E The Last Supper

Even if the proposals of Theissen and Merz and Chilton (§ 17.3c) go beyond the evidence, the tradition is firm that Jesus spoke words which signalled his sense of

204. See above, chapter 14 n. 242 plus other tribulation predictions, §§11.4c, 12.4d; and further U. B. Müller, Die Entstehung des Glaubens an die Auferstehung Jesu (SBS 172; Stuttgart: KBW, 1998) 39-42.

205. Robinson/Hoffmann/Kloppenborg include Luke 12.49, 51 in their critical reconstruction of Q: [[Fire have I come to hurl on the earth, and how I wish it had already blazed up!]] [[Do you]] think that I have come to hurl peace on earth? I did not come to hurl peace, but a sword! (CriticalEdition ofQ 376-81).

206. See above, §11.4c; Allison, End of the Ages 124-28.

207. Casey's difficulties in envisioning the Aramaic form of Mark 10.38c would be eased if he recognized the link back to the words of the Baptist (Aramaic Sources 203-205).

imminent death.208 We have already noted the indications of liturgical development in each version of the tradition but also of a core memory of what Jesus said. A simplified reminder of the words actually attributed to Jesus is sufficient to make the point.

Matt. 26.26-29

Mark 14.22-25

Luke 22.17-20

1 Cor. 11.23-26

27 'Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is mv blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins'.

24 'This is mv blood of the covenant, which is poured out on behalf of many'.

19 'This is mv bodv. which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me'.

20 'This cup is the new covenant in mv blood which is poured out for you'.

24 'This is mv bodv which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me'.

25 'This cup is the new covenant in mv blood.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me'.

Two characteristic acts of prophetic symbolism, one at the beginning and one 'after supper' (according to the Luke/Paul tradition) evidently made a lasting impression on those who met with him. Jesus invited those round the table to see in the bread broken and shared among them a symbol of himself; likewise the wine poured into the common cup. The symbolism of death is clear even without the varied interpretations of the core which no doubt began from the first recall of Jesus' words in sacred commemoration of his death after Easter.

There need be little doubt, then, that Jesus did anticipate rejection for his message in Jerusalem, to share the fate of the prophets, to suffer as a man in the hands of men, to drink the cup of suffering and be fully caught up in the final tribulation. Can we say still more? The last line of reflection suggests a deeper resonance in Jesus' own expectation for himself.

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