European Association of Biblical Studies and Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting location:Amsterdam, NL date:24 July 2012
Adelphoi is Paul’s favorite relational term in the homologoumena particularly in 1 Corinthians (Banks, 1994; Aasgaard, 2004). In this paper, I propose that Paul’s use of the vocative adelphoi in 1 Cor 11:33 is one of the key elements to Paul’s meal theology in the making in the context of the problematic Lord’s Supper celebration at Corinth. First, I will show the communal values at risk in vv. 17-22 particularly the 'loss' of being adelphoi to one another. Then, I will delve into Paul’s way of restoring communal values at Corinth by giving them a three-fold instruction that consists of the foundational narrative (vv. 23-25), his theologizing based on the foundational narrative (vv. 26-32) and its practical consequences (vv. 33-34). The practical consequences are prefaced by his vocative use of the relational term adelphoi that is imbued with a social and theological meaning that must be affirmed, upheld and nourished at the Lord's Supper. Paul exerts all these efforts to correct the situation in Corinth since the ritual of the Lord’s Supper encapsulates their common symbolic universe in the making.