Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

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NuGrkStu
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Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by NuGrkStu » Thu May 25, 2017 6:52 am

I recently had a study with a minister and he asked 'Do you all drink from 'one cup' when you do comunion?' I replied 'no, there are several small cups in a tray that we drink from' To which he replied 'the church is supposed to drink from 'one cup' (meaning one cup that everyone passes around) and he sited 1 Cor 11. He says 'The Lord 'took the cup' not 'several cups'.

Uggggh. I didn't even know how to talk to someone like that. I can't describe what's wrong with it other than he's just being too literal??? Here's the verse is their anything in the greek that shows the cup is not what's important.?

ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι, λέγων, Τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι: τοῦτο ποιεῖτε, ὁσάκις ἐὰν πίνητε, εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν.

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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by jeidsath » Thu May 25, 2017 2:02 pm

Notice that in verse 23, ἔλαβεν ἄρτον has no article. But in verse 25 we have an article for the cup, ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι. Paul calls this "the cup" for some reason. It may be that a single significant cup was normal at meals or Seder, or perhaps he was thinking of church practice in his time where it was a single shared cup at communion (but if he was thinking of communion practice, why not "the bread"?). Certainly Paul imagined that Jesus passed this single cup around rather than saying "cheers!"

So I'm sympathetic with your minister. Little plastic cups ("fruit juice at the center of the tray") seem to mock what's going on. But they do it at my church too, and it's not worth being a nitpicker. The important part is loving God and your neighbor. Plastic cups probably aren't getting anyone sent to Hell. (It's less strict these days than it used to be about utensils. Numbers 4:14-15.)
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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by NuGrkStu » Thu May 25, 2017 7:30 pm

Thanks jeidsath -

So then if an individual wants to go this far with the text 'You HAVE to use ONE cup because that's what it says . . .' is it also obvious that a meal was being eaten and not just a crumb of bread. To me it looks like he broke bread and blessed it . . . and in like manner took the cup 'after they had eaten supper' . . . καὶ τὸ ποτήριον μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι. So doesn't it look like he broke the bread and blessed it, then they ate supper, then he blessed the cup.

I can't help but point out to him 'ok, if that's how serious you are with your interpretation then you must also make sure you're eating 'supper' after breaking the loaf and before drinking the cup. I mean that feels rediculous to have to push it that far but if he is taking the text literally word for word isn't that what one would have to end up with?

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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by NuGrkStu » Thu May 25, 2017 7:32 pm

maybe we are celebrating the Lord's supper wrong and it should be a whole communal meal and not just a small morsel from a tray.

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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu May 25, 2017 8:25 pm

23 Ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου, ὃ καὶ παρέδωκα ὑμῖν, ὅτι ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ᾗ παρεδίδετο ἔλαβεν ἄρτον 24 καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ εἶπεν, Τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ σῶμα τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. 25 ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι λέγων, Τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε, ὁσάκις ἐὰν πίνητε, εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. 26 ὁσάκις γὰρ ἐὰν ἐσθίητε τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον καὶ τὸ ποτήριον πίνητε, τὸν θάνατον τοῦ κυρίου καταγγέλλετε ἄχρι οὗ ἔλθῃ.

The text is not making that point, nor should the presence or absence of the article be read as though there is one single cup. The article is required for syntactical reasons in the context, and only means that Jesus has taken one particular cup to make his point. It could have been a shared cup, but it can also be read to mean it was one specific cup among several used to make the point. Likewise notice that the first use of ἄρτος is anarthrous, the second use articular. In the first use, it is unnamed or otherwise unspecified (in the context) bread; in the second use, the bread has already been named previously and so we get an anaphoric article. So we are not restricted to one loaf of bread. It's also possible that bread can be seen more as a "mass" noun and doesn't always require the article...
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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by Paul Derouda » Thu May 25, 2017 9:10 pm

I'd like to steer clear of all sorts theological debates here, but I think Barry is right. In my opinion, the most natural way to read this is to take the article to refer to the particular cup in front of Jesus, i.e. his cup, although the possibility of it being some other cup isn't perhaps completely excluded (to do that, the writer could have written το ποτηριον αυτου). In Greek, the article is often used to indicate unemphatic possession, where in English we have a possessive pronoun. (εφερε τον αδελφον "he carried his brother")

I think this example well illustrates that "literal translation" is a misconception. It's not possible to transpose the original text word by word into the target language without subtly changing it.The "literal translator" purports to leave the whole business of interpretation to the reader, but this is not possible. You can't translate a text without interpreting it. If we see a definite article in Greek and translate it with the definite article in English, the implications are a bit different; "he took the cup" does suggest that there is only one single cup.

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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by bedwere » Thu May 25, 2017 9:25 pm

Liturgically speaking, the tradition both in the East and in the West is to have one chalice for consecration, but, out of practicality, multiple chalices for communion. Then in the West communion under both kinds dropped out of use and the calices ministeriales were no longer used.

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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by jeidsath » Thu May 25, 2017 9:34 pm

The 1st Corinthians story is in word-for-word agreement with the Luke story. One is quoting the other, certainly, or there is a shared word-for-word source. In the Luke story, however, there is a preceding verse which makes clear why ποτήριον has an article:

καὶ δεξάμενος ποτήριον εὐχαριστήσας εἶπεν Λάβετε τοῦτο καὶ διαμερίσατε εἰς ἑαυτούς·

Further Mark (a likely source for Luke) has:

καὶ λαβὼν ποτήριον εὐχαριστήσας ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἔπιον ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες.

So I respectfully disagree with both Paul and Barry here. "His cup" is tendentious considering the following content in 1st Corinthians, and impossible if we include Luke and Mark.

Also this is a nitpick, but I'm not sure about Barry's point about the second use of ἄρτον. It has the article because of the demonstrative: τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον
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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu May 25, 2017 9:51 pm

jeidsath wrote:The 1st Corinthians story is in word-for-word agreement with the Luke story. One is quoting the other, certainly, or there is a shared word-for-word source. In the Luke story, however, there is a preceding verse which makes clear why ποτήριον has an article:

καὶ δεξάμενος ποτήριον εὐχαριστήσας εἶπεν Λάβετε τοῦτο καὶ διαμερίσατε εἰς ἑαυτούς·

Further Mark (a likely source for Luke) has:

καὶ λαβὼν ποτήριον εὐχαριστήσας ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἔπιον ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες.

So I respectfully disagree with both Paul and Barry here. "His cup" is tendentious considering the following content in 1st Corinthians, and impossible if we include Luke and Mark.
Excellent point, actually (although I never said that it was a possessive use of the article, only that the article could not be read to exclude the presence of other cups). You would say then that the use of the article for ποτήριον is anaphoric from the context in Luke, and this then would be well known for both Paul and his readers? Of course, it still doesn't mean that only one single cup was used...
Also this is a nitpick, but I'm not sure about Barry's point about the second use of ἄρτον. It has the article because of the demonstrative: τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον
Yeah, I wasn't sure either, but I think you are right. The use of the demonstrative would trump, so to speak, the anaphoric use.
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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by jeidsath » Thu May 25, 2017 11:40 pm

Tennyson wrote:`O brother,' asked Ambrosius,--`for in sooth
These ancient books--and they would win thee--teem,
Only I find not there this Holy Grail,
With miracles and marvels like to these
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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by Paul Derouda » Fri May 26, 2017 4:38 am

I'm sorry, I didn't want misrepresent Barry, I only meant to say that I agree that the article didn't exclude the existence of other cups.

I now think that Joel sort of right: the article is used because it refers to a "well-known" cup. I don't think it's because it's a quotation though. Similarly we might say in English "Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare?". The article doesn't exclude the existence of other cups.

When I said it's most natural to read it as a possessive, I still think I'm correct – it is for someone who doesn't know (like me) "the story about the cup". For someone who knows the story from Mark and Luke, it's more natural to read it as "anaphorous", and that's the way (as I now see) Paul intended it. The Greek itself might mean either, and in any case there might have been other cups on the table for Jesus' disciples to drink from.

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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by mwh » Fri May 26, 2017 6:15 am

We’re free to imagine other cups on the table if we want to, along with a dog underneath it, but the point is that there’s only one cup in the story. Which they all drank from (so Mark explicitly)—it's a communion, after all. I expect that’s always been the practice at the commemorative Christian “communion" ritual through the centuries. (The officiant would simply wipe the cup before moving on to the next communicant.) When did it change to “several small cups on a tray”? Only in the last few decades? And only in the US? Do people now help themselves?

But what’s wrong with plastic? Jesus’ cup will have been an ordinary drinking cup. Of course it didn’t take long for the Church to upgrade it to a "chalice."

Talking of taking things literally, the Catholic Church teaches that the consecrated wine (or grape juice?) actually turns into blood, Jesus’ blood. Some people really believe that.

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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by Timothée » Fri May 26, 2017 7:17 am

I suppose that the multiple cups occurred as people became more and more aware of hygiene. It’s difficult for me to understand why this transubstantiation was considered necessary in the Eucharist. What’s wrong with just commemorating the repast? We remember our next of kin who have passed on. There apparently exists also the idea of consubstantiation, where the bread and wine do convert into Jesus’ body and blood, yet they remain as bread and wine at the same time, if I’ve understood correctly.

As to dogs underneath the table, wouldn’t it be more likely that the table of the Holy Communion was more like a Roman triclinium, i.e. not at all like in Leonardo’s painting? That is, more like a tripartite couch that runs along the walls.

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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by bedwere » Fri May 26, 2017 2:12 pm

mwh wrote: Talking of taking things literally, the Catholic Church teaches that the consecrated wine (or grape juice?) actually turns into blood, Jesus’ blood. Some people really believe that.
The juice must be at least a little fermented (mustum) to be valid matter.

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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by jeidsath » Fri May 26, 2017 4:24 pm

But what’s wrong with plastic? Jesus’ cup will have been an ordinary drinking cup. Of course it didn’t take long for the Church to upgrade it to a "chalice."
And see my Tennyson quote. But I didn't mean to object to plastic in particular, it just happens to be ubiquitous in the American self-serve services, and completely absent from the single-cup services.

That said, plastic is a cheap and trashy material for cups, and never seems to appear at formal meals or events, or even at a restaurant. Invited to a private dinner, if a host were to pour dinner wine into plastic cups, his guests would feel slighted. So it would seem a reasonable statement that a material like plastic has a desacralization effect. Still, some amount of desacralization of the mass has been an important element of reform for hundreds of years (even in the Catholic Church in recent decades). Reading John Moschus gives some idea of the levels of superstition that can be invested into the mass in more credulous times.

Rather than talking about the superstitions, or the -substantiation debates (everything has already been said on those long before any of us were born), what interests me about the mass is that in classical times we had a world of multiple religious practices completely centered around sacrifice (blood, corn in the fire, etc.). Now that is completely gone, replaced by a meal- and drink- sharing ceremony, from god to us, and we're told that our primary duty towards heaven is moral, not material.

There are Muslim texts describing encounters with Viking traders that make the point of how bizarre that pagan world is to us today. Reading them, I find that I have more in common with the attitudes of a medieval Muslim than I do with my Scandinavian forbearers.

It's not surprising that that wild and pagan world often (but not always) read (and perhaps wrote?) the following in a very different spirit than we take it in today:

Καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν λαβὼν ἄρτον εὐλογήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς καὶ εἶπεν Λάβετε, τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου. καὶ λαβὼν ποτήριον εὐχαριστήσας ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἔπιον ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες. καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ ἐκχυννόμενον ὑπὲρ πολλῶν· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐκέτι οὐ μὴ πίω ἐκ τοῦ γενήματος τῆς ἀμπέλου ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης ὅταν αὐτὸ πίνω καινὸν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ.
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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Fri May 26, 2017 11:26 pm

I don't understand what this discussion is about. The exegetical point was settled for me with Barry Hofstetter's first post[1] . Nothing in the 1Cor passage suggests that they all drank from one cup. That question isn't addressed.

[1] Barry Hofstetter wrote:
The text is not making that point, nor should the presence or absence of the article be read as though there is one single cup. The article is required for syntactical reasons in the context, and only means that Jesus has taken one particular cup to make his point. It could have been a shared cup, but it can also be read to mean it was one specific cup among several used to make the point.
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Re: Drink This 'Cup' 1 Cor 11:25

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat May 27, 2017 12:17 pm

jeidsath wrote:Rather than talking about the superstitions, or the -substantiation debates (everything has already been said on those long before any of us were born), what interests me about the mass is that in classical times we had a world of multiple religious practices completely centered around sacrifice (blood, corn in the fire, etc.). Now that is completely gone, replaced by a meal- and drink- sharing ceremony, from god to us, and we're told that our primary duty towards heaven is moral, not material.
I think you have misunderstood the point about rituals centered around sacrifice, as described for example in Homer (and omnipresent in the Greek world in general) or the Old Testament. The whole process of sacrifice is simply preparation to a communal meal, and 'sacrifice' and 'slaughter' are basically the same word, ἱερεύω. 99% of the time the animals were not consumed by the fire but by the people attending the feast. Holocausts where whole animals were burnt up were exceptional, ostentatious events – probably overrepresented in literature, because literature tends to record exceptional events. In normal situations, people might burn a small unimportant part of the animal (in Homer, thigh bones at the beginning of sacrifice, and at least once tongues at the very end of the meal), but just that. There's even an etiological myth about this in Hesiod, how Prometheus tricked Zeus so that humans might give the unimportant parts to the gods and keep the savory bits for themselves. Homer calls this sort of feast δαὶς ἐΐση, which I might render into English as "meal- and drink-sharing ceremony".
mwh wrote:But what’s wrong with plastic
Plastic pollution is a major ecological catastrophe and probably one of the biggest challenges humanity is going to face, if we ever manage to survive climate change and irresponsible political leaders trumping around at large with nuclear launch codes.

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