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2. An Examination of Key Texts in the Discussion


The purpose of this chapter is to survey the textual critical and exegetical work done on the significant texts in the discussion of the atonement in Luke’s theology, namely, Luke 22:19b and Acts 20:28. There has been, over the last 40 years or so, no lack of discussion surrounding these texts. Regarding critical study of Luke 22:15-20, one author says,

The Lucan account of the Last Supper is a scholar’s paradise and a beginner’s nightmare; for it raises problems in almost every department of New Testament study and has provided a basis for a welter of conflicting theories.83

As concerns the text-critical problem of Luke 22:19b, 20 it was commonplace up until the 1950’s to regard the shorter version as original and to dismiss 19b, 20 as the result of later scribal additions.84 Such is not the case presently and the debate surrounding the authenticity of these texts is still ongoing.85

Similar conditions prevail in the study of Acts 20:28. The textual problem is not as grave, but the interpretation of the words and whose theology they actually represent (i. e. Luke’s or Paul’s) continues to be an open discussion. In this chapter we will first look at Luke 22:19b, 20 and then Acts 20:28 in the light of these questions and their bearing on Luke’s theology of the atonement.

    Recent Discussion Concerning the

      Exegesis of Luke 22:19b, 20
      The Problem of the Text:
      Is It Original or Not?

Before dealing with the specific arguments for the shorter and longer readings,86 it will be helpful to briefly present the textual evidence for each position.87 In favor of the shorter reading is the following: D a d ff2 i l syh (and perhaps c r2 d).88 The longer reading is attested by the following: 1) all the Greek manuscripts, including p75 (AD 175/225); 2) all the versions with the exception of the Old Syriac and part of the itala and 3) by all early Christian writers beginning with Marcion, Justin and Tatian.89 Therefore, the bulk of the manuscript evidence supports the longer reading.90 We now look at arguments for the two positions, beginning with the shorter text first.

      Arguments for the Shorter Text
      General Observations

The accepted criteria for evaluating the internal evidence in a text-critical problem are: 1) the shorter reading is usually older and gives rise to the other readings and 2) the more difficult reading is to be preferred.91 The shorter text fulfills both of these rules in the case of Luke 22:19b, 20 and has therefore been viewed as original.92 Other reasons have historically been advanced in its favor as well: 1) the longer text can be explained as an attempt to assimilate Luke 22 with 1 Corinthians 11:24 and Mark 14:24b; 2) the style of Luke 22:19b, 20 is not Lukan; 3) Luke’s avoidance of any kind of vicarious theology precludes the originality of the longer text; 4) redactional study can account for Luke’s changing Mark from a Lord’s Supper account into a Passover meal93 and 5) the apparent difficulty that the shorter reading creates regarding the cup–›bread sequence can be accounted for by a similar incident recorded in the Didache.94

      A. Vööbus

Arthur Vööbus, in his article, “A New Approach to the Problem of the Shorter and Longer Text in Luke,” strongly contends that the shorter reading is to be preferred.95 He suggests that traditional lines96 of inquiry have failed to produce a satisfactory footing for one side or the other, and that a new approach is needed in order to resolve this important issue.97 He refers to his new approach as motif-history and cult-tradition.98

This new approach is based upon the fact that Luke 22:19b, 20 is handled by the evangelist in the context of a mosaic of traditions; traditions regarding Judas (Luke 22:21-23), personal greatness (22:24-27), the Messianic banquet (22:28-30), Peter (22:31-34) and preparedness (22:35-38).

According to Vööbus the mosaic as a whole hinges on the account of Judas, who in contrast to the other parallel accounts, is shown to stay with the 11 and Jesus, to partake of the Eucharistic meal and to be then singled out. Why does Luke present the Judas episode in such a startling way?99

Vööbus answers,

Luke obviously had his eyes upon the contemporary congregation. His modifications produced a version the purpose of which was the encouragement of self-examination. The congregation is warned not to depend upon false security. The point to be grasped is precisely this, that anyone participating in the Lord’s supper is not thereby exempted from backsliding, from lapsing, from a failure to fidelity or from an act of treason.100

Therefore, according to Vööbus, the Judas tradition is being used by Luke for pedagogical purposes, in particular, as a warning to his contemporary readers.101 The same kind of arrangement is being carried out with respect to the other traditions in the mosaic. The issue of greatness raised by the disciples has been taken from a different place in the other gospels and grafted in here with the result that the historical connection to the event (i. e. with the Sons of Zebedee) is reduced to give way to a timeless frame of reference. It too is being framed in such way by Luke so as to be a warning to his readers. The same is true, Vööbus says, for the other traditions that make up the mosaic.

The whole mosaic, then, was designed by Luke to function paraenetically with a special note of immediacy to the congregation. The primary reason for this focus on the immediate nature of the Eucharistic supper is the congregation’s realization that the living Lord is present at the celebration.102 This is the primary theme Luke brings out with respect to the Eucharist. There are several ancillary themes that flow from this.

The presence of the Lord and the life that he offers in communal worship enable worshippers to live harmoniously (not fight and quarrel for positions of honor) and serve the Lord wholeheartedly. These themes are set in the larger framework of the Messianic Kingdom/Banquet and the assurance of a personal presence. From these observations Vööbus raises the question as to how all this relates to the textual problem at hand.

According to Vööbus Luke has interpreted for us the meaning and significance of the Lord’s Supper. Since Luke has deliberately omitted the luvtron saying (cf. Mark 10:45), the sacrificial idea is not inherent in the Lord’s Supper for him. Again, at the heart of the Lord’s Supper is the focus (for Luke anyway) on the living Lord who is currently present. The idea of an historical sacrifice has no place in this schema and must be accordingly dropped from the account.103

      Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin is another author who, following in the line of Vööbus, defends the shorter reading as original. He argues the following points in his contention that the shorter reading is “the true vehicle of Luke’s theology.” First, he says that the shorter reading is to be preferred and can most easily account for the others. Second, the longer reading is too much like Paul’s language and therefore appears to be a scribal attempt to harmonize Paul and Luke. Third, Franklin argues that the longer reading does not contain Lucan terminology. Although he is in agreement with Vööbus he approaches the problem more from the traditional grounds of the textual details than from a literary model.104

      Arguments for the Longer Text
      J. Jeremias

In defense of the longer text, Jeremias concentrates his discussion in four main areas: 1) the mass of evidence in favor of the longer reading; 2) a comparison of similar textual phenomena at other points in Luke’s gospel; 3) objections raised to the longer version and 4) a rationale for the development of the shorter text from the longer.105

The manuscript evidence is decidedly in favor of the longer reading. With this in mind Jeremias states:

To hold the short text as original would be to accept the most extreme improbability, for it would be to assume that an identical addition to the text of Luke (22:19b-20) had been introduced into every text of the manuscripts with the exception of D a b d e ff 2 i l syrcur sin. 106

As far as the omission is concerned, Jeremias says that this is not the only place where a longer reading stands beside a shortened form in Luke, with the short form attested by D it vet-syr. According to Jeremias when these other passages107 in Luke are scrutinized the longer is always to be preferred except in two cases (i. e. Luke 24:36, 40). The longer readings demonstrate, in part, Lucan style and the shorter form can be accounted for by scribal assumption that assimilation to Matthew and Mark is going on. To say that the Western text is correct each time is tantamount to saying that the Eastern text (usually judged as the better text) had been obliterated. Jeremias also adds that the Western readings in Acts are generally thought to be secondary as well. This further supports the longer Eastern reading in Luke.

Jeremias is well aware of the various arguments that have been raised to cast doubt on the authenticity of the longer text.108 He deals with two principal arguments; 1) the longer text is nonLucan in style109 and 2) it represents assimilation to Paul and Mark. These two arguments, however, break down, says Jeremias, for the simple reason that we are not dealing here with Luke writing extempore, but writing according to his Vorlage. He is transmitting a liturgical text and it is reasonable to concede that very little stylistic polishing went on. The grammatical difficulties would present no problem to the hearers due to the sacred nature of the text. And the association with Paul is not so uncommon once we realize that Paul himself said that he had received the Eucharist tradition (cf. 1 Cor 11:23 NIV).110 Hence they may perhaps go back to the same tradition or to different ones. There is no necessary literary affinity.

Jeremias makes the observation that the theory that the longer text is original can only stand if a satisfactory answer to the question of how the short form developed is forthcoming. This is his final point in an attempt to establish the argument that the longer text is indeed original.111

Jeremias denies the idea that the short form developed due to scribal desire to avoid two cups (i. e. one in verse 17 and one in v. 20). If this were the case, the first cup, due to the sequence of the supper, would have been deleted and not the second.112 The real problem is the deletion of the phrase ‘which is given for you’ (22:19b) and it is not due, according to Jeremias, to Luke’s avoidance of a theology of the atonement. Rather, it is due to scribal desire to protect the Eucharist from profanation. Therefore, the text is an aposiopesis; the beginning of a verse of holy text, the remaining unwritten portion of which is known to Christians only, not to outsiders and is therefore protected from abuse by pagans.113

      I. H. Marshall

Marshall agrees with Jeremias in large measure.114 Nonetheless, he finds it difficult to see why, if the tradition of shortening texts to protect them from abuse by the uninitiated prevailed among Christians in the second century, Matthew and Mark did not omit the text from their accounts. He offers no criticism of Jeremias’ theory of an aposiopesis and out rightly rejects the idea that the shorter version is due to the redaction of Mark. Marshall thinks it possible that the omission was simply do to a scribal accident or misunderstanding. Apparently, some among those who made up the UBS (3rd edition) committee suggested the same.115

      E. E. Ellis

E. E. Ellis does not readily agree with the idea that the deletion was due to scribal desire to preserve the sacred formula found in 22:19b-20.116 Instead, he builds his case primarily on the work of H. Schürmann who advanced the following arguments for the longer text: 1) the words plhVn iJdouv (22:21) are strongly adversative and refer back to uJpeVr uJmw‘n; 2) the idea of the kingdom (v. 29) relates back to the New Covenant (v. 20); 3) the phrase tou‘to toV pothvrion (v. 42) refers back to pothvrion in 22:20; 4) verbal peculiarities make it difficult to draw Luke 22:19b, 20 from 1 Corinthians 11 or Mark 14.

Like both Jeremias and Marshall, Ellis agrees that non-Lucan style is no argument against verses 19b, 20 since they are liturgical in nature and that the two cups can be accounted for if the meal is indeed a Passover meal. But, says Ellis, a Gentile scribe who did not know the ritual of the Passover meal might excise 19b, 20 as a repetition of verses 15-18. This then is how one might account for the shorter reading arising from the longer.

There is also the possibility, according to Ellis, that Schürmann may be correct in postulating that the omission is due to liturgical usage. That is,

The omission occurred after the Lord’s supper had been detached from a preceding ‘Love Feast.’ Thus, the textual basis for the earlier rejected practice would be removed. . . The longer text is in all probability what the evangelist wrote.117

      The Exegesis of the Text

The following section deals particularly with the exegesis of Luke 22:19b, 20 as offered by several New Testament commentators. However, since these verses are themselves part of larger pericope beginning in 22:15, other exegetical details on verses 15-18 (as well as other texts) will be presented as deemed necessary to accurately represent each author’s viewpoint.

      Joseph A. Fitzmyer

Fitzmyer begins his discussion of Luke’s account of the Eucharistic Supper by noting the marked differences between it and the Johannine account of the same events.118 On this basis and its similarities to the Marcan (and Matthean) account, he argues that Mark is the true ‘inspiration’ for the Lucan presentation of the Supper. He says that Lucan redaction of Mark can be seen in the use of eijpevn with prov” + the accusative (v. 15a) and the absolute use of paqei‘n in the sense of “suffer.” From a form-critical point of view, Fitzmyer says that the passage as a whole is the product of a liturgical tradition, disagreeing however, with Bultmann, who considered the pericope a product of ‘cult-legend.’ There is no need, says Fitzmyer, to take that unnecessarily pejorative direction.119

The passage as a whole breaks down into two discernible units according to this commentator, with verses 15-18 describing Jesus’ celebration of the Passover120 and verses 19, 20 presenting Jesus’ reinterpretation of the meal or his institution of the Lord’s Supper.121 We now turn our attention to the details of Fitzmyer’s interpretation.

Fitzmyer makes several comments regarding 22:19 that bear on the idea of vicarious atonement in this passage. He says that according to New Testament usage the reference to Christ’s ‘body’ (v. 19) does not refer primarily to the physical body per se, but to the ‘self,’ including the immaterial aspects.122 And it is this that was given for the disciples. The terms “this” and “given” have been variously understood,123 but Fitzmyer argues,

No matter how one resolves [these] first two problems, the “for others” aspect of this phrase is unmistakable. The vicarious gift of himself is the Lucan Jesus’ intention in reinterpreting the Passover offering of old; it implies the soteriological aspect of his life and death.124

As far as the details of verse 20 are concerned, Fitzmyer contends that the phrase “this cup” refers to the contents of the cup and that the language here is no less sacrificial than the Marcan account (cf. Mark 14:28). He says that the “New Covenant” idea refers back to Jeremiah 31:31 and is set in contrast to the Old Covenant both of which were inaugurated through sacrifice; animals under the Old and Christ himself under the New. Fitzmyer also contends that the passage has Leviticus 17:14 in mind and that Jesus has been “put upon the altar to make expiation.” Again, says Fitzmyer, the idea of Jesus’ blood being “poured out for you” speaks of vicarious suffering.125

      Fred B. Craddock

Craddock understands the meal referred to in Luke 22:15-20 as the Passover and says the passage breaks down into two major sections, namely 15-18 and 19, 20. The first section describes both the fulfillment of the meal and its eschatological orientation. The second section is composed of two sayings as well, but from a different tradition, according to Craddock.126

He argues according to the content of verses 19 and 20, that the phrases “this is my body which is given for you” and “this cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood” do not speak of Christ’s death as an atonement for sin. He recognizes that the words have come to be understood as referring to such, but maintains that:

Luke’s account is governed by the Passover, and the Passover lamb was not a sin offering. The lamb sacrificed for sin was another ritual; the Passover lamb was the seal of a covenant, and the Passover meal commemorated that covenant offered to the faith community buy a God who sets free. Jesus’ blood seals a new covenant. . . .127

In conjunction with this, Craddock states that the New Covenant is the means by which God offers freedom from sin and death to those who believe. Further, those who believe, as shown by the use of a shared cup at the meal, are intimately linked to Christ and to one another through this New Covenant.128

    Recent Discussion Concerning the Exegesis of Acts 20:28

      The Problem of the Text: tou‘ Qeou‘ vs. tou‘ kurivou

The external evidence is fairly balanced between these two readings, resulting in the need to look closely at internal probabilities.129 According to Metzger, the phrase ejkklhsiva kurivou occurs seven times in the Septuagint, but not in the New Testament and the phrase ejkklhsiva tou‘ qeou‘ occurs 11 times in Paul’s writings. With these facts in mind one could postulate that a scribe influenced by the Old Testament might well have chosen ejkklhsiva kurivou over its counterpart. On the other hand, another scribe familiar with Paul’s writings may well have chosen ejkklhsiva tou‘ qeou‘ over the other. In the final analysis, the difficulty that qeou‘ presents with respect to “the blood of God” makes it the more difficult reading and in this case the preferred reading.

There is the suggestion though, that the phrase diaV tou‘ ai{mato” tou‘ iJdivou may mean “the blood of His Own,” where “Own” (i. e. iJdivou) refers to Christ. Both Metzger and Johnson suggest that it may be a title which early Christians gave to Jesus. If this is the case, the offense caused by qeou‘ would be removed, but it must be remembered that such a theory rests on very little evidence, none of which is found in the New Testament.130 In the end, it can safely be said that the overwhelming majority of scholars regard ejkklhsiva tou‘ qeou‘ as original.

      The Exegesis of the Text

The purpose of the following section is to present the state of the discussion on the text of Acts 20:28131 as it touches on the issue of the atonement in Lucan theology. Virtually every commentator affirms the idea of the atonement in this passage,132 but they are not agreed as to whether it is due to some early church tradition, Paul’s belief or Luke’s belief.

Conzelmann says that the expression, “which he purchased with his own blood” is a “turn of phrase current in the church” and is perhaps being used to give the speech a Pauline stamp. Thus for him, the theology of the atonement inherent in the passage is definitely not Lukan, perhaps Paul’s, but most likely simply a tradition current at the time.133 F. F. Bruce opposes Conzelmann’s view that Acts 20:28 represents a ‘turn of phrase’ common in the church. He affirms with C. F. D. Moule that “this is Paul, not some other speaker, and he is not evangelizing, but recalling an already evangelized community to its deepest insights.”134 Marshall goes a step further by saying that even though this is one of the few places in Luke-Acts where the atonement is clearly mentioned, we should not minimize its importance as the belief of both Paul and Luke.135 Franklin, on the other hand, essentially agrees with the conclusion that the atonement theology of Acts 20:28 is nonLucan. The passage, he says, is Luke’s defense of Paul against would-be detractors and as such represents “an accommodation to Paul’s beliefs rather than an expression of his own theology.”136


The purpose of this chapter was to set forth the recent discussion on the exegesis of two critical passages, namely Luke 22:19, 20 and Acts 20:28. The originality of Luke 22:19, 20 is a much debated textual problem. Generally those who accept the shorter reading, for whatever reason, feel that the longer reading does not fit Lucan theology in the first place. They deny that the passage teaches any kind of vicarious atonement.

There are those, however, who accept the longer reading as authentic, yet still maintain that it does not teach a doctrine of the atonement, but is instead connected with the sealing of the New Covenant.

Finally, there are an increasing number of scholars today who accept the longer reading as authentic based upon solid textual evidence and who affirm that the phrases, “given for you” and “poured out” explicate a doctrine of the atonement.

Concerning Acts 20:28, most writers affirm both the originality of tou‘ qeou‘ and the idea of vicarious atonement in the passage. Nonetheless, many still conclude that Luke in Acts presents no positive theology of the atonement because the theology of Acts 20:28 does not belong to Luke, but to some other source such as Paul or early church tradition.

83 G. B. Caird, Saint Luke, Westminster Pelican Series (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1963): 237.

84 I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke,(Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978), 799. The various suggested reasons for the inclusion of the two verses are stated below. Regarding the apparent consensus on the shorter reading priori to 1950 cf. Klyne Snodgrass, “Western Non-interpolations,” Journal of Biblical Literature 91 (1972): 372-74. He argues that the consensus appears to go back to the work of B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort who, in their critical edition of the Greek New Testament, referred to Luke 22:19b, 20 as “Western Non-interpolations; “ that is, not original. Cf. B. F. Westcott and F. J. A Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek, Cambridge-London, I, 1881, 177 (text); II, 1882, Appendix, 63f. It has not been until recently (i.e. 1950’s-1990’s) that their theory has been sharply criticized by the work of men such as Joachim Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus (London: SCM Press, 1966): 139-159; see our discussion below; Kurt Aland, “Neue neutestamentliche Papyri II” New Testament Studies 12 (1965, 66): 193-210 and Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “Papyrus Bodmer XIV: Some Features of Our Oldest Text of Luke,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 24 (1962): 170-79.

85 This is despite what Arthur Vööbus has claimed: “It is certain that the longer text could not have been Luke’s version of the words of the institution. The evidence is strong enough for us to say that this is a firm conclusion.” Cf. Arthur Vööbus, “A New Approach to the Problem of the Shorter and Longer Text in Luke,” New Testament Studies 15 (1968, 1969), 462. Such a statement which is based primarily, if not completely, on literary grounds without an adequate treatment of the extant textual witness, is perhaps unwarranted.

86 cf. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York: United Bible Societies, 1971): 173-177. Metzger puts forth the arguments on both sides of the issue in a fairly balanced way. But cf. Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel according to Luke, X-XXIV, vol. 28a, The Anchor Bible, ed. William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1985), 1388, who says that “the rating of “C” given in the UBSGNT3 302 is decidedly too low; it should be a “B” at least.” Cf. also E. Earle Ellis, The Gospel of Luke, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974), 254, who says “this passage is the most discussed textual problem in Luke” and Bart D. Erhman, “The Cup, the Bread and the Salvific Effect of Jesus’ Death in Luke-Acts,” in Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Paper Series. ed. Eugene H. Lovering, Jr. (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991), 576-591. For a very brief overview of the textual history of the gospel of Luke and its possible bearing on the text of 22:19b, 20 see, Caird, Saint Luke, 32, 33, 237-38.

87 It is hoped that the presentation of this information here will help the reader better understand the discussion to follow. It must also be said that in reality there are more than two possible texts here according to the witnesses. There are four intermediate forms of text which seem to be mixtures of the two principal forms. They are definitely secondary and the reader is asked to consult Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary, 174, for a presentation of the texts and explanation as to how they are secondary.

88 cf. Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, 799. On the possibility of the omission being supported by c r2 and d see Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words, 142, n. 6; “According to the careful investigation of G. D. Kilpatrick, ‘Luke XXII. 19b-20,’ Journal of Theological Studies 47 (1946), 49-56, the archetype of c should be added (in the present form of c vv. 19b-20 are added according to the Vulgate Text) and probably that of r2. According to Merx, Markus and Lukas, 437, the same is true for q aur d.

89 The textual evidence for the longer reading is taken principally from the work of Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words, 139-142. As far as listing Tatian for the longer reading, Jeremias wants to assert that whenever we have the combination of D it vet-syr Tatian, “we do not have the influence of Tatian upon the text read in the West, but rather the text which Tatian in his stay at Rome found there and utilized” (p. 148).

90 cf. Pierson Parker, “Three Variant Readings in Luke-Acts,” Journal of Biblical Literature 83 (1965): 165-170 who says “the textual evidence for rejecting vss. 19b, 20 is so scanty that it is hard to see why it should be taken seriously. Against the [driblets of support for the shorter reading] is the overwhelming mass of evidence from all the great uncials and cursives, Byzantine, Caesarean, and Alexandrian, that Luke 22 19b, 20 is authentic.”

91 Cf. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary, xxiv-xxviii and 176, for a brief description of the principles for doing textual criticism.

92 Most commentators affirm that the shorter form is more difficult in this case due to its abrupt ending which demands a smoother completion. But, cf. Fitzmyer, The Gospel according to Luke, 1388, who says that the longer reading poses the problem of the “two cups” and is thus the lectio difficilior.

93 cf. Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, 800. Cf. also Eric Franklin, Christ the Lord: A Study in the Purpose and Theology of Luke-Acts, (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1975), 65; 199, n. 32 for arguments similar to the first four mentioned in this list.

94 Didache 9:2. Cf. Fitzmyer, The Gospel of Luke, 1397, who criticizes this association as invalid due to the fact that the Didache is not referring to the Last Supper, but instead to the Eucharist.

95 Arthur Vööbus, “A New Approach to the Problem of the Shorter and Longer Text in Luke,” New Testament Studies 15, (1968, 1969), 457-463. See also Snodgrass, “Western Non-interpolations,” 369-79 and Parker, “Three Variant Readings,” 165-170.

96 Ibid., 457, 58. Vööbus feels that the contributions of the text-critical method, the literary-historical method and the findings of the ‘stylistic approach’ all point to the reality of the need for a new approach. Even the work of form critics and redaction-historical critics has done very little in aiding us in understanding Luke’s mosaic of traditions, according to Vööbus.

97 The importance of this issue, lest it be taken too lightly, has been aptly put by Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words, 139. He says, “The question is not simply a subordinate text-critical problem; anyone who knows the history of the investigation of the Lord’s Supper of the last eighty years is aware that the question of the Long Text or Short Text of Luke has time and again been a crucial issue and that a basically different understanding of the Lord’s Supper has repeatedly resulted according to the answer given to this.”

98 Vööbus, “A New Approach,” 459.

99 Ibid., n. 2. Vööbus points to the plhvn iJdouv as abruptive and attention grabbing.

100 Ibid., 459.

101 Ibid., According to Vööbus, there are several editorial facts that serve to strengthen this interpretation : 1) the dramatic introduction of the event (cf. the plhvn iJdouv); 2) “the drastic adumbration of the logion” is designed to raise the immediacy of the situation in the minds of the readers as the historical dimension recedes into the background; 3) the change of tense from Mark who records the Judas event in the past tense, but Luke in the present; 4) some delicate retouching and 5) the use of travpeza to convey the Lord’s Supper. All these serve to provide a feeling of immediacy.

102 Ibid., 461. Vööbus also says that “Everything in the mosaic is designed with the greatest care to foster a sense of actualization.” Cf. also, 460.

103 Cf. Snodgrass, “Western Non-interpolations,” 374, n. 15. He strongly criticizes Vööbus’s conclusion that the shorter reading is original by saying that “his assertion . . . is hardly more than a statement of his presupposition.”

104 Franklin, Christ the Lord, 65; 199, n. 32.

105 Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words, 139-59.

106 Ibid., 144.

107 Ibid., 148-52. Jeremias cites Luke 5:39; 7:7a, 33; 10:41, 42; 11:35; 12:19, 21, 39; 19:25; 21:30; 24:6, 12, 21, 36, 40, 50, 51, 52.

108 This is true due to the fact that he once advocated the shorter text as original. Cf. Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words, 152.

109 Ibid., 155. Jeremias argues that the nominative participial phrase toV uJpeVr uJmw`n ejkcunnovmenon is clumsy and nonLucan in that it is in the nominative and not in the expected dative and it is widely separated from pothvrion.

110 In other words, Luke did not have to know 1 Corinthians to have written Luke 22:19b, 20.

111 Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words, 156, 57. Jeremias dismisses the arguments that the short text developed because 1) Luke knew nothing of the words of interpretation over the wine. This is not true for he had Mark’s gospel in front of him (according to Marcan priority); 2) of communio sub una due to the fact that a great majority of Christians did not have wine and 3) Luke 22:17-19a presuppose a Lord’s Supper in the order wine-bread. He also thinks it outrageous and inadmissible to excise 22:19a, a text read by all the witnesses, in order to smooth out the ending of the passage.

112 According to Ellis, The Gospel of Luke, 254, 55, this argument was popularized by Hort and is highly suspect for the reasons suggested by Jeremias.

113 Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words, 159. Jeremias says that because D in Matthew and Mark leave it in; this is no argument against his theory since the omission could have been made in the second century (not fifth or sixth; compare the date for vet-syr; see note 2, 159) among the group of manuscripts (in particular the Luke exemplar) that make up the D archetype. Ellis, The Gospel of Luke.,255, says that such a tradition is unlikely because 19a was permitted to stand in the text.

114 Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, 799-801.

115 Metzger, A Textual Commentary, 176.

116 Ellis, The Gospel of Luke, 254-56.

117 Ibid., 256.

118 Fitzmyer, The Gospel according to Luke. 1385-1402.

119 Ibid., 1386, 1387. Cf. also 1387, 88 for a nice description of the text-critical problem in Luke 22:19b, 20. Fitzmyer argues similarly to Jeremias for the longer reading.

120 Ibid., 1389, 90. Fitzmyer argues (along with Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words, 15-88) that Luke 22:15-20 is describing a Passover meal in spite of several opinions to the contrary. According to Fitzmyer and Jeremias the following suggestions have been proposed: 1) the Last Supper was a: 1) Qiddûs meal; 2) a haburah meal or 3) an Essene meal. In the understanding of these two men, Fitzmyer and Jeremias, none of these satisfactorily define the Last Supper as admirably as the Passover meal.

121 Ibid., 1390. Fitzmyer contends that if one knows the nature of a first-century Passover meal in Palestine one will understand that the so-called problem of the second cup is really no problem at all since there were at least three cups during the meal and most likely four, two of which were considered more important according to the Passover meal. But cf. John Nolland, Luke 18:35-24:53, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. Ralph P. Martin, vol. 35c (Dallas: Word Books, Publisher, 1993), 1056. Nolland says that one cannot take the cup in Luke’s account to identify a particular cup in the Passover meal since Luke has associated it with the Eucharist and the lamb and cup of 15-18 are set in parallel to the bread and cup in 19, 20.

122 Ibid., 1399. Fitzmyer bases part of this argument on the work of Rudolph Bultmann, Theology, 1951, 1:194, who says that “man does not have a soma; he is soma.” As far as the knotty problem of what is meant by “is” (ejstiVn), Fitzmyer admits that it is difficult to tell for sure whether it means: 1) “is really with” or 2) “is symbolically with.” He cites from the New Testament support for both interpretations, but says that the first interpretation held sway up until the Middle Ages (i.e. the eleventh century) and was again reaffirmed at the Council of Trent. But cf. Leon Morris, Luke: An Introduction and Commentary. Rev. ed. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, ed. Leon Morris, vol. 3. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988), 334, who says that identity cannot be in mind (that is, the bread cannot literally be his body) for Jesus’ body was present when the comment was made. He continues: “The statement is a strong one (i.e. as regards the idea of sacrifice) and must not be watered down, but it must not be overpressed either.” Cf. also, Ellis, The Gospel of Luke, 256, who is in agreement with the vicarious interpretation of Fitzmyer, but regarding the verb “is” he says that “the elements are representative and are the preached word made visible. The point is not the substance of the elements, but their use as a proclamation of a past event and of a Lord present in the Body of believers.”

123 Ibid., 1400, 1401. The primary question with regards to the term “this” (tou`to) is to what does it refer? Does it refer to the body of Christ or to the bread? Fitzmyer says that the most obvious referent is “my body” (toV sw`mav mou) because “this” is neuter and agrees with “body” which is neuter as opposed to “bread” (a[rton) which is masculine. The second question involves understanding the sense of the term “given” (didovmenon). Due to the sacrificial context here, as well as ample New Testament evidence in addition to support from several intertestamental sources, it is best to understand “given” as having sacrificial overtones.

124 Ibid., 1401.

125 Other commentators that essentially agree with Fitzmyer, especially as concerns the issue of Lucan soteriology in this passage include: C. A. Evans, Luke, New International Biblical Commentary, vol. 3, (Peabody, MA: Hendricksen, 1990), 316-18. David L. Thiede, Luke. Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament, (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1988), 380-82. William F. Arndt, Luke, Concordia Classic Commentary Series, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1956), 438, 39. Norval Geldenhuys, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1954), 555. David Gooding, According to Luke: A New Exposition of the Third Gospel, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1987), 331-333 and J. Neyrey, The Passion according to Luke: A Redaction Study of Luke’s Soteriology, (New York: Paulist Press, 1986), 15-17 who admits that Luke’s words of interpretation concerning the bread and cup speak of an atoning sacrifice, but feels that Luke’s emphasis in the passage is on the Eucharist as meal, not sacrifice. Cf. also Nolland, Luke 18:35-24:53, 1052, who says that Luke’s imagery of “poured out blood” foretells the violent kind of death Jesus would undergo and the “for you” phrase may speak of a “proleptic transmission of the benefit” of Jesus’ impending death to his disciples.

126 Fred B. Craddock, Luke, Interpretation: A Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1990), 256.

127 Ibid.

128 cf. also Frederick W. Danker, Jesus and the New Age: A Commentary on St. Luke’s Gospel, Revised and Expanded, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988), 346. He says that it is not correct to interpret the words, “which is given for you” so as to indicate vicarious suffering. For him this goes beyond Luke’s ‘simple terminology.’ His view of the passage is essentially summed up in chapter 2 of this thesis from his work, Imaged through Beneficence.

129 The bulk of this discussion is taken from Metzger, A Textual Commentary, 480, 81. He lists another reading, namely, kurivou kaiV qeou` and understands it to be obviously conflated and therefore, secondary. Richard Longenecker, Acts, in The Expositors Bible Commentary, vol. 9, ed. Merrill C. Tenney, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981), 514, n. 28 cites another variant reading for this text: tou` kurivou JIhsou`. He lends no credence to the reading, perhaps feeling that it too is conflated and therefore, secondary.

130 Metzger, A Textual Commentary, 481. He says that the absolute use of oJ i[dio" is attested in the papyri as a term of endearment referring to near relatives. L. T. Johnson, The Acts of the Apostles, Sacra Pagina, ed. Daniel J. Harrington, S. J., vol. 5, (Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier, 1992), 363. Cf. also Hans Conzelmann, Acts of the Apostles: A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, Translated by James Limburg, A. Thomas Kraabel and Donald H. Juel. ed. Eldon J. Epp with Christopher R. Matthews, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), 175. He says that such a patripassianistic statement in Luke is not suited to this period in time and is completely impossible for Luke who maintains such a strong subordinationism between the Father and the Son. He comments on the possibility that Luke borrowed the phrase as a whole and in its original context it referred to Christ.

131 That is, the exegesis of the phrase: “which he purchased with his own blood.”

132 Cf. Darrell Bock, Proclamation from Prophecy, 338; F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, Revised and Enlarged, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990), 434; Conzelmann, The Theology of St. Luke, 201; Simon J. Kistemaker, Acts, New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990), 733; I. Howard Marshall, The Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction and Commentary, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, ed. R. V. G. Tasker, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980. Reprint 1989), 333, 34; John B. Polhill, Acts, The New American Commentary, ed. David S. Dockery, vol. 26, (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992), 427, 28; R. B. Rackham, The Acts of the Apostles, Westminster Commentaries, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978), 392; David J. Williams, Acts, The New International Biblical Commentary, ed. W. W. Gasque, (Peabody, MA: Hendricksen Publishers, 1990), 355. All these writers, in one form or another, see the “purchasing “ idea in the Greek verb periepoihvsato and feel that the idea of “obtained” is too weak. But Bart D. Erhman, “The Cup,” 582, 83 outrightly denies that such an interpretation is probable. Luke’s other reference to the blood of Christ in Peter’s speech (Acts 5:39) is in the context of trying to arouse guilt on the part of the leaders who killed Jesus, to bring them to repentance. Therefore, says Erhman, since the term periepoihvsato means “acquired,” not “purchased,” the blood of Christ in Acts 20:28 is that which “produces the church because it brings the cognizance of guilt that leads to repentance.”

133 Conzelmann, The Theology of St. Luke, 201.

134 C. F. D. Moule, “The Christology of Acts,” in Studies in Luke-Acts. ed. Leander E. Keck and J. Louis Martyn, (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1980) 171, quoted in F. F. Bruce, “Acts,” 434.

135 Marshall, Acts, 334.

136 Franklin, Christ the Lord, 66.

Related Topics: Atonement

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