1 Corinthians 11:26

What a fascinating book the Bible is. And the more fascinating it becomes over time. 

Been thinking about the regular meals of early Christians. As those outside of the traditional church, we should be able to calmly examine this divisive subject with unlimited freedom.

So divisive it has been in the past - several have lost their lives as they stood by their "sacramental" convictions.

In this famous passage above, why is the context presumed to be a "worship service"? Many in the Apostolic era had "all things in common." Regular meals together would have been natural. They specifically "ate their meat with gladness."

Another question: Why did the translators add the word "this" in the above text?

In recent news, a government official was barred from Communion. Somewhere, a magician performed a trick and said: Hocus Pocus. Somewhere a lucky car collector boasted about "finding the holy grail." And somewhere a member of the Catholic church is sitting in Mass and realizing that modern chemistry can demonstrate that the wine does not become real blood.

All that aside, it should go without saying, but unfortunately it cannot, that we are dealing with a real meal here in 1st Corinthians. Real food, real nourishment. These hungry and happy disciples would

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Replies (3)
    • Hi David.  Hope you don't mind if I make a few comments on your post.  In answer to the first question you pose, I think the I Corinthians passage is presumed to be refering to a "worship service" in part because of I Cor 11:18 which makes it clear that the context is the coming together of the group.  Personally I think it is question begging to translate ἐν ἐκκλησία as "in church" but that is how it is usually rendered.  I would prefer something more neutral like "assembly".  The other element which could be pointed to is the phrase κυριακὸν δεῖπνον φαγεῖν (1 Cor. 11:20) - which I spent some time discussing in my paper.  If this does indeed convey the meaning "Lord's Supper" then this would be another good reason for regarding this as a "worship service".  I tried to suggest that this is not necessarily the case but I am very much aware that many would disagree.   

      You comment that "many in the Apostolic era had "all things in common" " but I think it is clear from Paul's comments in I Cor that this was not the case in the Corinthian community.  Other than the early chapters of Acts, I cannot think of any other early Christian writings which seem to presume this model of community but maybe I have missed something.

      Your other question is easily answered.  The translators include "this" in I Cor 11:26 because it is in the Greek text!  The phrase is τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον.  I have checked the TR, WH, SBL, UBS and NA and they all read this.  Neither does the UBS or NA28 give the omission of the demonstrative as a textual variant so I'm not sure how the table you included in your post was derived.

      Best wishes,


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      • Hello dear Graham. What a pleasant surprise for you to drop by. Thank you for the illustrative post. Here is the link for the image. Somewhere else I thought I read that the "the" was added. (Likely for another passage - not the one here in view.)

        We just returned from North Carolina where we contracted COVID. We have no energy at all. Be back in a few days as God strengthens us. I look forward to it.

        Oh my, I thought that plague was behind us. Especially with multiple vaccinations. Worse still, our tickets tonight for Justin Hayward and Mike Dawes will need to find new owners.

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        • Hi David,

          So sorry to hear you are unwell.  Many of the people I know have had Covid (including both my sons and their families) and all have made a good recovery - although sometimes it has taken a while for the energy to come back.  Here in the UK it appears we are getting waves of cases every 3-4 months and the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants seem adept at by-passing immunity - whether by vaccination or previous infection.  At least vaccination has meant that there are far fewer deaths and incidences of very serious illness. It must be really disappointing to miss the concert - although perhaps you will make two other people very happy!  No compensation at all, but maybe have a listen to some of my latest music:


          All good wishes for a speedy recovery,


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