Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 02:19:48 -0500
Subject: Re: earliest eucharist

On Tue, 18 Nov 1997, Mark Goodacre wrote:

> > > I will not respond to Yuri's messages at length, especially as I am 
> > > keen to see some evidence for 1 Cor. 11.23-26 as a 'later insertion'
> > > into the letter.                                                    
> Yuri replied:                                                           
> > Is this supposed to mean that you don't see the evidence I've         
> > presented so far as relevant? Because you still have not replied in   
> > detail to that.                                                       
> The difficulty is this.  You have claimed that 1 Cor. 11.23-26 is a     
> 'later insertion' into 1 Cor., i.e. that this passage is not written by 
> the historical Paul.  I claim that this passage is not a later insertion
> and that it is written by the historical Paul. 

Well, Mark, the above is correct. I do indeed believe that 1 Cor. 11.23-26
is a later insertion into 1 Cor., i.e. that this passage is not written by
the historical Paul.

> I have never seen the   
> case argued that 1 Cor. 11.23-26 is a later insertion into 1 Cor. 

I already said that this theory was first argued by Alfred Loisy in the
1920s. I regret that you were not aware of this fact.

> The  
> evidence cited in your message (Van Cangh etc.) all concerned the dates 
> of the traditions contained in the relevant texts and did not touch on  
> the issue of 'later insertion'. 

Mark, I have shown that the earliest eucharist tradition is contained in
Mk, and is paralleled in the Didache. And you've even accepted this. Would
you claim that these arguments are irrelevant to the insertion theory? How
can you say that they "did not touch" upon this issue? 

Your logic seems very weak. Seeing that Mk, written in the 70s, contains
the earlier tradition, why should we suppose at all that the text in 1 Cor
11 that contains the later tradition should be _earlier_ that 70s? This
makes no sense to me. The only things that are on your side are the
communis opinio, and the ecclesiastical tradition. These should not be
even a factor in the level-field scholarly argument that needs to bracket
out such considerations completely. So it is actually _your_ burden of
proof to show how and why a later tradition should be contained in an
earlier text... Good luck... 

> Until I see the case for 1 Cor.        
> 11.23-26 as a 'later insertion' argued, I am unable to respond further.

Obviously you're avoiding the original argument. To backtrack, this
argument was about which version of the eucharist was the earliest. I said
it was the version in the Didache, and you quoted 1 Cor 11 as earlier. I
have shown that this is not so. So I've actually won this original
argument already! You might as well accept this.

As far as arguing for insertion, I wonder _why_ should I do this at all?
As I said, these specific arguments have been made already, and I told you
where to find them. What's the point?

Any such text-critically based arguments are very complex by their own
nature. They are difficult to build, and they can never really prove
anything conclusively to everyone's satisfaction. These sorts of arguments
have to balance probabilities and possibilities finely, and it is always a
very delicate balance. The only people who can appreciate them are the
people who really care about the historical truth. Those who wish to
defend a dogma can simply ignore them after poking a few holes in them --
and this is what they usually do. Clearly you're defending the dogma of
the "seamless" Pauline corpus here. 

The Pauline corpus is anything but seamless. As an illustration, I can
point the curious to the article on 1 Cor I've just read in the Anchor
Bible Dictionary. This article outlines possible form the original rather
short Paul's epistles may have had before they were combined into what is
now 1 Cor, and the many theories regarding this. Various scholars
suggested that there may have been as many as a dozen short letters
originally that were later assembled and edited into one long 1 Cor. At
least two such original ur-letters are accepted by most serious text
critics. There are many competing theories. The conclusion of the article?
"Nothing could be known for sure, so let's just assume it was one long
letter to start with." Dogma of the seamless Pauline corpus wins and life
goes on as usual. The many intriguing pointers to the complex shape of the
original letter collection, after being carefully outlined, are swept
under the rug. End of story. 

So what can I accomplish arguing interpolation in the face of so many
uncertainties as to the original message of Paul, and in the face of the
likely and predictable dogmatic opposition? And why should I argue it in
the first place since I won the original argument already?

From what I can see, you're arguing not only for the seamless Pauline
corpus, but also for a seamless GMk. In fact your whole elaborate anti-Q
theorizing seems to be based on this. I've invited you to say it's not so,
and to provide your view of the development of Mk. You've declined not so
subtly, so the seamless Mk does seem to be your foundation for your anti-Q
theorizing. This cannot be serious scholarship. The textual problems of Mk
are immense, and you're avoiding them assiduously. These textual problems,
and possible development trajectories, provide significant clues to
solutions to quite a few "minor parallels", but, regretfully, you don't
seem to be aware of this, or at least you would not give any evidence to
the contrary... 



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