First Corinthians 11:22-34


“Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!

Why Paul will not praise them or except what they are doing is found in the next verse.



The reason Paul will not accept their behavior is they know what the tradition of the Lord’s Supper means and they know how they should behave.


received (parelabon) – it means “to receive.”  This is the word that translates the Hebrew word “quibble” which means to receive tradition which has been passed on.”


passed on” (paredwca) – It means “teaching”.  It is used in 1 Cor. 11:2. This is another technical term in Judaism for the oral transmission or religious instruction.  It is being used to refer to traditions that Paul received and passed down orally.  Paul did not receive this information by reading.


from  (apo) - means “from”.  This word indicates that Paul did not receive this information directly from the Lord.


In this verse Paul would be saying “I received a tradition that goes back to the Lord that I passed on to you.”


Jesus did not tell or reveal this to Paul but someone, probably one or more of the other apostles, told it to Paul.  The apostles had received it from the Lord on the night of the Last Supper.


The phrase “on the night he was betrayed” are probably part of the oral tradition that helps put the following words in context.  They were probably not something Paul added but something that came along.




“This is my body”

1)     The use of this phrase is in the context of Semitic imagery.  It is completely out of context for the disciples at the Last Supper to have thought that the bread Jesus passed around the table had turned into his flesh.  They could not have understood that when he said “This is my body” that somehow the bread had replaced Jesus’ body or had miraculously somehow become an extension of his body. Other examples are:

a.      1 Cor. 10:4 – “the rock was Christ”

b.      Gal. 4:25 – “Hagar is Mount Sinai

2)     The focus was that his physical body was going to be handed over to death as a sacrificial offering both:

a.      for them

b.      instead of them (Isaiah 53:12)


“Which is for you” is found in Luke’s account and is used by Paul.

There are two forms of this tradition that have been handed down to us:

1)     Mark (Mark 14:22) and Matthew (Matt. 26:26)

a.      Matthew adds “eat” as imperative or the voice of command

b.      Matthew adds “for the forgiveness of sins.”

2)     Luke (Luke 22:19) and Paul (1 Cor. 11:23)

a.      Luke and Paul use the verb “give thanks” instead of “bless”

b.      Eating the bread is not imperative

c.      “which is for you; this do in my remembrance” is added to the bread

d.      have the phrase “after supper”

e.      Do not have the blessing of the cup

f.        Does not mention them all drinking from the cup

g.      The cup saying is different: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” or “This is my blood of the covenant.”


Paul quotes Jesus as saying “do this in remembrance of me”.  This refers to remembering what his body was for.  It was a sacrifice for sins.

Hebrews 10:19-21 – “living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.”



The bread and cup sayings are separated by the meal.  One was at the beginning of the meal and the other at the end.


q       “This cup is the new covenant, in my blood” 1 Cor. 11:25

q       “This cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you.”  Luke 22:20

q       “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”  Matt.26:27

q       “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” Mark 14:24



“For” returns us to Paul’s words to the Corinthians.

Paul now gives his reason for quoting the tradition he handed down to the Corinthians.


The Corinthians remember the words and they still have the Supper.

The Corinthians have forgotten the meaning and the purpose for having the remembrance meal.


What is the purpose?  What is the meaning?  Paul answers that in 1 Cor. 11:26:

“Proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes”


The focus of the meal is the Lord’s death since “death” is in the emphatic position.  It literally says:

the death of the Lord you proclaim until he comes.”


The Corinthians new spiritual condition or their lack of maturity have prevented them from recognizing the two features of the Lords’ Supper:

  1. The Death of the Lord (first coming)
  2. The Return of the Lord (second coming)


Why are these two things important?  Many reasons, but one is we are living our lives between these two events.


The Greek is the word “proclaim” is “kataggellete” it means “proclaim” and is used with the idea of making a solemn announcement by word of mouth.

  1. The verb is indicative not imperative.
  2. The Lord’s Supper is a visual sermon or an object lesson that proclaims the message.





Here is Paul’s point

Partaking of the meal in an unworthy manner is now the theme


“Guilty” is a technical legal term to express liability.  In its construction here it can mean to the person sinned against or the crime itself.  It can mean:

  1. Guilty of sinning against the Lord . . . desecrating the Lord’s table.  This puts some sacred nature on the elements and the meal itself.  Paul was not concerned with the actual bread and cup but with how they were treating each other.
  2. Held liable for the Lord’s death.  Paul would then be saying that the purpose of the meal was to proclaim the Lord’s death and return.  By losing this meaning the Corinthians are facing the same guilt as those responsible for his death (body and blood) the first time.  To be “guilty of his body and blood” means they are “liable for his death”


enocoV       estai      tou      swmatoV       kai     tou     aimatoV      tou        kuriou

Guilty        will be  of the    body            and  of the    blood      of the      Lord.








recognizing the body” means not to recognize his death.

This is not a reference to the bread but to what the bread represents – the death of the Lord.