Peter Kirby wrote:So why do you believe it's an interpolation?
I haven't thought about this for a while so I now have a chance to work through this. (And I'll say at the outset 1 Cor 11:18-19 is hard to understand in the discourse.)
First before looking at the passage I must note that it is one of two in the letters of Paul that contains references to the Lord (as though it were a name) that must be read as Jesus. Paul is writing before the gospels and has no written tradition before him that features Jesus simply referred to as the Lord. There's plenty with "my lord" or the lord Jesus"and these are all titular in significance. In Diaspora Jewish tradition the nominal use is restricted to god. It is such a clear distinction that there is no problem understanding Ps 110.1 "the lord says to my lord" for the first example is nominal (therefore god) and the second is titular. It's a little like our use of "the boss". You'd know who I meant if you knew my context. Now there was some sexual harrassment at work recently and the boss told his boss about it, who immediately fired the person. You have no difficulty differentiating between "the boss" and "his boss", nominal and titular, so we can put aside the trinitarian indoctrination that helps us confuse the lord (nominal = god) with the lord (title of Jesus). Paul coming from a Jewish tradition has no precedent for using the nominal form "the lord" for anyone but god, therefore we must be suspicious when it appears that he does so. (The other unmistakable example is 1 Cor 6:14, a verse which has scholarly argument against it.)
Coming to 1 Cor 11:17-34a, Paul is faced with a problem involving a feast he has set up at Corinth, his "lordly feast" (note: not "lord's" anything, for the word is an adjective). This is plainly not a ritual or sacrament such as the one the last supper initiated, but a communal meal, similar to, though less formal than, the communal meal found at Qumran. Such a meal in its turn is probably influenced by shared meals in hellenistic associations—for Paul's community is such an association of brothers.
Paul's problem regards the fact that people aren't participating as a community of brothers, but every "man" for himself. If you get there early, you can stuff yourself and so others who come later miss out on the meal entirely, as there is nothing left. This naturally is completely against Paul's notion of community.
Let me present what I think Paul's exposition and teaching is. My format below is a little strange, as the second half is paralleled to the first half, only backwards, as a species of chiasm.
|A||17 Now in this instruction I do not praise [you] that when you come together, it is not for the better but for the worse.||33 Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that your coming together will not bring judgment (krima).|
|B||18 Firstly, when you come together in assembly I hear that there are divisions (schismata) among you, and I partly believe it 19 for there must be factions (aireseis) among you to make the approved (dokimoi = tested) among you manifest!||31 But if we judged (diekrinomen) ourselves, we would not be judged (ekrinomeQa). 32 Now, being judged (krinomenoi) by the Lord, we are being disciplined (as with children) so we won’t be condemned with the world.|
|C||20 When you come together in one place, it is not to eat the lordly feast (kuriakon deipnon), 21 for as you eat, each of you rushes to eat his own feast, and one person goes hungry while another gets drunk.||30 That’s why so many of you are weak and lack strength and an ample number are fallen asleep (dying?).|
|D||22 You have homes in which to eat and drink, don’t you? Or do you despise God’s church and humiliate those who have nothing?||29 because whoever eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment (krima) on himself, not judging (diakrinwn) the body [of the Lord].|
|E||What should I say to you?||28 A person must examine (dokimazetw = test) himself and in this way eat the bread and drink from the cup,|
|F||Should I praise you?||(22) I will not praise you for this!|
A 17: Paul's instruction will deal with coming together. 33: Provides the instruction in a nutshell.
B 18-19: deals with divisions within. 31-32: deals with the division between those who are chastised by the Lord and those condemned with the world.
C 20-21: the problem. 30: the result.
D 22a: meaning of what the Corinthians are doing. 29: how it works.
E 22b: Rhetorical question about Paul's message. 28: Paul's understanding of the crux.
F 22ci: Praise? 22cii: No praise.
Let's look at the crux: "28 A person must examine himself and in this way eat the bread and drink from the cup". By examining oneself one will recognize if they are hungry or not. One's own body will tell them, hence the comment about judging the body. If you don't make this examination of your physical state when you eat and drink the lordly feast, you are liable to bring judgment on yourself. There is nothing eucharistic
about Paul's discourse: it is not a reenactment of the last supper. He is dealing with the abuse of his community meal, not the ritual of partaking in the body and blood of Jesus, which only appears in the Lukan account of the last supper used by the scribe to place this more performative version of the supper in Paul's feast instruction.
But let's go on to this version of the last supper:
|(Introduction to eucharist)||23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you—how the Lord Jesus, on the night he was given up,|
|(~Luke 22:19-20)||took a loaf of bread, 24 gave thanks for it, and broke it in pieces, saying, “This is my body that is for you. Keep doing this in memory of me.” 25 He did the same with the cup after the supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.|
|(Commission)||Do this, as often as you drink from it, in memory of me. 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink from this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.|
|(hook back to the context)||27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks from the cup in an unworthy manner will be held responsible for the Lord’s body and blood.|
In passing, the two examples of "the Lord" in 26-27 can only be conceived of as Jesus. This is in stark contrast to the use of "the Lord" in 32, which deals with the Lord disciplining or chastizing the Corinthians, a role generally reserved for god as chastizer. Paul of course is not a binitarian (see for example 1 Cor 8:6). Had Paul written the last supper passage, we would be stuck with this confounding use of "the Lord": how could he use the one term for two different referents? People who are trying to communicate do not set out to use confusing language and Paul is trying to make sense to his Corinthians. (For those who still don't understand the distinction I made at the beginning between "the Lord" as a name and as a title, sorry, but try to reread rather than challenging the notion.)
The payload of the last supper is the commission, "Do this, as often as you drink from it, in memory of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink from this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes." That's what the last supper is doing there, allowing the scribe to make clear to readers what the last supper is really about in the eyes of the church. For the Corinthians, Paul has already established his meal, so they don't need the commission presented to them.
Now for the Lukan source:
|Mt 26||Mk 14||Lk 22||1 Cor 11|
|26 ...Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, |
λαβων ο ιησους αρτον ευλογησας εκλασεν
|22 ...he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, |
λαβων αρτον ευλογησας εκλασεν
|19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it |
και λαβων αρτον ευχαριστησας εκλασεν
|23 ...[he] took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it |
ελαβεν αρτον και ευχαριστησας εκλασεν
|and gave it to the disciples,|
και δους τοις μαθηταις
|and gave it to them,|
και εδωκεν αυτοις
|and gave it to them,|
και εδωκεν αυτοις
|and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."|
και ειπεν λαβετε φαγετε τουτο εστιν το σωμα μου
|and said, "Take; this is my body." |
και ειπεν λαβετε τουτο εστιν το σωμα μου
|saying, "This is my body, |
λεγων τουτο εστιν το σωμα μου
|and said, "This is my body |
και ειπεν τουτο μου εστιν το σωμα
|which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." |
το υπερ υμων διδομενον τουτο ποιειτε εις την εμην αναμνησιν
|that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."|
το υπερ υμων τουτο ποιειτε εις την εμην αναμνησιν
|27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you;|
και λαβων ποτηριον ευχαριστησας εδωκεν αυτοις λεγων πιετε εξ αυτου παντες
|23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it.|
και λαβων ποτηριον ευχαριστησας εδωκεν αυτοις και επιον εξ αυτου παντες
|20 And he did the same with the cup after supper,|
και το ποτηριον ωσαυτως μετα το δειπνησαι
|25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper,|
ωσαυτως και το ποτηριον μετα το δειπνησαι
|28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. |
τουτο γαρ εστιν το αιμα μου της καινη διαθηκης το περι πολλων εκχυννομενον εις αφεσιν αμαρτιων
|24 He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.|
και ειπεν αυτοις τουτο εστιν τω αιμα μου της διαθηκης το εκχυννομενον υπερ πολλων
|saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood that is poured out for you."|
λεγων τουτο το ποτηριον η καινη διαθηκη εν τω αιματι μου υπερ υμων εκχυννομενον
|saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood.|
λεγων τουτο το ποτηριον η καινη διαθηκη εστιν εν τω εμω αιματι
Luke is working from Mark and improving his source. The specific agreements between Luke & the other synoptics against 1 Cor are in azure. Those between Luke & 1 Cor against the other synoptics are in yellow. The one example between 1 Cor and the other synoptics against Luke is in green (and I put that one occasion down as cross fertilization by a copyist). The relationship between Luke & 1 Cor should be evident from the above, so the simplest conclusion from the data is that 1 Cor used Luke as its source for the last supper. One could try the approach of those who deny the existence of Q (by claiming Luke used Mark & Matt) and posit that Luke used both Mark and 1 Cor, though that has nothing to support it, so we are left which a chronological order for the development we see in the text of the last supper of Mark
to 1 Cor
. This doesn't make sense, as 1 Cor was written before Mark, so it strengthens the case for the last supper material in 1 Cor being a later inclusion.
The effect of the inclusion of verses 23-27 was to confuse Paul's argument, for its reference to "body" separates the term's use in v.29 from the earlier part of his discourse and in so doing had the interesting effect of causing a secondary interpolation as a misguided explanation of "body" in v.29. Codex Sinaiticus includes a 7th century second
corrector's effort to clarify "body" as "body of the Lord". The same correction was later made in Codex Ephraemi and onwards into the 14th century. Paul intended the "body" in v.29 to refer to that of the individual engaging in his lordly feast, but later readers lost sight of Paul's discourse through the inclusion of last supper and read the "body" as that "of the lord".
1. Paul's discourse relates to a communal meal of an association of brothers, not a reenactment of the last supper.
2. Verses 23-27 add nothing to the discourse and do not follow from the context. It has only the most generic lexical hook onto what precedes it, ie "for" (γαρ), and nothing really to hang it on. And there is nothing made of verses 23-27 in what now follows, no development from anything in the verses. The best that can be said is that it deals with a meal of sorts.
3. Verses 23-27 break the structure of Paul's argument—a structure outlined in the first table above.
4. Verses 23-27 contain as use of "the Lord" which unexplainably conflicts with that in v.32. (It also reflects a use of the term which is unprecedented in the literary milieu Paul was writing in).
5. Verses 23bii-24 reflect a version of the last supper dependent on Luke, which is an apparent anachronism. (Working from Pervo & Tyson, Luke was written a centry after Paul.)
6. The inclusion of verses 23-27 confused later readers, as seen by a later interpolation in v.29.
Verses 23-27 are far more useful to the church than they are to Paul's Corinthians, as they clearly present the eucharist as a performative act, which we must assume Paul failed to communicate to his flock before, if he had indeed written them.
That's my response to Peter's question.
(Beam me up, Spotty.)