[Corpus-Paul] ...And From Blood

tiona at comcast.net tiona at comcast.net
Thu Mar 22 02:31:38 EDT 2007

I would like the panel to consider a totally different approach to this section.  I once read a quote from Sanhedrin 70 or 72 that talked about the three things that could not be done even under pain of death.  They were idolatry, fornication and murder.  Is it possible that the greek word for blood, hah'ee-mah
might be better translated bloodshed so that it is read strangling and bloodshed as in murder?  In this reading the new believers are being given the three things the rabbis forbid under pain of death.  

Jeffrey L Tiona 
134 W. Harvard St Ste 5 
Fort Collins, CO 80525 
970-282-8958 (fax) 
jtiona at comcast.net

-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: "Ian Scott" <iscott at tyndale.ca> 

> Hi Russell, 
> You propose an interesting line of thought. My initial line of thought, 
> though, is that you are not making enough allowance for the fact that 
> the ingestion of blood in the Pauline Eucharist is *metaphorical*. 
> Modern Christians still talk about eating Christ's body, even though 
> they would be horrified by actual cannibalism. John's Gospel actually 
> plays on this tension near the end of chapter 6. Notice, too, that Luke 
> seems to accept the blood metaphor in Eucharist (Lk 22:20), even though 
> he's the one who reports (and presumably accepts) the apostolic decree. 
> So I think the problem with your argument is that you don't make room 
> for the reality that people often perform metaphorically actions which 
> they would disapprove of if performed literally. In fact, the 
> "transgressiveness" of the metaphor is often part of its power. But 
> thanks for pushing a stimulating question. 
> Best, 
> Ian Scott 
> Ian W. Scott, Ph.D. (McMaster) 
> Assistant Professor of New Testament 
> Tyndale Seminary 
> Toronto, Canada 
> email: iscott at tyndale.ca 
> url: http://www.ian-w-scott.com 
> =================================== 
> The Online Critical Pseudepigrapha 
> http://www.purl.org/net/ocp 
> >>> RUSSELL BOOTH 2/20/2007 5:25 PM >>> 
> I started this thread. Please allow me to restate the argument. 
> >The ingestion of blood is prohibited by the covenant made with Noah, 
> by the 
> >covenant made with Moses and by the Jerusalem decree (Acts 15:20 & 
> Acts 
> >21:25). 
> There are three prohibitions in the Jerusalem decree. Two of the four 
> terms 
> of the Jerusalem decree prohibit ingesting blood. 
> The Eucharist, as taught by Paul, includes ingesting blood. 
> Therefore, Paul's teaching of the Eucharist was prohibited by the 
> Jerusalem 
> decree.< 
> It's simple logic. If it's not a valid argument, there would have to be 
> some 
> reason it's not. Is there? 
> If it is valid, this would of course mean that the direct successors to 
> the 
> Jesus tradition did not practice Paul's Eucharist and that the blood 
> imagery 
> did not originate with Jesus. 
> In Galatians 1 Paul argues that others are preaching a gospel contrary 
> to 
> his and that his gospel did not originate with the followers of Jesus 
> or any 
> other person, but was revealed to him by supernatural means. And, 
> though he 
> had formerly persecuted the church he met with its leaders, Peter and 
> James. 
> On a subsequent visit, Peter, James, John and the elders at Jerusalem 
> forbade this element of Paul's teaching because they did not approve of 
> ingesting blood, according to the author of Luke/Acts. 
> That would explain the incident at Antioch. It seems safe to assume the 
> leaders at Jerusalem knew what Paul was teaching at the time that they 
> disapproved of it. Paul had been accused, on that same visit, of not 
> following the customs of Moses and of teaching others to do the same, 
> according to Acts. Since in his own writings we find Paul teaching the 
> ingestion of Christ's blood, Paul was in fact guilty of doing so. 
> It would seem, consequently, that Paul changed tactics from violent 
> persecutor to competing propagandist in his opposition to the direct 
> successors of the Jesus tradition, assuming the argument presented 
> above is 
> valid. 
> I would like some scholarly feedback - using conventional critical 
> methods, 
> if you would be so kind - regarding why it is not obvious, given the 
> evidence, that the body and blood imagery associated with the Eucharist 
> originated with Paul and not with Jesus. 
> James Tabor presented this same argument regarding the probability that 
> Paul 
> was the originator of the blood symbolism in his book The Jesus Dynasty 
> last 
> spring. Have scholars been exploring the possibility that the body and 
> blood 
> imagery of the meal originated with Paul since the publication of that 
> book? 
> Is anybody interested in discussing it here? 
> Respectfully, 
> Russell Booth 
> Minneapolis, Minnesota 
> russbooth281 at msn.com 
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