Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 00:54:01 -0500
Subject: Re: earliest eucharist


My recent silence is explainable by the fact that I'm busy researching the
whole range of subjects that our recent exchange with Mark G. has raised. 
And I'm finding more and more quite curious stuff that will be shared here
as time goes by. 

These are very key subjects for the history of Christian tradition. Early
eucharists, and disputes associated with them open quite a window into the
earliest traditions and beliefs. They tell us a lot about how post-Easter
Jesus movement organized itself and later managed to expand at such
breakneck speed. 

Needless to say, all of this has a direct bearing on the Historical Jesus.
I'm already beginning to see quite a few gaps showing where the work of
the recent American liberal scholars such as Crossan is not paying enough
attention to these matters of early post-Easter situation in Jerusalem.
Indeed, trying to reconstruct, and to understand the immediate post-Easter
situation will undoubtably cast light on the work the HJ was doing
pre-Easter. Only seems logical...

It was good of Tom to mention Lietzmann's work on the eucharist, because
this work seems very important to me. Lietzmann outlined very persuasively
that there were basically two key eucharist traditions in the early
movement. Van Cangh, whom I summarized recently, more or less accepts
Lietzmann, and builds on his work, although he doesn't mention him in his
article directly. Lietzmann associates one eucharist tradition with the
early Jerusalem Jewish-Christian Church (this is what Van Cangh means by
the earliest tradition as found in Mk). Lietzmann calls this the Agape
tradition. The other key tradition, Lietzmann associates with the early
Hellenistic Christians who were later based in Antioch, and this happens
to be the tradition of Paul (or his editor?) in 1 Cor 11, also reflected
in Lk. Lietzmann calls it the Mass tradition. So it is the Agape vs. the
Mass. Lietzmann, Van Cangh, and many others see this division between the
Jerusalem "pillars of the Church" and the Hellenizers as the first basic
division in the movement that can explain quite a lot about post-Easter
Jesus movement politics as reflected throughout the NT. As the Easter was
obviously the main early Christian festival, it is no surprise that the
way each faction saw their eucharist ritual made a huge difference. 

All of this is directly connected to the story of Paul, the way he's
portrayed in various NT writings (the complexities and contradictions here
are astounding, especially between the way we see him in his own Epistles
and in the Acts) and of course all of this bears on the arguments about
various texts we've had with Mark G..

I've also read more of Alfred Loisy recently, and the more I read him the
more I like him. Here's the genius who was way ahead of his time, and, I
think, he should be better known to our generation of scholars. His work,
in spite of having been written so long ago, is very relevant today, and,
it seems to me, it is hardly dated at all.

Anyway, much more can be said about all the above. Meanwhile, to come back
to our exchange with Mark.

On Thu, 20 Nov 1997, Mark Goodacre wrote:

> > 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.
> Could you kindly give us the reference, or even better summarise 
> Loisy's arguments?  Thanks.

Here you are, Mark. This is where Loisy argued for the interpolation.


> > I have shown that the earliest eucharist
> > tradition is contained in Mk, and is parallelled in the Didache. And
> > you've even accepted this.
> I said that I thought it possible that elements of the eucharistic 
> tradition in Mark may be earlier than elements in 1 Cor. 

Yes, indeed.

> I also said 
> that I thought it likely that elements of the eucharistic tradition 
> of 1 Cor. may be earlier than elements in Mark.  

Can you elaborate a bit about this? This is certainly not what Van Cangh
thinks. He finds hardly anything of this nature in 1 Cor/Lk. 

> I pointed out also 
> that one needs to be careful about discussing questions of 
> primitivity in relation to liturgical texts which are different in 
> nature from literary texts.

Sure, we'll be careful...

> > Would you claim that these arguments are
> > irrelevant to the insertion theory? How can you say that they "did
> > not touch" upon this issue?
> They are largely irrelevant. 

Debatable. In any case, I believe the argument about interpolation is
largely tangential at this point. The important thing is to know which
_tradition_ is earlier. And we seem to have established this already.

> Even if the Van Cangh 
> reconstruction of the 'earliest version' of the eucharistic tradition 
> is demonstrably right, one would still need some weighty arguments 
> for 1 Cor. 11.23-26 to be a 'later insertion'.  

But this is now a secondary matter.

> > 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.
> Even if (again for the sake of argument) the eucharistic tradition as 
> reconstructed by Van Cangh is 'earlier' than that in 1 Cor. 11, it 
> does not of course follow the text 1 Cor. 11.23-26 post-dates Mark 
> 14.  I doubt that Van Cangh, or Jeremias, made such an inference.

Van Cangh did not. But that it "doesn't follow" is certainly debatable. I
think the age of the tradition will bear directly on the age of the
respective texts. And I can't see how can it be otherwise.

> Yuri replied:
> > 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.

> I do not think that you have 'shown' that the version of the 
> eucharistic prayer in the Didache is 'earlier' than 1 Cor. 11.

Mark, the only thing I've not spelled out here _as yet_ is that the early
Mk eucharist material is very much in line with the early Didache
material. But this is pretty obviously so. Both are the rituals of the
early Jewish-Christians -- as opposed to the Hellenists' traditions found
in Lk/1 Cor.

> > 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?
> Could you tell me where precisely the material occurs in Loisy?  Or 
> even better, could you summarise it for us?  One of the things that I 
> find useful on the list is that it helps one out with bibliography, 
> and gives useful pointers in the right direction for different 
> arguments.

To summarize Loisy will be a very big job. I'll try to do some of this
later. One has to see his whole universal theory of NT textual
development as the background for his theories about 1 Cor. He wrote
copiously about the way he saw the politics of the early movement and how
the NT texts reflect this. His theories are fascinating, though very
complex. Basically, he saw a lot of interpolations and editing all
throughout the NT. Much of this is now universally accepted, but for his
time he was quite radical. For those not familiar with Loisy, it is enough
to say that he was considered by many to have been the leading Catholic
biblical text critic of his time by far. And of course he was
excommunicated as the reward for his troubles (in 1908). In those days, to
try to find the history behind the biblical texts was considered Sinful by
the Authorities.

> > 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.

> I do not think that it is possible to infer that I believe in a 
> 'seamless Pauline corpus' simply because I think that 1 Cor. 
> 11.23-26 is original to Paul.

Well, perhaps we can deal with this later. I would be interested to know
if you can see _any_ significant interpolations in accepted genuine
letters of Paul. Perhaps, if you do, you can cite some here for the sake
of example?

> Equally, I do not think that you can infer that I believe in a 
> 'seamless GMark' on the basis of our discussions of the eucharistic 
> tradition.  Of course the text of Mark has a long and complex 
> history.  Nor is my case against Q is not based on 'the seamless Mk'. 

Well, perhaps you can then tell me what you think about the theory that Lk
and Mt may have been using a "short Mk" or an "Ur-Mk" as their source. I
(and BTW Loisy, along with a few others) find this theory quite
persuasive. This theory also holds that, subsequently, the "short Mk" was
expanded into the present canonical version, based in part on _the other
two Synoptics_. This theory puts quite a spin on the Synoptic Problem,
don't you think? 

> Given that the minor agreements are one of my research interests, I 
> think it unlikely that I would be 'unaware' of the text-critical 
> arguments connected with them.  I have dealt with the argument on 
> several occasions on this list, and also on the web site, as well as 
> in my published work.

So, if you've dealt with them, perhaps you can point me to somewhere on
your website where I can find your views on this?

> Please excuse me if I end this message on a sour note.  I do not 
> feel that the (sometimes personal) nature of  your contributions is 
> conducive to a helpful conversation and I will have to choose not to 
> continue unless such elements are played down.

Perhaps you're right. I should watch my step in the future, because I do
have a tendency to get involved in rather frank exchanges of opinions. I'm
sorry if I've given you offence. But you must admit that your style of
presentation is also often quite confrontational, especially in the way
you've been finding significant "fallacies" with Q research all over the
place, perhaps even in places where they may not exist, and wielding the
Occam's Razor with quite an abandon?

I will try to moderate my arguments in the future.



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