I can now wrap up my discussion of the textual problem of Luke 22:19-20 and the intriguing question of what Jesus said at his Last Supper (according to Luke). I have argued so far that the longer (more familiar) form of the text, found in most surviving manuscripts, is actually a change made by scribes, not what Luke originally wrote (this is where Jesus indicates that the bread is his body given for others and that the cup is the new covenant in his blood shed for others).
I set *up* that discussion by referring to one of the debates over the nature of Christ in precisely the time period when the change was made: the second century, when Christians were debating whether Jesus was so completely divine that he was not actually human. Various Christians that scholars call “docetists” said the answer was no.
The label for these Christians comes from the Greek word doceo, “to seem,” or “to appear,” because these people said that Christ “appeared” to be human and “seemed” really to suffer and die – but not really. He was God, and God cannot actually be a human and certainly cannot suffer or die.
Their opponents insisted that…
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