A text-critical study on the Lukan account of the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:17-20) : the shorter reading and its implications

Cho, Jeung Un (2020-04)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Lukan account of the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:15-20) involves one of the most challenging problems in New Testament textual criticism. Six different readings have been transmitted, and the two most preferred readings involve further problems of the order: double mention of the cup (cup-breadcup) in the longer reading; inverted order of the meal (cup-bread) in the shorter reading. Whereas the majority manuscripts support the longer reading, the shorter reading being one of nine “Western noninterpolations” cannot be disregarded. Since the text-critical problem was raised by Westcott and Hort (1881), numerous scholars have attempted to solve it with various approaches —both externally and internally— but the problem remains unsolved. This study presents an advanced approach to the textual problem of Luke 22:19b-20 and shows that the shorter account of the Lord’s Supper can be considered a theologically biased text. Based on the assumption that either the scribes of the longer reading or those of the shorter reading has altered the text with some theological concerns in mind, this study has adopted more advanced text-critical methods, the full collation over the whole Gospel of Luke and the Quantitative Analysis. The quantitative result has identified Codex Bezae as the only Greek member of the textgroup (D-text), which supports the shorter reading. In this respect, this study examined the singular readings of Codex Bezae to disclose its theological emphasis. While the most singular readings were stylistic changes, some significant singular readings show five theological concerns: (1) Jesus’ identity as the Messiah and God; (2) anti-Judaic sentiment against the religious leaders and the destruction of Jerusalem; (3) the Gentiles responding to Jesus’ ministry; (4) identification of the kingdom of God with the coming of Jesus and the day of judgement; (5) devotion of the disciples and the discipleship. From these, an inference was drawn that the scribe of Codex Bezae had a great concern about discipleship-living in the eschaton. Given this theological context, the shorter account of the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:15-19a) accords with the imminent eschatology of Codex Bezae. It designates the resurrection of Jesus as the time for the arrival of the kingdom of God and the day of judgement. Furthermore, the omission of Luke 22:19b-20 removes the commemoration of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, and instead, amplifies Jesus’ identity as the Son of Man who is to come as a judge on the judgement day.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Lukas se weergawe van die Nagmaal (Lukas 22:15-20) behels een van die uitdagendste probleme in die teks-kritiek van die Nuwe Testament. Ses verskillende lesings bestaan in oorlewerings, en die twee voorkeur-lesings behels verdere probleme ten opsigte van die volgorde: dubbele vermelding van die beker (beker-brood-beker) in die langer lesing; omgekeerde volgorde van die maaltyd (beker-brood) in die korter lesing. Terwyl die meerderheid manuskripte die langer lesing ondersteun, kan die korter lesing een van nege “Westerse nie-interpolasies” nie buite rekening gelaat word nie. Sedert Westcott en Hort (1881) hierdie teks-kritiese probleem geopper het, het talle geleerdes gepoog om die probleem op te los vanuit verskillende benaderings - beide ekstern en intern - maar die probleem bly onopgelos. Hierdie studie bied 'n gevorderde benadering tot die teksprobleem van Lukas 22:19b-20 aan en argumenteer dat die korter weergawe van die Nagmaal 'n teologies-bevooroordeelde teks is. Op grond van die aanname dat een van die skrywers van die langer weergawe of die korter weergawe die teks met 'n mate van teologiese belange verander het, het hierdie studie meer gevorderde tekskritiese metodes toegepas, naamlik die volledige versameling ten opsigte van die hele Evangelie van Lukas en Kwantitatiewe Analise. Die kwantitatiewe resultaat het Codex Bezae geïdentifiseer as die enigste Griekse lid van die teksgroep (D-teks), wat die korter lesing ondersteun. In hierdie opsig het hierdie studie die enkelvoudige lesings van Codex Bezae ondersoek om die teologiese klem daarvan te openbaar. Terwyl die mees enkelvoudige lesings stilistiese veranderinge aandui, verraai sekere noemenswaardige enkelvoudige lesings, vyf teologiese belange: (1) Jesus se identiteit as die Messias en God; (2) anti-Judaïstiese sentimente teen die godsdienstige leiers en die vernietiging van Jerusalem; (3) die heidene wat op Jesus se bediening reageer; (4) identifikasie van die koninkryk van God met die koms van Jesus en die oordeelsdag; (5) toewyding aan die dissipels en die dissipelskap. Hieruit kan afgelei word dat die skrywer van Codex Bezae baie bekommerd was oor die dissipelskap wat in die eschaton lewe. Gegee hierdie teologiese konteks, stem die kort weergawe van die Nagmaal (Lukas 22:15-19a) ooreen met die naderende eskatologie van Codex Bezae. Dit dui die opstanding van Jesus aan as die tyd vir die koms van die koninkryk van God en die dag van die oordeel. Verder verwyder die weglating van Lukas 22:19b-20 die herdenking van die versoeningsoffer van Jesus, en versterk dit eerder Jesus se identiteit as die Seun van die mens wat op die oordeelsdag as regter moet kom.

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