By Ben Witherington III
Creating a Meal of It explores the history and implication of the Lord's Supper. Delving into its historic and Scriptural origins, Witherington argues that the Lord's Supper is a sacramental occasion of the group of God, designed to include humans of various backgrounds. Excavating the various ways that Scripture and early Christian culture talk about the Lord's Supper, Witherington advocates that the meal is essentially approximately who the folk of God are and the way they need to therefore stay jointly.
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Additional resources for Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper
Not surprisingly these strictures came as something of a surprise, a painful one, to more high-status Christians in Corinth who had only partially understood what the practical implications were of being a Christian. Unless we take this latter fact into consideration, namely, that Corinthian Christians were definitely a work in progress, we will not understand what Paul says about meals in general and the Lord’s Supper in particular in 1 Corinthians 10–11. Paul chooses to address his converts in Corinth by using an analogy in the form of a typology in 1 Corinthians 10.
40 / Making a Meal of It Thus it is that in 1 Corinthians 10 Paul begins by stressing that the Israelites received benefits from the Exodus–Sinai event (the pass through the Red Sea on dry ground is even imaginatively characterized as being baptized into Moses), and they had water and manna miraculously provided for them in the wilderness (presumably the manna and water are seen as types of the Lord’s Supper elements). Nevertheless, says Paul, though all these Israelites had these spiritual experiences and benefits, yet they perished in the wilderness.
The contrast has to do with the source of the body. God’s Spirit provided the food and drink in the wilderness, and God’s Spirit will provide the resurrection body as well. The food, like the body, is a real and material substance, but its origins are different from ordinary food or bodies. A spiritual body, then, means a body given by, and perhaps entirely empowered by, the Spirit. It does not refer to a nonmaterial body. 3 There is then nothing here to suggest that Paul saw the Lord’s Supper elements as something magical or “spiritual” in themselves.