Thursday, July 27, 2006

Getting Ready for Comps

In an effort to study for my first comp on August 8, regarding signification and the eucharist, I'm going to summarize some of the major books I've been reading to help me understand them better. Feel free to comment on them, especially if you've read them and think I've missed something important. I'm going to especially focus on signification and signs/symbols, so it will not be a full summary.

However, first, to keep track, I'm going to post all the Scriptures that are commonly referenced when discussing the Lord's Supper.

The first is Mark 14:22-26, the institution narrative. Matthew 26:26-29 is much the same, with only "for forgiveness of sins" added after the institution of the cup. Luke 22:17-20 is slightly different, with the addition of a cup before the bread instead of just afterwards. Also, it is notable in that the vignette with Judas' hand on the table occurs after the institution of the Supper.

John's account does not contain the Institution Narrative, although he spends a great deal of time discussing the other activities of the night before the crucifixion.

Paul address the Supper as well first in I Corinthians 11:17-34. Paul's account of the institution narrative is also slightly differrent, adding "Do this in remembrance of me." The cup is also called the "new covenant of my blood," perhaps a reference to Jeremiah 31:31-34. The synoptic institution narratives use the phrase "blood of the covenant," a reference from Exodus 24:6-8 that is also taken up in Hebrews 9:19-21 (I read a good paper about that—search for Amy). Paul addresses shortly before this reference, in 10:16-17, that because there is one loaf and one cup, the participants are one body.

These are all the explicit references to the Supper, although there are many more related, especially those about presenting ourselves as living sacrifices, Christ's ascension, the unity of the body of Christ, Christ mediating for us at the right hand of the Father, Old and New Testament references to banquets as eschatological events, etc. The doctrine of the Lord's Supper has been so long debated, it has been discussed in relation to most of Christian doctrine.


Anonymous said...

Lance -

On Luke 22- your phrasing is a little confusing; it leaves the impression that the mention of the cup was only before the bread. Actually there is the additional mention of a cup before the bread, along with the 'later' cup.

In Luke, Jesus' words about 'not drinking the fruit of the vine again until the kingdom comes' are placed with his 'first' cup (Mat. and Mark have them with the 'later' cup). All three synoptics have words about 'new covenant in blood' with this 'later' cup.

<>< Ron Troup;

Lance said...

Only Luke, of the synoptics, says "new covenant." The others omit "new." Obviously, though, both Jeremiah and Exodus are underlying these passages.