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.
Some scholars have questioned the literary unity of Paul's message in 1Corinthians 8,111,1. This view is based on the apparent irreconcilable tensions this section of the letter posits. These scholars have often maintained that the message consists of more than one source 1.
A cursory reading of the pericope would appear to favour their position. The "strong" members of the congregation were apparently justifying their eating of meat sacrificed to idols by claiming they had knowledge that idols were not gods, and so they posed no threat to or influence on the food which is offered to them 2. Other members with a weak conscience, who had come out of an idolatrous background, would have found it offensive to eat such food 3. Paul opens the pericope by affirming that idols are not gods (1 Cor 8,1-6), but he exhorts the strong to refrain from eating idol meats for the sake of the weak (8,7-13). He then discusses his own self-restraint against exercising e)cousi/a in relation to his calling (chap. 9), and consequently warns the Corinthians to flee from idolatry, claiming that the idols of the Gentiles are really demons (10,1-22). Surprisingly, Paul ends his discussion by agreeing with the strong members that one could eat idol meat as long as it does not offend others (10,2311,1). He himself apparently ate idol foods on occasions (10,30, cf. 9,4) 4.
In an effort to explain the apparent disjunction of Paul's words, 10,1-22 (or 9,2410,22) is sometimes assigned to a separate epistle ("A"),