The Lord’s Supper 1 Corinthians 11:20 κυριακὸν δεῖπνον

There are many titles for the Christian service with bread and wine. “The Lord’s Supper” is a common one. It is used only once in the New Testament.

There was the long tradition of not celebrating the Lord’s Supper at supper time, in the evening. This was reinforced by the tradition of fasting before receiving communion from midnight.

Then there are some who insist that the Lord’s Supper can only be celebrated at supper time, in the evening.

There is also the translation issue of δεῖπνον (deipnon “supper”). Supper, at least in NZ, is the last snack of the day, consisting of maybe hot chocolate and possibly a biscuit. In this context κυριακὸν δεῖπνον is not accurately translated “Lord’s Supper”.

δεῖπνον, in fact, is not “supper”. It is the main meal of the day. It can be a more formal meal, a feast, or a banquet. In Jesus’ day it was most common to have one’s δεῖπνον after finishing work when all were together, hence in the evening. But the word δεῖπνον does not necessitate a specific time of day – it is not literally “supper” even though in some cultures the main meal would be when people in England have “supper”.

δεῖπνον is not about timing, it is about significance. δεῖπνον is the main meal, the chief meal of the day. κυριακὸν δεῖπνον is “The Lord’s Main Meal” or “The Lord’s Banquet”.

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