Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 14:07:49 -0500
Subject: eucharist texts

Dear Mark,

So you're telling us you don't like the Ur-Markus idea, i.e. the
theory that there was originally a short version of Mk that was
expanded later to become our present day canonical version? 

[Mark G.:]
> I think the theory of an Ur-Markus quite unlikely. 

It is not so surprising that many scholars will not like the Ur-Markus
idea, since it obviously undermines the misconception of "the monolithic
gospels" that were "frozen in time" immediately upon being written.  And
this misconception is still popular in many circles. I suppose it makes
life simple for quite a few commentators? To accept that all of our NT
texts had a long history of development is to accept great complexity in
the area that so many people would rather see as simple and

The logical corollary of the Ur-Markus is that, at a later stage, many
parts of our canonical Mk were added to the Ur-Markus based on either of
the other two synoptics, or on their harmonisation. Since you accept the
priority of Mk _as a unity_, the Ur-Markus will tend to cast some doubt on
this assumption of yours, and will point to its inadequacy. 

Ironically, the Ur-Markus will both provide some support for the
Griesbachians, in so far as it will accomodate some of their complains
about the 2ST, and it will also fundamentally refute their position. In
other words, the Griesbachians will be shown to be both right and wrong at
the same time. Right in so far as some parts of Mk _were_ indeed written
based on the other two synoptics, just like the Griesbachians were saying
all along, and wrong in so far as _the core_ of Mk was indeed the earliest
gospel, as per the 2ST. 

As far as the FGM, to which you subscribe, the Ur-Markus theory may
suggest that some of the minor agreements in Mt and Lk against Mk may be
explained by the suggestion that the Ur-Markus may have had, in parts, a
wording quite different from our canonical version of Mk. And this wording
corresponded with the other two gospels originally where it disagrees now?

In general, if all of our canonical texts had a long history of
development, as seems likely, and if all of them had their "Ur-versions",
then the whole concept of comparing them mechanically one against the
other, as if each of them was of a piece, will pretty much lose meaning.

In any case, my recent research in the history of the eucharistic formula
has also now uncovered some solid evidence in favour of the Ur-Markus

Again, this article is based mostly on the research of J. M. van Cangh in: 

    TITLE: The Corinthian correspondence / edited by R.          
PUBLISHED: Leuven : Leuven University Press : Uitgeverij
	   Peeters, 1996.                                            

And also, I will bring in some of the research by Alfred Loisy as
Books, NY, 1962 (L. P. Jacks' translation). The original French
version came out in 1936 as:

    AUTHOR: Loisy, Alfred Firmin, 1857-1940.                                   
     TITLE: Les origines du nouveau Testament.
 PUBLISHED: Paris, Nourry, 1936.              
    PAGING: 375 p.                            

So what does van Cangh tell us? As I said previously, he (after S.
Dockx) attempted to reconstitute the earliest form of the eucharistic
narrative in Mk. And they both consider only a small part of Mark
14:17-26 as early. This consists of Mk 17, 18a, 23, 24a, and 25. Here
are the earliest parts,

     When it was evening, he came with the Twelve. And as they
     reclined at table ... Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to
     them, and they all drank from it. He said to them... Amen, I say to
     you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I
     drink it new in the kingdom of God.

And what about the rest of this Mk narrative? Are the rest really later
inserts? So let us deal with this matter. Let us consider these likely
additions to the earliest Mk. If we can show to everybody's
satisfaction that the passages 14:18b-21, 22, and 24 in Mk, are
three separate later additions, this will provide solid substantuation
for the Ur-Markus. And I think this is pretty easy to do.

But first, lets us deal with a related curious matter that we already
touched upon previously. Namely, what about 1 Cor 11, and its
relationship with Lk 22? Earlier, Stephen said that Goulder studied
the possible relationship of these two passages and came to the
agnostic conclusion:

> [people] ... ought to read Goulder, LUKE, p.140 "So
> it is impossible to infer his use of 1 Corinthians 11."  It is clear   
> from Goulder's argument that Luke's knowledge of 1 Corinthians is due  
> to numerous indications throughout the epistle, of which ch. 11 is the 
> one of the least important providing cumulative weight to the argument.

Such an agnostic conclusion seems pretty incredible to me to start
with. Indeed, since Lk knew 1 Cor, as Goulder generally
concluded, why would there be no dependence of Lk 22:19,20 on 1
Cor 11? Why be agnostic about this? Something doesn't make
sense here, but I will not pursue this for the time being. Perhaps
you, Mark, can provide some clarification of this mystery.

What I propose to do now is simply to ask, What exactly is the
relationship between Lk 22:19,20 and 1 Cor 11:24,25? Can we
answer this based simply on the textual evidence we have? Let us
compare the two texts.

...he took the bread, said  	... [he] took bread, and 
the blessing, broke it,    	after he had given
and gave it to them,		thanks, broke it and said,
saying, "This is my body,	"This is my body that is
which will be given for		for you. 
you; do this in memory of	Do this in remembrance
me." And likewise the		of me."  In the same way
cup after they had eaten,	also the cup, after
saying, "This cup is the	supper, saying, "This cup
new covenant in my		is the new covenant in
blood, which will be shed	my blood." 
for you." Lk 22:19,20 		1Cor 11:24,25a

This is THE NEW AMERICAN BIBLE translation. The basic
similarity of these two texts is pretty obvious. I have already
compared the Greek originals of these texts, and the similiarity in
Greek is even more obvious. I will not try to deal with the Greek
here, to save ourselves some work. But any interested party can
see this for themselves if they can read Greek.

So what exactly is going on here? Which texts depends on which?
Of course the economic solution here is to suppose that one text
depends on the other. 

And what was Goulder up to? He could not conclude on the basis
of these two texts that Lk depends on 1 Cor, as his general theory
would have it? This is really incomprehensible to me...

Of course, I, myself, conclude on the basis of this very close
similarity between the two passages that 1 Cor 11:24,25 is in fact
an interpolation based on Lk 22:19,20. This is the only solution that
makes sense to me. To suppose that Lk copied these verses from
1 Cor doesn't seem possible, since we already established on
other evidence that the tradition contained in 1 Cor doesn't seem
nearly as early as that of Mk. It generally seems like a late tradition
that probably wasn't even added to Lk until some later stage of
editing of that text... And Lk/Acts show very little familiarity with
Paul's correspondence in general.

But let us go further, and again come back to Mk, and van Cangh.
Van Cangh believes that Lk 22:15-18 is a Lukan expansion of Mk

     Il est clair e'galement que Lc 22,15-18 est une libre
     composition lucanienne `a partir du texte plus ancien de Mc
     14,25. ... En plus des expressions typiquement lucaniennes
     de Lc 22,15-18, on notera que Lc 22,17 de'pend directement
     de Mc 14,23. (p. 626)

In other words, both Mk 14:23 and Mk 14:25 belong to the Ur-Markus,
according to van Cangh. And so, Luke expanded on the basis of these verses
as he found them in the Ur-Markus. 

And now, let's look again at these Mk verses 18b-21, 22, and 24 in
Ch. 14. Are they really later additions to the original Ur-Markus? I
think this is pretty obviously so. Here's the text of 18b-21,

18                                                                                                 ... Jesus said, "Truly,
       I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is  
       eating with me."                                     
       They began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one    
       after another, "Is it I?"                            
       He said to them, "It is one of the twelve, one who is
       dipping bread into the dish with me.                 
       For the Son of man goes as it is written of him, but 
       woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!  
       It would have been better for that man if he had not 
       been born."                            
Loisy clearly believes that they are later additions.

     The question may well be asked whether the role assigned to
     Judas is not fictitious from beginning to end, a symbol of
     Judaism as the villain of the piece. The truth is, as we shall
     see, that the Judas-legend underwent continuous
     enlargement in Christian tradition, and that Judas (if he ever
     existed) cannot have been one of the Twelve, since the
     college of the Twelve was not instituted by Jesus. He is also
     an embarassment in the legend of the Twelve, which was first
     formed with no knowledge of Judas. We have already called
     attention to the saying about "the twelve thrones" reserved in
     the Kingdom for Jesus' companions (Mt 19:28): are we then
     to suppose that Judas was to occupy one of them? [Loisy
     believed that the above Mt verse is very early, and belongs to
     the core of the original early Mt text that was formulated at a
     stage previous to the incorporation of the Judas-legend into
     it. -- Yuri.] A traitor being needed for the elaboration of the
     drama, imagination invented the role of Judas... (p. 115, op.

While all this may have been very radical for Loisy's time, I think our
modern biblical scholarship generally accepts the above ideas at this

What about Mk 14:22? Van Cangh certainly believes that this is a later
insertion into Mk parallel to Lk 22:19 (p. 624). And he says the same here
about Mk 14:24b, parallel to Lk 22:20. The case of Mk 14:24b is especially
clear; this seems like an insert based on its very awkward position in our
present text (after everybody already drank from the cup), and on the
extreme difficulty the believing Jews would have had in drinking the
blood. So this text cannot be considered as early. 

Well, I've touched upon quite a few matters in this post. But all of this
is relevant to earliest eucharists, and to our texts on which we would
base our theories. 

Best regards,


Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=-

Reality is that which, when you stop believing 
in it, doesn't go away -=O=- Philip K. Dick

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