[B-Greek] Meaning/application of TO AUTO ("the same") in 1 Cor 10:3-4

Eric S. Weiss papaweiss1 at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 2 01:33:47 EDT 2009


The context of 1 Corinthians 10 suggests, at least initially to me, that the "all" who ate 
"the same" spiritual food (10:3) and drank "the same" spiritual drink (10:4) is primarily to 
be contrasted with "the many" of them with whom God was not pleased and who 
subsequently fell or perished. I.e., though "all" of them ate and drank "the same" things, 
not all of them escaped God's wrath.
 
However, Paul brings into 10:4b that it was from Christ Himself that they were drinking - 
which seems to link the Israelites' spiritual eating and drinking with the communion the 
Christian church partakes of at the Lord's Table (the subject of 1 Cor 10:14-22).
 
Can Paul also thus possibly be suggesting when he writes "the same" that the 
Israelites were eating and drinking "the same" spiritual food and drink that the Christians in 
Corinth now eat and drink in communion? I.e., can "the same" in 10:3 and 10:4 also be 
interpreted to mean that the Israelites did "the same" thing that Paul's Corinthian 
congregants do in terms of what they partake of (and because they do it while unworthily 
treating or regarding their poorer brothers and sisters, or by not discriminating between 
pagans' tables of demons and the Christians' Table of the Lord, they could and did suffer 
"the same" consequences as the Israelites - i.e., arouse the Lord to jealousy (10:22), and 
become sick and even die (11:30))?
 
I.e., does Greek grammar or syntax prevent or preclude this second or expanded 
understanding of what Paul might have meant by saying they ate "the same" spiritual food 
and drank "the same" spiritual drink - even if it may be not as likely as the first 
interpretation I gave (which is perhaps the more generally accepted one)?
 
(I see in NA-27 that there are textual variants for both these instances of TO AUTO - e.g., 
P46 simply has TO in both places - but USB 4 does not note or comment on these 
variants, and accepts the NA-27 text.)
 
- - -
Eric S. Weiss 

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