Breaking Bread: Common Meal or Lord’s Supper?

Many misunderstand the breaking of bread in Acts 2 and Acts 20. In Acts 2, some confuse “the breaking of bread” in verse 42 with “breaking bread at home” in verse 46 by ignoring the article “the” before “breaking of bread” and then not seeing that “the bread that we break” refers to the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 10:16). Some also do not notice the Lord’s Supper is different from the common meal in homes as the Spirit says, “Do you not have houses to eat and drink in?” (1 Cor. 11:22), which is clearly contrasting the Lord’s Supper from the “breaking of bread at home” in Acts 2:46.

Acts 20 is much simpler. Acts 20 presents an assembly of “the disciples” to break bread on the first day of the week. Instead of meeting everyday, Paul stayed 7 days until the first day of the week. Apart from this, many confuse this regular breaking of bread in the Assembly with the bread that was broken in verse 11. The subject of verse 11 is Paul, and the verbs “broken” and “eaten” are singular referring to Paul and not plural referring to the congregation. Verse 11 is simply referring to Paul eating his own meal, which could not have been the Lord’s Supper since making the Lord’s Supper such a common meal and eating alone was condemned by him in 1 Corinthians 11.

This also refutes the claims that the Lord’s Supper was eaten on another day than the Assembly. Being after midnight would mean a change of day according to some and by this understanding, Christians could either assemble and partake of the Lord’s Supper on Saturday or Monday depending on the conjecturing of readers. In light of the Scriptures above, this is not possible or relevant.

About Scott J Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
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