Chapter 15: The Resurrection of the Dead
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15 1 1 Corinthians 15 The Resurrection of the Dead But I make known to you, brothers, the gospel which I preached to you, which you also.received (or: accepted). in which you also stand. 21 by which you are also saved, with what form of words I preached (the gospel) to you, if you hold it fast,1 unless2 it was to no purpose3 that you became believers.• 31 For I passed on to you above all5 what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 41 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 51 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. 6 I Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, of whom the majority are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. 7 I Then he appeared to James, then to all6 the apostles. 81 Last of all-as if to an abortive creaturehe appeared also to me. 9I For I am the last of the apostles. who am not fit to be called an apostle. because I persecuted the church of God. 10I But by the grace of God I am what I am. and his grace toward me has not been in vain, but I have labored more than all of them, yet not I. but the grace of God that was with me.7 11 I Whether then I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. 248 D G simplify by substituting b¢El'AETE K«TEXELJI, "you ought to hold it fast," for El K«TEXELJI, "if you hold it fast." 2 EKTOS El p.~: see on 14:5. 3 On the orthography, ElKfj or ElKfi, see Blass- Debrunner §26. 4 Verse 2 can be translated only with reservations. The following constructions and interpretations are possible: 1) The indirect question is parallel to the relative clauses (as in the translation above). Against this construction it can be objected that the conditional clause has no app11rent sense; cf. the fact that Kiimmel, who advocates this construction, renders it "have held fast," without giving any reason. 2) The indirect question is dependent on El K«TEXETE (Weiss): "if you hold fast the wording in which I delivered it to you, unless . .."; this construction has a harsh effect. 5 3) Blass-Debrunner §478 suggest putting a full stop after UclJSEU8E and deleting El; then it is a case of the subordinate clause preceding the principal clause: "Hold fast the wording in which I preached the gospel to you." This construction, apart from requiring a conjecture, is overartificial . 4) It is possible to put a full stop after UclJSEU8E and take TLJI! Xo'Y'I' as a direct question (Lietzmann): "With what sort of words did I preach the gospel to you?" On which Weiss observes: "this would be a fit of bombastic rhetoric." 5) The indirect question is dependent on ')'Jiwplsw TO EU«')'')'EXwv. In cases 4 and 5, TLJ!t AO')''IJ is better rendered: "with what arguments," "on what grounds." 6) TLJI! AO'}''IJ is a closer definition ofTO EU«')'')'EXtov (Heinrici): "namely, in what way I proclaimed it to you-if, namely, you hold fast...." The structure of the sentence and the order of words are against this. Plat., Resp. 522c: 0 Kat 7raJITt EJI 7rpWTO!S ava')'K1j p.av8avELJI, "and which is among the first things that everybody must learn" (Loeb 2: 151). Paul introduces the new theme without a transition. It is occasioned, unlike the preceding themes, not by a direct inquiry from Corinth, 8 but by rumors which have reached Paul. 9 The abrupt appearance of the new theme has here, too, given rise to operations ofliterary criticism .10 More important is the question ofcontent raised by Karl Barth: the question whether, despite the looseness with which the various themes are strung together, there is not a unity ofcontent throughout the whole epistle, namely, that which comes to light in chap. 15; whether eschatology has not already dominated the whole epistle so far, and the latter was accordingly planned with chap. 15 as its goal. Bultmann agrees that the whole epistle is oriented toward the Last Things. But the sense ofeschatology, he holds, emerges in untrammelled form in chap. 13: love is the manifestation of the Ultimate. In chap. 15, he maintains, the sense is obscured by apocalyptic ideas. Chap. 15...