Barry Newman's Blog

April 26, 2012

A Table of the Lord (part VII)

“A table of the Lord” in 1 Corinthinas 10: 21 (continued)

Contrary to the views outlined so far, the position adopted in this blog series is that “table” is indeed a reference to a meal but that it is not a meal in any way to be associated with a celebration of “the Lord’s Supper” or the like.

I have argued in previous blog series that chapters 8 to 10 of 1 Corinthians reveal Paul’s concern that the believers not knowingly eating meat offered to idols in various settings.  He was concerned that they should not participate in meals as though one could be both an idolater, a worshipper of other gods, at least in the eyes of others, if not oneself, and also a believer in the one true God. In this connection we should note that the drinking of wine receives an explicit mention twice in these chapters as it formed an important part of any Graeco-Roman formal meal and meals in general. See below.

I maintain that one should sift through the various features of these chapters keeping in mind both the eating of meat or any goods associated with idol worship and the drinking of wine in toasting. Eating and drinking in any way which knowingly connected one to the gods either from one’s own point of view or from that of others is the binding context, not matters associated with the Last Passover Meal. That is, one should not automatically expect to see a reference to a celebration of “the Lord’s Supper” or similar, in whatever form, in verse 21 of chapter 10.

It should be noted that leading the way in the concluding verses of chapter 10 is the summary statement, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  Simple eating or drinking in various settings is in mind.

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