Barry Newman's Blog

October 31, 2012

The Sacraments (part XIV)

Filed under: The Sacraments — barrynewman @ 9:28 pm

Re: Acts 2: 42

The relevant phrase is: “And they continued steadfastly in … the breaking of bread.”  This phrase and other similar ones to be found in the New Testament were studied at length in a previous blog series.  Suffice it to say that there are 11 references to “bread” in connection with “break” in the New Testament outside of references to the feeding of the 5, 000 and the 4, 000 and there is no evidence that a technical phrase is being used on any occasion. “Breaking bread” either refers to just that or perhaps in some instances to a simple meal as a whole, as a short hand way of saying that.  As mentioned above, bread was an important part of most meals especially simple meals. The text of Acts 2: 42 and some other texts in Acts refer to the extraordinary reality of early believers from different backgrounds often coming together to share simple meals.  As this text makes clear, on these occasions, they focussed on the teaching of the apostles, they shared a common bound – they were in fellowship with each other, eating a simple meal together, and praying together.  That the text refers to their participating in something akin to “the Lord’s Supper” necessitates building such a notion into the text.


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