b-greek-digest V1 #746

b-greek-digest             Saturday, 10 June 1995       Volume 01 : Number 746

In this issue:

        BG: Unity of 1 Cor. 8-10 
        Unity of 1 Cor. 8-10
        Re: Mark 16:8 


From: Bruce Terry <terry@bible.acu.edu>
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 1995 17:29:33 CST
Subject: BG: Unity of 1 Cor. 8-10 

On Wed, 7 Jun 1995, Greg Doudna wrote:

>My problem is that the way Paul frames it doesn't seem to make sense in terms
>of a reasonable criticism from opponents.
>        CRITICISM/CHARGE: Paul is not taking our money
>        and therefore does not deserve status or respect.
>I have difficulty imagining this as a serious accusation against
>a traveling religious teacher.  What I suspect is that Paul has
>distorted or reframed the actual charge/criticism, for rhetorical

Then on Thu, 8 Jun 1995, he wrote:

>Paul made converts in Ephesus which probably included Gentiles, and taught
>that eating meat which had been offered to idols was acceptable so long as it
>caused no offense.

>Paul's teaching on permitting eating of meat offered to idols under certain
>circumstances is deemed particularly offensive in Rev 2-3.

Greg has here raised some questions that grow out of a common understanding of
1 Cor. 8 and 9 that ignores the greater context of the whole discourse in  
1 Cor. 8-10.  In that discourse Paul is trying to answer the Corinthians'
questions about eating meat offered to idols.  His answer is basically this:
1) if one does not know whether or not meat has been offered to an idol, then
go ahead and eat it (because of the principle that every food for which a
Christian gives thanks is clean?); 2) if one knows that meat has been offered
to an idol, do not eat it (because of the principle to avoid idolatry).  On
the latter point, Paul offers four arguments as to why a Christian should not
eat meat in an idol's temple:

1) in doing so, one may cause a weaker brother to sin (chapter 8);
2) Paul has given up rights he has, and so the Corinthians should also be
   willing to give up rights for the sake of the gospel (chapter 9);
3) the Old Testament warns against idolatry (chapter 10);
4) the one eating meat in an idol's temple shares with a demon (chapter 10).

The 3rd and 4th arguments here are relatively clear.  The first two depend on
an unstated rhetorical device: "let's assume for the moment that what you say
is correct--that an idol is nothing and that you have a right to eat any
food."  Once one sees this rhetorical device, the argument in chapter 8 no
longer looks contradictory to those in chapter 10 (not seeing this device of
assuming your opponents principles for the moment, some have even suggested
that Paul changed his mind in writing this).  Further, one sees that chapter 9
is not an excursus in which Paul is defending some charge leveled against him
(although there may have been such a charge leveled and he is killing two
birds with one stone), but a further argument as to why Corinthians should not
go to an idol's temple (give up your rights just as I have given up mine to be
paid, to have a wife, etc.).

This is the importance of taking a discourse level view in exegesis.  One must
understand the lesser in terms of the greater context.  For more on this
passage, see pp. 46-47 in my book _A Discourse Analysis of First Corinthians_. 

Bruce Terry                            E-MAIL: terry@bible.acu.edu
Box 8426, ACU Station		       Phone:  915/674-3759
Abilene, Texas 79699		       Fax:    915/674-3769


From: DrFreud2@aol.com
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 1995 22:01:30 -0400
Subject: unsubscribe 

unsubscribe b-greek
subscribe b-greek-digest


From: Greg Doudna <gdoudna@ednet1.osl.or.gov>
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 1995 20:37:23 -0700
Subject: Unity of 1 Cor. 8-10

In response to Bruce Terry's excellent analysis of I Cor 8-10,
I agree in almost every detail.  The argument is consistent and
Paul is urging hearers *not* to eat meat known to have been
offered to idols.  The argument has often been misunderstood by
confusing Paul's quotation of opposing arguments with Paul's own
views (e.g. 8:1, 10:29b; cp. 7:1).

However, it is not clear from this that Paul was in harmony
with the hard-line edict of Acts 15 (no meat offered to idols
was to be eaten, period) or the polemic of Rev 2-3.  Certainly
Paul urges not to offend a brother who is "weak".  The issue,
however, and what would have been the point of contention with
those holding the views of Rev 2-3, would have concerned meat
sold in the marketplaces.  Paul taught:

        "Eat everything being sold in a meat market,
        examining nothing because of conscience . . ."
        (I Cor 10:25)

        "And if any of the unbelievers invite you, and
        you desire to go, eat everything set before you,
        examining nothing because of conscience . . ."

which is then qualified in the exceptional case of one's dinner
guest or host pointing out the fact or possibility of the meat's
objectionable origins.  It is precisely the outcome of *this*
policy which would have produced the polemic of Rev 2:14 and
2:20.  While agreeing with you (as opposed to common
misconceptions) in your analysis of 1 Cor 8-10, I still do not
see Paul as upholding the edict of Acts 15:29 and 21:25, at
least as interpreted by those whose views Rev 2 represents.
I look forward to reading your book.  

Greg Doudna
West Linn, Oregon

- --


From: Timster132@aol.com
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 1995 23:46:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Mark 16:8 


   Tim Staker, Timster132@aol.com said...
>>but if one reads Paul w/out the influence of the gospels, it is 
>>clear that he is unaware of the angel(s), the rich man's tomb, 
>>the guards, the stone.   All he says  is that Christ was dead, 
>>was buried, and was raised by God.

    On 6/4, David Moore, dvdmoore@ix.netcom.com, said...
>  In terms of what Paul was, or was not, aware of, isn't it 
>precarious to base conclusions in this matter on an argument 
>from silence?  
>    If all Paul said were that Christ was dead, was buried, and 
>was raised by God (He says quite a bit more by the way.), 
>does that mean, or even imply, that nothing more than that
> happened?  

   In part, David, yes it is an argument from silence.  But I am also basing
this argument on the idea that the gospel tradition developed
as early Christianity spread. Divergent Jewish traditions, as well as
Gentile, were used to communicate the gospel.  Already in the communities to
which the Pauline and Dt-Pauline writings, we find 
an interesting diversity of Christian worship, polity, and theology.
   By the second generation, Christians also used different genres as well,
namely narrative and apocalyptic lit, as well as continuing 
pseudopigraphic epistles.
   Like other religious traditions, the early church evolved and grew.  The
NT writings cover a period of some 50 or more years.
   One can perceive this development in the theological reflection
in the NT, when the documents are examined not as concurrent, but in their
chronological order.
   The developmental idea is what is behind what I have said about Paul and
the details found in later gospel narratives.

Tim Staker


End of b-greek-digest V1 #746


To unsubscribe from this list write


with "unsubscribe b-greek-digest" as your message content.  For other
automated services write to the above address with the message content

For further information, you can write the owner of the list at


You can send mail to the entire list via the address: