1 Corinthians 11:23
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
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(23) For I have received of the Lord.—Better, For I received from the Lord. Do these words imply that St. Paul had a direct revelation from Christ of the words and facts which he now recalls, or merely that he knew from the accounts given him by others who had been present, what took place on that memorable and solemn occasion?

The whole structure of the passage seems to imply that what follows had been received by St. Paul directly from Christ, and that he is not appealing to a well-known tradition, in which case he would scarcely have used the singular, “I received,” nor to something which he had learnt from the other Apostles, in which case he would not have said “I” emphatically (the word being emphasised by expression in the Greek), nor “from the Lord,” for the other Apostles had not received their knowledge of these facts “from the Lord,” but from their own observation and hearing. How Christ thus communicated these truths to His new Apostle we are not told. The method of communication (whether in a trance, or state of ecstasy, or any other supernatural manner) does not appear to cause either doubt or difficulty to those to whom the Apostle conveyed the information thus miraculously bestowed upon him.

That which also I delivered unto you.—The Apostle was not now for the first time communicating these solemn facts to the Corinthians. He had told them all this before, and therefore they were sinning against knowledge when they degraded a feast which they knew to be so solemn to a purpose so unworthy.

There now follows an account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, which, as compared with the accounts given in the Gospel narratives (see Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20), possesses some noteworthy features. The Evangelists (St. Matthew and St. Mark) wrote their accounts many years after the occurrence, and recorded what they remembered to have observed and heard. St. Paul writes here, within a very few years at all events of his having received it, an account of what had been directly communicated by the Lord. This was also most probably the first written record of what occurred on that solemn night.

The fact that St. Luke’s narrative agrees most closely with St. Paul’s, would imply, not as some rationalising critics insinuate, that St. Paul was indebted to St. Luke; but that St. Luke attached high value to an account which his companion had received directly from the glorified Christ. The only differences of any importance between St. Luke’s and St. Paul’s narrative are—(1) St. Luke writes “given for you;” St. Paul omits the word “given” (see Note on 1Corinthians 11:24). (2) St. Luke omits the words “this do ye as oft as ye drink it,” after the giving of the cup; but he implies them by stating that the cup was given “in like manner” to the bread, in connection with which he records these words. The suggestion that St. Luke copied his account of the Last Supper from this Epistle is a mere speculation, and in the highest degree improbable. If that Evangelist had used this Epistle in writing his Gospel, is it likely that he would have been content with giving the somewhat scanty account of our Lord’s appearances after His resurrection, when he had at hand the much ampler record of the appearance to the 500 brethren and to James, which this Epistle contains? (1 Corinthians 15)

In all the narratives, however, the outlines of the scene are the same. There can be no mistake as to their all being truthful and (as the minor discrepancies prove) honestly independent records of an actual historical scene. It is worthy of remark that in the heated controversies which have raged around the Eucharistic Feast as to its spiritual significance, its evidential value has been frequently lost sight of. If the Betrayal and Crucifixion are not historical facts, how can we account for the existence of the Eucharistic Feast? Here is an Epistle whose authenticity the most searching and ruthless criticism has never disputed. We have evidence of the existence of this feast and its connection with events which occurred only twenty years before. If we bear in mind that the Apostles were Jews, and yet spoke of that wine which they drank as “blood”—that they were lovingly devoted to the person of Christ, and yet spake of that bread which they ate as His “flesh”—can the wildest imagination conceive of that practice having originated with themselves as their most solemn religious rite, and the profoundest expression of their love to their Lord? Could anything but the record given in the Gospel narrative possibly account for such a ceremony holding such a place in a sect composed of Christianised Jews? A dark conspiracy like that of Catiline might have selected the tasting of human blood as the symbol of the conspirators’ sanguinary hate of all human order and life; but such a band of men as the early Christians certainly could not of their own thought have made such a choice, and publicly proclaimed it. And if this be true—if Jesus, the night before an ignominious death, instituted this strange and solemn rite, which has been handed down century after century in unbroken continuity—can that foresight as to the future of His Church be assigned to one who was less than what Christendom claims her Lord to be? When Christ died His Apostles gave up all as lost, and went back sorrowfully to their old work as fishermen; Christendom was not an afterthought of the Apostles, but the forethought of the Lord.

The same night in which he was betrayed.—These words imply that the history of the Betrayal was familiar, and they also solemnly and touchingly remind the Corinthians of the strange contrast between the events of that night and the scenes in which they indulge now on the same night that they partake of that supper.

1 Corinthians 11:23. For I have received of the Lord — Doubtless by special revelation; that which also I delivered unto you — In my former preaching on this subject, in which, as in all things else, I have been careful most exactly to adhere to my original instructions. This epistle appears to have been written before any of the gospels, and it is probable from Galatians 1:17, &c, that when the apostle wrote it, he had seen none of the apostles. And that the institution of this ordinance should make a part of that immediate revelation, with which Christ honoured this apostle, is both very remarkable, and also affords a strong argument for the perpetuity of it in the church. “For had others of the apostles (as Barclay in his Apology for the Quakers presumes to insinuate) mistaken what passed at the last passover, and founded the observation of the eucharist on that mistake, surely Christ would rather have corrected this error in his new revelation to Paul, than have administered such an occasion of confirming Christians in it.” — Doddridge. That the Lord Jesus — In his own person; the same night in which he was betrayed — That is, in the night which preceded his crucifixion, which circumstance, with the others that follow respecting the nature and design of the sacred ordinance here spoken of, with the appointed form of its administration, Macknight thinks was made known to Paul by Christ himself, as a matter which merited particular attention, because it was a strong proof of his innocence. He knew he was to be crucified the next day as an impostor, for calling himself the Son of God. Having so near a prospect of his punishment, would he, by instituting his supper, have taken care that his punishment, as an impostor, should never be forgotten, if he had really been an impostor? No: such a supposition exceeds all rational belief. But knowing himself to be the Son of God, and being absolutely certain that God would acknowledge him as his Son, by raising him from the dead on the third day, he instituted his supper, to be preserved by his disciples till he should return to judge the world; because he foresaw that his death could not be remembered by his disciples, without recollecting his resurrection, and expecting his return. Further, if Christ did not rise from the dead according to his express promise, frequently repeated, can it be thought that his disciples, who thus must have known him to be a deceiver, would have perpetuated the memory of his punishment as an impostor, and of their own shame, by beginning a service, in which his death, that is, his punishment, would be openly published to the world? Wherefore, since the apostles, and the other first disciples, who were eye-witnesses of their Master’s death and resurrection, by beginning this service, and their successors by continuing it from age to age, have published to the world the death and resurrection of their Master, as matters of fact known and believed by all Christians from the beginning; this certainly is an incontrovertible proof of the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection, and consequently it hath fully established his claim to be God’s Son, the true Messiah and Saviour of the world. Also, this ordinance hath been the source of unspeakable consolation to his disciples in every age, by assuring them that all his doctrines are true, and that all his promises shall be performed in their season; particularly his promise of returning to raise the dead, and carry his people into heaven. In this view the institution of the supper, in the night wherein he was betrayed, was a great instance of Christ’s love to men. And we are bound by continuing that excellent service in the world, to hand down to them who come after us those unspeakable consolations which we ourselves enjoy, through the pious care of our fathers, who believed in Christ before us.

11:23-34 The apostle describes the sacred ordinance, of which he had the knowledge by revelation from Christ. As to the visible signs, these are the bread and wine. What is eaten is called bread, though at the same time it is said to be the body of the Lord, plainly showing that the apostle did not mean that the bread was changed into flesh. St. Matthew tells us, our Lord bid them all drink of the cup, ch. Mt 26:27, as if he would, by this expression, provide against any believer being deprived of the cup. The things signified by these outward signs, are Christ's body and blood, his body broken, his blood shed, together with all the benefits which flow from his death and sacrifice. Our Saviour's actions were, taking the bread and cup, giving thanks, breaking the bread, and giving both the one and the other. The actions of the communicants were, to take the bread and eat, to take the cup and drink, and to do both in remembrance of Christ. But the outward acts are not the whole, or the principal part, of what is to be done at this holy ordinance. Those who partake of it, are to take him as their Lord and Life, yield themselves up to him, and live upon him. Here is an account of the ends of this ordinance. It is to be done in remembrance of Christ, to keep fresh in our minds his dying for us, as well as to remember Christ pleading for us, in virtue of his death, at God's right hand. It is not merely in remembrance of Christ, of what he has done and suffered; but to celebrate his grace in our redemption. We declare his death to be our life, the spring of all our comforts and hopes. And we glory in such a declaration; we show forth his death, and plead it as our accepted sacrifice and ransom. The Lord's supper is not an ordinance to be observed merely for a time, but to be continued. The apostle lays before the Corinthians the danger of receiving it with an unsuitable temper of mind; or keeping up the covenant with sin and death, while professing to renew and confirm the covenant with God. No doubt such incur great guilt, and so render themselves liable to spiritual judgements. But fearful believers should not be discouraged from attending at this holy ordinance. The Holy Spirit never caused this scripture to be written to deter serious Christians from their duty, though the devil has often made this use of it. The apostle was addressing Christians, and warning them to beware of the temporal judgements with which God chastised his offending servants. And in the midst of judgement, God remembers mercy: he many times punishes those whom he loves. It is better to bear trouble in this world, than to be miserable for ever. The apostle points our the duty of those who come to the Lord's table. Self-examination is necessary to right attendance at this holy ordinance. If we would thoroughly search ourselves, to condemn and set right what we find wrong, we should stop Divine judgements. The apostle closes all with a caution against the irregularities of which the Corinthians were guilty at the Lord's table. Let all look to it, that they do not come together to God's worship, so as to provoke him, and bring down vengeance on themselves.For ... - In order most effectually to check the evils which existed, and to bring them to a proper mode of observing the Lord's Supper, the apostle proceeds to state distinctly and particularly its design. They had mistaken its nature. They supposed it might be a common festival. They had made it the occasion of great disorder. He therefore adverts to the solemn circumstances in which it was instituted; the particular object which it had in view - the commemoration of the death of the Redeemer, and the purpose which it was designed to subserve, which was not that of a festival, but to keep before the church and the world a constant remembrance of the Lord Jesus until he should again return, 1 Corinthians 11:26. By this means the apostle evidently hoped to recall them from their irregularities, and to bring them to a just mode of celebrating this holy ordinance. He did not, therefore, denounce them even for their irregularity and gross disorder; he did not use harsh, violent, vituperative language, but he expected to reform the evil by a mild and tender statement of the truth, and by an appeal to their consciences as the followers of the Lord Jesus.

I have received of the Lord - This cannot refer to tradition, or mean that it had been communicated to him through the medium of the other apostles; but the whole spirit and scope of the passage seems to mean that he had derived the knowledge of the institution of the Lord's supper "directly" from the Lord himself. This might have been when on the road to Damascus, though that does not seem probable, or it may have been among the numerous revelations which at various times had been made to him; compare 2 Corinthians 12:7. The reason why he here says that he had received it directly from the Lord is, doubtless, that he might show them that it was of divine authority. "The institution to which I refer is what I myself received an account of "from personal and direct communication with the Lord Jesus himself, who appointed it." It is not, therefore, of human authority. It is not of my devising, but is of divine warrant, and is holy in its nature, and is to be observed in the exact manner prescribed by the Lord himself."

That which also I delivered ... - Paul founded the church at Corinth; and of course he first instituted the observance of the Lord's Supper there.

The same night in which he was betrayed - By Judas; see Matthew 26:23-25, Matthew 26:48-50. Paul seems to have mentioned the fact that it was on the very night on which he was betrayed, in order to throw around it the idea of greater solemnity. He wished evidently to bring before their minds the deeply affecting circumstances of his death; and thus to show them the utter impropriety of their celebrating the ordinance with riot and disorder, The idea is, that in order to celebrate it in a proper manner, it was needful "to throw themselves as much as possible into the very circumstances in which it was instituted;" and one of these circumstances most suited to affect the mind deeply was the fact that he was betrayed by a professed friend and follower. It is also a circumstance the memory of which is eminently suited to prepare the mind for a proper celebration of the ordinance now.

Took bread - Evidently the bread which was used at the celebration of the paschal supper. He took the bread which happened to be before him - such as was commonly used. It was not a "wafer" such as the papists now use; but was the ordinary bread which was eaten on such occasions; see the note on Matthew 26:26.

23. His object is to show the unworthiness of such conduct from the dignity of the holy supper.

I—Emphatic in the Greek. It is not my own invention, but the Lord's institution.

received of the Lord—by immediate revelation (Ga 1:12; compare Ac 22:17, 18; 2Co 12:1-4). The renewal of the institution of the Lord's Supper by special revelation to Paul enhances its solemnity. The similarity between Luke's and Paul's account of the institution, favors the supposition that the former drew his information from the apostle, whose companion in travel he was. Thus, the undesigned coincidence is a proof of genuineness.

night—the time fixed for the Passover (Ex 12:6): though the time for the Lord's Supper is not fixed.

betrayed—With the traitor at the table, and death present before His eyes, He left this ordinance as His last gift to us, to commemorate His death. Though about to receive such an injury from man, He gave this pledge of His amazing love to man.

About these love feasts preceding the Lord’s supper, I have received nothing from the Lord, you have taken the practice up from the Jews or heathens: I do not know that it is unlawful for you civilly to feast, and eat and drink in your private houses; but to come to make such feasts immediately before you religiously eat and drink at the Lord’s table, I have received no order from the Lord for any such practice. I have told you what I received from the Lord, which is no more than:

That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: see this in the evangelists, Matthew 26:26 Mark 14:22 Luke 22:19; where all these words are opened. Some think that Paul received this from the Lord by immediate revelation (as it is thought Moses received the history we have in Genesis and part of Exodus, which relates to a time before he was born, or arrived at man’s estate). Others think that he received it from St. Luke’s writings (for the words are quoted according to his Gospel). Others think he received it from some other of the apostles. Certain it is, that he did receive it from the Lord; how, is uncertain.

For I have received of the Lord,.... The apostle observes unto them the rule, use, and end of the Lord's supper; his view in it is, to correct the disorders among them, and to bring them to a strict regard to the rule which had such a divine authority stamped upon it; and to observe to them, that in that supper all equally ate and drank; and that the end of it was not a paschal commemoration, but a remembrance of Christ, and a declaration of his sufferings and death. The divine authority of the Lord's supper is here expressed; it was not only instituted by him as Lord, having all power and authority in and over his churches, to appoint what ordinances he pleases; but the plan and form of administration of it were received from him by the apostle. This was not a device of his, nor an invention of any man's, nor did he receive the account from men, no not from the apostles; but he had it by revelation from Christ, either when he appeared to him at his first conversion, and made him a minister of the Gospel; or when he was caught up into the third heaven, and heard things unspeakable and unutterable:

that which also I delivered unto you; for whatever he received from Christ, whether a doctrine or an ordinance, he faithfully delivered to the churches, from whom he kept back nothing that was profitable, but declared the whole counsel of God unto them: now this he refers the Corinthians to, as a sure rule to go by, and from which they should never swerve; and whatever stands on divine record as received from Christ, and delivered by his apostles, should be the rule of our faith and practice, and such only;

that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed; or delivered; as he was by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God the Father, and as he was by himself, who voluntarily gave himself up into the hands of men, justice and death, for our offences; and so the Arabic version reads it here, "in the night in which he delivered up himself"; as he did in the garden to Judas and his company: it was in the night when he came in search of him with officers, and a band of soldiers, and when he betrayed him and delivered him into their hands; and that same night, a little before, our Lord instituted and celebrated the ordinance of the supper with his disciples. The time is mentioned partly with regard to the passover it followed, which was killed in the evening and ate the same night in commemoration of God's sparing the firstborn of Israel, when at midnight he destroyed all the firstborn of Egypt, and so was a night to be observed in all generations; and because this feast was to be a supper, and therefore it is best to observe it in the evening, or decline of the day. The circumstance of Judas's betraying him is mentioned, not only because it was in the night, and a work of darkness; but being in the same night he instituted the supper, shows the knowledge he had of his death by the means of the betrayer, and his great love to his disciples, his church and people, in appointing such an ordinance in remembrance of him, and his death, when he was just about to leave them:

took bread; from off the table, out of the dish, or from the hands of the master of the house; an emblem of his body, and of his assumption of human nature; of his taking upon him the nature of the seed of Abraham, of that body which his Father prepared for him, in order to its being broken; or that he might in it endure sufferings and death for his people.

{18} For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

(18) We must take a true form of keeping the Lord's supper, out of the institution of it, the parts of which are these: touching the pastors, to show forth the Lord's death by preaching his word, to bless the bread and the wine by calling upon the name of God, and together with prayers to declare the institution of it, and finally to deliver the bread broken to be eaten, and the cup received to be drunk with thanksgiving. And touching the flock, that every man examine himself, that is to say, to prove both his knowledge, and also faith, and repentance: to show forth the Lord's death, that is, in true faith to yield to his word and institution: and last of all, to take the bread from the minister's hand, and to eat it and to drink the wine, and give God thanks. This was Paul's and the apostles' manner of ministering.

1 Corinthians 11:23. Ground of the ἐν τούτῳ οὐκ ἐπαινῶ. For I, for my part, have received the following instructions from Christ touching the institution of the Lord’s Supper,[1848] which I also delivered to you. How should it be possible then that your disorder should meet with praise, so far as I am concerned, at variance as it is with the knowledge of the matter obtained by me from Christ and communicated to you?

ἀπὸ τοῦ Κυρίου] Had Paul written ΠΑΡᾺ Τ. Κ., this would have denoted that he had received the instructions directly from Christ (Galatians 1:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:14; Acts 10:22; John 6:45; John 8:40; John 10:18); ἀπὸ τ. κ., on the other hand, means forth from the Lord, from the Lord’s side as the source, so that the preposition taken by itself leaves the question open whether the relation referred to be an indirect (so generally, including Galatians 3:2; Colossians 3:24) or a direct one (as in Colossians 1:7; 1 John 1:5; 3 John 1:7). And Hofmann does not go further than this indefinite relation, holding the only idea expressed hero to be that of origin from the Lord; comp also his Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 211. But seeing that, if what Paul had in view had been an immediate reception, it would have been natural for him, and of some importance for his argument, to express this distinctly by using παρά, while yet in point of fact he uses only ἈΠΌ, we are warranted in assuming that he means a reception, which issued indeed from Christ as originator, but reached him only mediately through another channel. This applies against Calovius, Bengel, Flatt, and others, including Heydenreich, Olshausen, de Wette (assuming a confirmation by special revelation of what he had learned from report), Osiander, who all find here a direct communication from Christ. The argument of Schulz and de Wette, however, against this latter view, on the ground of the word παρέλαβ. being in itself inappropriate, will not hold, especially when we view it as correlative to ΠΑΡΈΔΩΚΑ; comp 1 Corinthians 15:3.

[1848] Not merely regarding its design and requirements (Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 353 f.); for the special account of the institution itself, which follows, goes beyond that.

The question now remains: Does Paul, in asserting that his account of the institution proceeded from the Lord, mean to say simply that he received what follows by a tradition descending from Christ,[1851] or by a revelation issuing from Christ? The latter alternative, which Rückert also adopts (Abendm. p. 194 f.), is not to be rejected on the ground of the following narrative being something with which all were familiar. For it is quite possible that it was wholly unknown to the apostle at the time of his conversion; and even apart from that, it was so important for his apostolic vocation that he should have a sure and accurate knowledge of these facts, and to receive it by way of special revelation was so completely in harmony with Paul’s peculiar position as an apostle, since he had not personally been a witness of the first Lord’s Supper, that there is nothing to forbid our assuming that he received his account of the institution of this ordinance, like his gospel generally, in the way of authentic revelation from Christ. As to the form of mediate communication through which Christ had caused these facts to reach Paul, not appearing to him for this purpose Himself, we must leave that point undecided, since very various kinds of media for divine revelations are possible and are historically attested. It may have been by an utterance of the Spirit, by an angel appearing to him, by seeing and hearing in an ecstatic state. Only the contents of the revelation—from its essential connection with the gospel, and, in fact, with its fundamental doctrine of the work of reconciliation—exclude, according to Galatians 1:1; Galatians 1:12; Galatians 1:15, the possibility of human intervention as regards the apostle in the matter; so that we should not be justified in supposing that the revelation reached him through some man (such as Ananias) commissioned to convey it to him by the Lord. As to the view that we have here a mere tradition, on the other hand, recounted by Paul as originating with Christ, the apostle himself decides against it both by his use of the singular (comp 1 Corinthians 15:3), and also by the significant prominence given to the ἘΓΏ, whereby he puts forward with the whole strength of conscious apostolic authority the communication made to himself, to him personally, by the Lord, over-against the abuse, contrasting with it, of the Holy Supper among the Corinthians. Had he meant simply to say: “I know it through a tradition proceeding from Christ,” then his ἐγώ would have been on the same level with every other, and the emphatic prominence which he gives to the ἘΓΏ, as well as the sing. ΠΑΡΈΛΑΒΟΝ, would be quite unsuitable, because without any specific historical basis; he would in that case have written: ΠΑΡΕΛΆΒΟΜΕΝ ΓᾺΡ ἈΠῸ ΤΟῦ ΚΥΡΊΟΥ. We have certainly therefore in this passage not merely the oldest account of the Lord’s Supper, but even “an authentic explanation given by the risen Christ regarding His sacrament” (Olshausen); not one directly from His lips indeed, but conveyed through some medium of revelation, the precise form of which it is impossible for us now to determine, whereby we have a guarantee for the essential contents of the narrative independently of the Gospels, although not necessarily an absolute ultimate authority establishing the literal form of the words of institution (even in opposition to Matthew and Mark), since a revelation of the history, nature, and meaning of the institution might be given even without any verbal communication of the words spoken in connection with it.

ὃ καὶ παρέδ.] which I (not only received, but) also delivered to you. Conversely in 1 Corinthians 15:3. Instances of παραλαμβ. and ΠΑΡΑΔΟῦΝΑΙ, in the sense of discere and tradere, may be seen in Kypke.

ὅτι] that, as in 1 Corinthians 15:3, not for, as Luther and Hofmann render it. The latter translation would leave untold what Paul had received and delivered, in spite of the importance of the matter in question; and it derives no support from the repetition of the subject, ὁ Κύριος, since that, with the addition of the sacred name Ἰησοῦς, gives a solemn emphasis to the statement. It is the full doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, which they owe to him, that he is now setting before his readers.

ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ᾗ παρεδίδοτο (imperfectum adumbrativum, see Kühner, II. p. 73): in the night in which His betrayal was going on (hence not the aorist). It is a deeply solemn and arresting thought, contrasted with the frivolity displayed among the Corinthians at the Agapae. The preposition is not repeated before the relative. Comp Xen. Anab. v. 7. 17, Mem. ii. 1. 32, with Kühner thereon; Plato, Phaed. p. 76 D, with Heindorf and Stallbaum in loc[1854]

ἌΡΤΟΝ] bread (a cake of bread), which lay on the table.

[1851] So Neander and Keim in the Jahrb. für Deutsch. Theol. 1859, p. 69.

[1854] n loc. refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.


The agreement which prevails between Paul’s account of the Supper and that of Luke, is not to be explained by a dependence of Paul upon Luke (Grotius, comp also Beza), but conversely. See on Luke 22:20, remark.

1 Corinthians 11:23-34. § 38. UNWORTHY PARTICIPANTS OF THE LORD’S BREAD AND CUP. The behaviour of the wealthier Cor[1740] at the Church Supper is scandalous in itself; viewed in the light of the institution and meaning of the Eucharistic ordinance, their culpability is extreme (1 Corinthians 11:23-27). The sense of this should set the readers on self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28 f.). The sickness and mortality rife amongst them are a sign of the Lord’s displeasure in this very matter, and a loud call to amendment (1 Corinthians 11:30-32). Two practical directions are finally given: that the members of the Church should wait until all are gathered before commencing supper; and that where hunger forbids delay, food should first be taken at home (1 Corinthians 11:33 f.).

[1740] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

23. For I have received of the Lord] Literally, For I received of the Lord. Reason why St Paul could not praise the Corinthians. Their conduct was a gross profanation of a rite which had been so solemnly instituted by Christ. These words, especially if we notice the emphatic use of the pronoun, seem to imply that St Paul had received from the Risen Lord’s own lips (see ch. 1 Corinthians 9:1 and note) the account of the institution of the Holy Communion which he now gives the Corinthians. He does not say ‘from the disciples of the Lord,’ but ‘from the Lord’ (“An authentic explanation given by the Risen Christ concerning His Sacrament,”—Olshausen). And it is remarkable that while it differs in some respects from that given by St Matthew and St Mark, this account by St Paul corresponds closely to that found in his friend and disciple St Luke’s narrative. This circumstance is a strong corroboration of the evidence for the authenticity of both Gospel and Acts, for it confirms the evidence we have that both were written by one closely connected with St Paul. Some have thought that we have here the earliest account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper; but the Gospel of St Matthew was possibly in existence by this time, and if we are to regard 2 Corinthians 8:18 (see Collect for St Luke’s Day) as referring to the Gospel of St Luke, that, too, must have been in existence before or about the time when this Epistle was written.

1 Corinthians 11:23. Ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον, for I received) by immediate revelation. “We ought therefore with great reverence to approach that most solemn mystery, which the Lord instituted, while He was yet upon the earth, as we are distinctly informed by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and which He renewed, besides, when He ascended into heaven, by special revelation to the Apostle Paul.”—Jac. Faber Stapulensis.—ἀπὸ τοῦ Κυρίου, from the Lord) Jesus Christ.—παρέδωκα, I delivered) in your presence.—ὁ Κύριος Ἰησοῦς, The Lord Jesus) This word Jesus is added with deliberate intention. He had just said from the Lord.—ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ, on the night) Hence it is called the Supper. Comp. Exodus 12:6; although in regard to the paschal lamb, the time of the day was expressly appointed; not so in respect to the Eucharist.—ᾗ παρεδίδοτο, on which He was betrayed) This is thus brought forward with evident intention; for His being betrayed broke off the conversation of Jesus with his disciples: comp. note at 1 Corinthians 11:26.

Verse 23. - I have received; rather, I received. He thus refers the revelation to some special time, and this seems to point to the conclusion that he is not referring to any account of the institution of the Lord's Supper, which may have been given him by St. Peter or one of the twelve, but to some immediate revelation from Christ. The terms in which he describes the institution of the Eucharist resemble most nearly those of St. Luke, who may very probably have derived his information from St. Paul. This passage should be compared with Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19, 20. Was betrayed; rather, was being betrayed. 1 Corinthians 11:23I received (ἐγὼ παρέλαβον)

I is emphatic, giving the weight of personal authority to the statement. The question whether Paul means that he received directly from Christ, or mediately through the apostles or tradition, turns on a difference between two prepositions. Strictly, ἀπὸ from or of, with the Lord, would imply the more remote source, from the Lord, through the apostles; but Paul does not always observe the distinction between this and παρά, from the preposition of the nearer source (see Greek, Colossians 1:7; Colossians 3:24); and this latter preposition compounded with the verb received, the emphatic I, and the mention of the fact itself, are decisive of the sense of an immediate communication from Christ to Paul.

Also (καὶ)

Important as expressing the identity of the account of Jesus with his own.

He was betrayed (παρεδίδετο)

Imperfect tense, and very graphic. He was being betrayed. He instituted the Eucharist while His betrayal was going on.

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