The Meaning of 1 Corinthians 11:24 Explained

1 Corinthians 11:24

KJV: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

YLT: and having given thanks, he brake, and said, 'Take ye, eat ye, this is my body, that for you is being broken; this do ye -- to the remembrance of me.'

Darby: and having given thanks broke it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me.

ASV: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Discover 1 Corinthians 11:24

What does 1 Corinthians 11:24 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The Greek word eucharisteo, "to give thanks," accounts for the fact that another name for the Lord"s Supper is the Eucharist. Likewise some Christians call it "the breaking of bread" because Jesus broke the bread, as Paul stated here.
There have been various interpretations of what Jesus meant when He said, "This is my body." There are four main views. Roman Catholics take it as a literal statement meaning the bread really becomes the body of Christ and the contents of the cup become the blood of Christ. They believe this is true when duly authorized representatives of the church conduct the service properly. This is the transubstantiation view. Adherents believe God transfers the body and blood of Christ into the substance of the elements. The bread and wine really become the physical body and blood of Christ.
A second view is not quite so literal. It is the consubstantiation view and, as the word implies, its advocates see the body and blood of Christ as present "in, with, and under" the elements. Christ is "really" present, though not physically present, in this Lutheran view.
The third major view is the spiritual presence view that Presbyterians and some other followers of Calvin hold. For them the spiritual presence of Christ is in the elements and, as in the former views, God ministers grace to the communicant in a concrete way through participation.
The fourth view is the memorial view. Advocates believe that when Jesus said, "This is my body," he meant, "This represents my body." In other words, they understand His statement as completely metaphorical. They view the elements as pictures or emblems of the body and blood of Christ. In contrast to the preceding views this one does not see Christ present in any special sense in the elements. Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss reformer, promoted this view. Today most of the churches from the Anabaptist branch of Protestantism (i.e, Baptists, Methodists, independent Bible churches, et al.) follow this interpretation. [1] As the following quotation clarifies, this view expresses how Jesus" Jewish disciples probably first understood "This is my body (and blood)."
"The identification of the bread with the body is semitic imagery in its heightened form. As in all such identifications, he means "this signifies/represents my body." It lies quite beyond both Jesus" intent and the framework within which he and the disciples lived to imagine that some actual change took place, or was intended to take place, in the bread itself. Such a view could only have arisen in the church at a much later stage when Greek modes of thinking had rather thoroughly replaced semitic ones." [2]
Jesus invited his disciples to take the bread that represented His body. He thus gave them a share in His body and invited them to participate in the meaning and benefits of His death. His body was "for" them in a double sense. It was what secured atonement on their behalf (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3; Romans 5:6; Romans 5:8), and it was a body offered in their place (e.g, Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Lord"s request that His disciples remember Him by partaking of bread and the fruit of the vine is rich with significance. Many followers remember their leaders by erecting stone monuments to their memories and making pilgrimages to these sites. In contrast the Lord Jesus made remembering Him easy yet profound. Eating the elements helps us appreciate the fact that Christ is really within us, and eating together reminds us of our unity with other believers in Christ"s body, the church.
Remembering in biblical terminology does not mean just calling to memory. It includes realizing what the event remembered involved (cf. Exodus 13:3; Exodus 20:8; Deuteronomy 5:15; Deuteronomy 7:18; et al.). The Lord"s Supper is not just something Christians do to bring the memory of Jesus back into fresh view, though it does that too. It is a memorial of the salvation that He accomplished by His death and resurrection. 1 Corinthians 11:24 contains the Lord"s command to observe the Eucharist as do the Gospel accounts of the institution of this ordinance. [3] It is impossible to be an obedient Christian without observing the Lord"s Supper.
Some Christian groups refer to the Lord"s Supper as one of the "sacraments." They mean the elements minister grace to the participant in a more direct and physical way than those who speak of it as an "ordinance," assuming they are using these terms properly. An ordinance or sacrament is a rite the Lord commanded His followers to observe.
Most Protestants believe there are two ordinances, baptism and the Lord"s Supper. A few Protestant groups include foot washing as an ordinance on the basis of John 13:12-17 (e.g, the Grace Brethren, some Mennonites, et al.).

Context Summary

1 Corinthians 11:23-34 - Observing The Lord's Supper
There was much disorder in the Corinthian church, because the love-feast, which preceded the Holy Supper, was the scene of riot and conviviality, of ostentation and jealousy. In the love-feast of the early Church each brought his own supply of food, which was put into a common stock and shared by all alike; but at Corinth each family or group retained their own provisions, and a great distinction was thus made between rich and poor. This caused much heart-burning and was unworthy of Christians.
Note that the Apostle received the words of institution by direct revelation. The Lord's Supper is intended not only to commemorate the supreme act of Calvary, but to enable us spiritually to incorporate into ourselves the very life and death of Jesus, so that we may truly be crucified with Him and nevertheless live. "That I may know Him and the fellowship of His sufferings." We are liable to condemnation if we do not recognize the Body of Christ-that is, the Church-the unity of which is disturbed and obscured when there is dissension. If we judge ourselves, we escape the judgment and chastisement of the Almighty. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Corinthians 11

1  He reproves them, because in holy assemblies,
4  their men prayed with their heads covered,
6  and women with their heads uncovered;
17  and because generally their meetings were not for the better, but for the worse;
21  as, namely, in profaning with their own feast the Lord's supper
25  Lastly, he calls them to the first institution thereof

Greek Commentary for 1 Corinthians 11:24

When he had given thanks [ευχαριστησας]
First aorist active participle of ευχαριστεω — eucharisteō from which word our word Eucharist comes, common late verb (see note on 1 Corinthians 1:14). [source]
Which is for you [το υπερ υμων]
Κλωμενον — Klōmenon (broken) of the Textus Receptus (King James Version) is clearly not genuine. Luke (Luke 22:19) has διδομενον — didomenon (given) which is the real idea here. As a matter of fact the body of Jesus was not broken (John 19:36). The bread was broken, but not the body of Jesus. In remembrance of me (εις την εμην αναμνησιν — eis tēn emēn anamnēsin). The objective use of the possessive pronoun εμην — emēn Not my remembrance of you, but your remembrance of me. Αναμνησις — Anamnēsis from αναμιμνησκω — anamimnēskō to remind or to recall, is an old word, but only here in N.T. save Luke 22:19 which see. [source]
In remembrance of me [εις την εμην αναμνησιν]
The objective use of the possessive pronoun εμην — emēn Not my remembrance of you, but your remembrance of me. Αναμνησις — Anamnēsis from αναμιμνησκω — anamimnēskō to remind or to recall, is an old word, but only here in N.T. save Luke 22:19 which see. [source]
Had given thanks [εὐχαριστής]
Eucharistesas Hence in post-apostolic and patristic writers, Eucharist was the technical term for the Lord's Supper as a sacrifice of thanksgiving for all the gifts of God, especially for the “unspeakable gift,” Jesus Christ. By some of the fathers of the second century the term was sometimes applied to the consecrated elements. The formula of thanksgiving cited in “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” is, for the cup first, 'We give thanks to Thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which Thou hast made known to us through Jesus, Thy servant: to Thee be the glory forever.” And for the bread: “We give thanks to Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou hast made known to us through Jesus Thy servant: to Thee be the glory forever. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and, gathered together, became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy Kingdom, for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever.” [source]
Brake []
Bengel says: “The very mention of the breaking involves distribution and refutes the Corinthian plan - every man his own” (1 Corinthians 11:21). [source]
Do [ποιεῖε]
Be doing or continue doing. [source]
In remembrance [εἰς]
Strictly, for or with a view to, denoting purpose. These words do not occur in Matthew and Mark. Paul's account agrees with Luke's. Remembrance implies Christ's bodily absence in the future. [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Corinthians 11:24 mean?

and having given thanks He broke [it] said This of Me is the body which [is] for you this do in - of Me remembrance
καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν εἶπεν Τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ σῶμα τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν

εὐχαριστήσας  having  given  thanks 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: εὐχαριστέω  
Sense: to be grateful, feel thankful.
ἔκλασεν  He  broke  [it] 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: κλάω  
Sense: to break.
εἶπεν  said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
Τοῦτό  This 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
μού  of  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
σῶμα  body 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: σῶμα  
Sense: the body both of men or animals.
τὸ  which  [is] 
Parse: Article, Nominative Neuter Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
τοῦτο  this 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
ποιεῖτε  do 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: ποιέω  
Sense: to make.
τὴν  - 
Parse: Article, Accusative Feminine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐμὴν  of  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative Feminine 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐμός  
Sense: my, mine, etc.
ἀνάμνησιν  remembrance 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ἀνάμνησις  
Sense: a remembering, recollection.

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