B.J. Oropeza, «Laying to Rest the Midrash: Pauls Message on Meat Sacrificed to Idols in Light of the Deuteronomistic Tradition », Vol. 79 (1998) 57-68
Some scholars have suggested that Paul's discussion on meat sacrificed to idols in 1 Corinthians 8, 111,1 is composed of two separate documents: 8,19,23 and 10,2311,1 form letter B, and 10, 1-22, forms letter A. Unit A is often regarded as an early midrash which was written prior to its present form in 1 Corinthians. This article argues that the Deuteronomic tradition which Paul echoes in 8, 111,1 posits another reason why the literary integrity of his entire discussion on idol meats may be maintained. In this section of his letter Paul adopts the Deuteronomic motif of apostasy through idolatry which is prevalent in the Song of Moses (Deut 32). The language and ideas derived from this theme are integrated throughout the apostle's discourse.
meats in both sections "A" and "B". Moreover, Paul's stress on the language of "all ... not all" advances the idea of solidarity throughout the chapters (8,1.7; 9,19.24; 10,1-12.23.33) 11.
Also, in the Song of Moses (Deut 32), the Israelites lack proper wisdom and understanding. They did not realise how their behaviour adversely affected their standing with those outside their community (32,26-28). Yahweh wishes they would be wise enough to return to God when hearing the song (32,29-30). Likewise, Paul deals with a situation in which members of the congregation lack proper wisdom and discernment (e.g., 1 Cor 2,6-16; 4,8-20; 1214). Though they claimed to have knowledge in the area of things offered to idols, they seemed to lack wisdom from Paul's perspective (8,1-3; 10,12.14-15). The strong were exercising their gnw=sij at the expense of becoming inconsiderate toward the weak, and this tended to disrupt the homogeneity of the community.
It is significant, then, that the climax of the Song of Moses which is Paul's pervasive source in 1 Corinthians 10,1-22 is also centred on a variant form of the shema. Van Ruiten has argued that the declaration of God in Deuteronomy 32,39 is the apex of the entire song: "I (am) he, and there is no god with me" (cf. 32,12.31) 12. In reference to God, the phrase )wh yn) in this passage is found nowhere else in the Hebrew scriptures except in Deutero-Isaiah (Isa 41,4; 43,10.13; 46,4; 48,12). It later became a prooftext for the Jews, confirming there is no more than one God. The Isaianic tradition, in turn, echoes the Song of Moses on several occasions (e.g., Isa 1,2/Deut 32,1; Isa 30,17/Deut 32,30; Isa 43,11-13/Deut 32,39), and it penetrates Paul's thought in 1Corinthians (e.g., 1 Cor 1, 19/Isa 29,14; 1 Cor 2,16/Isa 40,13; 1 Cor 10,2/Isa 63,10-13; 1 Cor 14,21/Isa 28,11-12; 1 Cor 15,54/Isa 25,8). Both traditions are concerned with idolatry and its relation to a new generation of God's people in a wilderness milieu the same motif Paul discusses in 10,1-11 13. The message in Deuteronomy is intended as a witness for the wilderness generation if, after entering into the land of Canaan, they turned away from God to serve idols (Deut 31,16-22; cf. 8,10-20).
In the Song of Moses, God elected the Israelites from among the nations and protected them in the wilderness (Deut 32,7-14). But their blessings became their undoing; they forgot Yahweh and broke God's