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It is almost universally acknowledged that 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 contains a pre-Pauline

confessional/creedal statement.1 Beyond this affirmation, there is little that may be agreed upon
by all. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor notes that the only two points of complete agreement are that
“Paul introduces a quotation in v. 3b, and…he is speaking personally from v. 8 on.”2 On almost
every other issue, there is serious debate. Some scholars suggest that the creed ends in verse 5,
while others suggest that it extends through verse 7. Famously Joachim Jeremias argued for an
Aramaic original form of the creed, while Hans Conzelmann disputed this claim, favoring a
Jewish-Hellenistic provenance. The original purpose of the creedal statement as well as the
specific details of its content are debated.
A study which would deal with all of these issues exhaustively would require much more space
than the limits of this essay allow. The purpose of this study is to ascertain, as far as is possible,
the content of the pre-Pauline material, as well as its limits. It is necessary to establish the
bounds of the material, if we are to intelligently discuss the content contained therein. The
reverse is also true; ascertaining the content of the preformed material will aid us in determining
its extent. While it would be worthwhile to study the linguistic origins of the material, as well as
its geographical origin and sitz im leben, these pursuits are best left to another study. In order to
achieve the aforementioned goals of our study, we will examine address form critical issues, as
well as lexical, syntactical, and source critical issues where relevant. Proceeding in this manner
will allow us to conclude that the creed which Paul quotes begins in v. 3b and proceeds through
the end of v. 7, with the exception of v. 6b, which will be determined to be a Pauline
1 Against this, David Garland, proposes a minority viewpoint, namely that the material is to be
understood as Pauline, in 1 Corinthians (BECNT, Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003), 683.
2 Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, “Tradition and Redaction in 1 Cor 15:3-7,” CBQ 43 (1984): 582.
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Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. at the first.interpolation into the text. and physical resurrection of Christ (as according to the Scriptures). 1186. but the very words he himself received. Paul uses the same exact language when describing the tradition he received from the Lord. regarding the Last Supper. The verbs παραδίδωμι and παραλαμβάνω designate a passing on of formal tradition. Commentators are somewhat divided on which meaning is appropriate here. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. and suggested by Anthony C. The prepositional phrase ἐν πρώτοις may be understood either in a temporal sense. 4 Garland. The First Epistle to the Corinthians (NICNT. 2000). that which also I received”). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. burial. 683. It is clear that v. 3a is the introduction to traditional material. I.Thiselton. 1987). His language not only signifies the importance of the material. The First Epistle to the Corinthians (NIGTC. which Paul begins to recite in v. 251 and arguments for priority of importance are given by Gordon D. 1 Corinthians: A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Hermeneia.3 Rather than running the risk of affirming one understanding to the exclusion of the other. 2 . which he passed on to the congregation at Corinth (1 Cor 11:23). Paul himself is passing on not just ideas. ὃ και ὰ παρέλαβον (“For I handed over to you. but its preformed nature. 722. This in turn.4 It is this kerygma of temporal and logical priority that Paul handed over to the Corinthian congregation and now proceeds to recite again. 3 Arguments for temporal priority are given by Hans Conzelmann. we would do well to remember that what “was first in importance was probably also spoken first”. The Establishment of Traditional Material Paul begins verse 3 by declaring to the Corinthian believers: παρέδωκα γαὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις. or as referring to things of primary importance. Fee. 1975). followed by a traditional list of witnesses to this resurrection. 3b. will allow us to establish the content of the creed as a recitation of the death.

To this point it has primarily been assumed. The Eucharistic Words of Jesus (Chatham: W. Joachim Jeremias notes that the phrase ὑπεὰρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν is non-Pauline. It begins with the declaration ὅτι Χριστοὰς ἀπέθανεν ὑπεὰρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς. it seems best to understand the initial occurrence of ὅτι as part of the original creed. & J. The Death. cf. the phrase καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς in vv. While it is not the intention of this study to develop exhaustive arguments to this end. Eph 2:1.II. If this were the only occurrence of that conjunction in the creedal statement. Mackay. and Resurrection of Christ (vv. 3 . rather than inserted by Paul for emphasis (contra 5 Joachim Jeremias. 102. 583. some evidence is in order. Col 1:14 7 Jeremias. this does not occur elsewhere in Paul). 6 For similar usage.7 Additionally the word ὅτι here indicates a quotation to follow. “there is no known creed in which each member is introduced” by ὅτι. 3 and 4. but the question is raised whether or not the function of ὅτι is solely to introduce the content of the creed. while ὅτι is often known to follow forms of πιστεύω as the introduction to confessional statements. rather than Pauline origin. we might easily affirm its inclusion in the material. in fact. As it stands. Burial.8 Despite this data. Rom 7:5. 8 Murphy-O’Connor. and the term δώδεκα occur nowhere else in the Pauline corpus.5 The identical use of the phrase in Gal 1:4 may be attributed to the influence of early Christian linguistic usage.6 Similarly. with the subsequent occurrences of και ὰ ὅτι as also part of the creed. 102. 3b-4) The preformed material starts in v. rather than demonstrated that the material is. 1966). the expression τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ (also note the placement of the ordinal number after the noun. 3b. pre-Pauline. or if it functions as part of that confessional statement.

as N. rather than Pauline insertions into a hypothetical form of the material which does not contain ὅτι. 11 N. 1989). “there is no chance that this word could have been a proper name without connotation”. As we will see. The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press. Wright points out. Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus (Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press. 4 . This is not convincing. because of the early formulation of this creed. The anarthrous use of the subject Χριστός is a characteristic of “kerygmatic statements in which Jesus is presented as the perfecter of the work of salvation.9 The use of και ὰ ὅτι very well might be to emphasize each piece of the creed. The verb which follows the subject Χριστοὰς is the aorist ἀπέθανεν. For a succinct summary of the debate over the provenance of the anarthrous Χριστοὰς. Craig. the form ὅτι. The statement which is introduced by ὅτι is Χριστοὰς ἀπέθανεν ὑπεὰρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς.”10 The term Χριστός here seems to function as a name. 10 Conzelmann.Murphy-O’Connor). this fourfold link is later repeated in the creed by the connective construction εἶτα… ἔπειτα… ἔπειτα… εἶτα. though. would have retained its titular sense.T. see William L. This verb serves both to establish the reality of 9 Murphy-O’Connor argues that Paul separates two quotations from the same work in 1 Cor 8:4 with και ὰ ὅτι and that this parallels his use in 15:3-5. In 15:3-5. All of these considerations lead us to conclude that each occurrence of ὅτι is part of the original creed. 723-4.11 While early believers used the term Χριστός as a personal name. Wright. especially in Jewish circles. Rather. followed three times by και ὰ-ὅτι-verb (whose implied subject is Χριστοὰς) seems to indicate a formulaic construction conducive to liturgical or catechetical use. as Paul is using και ὰ ὅτι in 8:4 to link two apparently discontinuous statements.Χριστοὰς-verb. 2003). as Murphy-O’Connor would have us believe. 254-5. Cf. The usage is not parallel.T. 1 Corinthians. 9-15. the term. Fee. but it does not follow that they are Pauline insertions. 319. ὅτι introduces the material and subsequent uses of και ὰ ὅτι mark off apparently contiguous pieces of the kerygmatic creed.

The preposition ὑπεὰρ indicates that Christ died because of our sins. a third element is added.12 While no theory of atonement is made in this verse. To this. In this early statement of faith. The answers to these two questions are not entirely independent of one another. The two facts established are that Christ died. These include (1) the continuity between the crucifixion and God’s redemptive purposes as revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures. not his (though the verse does not flesh out this idea further). as Christ died for our sins. the early Christian movement was rooted in Judaism. Cf. The phrase ὑπεὰρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν has already been noted to be non-Pauline. The verse finishes with the prepositional phrase καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς. Barrett notes. 724. and that he died ὑπεὰρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν. there is debate over whether these words indicate a specific referent in the Hebrew Scriptures. encompassing the whole motif of God’s redemptive work. It is debatable whether or not the phrase refers simply to Christ’s death.K. it does serve to establish two core elements of the Christian faith. the idea of a substitutionary death is evident in this statement. but as Gordon Fee notes. and (2) that he died because of our sins. (1) that Christ died. This phrase. which appears again in v. which “already had inherent in it the idea of vicarious sacrifice in the atonement itself”. there are a number of key points to remember when considering the phrase καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς. 5 . 1191-2. As C. which climaxes in the saving work of Christ and (2) understanding the meaning of that salvific death by means of “interpretation in OT 12 Fee. as illustrated in Scripture. Additionally. Its function here is to state the purpose for which Christ died.Christ’s death and to set up mention of the purpose of that death. Thiselton. or whether it encompasses the entire idea of his death for sin. or if Christ’s death is understood as the climax of the entire biblical narrative. a theory of atonement is not elaborated. 4 is one never seen anywhere else in Paul.

it would seem that the prepositional phrase καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς is meant to encompass the death of Christ for sins. For the suggestion that it reinforces both his death and resurrection. Barret. Christ’s death is not understood apart from its redemptive work. The ὅτι-verb formula begun in v. 1997). Conflict and Community in Corinth: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. See Thiselton. 299. Conzelmann. and has as its referent the entire redemptive theme of the Hebrew Scriptures. with the addition of the connective conjunction και ὰ. chronologically seated between the death and resurrection. 15 For the argument that ἐτάφη reinforces the reality of Christ’s death. Hays.categories – for example.K. Ben Witheringon. 1968. 1 Corinthians 255. of sacrifice…atonement…sufferings…the good times to come. While the entirety of Scripture is in view with the phrase καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς. and serves as an objective event. 338-9. Richard B. 256. Louisville: Knox.14 So. 4. In other words. given the succinctness of the creedal material. 725.”13 These statements help us keep in mind that the early Christians understood Christ’s death to be salvific and in line with the redemptive promises of God as revealed in the entirety of the Old Testament. 1995). see Conzelmann 1 Corinthians. 724. It reads: και ὰ ὅτι ἐτάφη και ὰ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς. 255. while probably making a specific allusion to Isaiah 53. 321. 1190. First Corinthians (Interpretation.15 Whether or not it is meant to confirm either of these truths. 6 . However. this does not preclude an allusion to a specific passage of Scripture. Fee. it is certainly a statement of fact in and of itself. A Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians (London: Black. Thieselton. and it is to be seen as the culmination of God’s promises made through the Hebrew Scriptures. possibly (and probably) the LXX of Isaiah 53. 14 So. The opposite view is offered by Wright. 1192. 3b is picked up again in v. and Fee. The statement ἐτάφη (he was buried) has been understood to reinforce the reality of both the preceding and following verbs. 1971). it seems that the burial of Christ must have been of great importance to 13 C. 2nd ed.

7 . 321. it affirms the resurrection of Christ. The origin of this phrase is not entirely clear. v. Wright.warrant inclusion. The passive here is a divine passive. Finally. First. 726. the perfect tense here indicates the ongoing effects of the action. 322. Cf.17 16 Cf. 1 Corinthians suggests the latter explanation. but he rejects the tomb narratives as later material. Wright. it implies the agency of God in raising Christ.16 After addressing Jesus’ burial. it is likely that the verb ἐτάφη captured the importance that early Christians placed on the tomb. and its position in the resurrection stories. 17 Fee. The perfect passive verb ἐγήγερται (“he has been raised”) indicates a number of things. 4 continues on with a proclamation of the resurrection: και ὰ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς. The ongoing effects of this resurrection are what Paul unpacks in verses 12-58 of 1 Cor 15. The phrase τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ certainly modifies the verb ἐγήγερται. Second. Conzelmann. While it may serve to reinforce the reality of Christ’s death. The verb ἐγήγερται is followed by the prepositional phrases τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ and καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς. the perfect tense contrasts the aorist tense of the previous two verbs. We will address the creed’s understanding of the nature of this resurrection in the following section. The most likely explanation seems to be that this was the day that the tomb was discovered empty and/or the resurrection appearances were first experienced. In the succinct wording of the creed. 1196. through the use of the passive voice. Thiselton. but Christ has been raised. It was this realization which first alerted the followers of Christ that something out of the ordinary had occurred. it seems that its main purpose was in affirming the resurrection. It is not that Christ was raised. The discovery of the empty tomb figures prominently in the resurrection narratives of the Gospels. Whereas the aorist tense of ἀπέθανεν and ἐτάφη denote a onetime past action.

but it certainly provides striking parallel language. 5-7) After v. the question is twofold: what material does the phrase modify? And what Scripture provides this attestation? The former determination is difficult to make. the LXX of Hosea 6:2 is most likely.18 It seems likely that this usage of καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς is parallel to that in v. this does not preclude an allusion or quotation from a specific Scripture. the passive verb takes on the intransitive meaning of “appeared”. Again. Philo explains 18 Conzelmann. Again. While the term ὤφθη is passive.Finally. we must once again address the extent of the qualification καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς. 4. In this case.19 It declares that God will raise Israel up “on the third day” (ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ). as fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ on the third day. Again. Fee. 1 Corinthians. 19 Conzelmann. Verse 5 declares: και ὰ ὅτι ὤφθη Κηφᾷ εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα. 727. ὤφθη is the third person aorist passive indicative of ὁράω (“I see”). In purely linguistic terms. The first major point to be addressed regards the passive verb ὤφθη. Considerable debate surrounds the meaning of this verb and its implications for the nature of the resurrection. 8 . 1 Corinthians. 256. the whole thrust of Scripture bears witness to the promises of God. which means “appear”. 256. as neither the resurrection nor the third day is well attested in the Old Testament. 3. In other words. the phrase καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς should not be seen as limited to Hosea 6:2. When used this way. Joseph Fitzmyer points out that this passive use of the verb is a Hebraism preserved in the LXX. The most probable answer is to see the phrase καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς as modifying all of ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ. III. The Witnesses (vv. the creed shifts into a list of witnesses to the resurrection.

that Paul has inserted his own appellation into the creedal 20 Fitzmyer. we see a varied range of the word. 9 .80. objects being seen by people. 3-4. Having affirmed the death and burial of Christ in vv. Thiselton. 549.20 While we may establish the interchangeability of “was seen” and “appeared” as translations of the verb in question. While the name Cephas is Paul’s usual designation for the disciple Simon Peter (both in Galatians and 1 Corinthians). the exact nature of these appearances has not yet been established. physical appearances. as some scholars do. If. 728. If we look at the use of ὤφθη in the LXX. the creed affirms his having been raised in v. The importance of the burial statement in v. or the appearance of people in a non-visionary sense. 5. this is no reason to assume. the glory of YHWH. 323. Of the 39 other occurrences of the word in the LXX. the burial statement is meant to preserve a succinct account of the tomb material which later appears in the Gospel narratives. along with the Jewish (whether Aramaic or Greek speaking) provenance of the creed. Fee. was to Cephas. then the empty tomb must follow from the resurrection. a little over half refer to the appearance of YHWH. we must judge the nature of the appearances on other than linguistic grounds. these include people appearing before YHWH (by presenting themselves in the Temple). His first appearance. Fitzmyer. in turn. 549. or the angel of YHWH appearing to people. This. 21 Wright. allow us to conclude that the confessional statement preserved in 1 Cor 15 has in mind a bodily resurrection. These considerations. according to v. Cf. Of its 85 occurrences. 4b. leads to the conclusion that Christ’s appearances after his resurrection were bodily.21 As varied as the usage of the word is. as I have argued. 4 now becomes relevant. 1198.this usage in De Abrahamo 17.

but never does Paul refer collectively to the Twelve. 22 So Fee. had not come into use. we may assume that Paul is continuing to recite preformed material here. 549-50 (though he suggests an ending after 5a). Having concluded that all of v. we will examine vv. 1 Corinthians. 549-50. ἕνδεκα (“Eleven”). we note that the term δώδεκα is a non-Pauline term. as a brief comment on the term Twelve. rather than a term designating how many of them experienced appearances of the risen Christ. Murphy-O’Connor. so it would have been impossible for Christ to appear to him as he did to the other disciples. it seems that the term is a collective title for the disciples chosen by Jesus. This is not to conclude that the narratives of Judas’ suicide are historically inaccurate. The appearance to Cephas is not actually recorded in the Gospel accounts. There are several comments to be made concerning this phrase.22 Rather. we must now ascertain whether or not any parts of vv. 5 next notes that he appeared “then to the Twelve” (εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα).material.23 Next. 729. It is often suggested that the creed ended at v. but it is alluded to in Lk 24:34. He refers to the apostles. Fee. Judas killed himself before the resurrection. 5 with Pauline additions beginning in verse 6. 729. 10 . Fitzmyer. First. v. In light of this. or that the creators of the creed were not aware of it. 257. 24 So Conzelmann. 5 belongs to pre-Pauline material. rather the collective term is employed. as the later term. After stating that the risen Christ appeared “to Cephas” (Κηφᾷ). As both Matthew and Acts record.24 In order to determine the validity of including any part of these verses as an original part of the creed. it seems likely that a creed which must have originated within a few short years of the resurrection would preserve the Aramaic name of the disciple. rather than adding to the list of witnesses to the resurrection. 585-6. 6-7 ought to be included as well. 23 Contra Fitzmyer.

“1 Corinthians 15:3b-6a. before examining the section on a broader level. Paul’s intent here is to establish that of the previously mentioned 500 plus witnesses to the resurrection. MacGregor. Verse 6b is almost universally acknowledged to be a Pauline insertion into the traditional material. We may render the translation as follows: “from whom the most remain until now. 6a ought to be included as part of the pre-Pauline creedal material. Beyond this. with good reason. Verse 6a states ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς ἐφάπαξ (“then he was seen by [or “appeared to”] over 500 brothers at once”). vocabulary considerations guide us in this determination. 25 Kirk R. most of them remain alive to this point. The second is ἐφάπαξ. 11 . which has its only other occurrence in Paul in Rom 6:10. Nowhere else in the New Testament do we have this attestation of an appearance by Jesus to more than 500 people at once. It is a clear indicator that we ought not include v. but it may serve as part of a cumulative case argument. and 7 individually.7 and the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus. τινεὰς δεὰ ἐκοιμήθησαν. As for the question of whether or not this verse is Pauline. It reads: ἐξ ὧν οἱ πλείονες μένουσιν ἕως ἄρτι. which occurs nowhere else in the Pauline corpus. 6b as part of the original creedal material. though some have died (the aorist passive of κοιμάομαι [“I sleep”] serves here has a euphemism for death).6a. where it has the meaning of “once for all” rather than “at once”.25 This data alone is not strong enough to substantiate the claim that v.” JETS 49 (6/2006): 228. This verse preserves two non-Pauline usages. Why is this significant for establishing the extent of the creed? The answer is that Paul’s statement that most of them remain “until now” (ἕως ἄρτι) is an admission that he is offering his own qualification of the previous statement. what most commentators ignore is that it is also an admission that Paul is commenting now on material that was formulated at an earlier time. but some have fallen asleep”. 6b. The first is the term ἐπάνω.

325. It states: ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακώβῳ εἶτα τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν. It seems that Paul inserts v. 6b as an apologetic tool. This is usually seen as an argument against the inclusion of the surrounding material as creedal.“Hence εως άρτι constitutes Paul's own admission that verse 6a is non-Pauline”.27 After a Pauline insertion in v. then James. Paul might be qualifying his own statement. as well as previously in vv. or qualifying other non-creedal information he had provided in v. The appearance to James must refer to James. Many of the more than 500 who all experienced an appearance of the risen Christ at once are still alive and may be appealed to as witnesses of that event.28 The appearance of Christ was first experienced by Cephas. and then all the apostles. as they would be included in the Twelve. the last verse suggested to preserve elements of the pre-Pauline creed. 27 Wright. it is important to note that these connectives serve as chronological markers. it definitely adds to the growing data that suggest 6a ought to be included as original. Fee. 6a). 5-6a. The terms ἔπειτα and εἶτα appear here. we now come to v.26 While this is not entirely certain (after all. 300. This will be addressed in the following section. though it is attested in the late. It does not refer to James the son of Zebedee. 7. or James the son of Alpheus. Rather than simply connecting the pieces of the list of resurrection witnesses. 12 . then more than 500 brethren. then the Twelve. non-canonical text The Gospel of the 26 Ibid. There is no evidence for this appearance anywhere else in the New Testament. ἔπειτα and εἶτα help to establish the order in which these appearances occurred. while 6b ought to be understood as Pauline comment on that material. the brother of Christ. 6b. 28 Witherington. 730-1. For now.

5. 8. 228.30 IV. as he appends his own experience of the risen Christ in v. 6a. Having found good reasons to reject 6b as part of the creedal material while the evidence for 6a and 7 indicates that they might be part of the creed. 30 McGreggor. and of more interest. 35 and formulaic structures which would indicate the presence of creedal material exist in these verses. It would not make sense for Paul to affirm the appearance to the Twelve. This is rather shocking. then he would not have chosen to state that Jesus appeared to all the apostles and then go on to mark out his separate experience. In 1 Cor 9:1 he asks: “Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” If verse 7 were a Pauline addition. The earlier use of δώδεκα and subsequent use of ἀπόστολοι here indicates that the term ἀπόστολοι referred to a circle which extended beyond the Twelve. the phrase τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν does not include Paul. 6a.Hebrews.29 The phrase τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν is of particular interest to both of our stated objectives (determining the content of the creed and determining its extent). By his own admission. The existence of τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν and Paul’s separate account of Christ’s appearance to him can best be explained by including v. 13 . As mentioned above. but refer to them as apostles this time. This suggestion 29 Wright. 6b. 7 in the pre-Pauline material. and 7 individually. we have considered the inclusion of vv. as Paul spends much of the epistle defending his apostolicity. the shift from the use of και ὰ ὅτι to ἔπειτα and εἶτα to mark transitions is often seen as evidence that the creedal material ends after v. 325. let us examine whether or not connections to vv. 7 on Formal Considerations To this point. 7 is part of the pre-Pauline material. The Inclusion of vv. is the indication that v. Additionally.

then a striking pattern emerges. 6a and 7 as part of the original creed. then his resurrection.” ZNW 99 (2008): 53. illustrated below: ὅτι Χριστοὰς ἀπέθανεν ὑπεὰρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς και ὰ ὅτι ἐτάφη και ὰ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ καταὰ ταὰς γραφαὰς και ὰ ὅτι ὤφθη Κηφᾷ εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα· ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς ἐφάπαξ. Moffitt.31 Additionally. the shift away from the use of ὅτι to the use of εἶτα does not occur between vv. then the shift which is supposed to indicate the end of creedal material actually occurs within the middle of it. We have already established that δώδεκα is a non-Pauline term. We ought not to expect the inclusion of another ὅτι. As the first use of εἶτα in v. It first introduced the death of Christ.3b-7. The rest of the creedal material (assuming the inclusion of vv. and finally his appearances. so we ought to regard all of verse 5 as included in the creedal material. First. 14 . because the motif does not change from here on out.ignores a number of points. the use of ἔπειτα and εἶτα occurs after the final use of ὅτι. 5 is logically dependent on the motif introduced in that verse (namely the resurrection appearances). 5 and 6 but in the middle of verse 5. 6a. then his burial. ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακώβῳ εἶτα τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν· As previously noted. each occurrence of ὅτι in the creedal material introduces a new motif. If we assume this. so are all the other occurrences of ἔπειτα and εἶτα logically dependent 31 David M. If we include vv. “Affirming the "Creed": The Extent of Paul's Citation of an Early Christian Formula in 1 Cor 15. It would make little sense for the traditional list of resurrection witnesses to begin and end with Cephas. 7) is concerned with this final motif.

on it. V. while each of the two inner conjunctions (ἔπειτα in both cases) is followed by the verb ὤφθη. However. 15 . 5 to add to the traditional list of witnesses. 3b-5. 54. this does not account for the high level of structure in the latter verses (a structure which is somewhat intruded upon by Paul’s insertion in v. while v.32 Also of particular note is the fact that each of the outer conjunctions (εἶτα in both cases) elides its verb. 6a and 7 are part of the original. however. 6b).5. This would account for both the high level of structure and the phrase τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν. and form critical matters all lead to the same conclusion: the creed embedded in 1 Cor 15 extends from v. It would not. syntactical considerations. Vocabulary concerns. A second option is to assume that Paul is merging a preformed. longer list of witnesses with the creedal material in vv. A third option would be the one proposed in this essay. nor does it account for the “all the apostles” language as distinct from Paul’s own account of Christ’s appearance to him. Conclusions Having spent a considerable amount of time tracing both the extent and the content of the pre-Pauline confessional material present in 1 Cor 15. which is logically dependent upon v. pre-Pauline creedal material.. The previous data indicate that one must account for what appears to be highly formulaic wording in what most scholars consider to be Pauline additions to the creedal material. that vv. we are now in a position to make some summarizing remarks. 33 Ibid.. 6-7 fit so well with the εἶτα in verse 5.33 A clear chiastic structure exists. There are a number of ways one may go about this. 6b is a Pauline insertion. explain why the ἔπειτα and εἶτα connectives of vv. 55. 3b to the end of 32 Ibid. One might argue that Paul merely drew on the vocabulary and structure present in v.

16 . This kerygmatic material serves as an early testament to the core of the Christian faith. This material serves as a proclamation of the essentials of the faith and a testament to the early formulation of that faith by eyewitnesses to the events in question. burial. and bodily resurrection of Christ and (2) provides a list of traditional witnesses to the resurrection. 6b removed as a Pauline comment on v. it preserves a historical account of the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus. Formulated. we may affirm that its content is twofold: (1) it serves as a proclamation of the atoning death. most likely within 2-3 years of Jesus’ resurrection. it seems to best account for the data. Having established the limits of the creed. not far removed from the time of the actual events. 7. with v. 6a.v. While this assertion contradicts the findings of many scholars.

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