17 But in giving this next instruction, I do not praise you, because when you meet together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you meet together in church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and in part I believe it, 19 for [doubtless] there have to be factions among you, so that those who are of approved character may be clearly recognized among you. 20 So when you meet together, it is not to eat the [a]Lord’s Supper, 21 for when you eat, each one hurries to get his own supper first [not waiting for others or the poor]. So one goes hungry while another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you show contempt for the church of God and humiliate those [impoverished believers] who have nothing? What will I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? In this I will not praise you!
The Lord’s Supper
23 [b]For I received from the Lord Himself that [instruction] which I passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is (represents) My body, which is [offered as a sacrifice] for you. Do this in [affectionate] remembrance of Me.”25 In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant [ratified and established] in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in [affectionate] remembrance of Me.”26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are [symbolically] proclaiming [the fact of] the Lord’s death until He comes [again].
27 So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But a person must [prayerfully] examine himself [and his relationship to Christ], and only when he has done so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks [without solemn reverence and heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ], eats and drinks a judgment on himself if he does not [c]recognize the body [of Christ]. 30 That [careless and unworthy participation] is the reason why many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep [in death]. 31 But if we evaluated and judged ourselves honestly [recognizing our shortcomings and correcting our behavior], we would not be judged. 32 But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined [by undergoing His correction] so that we will not be condemned [to eternal punishment] along with the world.
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat [the Lord’s Supper], wait for one another [and see to it that no one is left out]. 34 If anyone is too hungry [to wait], let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment [on yourselves]. About the remaining matters [of which I was informed], I will take care of them when I come.
1 Corinthians 11:20When Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper (or the Lord’s Table), it was the Passover meal with the special rituals and explanations that He introduced (Matt 26:26 ff; Luke 22:15 ff). The description given here indicates that the early church celebrated the Lord’s Supper in similar fashion by having a full meal (the so-called agape “love” feast) that included the special rites with the bread and wine (see v 21).
1 Corinthians 11:23Many scholars believe this may be the first written description of the Lord’s Supper since this letter from Paul is dated earlier than any of the Gospels.
1 Corinthians 11:29I.e. respect Christ’s sacrifice and his fellow believers for whom Christ also died.
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