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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 11 - Verse 25

Verse 25. After the same manner. In like manner; likewise. With the same circumstances, and ceremonies, and designs. The purpose was the same.

When he had supped. That is, all this occurred after the observance of the usual paschal supper. It could not, therefore, be a part of it, nor could it have been designed to be a festival or feast merely. The apostle introduces this evidently in order to show them that it could not be, as they seemed to have supposed, an occasion of feasting. It was after the supper, and was therefore to be observed in a distinct manner.

Saying, This cup, etc. See Barnes "Mt 26:27,28".

 

Is the new testament. The new covenant which God is about to establish with men. The word "testament" with us properly denotes a will—an instrument by which a man disposes of his property after his death. This is also the proper classic meaning of the Greek word here used, diayhkh, (diatheke.) But this is evidently not the sense in which the word is designed to be used in the New Testament. The idea of a will or testament, strictly so called, is not that which the sacred writers intend to convey by the word. The idea is evidently that of a compact, agreement, COVENANT, to which there is so frequent reference in the Old Testament, and which is expressed by the word

HEBREW

Berith—a compact, a covenant. Of that word the proper translation in Greek would have been sunyhkh, a covenant, agreement. But it is remarkable that that word never is used by the Seventy to denote the covenant made between God and man. That translation uniformly employs for this purpose the word diayhkh—a will, or a testament—as a translation of the Hebrew word, where there is a reference to the covenant which God is represented as making with men. The word sunyhkh is used by them but three times, Isa 28:15; 30:1; Da 11:6, and in neither instance with any reference to the covenant which God is represented as making with man. The word diayhkh, as the translation of

HEBREW

Berith—occurs more than two hundred times. (See Trommius' Concord.) Now this must have evidently been of design. What the reason was which induced them to adopt this can only be conjectured. It may have been that, as the translation was to be seen by the Gentiles as well as by the Jews, (if it were not expressly made, as has been affirmed by Josephus and others, for the use of Ptolemy,) they were unwilling to represent the eternal and infinite JEHOVAH as entering into a compact, an agreement, with his creature man. They therefore adopted a word which would represent him as expressing his will to them in a book of revelation. The version by the Seventy was evidently in use by the apostles, and by the Jews everywhere. The writers of the New Testament, therefore, adopted the word as they found it; and spoke of the new dispensation as a new testament which God made with man. The meaning is, that this was the new compact or covenant which God was to make with man in contradistinction from that made through Moses.

In my blood. Through my blood; that is, this new compact is to be sealed with my blood, in allusion to the ancient custom of sealing an agreement by a sacrifice. See Barnes "Mt 26:28".

 

This do ye. Partake of this bread and wine; that is, celebrate this ordinance.

As oft as ye drink it. Not prescribing any time; and not even specifying the frequency with which it was to be done; but leaving it to themselves to determine how often they would partake of it. The time of the passover had been fixed by positive statute; the more mild and gentle system of Christianity left it to the followers of the Redeemer themselves to determine how often they would celebrate his death. It was commanded them to do it; it was presumed that their love to him would be so strong as to secure a frequent observance; it was permitted to them, as in prayer, to celebrate it on any occasion of affliction, trial, or deep interest, when they would feel their need of it, and when they would suppose that its observance would be for the edification of the church.

In remembrance of me. This expresses the whole design of the ordinance. It is a simple memorial, or remembrancer, designed to recall, in a striking and impressive manner, the memory of the Redeemer. It does this by a tender appeal to the senses—by the exhibition of the broken bread, and by the wine. The Saviour knew how prone men would be to forget him; and he therefore appointed this ordinance as a means by which his memory should be kept up in the world. The ordinance is rightly observed when it recalls the memory of the Saviour; and when its observance is the means of producing a deep, and lively, and vivid impression on the mind, of his death for sin. This expression, at the institution of the Supper, is used by Luke, (Lu 22:19;) though it does not occur in Matthew, Mark, or John.

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