Barry Newman's Blog

July 7, 2010

Christ Centred Communion – Further Thoughts (part XXII)

Filed under: Christ Centred Communion — barrynewman @ 10:41 pm

“As often as” and “this” – 1 Corinthians 11: 24-26

But why does Paul introduce the “as often as” when Luke chooses not to and why is it in fact attached only to the cup and not to the bread in v. 25?  My suggestion is, as I have argued above and in a previous blog series, that at this point in his argument, he wants to refer to the Last Passover meal in such a way that he can link it to the Corinthians’ meal.  In fact he makes this link immediately upon quoting the words of Jesus at the Last Passover meal by saying, in v. 26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” – a reference at least to their meal.  My argument previously has been that his use of the word, “this” five times in vv. 24-26 is one way that he attaches the last Passover meal to their meal, as though it were their meal.  A further way in which he brings about this attachment is his repeated use of the word translated, “as often as”. He first uses it as one of the words of Jesus in connection with the drinking of the cup in v. 25.  Six words later he uses it in connection with the eating of the bread and the drinking of the cup in v. 26.

I take it that in appealing to the words of Jesus Paul relates “as often as” to the drinking of the cup because he wishes to make the connection between the Last Passover meal and the Corinthians’ meal as obvious as possible. The drinking of the cup in remembrance of Jesus is his last reference to the words of Jesus uttered at the Last Passover meal.  His first reference to the Corinthians’ meal, as I understand it, which immediately follows his citing of the words of Jesus, begins with, “For as often as”.  He has made the connection he desired.

Along with “poieite” Paul’s use of “this” and “as often as” enables him to firmly attach the Last Passover meal to the Corinthians’ meal and so strikingly confront them with their appalling behaviour.


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