I think there is something in the text which gives the impression that it is or could be an interpolation (or interpolations). You are right that the sense of the verses 15:1-11 jumps from point to point and each point is a bit dramatized. But these points are not tightly connected.Ben C. Smith wrote: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.)
The gospel, Paul and the faith of the Corinthians
Christ died, was buried, was raised and appearedthe gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
AppearencesI delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared
Paul the apostleto Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
This is not a straight line. I think that every single point is not the problem (not for me). But the emphasizing of each zig and zag is a little bit confusing. This gives the impression that a) the points are interpolated or b) at least we could remove one or two points without a problem.For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me
So I have no problem that Paul “received” his gospel and I think there is no answer to your question. But I agree that the use of the word seems at first glance a bit out of context.Ben C. Smith wrote: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.)
I have some trust that this kind of reasoning is typical for Paul and I will try to check this.
(I just laughed about the alternatives: Pre-Pauline or Post-Pauline)