1 Corinthians 11:26
For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death till he come.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) For as often as ye . . .—The previous verse concluded the account of the institution as conveyed by Christ to St. Paul, and the Apostle himself now again speaks. All this being the true account of the origin of this Supper, as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup (as distinct from other bread and wine) you proclaim the Lord’s death until He come. The Greek word for “ye show” is that used for making a public oral proclamation. The passage does not imply, as some have suggested, that the Lord’s Supper “was a living sermon or an acted discourse,” but, as is still the custom, that when the bread and wine were consecrated to this sacred use, there was an oral declaration made (perhaps in the very words the Apostle here used, 1Corinthians 11:22-25) of the facts of the original institution. The imperative form given in the margin of the Authorised version is quite inadmissible.

In the pathetic words “until He come” we may find an expression of the belief, perhaps largely due to the hope, that the Second Advent was not far distant.

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 as often - Whenever you do this.

Ye eat this bread - This is a direct and positive refutation of the doctrine of the papists that the bread is changed into the real body of the Lord Jesus. Here it is expressly called "bread" - bread still - bread after the consecration. Before the Saviour instituted the ordinance he took "bread" - it was bread then: it was "bread" which he "blessed" and "broke;" and it was bread when it was given to them; and it was bread when Paul says here that they ate. How then can it be pretended that it is anything else but bread? And what an amazing and astonishing absurdity it is to believe that that bread is changed into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ (transubstantiation or consubstantiation)!

Ye do show the Lord's death - You set forth, or exhibit in an impressive manner, the fact that he was put to death; you exhibit the emblems of his broken body and shed blood, and your belief of the fact that he died. This shows that the ordinance was to be so far public as to be a proper showing forth of their belief in the death of the Saviour. It should be public. It is one mode of professing attachment to the Redeemer; and its public observance often has a most impressive effect on those who witness its observance.

Till he come - Until he returns to judge the world. This demonstrates:

(1) That it was the steady belief of the primitive church that the Lord Jesus would return to judge the world; and,

(2) That it was designed that this ordinance should be perpetuated, and observed to the end of time. In every generation, therefore, and in every place where there are Christians, it is to be observed, until the Son of God shall return; and the necessity of its observance shall cease only when the whole body of the redeemed shall be permitted to see their Lord, and there shall be no need of those emblems to remind them of him, for all shall see him as he is.

26. For—in proof that the Lord's Supper is "in remembrance" of Him.

show—announce publicly. The Greek does not mean to dramatically represent, but "ye publicly profess each of you, the Lord has died FOR ME" [Wahl]. This word, as "is" in Christ's institution (1Co 11:24, 25), implies not literal presence, but a vivid realization, by faith, of Christ in the Lord's Supper, as a living person, not a mere abstract dogma, "bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh" (Eph 5:30; compare Ge 2:23); and ourselves "members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones," "our sinful bodies made clean by His body (once for all offered), and our souls washed through His most precious blood" [Church of England Prayer Book]. "Show," or "announce," is an expression applicable to new things; compare "show" as to the Passover (Ex 13:8). So the Lord's death ought always to be fresh in our memory; compare in heaven, Re 5:6. That the Lord's Supper is in remembrance of Him, implies that He is bodily absent, though spiritually present, for we cannot be said to commemorate one absent. The fact that we not only show the Lord's death in the supper, but eat and drink the pledges of it, could only be understood by the Jews, accustomed to such feasts after propitiatory sacrifices, as implying our personal appropriation therein of the benefits of that death.

till he come—when there shall be no longer need of symbols of His body, the body itself being manifested. The Greek expresses the certainly of His coming. Rome teaches that we eat Christ present corporally, "till He come" corporally; a contradiction in terms. The showbread, literally, "bread of the presence," was in the sanctuary, but not in the Holiest Place (Heb 9:1-8); so the Lord's Supper in heaven, the antitype to the Holiest Place, shall be superseded by Christ's own bodily presence; then the wine shall be drunk "anew" in the Father's kingdom, by Christ and His people together, of which heavenly banquet, the Lord's Supper is a spiritual foretaste and specimen (Mt 26:29). Meantime, as the showbread was placed anew, every sabbath, on the table before the Lord (Le 24:5-8); so the Lord's death was shown, or announced afresh at the Lord's table the first day of every week in the primitive Church. We are now "priests unto God" in the dispensation of Christ's spiritual presence, antitypical to the HOLY PLACE: the perfect and eternal dispensation, which shall not begin till Christ's coming, is antitypical to the HOLIEST PLACE, which Christ our High Priest alone in the flesh as yet has entered (Heb 9:6, 7); but which, at His coming, we, too, who are believers, shall enter (Re 7:15; 21:22). The supper joins the two closing periods of the Old and the New dispensations. The first and second comings are considered as one coming, whence the expression is not "return," but "come" (compare, however, Joh 14:3).

From hence it appears, that the bread and wine is not (as papists say) transubstantiated, or turned into the very substance of the flesh and blood of Christ, when the communicants eat it and drink it. It is still the same bread and cup it was. The end of the institution is but to commemorate Christ’s death; and upon that account the waiting upon God in this ordinance, will be a standing duty incumbent upon Christians, until Christ shall come to judgment. Some think, show ye, is a better translation of the verb, than (as we translate it)

ye do show; wherefore so behave yourselves at this ordinance, as those who know what they have to do in it, that is, to show forth the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup,.... Not any bread, or any cup: but what is ate and drank in an ordinance way, and according to the institution and appointment of Christ, and with a view to the end proposed by him; and though there is no set fixed time for the administration of this ordinance, yet this phrase seems to suggest that it should be often: and very plainly signifies, that the bread and wine, after the blessing or thanksgiving, remain such, and are not converted into the real body and blood of Christ; but are only outward elements representing these to faith;

ye do show the Lord's death till he come; or rather, as it may be rendered in the imperative mood, as an exhortation, direction or command, "show ye the Lord's death till he come"; since everyone that eats and drinks at the Lord's table does not show forth his death, which is the great end to be answered by it; for the design of the institution of it is to declare that Christ died for the sins of his people: to represent him as crucified; to set forth the manner of his sufferings and death, by having his body wounded, bruised, and broken, and his blood shed; to express the blessings and benefits which come by his death, and his people's faith of interest in them; and to show their sense of gratitude, and declare their thankfulness for them; and all this, "till he come"; which shows the continuance of this ordinance, which is to last till Christ's second coming, where the carnal ordinances of the former dispensation were shaken and removed; and also the continuance of Gospel ministers to the end of the world, to administer it, and of churches to whom it is to be administered: this assures of the certainty of Christ's second coming; as it leads back to his coming in the flesh, suffering and dying in our stead, and thereby obtaining redemption for us; it leads forward to expect and believe he will come again, to put us into the full possession of the salvation he is the author of; when there will be no more occasion for this ordinance, nor any other, but all will cease, and God will be all in all. The apostle here refers to a custom used by the Jews in the night of the passover, to show forth the reason of their practice, and that institution to their children; when either (u).

"the son asked the father, or if the son had not understanding (enough to ask), then the father taught him, saying, how different is this night from all other nights? for in all other nights we eat leavened and unleavened bread, but in this night only unleavened; in all other nights we eat the rest of herbs, but in this night bitter herbs; in all other nights we eat flesh roasted, broiled, and boiled, in this night only roasted; in all other nights we wash once, in this night twice; and as elsewhere (w) it is added, in all other nights we eat sitting or lying, in this night all of us lie; and according to the capacity of the child, the father teaches him,''

particularly he was to inform him what these several things showed forth, or declared (x); as that

"the passover "declared", or "showed forth", that the Lord passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt; the bitter herbs "showed forth", that the Egyptians made the lives of our fathers bitter in Egypt; and the unleavened bread "declared" that they were redeemed; and all these things are called "the declaration", or showing forth:''

and there is a treatise called , "the showing forth of the passover"; in which, besides the things mentioned, and many others, it is observed (y), that it was commanded the Jews "to declare" the going out of Egypt, and that everyone that diligently declares the going out of Egypt, is praiseworthy: now the apostle observes this end of the Lord's supper, to show forth his death, in opposition to the notion of the "judaizing" Christians at Corinth, who thought of nothing else but the showing forth of the passover, and the declaration of that deliverance and redemption wrought for the people of Israel; whereas the true and only intent of it was to show forth the death of Christ, redemption by him, and the greatness of his love expressed therein, and which is to be continued till his second coming; whereas the time was come when it should "be no more said, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt", Jeremiah 16:14.

(u) Misn. Pesach. c. 10. sect. 4. Haggadah Shel. Pesach. p. 5. (w) Maimon. Chametz Umetzah, c. 8. sect. 2.((x) Moses Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora prec. aff. 41. (y) P. 5, 6. Ed. Rittangel. & Seder. Tephillot. Ed. Basil. fol. 243. 1.

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 11:26. Not still words of Christ (Ewald),[1865] in citing which Paul glides involuntarily into the form into which they had by this time become moulded in the church; for against this view there is (1) the unsuitableness in itself of such a ὝΣΤΕΡΟΝ ΠΡΌΤΕΡΟΝ in the expression (especially after 1 Corinthians 11:23); (2) the fact of the words being linked to the preceding by ΓΆΡ, which is less in keeping with the tone and direct form of the words of institution, but, on the other hand, naturally marks the apostle himself again beginning to speak; and (3) the fact that Luke has nothing of a similar kind in his account of the Supper. The common view is the right one, that Paul proceeds here in his own person. But what he gives is neither a further reason assigned for οὐκ ἐπαινῶ in 1 Corinthians 11:22 (so Hofmann, in connection with his incorrect interpretation of ὍΤΙ in 1 Corinthians 11:23), nor is it an experimental elucidation of the last words of 1 Corinthians 11:25 (the ordinary view), for the contents of 1 Corinthians 11:26 stand rather in the logical relation of consequence to the foregoing narrative of institution. No; γάρ is to be taken here (comp on 1 Corinthians 11:22) in its inferential sense, and made to refer to the whole preceding account of the origin of the Supper. We may paraphrase thus: Such, then, being the facts of the original institution, it comes to pass that as often as ye, etc.

τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον] the bread prescribed according to this appointment of Christ; ΤῸ ΠΟΤΉΡΙΟΝ: the cup now spoken of, the eucharistic cup.

καταγγέλλετε] ye proclaim the Lord’s death, i.e. ye declare solemnly in connection with this ordinance, that Christ has died for you. This καταγγέλλειν cannot without arbitrariness be taken as merely a declaring by action (so commonly); it can only be taken as actually oral.[1867] How it took place, we do not know. The Peschito (the Vulgate has annuntiabitis) rightly took καταγγ. as indicative (so also Theophylact, Beza, Bengel, de Wette, Osiander, Kahnis, Neander, Maier, Rückert in his Abendm. p. 211, Hofmann), which Grotius and others ought not to have changed into annuntiare debetis; for the proclamation in question was an essential thing which took place at the Supper, and therefore an admonition to it would have been inappropriate. Even in the case of unworthy participation the καταγγέλλειν referred to was not omitted; the admonition, therefore, could only have respect to the worthiness of the participation, with which that καταγγέλλειν was connected; and, in point of fact, such an admonition follows accordingly in 1 Corinthians 11:27 f. We must reject therefore the view commonly taken by other interpreters (and necessarily adopted by Ewald in accordance with his view of the verse as given above), namely, that καταγγ. is imperative. See, besides, Rodatz in Lücke and Wieseler’s Vierteljahrschr. I. 3, p. 351.

ἄχρις οὖ ἔλθῃ] until He shall have come; for the apostle was convinced that the Parousia was close at hand, and therefore future generations could not have been present to his mind in writing thus; but to apply his words to them is historically necessary and right.

ἄχρις stands without ἄν (see instances in Lobeck, a[1868] Phryn. p. 15 f.), because the arrival of the Parousia is conceived as absolutely certain, not as conditioned by any contingencies which might possibly delay it (Hermann, part. ἄν, p. 109 ff.). In Galatians 4:19 also, Paul, in the earnestness of his love, conceives the result as equally certain (against Rückert’s objection). After the Parousia the Lord Himself is again there. Theodoret: μετὰ γὰρ δὴ τὴν αὐτοῦ παρουσίαν οὐκέτι χρεία τῶν συμβόλων τοῦ σώματος, αὐτοῦ φαινομένου τοῦ σώματος· Διὰ τοῦτο εἶπεν· ἄχρις οὗ ἂν ἔλθῃ. To eat with Him will then be a new thing (Matthew 26:29); but until then the proclamation here spoken of is not to be silenced. How that thought was fitted to keep constantly before their minds the solemn responsibility of an unworthy participation in the Supper (see 1 Corinthians 11:27)! In this way Paul links to the καταγγέλλειν of the communicants the fear and trembling of the Maran atha, 1 Corinthians 16:22.

[1865] In the Constitt. ap. too (viii. 12. 16) they are placed in Christ’s mouth, but with the change of τὸν θάνατον τὸν ἐμὸν καταγγέλλετε, ἄχρις ἂν ἔλθω.

[1867] Καταγγέλλειν is always an actual proclamation, never a mere giving to be known by deeds. Were the latter the meaning here, Paul would be using a poetical expression (something like ἀναγγέλλειν in Psalm 19:1 f.), which would be not at all suitable in view of the context. I regret that Hofmann has been so hasty in censuring my assertion of the necessity of the above interpretation, as if it carried absurdity on the face of it. We do not know in what forms a liturgical element had already developed itself in connection with a rite which had now been observed for some quarter of a century. And have not the eucharistic liturgies up to this day, even the oldest that we are acquainted with (in Daniel, Codex liturg.), as for instance the “Liturgia Jacobi,” essential parts, which are a καταγγέλλειν of the Lord’s death? Comp. too the explicit confession prescribed at the Jewish feast of the Passover, Exodus 12:27; Exodus 13:8.

[1868] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.1 Corinthians 11:26. Familiarity helped to blunt in the Cor[1762] their reverence for the Eucharist; hence the repeated ὁσάκις ἐάν: “for so many times as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you are proclaiming the Lord’s death, until He come”. γὰρ has its proper explicative force: Christ bade His disciples thus perpetually commemorate Him (1 Corinthians 11:24 f.: ποιεῖτε, “go on to do”—sustained action), “for it is thus that you publish His death, and in this form the testimony will continue till He comes again.” καταγγέλλετε (see parls.), on this view ind[1763], is the active expression of ἀνάμνησις: “Christus de beneficio mortis suae nos admonet, et nos coram hominibus id recognovimus” (Cv[1764]). The ordinance is a verbum visi-bile, a “preaching” of the entire Church in silent ministry: “Christi sanguis scripturarum omnium sacramento ac testimonio effusus prœdicatur” (Cyprian, quoted by Ed[1765]). ἄχρι οὗ ἔλθῃ states the terminus ad quem given in the words of Jesus at the Table, Luke 22:18, Matthew 26:29. The rite looks forward as well as backward; a rehearsal of the Passion Supper, a foretaste of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Paul thus “associates with the καταγγέλλειν of the celebrants the fear and trembling that belong to the Maranatha of 1 Corinthians 16:22” (Mr[1766]). The pathos and the glory of the Table of the Lord were alike lost on the Corinthians.

[1762] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1763] indicative mood.

[1764] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii.

[1765] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[1766] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).26. For as often as ye eat] These words are not those of Christ, but of St Paul. St John 3:31-36, and Galatians 2:15-21 are somewhat similar instances, but in them it is by no means certain that we have a commentary by the writer on the speech he records, but quite possible that the passage forms part of the speech itself.

ye do shew] Tell, Wiclif. Annuntiabitis, Calvin and the Vulgate. Annoncerez, De Sacy. Some (e.g. the margin of the English Bible) take this imperatively, but it is better as in the text. If Meyer be right in supposing that the word here used is never employed except in the sense of oral proclamation (see ch. 1 Corinthians 2:1, 1 Corinthians 9:14 of this Epistle; and Php 1:16; Php 1:18; Colossians 1:28, as examples of its use by St Paul), we have here strong grounds for affirming that the words of institution formed part of the form of celebrating the Sacrament, even in Apostolic times. The word occurs ten times in the Acts of the Apostles, always in the sense of proclaim.

the Lord’s death] Since this Sacrament was instituted as a memorial of Christ’s Death upon the Cross.

till he come] As long as the Christian Church shall last, this Sacrament will continue to be celebrated for the object for which it was instituted. However widely divided on other points, Christians have agreed in carrying out this prediction for more than 1800 years.1 Corinthians 11:26. Τὸν θάνατον τοῦ Κυρίου, the death of the Lord) the death, by which Christ was sacrificed for us [and His blood was separated from His body. Hence he says separately, This is my body; and separately, This is my blood.—V. g.] So also, He is mentioned in the Apocalypse as a lamb, that had been slain.—καταγγέλλετε, ye announce [show]) The Indicative, with the for, is to be referred to the, I have delivered, 1 Corinthians 11:23. He convicts the Corinthians from their own practice, such as it was. New things are announced [shown forth], and the death of the Lord ought always to be new [fresh] in our memory; Exodus 13:8, καὶ ἀναγγελεῖς, and thou shalt show [announce]; referring to the passover; whence the paschal lesson is called הגרה, the annunciation. The Syriac version also has the indicative.—ἄχρις οὗ, until) Paul derives this from the particle ἕως, Matthew 26:29, whatever seems to be lost to us by Christ’s going away, is compensated by the Lord’s Supper as by a kind of equivalent, so that from the time of the Lord’s departure from the sight of believers to His visible and glorious coming, we still have Himself, whom for a time we do not see. What was conspicuous in our Redeemer has passed into the sacraments; Leo the Great, Serm. 2 on the ascension. On this account it is said in remembrance of Me: and of this mode of remembering there was no need, as long as He was in person with His disciples; consequently He did not institute the Supper sooner, but on that night, on which His being betrayed broke off the visible intercourse with Jesus upon the earth; but He instituted it then, lest He should also be forgotten, when no longer seen. It may be asked, why did He not institute the Supper, during the forty days that elapsed between His resurrection and ascension? Ans. 1. Because it chiefly relates to the remembrance of His death. 2. The Sacred Supper is a specimen as it were of communion at the same heavenly banquet with Christ in heaven, but after His resurrection, Christ did not eat and drink with His disciples, but merely ate with them, and only for the purpose of convincing them of His being truly raised from the dead and of His actual presence with them. This remembrance is of the closest and most vivid kind, such as is the remembrance of children towards their parents, of a wife towards her husband, of a brother towards a brother, united with faith, love, desire, hope, joy, obedience, and comprehending the whole of the Christian’s present condition. This relation to Christ is in force from the close of His last feast with His disciples till His coming again, Matthew 26:29. This mystery joins the two closing periods of the two Dispensations, the Old and New.—ἄν) at whatever time His coming may take place.[102] Then it will be drunk new, Matthew 26:29.—ἔλθῃ, come) in glory, 1 Corinthians 4:5. It is not called a return; comp. Acts 1:11, note.

[102] Nay, but the margin of both editions, with consent of the Germ. Ver., implies rather that we should omit this particle ἄν, if we follow the copies.—E. B.

ABCD corrected later, G omit ἂν. Rec. Text has none of the oldest authorities on its side in reading ἂν.—ED.Verse 26. - Ye do show the Lord's death. The word literally means, ye announce, or proclaim, with reference to the repetition of the actual words used by our Lord. It will be seen that St. Paul does not lend the smallest, sanction to the unfathomable superstition" of a material transubstantiation. Till he come. Accordingly the antiquity and unbroken continuance of this holy rite is one of the many strong external evidences of the truth of the gospel history. The α}ν is omitted in the Greek, to indicate the certainty of Christ's coming. The same Greek idiom is hopefully and tenderly used in Galatians 4:19. Ye do shew (καταγγέλλετε)

Rev., better, proclaim. It is more than represent or signify. The Lord's death is preached in the celebration of the Eucharist. Compare Exodus 13:8, thou shalt shew. In the Jewish passover the word Haggadah denoted the historical explanation of the meaning of the passover rites given by the father to the son. Dr. Schaff says of the eucharistic service of the apostolic age: "The fourteenth chapter of first Corinthians makes the impression - to use an American phrase - of a religions meeting thrown open. Everybody who had a spiritual gift, whether it was the gift of tongues, of interpretation, of prophecy, or of sober, didactic teaching, had a right to speak, to pray, and to sing. Even women exercised their gifts" ("Introduction to the Didache"). See, further, on 1 Corinthians 14:33.

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