Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thoughts On 1 Corinthians 11:17-34: The Lord's Supper

The following notes about the Lord's Supper are from my sermon/teaching on 1 Corinthians 8-14 and the Church: Unity, Edification and Love I gave October 11 & 18 at the Sunday morning fellowship meeting at The Hydrant Cafe in Denton. A future teaching or post on my understanding of the meaning and practice of the Lord's Supper will examinine all the relevant texts, not just 1 Corinthians 11.

To recap from October 11, read Ephesians 4 and also Romans 14:1-15:13.

The principles:
  • Christ is the fullness. The church is to mature and grow up into Him in all aspects.
  • The body is one, but it has many members.
  • Christ has measured out gifts to each and all.
  • Each member contributes to the body's growing up and building (up) of itself in love.
  • Christ as the Head supplies what the body needs for its growth Christ-ward as each member, according to the proper operation and working of each member by the grace which Christ has given it, works together with all the other members (with whom it is joined) to build up the body in love.
  • One's liberty is to be balanced by one's obligation to the welfare and well-being of the other.
With respect to the specific example of eating meat sacrificed to idols, Paul warns the church members not to let their freedom and behavior be or become a stumbling block or cause of offense to others, nor should they rest assured that they themselves are immune to stumbling – in fact, one's own stumbling can be a result of a misguided sense of spiritual superiority and independence and freedom that causes one to treat others in the body wrongly. Paul explains that even though ALL the Israelites ate THE SAME spiritual food and ALL the Israelites drank THE SAME spiritual drink, not ALL of them were protected or prevented from falling. Paul might even be saying that the spiritual food and drink the Israelites partook of was THE SAME thing that Christians partake of at the Lord's Table, for he says that the Israelites were drinking from Christ, and that they tested/tempted the Christ in the wilderness. So, how does the Lord's Supper fit into this? Here is a possible translation of 1 Corinthians 11:17-34:
  • Note the repetition in this passage of "coming together [in/as a church]." Paul uses similar wording in 1 Corinthians 14:23,26, which suggests a close relationship between assembling for the Lord's Supper and assembling for worship in terms of when these occasions occur and the proper behavior of the members toward each other during such gatherings.
  • Also note the interplay of -κρίνω (to judge)/κρίμα (judgment) words in 11:29-34.
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17 Τοῦτο δὲ παραγγέλλων οὐκ ἐπαινῶ ὅτι οὐκ εἰς τὸ κρεῖσσον ἀλλὰ εἰς τὸ ἧσσον συνέρχεσθε. 17 Now in commanding this, I don't praise you, because your coming together isn't for the better, but for the worse.
18 πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ συνερχομένων ὑμῶν ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀκούω σχίσματα ἐν ὑμῖν ὑπάρχειν καὶ μέρος τι πιστεύω. 18 For I hear that when you come together in church, there are divisions among you, and I partly believe it.
19 δεῖ γὰρ καὶ αἱρέσεις ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι, ἵνα [καὶ] οἱ δόκιμοι φανεροὶ γένωνται ἐν ὑμῖν. 19 For there must be factions among you, so that those who are proven (or tested) may be seen among you.
20 Συνερχομένων οὖν ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ οὐκ ἔστιν κυριακὸν δεῖπνον φαγεῖν· 20 So when you come together [in one place], it's not to eat a "Lord's" supper;
21 ἕκαστος γὰρ τὸ ἴδιον δεῖπνον προλαμβάνει ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν, καὶ ὃς μὲν πεινᾷ ὃς δὲ μεθύει. 21 For each person grabs and eats his own supper first, and some end up hungry and others get drunk.
22 μὴ γὰρ οἰκίας οὐκ ἔχετε εἰς τὸ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν; ἢ τῆς ἐκκλησίας τοῦ θεοῦ καταφρονεῖτε, καὶ καταισχύνετε τοὺς μὴ ἔχοντας; τί εἴπω ὑμῖν; ἐπαινέσω ὑμᾶς; ἐν τούτῳ οὐκ ἐπαινῶ. 22 It's not like you don't have your own houses to eat and drink in! Or do you look down on the assembly of God's people, and shame those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I will not praise you in this.
23 Ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου, ὃ καὶ παρέδωκα ὑμῖν, ὅτι ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ᾗ παρεδίδετο ἔλαβεν ἄρτον 23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed over to you, that: the Lord Jesus, in the night in which He was being handed over, took the loaf of bread
24 καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ εἶπεν· τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ σῶμα τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. 24 and, giving thanks to God, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you. Do this for My remembrance."
25 ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι λέγων· τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε, ὁσάκις ἐὰν πίνητε, εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. 25 And He likewise also took the cup after the supper, saying, "This cup is the New Agreement made and sealed by My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, for My remembrance."
26 ὁσάκις γὰρ ἐὰν ἐσθίητε τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον καὶ τὸ ποτήριον πίνητε, τὸν θάνατον τοῦ κυρίου καταγγέλλετε ἄχρι οὗ ἔλθῃ. 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.
27 Ὥστε ὃς ἂν ἐσθίῃ τὸν ἄρτον ἢ πίνῃ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ κυρίου ἀναξίως, ἔνοχος ἔσται τοῦ σώματος καὶ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ κυρίου. 27 Thus, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be liable for (ἔνοχος)* the body and the blood of the Lord (i.e., as if responsible for the death of the Lord, or the penalty thereof?).
28 δοκιμαζέτω δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἑαυτὸν καὶ οὕτως ἐκ τοῦ ἄρτου ἐσθιέτω καὶ ἐκ τοῦ ποτηρίου πινέτω· 28 So a person should prove (test, examine) (δοκιμάζω)** himself, and after that eat from the bread and drink from the cup.
29 ὁ γὰρ ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων κρίμα ἑαυτῷ ἐσθίει καὶ πίνει μὴ διακρίνων τὸ σῶμα. 29 For he who eats and drinks without discerning (διακρίνω)*** the body eats and drinks judgment (κρίμα) to himself.
30 διὰ τοῦτο ἐν ὑμῖν πολλοὶ ἀσθενεῖς καὶ ἄρρωστοι καὶ κοιμῶνται ἱκανοί. 30 For this reason there are among you many who are weak and sick, and some have fallen asleep (i.e., died).
31 εἰ δὲ ἑαυτοὺς διεκρίνομεν, οὐκ ἂν κρινόμεθα· 31 But if we were discerning (διακρίνω) ourselves, we would not be being judged (κρίνω).
32 κρινόμενοι δὲ ὑπὸ [τοῦ] κυρίου παιδευόμεθα, ἵνα μὴ σὺν τῷ κόσμῳ κατακριθῶμεν. 32 But when we are judged (κρίνω) by the Lord, we are being disciplined (or: educated, corrected, given guidance) so that we will not be condemned (κατακρίνω) with the world.
33 Ὥστε, ἀδελφοί μου, συνερχόμενοι εἰς τὸ φαγεῖν ἀλλήλους ἐκδέχεσθε. 33 Thus, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for each other before you begin.
34 εἴ τις πεινᾷ, ἐν οἴκῳ ἐσθιέτω, ἵνα μὴ εἰς κρίμα συνέρχησθε. τὰ δὲ λοιπὰ ὡς ἂν ἔλθω διατάξομαι. 34 If someone is hungry, he should eat in his own house, so that your coming together doesn't result in judgment (κρίμα). And I will arrange the remaining things when I come.
* See the list of ἔνοχος in the Bible and the list of its translations in Josephus, Philo and The Apostolic Fathers (below).

** See the list of translations of δοκιμάζω in Josephus, Philo and The Apostolic Fathers (below).

*** See the list of translations of διακρίνω in Josephus, Philo and The Apostolic Fathers (below).

* ἔνοχος in the Bible

ἔνοχος, ον literally held fast in, caught in; (1) of spiritual bondage subject to, held in, under the control of (HE 2.15); (2) as a legal technical term, with the genitive denoting the guilt or punishment guilty of (MK 3.29); liable to, answerable to (MT 5.22a, b); deserving of (MT 5.22c; 26.66); (3) with the genitive denoting what one has transgressed against guilty of doing wrong against (1C 11.27); of law guilty of violating or disobeying (JA 2.10) Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. (2000). Vol. 4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament library (152). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

New Testament
Matthew 5:21 Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη τοῖς ἀρχαίοις• οὐ φονεύσεις• ὃς δʼ ἂν φονεύσῃ, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει. 21 "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.'
Matthew 5:22 ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει• ὃς δʼ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ• ῥακά, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ• ὃς δʼ ἂν εἴπῃ• μωρέ, ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός. 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire.
Matthew 26:66 τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ; οἱ δὲ ἀποκριθέντες εἶπαν• ἔνοχος θανάτου ἐστίν. 66 What is your verdict?" They answered, "He deserves death."
Mark 3:29 ὃς δʼ ἂν βλασφημήσῃ εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ἀλλὰ ἔνοχός ἐστιν αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος. 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"—
Mark 14:64 ἠκούσατε τῆς βλασφημίας• τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται; οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου. 64 You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?" All of them condemned him as deserving death.
1 Corinthians 11:27 Ὥστε ὃς ἂν ἐσθίῃ τὸν ἄρτον ἢ πίνῃ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ κυρίου ἀναξίως, ἔνοχος ἔσται τοῦ σώματος καὶ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ κυρίου. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.
James 2:10 ὅστις γὰρ ὅλον τὸν νόμον τηρήσῃ πταίσῃ δὲ ἐν ἑνί, γέγονεν πάντων ἔνοχος. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
Hebrews 2:15 καὶ ἀπαλλάξῃ τούτους, ὅσοι φόβῳ θανάτου διὰ παντὸς τοῦ ζῆν ἔνοχοι ἦσαν δουλείας. 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.

Septuagint (LXX) – OT & Apocrypha. Lancelot Brenton's translation of the LXX is used except where I reference the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS).
Genesis 26:11 συνέταξεν δὲ Αβιμελεχ παντὶ τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ λέγων Πᾶς ὁ ἁπτόμενος τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τούτου ἢ τῆς γυναικὸς αὐτοῦ θανάτου ἔνοχος ἔσται. 11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, Every man that touches this man and his wife shall be liable to death.
Exodus 22:3 ἐὰν δὲ ἀνατείλῃ ὁ ἥλιος ἐπʼ αὐτῷ, ἔνοχός ἐστιν, ἀνταποθανεῖται. ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ὑπάρχῃ αὐτῷ, πραθήτω ἀντὶ τοῦ κλέμματος. 3 But if the sun be risen upon him, he is guilty, he shall die instead; and if a thief have nothing, let him be sold in compensation for what he has stolen.
Exodus 34:7 καὶ δικαιοσύνην διατηρῶν καὶ ποιῶν ἔλεος εἰς χιλιάδας, ἀφαιρῶν ἀνομίας καὶ ἀδικίας καὶ ἁμαρτίας, καὶ οὐ καθαριεῖ τὸν ἔνοχον ἐπάγων ἀνομίας πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα καὶ ἐπὶ τέκνα τέκνων ἐπὶ τρίτην καὶ τετάρτην γενεάν. 7 and keeping justice and mercy for thousands, taking away iniquity, and unrighteousness, and sins; and he will not clear the guilty; bringing the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and to the children's children, to the third and fourth generation.
Leviticus 20:9 ἄνθρωπος ἄνθρωπος, ὃς ἂν κακῶς εἴπῃ τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ ἢ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ, θανάτῳ θανατούσθω, πατέρα αὐτοῦ ἢ μητέρα αὐτοῦ κακῶς εἶπεν, ἔνοχος ἔσται. 9 Every man who shall speak evil of his father or of his mother, let him die the death; has he spoken evil of his father or his mother? he shall be guilty.
Leviticus 20:11 ἐάν τις κοιμηθῇ μετὰ γυναικὸς τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, ἀσχημοσύνην τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ ἀπεκάλυψεν, θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν ἀμφότεροι, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 11 And if any one should lie with his father's wife, he has uncovered his father's nakedness: let them both die the death, they are guilty.
Leviticus 20:12 καὶ ἐάν τις κοιμηθῇ μετὰ νύμφης αὐτοῦ, θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν ἀμφότεροι, ἠσεβήκασιν γάρ, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 12 And if any one should lie with his daughter-in-law, let them both be put to death; for they have wrought impiety, they are guilty.
Leviticus 20:13 καὶ ὃς ἂν κοιμηθῇ μετὰ ἄρσενος κοίτην γυναικός, βδέλυγμα ἐποίησαν ἀμφότεροι, θανατούσθωσαν, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 13 And whoever shall lie with a male as with a woman, they have both wrought abomination; let them die the death, they are guilty.
Leviticus 20:16 καὶ γυνή, ἥτις προσελεύσεται πρὸς πᾶν κτῆνος βιβασθῆναι αὐτὴν ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ, ἀποκτενεῖτε τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ τὸ κτῆνος, θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 16 And whatever woman shall approach any beast, so as to have connexion with it, ye shall kill the woman and the beast: let them die the death, they are guilty.
Leviticus 20:27 Καὶ ἀνὴρ ἢ γυνή, ὃς ἂν γένηται αὐτῶν ἐγγαστρίμυθος ἢ ἐπαοιδός, θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν ἀμφότεροι, λίθοις λιθοβολήσατε αὐτούς, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 27 And as for a man or woman whosoever of them shall have in them a divining spirit, or be an enchanter, let them both die the death: ye shall stone them with stones, they are guilty.
Numbers 14:18 Κύριος μακρόθυμος καὶ πολυέλεος καὶ ἀληθινός, ἀφαιρῶν ἀνομίας καὶ ἀδικίας καὶ ἁμαρτίας, καὶ καθαρισμῷ οὐ καθαριεῖ τὸν ἔνοχον ἀποδιδοὺς ἁμαρτίας πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα ἕως τρίτης καὶ τετάρτης. 18 The Lord is long-suffering and merciful, and true, removing transgressions and iniquities and sins, and he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.
Numbers 35:27 καὶ εὕρῃ αὐτὸν ὁ ἀγχιστεύων τὸ αἷμα ἔξω τῶν ὁρίων τῆς πόλεως καταφυγῆς αὐτοῦ καὶ φονεύσῃ ὁ ἀγχιστεύων τὸ αἷμα τὸν φονεύσαντα, οὐκ ἔνοχός ἐστιν, 27 and the avenger of blood should find him without the bounds of the city of his refuge, and the avenger of blood should kill the slayer, he is not guilty.
Numbers 35:31 καὶ οὐ λήμψεσθε λύτρα περὶ ψυχῆς παρὰ τοῦ φονεύσαντος τοῦ ἐνόχου ὄντος ἀναιρεθῆναι, θανάτῳ γὰρ θανατωθήσεται. 31 And ye shall not accept ransoms for life from a murderer who is worthy of death, for he shall be surely put to death.
Deuteronomy 19:10 καὶ οὐκ ἐκχυθήσεται αἷμα ἀναίτιον ἐν τῇ γῇ σου, ἧ κύριος ὁ θεός σου δίδωσίν σοι ἐν κλήρῳ, καὶ οὐκ ἔσται ἐν σοὶ αἵματι ἔνοχος. 10 So innocent blood shall not be spilt in the land, which the Lord thy God gives thee to inherit, and there shall not be in thee one guilty of blood.
Joshua 2:19 καὶ ἔσται πᾶς, ὃς ἂν ἐξέλθῃ τὴν θύραν τῆς οἰκίας σου ἔξω, ἔνοχος ἑαυτῷ ἔσται, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἀθῷοι τῷ ὅρκῳ σου τούτῳ, καὶ ὅσοι ἐὰν γένωνται μετὰ σοῦ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ σου, ἡμεῖς ἔνοχοι ἐσόμεθα. 19 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall go outside the door of thy house, his guilt shall be upon him, and we shall be quit of this thine oath; and we will be responsible for all that shall be found with thee in thy house.
1 Maccabees 14:45 ὃς δ̓ ἂν παρὰ ταῦτα ποιήσῃ ἢ ἀθετήσῃ τι τούτων, ἔνοχος ἔσται. 45 And whosoever should do otherwise, or break any of these things, he should be punished.
2 Maccabees 13:6 ἐνταῦθα τὸν ἱεροσυλίας ἔνοχον ἢ καί τινων ἄλλων κακῶν ὑπεροχὴν πεποιημένον ἅπαντες προσωθοῦσιν εἰς ὄλεθρον. 6 And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him unto death.
Job 15:5 ἔνοχος εἶ ῥήμασιν στόματός σου οὐδὲ διέκρινας ῥήματα δυναστῶν, 5 Thou art guilty by the words of thy mouth, neither hast thou discerned the words of the mighty.
Sirach Prologue: 13 ὅπως οἱ φιλομαθεῖς καὶ τούτων ἔνοχοι γενόμενοι 14 πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἐπιπροσθῶσιν διὰ τῆς ἐννόμου βιώσεως. 13 to the intent that those which are desirous to learn, and are addicted to these things, 14 might profit much more in living according to the law.
Psalms of Solomon 4:3 καὶ ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ ἐν πρώτοις ἐπʼ αὐτὸν ὡς ἐν ζήλει, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔνοχος ἐν ποικιλίᾳ ἁμαρτιῶν καὶ ἐν ἀκρασίαις. 3 (NETS) And his hand is first upon him as if in zeal, and he himself is guilty of various sins and self-indulgence.
Isaiah 54:17 πᾶν σκεῦος φθαρτόν. ἐπὶ σὲ οὐκ εὐοδώσω, καὶ πᾶσα φωνὴ ἀναστήσεται ἐπὶ σὲ εἰς κρίσιν, πάντας αὐτοὺς ἡττήσεις, οἱ δὲ ἔνοχοί σου ἔσονται ἐν αὐτῇ. ἔστιν κληρονομία τοῖς θεραπεύουσιν κύριον, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἔσεσθέ μοι δίκαιοι, λέγει κύριος. 17 I will not suffer any weapon formed against thee to prosper; (NETS: every perishable vessel. I will not make it prosper against you) – and every voice that shall rise up against thee for judgment, thou shalt vanquish them all; and thine adversaries shall be condemned thereby (NETS: and those who are held by you shall be in sorrow [lit. "it"]). There is an inheritance to them that serve the Lord, and ye shall be righteous before me, saith the Lord.
Susanna 1:53 (OLD GREEK) πιστευθεὶς ἀκούειν καὶ κρίνειν κρίσεις θάνατον ἐπιφερούσας καὶ τὸν μὲν ἀθῷον κατέκρινας, τοὺς δὲ ἐνόχους ἠφίεις, τοῦ κυρίου λέγοντος Ἀθῷον καὶ δίκαιον οὐκ ἀποκτενεῖς, 53 (NETS) when you were entrusted to hear and to judge cases carrying a death sentence and you condemned the innocent while you were acquitting the guilty, though the Lord says, "You shall not kill an innocent and righteous person."

* ἔνοχος, ** δοκιμάζω, and *** διακρίνω as translated in:

  • ἔνοχος guilty
  • δοκιμάζω approve, esteem, judge, like best, recommend, suppose, think best/fit/proper, test/try
  • διακρίνω determine, discern, dispute, distinguish, select, separate, solve
  • ἔνοχος blamable, bound by, condemned, guilty, liable, worthy of death (lit. "worthy")
  • δοκιμάζω account, approve, come to a proper understanding, comprehend, consider, determine ("arrive at a knowledge of its true nature"), estimate, examine, judge, look upon, pronounce (declare), prove, rightly account, see/show, select, test, test and approve, think fit
  • διακρίνω decide, differ, discriminate, disjoin, distinguish, divide, interpret, judge, part, select, separate, well-judge
The Apostolic Fathers
  • ἔνοχος (none)
  • δοκιμάζω approve (Hermas, Didache, Ignatius, 1 Clement), challenge (Papias), determine (Hermas), examine (Didache), judge (Hermas), prove (Hermas, 1 Clement), test/try (Hermas, Didache, 1 Clement, Papias)
  • διακρίνω arrange (Diognetus), compare (Hermas), consider (Hermas), discern (Didache), discuss (Hermas), distinguish (Diognetus, Hermas), doubt (Hermas), evaluate (Didache), examine (Didache), separate (Ignatius), worry about (Hermas)

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