1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:37 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:The careful structure and rhythmic character of the piece is part of what motivates a lot of scholars to regard it as a pre-Pauline "creedal" statement of some kind.
:mrgreen:
So it's either a Pre-Pauline creed or a Post-Pauline interpolation. (But please do not argue that it comes from Paul and his fellow workers ...)

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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:09 am

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Ben C. Smith wrote:The careful structure and rhythmic character of the piece is part of what motivates a lot of scholars to regard it as a pre-Pauline "creedal" statement of some kind.
:mrgreen:
So it's either a Pre-Pauline creed or a Post-Pauline interpolation. (But please do not argue that it comes from Paul and his fellow workers ...)
I think that those who argue for a pre-Pauline creedal statement have taken notice, not only that the writing is of a different kind than in the surrounding context, but also that Paul says (twice, in verses 1 and 3) that he received this gospel message and (once, in verse 11) that others are preaching the same thing. They do not think it sounds as if Paul means that he received it directly from God and that the other preachers got it from him; so they take him to mean that he got it from others. They also, I believe, point to the language used (delivered, received) as typical of the passing on of traditions in the Pharisaic manner (Josephus, Antiquities 13.10.6 §297; 13.16.2 §408).

I think that those who argue for a post-Pauline interpolation find it hard to believe that the same firebrand who denied receiving the gospel from humans in Galatians 1.11-12 would here so nonchalantly admit to having received the core of his entire message from humans. They also notice that this passage contains a good deal of material that could be leveled against Marcion, and suspect that it was incorporated, possibly even created, precisely for that purpose.

I think that both positions have merit. (It is very easy to read Paul as saying that he got this message from others, and the apparent contradiction between 1 Corinthians 15.1, 3 and Galatians 1.11-12 does require an explanation.) If you do not, why not? Why should those two positions be off the table?

(And please bear in mind that I agree with you overall on the linguistic arguments. Very little in this section strikes me as something that Paul might not have penned on linguistic grounds.)
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:07 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by iskander » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:19 am

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:So it's either a Pre-Pauline creed or a Post-Pauline interpolation. (But please do not argue that it comes from Paul and his fellow workers ...)

Your analysis of 1 Cor 15 :3-11 is a jewel that ennobles this forum. Bravo!
Would you kindly consider translating Romans 9:4-5 in a new thread.?

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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by Solo » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:48 am

Bernard Muller wrote:From http://historical-jesus.info/9.html:
a) "according to the scriptures"
b) "the twelve [disciples]"
This is very odd because:
- For the former, besides 1 Cor 15:3-4, the word 'scriptures' (plural) appears only in 'Romans' (1:2, 15:4 & 16:26), Paul's last letter. 'Scriptures' simply does not exist in the other epistles (including '2Corinthians' and 'Galatians'). The singular 'scripture' is only used in 'Galatians' (three times) & 'Romans' (four times), Paul's two last epistles, and therefore seems to be a late entry into Paul's vocabulary. Also let's notice the two 'scriptures' in 1 Cor 15:3-4 show an accusative case, not existing in 'Romans', but the same as in Lk 24:45 (previously quoted).
- For the later, Paul mentioned the members of the Church of Jerusalem several times (1 Cor 16:1, 3; 2 Cor 8:4, 13-15, 9:1, 12-15; Gal 2:1-10; Ro 15:25-26, 31), but never the twelve.
In conclusion, "the twelve"" and "according to the scriptures" were not likely written by Paul.

PS: Lk 24:45-46 "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,"

Cordially, Bernard
Most likely the plural "Scriptures" in the recursive sense it was later adopted by the church, was first used by Mark in two verses (12:24, 14:49). See 2 Pe 3:16 for an explicit example how the term was understood. Mark's usage needs to be understood in the context of his including his own writing in the collection (in the saying about Elijah in 9:13, and SoM 14:21). Jesus also cites or paraphrases Paul's dicta. It may have come as a continuation of Paul's habit of adducing to his own moral precepts the importance of the Lord's word but it is highly doubtful that "scriptures" in this sense was propagated by Paul.

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Jiri

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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:30 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:I think that those who argue for a pre-Pauline creedal statement have taken notice, not only that the writing is of a different kind than in the surrounding context, but also that Paul says (twice, in verses 1 and 3) that he received this gospel message and (once, in verse 11) that others are preaching the same thing. They do not think it sounds as if Paul means that he received it directly from God and that the other preachers got it from him; so they take him to mean that he got it from others. They also, I believe, point to the language used (delivered, received) as typical of the passing on of traditions in the Pharisaic manner (Josephus, Antiquities 13.10.6 §297; 13.16.2 §408).

I think that those who argue for a post-Pauline interpolation find it hard to believe that the same firebrand who denied receiving the gospel from humans in Galatians 1.11-12 would here so nonchalantly admit to having received the core of his entire message from humans. They also notice that this passage contains a good deal of material that could be leveled against Marcion, and suspect that it was incorporated, possibly even created, precisely for that purpose.

I think that both positions have merit. (It is very easy to read Paul as saying that he got this message from others, and the apparent contradiction between 1 Corinthians 15.1, 3 and Galatians 1.11-12 does require an explanation.) If you do not, why not? Why should those two positions be off the table?

(And please bear in mind that I agree with you overall on the linguistic arguments. Very little in this section strikes me as something that Paul might not have penned on linguistic grounds.)
Difficult question.

First, let me say something else. I know that you, spin, Bernard, Joe, solo and others know much more about Paul than me. Therefore I was interested primarily in the question of on what basis it can be argued useful for or against an interpolation. My impression is the following:

1) There is no textual indication for an interpolation.
2) The majority of the wording of 1 Cor 15:3-11 is Pauline. Now I disagree that there are „oddities“. It is neither a patchwork of Pauline catchphrases nor alien to the corpus.
3) The verses 1 Cor 15:3-11 are well linked to the surrounding verses.
4) The verses are a „living“ text. The author was interested in form and not only in content.
5) The rhythmic character can be found also elsewhere in the Pauline letters (1 Cor 15:1-2 has also rhythm).

I think this is the basis. It is not only interesting for the question „Is it an interpolation?“, but also for the question „What kind of interpolation is it (assuming that it is an interpolation)?“ I think one can therefore argue for interpolation only at the level of meaning and structure (chiasm).


Second, many see the word „received“ in the context of Galatians and Acts (Does he mean that he received it directly from God or is it a proto-catholic interpolation?) You have explained it very nicely. But it seems to me that this question is irrelevant in the context of 1 Cor 15:3-11. We should not forget that we are speaking of a „message“ and I think that there are only two pertinent alternatives in the context of 1 Cor 15:3-11

- a freely invented message (not trustworthy)
- a received message (trustworthy)

short: my impression is that "received" in 1 Cor 15:3 is not about Paul, but about the message

argument
- that's the message: Christ died and was raised
- we all preach it and you all believed it
- How can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?


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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:32 am

iskander wrote:
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:So it's either a Pre-Pauline creed or a Post-Pauline interpolation. (But please do not argue that it comes from Paul and his fellow workers ...)
Your analysis of 1 Cor 15 :3-11 is a jewel that ennobles this forum. Bravo!
Would you kindly consider translating Romans 9:4-5 in a new thread.?
Thank you very much

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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:58 am

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:Difficult question.
Most seem to be. :)
My impression is the following:

1) There is no textual indication for an interpolation.
Disagree, though the textual indications are mostly indirect. A cogent argument can be made for the/a Marcionite version lacking most of this pericope. That is probably not what you would be calling "textual" indications, but at some point it belongs in an apparatus just like more direct patristic testimonials from Irenaeus and Clement and such. And we ought not to make the mistake of simply counting extant manuscripts (Marcion: 0; Catholics: 1,000,000.)
2) The majority of the wording of 1 Cor 15:3-11 is Pauline. Now I disagree that there are „oddities“. It is neither a patchwork of Pauline catchphrases nor alien to the corpus.
I agree with this. Your analysis on this thread is better than that in some of the commentaries. I read one just recently on this passage which claimed that θάπτω appears nowhere else in the Pauline epistles, and of course you are correct to point out that it does in compound.
3) The verses 1 Cor 15:3-11 are well linked to the surrounding verses.
Agreed.
4) The verses are a „living“ text. The author was interested in form and not only in content.
Very much agreed.
5) The rhythmic character can be found also elsewhere in the Pauline letters (1 Cor 15:1-2 has also rhythm).
Agreed, though verses 3-11 achieve even a higher level, I think, of rhythm and parallelism.
Second, many see the word „received“ in the context of Galatians and Acts (Does he mean that he received it directly from God or is it a proto-catholic interpolation?) You have explained it very nicely. But it seems to me that this question is irrelevant in the context of 1 Cor 15:3-11. We should not forget that we are speaking of a „message“ and I think that there are only two pertinent alternatives in the context of 1 Cor 15:3-11

- a freely invented message (not trustworthy)
- a received message (trustworthy)
Okay, that is true of this passage, but would you not agree that the alternatives are very different for Galatians 1.11-12?

11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

In this verse the alternatives are as follows:
  • A message received from humans (not trustworthy).
  • A message received from Jesus Christ (trustworthy).
No matter how you slice it, you still have to reckon with the idea that the same person who cared a great deal about the specific source of the message in Galatians 1.11-12 also happened to casually lean in the exact opposite direction in 1 Corinthians 15.3-11. It is obviously possible to mount arguments considering why Paul might lean in opposite directions based on the specific situation and on his specific readership in Galatia and in Corinth, but the contrast is very real.

Ben.

ETA: Out of curiosity, since you seem to agree that the claim is that the message came from other humans, and since you also seem to like the idea of Paul and his coworkers having composed the creed, as it were, would your position be that Paul got the basics, the gist, from tradition but then composed the text itself in his own words and style?
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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:30 pm

It is interesting just how unimportant 1 Corinthians 15.5-11a is for the rest of the chapter:

5 ...and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all, as to a miscarriage, he appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace which was given to me was not futile, but I worked more than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11a Whether then it is I or they....

Verses 3-4 at least mention the death and resurrection of Christ, and the rest of the chapter is all about the resurrection from the dead. But here six and a half solid verses intrude which find no reflection at all that I can tell throughout the rest of the chapter. This is one example of the kind of reasoning that Paul employs in the chapter:

12 Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

We have preaching (tying back to verses 1 and 11b), and we have a raising from the dead (tying back to verses 3-4), but we find nothing corresponding to an argument from the appearances, to wit, "Now if all of these worthy men are witnesses of the resurrection of our Lord, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?" (This observation overlaps with some of what spin was arguing on the Reddit page linked to in the OP.)

So why are the appearances here in the first place? If they are apologetic in nature, listed in order to prove the truth that Christ rose from the dead, why does the argument of the rest of the chapter proceed as if they had not been listed at all? This seems like naming a premise in a geometric proof that the rest of the proof then fails to reference.

It has also been suggested by some that the list of appearances would serve as credentials for the various leaders in early Christianity (Cephas, James, the Twelve, the apostles). But the argument in this chapter has nothing to do with apostolic credentials.

Furthermore, Paul takes up three and a half of these verses discussing what the chronology of his own appearance event means; once again, none of this resurfaces in the rest of the chapter (nor, indeed, in the rest of the epistle). It is a digression inside a digression.

But hey, authors sometimes digress, right? Perhaps these verses are a good summary of Paul's overall preaching, and he is including all of it, even the bits that do not apply to the current topic, and even when they distract him into adding stuff about his own experience that can scarcely be part of the original gospel message. I myself would argue something like that for two particular details on my own preferred (Marcionite) reconstruction: the burial and the third day, neither of which figures into the rest of the chapter. But of course there is a huge difference between carrying over two tiny details like that and carrying over what amounts to the vast majority of the passage. And it is at least interesting that, if the entire passage is indeed a good summary of Paul's gospel, the appearances to the other people never seem to come up for discussion in any of his extant epistles (whereas the death, the burial, and the resurrection do).

Also, while it is difficult to come up with a good reason for Paul to have digressed so far so quickly from his main objective in the chapter, it is quite easy to come up with good reasons for later churchmen to have added all of this material. The appearances ensure, against Marcion, that Paul is not a maverick in the church. The "last of all" speech ensures, against Marcion, that Paul himself felt subject to the leadership, exactly as Acts would have it. (And the "according to the scriptures" lines ensure, against Marcion, that Paul is preaching in accordance with the Jewish scriptures and not in direct opposition to the Demiurge whom they celebrate.)

There is no smoking gun here, I freely admit. But they are considerations to take into account.

Ben.
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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:29 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:1) There is no textual indication for an interpolation.
Disagree, though the textual indications are mostly indirect. A cogent argument can be made for the/a Marcionite version lacking most of this pericope. That is probably not what you would be calling "textual" indications, but at some point it belongs in an apparatus just like more direct patristic testimonials from Irenaeus and Clement and such. And we ought not to make the mistake of simply counting extant manuscripts (Marcion: 0; Catholics: 1,000,000.)
1) Good point
Marcion's 1 Cor 15:1-13 (Ben C. Smith via Jason DeBuhn/Peter Kirby)
1 Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. [Criterion 1, criterion 2, criterion 3 weakly, criterion 4] 3a For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 3b that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4a that he was buried, 4b that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, [Criterion 4:] 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace which was given to me was not futile, but I worked more than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11a Whether then it is I or they, 11b so we preach, and so you believed. 12 Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead [Marcion: the dead are not raised], neither has Christ been raised.

But I'm not so sure. It seems that the fathers attested many different readings and old Harnack thought that Marcion had at least parts of the verses 5-8. His main argument was
- Tertullian, Against Marcion 4.4. „And yet heresy, which is always in this manner correcting the gospels, and so corrupting them, is the effect of human temerity, not of divine authority: for even if Marcion were a disciple, he is not above his master: and if Marcion were an apostle, Whether it were I, says Paul, or they, so we preach: a and if Marcion were a prophet, even the spirits of the prophets have to be subject to the prophets“ → 1 Cor 15:11

- Epiphanius, Panarion 42.11.7: „So we preach, and so ye believed“ → 1 Cor 15:11

Harnack's argument may not be as strong as he thought, but it seems to me that it can compete with Peter's Criterion 4 (“Unattested readings that correspond to a scholarly conjecture for interpolation on grounds other than the alleged absence in Marcion’s Apostolikon.“).


2) I do not deny that there are a few questions and I agree with almost what you wrote. My point is only that spin and others think that we are just a little step away from evidence that 1 Cor 15:3-11 is an interpolation. But my impression is that
Ben C. Smith wrote:There is no smoking gun here, I freely admit. But they are considerations to take into account.
I would add: on both sides


3)
Ben C. Smith wrote:Out of curiosity, since you seem to agree that the claim is that the message came from other humans, and since you also seem to like the idea of Paul and his coworkers having composed the creed, as it were, would your position be that Paul got the basics, the gist, from tradition but then composed the text itself in his own words and style?
- message came from other humans
No, I'm just unsuspecting.

- like the idea of Paul and his coworkers having composed the creed
Our own robert j brought me to the idea: Paul and his fellow workers loved to write Christ-hymns and Paul used them in his letters. It seems to fit well to many passages in the letters.

- Paul got the basics, the gist, from tradition
Excuse me, but that's too much speculation ;)

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Re: 1 Cor 15:3-11 once again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:36 am

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:But I'm not so sure. It seems that the fathers attested many different readings and old Harnack thought that Marcion had at least parts of the verses 5-8. His main argument was
- Tertullian, Against Marcion 4.4. „And yet heresy, which is always in this manner correcting the gospels, and so corrupting them, is the effect of human temerity, not of divine authority: for even if Marcion were a disciple, he is not above his master: and if Marcion were an apostle, Whether it were I, says Paul, or they, so we preach: a and if Marcion were a prophet, even the spirits of the prophets have to be subject to the prophets“ → 1 Cor 15:11

- Epiphanius, Panarion 42.11.7: „So we preach, and so ye believed“ → 1 Cor 15:11

Harnack's argument may not be as strong as he thought, but it seems to me that it can compete with Peter's Criterion 4 (“Unattested readings that correspond to a scholarly conjecture for interpolation on grounds other than the alleged absence in Marcion’s Apostolikon.“).
I personally think that Peter was a bit too stingy with the criteria at that point, and that #3 ought to be in play here, as well. But granted, granted, granted: the Marcionite text is not a sure thing! (To quote 15.11b against me is not fair, though, since it has belonged in my reconstruction from the beginning, as have parts of verses 3 and 4. And I do not think Against Marcion 4.4.5 is necessarily relevant, since it does not derive from the analytical portion of Tertullian's treatment, in which he promises to use Marcion's own canon against his Antitheses.)
- message came from other humans
No, I'm just unsuspecting.
- Paul got the basics, the gist, from tradition
Excuse me, but that's too much speculation ;)
So what does Paul mean here when he says he received it? (Same words and construction, as you point out, as "you [Corinthians] received it.") You do not have to agree with Paul; he may be lying. But what do you think he means? (You laughed a bit at scholars thinking Paul is using a pre-Pauline creed, yet that appears to be a very clean reading of his own claim here. At the same time, you are attracted to the idea that Paul composed it himself, yet he is most definitely not claiming that.)
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