Lord's Supper

Lord's Supper
The last meal before his trial [[➝ trial of Jesus]] and crucifixion which Jesus held with his disciples in the Upper Room; the name derives from Paul's reference to it (1 Cor. 11).
It has been much disputed whether this meal was a Passover, as apparently assumed by the synoptists, or some sort of solemn fellowship meal (Paul's word, ‘koinonia’ in Cor. 10:16 can be translated ‘sharing’ or ‘fellowship’ or ‘communion’) which was being celebrated before the Passover. The gospel of John puts the death of Jesus at the time when the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in preparation for the meal (John 19:14, 31).
Unfortunately there is a problem about the text in the account given by Luke: 22:19b–20, which records Jesus' instruction to continue the rite, with the cup as the symbol of the new covenant: the verses are absent in certain Greek MSS. They are therefore omitted by REB; it is thought they were mistakenly introduced by an early copyist who recollected 1 Cor. 11:25. On the other hand, these words are included by NRSV and NJB, probably on the assumption that it is out of character for those MSS which have the shorter version, since they are normally given to expansion rather than omissions. Luke regards the meal as a Passover on either text. If the longer text is correct, then we have a tradition in the synoptists and Paul (there is no mention of these words in John's account of the Supper) of the meal being a Passover, now given new significance by Jesus to explain the meaning of his crucifixion on the Friday. The facts that the meal was held in Jerusalem, at night, with a group of ‘at least ten’ as the requirement went, and Luke's mention of a second cup, all give support to the view that the meal was indeed a Passover. In that case, John has made a theological point by transferring the date in order that Jesus could be shown to be the true Passover lamb [[➝ Lamb of God]] by dying at the hour of slaughter in the Temple. One tentative suggestion to reconcile the two dates is that the Last Supper was held on the Tuesday in accordance with the calendar of the sectarian book of Jubilees [[➝ Jubilees, book of]], whereas according to the official calendar the Passover meal was held on the Friday evening, shortly after the crucifixion.
The celebration of the Lord's Supper, or Eucharist (‘thanksgiving’) was at first attached to a common meal, at which there were some irregularities (1 Cor. 11). Social differences were exaggerated rather than diminished. So Paul argues that insensitivity to other members of the Body was a violation of the new covenant effected through Christ's death. The Lord's Supper must be a real bonding not an occasion of division (1 Cor. 10:17).

Dictionary of the Bible.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lord's Supper — n. 1. LAST SUPPER 2. EUCHARIST …   English World dictionary

  • Lord's Supper —    No more contentious issue emerged among 16th century Protestant reformers than that of the sacraments, those ceremonial events designed to serve as a sign of God s presence and confirmation of his promises in Jesus Christ to the community of… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Lord's Supper — noun 1. a Christian sacrament commemorating the Last Supper by consecrating bread and wine (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑Holy Eucharist, ↑Eucharist, ↑sacrament of the Eucharist, ↑Holy Sacrament, ↑Liturgy, ↑Eucharistic liturgy …   Useful english dictionary

  • Lord's Supper — The Lord s Supper may refer to:*Eucharist, a rite in Christianity*The Last Supper, the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples.ee also*The Last Supper (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Lord's Supper —    Because the Eucharist is a commemoration of the Last Supper Jesus celebrated with his disciples prior to his Passion and death, it is sometimes called the Lord s Supper. (See CCC 610 611, 1340) …   Glossary of theological terms

  • Lord's Supper —    (1 Cor. 11:20), called also the Lord s table (10:21), communion, cup of blessing (10:16), and breaking of bread (Acts 2:42).    In the early Church it was called also eucharist, or giving of thanks (comp. Matt. 26:27), and generally by the… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Lord's Supper — Lord s′ Sup′per n. the, 1) rel Eucharist 2) rel Last Supper …   From formal English to slang

  • Lord's Supper — Lord s Sup|per, the another name for the ↑Eucharist …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Lord's Supper, The —    (See Holy Communion.)    In regard to the use of the words Lord s Supper as a name for the Holy Communion, we reproduce the following from The Annotated Prayer Book, which is worth considering: The term (the Lord s Supper) is borrowed from 1… …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Lord's Supper — 1. the sacrament in commemoration of the Last Supper; communion; Mass; Eucharist. 2. See Last Supper. [1350 1400; ME] * * * …   Universalium

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