Barry Newman's Blog

June 23, 2010

Christ Centred Communion – Further Thoughts (part XVI)

Filed under: Christ Centred Communion — barrynewman @ 4:59 am

The words of Jesus quoted by Paul and those quoted by Luke

In the Revised Standard Version, the words of Jesus as quoted by Paul are, “This is my body which is for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.” and “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11: 24b, 25b)  They are similar to those words quoted by Luke but there are some differences.  Textual variations aside, one striking difference is the use of the word “given” in connection with the word, “body”, present in Luke but omitted in 1 Corinthians.  Another relates to what is reported that Jesus said in connection with his blood.  Luke reports Jesus as saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Paul omits the reference to “which is poured out for you”.  In turn, in the Corinthian letter, reference is made to Jesus saying, “Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.” a statement omitted by Luke.  Paul also introduces the verb “to be” in connection with the cup, which in Luke is understood.

Understanding “Poieite” as “You are doing” – 1 Corinthians 11: 24, 25

Almost all of what was said earlier in terms of the possibility of “poieite” in Luke 22: 19 having a present tense form in the indicative mood is applicable to “poieite” in 1 Corinthians 11: 24b 25b.  In what follows, however, attention will be given to “poieite” as it appears in 1 Corinthians 11, in terms of what is considered additional to what was formerly stated in connection with “poieite” as it appears in Luke 22.  Some consideration will also be given to the part played by the words, “this” and “as often as” in their association with “poieite” in 1 Corinthians 11: 24, 25 and in their appearance in v. 26.  

In the Corinthian text “poieite” is in close proximity to the verb “to be” in connection with the body but additionally a second “poieite” appears in connection with the cup and in that reference there is a second verb “to be”.  In each case, the verb “to be” is clearly present indicative in form.  There is also the verb “to drink” appearing as a present subjunctive in form.  Consequently, it would seem quite legitimate to translate 1 Cor. 11: 23-25 as follows. “The Lord Jesus … took bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body which is for you.  You are doing this in remembrance of me.’  In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  You are doing this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ ”

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