Re: Acts 2:42

Date: Wed Oct 04 1995 - 17:11:02 EDT


I don't know what you interest in this subject. But I have noticed a few
things about "breaking bread."

1. The synoptics all speak of the feedings of the 4/5,000 in sacramental
terms, e.i., "taking, breaking, giving," even "blessing"-Luke lacks the
feeding of the 4,000; this same language is repeated in the account of the
last supper "took, blessed, broke and gave". This leads me to think that the
evangelist saw a "connection" between the feedings and the last supper.

2. Luke takes the "breaking bread" theme a bit beyond. In Lk. 24.30;
"breaking bread" becomes the occasion where the disciples on the road to
Emmaus recognize Jesus; so if I may venture a theological interpretation;
"breaking bread" is where disciples meet Jesus in the midst of them. This
seems to hold weight for what Luke is doing with the phrase. Notice the alt.
translation in Acts 1.4: "kai; sunalizovmeno", "while staying" but can be
"while eating" then you get 2.42; 46; 20.7, and vs. 11; and NOTE Acts 27.35;
where Jesus is present in Paul!

3. To sort out whether this is the Lord Supper or a common meal is to
quibble. Only westerners, as you know, who have placed the LS in a "churchy"
context do this. It's both.

4. Since we are struggling with a Church of Christ issue (remember we have
others listening to our conversation) let me touch on your Greek question:

>>the articular inf. in Acts 2:42?

"klasei" is not an inf., but a noun "in the breaking of bread." As for the
significance of the grammar I would say mostly stylistic. In the 20.7 the
infinitive completes the participle of the gen. absol. thus explaining "why"
they had gathered-to eat together as the Christian community (so I read).
 Some of the other Greekers may want to nuance this more precisely.

5. Alex Campbell, in his earlier days, tried to use the art. to distinguish
between eating and the LS. He wrote against a brother attempting to restore
the "holy kiss":

>>All instituted acts of relgion are characterized by the definite article,
as the Lord's table, the Lord's day, &c. It is one thing to command a holy
kiss, and another to command the holy kiss<< [Christian Baptist, vol. 4

Earlier Campbell had argued in ref. to Acts 20.7:

>>The definite art. is, in the Greek and in the English tongue, prefixed to
stated and fixed times, and its appearance here is not merely difinitive of
one day, but expressive of a stated or fixed day<< [Christian Baptist, vol. 3

In the latter he is speaking of the art. before <<mia>> in an attempt to show
that Christains met every Sunday. Campbell's exegesis will not hold; but
this may be the source of much of the confusion in CofC's over the nature of
the Supper and what the Bible really says on the topic.

Hoping I helped more than I muddied,

Stan Helton


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:28 EDT