1 Corinthians 10:16
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) The cup of blessing which we bless.—In other passages the cup is mentioned after the bread, and not, as here, before it. The order in which they are placed here has been variously accounted for, as arising either (Stanley) from the analogy to the heathen feasts, in which the libation came before the food, or (Meyer) because the Apostle intends to dwell at greater length upon the bread. The use of the plural “we,” in reference to both the blessing of the cup and the breaking of the bread, clearly indicates that it was in virtue of his representing the entire company present, and not as individually possessed of some miraculous gift, that the one who presided at a Communion performed the act of consecration. On the whole subject of the Eucharistic feasts in Corinth, see Notes on 1Corinthians 11:17. Communion with the body and blood of Christ is established and asserted in this partaking of the bread and of the cup.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17. The cup of blessing — In the Lord’s supper, the sacramental cup; which we bless — Set apart to a sacred use, solemnly invoking the blessing of God upon it. Dr. Macknight renders the original expression, ο ευλογουμεν, for which we bless God, a sense which he thinks is sanctioned by 1 Corinthians 11:24, “where this blessing is interpreted by the giving of thanks. And he considers it as denoting the whole communicants’ joining together in blessing God over the cup, for his mercy in redeeming the world through the blood of Christ. Thus both Luke and Paul, in their account of the institution, express this part of the action by ευχαριστησας, having given thanks. And hence the service itself hath long borne the name of the eucharist, or thanksgiving, by way of eminence.” Is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? — The means of our partaking of those invaluable benefits which are the purchase of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break — And which was appointed in the first institution of the ordinance for this purpose; is it not the communion of the body of Christ? — In the like sense? That is, the means and token of our sharing in the privileges which he procured by the offering up of his body for us, to be torn, broken, and put to death. For we, being many, are yet, as it were, one bread — One loaf, as the word αρτος often signifies, and is translated, Matthew 16:9; where Jesus asks, Do ye not remember the five αρτους, loaves, of the five thousand? and Matthew 4:3, Command that these stones be made, αρτους, loaves. The sense is, It is this communion which makes us all one: by partaking of one and the same bread, we are united and formed into one mystical body. “This account of the Lord’s supper, the apostle gave to show the Corinthians, that as by eating thereof, the partakers declare they have the same object of worship, the same faith, the same hope, and the same dispositions with the persons whom they join in that act of religion, and that they will follow the same course of life; so, in all reasonable construction, by eating the sacrifices of idols, the partakers declare they are of the same faith and practice with the worshippers of idols, that they have the same objects of worship with them, and that they expect to share with them in the benefits to be derived from that worship.”10:15-22 Did not the joining in the Lord's supper show a profession of faith in Christ crucified, and of adoring gratitude to him for his salvation ? Christians, by this ordinance, and the faith therein professed, were united as the grains of wheat in one loaf of bread, or as the members in the human body, seeing they were all united to Christ, and had fellowship with him and one another. This is confirmed from the Jewish worship and customs in sacrifice. The apostle applies this to feasting with idolaters. Eating food as part of a heathen sacrifice, was worshipping the idol to whom it was made, and having fellowship or communion with it; just as he who eats the Lord's supper, is accounted to partake in the Christian sacrifice, or as they who ate the Jewish sacrifices partook of what was offered on their altar. It was denying Christianity; for communion with Christ, and communion with devils, could never be had at once. If Christians venture into places, and join in sacrifices to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, they will provoke God.The cup of blessing which we bless - The design of this verse and the following verses seems to be, to prove that Christians, by partaking of the Lord's Supper, are solemnly set apart to the service of the Lord Jesus; that they acknowledge Him as their Lord, and dedicate themselves to him, and that as they could not and ought not to be devoted to idols and to the Lord Jesus at the same time, so they ought not to participate in the feasts in honor of idols, or in the celebrations in which idolaters would be engaged; see 1 Corinthians 10:21. He states, therefore:

(1) That Christians are "united" and dedicated to Christ in the communion; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17.

(2) that this was true of the Israelites, that they were one people, devoted by the service of the altar to the same God, 1 Corinthians 10:18.

(3) that though an idol was nothing, yet the pagan actually sacrificed to devils, and Christians ought not to partake with them; 1 Corinthians 10:19-21. The phrase "cup of blessing" evidently refers to the wine used in the celebration of the Lord's Supper. it is called "the cup of blessing" because over it Christians praise or bless God for his mercy in providing redemption. It is not because it is the means of conveying a blessing to the souls of those who partake of it - though that is true - but because thanksgiving, blessing, and praise were rendered to God in the celebration, for the benefits of redemption; see Note, Matthew 26:26. Or it may mean, in accordance with a well known Hebraism, "the blessed cup;" the cup that is blessed. This is the more literal interpretation; and it is adopted by Calvin, Beza, Doddridge, and others.

Which we bless - Grotius, Macknight, Vatablus, Bloomfield, and many of the early church fathers suppose that this means, "over which we bless God;" or, "for which we bless God." But this is to do violence to the passage. The more obvious signification is, that there is a sense in which it may be said that the cup is blessed, and that by prayer and praise it is set apart and rendered in some sense sacred to the purposes of religion. it cannot mean that the cup has undergone any physical change, or that the wine is anything but wine; but that it has been solemnly set apart to the service of religion, and by prayer and praise designated to be used for the purpose of commemorating the Saviour's love. That may be said to be blessed which is set apart to a sacred use (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:11); and in this sense the cup may be said to be blessed; see Luke 9:16, "And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven he blessed them," etc.; compare Genesis 14:9; Genesis 27:23, Genesis 27:33, Genesis 27:41; Genesis 28:1; Leviticus 9:22-23; 2 Samuel 6:18; 1 Kings 8:41.

Is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? - Is it not the emblem by which the blood of Christ is exhibited, and the means by which our union through that blood is exhibited? Is it not the means by which we express our attachment to him as Christians; showing our union to him and to each other; and showing that we partake in common of the benefits of his blood? The main idea is, that by partaking of this cup they showed that they were united to him and to each other; and that they should regard themselves as set apart to him. We have communion with one κοινωνία koinōnia,) that which is in "common," that which pertains to all, that which evinces fellowship) when we partake together; when all have an equal right, and all share alike; when the same benefits or the same obligations are extended to all. And the sense here is, that Christians "partake alike" in the benefits of the blood of Christ; they share the same blessings; and they express this together, and in common, when they partake of the communion.

The bread ... - In the communion. It shows, since we all partake of it. that we share alike in the benefits which are imparted by means of the body of the Redeemer. In like manner it is implied that if Christians should partake with idolaters in the feasts offered in honor of idols, that they would be regarded as partaking with them in the services of idols, or as united to them, and therefore such participation was improper.

16. The cup of blessing—answering to the Jewish "cup of blessing," over which thanks were offered in the Passover. It was in doing so that Christ instituted this part of the Lord's Supper (Mt 26:27; Lu 22:17, 20).

we bless—"we," not merely ministers, but also the congregation. The minister "blesses" (that is, consecrates with blessing) the cup, not by any priestly transmitted authority of his own, but as representative of the congregation, who virtually through him bless the cup. The consecration is the corporate act of the whole Church. The act of joint blessing by him and them (not "the cup" itself, which, as also "the bread," in the Greek is in the accusative), and the consequent drinking of it together, constitute the communion, that is, the joint participation "of the blood of Christ." Compare 1Co 10:18, "They who eat … are partakers" (joint communicants). "Is" in both cases in this verse is literal, not represents. He who with faith partakes of the cup and the bread, partakes really but spiritually of the blood and body of Christ (Eph 5:30, 32), and of the benefits of His sacrifice on the cross (compare 1Co 10:18). In contrast to this is to have "fellowship with devils" (1Co 10:20). Alford explains, "The cup … is the [joint] participation (that is, that whereby the act of participation takes place) of the blood," &c. It is the seal of our living union with, and a means of our partaking of, Christ as our Saviour (Joh 6:53-57). It is not said, "The cup … is the blood," or "the bread … is the body," but "is the communion [joint-participation] of the blood … body." If the bread be changed into the literal body of Christ, where is the sign of the sacrament? Romanists eat Christ "in remembrance of Himself." To drink literal blood would have been an abomination to Jews, which the first Christians were (Le 17:11, 12). Breaking the bread was part of the act of consecrating it, for thus was represented the crucifixion of Christ's body (1Co 11:24). The distinct specification of the bread and the wine disproves the Romish doctrine of concomitancy, and exclusion of the laity from the cup.

It is on all hands agreed, that the apostle is here speaking of believers communicating in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. By

the cup of blessing, he meaneth the cup there, which he so calleth, because we in the taking of it bless the Lord, who gave his Son to die for us, and Christ, for that great love which he showed in dying for us: we are said to bless it, because we, by solemn prayer in the consecration of it, set it apart for that sacred use, and beg of God to bless it to us. This cup (saith the apostle) is the communion of the blood of Christ.

The cup is put for the wine in the cup (which is very ordinary). The cup, or wine, of blessing, signifieth that cup of wine to which the blessing is added, or with which in that holy institution we thankfully remember the death of Christ, and bless his name for that great mercy; and the wine or cup of blessing, also, here signifieth our religions action in drinking of that cup of wine so blessed. This, saith he, is the communion of the blood of Christ; that is, it is an action whereby and wherein Christ communicates himself and his grace to us, and we communicate our souls to him; so that Christ and believers in that action have a mutual communion one with another. And as it is with the one element in that holy sacrament, so it is also with the other.

The bread which the minister breaketh (according to the institution and example of Christ) for the church to make use of in the celebration of the Lord’s supper, that is, their action in eating of that bread so broken and divided amongst them, is the communion of the body of Christ; an action wherein Christians have a fellowship and communion with Christ. The cup of blessing, which we bless,.... Meaning the cup of wine used in the Lord's supper, which being set apart for that service, is taken up, and the name of the Lord called upon over it; and he is blessed and praised for his wondrous love and grace, in the gift and mission of his Son, to shed his precious blood for us, for the remission of our sins; the whole church joining with the administrator, both in the act of blessing and praise over the cup, and in the participation of it. This cup is so called in allusion to the cup of wine used at common meals, or at the passover among the Jews, which they used to take and bless God with, and give him thanks for their mercies, and was commonly called , "the cup of blessing" (c).

"Three things (says R. Judah (d)) shorten a man's days and years; when they give him the book of the law to read, and he does not read, , "the cup of blessing to bless with", and he does not bless, and when he accustoms himself to government.''

Again, so they comment on Genesis 21:8 (e).

"what is the meaning "of the day that Isaac was weaned?" the holy blessed God will make a feast for the righteous, in the day that he weans the people of the seed of Isaac, and after they eat and drink, they give to Abraham , "the cup of blessing to bless with"; he says to them, I will not bless, because Ishmael sprung from me; they give it to Isaac, he says to them, I am not fit to bless, for Esau came from me; they give it to Jacob, he says unto them I will not bless, for I married two sisters in their lifetime, which the law forbids me; they say to Moses, take it and bless, he says to them I will not bless, for I was not worthy to enter into the land of Israel, neither in life nor in death; they say to Joshua, take it and bless, he says I cannot bless, for I am not worthy of a son, as it is written, Nun his son, Joshua his son; they say to David, take thou it and bless, he saith unto them I will bless, and it is comely for me to bless; as it is said, "I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord".''

Once more they ask (f),

"what is a beautiful cup? , "the cup of blessing";''

and which, they (g) observe, ought to hold the fourth part of a log of wine. These instances clearly show from whence the apostle borrowed this expression, and which he chooses to make use of because well known to the Jews, and as being very appropriate to the cup in the Lord's supper, he is speaking of:

is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? it is; that is, it is a sign, symbol, and token of fellowship with Christ in his death; it is a means of having communion with him, and of enjoying the blessings of grace which come through his blood; such as righteousness, peace, pardon, and atonement; all which true believers are made partakers of; and this part of the Lord's supper, the cup being drank of, is a testimony and an indication of the same: "the bread which we break"; which is the other part of the ordinance, which, though performed first, is mentioned last, because of the argument the apostle pursues upon it. The act of breaking the bread does not only design the distribution and eating of it, but the manner also in which it is prepared for distribution and eating, namely by breaking it into pieces; and which is aptly expressive of the body of Christ, which was wounded, bruised, and broken for us:

is it not the communion of the body of Christ? it is; for not only believers by this act have communion with his mystical body, the church, but with his natural body, which was broken for them they in a spiritual sense and by faith eat his flesh, as well as drink his blood, and partake of him, of his sufferings and death, endured in his body, and of all the blessings of grace consequent thereon. The apostle's view in this instance, and his argument upon it, is this, that if believers, by eating the bread and drinking the wine in the Lord's supper, spiritually partake of Christ, of his body and of his blood, and have communion with him; then such who eat of things sacrificed unto idols, have in so doing communion with them, and partake of the table of devils, and so are guilty of idolatry, which he would have them avoid.

(c) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 11. 3, 4. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 51. 1, 2. & 52. 1. Pesachim, fol. 105. 2. 106. 1. 109. 2.((d) T. Bab. Berncot, fol. 55. 1.((e) Capthor, fol. 47. 1.((f) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 76. 2. & Erubin, fol. 29. 2.((g) Piske Tosephot in Sabbat, art. 287. & Erubin, art. 46. 157. Vid. Zohar in Exod. fol. 57. 3. & 59. 2, 3. & 65. 1.

The cup of {n} blessing which we bless, is it not the {o} communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

(n) Of thanksgiving: whereupon, that holy banquet was called eucharist, which is Greek for thanksgiving.

(o) A most effectual pledge and note of your joining together with Christ, and ingrafting to him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 10:16. Τὸ ποτήριον] It is most natural to take this as in the accusative, after the analogy of the second clause of the verse (against Rückert). Respecting the attractio inversa, as in Matthew 21:42, see Bornemann, Schol. in Luc. p. 16 f.; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 247 [E. T. 288]; Kühner, II. p. 512. This Greek fashion of “trajection” is of such common occurrence, that it is a piece of pure arbitrariness to infer, with Hofmann, from the accusative here that the action of blessing and breaking, of which the elements are the objects, makes them the κοινωνία.

Paul names the cup first, not because at the sacrificial feasts men thought less about food than about a pleasant meeting primarily for enjoying wine (they came for eating and drinking), but because he means to speak at more length about the bread, and in connection with it, especially to discuss the Israelitic partaking of the sacrifices, as it suited his theme of the meat offered to idols. For this reason he begins here by disposing briefly of the point concerning the cup. In chap. 11 he does otherwise, because not regarding the matter there from this special point of view.

τῆς εὐλογίας] genit. qualit., i.e. the cup over which the blessing is spoken, namely, when the wine contained in it is expressly consecrated by prayer to the sacred use of the Lord’s Supper.[1646] It is a mistake to understand τῆς εὐλογ. actively: the cup which brings blessing (Flatt, Olshausen, Kling), as the more detailed explanations which follow are sufficient of themselves to prove. They equally forbid the explanation of Schulz: the cup of praise[1647] (comp Kahnis, Lehre vom Abendm. p. 128). Neither should the phrase be viewed as a terminus technicus borrowed from the Jewish liturgy, and answering to the כוֹם הברכה. see on Matthew 26:27, and Rückert, Abendm. p. 219 f.

ὃ εὐλογοῦμεν] an epexegesis giving additional solemnity to the statement: which we bless, consecrate with prayer, when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Comp Mark 8:7; Luke 9:16; 1 Samuel 9:13. ΕὐΛΟΓ. in its literal sense must not be confounded with ΕὐΧΑΡΙΣΤ. (Erasmus, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Beza: “quod cum gratiarum actione sumimus”), although the prayer was, in point of fact, a thanksgiving prayer in accordance with Christ’s example, 1 Corinthians 11:24 f. As to the difference between the two words, comp on 1 Corinthians 14:16.

ΟὐΧῚ ΚΟΙΝ. Τ. ΑἽΜ. Τ. Χ. ἘΣΤΙ] This is aptly explained by Grotius (after Melanchthon and others): “ΚΟΙΝΩΝΊΑΝ vocat id, per quod fit ipsa communio.” The cup, i.e. its contents as these are presented and partaken of, is the medium of this fellowship; it is realized in the partaking.[1651] Comp 1 Corinthians 1:30; John 11:25; John 17:3; Rodatz in Rudelbach’s Zeitschrift 1844, 1, p. 131; Fritzsche, a[1653] Rom. II. p. 31. The sense therefore is: Is not communion with the blood of Christ established through partaking of the cup?[1654] Ἐστί never means anything else than est (never significat); it is the copula of existence; whether this, however, be actual or symbolical (or allegorical) existence, the context alone must decide. Here it must necessarily have the former sense (against Billroth), for the mere significance of a participation would go no way towards proving the proposition that eating meat offered to idols was idolatry; and as, therefore, in 1 Corinthians 10:18 it is not the significance, but the fact of the participation, that is expressed (comp 1 Corinthians 10:20), so also must it of necessity be here. What sort of a participation it might be, was of no importance in the present connection, for the apostle is dealing here simply with the κοινωνία in itself, not with its nature, which differed according to the different analogies adduced (1 Corinthians 10:18; 1 Corinthians 10:20). It cannot therefore be gathered from this passage whether he was thinking of some kind of real, possibly even material connection of those eating and drinking in the Supper with the body and blood of Christ,[1656] or, on the other hand, of an inward union realized in the believing consciousness, consisting therefore in the spiritual contact whereby the believer, who partakes of the elements, is conscious to himself in so partaking of being connected by saving appropriation with the body and blood of reconciliation. But we see clearly from 1 Corinthians 11:24 f. that Paul could only mean the latter, since at the institution of the Supper the body of Christ was not yet slain, and His blood still flowed in His veins.[1657] See, besides, on Matthew 26:26. Again, if the glorified state of His body, i.e. the σῶμα τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ (Php 3:21), set in only with His ascension, and if, when He instituted the Supper, His body was still but the σῶμα τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ, which soon after died upon the cross for reconciliation (Colossians 1:22), while, nevertheless, the first Lord’s Supper, dispensed by Jesus Himself, must have earned with it the whole specific essence of the sacred ordinance—that essence depending precisely upon the future crucifixion of the body and outpouring of the blood,—then the apostle cannot have in view the glorified[1658] σῶμα and αἷμα as being given and partaken of through the medium of the bread and wine. Otherwise, we should have to attribute to Paul the extravagant conception,—which is, however, equally out of harmony with the institution itself and without shadow of warrant in the apostle’s words, nay, at variance with what he says in 1 Corinthians 15:50,—that, at the last Supper, Jesus had His pneumatic body already at His disposal to dispense as He would (Olshausen, Hofmann), or that a momentary glorification, like that on the Mount, took place at the time of instituting the Supper, as Kahnis formerly held; but see now his Dogmat. I. p. 622; and comp also, on the other side, Ebrard, Dogma vom heilig. Abendm. I. p. 109 f. Either, therefore, the apostle regarded the κοινωνία of Christ’s body and blood as being different before His glorification from what it was afterwards, or it was in his eyes, both before and after, the inward spiritual fellowship realized by the inner man through the medium of the symbol partaken of, as an appropriation of the work of atonement consummated through means of His body and blood, and consequently as a real life-fellowship, other than which, indeed, he could not conceive it as realized when the Supper was instituted. Comp Keim in the Jahrb. für Deutsche Theol. 1859, p. 90; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 355. Against this κοινωνία subjectively realized in the devout feeling of the believer, and objectively established by the divine institution of the ordinance itself, it is objected that the phrase, “fellowship of the body and blood,” expresses at any rate an interpenetration of Christ’s body and the bread (according to the Lutheran synecdoche; comp Kahnis’ former view in his Abendm. p. 136, also Hofmann, p. 219). But this objection asserts too much, and therefore proves nothing, seeing that the fellowship with Christ’s body and blood realized by means of the symbol also corresponds to the notion of fellowship, and that all the more, because this eating and drinking of the elements essentially is the specific medium of the deep, inward, real, and living κοινωνία; hence, too, the “calix communionis” cannot be possibly a figurata loquutio. This last point we maintain against Calvin, who, while insisting that “non tollatur figurae veritas,” and also that the thing itself is there, namely, that “non minus sanguinis communionem anima percipiat, quam ore vinum bibimus,” still explains away the κοινωνία of the blood of Christ to the effect, “dum simul omnes nos in corpus suum inserit, ut vivat in nobis et nos in ipso.”

ὃν κλῶμεν] There was no need to repeat here that the bread, too, was hallowed by a prayer of thanksgiving, after the cup had been already so carefully described as a cup consecrated for the Supper. Instead of doing so, Paul enriches his representation by mention of the other essential symbolic action with the bread; comp 1 Corinthians 11:24. That the breaking of the bread, however, was itself the consecration (Rückert), the narrative of the institution will not allow us to assume.

τοῦ σώματος τ. Χ.] in the strict, not in the figurative sense, as Stroth, Rosenmüller, Schulthess, and others: “declaramus nos esse membra corporis Christi, i.e. societatis Christianae,” comp also Baur, neut. Theol. p. 201. This interpretation is at variance with the first clause, for which the meaning of the Supper as first instituted forbids such a figurative explanation (in opposition to Zwingli[1664]); nor can this be justified by 1 Corinthians 10:17; for

[1646] Who had to officiate at this consecration? Every Christian man probably might do so at that time, when the arrangements of church-life as regards public worship were as yet so little reduced to fixed order. In Justin Martyr’s time (Apol. i. 65) it fell to the προεστώς, but so that the president is conceived as representing and acting in fellowship with the congregation. See Ritschl, altkathol. K. p. 365 f. The plurals in the passage before us are the utterance of the Christian consciousness of fellowship, to which it makes no difference who, in each separate ease, may be the ministerial organ of the fellowship. Kahnis explains them from the amen of the congregation (Justin, loc. cit.); but that itself was primarily the time-hallowed expression of that consciousness.

[1647] With excessive arbitrariness Hofmann (comp. his Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 225 f.) insists on taking εὐλογία otherwise than εὐλογοῦμεν; the former, in the sense of an ascription of praise, with God as its subject: the latter, in the sense of consecrating the cup. The consecration, according to him, makes the difference between it and the Passover cup. But the said difference could not have been expressed by Paul in a more unsuitable or perplexing way than by repeating the same word.

[1651] Hofmann too comes to this in substance after all, although he tries to escape from it, taking κοινωνία as “the matter of fact of a joint (?) participancy,” and then opining that the apostle has in view an eating of the bread and drinking of the wine, which by means of this corporeal process, and without its being possible to eat and drink merely bread and wine, makes us joint-partakers of the body and blood of Christ. In support of the meaning thus assigned to κοινωνία, Hofmann appeals inappropriately to 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 13:13; 1 John 1:3. Joint participancy would be συγκοινωνία; comp. συγκοινωνός, 1 Corinthians 9:23; Romans 11:17; Php 1:7.

[1653] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[1654] It is plain from vv. 18, 20, 21, that κοινωνία is here neither communication, apportioning (Luther, al., including Kling, Billroth), which it never means in the N. T. (see on Romans 15:26), nor consortium, societas (Erasmus: “quod pariter sanguine Christi sumus redemti,” comp. Zwingli). See also Kahnis, Abendm. p. 132 f.

[1656] For the rest, it is plain enough from the correlative σῶμα that the αἷμα τ. Χ. denotes the blood—not, as D. Schulz still maintains, the bloody death—of Christ (which, considered in itself, it might indeed symbolize, but could not be called. Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 274; Kahnis, Abendm. p. 60 f.).

[1657] When Rodatz objects that an ideal union with the actual body slain and blood shed is a logical contradiction, he overlooks the fact that the material sphere is not beyond the reach of inward appropriation. Spiritual communion may have reference to a material object, without excluding a symbolic process in which “signatum non cum signo sed nobiscum unitur” (Vossius, de baptismo, p. 11). Comp. Kahnis, Dogmat. I. 621: “Bread and wine form not a mere symbol, but a sign, which is at the same time medium;” see also III. p. 489. The important alteration in the Latin Confess. Aug. Art. X. of 1540, points in the same direction.

[1658] Rückert also (Abendm. p. 224 ff.) holds that Paul conceived the body and blood in the Supper as glorified; that, in virtue of the consecration, the participant partakes of the glorified blood, etc. Rückert, of course, discards all questions as to mode in connection with this view which he ascribes to the apostle, but which he himself considers a baseless one (p. 242). His mistake lies in deducing too much from πνευματικόν, which is neither in ver. 3 nor anywhere else in the N. T. the opposite of material, but of natural (1 Peter 2:5 not excluded); and the πνεῦμα to which πνευματικός refers is always (except Ephesians 6:13, where it is the diabolic spirit-world that is spoken of) the Divine πνεῦμα. In the case of gifts which are πνευματικά, it is this πνεῦμα who is always the agent; so with the supply of manna and water in the wilderness, and so, too, with the bread and wine received in the Lord’s Supper, inasmuch as in this βρῶμα and πόμα the communion of the body and blood of Christ is realized, which does not take place when bread and wine are partaken of in the ordinary, natural way.

[1664] Zwingli, in his Respon. ad Bugenh., explains it thus: “Poculum gratiarum actionis, quo gratias agimus, quid quaeso, aliud est quam nos ipsi? Nos enim quid aliud sumus nisi ipsa communio, ipse coetus et populus, consortium et sodalitas sanguinis Christi? h. e. ille ipse populus, qui sanguine Christi ablutus est.” The most thorough historical development of Zwingli’s doctrine is that given by Dieckhoff in his evang. Abendmahlslehre im Reformationszeitalter, I. p. 428 ff. Rückert remarks with justice that Zwingli has here lost his footing on evangelical ground altogether. But Calvin, too, has lost it, inasmuch as he makes everything turn upon the spiritual reception of the glorified body, i.e. upon receiving the vivifying power which flows from it, whereas the words of institution have to do simply with that body, which was to be crucified for the atonement and with its fellowship. As to Calvin’s doctrine of the Supper, see, besides Henry and Stähelin, Kahnis, II, p. 494 ff.1 Corinthians 10:16. κοινωνία is the key-word of this passage (see parls.); the Lord’s Supper constitutes a “communion” centring in Christ, as the Jewish festal rites centred in “the altar” (1 Corinthians 10:18), and as “the demons,” the unseen objects of idolatrous worship, supply their basis of communion in idolatrous feasts (1 Corinthians 10:21 f.). Such fellowship involves (1) the ground of communion, the sacred object celebrated in common; (2) the association established amongst the celebrants, separating them from all others: “The word communion denotes the fellowship of persons with persons in one and the same object” (Ev[1489]). These two ideas take expression in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 in turn; their joint force lies behind the protest of 1 Corinthians 10:20 ff.—Appealing to the Eucharist—or Eulogia, as it was also called—P. begins with “the cup” (cf. the order of Luke 22:17 ff., and Didaché ix. 2 f.), the prominent object in the sacrificial meal (1 Corinthians 10:21), containing, as one may say, the essence of the feast (cf. Psalm 23:5). τ. εὐλογίας is attributive gen[1490] (like “cup of salvation” in Psalm 116:13; see other parls., for both words); so Cv[1491], “destinatus ad mysticam eulogiam,” and Hn[1492] (see his note). Christ blessed this cup, making it thus for ever a “cup of blessing”; cf. the early sacramental phrases, οἱ τῆς εὐλογίας Ἰησοῦ ἄρτοι in Or[1493] on Matthew 10:25, and τὰς εὐλογίας τ. Χριστοῦ ἐσθίειν from the Catacombs (X. Kraus, Roma sotteranea, 217), cited by Hn[1494] On this view, ὃ εὐλογοῦμεν is no repetition of τῆς εὐλογίας, but is antithetical to it in the manner of Ephesians 1:3 : sc. “the cup which gives blessing, for which we give blessing to God”. The prevalent interpretation of τ. ποτήρ. τ. εὐλογίας makes the phrase a rendering of kôs habb’rakah, the third cup of the Passover meal, over which a specific blessing was pronounced (often identified with that of the Eucharist); or, as Ed[1495] thinks (referring to Luke 22:20), the fourth, which closed the meal and was attended with the singing of the Hallel. Such a technical Hebraism would scarcely be obvious to the Cor[1496], and the gen[1497] so construed is artificial in point of Gr[1498] idiom; whereas the former construction is natural, and gives a sense in keeping with the readers’ experience.—τὸ ποτήριον, τὸν ἄρτον are acc[1499] by inverse relative attraction, a constr[1500] not unknown, though rare, in cl[1501] Gr[1502] (see Wr[1503], p. 204). Hf[1504] thinks that, with the merging of these nouns in the rel[1505] clause, the Acts of blessing the cup and breaking the bread becomes the real subject of κοινωνία in each instance—as though P. wrote, “when we bless the cup, break the bread, is it not a communion, etc.?” In any case, the “communion” looks beyond the bare ποτήριον and ἄρτος to the whole sacred action, the usus poculi, etc. (Bg[1506]), of which they form the centre. “The bread” is “blessed” equally with “the cup,” but in its case the prominent symbolic act is that of breaking (see parls.), which connotes the distribution to “many” of the “one loaf.” Thus “the sacramental bread came to be known as the κλασμός: so Did., § 9” (Ed[1507]).—On the pl[1508] εὐλογοῦμεν, κλῶμεν, Mr[1509] observes: “Whose was it to officiate in this consecration? At this date, when the order of public worship in the Church was far from being settled, any Christian man was competent. By the time of Justin (Apol. i. 65) the function was reserved for the προεστώς, but on the understanding that he represented the community and acted in communion with it (see Ritschl, Altkath. Kirche, 2 pp. 365 f). The pls. of our passage speak out of the consciousness of the Christian fellowship, in which it is matter of indifference who may be, in this instance or that, its administrative organ.”—οὐχὶ κοινωνία τοῦ αἵματος, τοῦ σώματος, τοῦ Χριστοῦ; “Is it not a communion of (or in) the blood, the body, of Christ?” (cf., for the gen[1510] after κοινωνία, note on 1 Corinthians 1:9)—not “a communion with the blood, etc.” The stress lies on τοῦ Χριστοῦ in both questions: through the cup and loaf believers participate together in Christ, in the sacrifice of His blood offered to God (Romans 3:25, Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 1:11), and in the whole redemption wrought through His bodily life and death and resurrection. τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ carries our thoughts from the incarnation (Php 2:7), through the crucifixion (Colossians 1:22), on to the heavenly glory of the Redeemer (Php 3:21). The cup and bread are here styled “a communion in Christ’s blood and body”; in His own words (1 Corinthians 11:25), “the new covenant in My blood,”—a communion on the basis of the covenant established by the sacrifice of the Cross.

[1489] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[1490] genitive case.

[1491] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii.

[1492] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[1493] Origen.

[1494] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[1495] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

[1496] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1497] genitive case.

[1498] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

[1499]
accusative case.

[1500] construction.

[1501] classical.

[1502] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

[1503]
Winer-Moulton’s Grammar of N.T. Greek (8th ed., 1877).

[1504] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1505] relative pronoun.

[1506] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

[1507]
T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

[1508] plural.

[1509] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1510] genitive case.16. The cup of blessing which we bless] Resumption of the argument. First reason against taking part in an idol feast. We communicate together in the Body and Blood of Christ, and we are thereby debarred from communion with any beings alien to Him; a communion into which, by the analogy of all sacrificial rites, we enter with the beings to whom such sacrifices are offered. See 1 Corinthians 10:20. The term cup of blessing is a Hebraism for the cup over which a blessing is to be pronounced, whose characteristic it is to be blessed. It was the name given to the cup over which thanks were given at the Passover. Lightfoot.

which we bless] Over which we pronounce the words of blessing and thanksgiving commanded by Christ. See St Luke 22:20 and ch. 1 Corinthians 11:25.

is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?] “Comynyng,” Wiclif. See ch. 1 Corinthians 5:7. “The word communion is stronger than partaking,” Chrysostom. The idea is that of a meal on a sacrificed victim, which is Christ Himself, the true Paschal Lamb, by feeding on Whom all who partake of Him are made sharers of His Flesh and Blood, and thus are bound together in the closest fellowship with Him. The fact of this Eucharistic feeding upon Christ is adduced as the strongest reason why Christians cannot lawfully take part in idolatrous rites. It is as impossible to exclude here the active sense of “communication” (see note on ch. 1 Corinthians 1:9), as it is to confine the word to that signification. It must be taken in the widest possible sense, as including Christ’s feeding His people with His Flesh and Blood, and their joint participation in the same.

The bread which we break] Calvin here characteristically contends that the Eucharistic loaf was handed from one to the other, and that each broke off his share. But it is obvious that the words are such as could be used by any minister of the Christian Church, of the solemn breaking of the bread in obedience to Christ’s command. And it may be further observed that only Christ is said to have broken the bread at the first institution of the Eucharist. The Roman Catholic commentator, Estius, here, however, agrees with Calvin. The breaking of the bread, he says, was first performed “a presbyteris et diaconis,” and afterwards “a caeteris fidelibus.” The language of St Paul is not precise enough to enable us absolutely to decide the point.

the communion of the body of Christ] Wiclif, taking; Tyndale, partaking. See note above on the communion of the Blood.1 Corinthians 10:16. Τὸ ποτήριον, the cup) The cup is put before the bread; because according to his design [to reprove the eating of meats sacrificed to idols, answering to the bread of the Lord’s Supper], he dwells more on the consideration of the meat, 1 Corinthians 10:21; mention is however made of the cup, because it is inseparable from the other element. The interchange of the order here is a proof, that the body of Christ is received separately, not inasmuch as it has the blood accompanying it. In mentioning food more respect is paid to meat, than drink; but in the mystery of redemption the blood is oftener named, than the body of Christ. Hence Paul’s promiscuous arrangement [sometimes the bread, at other times the wine coming first].—τὴς εὐλογίας, of blessing) on that account it is distinguished from a common cup, Matthew 26:27.—ὁ εὐλογοῦμεν, which we bless) plural as in we break, supply, we, ministers and believers, each for his own part: comp. ch. 1 Corinthians 5:4. All, who bless and break together, enter the more closely into communion.—κοινωνία, communion) This predicate used in the abstract shows that the subject should likewise be taken in the abstract. The cup, which we use, i.e. the use of the cup (comp. Mark 7:30, note). He who drinks of this cup, is a partaker of the blood of Christ; so 1 Corinthians 10:18, they who eat. The highest degree of reality is implied: comp. 1 Corinthians 10:19, note.—τοῦ αἵματος, of the blood) that was shed. Now, he who is a partaker of the blood and body of Christ, is also a partaker of the sacrifice, that was offered on the cross: comp. 1 Corinthians 10:18; a partaker in short of Christ himself; comp. what is put in antithesis to this, 1 Corinthians 10:20, at the end.—τὸν ἄρτον) There is a construction similar to this, 1 Corinthians 7:17 : and in the LXX., Numbers 32:4. Τῆς εὐλογίας is here again to be supplied; the bread of blessing.—τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, of the body of Christ) of the body delivered up to death for us; comp. the opposite [the antithesis] to this, 1 Corinthians 10:20, at the beginning. The body of Christ is also the Church, as in the following verse; but here the very body of Christ is intended, from which the blood is contradistinguished.Verse 16. - The cup of blessing. A translation of the name cos haberachah (comp. Psalm 116:13), over which a blessing was invoked by the head of the family after the Passover. The name is here transferred to the chalice in the Eucharist, over which Christ "gave thanks" (1 Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:27). There seems to be a close connection between the idea of "blessing" (eulogesas, Matthew 26:22; Mark 14:22) and "giving thanks" (eucharistesas, Luke 22:19), and here, as always, St. Paul and St. Luke resemble each other in their expressions. The communion of; literally, a participation in. By means of the cup we realize our share in the benefits wrought by Christ's precious blood shedding. The cup is at once a symbol and a medium. The blood of Christ; of which the wine is the sacramental symbol. By rightly drinking the wine, we spiritually partake of the blood of Christ, we become sharers in his Divine life. The bread; perhaps rather, the loaf, which was apparently passed from hand to hand, that each might break off a piece. Is it not the communion of the body of Christ? The best comment on the verse is John 6:41-59, in which our Lord taught that there could be no true spiritual life without the closest union with him and incorporation into his life. The cup of blessing (τὸ ποτήριον τῆς εὐλογίας)

Lit., the blessing: the cup over which the familiar formula of blessing is pronounced. Hence the Holy Supper was often styled Eulogia (Blessing). For blessing, see on blessed, 1 Peter 1:3. It is the same as eucharistia (thanksgiving), applied as the designation of the Lord's Supper: Eucharist. See 1 Corinthians 14:16; 1 Timothy 4:4, 1 Timothy 4:5. The cup is first mentioned, perhaps, because Paul wishes to dwell more at length on the bread; or possibly, because drinking rather than eating characterized the idol-feasts.

Communion (κοινωνία)

Or participation. See on fellowship, 1 John 1:3; see on Acts 2:42; see on partners, Luke 5:10. The Passover was celebrated by families, typifying an unbroken fellowship of those who formed one body, with the God who had passed by the blood-sprinkled doors.

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