Re: KLAW ARTON - Having a meal?

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Mon Jun 22 1998 - 22:12:50 EDT

On Sun 21 Jun 98 (17:03:49), you wrote:
> I've always view the expression KLAW ARTON as idiomatic of "having a meal"
> outside the specific references to the Memorial of Jesus' death. I find
> that some hold that every occurrence of KLAW ARTON refers to the eucharist,
> even with Paul and the soldiers in Acts 27:35.
> As for Acts 20:7, my difficulty seeing this as a formal Eucharist observance
> is that the breaking of bread was to commemorate the day of his death,
> not the day of his resurrection. As a result, I concur with those who hold
> to the translation "having a meal" in this verse.


 It seems that the expression KLAW ARTON may well be a normal phrase for
 "to have a meal" or "take a snack". It is also fairly evident that for
 Christians this early on became a code-word for the Holy Eucharist. This
 does not mean that every occurrence of the term in the GNT is in connection
 with the Lord's Supper!

 What I find interesting about Acts 20:7-12 is the evidence it provides for
 the change of the "sabbath" from the seventh day of the week to the first.
 Here at Troas is the first authentic description of a "Christian Sunday".

 The seventh day ended at sunset. The Christian congregation met in an
 upper room on the third floor (verse 9). The many lamps must have made the
 room very warm and soporific; Eutychus sat in the embrasure of one of the
 open windows (for some fresh air?). It was the usual weekly service on the
 Lord's Day (1 Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10), the Day on which Jesus
 rose from the dead and on which the Holy Spirit had descended. After reading,
 singing and prayers, Paul rose to preach. He went on and on until midnight,
 when Eutychus succumbed to fatigue and fell. Paul and others rushed out
 to pick him up. Paul emulated Elijah, throwing himself upon the body
 (1 Kings 17:21), saying there was life in him. And there was!

 When they had all climbed back up to the third floor again, it says ANABAS

 Surely here they "broke the bread" specifically in remembrance of Christ's
 death, as He had commanded his apostles; then and only then they partook
 in a communal breakfast (or Love-feast, AGAPH?). Afer that they continued
 in a question-and-answer informal teaching session with Paul (whom they knew
 they would never see again on this earth) until dawn, when the slaves among
 them would have to hurry back to their masters' place of work.

 The proximity of KLASAS TON ARTON and KAI GEUSAMENOS indicates IMHO that
 the KLAW ARTON does indeed refer to the Eucharist, and the GEUOMAI to the
 partaking in a meal. Admittedly GEUOMAI can connote "snacking" rather than
 having a full meal; compare 1 Corinthians 11:20-22. This AGAPH is not the
 Lord's Supper (verse 20); the breaking of the bread is (vv 23ff).

 However, in another Lukan passage (Luke 24:30) we have KAI EGENETO EN TWi
 EPEDIDOU AUTOIS– KTL. Here it appears to be a common supper or "tea, a meal
 with jam and bread" (/The Sound of Music/) where the incognito Jesus as the
 honoured guest gives thanks (says Grace) and breaks the little loaf for the
 three of them. He then disappears without eating anything: the others leave
 theirs uneaten also (verse 33) and hurry straight back to Jerusalem.

 They met for worship on the eve of the Lord's Day because many of them were
 slaves and could only meet then. The Lord's Supper is in remembrance of his
 Death, not his resurrection; but to celebrate it on the day of his *victory*
 over sin and death and the grave is entirely appropriate. His death would
 have been entirely unremarkable but for his subsequent incontrovertible
 Resurrection. The Easter Eucharist is mandatory in most Christian
 denominations; and denominations which have a Daily Eucharist abstain from
 it on Good Friday [the Mass of the Presanctified].

 Thanks for a very interesting question.

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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