walker published quite a lot on this subject, e.g. William
      O. Walker, THE BURDEN OF PROOF IN IDENTIFYING INTERPOLATIONS IN THE
      PAULINE LETTERS, NTS 33 (1987): 610-618.

      Now, specifically re: 1 Cor. 11.23-26, I think the best argument for this
      being an interpolation would be a textual argument based on proving that
      the Markan eucharist is a much older one. Since Mk, written ca. 70,
      contains what seems like the older eucharist, it is hard to believe that
      the seemingly later eucharistic text of 1 Cor/Lk (the epistle as a whole
      dating mostly from the 50s) would have been really written by Paul.

      Best regards,

      Yuri.
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