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.
Perhaps the most crucial weakness in Fee's argument is that it is not able to explain adequately why Paul is lenient toward idol meats in chapter 8 if idolatry or a pagan cultus is primarily in view both here and in 10,1-22. Why is it that Paul does not forthright condemn eating idol meats in a cultic setting or call it idolatry in chapter 8? How is it that he grants some liberty in an apparently cultic context (cf. 8,8-10)? Apart from 1 Corinthians, ei0dwlo/qutoj appears in early Judeo-Christian literature in Acts 15,29; 21,25; Rev 2,14.20; 4 Macc 5.2; Did 6,3. While some have argued that ei0dwlo/qutoj has a cultic connotation in Acts and Revelation 22, this is no indication that Paul also located it in only a cultic milieu or shunned it as such. While it is true that eating of idol meals and committing fornication may be understood as cultic practices in 1 Cor 10,7-8, cf. 6,12-20), Paul's exhortation regarding idol meat is not because it is a cultic practice (8,10; 10,27). He believed that eating idol meats in such a setting could but not necessarily would lead to idolatry 23. Maybe Paul believes there is an entire range of idol meat predicaments the Corinthians may find themselves in.
Some have therefore affirmed that what is at stake in the Corinthian situation is not the eating or location of the idol meats per se, but the nature of idol meats 24. Perhaps more precisely than this, the problem with idol meats is more a question of who than what. Temples and meals in Greco-Roman society functioned in a variety of ways. Some meals were knowingly offered to a god while others were not; some meals were held in temples, others were not. The line between the "secular" and "sacred" was not always clear 25. Paul's ambiguity in relation to idol foods may thus reflect that of the larger Corinthian culture. In 10,1-22 his tension with ei0dwlolatri/a centres not on where it is located but on the strong sharing in a unified fellowship with idolaters and demons. Moreover, social dissimilarities seem to be at the heart of the problem in chapter 8: the problem with ei0dwlo/qutoj rests in a disunity of fellowship between the strong and weak over idol meats. It is significant that Paul begins the