Barry Newman's Blog

September 27, 2009

Christ Centred Communion (part VII)

Filed under: Christ Centred Communion,Christian Community Meals — barrynewman @ 11:19 pm

The Occurrence of Christian Corinthian Community Meals

Twice in chapter 11 Paul refers to the custom of “coming together to eat” (1 Cor. 11: 20, 33).  As suggested above, the Corinthians probably did this once a week and probably on the first day of the week (1 Cor. 16: 2). The Christians at Troas met on the first day of the week as mentioned earlier and that also may have been customary.  Why the first day of the week?  We cannot be sure.  However, John in the book of Revelation refers to the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10), and we assume that that was the first day of the week.  Perhaps the first day of the week became important and referred to as the Lord’s Day because it was on that day of the week that Jesus came back from the world of the dead.  However, we need to remember that nowhere in the New Testament is there a commandment for Christians to come together once a week to share a meal or that the day of the meal has to be the first day of the week.  The Christians seemed to have decided upon that custom themselves.  What is obvious is that when Christians did congregate they sometimes did so to share a meal.

Today Christians commonly call something akin to the meal that the Corinthians shared, the Lord’s Supper, the term that Paul seems to use in his letter to them (1 Cor. 11: 20).  However, the term, “The Lord’s Supper” only appears in this one text.  Was this Corinthian meal associated with a ceremony that was reflective of the Last Passover Meal?  Was the ceremony held at the end of the meal, but both meal and the ceremony referred to as the Lord’s Supper?  Was the ceremony very much part of the meal?  Was the meal mainly or entirely conducted as a ceremony?  Was this ceremony considered a rite? Was it a meal conducted without a religious ceremony? What was really happening at this Corinthian meal?

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