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The explanation of 1 Cor 11:14-37, that Corinthian meal practice involved either peer benefaction (wealthy members providing the meal), or eranistic practices (members each contributing differing amounts and qualities of food), and the late arrival of the poorer members, is flawed in several respects. This paper uses data from Graeco-Roman associations to show that association meals were rarely funded by endowments or peer benefaction on a continuing basis, and there is no evidence of eranistic practices. The idea that poorer members typically arrived late at meals is based on anachronistic views of the structure of labor and on ambiguities in translations of προλαμβάνειν in 11:21. The disturbances at the communal meal, like those typical of association meals, likely involved competitive behavior that used differential allotments of food to assert status and privilege.

In: Novum Testamentum
In: Christology, Controversy and Community
In: Jewish and Christian Communal Identities in the Roman World
In: A Wandering Galilean: Essays in Honour of Seán Freyne
In: Jesus, Paul, and Early Christianity
In: The Gospel behind the Gospels


The use of the Jewish Bible in James takes two contrasting forms: exact or near exact verbatim citation in chap. 2, and highly paraphrastic use elsewhere. This chapter argues that the verbatim citations in chap. 2 are a function of James’s polemical engagement with the use of texts from Genesis and Leviticus in Romans. When James has hortatory or protreptic aims in view (rather than polemical and argumentative goals), he uses the more common technique of aemulatio (rhetorical paraphrase), where the predecessor text is adapted and reconfigured to the linguistic and social register of the intended hearers.

In: “To Recover What Has Been Lost”: Essays on Eschatology, Intertextuality, and Reception History in Honor of Dale C. Allison Jr.

Much has been made in recent years of the oral/aural context in which the early Jesus movement was born, as both a needed adjustment to earlier models for understanding early Jesus tradition based principally on models of literary transmission and often as a surreptitious means to insinuate the faithfulness of oral transmission. This paper begins by reviewing recent memory studies, both cognitive and anthropological, and then assesses the proposals of Kenneth Bailey and James D.G. Dunn of faithful oral transmission of Jesus materials. It concludes with a test case, Q 6.37, concluding that even in the case of the stable transmission of aphorisms, there is profound and significant transformation of meaning, due to the pressures exerted by the transmissional context.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus