Acts 2:42-43, Part 2 (Life in the Jerusalem Church of Christ)

“The breaking of bread”

To “break bread” was a common idiom for a shared meal, the emphasis being on the sharing. The host would take the bread, break it into pieces, and distribute the bread among the participants. A close analogy would be the ceremonial carving of the turkey at Thanksgiving, where the father carves the meat and distributes it.

Thus, to “break bread” is to exercise hospitality, inviting guests to your table to share food and fellowship.

But in Luke-Acts, Luke gives a nearly sacramental sense to the phrase, seeing the breaking of bread of symbolic of something even deeper and richer.

(Luke 9:16 ESV) And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.

The feeding of the 5,000 is one of only three events recorded in all four Gospels — the other two being the baptism of Jesus and the Passion (death, burial, resurrection). The symbolism of Jesus as giver of food takes us back to the Exodus and God as giver of manna. It also anticipates the coming of the Kingdom, as a common image of the Kingdom is a share table —

(Isa 25:6-9 ESV) 6 On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7 And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. 9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

(Isa 55:1-2 ESV) “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”

(Jer 31:13-14 ESV) 13 Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. 14 I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the LORD.”

(Luke 14:12-24 ESV) 12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'”

(Rev 19:9 ESV) 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Thus, we have a narrative winding through the scriptures. God feeds Israel in the desert. God promises that in the Kingdom, his people will be well fed. Jesus then feeds the 5,000 — based on the shared gift of a single meal. He takes an inadequate supply of food and makes it more than adequate.

In Acts 2, the disciples all share their meals. “All things in common” includes eating together and sharing food. They were well provided for, on God’s mountain, by virtue of the generosity of God’s people.

This sharing of food anticipates the great wedding feast at the end of time, when God will feed us all. You see, eating together — by sharing resources — anticipates heaven itself.

But there’s more.

(Luk 22:19 ESV) And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

(Luk 24:30 ESV) When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.

(Luk 24:35 ESV) Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

(Act 2:46-47 ESV) 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

(Act 20:7 ESV) 7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.

(Act 20:11 ESV) 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed.

(Act 27:34-36 ESV) 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.

It’s regularly assumed that “break bread” in Acts 20 is a reference to the Lord’s Supper, as Paul’s missionary group waited until Sunday to break bread. And yet Acts 2:46-47 appears to refer to a meal, since the breaking of bread involved receiving food with generous hearts. That would hardly make sense for a token, symbolic meal. Just so, “break bread” in Acts 27 is a reference to a meal: “ate some food.” Acts 20:11 refers to Paul breaking bread and eating — hardly the language of a mere symbolic meal of grape juice and matzos crackers.

Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper at a Passover meal, which was, of course, a meal. The old argument that we can’t “add fried chicken to the Lord’s Supper” assumes that the Lord’s Supper was originally celebrated as we do — as a symbolic meal. But the early church took the Lord’s Supper as part of a common meal, which later came to be called the ἀγάπη (agapē) or love feast (1 Pet 2:13; Jude 12).

We have to remember that bread and wine were standard elements of a First Century Palestinian meal. Jesus didn’t so much call for a symbolic meal in his honor as a common meal in which the central elements were taken in remembrance of him.

Thus, the practice of many house churches and small groups of taking a common meal in which bread and wine (or grape juice) are served in memory of Jesus comes very close to the original practice.

Indeed, we see in Acts 2:46 that the disciples broke bread in their homes — that is, they had a 30 or fewer fellow believers into their homes to eat a meal in honor of Jesus, in which the bread and wine carried particular significance — not only the death of Jesus but also the anticipation of a life together with Jesus after he returns in which we’d all eat together and with Jesus — where Jesus himself breaks the bread.

First Century Jews and Greeks lived in very modest homes. A house might hold at most 30 people — and often far fewer. Often meals had to be taken outdoors, to accommodate the numbers.

Archaeologists have found Second Century Christian homes modified to accommodate a group of up to 70. But shortly following Pentecost, the 3,000 members would have met in no fewer than 100 houses, and likely more.

That means over 100 families would have to clean house and host visitors for a meal. Six days of the week were work days. Assuming they met in houses at least weekly, on a Sunday (but Luke doesn’t say), they hosted the evening meal, after work. Sunday was a work day!

Then teachers moved from house to house to offer instructions about Jesus. And because they met together in homes, they grew together and formed an intense love for each other — a love that led to the sharing with those in need.


  • How do this view of the Lord’s Supper differ from the conventional view?
  • What would happen if we took the Lord’s Supper as part of a common meal? Would it be better? How would the impact differ?
  • Is this something that should be done through small groups? What if we did it in small groups instead of the assembly? What if we did both? Any problem with two eucharists in one day?
  • What if we take the Lord’s Supper on Saturday night? Sunday evening? Depending on whether you follow the Jewish calendar (day begins at sundown) or Greek (day begins at midnight), Saturday night could be considered the first day, but if it is, Sunday night is not! Is that a problem?
  • How often do you suppose the Jerusalem church took bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus?
  • What are some practical ways to replicate the First Century meaning of the Lord’s Supper today?
  • Does it bother you that the early church took communion with a meal? Could we do that? Would it be better?
  • What does a meal symbolize? Why a meal?

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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30 Responses to Acts 2:42-43, Part 2 (Life in the Jerusalem Church of Christ)

  1. Price says:

    I understand that the wine was the “fried chicken” of the Passover… That God never mentioned it in His instructions for the Passover would require the CENI people to reject it… It was added without divine instruction much later by the Rabbi’s… several glasses representing different symbolism… Rather than reject it, Jesus drinks the wine and then changes the symbolism…

    Question… has the substitution of “grape juice” always been considered appropriate or was it a moral issue for a specific era that caught on in some sects ?? The argument that wine wasn’t really wine has always failed to be very convincing… I don’t see much difference from arbitrarily deciding that wine isn’t really supposed to be used from that of deciding to add cheese with the crackers…

  2. Laymond says:

    Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper at a Passover meal, which was, of course, a meal. The old argument that we can’t “add fried chicken to the Lord’s Supper” assumes that the Lord’s Supper was originally celebrated as we do — as a symbolic meal.
    ■What would happen if we took the Lord’s Supper as part of a common meal? Would it be better? How would the impact differ?

    I will tell you one thing, if you served steak and lobster with baked potato, you would get a bigger crowd. that way you could have either red, or white wine.

  3. Todd Collier says:

    Prior to the 19th century development of industrial pasteurization grape juice (as such) would only be available while grapes were in season. For all of prior church history when they weren’t in season wine would have to be used. As Passover was held in the early Spring there is no doubt that the cups commemorated in the feast contained wine, not juice. We use juice thanks to pasteurization and the unbelievable success of a fanatical 19th century temperance movement hat pretty much swept every corner of the American religious scene and the influence of which is only now slowly falling away.

    I was raised on a story that the Greeks reduced wine to a nonalcoholic jelly or paste to reconstitute later into a table drink – somewhat like 1st century kool-aid. In researching this however it appears to be a convenient myth – yes, another one, what a shock.

    What was interesting as I was nosing around was the large number of articles using CENI to arrive at the conclusion that using juice instead of wine is an innovation and therefore does not fulfill the Scriptural reuiremens for proper communion. Apparently is the Spirit had meant non-alcoholic juice He would have used the Greek word “trux.” That word appears no where in the text.

    Paul gets onto the rich members of the Corinthian church because in not waiting for their poorer brothers and sisters they are eating their fill and getting drunk off the Lord’s Supper. This is an utter impossibility if the wine is unfermented and we are just looking at a few crackers for the “meal.”

  4. Charles McLean says:

    I would compare the Jerusalem church with a 2012 3000 member mega-church. I would, that is, if there were enough functional similarities to form a legitimate comparison. This is not to say that today’s 3000 believers should walk, talk, eat, and smell like the 3000 believers back then. But I think it would be a great idea to review just how and why we have morphed into what we look like now.

  5. Tim Archer says:

    Price beat me to the punch. Isn’t interesting how easily we can substitute grape juice for wine, both in our practice and our speech?

    It was John Mark Hicks (in his Come To The Table) who first opened my eyes to our inconsistencies regarding the interpretation of Acts 2:42 and 2:46. I can no longer defend the idea that one refers to the Lord’s Supper and the other a mere “common meal.”

    I think the earliest church, that of Jerusalem in Acts 2, took the Lord’s Supper daily.

  6. John says:

    I agree, Tim. They were daily breaking bread with Christ and each other.

    And Todd, very good observations and thoughts. I like to get a chuckle from someone else’s thinking. A little personal note to go along with that; when I was a child we would visit my grandparents who lived in the hills of Alabama. The little congregation where my grandmother attended used wine that was made by one of the other sisters. Some stout stuff. But we still worshiped. No one got out of control.

    On a serious note, eating together means accepting one another. The Lord’s Supper becoming an “act of worhip” lost that meaning. So, lets look at it just a little more radical. Jesus ate and drank with the tax collectors and sinners. You can’t make communion more open than that.

  7. Grizz says:

    Hooray for all the open comments. Does this mean we will be reading soon of the restoration of this practice among the churches of Christ? (Why do I doubt it?)

    Sounds like bad news for all of those books on communion devotions, though. On a more positive note, maybe this means we get to finally let our women and young ladies take part in passing the wine pitchers around. BTW, does this mean we all have to drink or eat the bread at the same time? Or do we get to each remember the Lord with each bite and each sip?

    What a wry smile is on my face right now!


  8. Randall says:

    Jerusalem Church of Christ – no doubt that is how those that were there referred to it. 😉

    Would a Cabernet be most appropriate or would any red wine do. I

  9. Randall says:

    Jerusalem Church of Christ – no doubt that is how those that were there referred to it. 😉

    Would a Cabernet be most appropriate or would any red wine do? I am guessing a white wine might be least appropriate.

  10. aBasnar says:

    This post, Jay, spoke from my heart! All who are truly CENI-people should take the pattern of the Jerusalem church very seriously 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Enjoy your meal(s)

  11. Todd Collier says:

    We have partaken of communion in a small group setting in a couple of different ways. Some are no different from what you would experience in a larger group on Sunday AM. One thing we have done though really connected. We blessed and distributed half sheets of matzoh and solo cups of grape juice. Then we ate and drank together as we went around the room thanking God for our blessings in Christ and making specific requests as to how we could each be a better part of His Body. Still a far cry from the full love feast, but much more centered on the Body of Christ.

  12. Norton says:

    There is little doubt in my mind that the Lord’s Supper was observed by the very early church along with a common meal. But is Paul, in I Corinthians, trying to point the Corinthian church toward a more formal and ritualized way to do it? He recounts the way Jesus and the Twelve first observed it. and by that, seems to be implying, “That’s the way it should be done”. If someone is hunting for a “pattern of worship”, maybe you have part of one right there. Even though Paul is correcting an extreme of informality in I Cor, he still seems to make the Lord’s Supper into, at least, a semi-formal, after-dinner rite.

  13. aBasnar says:

    The term “The Lord’s Supper” is found only (!) in 1Co 11. The word Supper in Greek really means the main meal of the day (late afternoon or evening) – such as supper has the same meaning. That’s not a coincidence – it should be a real meal, it was intended to be a real meal. Hence the possibility to abuse it! The problem was the relationship between the rich and the poor (beside the other divisions): The poor had to work longer (until sunset) until they could make it to the assembly, while the rich ones could come together earlier. And they started the supper without waiting for the others. That’s what Paul adresses in this chapter! He is not calling for more “ritual” but for more love and unity.

    I have heard that some contend that Paul “condemns” eating together in this passage: Nothing could be further from the truth! If that were the case he could not use the term “Lord’s Supper” but could have sticked with “breaking the bread”. But that he uses “Lord’s Supper” confirms that he also viewed it as a full meal not just as a symbolic one.


  14. Tim Archer says:

    The corrective given in 1 Corinthians 11 is “wait for one another.” There is nothing about Paul’s description of how Jesus and the apostles took the Supper that leads to “a more formal and ritualized way.”

    The problem wasn’t the meal. The problem was not waiting for one another.

    Grace and peace,

  15. Charles McLean says:

    Tim, indeed waiting on one another is not a matter of formality but of consideration and love. I have taught this lesson many times to my children at our own dinner table, which remains far from a formal setting.

    Sometimes I think we s-t-r-e-t-c-h simple things in the text, trying to make them r-e-a-c-h all the way to our own established traditions.

  16. Charles McLean says:

    Todd, I was involved in a communion meal much like what you describe, and it remains the most powerful I have ever witnessed. People circulated around the room, sharing the bread and wine that they had. I had shared with several folks all that was on my little plate when a couple of friends approached me to share the bread and wine. I looked at my empty plate and said, “I don’t have anything to give YOU.”

    One friend smiled broadly and said, “I kinda think that’s the whole point…”

  17. Todd Collier says:

    Charles, Wow! Wish I had been there. So looking forward to the Lord’s supper that awaits us when He takes us home.

  18. Norton says:

    I suppose there is room for argument about how detailed and precise a procedure must be before it is called formal or described as a rite. I maintain that Paul in I Cor is instructing the church to establish an orderly method for speaking in tongues, prophecying, singing, and observing the Lord’s Supper so that there will be unity, consideration for one another, and edification for all.

    Paul had already mentioned the “cup for which we give thanks” in chapter 10, indicating that there was an estabished procedure in the churches for observing the Supper which followed the example of Jesus giving thanks over the bread and cup. All rituals are not empty and all formalities are not “just formalities” They only become that way when we fail to recognize the meanings behind them.

    Let us not become so “evangelical” that we are afraid of the word “ritual”.

  19. aBasnar says:

    Formalism? Ritual? We give thanks before every meal, don’t we (except for snacks maybe). Each time we sit at the table to eat together we have a “eucharist” – a thanksgiving. In our family we also close our meals with prayer. Breaking the bread started the meal back then, and so – in a Christian fellowship meal – isn’t it natural to combine the thanksgiving for the natural food with the thanksgiving for the Spiritual food?

    A Christian assembly was at first a meal, a banquet. Everything else was built into this setting. The Lord’s Supper wasn’t just the bread and the wine, but the bread and the wine that were natural elements of the meal changed their meaning, which sanctified the whole meal. In the course of the meal there were “spiritual table talks”, that’s also a place where prophecy was practiced, and people were edified. Some concersations were just with the one beside you, other across the table, some may have involved the whole fellowship. It was a relaxed and happy atmosphere, far from the silence and solemnity of our “memorials”. After the meal was finished, fellowship continued in song, prayer and teaching – sometimes until and beyond midnight (reminder: Christian assemblies started after work was done, Sunday was a workday).

    You get some glimpses of this in the NT, such as in Acts 2:43-47 or in Acts 20:7-11 or in 1Co 11:20-34. More details are found in the ECF, such as the kind of prayers and the simple liturgy before and after the meal in the Didache (1st century – so there were some formes they observed), or the vivid description of the love feast in Tertullian’s apology (around 200 AD).

    But all this is theory and nostalgia unless you step out of your church-traditions and simply do it. From my experience there is no more wholesome way for a Chrsitian assembly, nourishing our soul, body and spirit.


  20. Tim Archer says:


    I appreciate your concern about rejection of all things “ritual.” At the same time, I think you’re making too much of Paul’s description.

    Consider this passage of Scripture: “After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.” You may or may not recognize that as Acts 27:35, when Paul was trying to get everyone on the boat to eat. Hard to imagine Paul enacting a ritual at a moment like that. It seems to be a fairly common description of what Christians did when eating.

    Similar wording is used when Jesus feeds the 5000 and when he eats with the disciples he met on the road to Emmaus. You may see those moments as “formal and ritualized”; I see them as normal times of sharing a meal.

    Like 1 Corinthians 11.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  21. A brother wrote: * Even though Paul is correcting an extreme of informality in I Cor, he still seems to make the Lord’s Supper into, at least, a semi-formal, after-dinner rite.* I have to agree with others who point out that Paul was correcting something other than “an extreme of informality” in writing to Corinthian Christians. As I read the correction passages I see not one word to suggest that Paul was promoting “a semi-formal, after-dinner rite.” Not in the slightest. He was urging true fellowship based on all loving one another and sharing freely with one another. And this throughout the letter, not just in relation to their eating together. — Ray Downen.

  22. Norton says:

    Many of you who think in various different ways disagree with my view of the Lord’s Supper, so I take that as a que that maybe I do need to reexamine my views on the matter. It is not so hard to step away from the traditional views of one denomination to take a different look, but to step away from 1800 years of Christian tradition, both Catholic and Protestant is very hard. All mainstream denominations have viewed the Lord’s Supper as a symbolic church ordinance, ceremony, rite, ritual, sacrament, or something similar to that. We know that the Catholic Church mystified it and influenced Protestant thought, but I would find it unusual if so many theologians, including those with antipathy toward the Catholic Church, got it all wrong. Usually, I find that what makes Biblical sense to me, can be picked from widespread common ground among various denominations. But, perhaps some groups like the Quakers did get it right and the others got it wrong. I will do some more thinking. Thanks for the comments.

  23. Regarding the bread and wine vice fish and water or fried chicken and Coca Cola or whatever…

    How would Eskimo Christians have bread and wine in the Arctic Circle in the 1800s? Same question for Christians who live in areas where neither wheat nor grapes grow.

  24. Tim Archer says:


    I appreciate and respect your attitude. I want to clarify: I’m not denying a ritual aspect to the Supper. There is some “ritual” to it, or it would merely be that every time we eat bread and drink wine that’s the Supper. (Not that most church members in the U.S. are in danger of drinking wine any time soon! 😉

    I’m disagreeing with your affirmation that Paul was making that correction in 1 Corinthians 11, specifically in verses 23-26.

    Grace and peace,

  25. Todd Collier says:

    Alexander (our virtually resident ECF expert), In my depleted memory I carry a factoid that somewhere in the mid to late 2nd century the “supper” part of the Lord’s Supper was jetisoned because the issues Paul brought up in 1 Cor. could not or had not been corrected. Is my chemo ravaged memory accurate and if so who wrote about it?
    The reason I am bringing it up is Norton talks about 1800 years of Christian tradition and he is correct – but if my memory is doing its job properly it is 1800 years of tradition and not 1950 (or so). There was a determined change moving away from the original tradition replacing it with the ritual of the Mass.

  26. Todd Collier says:

    Never mind my dear Alexander, I have answered my own question. Canon 28 of the Council of Laodicea specifically forbade the “love feast” inside of church buildings. (@ 350AD – we aren’t sure.) So for faithfulness to the Catholic model the anti-kitchen folks win the prize. It should also be noted that this Synod also forbade female elders (Canon 11), stated that subdeacons – let alone common members – may not touch the bread or cup (Canon 25) and it is forbidden to buy Matzoh baked by a Jewish firm (Canon 38). Oh and Canon 55 says we can’t play “quarters” or “pong.”

    Sigh and alas, so much for the life of a cleric

  27. aBasnar says:

    Yes, Todd, some thing changed earlier, some later. Infant baptism was introduced in the late 2nd century already. Somewhere in the 2nd century, though most likely not everywhere at the same time, the eucharist was separated from the love feast (taken early in the morning, while the love feast was at night). Around that time tendencies are noticable that “mystified” the eucharist.

    Of course tha canons of Nicea mark a major turning point. And now that Constantine sponsored the builing of “Christian Temples” and compelled all Romans to become Christians, the whole nature and procedure of Christian assemblies changed dramatically.

    What adds to our confusion: Most (if not all) Reformers went back no further than Augustin and sticked to the Constantinian system; and most Restorationists – even though going farther back – kept the Reformed patterns of worship. That’s why the ECF so often are quite disturbing to our views …


  28. Todd Collier says:

    It is amazing how rapidly certain changes take place – already by the time of Clement (90’sAD) we see a move to “authoritarian” elders and within another generation presiding bishops and single local leaders, within another generation we have a clergy/laity distinction. This all happened very fast. Nicea two hundred years later is not so much adopting new methods as it was approving and making uniform practice the dominant forms in existence and giving them the force of Imperial authority.

    It makes me come to some uncomfortable conclusions about how the ECF’s viewed Scripture. When using it for issues of life and apologetics they have a very high view of the authority of the text. When they are considering the practice of the Church – the way you set it up and run it so to speak – they are much more likely to pick and choose carefully what they quote or to distort the meaning of what had been written.
    Now it may be that at this time the “leadership” of the Church was responding to the great dangers facing the Church – heresy within and persecution without – and felt that a stronger, more streamlined leadership system was necessary but for whatever reason it is obvious that very quickly after the apostles passed from the scene their disciples abandoned the loose local eldership model for a more “catholic” view of authority. And in the wake of this change others followed which removed the “faith” from the hands of the people and placed it permanently in the hands of the professional priesthood.

  29. Norton says:


    Thanks for the kind words. I agree that Paul in I Cor 11: 23-26 does not plainly and explicitly tell the church to copy the example of Jesus and the apostles in his account of the Last Supper. I take part of my reasoning from Jesus’ words in the account, “this cup”. Which cup? One or, God forbid, all seven cups of wine a person may drink during the love feast? I take it mean the cup consecrated by the giving of thanks. By eating ”this” bread and drinking “this” cup, you “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes”. Technically, I suppose we could give thanks over a whole barrel of wine before it is divided out and all the wine a person may drink during that assembly would be “this” cup, but Paul is not dealing with technicalities. I think Paul is advocating a ceremonial (with sincerity) giving of thanks over some part of the bread and wine at the love feast, to draw people in one mind to “view” the covenant, sealed in blood, we have with God through Christ. This would help solve some of the problems the church was experiencing with late comers, early comers, cliques, and such.

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