Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 15:26:53 -0500
Subject: Re: earliest eucharist

On Fri, 14 Nov 1997, Mark Goodacre wrote:


> > The last few days I've tried to look up some background material
> > dealing with the Eucharist in I Cor 11. Is it really the earliest
> > version of Christian Eucharist we have, as you have stated? Or
> > perhaps this passage is a later insertion?
> We need to clarify our terms here. 

Well, Mark, and I thought we were already pretty clear about terms...

> I was claiming that 1 Cor. is 
> the earliest text available to us which deals with the eucharist.  

Yes, this is how I took your words. And I disagree.

> Everyone reputable would date the Gospels (70 +) after 1 Cor. (later 
> forties, early fifties).  I would imagine that we agree on this.

In general, yes. But you should not assume that _all_ of these two texts
_complete_ should be dated so. To take both the text of Mk as is known to
us, and the text of 1 Cor. as is known to us as given, i.e. to suppose
that no development of text took place since the time of the original
composition would be rather naive. I hope you're not making such an

> I was concerned about the language of  'later insertion', which 
> sounded to me rather like you were claiming that 1 Cor. 11.23-26 was 
> a later insertion into an earlier (not now extant) version of the 
> letter,

Yes, this is exactly what I meant. I believe there's a substantial later
insertion contained in 1 Cor. 11. The extent of this insertion is
debatable, but I believe it goes beyond 11.23-26. Most likely, the
insertion was made based on the text of Lk.

> rather as some claim over 1 Cor. 14.33b-36 (women in Church). 
> It was this (perceived) argument that I said I had not seen before.

As I said, this argument has been made, and I regret that you have not
seen it before. My previous post was meant to prepare you for this further
argument by first establishing that the textual tradition of 1 Cor. 
11.23-26 is clearly not very early, and cannot be attributed to the
historical Paul.

> However, if the case is one for materials in Mark 14 being 'earlier'
> than some materials in 1 Cor. 11, then this is a different argument 
> and one that I would not be quite so hostile towards. 

I can see some progress here.

> I think it 
> quite possible that the Markan version of the Lord's Supper preserves 
> some  more primitive elements,

It's good that you see this.

> as well as perhaps some less primitive 
> elements, than the 1 Cor. version.

Yes, I've already outlined some later additions to Mk.

To summarize, the relevant passages both in Mk and in 1 Cor show clear
signs of subsequent editing, addition, and emendation. We cannot accept
the naive view that these texts were "frozen in time" right after they
were first composed. 

> Regardless of our conclusions about the latter, we have an
> eschatological eucharist in at least the early fifties. 

Mark, please try to remember that I've already tried to clarify this
terminology. I fully believe that "wisdom/realized eschatology" was the
earliest exchatology, as opposed to the "apocalyptic", or "kerygmatic". I
further believe that wisdom/realized eschatology goes back to the
historical Jesus. 

> Since Paul 
> says that he has 'received' this material which he has also handed 
> on,

Are you assuming that Paul's words to this effect in 1 Cor 11:23 are
really written by the historical Paul?

If so, I believe this assumption is unjustified. Precisely this is in
question. You cannot build any further arguments on this very shaky
foundation, as you're trying to do next, before dealing with this matter.

You certainly cannot argue that this is not an insertion because "Paul"
says so in this passage... This would be illogical of course.

> I would imagine that he has got it from the earliest kerygma, 

Who is "he" here? I don't think Paul wrote those words.

> perhaps that told to him by Peter when he went up to Jerusalem 'after 
> three years' (Gal. 1).  But even if not, the time-span for a 
> 'pre-eschatological Christianity', to use your term, becomes pretty 
> narrow - less than twenty years at most.

Please see above for my clarification of terminology.

> With these preliminary considerations, let me comment on one or two 
> passages from your piece:

I will end this reply here. It is obvious that we do not understand each
other, or at least that you did not quite understand my argument so far. I
hope this reply will help to clarify my position. We should certainly
clarify our basic assumptions before going any further in this discussion. 

As I said above, we cannot accept the extremely naive view that the text
of Mk was "frozen in time" right after it was first composed. In fact the
opposite is rather obvious after one reads any basic text-critical
introduction to Mk. There are clear indications of extensive editing and
of later additions. This is where your method, and your anti-Q theories
must be tested. Certain parts of Mk were probably written long after other
gospels were written. The editing and rewriting of Mk probably went well
into the 2nd century. It will not be surprising in the least if these
later additions to Mk will show signs of harmonisation with other gospels. 
It seems to me that you strangely very often omit all these complicating
factors, and of course this may tend to make your analyses appear as
rather simplistic.


            =O=    Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto    =O=
        --- my webpage is at ---

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, 
it is time to reform  -=O=-  Mark Twain

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