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A friend of mine recently saw a teaching, where it was claimed that in Greek, 1 Corinthians does not say “Passover lamb”. I’ve copied and pasted his comment below. Since I don’t know Greek, I don’t have a response for him. I’m hoping someone can help.

Paul actually says, "christ was slain/killed, pesach is ours". The word "lamb", or "for us" is not even in the original Greek translation. Purge out the old leaven on his behalf!

It should read as follows directly from the Greek Codex Sinaiticus...

7 μα ζυμοι εκκα θαρατε ┬ την παλαι αν ζυμην ϊνα η τε νεον φυραμα καθωϲ εϲτε αζυ μοι και γαρ το παϲχα η μων ┬ ετυθη χϲ

8 ωϲτε εορταζω μεν μη εν ζυμη παλαια μηδε εν ζυμη κακιαϲ και πονηριαϲ αλλ εν α ζυμοιϲ ειλικρινι αϲ και αληθιαϲ

Therefore Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. And the truth is Pesach is ours, Mashiach was killed.

1 Corinthians 5:7, 8
7 Get rid of the yeast of that which contains leavening agents so that we might be as a new batch of dough, and as much as we shall become like unleavened bread. 8 And the truth is, the Festival of Pesach is ours Mashiach was killed. Thus we shall celebrate the festival, not by way of old leaven, nor by way of the leaven of vindictiveness and immorality, but on account of the unleavened bread of sincerity and truthfulness.

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The Greek of 1 Cor 5:7 is:

ἐκκαθάρατε τὴν παλαιὰν ζύμην, ἵνα ἦτε νέον φύραμα, καθώς ἐστε ἄζυμοι. καὶ γὰρ τὸ πάσχα ἡμῶν ἐτύθη Χριστός.

The highlighted words above are literally: "Also, for the Passover [lamb] of us has been sacrificed, Christ"

In slightly more idiomatic English, we might say (eg, ESV, NIV, BSB, BLB, NASB, etc, etc) "For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed."

The Greek of this sentence is uncomplicated and rather easy to translate and is thus, rather unambiguous, except that "lamb" is not explicit but undoubtedly implied because the verb "sacrifice" is included; thus it cannot be the Passover that is sacrificed but the Passover lamb.

This is the case in other places such as:

  • Mark 14:12 - when the Passover [lamb] was being sacrificed.
  • Luke 22:7 - which the Passover [lamb] had to be sacrificed.

This is confirmed by reference to another verse which essentially says the same thing:

1 Peter 1:19 - but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.

Thus, there is no doubt that Jesus is our Passover lamb, the anti-type or fulfillment of the OT Passover ritual that pointed forward to the sacrifice of Messiah, Jesus Christ as per Col 2:17, Heb 9:12, etc.

APPENDIX - Comments on the "friends" Translation

To translate the last sentence of 1 Cor 5:7 as: "And the truth is, the Festival of Pesach is ours Mashiach was killed.." has the following "problems"

  • the word "festival" is not in the Greek text
  • the word "truth" is not in the Greek text
  • the word "is" is not in the Greek text.
  • "Killed" is a misleading translation of the verb ἐτύθη because the verb is used of sacrifice, never mere general killing.
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  • +1 good answer.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 1:46
  • Thank you very much for the detailed response.
    – Mrwright
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 23:17
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In Hebrew Pesach (פסח) is the Passover. But it is also the lamb that is sacrificed at Passover. Interestingly, Pascha is Latin for Easter. It is obvious where that came from. Also interesting, when William Tyndale was trying to figure out an English word for Pesach, he made up the word "Passover" since the LORD passed over those with the lamb's blood on the door frame.

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  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 20:24
  • @Bob, the question is not about Passover in general. It's about the correct interpretation of a verse in 1 Corinthians. If you can answer that, I suggest you edit your answer. Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 1:37

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