RSS

Category Archives: lord’s supper

A Christian Neologism?

The Greek word κυριακος::kuriakos only appears two times in the canonical Christian literature. It’s an adjective derived from the Greek word for “lord” (κυριος). Thus kuriakos would be akin to “lord-like” or “lordly”, used in the same manner that we might use the word “awesome”. One time it is used in 1 Corinthians 11:20 where Paul describes the “lordly” dinner – κυριακον δειπνον (kuriakon deipnon). This is translated in modern bibles as “the lord’s supper”. But the only noun in that phrase in Greek is the word “supper” (δειπνον) which seems somewhat dishonest for bible translators to do. The other time κυριακος is used is in John’s Apocalypse at 1:10 where he describes the “lordly” day – κυριακη ημερα. Again, this is translated as “the day of the lord” in modern bibles.

To contrast that, 1 Cor 5:5 uses “day of the lord” which is written as ημερα του κυριου, which would really be translated as “day of the lord”. In this respect, “the lord’s supper”, if it really was a supper that belonged to “the lord”, then it would be written in Greek as δειπνος του κυριου – supper of the lord.

As for the “lordly day”, the same grammatical form is used for “the third day” (τριτη ημερα) in Matt 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 27:64, Luke 9:22; 13:32; 18:33; 24:7,21; and various other places. We wouldn’t say that the “third” possesses the noun “day” so it seems odd that Rev 1:10 would describe it that way in English – i.e. a day belonging to the lord.

In modern Greek, κυριακος simply means “Sunday”. But this is obviously from years of having Rev 1:10 in mind.

On the Perseus website, I did a search for κυριακος and it shows up various times in what I assume are non-Christian documents. Here are some of the Greek contexts:

From “SB, Sammelbuch griechischer Urkunden aus Aegypten”
document 11082: … Ποτά μμωνος [καὶ τοῖς σ]ὺν αὐτῷ πρᾶξον εἰς τὸν κυριακὸν λόγον [ ] τῆς ἐγδείας σὺν διαφόρῳ ἀρτάβας
document 12484: … Φιλοξένου ἀπ[ὸ] τοῦ αὐ τοῦ Μούχεως ἐγὼ δὲ Γεώργιος Κυριακὸν υἱὸν Βίκτορος μητρὸς Κυρίας ἀπὸ τοῦ αὐτοῦ κτήματος Εὐτυχιάδος … Πραοῦν υἱὸν Φιλοξένου] ἀπὸ τοῦ α̣ὐ̣ τοῦ Εὐτυχιάδος καὶ Κυρι[ακὸν υἱὸν Βίκτορος ἀπὸ τοῦ αὐτοῦ Μούχεως ?. ]
document 13049: … δύο [ ] [ πρ]οσθέσθε τῷ κυριακῷ λόγῳ δρα̣[χμὰς ] [ κα]ὶ̣ τὰς λοιπὰς
document 14197: … ἀπ᾽ ἀρταβῶν 149 ½̣ ὡς αἱρεῖν τῷ κυριακῷ λόγ ῳ κατὰ τὸ ½ μέρ ος

Michigan Papyri
document 174: … οὐσιακῷ μισθωτῇ καὶ ἱ κανοὺς φόρους διαγράφοντι εἰς τὸν κυριακὸν λόγον καὶ πρὸς τὴν μίσθωσιν̣ ἱ κανὰ ὑπαλλάξαντι οὐκ
document 423: … τετολμημένων καὶ τῶν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἐδαφῶν δημοσίων ἐκφορίων τῷ κυριακῷ λόγῳ λογο διὰ τὸ αὐτοὺς
document 620: … ἔστιν ταμεῖον ταμιον , πρότερον οὖσα ὑπὸ κυριακὸν χόρτον, νυνὶ δὲ ὑπὸ Χρυσᾶν, ἐνοικίου δραχμῶν

Papiri greci e latini
document 953: … ῇ τοῦ ἐνδόξ ου οἴκ ου ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ τῆς ἀναστάς εως ὄξ ους δι πλοῦν

P.Stras., Griechische Papyrus der kaiserlichen Universitäts- un Landesbibliothek zu Strassburg
document 725: … φρόντισον τὸ ὡρισμένον πρόστιμον ἐκπράξας τὸ ἀργύρι[ον] λημματίσαι τῷ κυριακῷ λόγῳ ἢ ἀ[ν]τιλέγοντα ἐπ̣᾽ ἐμὲ ἀπ̣[ο]- στε̣ῖλαι π̣ερὶ το̣ύτου

P.Ryl., Catalogue of the Greek and Latin Papyri in the John Rylands Library, Manchester
document 427: … βασιλ ικῷ γρα μματεῖ [ γρά]φειν τῷ κυριακῷ. [ ἐπ]ὶ̣ τῷ ἀμείνονα αἵρεσιν διδ[όναι

Chrest.Mitt., Grundzüge und Chrestomathie der Papyruskunde
document 372: … οὗ μὴ ἐπή- ν̣ε̣[γ]κας οἰκογένειαν [ ]ται [ε]ἰς τ̣ὸ̣ν̣ κυριακὸν λόγον τὰ ἄλλα σοι ἀνίημι. ἀξιούσης αὐτῆς ἀποδοθῆναι τάλαντον

P.Münch., Die Papyri der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München
document 11: … βεβαιώ- σεως νόμον πρὸς τῷ σὲ Φλαύι ον Κυριακὸν τὸν πριάμενον ἀπεντεῦθεν κυριεύειν καὶ δεσπόζειν καὶ διοικεῖν καὶ

P.Prag., Papyri Graecae Wessely Pragenses
document 132: … χρηστηρίο[ις πᾶσι καὶ] σκεύεσι ε̣π̣[ ] κυριακὸν λ̣όγ̣[ον ] μέχρι δὲ [ ]

P.Graux, Papyrus Graux
document 30: … 3 χαλκοῦς 4 πρόσθεσθε τῷ κυριακῷ λόγῳ καὶ τὰς λοιπὰς δραχμὰς ἑκατὸν τριάκοντα ἑπτὰ

P.Freer, Greek and Coptic Papyri in the Freer Gallery of Art
document 1+`2: … αστήριον Ἄπα Ζηνοβίου τόπ ου Πιλήμωνος ὑπ ὸ Κυριακὸν Βίκτορος καὶ Βίκτορα Ἀνωμερίδ ου γεωρ γοὺς σπο… μον αστήριον Ἄπα Ζηνοβίου ὑπ ὸ Κυριακὸν Βίκτορος γεωρ γὸν σπο ρίμης γῆς ἄρουρα

PSI Congr.XI, Dai papiri della Societa Italiana: Omaggio all’XI Congresso Internazionale di Papirologia
document 8: … καὶ] ἐνοφειλέσαντος ενωφειλεσαντος εἰς̣ τὸν κυριακὸν λόγον κε̣ [ ] σιτολογοπρακτορείαν

P.Hever, Greek Documentary Texts from Nahal Hever and Other Sites
document 64: … καὶ νααρου σάτα ἕξ, ἧς γείτωνες ἀ- ν̣ατολῶν κῆπον κυριακὸν καλούμενον Γαννα̣θ Αββα̣ιδαια δυσμῶν κληρονό̣μοι Αρετας νότου ὁδὸς

There seems to be a lot of references to “lordly word”

Right now I’m looking up the Nahal Hever scroll or “Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek Documentary Texts from Naḥal Hever and Other Sites” (P. Hever) from the Dead Sea Scrolls or “Discovery in the Judean Desert” (DJD). There’s no English translation available online, and the hardcover version of it is over 200 dollars. I guess if I want to find the specific context for the use of κυριακος there I’d have to learn more Koine Greek. From what I can tell, it mentions “Caesar” a lot and a “most high” “Titus Titianus” (Τιτου Ατιλιου Ρουφου Τιτιανιου), who I’ve gathered was a Prefect in Egypt c. 130 CE.

The section quoted above mentions a “lordly garden” called Gannath Abbaidaia on the road or way (οδος) [belonging to?] the heirs of Aretas from the south. In the actual papyrus, there’s another garden called Gannath Asadaia using an adjective I don’t know (φοικεικωνος).

A summary I’ve read about it suggests that it’s some treatise about an underage girl named Salome co-habitating with a guy ironically enough named Jesus, and that it was some sort of γαμος αγραφος – an unwritten marriage. More than likely this isn’t any sort of document written by a Christian so this would be a non-Christian use of the phrase “lordly”.

So until I get 200 dollars or learn more Koine Greek, this post will have to wait unresolved :). Though I’m thinking that κυριακος might be more along the lines of an adjective like “primary” or “main”. This would mean that Paul is talking about the “primary” or “main supper” and John’s Revelation is talking about the “primary day”; the first day of the week. Meaning that neither have anything to do with Jesus (or even YHWH). On the other hand, it could be something more like a “regal dinner/day” which might be closer in context.

Though I don’t know how likely that is since I’m 2,000 years and a couple of cultures and languages removed from all of these other instances of κυριακος.

Advertisements
 
Comments Off on A Christian Neologism?

Posted by on September 15, 2010 in lord's day, lord's supper

 

Paul and The Lord’s Supper

This was posted by “spin” over at FRDB in regards to the Eucharist ceremony that Paul describes in 1 Cor 11:17-34. It really goes to show how one needs to learn Greek in order to see past all of the Christian interpretation of translations:

Paul felt it was necessary to reprimand his Corinthians over their behavior when they partook in the group’s communal meal, which Paul calls “the lordly supper” — kuriakos deipnos. This is usually translated as “the lord’s supper” (which would be deipnos tou kuriou), but kuriakos is an adjective (used only twice in the christian scripture), hence “lordly” for want of better representation. This will help to avoid the perhaps undue influence that the phrase “lord’s supper” would bring to the text.

Here is the reconstructed text (arrived at through reduction of the current text):

Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear which of you have approval. When you come together, it is not the lordly supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

Is it that I have so mangled the text that I have lost sight of its significance or is this a communal meal of the sort that people adhering to Jewish customs partook in? We find such a communal meal mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls and believers who had become recognized members of the community could partake in the meal, though they could be excluded from it.

Paul’s complaint, so far, seems to have nothing to do with the Jesus inaugurated ritual meal, but with how members of Paul’s Corinthian community treated each other by not partaking as good responsible members should. It was not an ordinary meal where one could gluttonize or get drunk, but a meal in which all members should be able to partake and not miss out because of the gluttony of some. If one needed to think of one’s body one should do that at home.

If this analysis is correct, let’s look at the text as it has become:

17 Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear which of you have approval. 20 When you come together, it is not the lordly supper you eat, 21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32 When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

The phrase in red is not well supported by the manuscript evidence, so it can be reduced to a footnote as is done in the NRSV. It seems to be a late erroneous attempt at clarifying the significance of “body”, shifting from the body of the individual to that of Jesus. It’s not the lord’s body that the member doesn’t discern but his/her own, such that s/he comes to the meal with the wrong attitude and gluttonizes.

The green section is mainly the Lucan presentation of the last supper. Its presence draws attention onto itself and away from Paul’s complaint about the poor attitude of his Corinthians when they come to the communal meal.

Interestingly enough, “spin” is right; the only other instance of “Lordly” or “lord-like” (κυριακον) is in Revelation 1:10. Some scholars have posited that John’s Revelation was originally a Jewish apocalypse that was reappropriated by Christians and thus Christianized by interpolating a bunch of “Jesuses” and “Christs” into the text. The Didache, the “Ascension of Isaiah”, also suffer a similar fate – originally Jewish works that were later Christianized. What if Paul’s letters were the same? What if Paul’s letters were originally part of the Dead Sea Scrolls community and were reappropriated by Christians? I think another person, DC Hindley, has a similar conclusion. But not necessarily related to the Dead Sea Scrolls community (usually referred to as the Essenes), but some other Jewish interaction with the ger toshavim.

 
Comments Off on Paul and The Lord’s Supper

Posted by on August 30, 2009 in eucharist, interpolation, lord's supper, paul

 
 
NeuroLogica Blog

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

Slate Star Codex

"Talks a good game about freedom when out of power, but once he’s in - bam! Everyone's enslaved in the human-flourishing mines."

Κέλσος

Matthew Ferguson Blogs

The Wandering Scientist

Just another WordPress.com site

NT Blog

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

Euangelion Kata Markon

A blog dedicated to the academic study of the "Gospel According to Mark"

PsyPost

Behavior, cognition and society

PsyBlog

Understand your mind with the science of psychology -

Vridar

Musings on biblical studies, politics, religion, ethics, human nature, tidbits from science

Maximum Entropy

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

atheist, polyamorous skeptics

Criticism is not uncivil

Say..

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

Research Digest

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

Disrupting Dinner Parties

Feminism is for everyone!

My ὑπομνήματα about religion

The New Oxonian

Religion and Culture for the Intellectually Impatient

The Musings of Thomas Verenna

A Biblioblog about imitation, the Biblical Narratives, and the figure of Jesus