Reviews Of Books -- By: Anonymous
WTJ 18:2 (May 56) p. 163
Reviews Of Books
Joachim Jeremias: The Eucharistic Words of Jesus. Translated by Arnold Ehrhardt. New York: The Macmillan Company. 1955. xi, 195. $3.75.
This is a translation of the second edition of Professor Jeremias’ Die Abendmahlsworte, which contains a few important changes from the first edition. The author is professor of New Testament studies in the University of Göttingen. The volume gives abundant evidence of his scholarship and sincerity. The copious notes are valuable indeed and anyone really interested in the subject can ill afford to ignore them.
The expressed purpose that Jeremias had in mind is to give “the most precise exegesis possible of the Eucharistic Words” (p. v). This purpose has moved him into other related fields of investigation.
The problem here discussed has received considerable attention among the German theologians. The translator, Arnold Ehrhardt, hopes to stimulate English theologians to concentrate on this area of Christian thinking.
Dr. Jeremias has divided his material into four main chapters. In the first he discusses the problem of the identity of the Last Supper reported to us in the Johannine Gospel with the paschal meal referred to in the Synoptics. This problem has created some difficulty for New Testament scholars, due in part to the apparent discrepancy of the dating between John and the Synoptics. The author puts up a strong argument for the identity of the Last Supper and the paschal meal. He shows that the Synoptics are unquestionably clear on this point. Then, too, John 18:28 seems to leave no doubt as to the identity of the two references. An investigation of the Qumran references plus the liturgy in which the eucharistic words appear in the earliest church sustains his position. The author also answers acceptably ten objections found among scholars against his position. In this section Jeremias introduces a few paragraphs suggested by O. Gerhardt on the astronomical contribution in attempting to find the exact date of the paschal meal. This addition could have been omitted without loss as the author’s own conclusion seems to indicate. “Astronomical
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calculation is therefore unable to furnish us with an unquestionable result” (p. 13). The discrepancy in the temporal references in the Synoptics and John is accounted for by the difference between the Galilean and Jerusalem time reckonings.
In the second main division, the author studies the record of the Last Supper in the framework of the passion story. A careful comparison of the Marcan record with that of John results in the conclusion that the Lord’s Supper record is an ...
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