By Edgar Jones
This paper will not prove a thing. Too much time has past, too many books and manuscripts burned, to many tracks covered by the dust of twenty centuries. We do, however, have enough information at hand to draw some reasonable conclusions concerning where Paul obtained the Eucharist and why he instituted it in the church. I believe the findings here are valid, and submit them for your consideration.
The previous paper entitled The Eucharist -- Not from Jesus exposed Paul as the one who instituted the Eucharist or, as he named it, the Lord's Supper. It did not come from Jesus. This is not speculation, because we have Paul's testimony in I Corinthians 11, where he clearly states that he is the one who delivered it to the Corinthians. This claim is surely true. Paul sometimes lies, but here there is no speculation since he is writing to the very ones to whom he states that he delivered the Eucharist. If he had not delivered it to them, they would have known it, and his claim would have been rather stupid!
He claims to have received it directly from the Lord. This cannot be true except possibly through Paul's misunderstanding. If the Lord had instituted the Eucharist at the Last Passover Supper with his disciples, as Paul writes, they would have surely known about it and would have recorded it in the gospels. The record there is a later insertion into the autograph, as I have shown in my previous paper, The Eucharist -- Not From Jesus. Luke would also have recorded it in the Acts as part of the history of the early liturgy of assembled disciples, which he did not do.
We therefore accord to Paul the institution of the Eucharist in his churches -- specifically in the Corinthian church. There having been no other record of its institution in the autographs of the New Testament, there is little if any speculation in wholly attributing it to Paul. This gives rise to other questions: where did he obtain the Eucharist, and why did he institute it?
Where Did Paul Get It?
He wrote to the Corinthians:
I Cor.11:23 FNT For I received from the Lord what I have also delivered up to you, that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was delivered up, took bread, 24 and having given thanks he broke [it] and said: This is my body being broken in your behalf. Be doing this in my remembrance. 25 Likewise also [he took] the cup after having supped, saying: This cup is the new contract in my blood. Be doing this, as often as you be drinking, in my remembrance. 26 For as often as you be eating this bread and be drinking this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he come.
Did he blatantly lie in claiming the Lord as his source?
It is not necessary to charge him with lying. It is possible that he received something from the Lord that he interpreted to be the Lord's Supper but misunderstood it and therefore honestly attributed it to the Lord.
He never acknowledged knowing the incarnate Jesus of Nazareth. Did it come through the Apostles?
Not likely, since he adamantly maintained that they contributed nothing to him. Let's credit him with truthfulness in this also. Where, then, could he have received it?
Did the Lord speak to him from heaven, in a vision, a dream or a trance and deliver it to him? Perhaps such a vision as he encountered on the Damascus Road? Again, not likely as he must surely have elaborated had that been the case. But he simply said, "I received from the Lord . . .."
Some have speculated that he conceived this event under the influence of the Greek mystery religions -- Mithraism perhaps -- due to his exposure to them in his home city of Tarsus. Again, not likely because all such ideas can be nothing more than speculation. We simply do not have the facts. Yes, there were similarities shared by Mithraism and Christianity that arose from Paul's gospel, but all efforts to join them are speculative. Yes, Paul may have been influenced by Mithraism -- or he may not.
His most likely source is the utterance of 6:26-59 of the Fourth Gospel! I can say this and feel assurance whereas any other explanation leaves me troubled and confused. But this event, following the feeding of the five thousand on the eastern shore of Galilee and preserved in the records of all canonical gospels, is not speculation. The teaching of the Lord that followed it the next day -- the screening of disciples -- in the synagogue at Capernaum is unique to the Fourth Gospel, but is surely authentic. We can speculate as to why this screening was omitted from the Synoptics -- Matthew, Mark, and Luke -- but not with authority. My thought is that, even after the Lord explained it to the Twelve, the "Eat My Flesh/Drink My Blood" utterance yet remained so offensive to his Jewish apostles that they preferred to omit it. The Beloved Disciple (not one of the apostles), however, realized its significance and chose to include it.
No, of course Paul did not receive it from reading the Fourth Gospel, because the Beloved Disciple likely did not write that for decades after Paul. But the remarkable event of feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes was not forgotten by any of the five thousand nor by his apostles and close disciples. It was some of this same multitude that followed him across the Sea of Galilee the next day and found him in Capernaum, where he had the screening exchange with them. The synagogue must have been packed, because the Beloved Disciple tells us that it was there that he set the screen that separated the genuine disciples from the false in the multitudes that had been following him. That is where he said this:
Jn.6:52 FNT So the Jews were arguing with each other saying: How is this [one] able to give to us his flesh to eat? 53 So Jesus said to them: Truly truly I say to you: unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood you do not have zoe-life in yourselves. 54 The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood has zoe-life eternal, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood abides in me and I in him. 57 Just as the zoe-living father sent me and I zoe-live through the father, also the [one] gnawing me will zoe-live through me. 58 This is the bread having come down out of heaven, not just as the fathers ate and died. The [one] gnawing this bread will zoe-live to eternity.
This is the utterance that the Catholics tell us must be taken literally and applied to the Eucharist at the Last Supper. I have shown in this prior paper that this is an error, but the fact is that those Jewish disciples who were offended and who departed from him at that point believed him to be speaking literally, as do Catholics today and through the ages. The Twelve did not forget this utterance, and neither did those Jews who were offended and departed at that point, as the Lord intended. There could have been as many as five thousand, if they consisted primarily of the multitude that the Lord had fed the day before, though surely all of them were not crowded into that synagogue. They all remembered, and the Word must have spread like wildfire throughout Galilee. As Jesus continued his mission, more and more in the public eye, every time they heard of him they would have recalled his offensive utterance in the Capernaum synagogue.
It is not reasonable to believe that Paul never heard of this event and of the words uttered by the Lord. He may even have been among the five thousand who were fed, but this speculation is not necessary. He may have been one of the many offended disciples who departed from the Lord the next day. This tends to be confirmed by his assertion of having received the Eucharist directly from the Lord. Again, this is speculation and is not necessary. All that is necessary is to accept that he had received those words -- the very offensive words -- from someone as from the Lord, if not directly from the Lord. With so many disaffected disciples departing from the Lord that day, it is not necessary to believe he received it from the Apostles. We should also remember that the many departed thinking that he meant to be understood literally, and never knew anything different. Paul would also have taken it to be literal.
All we need do is to accept that Paul had the Lord's words relayed to him and that they then became very significant to his doctrine, such that he thought of them as though spoken directly to him. And on this basis he could say without lying, "I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you." Now, if he had been in that synagogue to hear the words directly from the mouth of the Lord, he would surely have testified that he received it from the Lord. But this is unnecessary speculation, as I have already stated. However it came to him, he could have interpreted it as though the Lord had addressed it to him.
One can cite several facts in support of this assertion that Paul received this particular Word. First is the fact that the Roman Catholic Church has, through the centuries, counted Paul as one of the founding apostles of the church at Rome, along with the Apostle Peter. We have this:
After the Holy Apostles (Peter and Paul) had founded and set the Church in order (in Rome) they gave over the exercise of the episcopal office to Linus. The same Linus is mentioned by St. Paul in his Epistle to Timothy. (Irenaeus (Adv. haereses, III, iii, 3)).
Irenaeus' dates of birth and death are unknown, but he was born early in the Second Century and died near its end. He became Bishop of Lyons, where he did much of his writing. He was instructed by Polycarp, who was in turn a disciple of the Apostle John.
I give you this to support the veracity of his opinion that Paul was a founder of the Roman Church. Irenaeus was in a position and time to know.
This is significant for our purpose, which is to confirm that Paul, being the originator of the Eucharist, must have instituted it at Rome and therefore provided the congregation there with his interpretation, as he did for the Church at Corinth. The Roman Catholic Church, with its specific doctrines of the Eucharist, including the Real Presence, may well have received this directly from Paul. The fact is that this church claims to have received and practiced it from the earliest times, as stated in this source:
We have therefore traced the Masses from the present to the earliest times, thus establishing its Apostolic origin, which in turn goes back again to the Last Supper.
This fact, that the Eucharist existed in the church from the earliest times, serves to place Paul in the position of having instituted it at Rome.
Second, we have the fact that Jerome, the Third Century Catholic Saint and translator ot the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin (the Vulgate), stated that Paul's parents had moved with him to Tarsus from Gischala in Galilee after Paul's birth.
Paul, formerly called Saul, an apostle outside the number of the twelve apostles, was of the tribe of Benjamin and the town of Giscalis in Judea. When this was taken by the Romans he removed with his parents to Tarsus in Cilicia ("De vir. ill.", v; "In epist. ad Phil.", 23).
We see that Jerome actually places Giscalis in Judea as the origin, or birth place of Paul, and not in Galilee. I cannot find, on my maps, any such town in Judea. I do find Gischala in Galilee, so let us suppose that St. Jerome is in error as to the location of the town because there simply was no such place in Judea. I have found other witnesses that place the town in Galilee also. Paul must have been very young when his parents moved him to Tarsus, for he tells us that he was brought up there.
This is interesting, because Gischala in Galilee was only about twelve miles north of Capernaum, where Jesus screened his disciples to eliminate those who were unwilling to accept his supersession of Moses. But whether or not he was born there, due to his family connections he must have known persons, or had relatives, who were present in the synagogue at Capernaum when Jesus screened his disciples. Given our knowledge of the great importance the Jews accorded to family origins and ties, this can be stated with little speculation.
The third fact of interest is that Paul had a sister and a nephew in Jerusalem at the time of his arrest:
Acts 23:16 FNT Now the son of Paul's sister having heard [of] the ambush, having arrived and having gone in to the military base, he reported [it] to Paul.
We have a fourth fact of interest in that, the day after feeding the five thousand, many of "the people" sought the Lord out on the other side of the Sea and he then entered into a discussion with them and screened them from his faithful disciples. The Beloved Disciple tells us that he did this in the synagogue at Capernaum, as already stated (Jn.6:59).
A fifth fact of interest is that Paul's founding visit to Corinth was in AD 50 or 51, and
I Corinthians, the letter in which he delivered the Lord's Supper, could have been written as early as AD 53. This was then some twenty-plus years after Jesus screened his disciples at Capernaum. That's plenty of time for the event and for the Lord's words, there uttered, to have reached Paul anywhere in the world!
Finally, let's list a sixth fact, one that I have already stated: The many disciples in Galilee, who were screened, departed believing the Lord to have been speaking literally of his flesh and his blood. That is the cause of their offense and the reason they departed. They departed (Jn.6:66) believing the Lord was speaking literally. Their offense was such that there is no reason to believe their view was corrected by those disciples who remained after the screening.
I have designated these as "facts" because they are supported by documentary evidence. Admittedly, there is some speculation in each case. Let's list these six here:
1. Paul was a founder of the church at Rome.
2. Paul's parents moved with him from Gischala, near Capernaum, to Tarsus.
3. Paul had relatives in Jerusalem, at least a sister and nephew.
4. The "screening" of John 6 was in the synagogue at Capernaum.
5. Paul instructed the Corinthians twenty-plus years after the screening.
6. The offended disciples in Capernaum departed thinking he spoke literally.
I have listed the six "facts" above to establish that we need not indulge in unreasonable speculation to conclude that Paul heard of the screening in the Synagogue in Capernaum from disaffected former disciples of the Lord and that they relayed to him the very words of the Lord that so offended the Galilean would-be disciples. This being the cause of the offense, they would never have forgotten. It is also believable (with but a little speculation) that Paul himself was among those gathered in the synagogue at Capernaum that day, along with his Gischala cousins from the town but twelve miles removed. They took the words of the Lord to be literal and never forgot them -- and so did Paul!
The difference is that Paul, unlike his "cousins," ultimately believed the words, and always understood them literally. We have now answered our first question, Where did he get it (the Eucharist)? Modern Catholics continue to go to the same source for its origin.
It was from the screening event in the Capernaum synagogue as described in John 6, not directly but from friends or relatives who were there. Now we turn to the second question.
Why Did He Institute It?
This question only Paul could answer, and if he did we have no record other than his assertion that he received it from the Lord. But if he received it as I have suggested, we still need a reason why he would have taken a second hand account of this event and gleaned from it instructions to institute the Eucharist. Our purpose now is to present factors that could have motivated Paul, and so tend to confirm that he is the source. This requires some informed speculation.
His testimony concerning himself in his early years is as follows:
Phil.3:3 FNT For we are the circumcision, the [ones] ministering in the spirit of God and boasting in Christ Jesus and not being confident in the flesh, 4 although I [might] also be having confidence in the flesh. If anyone else supposes to be confident in the flesh, I more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, from the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, Hebrew of Hebrews, according to [the] law [I am a] Pharisee, 6 concerning zeal: persecuting the assembly , concerning justness in the law: having become blameless. 7 But what [things] were gain to me, these [things] I reckon loss on account of Christ.
Acts 22:3 FNT I am [a] Jewish man, having been born in Tarsus of Kilikia, having been reared in that city, having been educated before the feet of Gamaliel in every exactness of the law from [our] fathers, being [a] zealot of God just as you all are today, . . ..
I believe him. It is of interest that he credits Gamaliel with the education that informed him of "every exactness of the law." It is this extreme devotion to the letter of the Law (of Moses) that drove him to militant persecution of the first disciples of Jesus.
His devotion to the faith of his fathers was so great as to render it impossible that he satisfy himself in the performance of the exactness of the Law. Plagued with guilt (contrary to his claim to have become blameless, Phil. 3:6 above), he came to the point described here:
Rom.7:19 FNT For I do not do [the] good that I wish, but [the] evil which I do not wish, this I practice. 20 But if I do this [thing] which I do not wish, it is no longer I working it but sin dwelling in me. 21 I find therefore the law [that] when I wish to be doing the good, that the evil is present in me. 22 For I concur with the law of God according to the inner man, 23 but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and imprisoning me in the law of sin [which] is in my members. 24 Wretched man [am ]I! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?
It was his great zeal for the Law that drove him to persecute the Way -- that he considered contrary to the Law -- while despairing of keeping it to the perfection that he demanded of himself! Doubtless he kept thinking of these words from Moses:
Deut.8:1 All the commandment which I command you this day you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.
Nehemiah 9:9 And thou didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and hear their cry at the Red Sea, 10 and didst perform signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for thou knewest that they acted insolently against our fathers; and thou didst get thee a name, as it is to this day. 11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land; and thou didst cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. 12 By a pillar of cloud thou didst lead them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. 13 Thou didst come down upon Mount Sinai, and speak with them from heaven and give them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14 and thou didst make known to them thy holy sabbath and command them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses thy servant. 15 Thou didst give them bread from heaven for their hunger and bring forth water for them from the rock for their thirst, and thou didst tell them to go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.
Paul knew all of this in his heart; we can believe he memorized these scriptures and could quote them at any moment. He understood, therefore, that the Law promised life by the keeping of it, yet for all his earnest devotion to the Law he could not keep it and, despairing of life, cried out within himself,
Wretched man that I am, Who will deliver me from the body of this death?
He remembered hearing of it -- how could he forget the offense of the Lord's words in the Capernaum Synagogue, and it all fell together so that he could no more deny it. What at first was so offensive began to look totally different. Moses promised life, but Paul found himself in the grip of death; Moses gave them bread from heaven, the manna, yet they all died, everyone who ate of it, and they died because of their failure to keep the Law by which they were tested in the wilderness. But on this, Jesus, the very one he persecuted so vigorously, was very specific:
Jn.6:29 FNT Jesus answered and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in whom that [one] has sent. 30 So they said to him: So, what sign do you work, in order that we may see and believe in you? What do you work? 31 Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness, just as it is written,
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.32 So Jesus said to them: Truly truly I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but my father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the [one] coming down from heaven and giving zoe-life to the world.
Moses did not give the bread from heaven? This became acceptable only because Paul had tried so hard, and still found himself imprisoned in a body of death! He remembered how it went from there. He remembered:
Jn.6:49 FNT Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread coming down from heaven, in order that anyone who eat of it also not die. 51 I am the zoe-living bread having come down out of heaven. If anyone eat of this bread, he will zoe-live to eternity.
That's me, Paul thought! That's me! I ate the manna, the bread of Moses, and I am in the grip of death; it promised life, but it brought death! It is Jesus whom I am persecuting who is the true bread from heaven! He is the very one who can deliver me from this body of death!
Romans 7:9 FNT But once I was zoe-living apart from the law, but the commandment having come, sin came-to-zoe-life, 10 So I was dead. And the commandment [which was] to zoe-life was found by me [to be] to death. 11 For sin, having taken opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it, killed [me].
Romans 7:24 FNT Wretched man [am ]I! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? 25 Grace to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
It was all there, every word that he needed to put his futile spiritual struggle into a clear perspective, and it -- those screening words of the Lord -- has since been recorded for us in the Fourth Gospel. There was this word:
Yes! He thought to himself, excitedly. But what must I believe? Oh, yes! Here it is:
Jn.6:40 FNT For this is the will of my father, that everyone beholding the son and believing in him have zoe-life eternal, and I will raise him up in the last day.
Jn.6:47 FNT Truly truly I say to you, the [one] believing has eternal zoe-life.
Jn.6:52 FNT So the Jews were arguing with each other saying: How is this [one] able to give to us his flesh to eat? 53 So Jesus said to them: Truly truly I say to you: unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood you do not have zoe-life in yourselves. 54 The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood has zoe-life eternal, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood abides in me and I in him."How can I eat his flesh and drink his blood? He was crucified more than twenty years ago, and placed in the tomb. But I must do it. How?"
Perhaps it was this bit of information at the beginning of John 6:
Or, perhaps it was his thorough knowledge of the Torah drawn from the teaching of Gamaliel? Perhaps it was the fact that the Passover preceded the wilderness, the manna, and the Law?
Jn.6:4 FNT Now it was near the passover, the festival of the Jews.
Something led him to this profound conclusion: Jesus was the sacrificial Paschal lamb, and he must eat this Paschal Lamb and drink his blood to live, as they ate the paschal lamb at the Passover supper once a year, and Jesus became, for Paul, that paschal lamb, his Passover.
Then, there was the bread (from heaven), the water from the rock -- all the eating and drinking that was part of the Passover celebration came together in his mind until he concluded that Jesus intended the breaking of bread and drinking of wine at the traditional Passover feast to be the key. In a great mystery, the bread and the wine, consecrated, became the flesh and blood of Christ that they must eat to live! Only by such a mystery could he eat the flesh and drink the blood of the paschal lamb. Only by such a mystery could that source of life be available to all men through the ages.
The one thing, in Paul's loss of faith in Moses, that drew his attention to the words spoken by Jesus in the Capernaum synagogue, was that Jesus had, in that place, mandated a choice between him and Moses, between his bread and the bread (manna) of Moses. Having tried Moses with his whole heart and failed -- yet bound in the bondage of death -- he turned to Jesus as the source of life. From that point, Moses' prohibition of eating flesh with the blood in it, or drinking blood, had no more effect. Moses had failed him and no more had a hold on this Pharisee of the Pharisees!
Here are Paul's words, the first recorded description of what he spoke of as "The Lord's Supper." There are two chapters relative to it in I Corinthians, 10 and 11:
I Cor.10:1 FNT For I do not want you to be being ignorant, brothers, that all our fathers were under the cloud and all passed through the sea, 2 and were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that followed [them]; now the rock was the Christ.
The spiritual food was the manna. The spiritual drink was Christ -- or a metaphor for the Christ who was to come and, as the last paschal lamb, bear the sin of many, per Isaiah! These opening verses of Chapter 10 do not specify the Eucharist, but they definitely are modeled on it -- or the Eucharist on these verses. So he created and applied Christian symbolism to Israelite history.
And yet, God was not pleased with them. Moses had failed them, just as he had failed Paul:
I Cor.10:9 FNT But with many of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Paul then warns the Corinthians not to fall back into sin as the Israelites did in the wilderness, and they were set before them as examples. If there was doubt that the Eucharist was in his mind as he wrote, we have it dispelled with we shortly come to this:
I Cor. 10:16 FNT The cup of the blessing that we bless, isn't it [the] fellowship of the body of Christ? 17 For one bread, [and] one body are we many. For we all partake from one bread.
He continues Chapter 10 with admonitions concerning eating meat offered to idols, the above having served as his introduction, for it all has to do with eating and drinking a sacrifice. We have this further specific mention of the Eucharist in Chapter 10:
I Cor.10:18 FNT Be looking to Israel according to the flesh: Aren't those eating the sacrifice sharers of the altar? 19 What therefore do I say? That [the] meat offered to idols is anything? Or that [an] idol is anything? 20 Rather [I say] that what the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to become sharers of demons. 21 You are not able to be drinking [the] cup of [the] Lord and [the] cup of demons; you are not able to be sharing the table of [the] Lord and the table of demons.
Entering into Chapter 11, we read:
I Cor.11:2 FNT Now I praise you because you remember everything of me, and just as
I have delivered up to you the traditions, you hold [them] fast.
Paul credits himself with delivering to them "the traditions." Considering that the Eucharist is foremost in his mind at this point, we know that he is taking credit for delivering to them the tradition of the Eucharist, or as he termed it, the Lord's Supper. We pick up this precise thought with verse 23, but first we see he has in mind to scold them for improper observance of the Lord's Supper.
I Cor.11:20 FNT When therefore you be coming together, it is not to eat the Lord's supper, 21 for when eating [it], each takes his own supper beforehand, and one hungers, and another is drunk. 22 Do you not have houses in which to be eating and drinking? Or do you despise the assembly of God, and shame those not having? What should I say to you, will I praise you? In this I do not praise you.
What follows is one of the "traditions" that Paul has delivered to them, as he clearly states:
I Cor.11:23 FNT For I received from the Lord what I have also delivered up to you, that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was delivered up, took bread, 24 and having given thanks he broke [it] and said: This is my body being broken in your behalf. Be doing this in my remembrance. 25 Likewise also [he took] the cup after having supped, saying: This cup is the new contract in my blood. Be doing this, as often as you be drinking, in my remembrance. 26 For as often as you be eating this bread and be drinking this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he come. 27 So whoever be eating the bread or drinking the cup unworthily, he will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let [a] man prove himself, and thus let him be eating of the bread and let him be drinking of the cup. 29 For the [one] eating and drinking unworthily eats and drinks judgment to himself, not recognizing the body of the Lord.
That's it! There you have the origin of the Eucharist. Paul, claiming to have received it from the Lord, as delivered at the screening in the Capernaum synagogue, added some creative interpretation and delivered it to the assembly at Corinth. Although we have no similar record, we can believe that he delivered it to all the churches he founded, and to those he visited but perhaps had not founded. He must also have delivered it to his disciples -- to Luke, Titus, Timothy, to Priscilla and Aquila and many, many others.
So, let us look for other motivating factors.
We begin by recalling his assertion that he was a Jew, a very zealous Pharisee of the Pharisees. Next, go back to I Corinthians 10:18, and we see this:
Be looking to Israel according to the flesh: Aren't those eating the sacrifice sharers of the altar?
It is through eating the sacrifice that the priests partook of the altar -- which represents God to whom the sacrifice was rendered. Now we have these associated ideas from the mind of Paul: the Passover, the life sustenance in the wilderness by means of the manna and the water from the rock "that was Christ," the rendering of sacrifices on the altar of the Tabernacle (later, the Temple) and the participation by eating the flesh of the sacrifice. All we need is a word from the Lord that Paul could use as a base for joining these ideas. Where can we go for this?
Back to John 6, of course. What about John 6:25-59? It is the very utterance that the Catholics cite to support their Eucharist observance and the doctrine of Transubstantiation. Of course, let me remind you again that we have already established that this utterance has no relevance to the Eucharist, but Paul doesn't know that and assumes that it is the Lord's institution of the Eucharist! It contains all the elements he needs to misassemble the component ideas. There is Passover with its sacrificial victim that the people ate in haste before leaving Egypt, there is the manna by which Moses fed them, there is the water from the rock, and there is Jesus saying:
All that was required of Paul was that he assemble his key ideas, according to John 6 as he interpreted it (and as interpreted by Christians to this day) and place it in the Jewish Passover celebration, no longer Jewish but a comparable Christian celebration modeled on the Jewish and according to Paul's misunderstanding of the event related in John 6. Jesus, in John 6, was comparing and contrasting himself as the bread from heaven with Moses, who fed the fathers in the wilderness with a bread from heaven, the manna.
Jn.6:32 FNT So Jesus said to them: Truly truly I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but my father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the [one] coming down from heaven and giving zoe-life to the world. 34 So they said to him: Lord, always give us this bread. 35 Jesus said to them: I am the bread of zoe-life; the [one] coming to me will not hunger, and the [one] believing in me will not thirst ever.
54 The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood has zoe-life eternal, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood abides in me and I in him. 57 Just as the zoe-living father sent me and I zoe-live through the father, also the [one] gnawing me will zoe-live through me. 58 This is the bread having come down out of heaven, not just as the fathers ate and died. The [one] gnawing this bread will zoe-live to eternity.
The screening event of John 6, then, is where Paul "received from the Lord" what he delivered to the church at Corinth, and to churches everywhere. As a Passover observing Jew all his life, he now had to come up with a new perception of the event, and he also desired to pass this along to his Gentile Christian disciples, so that they could have their "Passover Feast" also. We know it as the Lord's Supper, the Eucharist, Holy Communion, The Mass -- whatever!
There is extreme irony in this view of Paul's institution of the Eucharist. In Capernaum, Jesus set the screen so as to reject all disciples who did not accept his supersession of Moses. He spoke to them so that they understood him literally when he spoke of eating my flesh and drinking my blood. It worked, for the unqualified disciples departed, being unwilling to transgress Moses to follow Jesus. Then the Lord explained the metaphor to the few disciples that remained, for he did not intend to be understood literally. But when Paul learned of it, he had already lost confidence in Moses and was looking to some other source for life. Therefore he was able to accept the Lord's words as literal, which the Lord did not intend. He then created what is a reasonable interpretation for one who takes the word literally. The resulting counterfeit faith produced Christianity and has done (and is doing) more to oppose the Truth than Paul the persecutor of disciples could have done -- then or ever!
I wrote at the beginning and now again: this proves nothing. It does, however, present a plausible explanation of the Eucharist, including its source and its purpose. Come to think of it, this even provides an explanation for the existence of the Christian religion as distinct from that of Jesus of Nazareth.