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The Breaking Of Bread

The Breaking Of Bread

by Richard Nichols

Published in
The Christian Informer
September, 2001

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Last updated:
September 9, 2001.

The expression "the breaking of bread" is used in the New Testament by a metonymy to refer to the Lord's supper or Communion (Acts 2:42). It is said that the disciples came together "to break bread" in Acts 20:7. Again, Paul asks, "The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (1 Cor 10:16). The common expression "break bread" had to do with the manner in which this particular food was eaten both in ceremony (Jeremiah 16:7), as well as in common meals. Typically it was prepared, not in a small size for each individual, as our "biscuits" or "rolls", but in larger loaves from which all ate, and needed to be divided by those who would eat it. Therefore, the bread was broken or torn off by each person eating - it was not cut.

It is our opinion that, today, when one assumes the responsibility to bake the unleavened bread for the Lord's supper, they should practice using different proportions and baking times in order to prepare a loaf suitable for the purpose. It should not be gummy or gluey, nor should it be so tough or hard that it is unbreakable. It will take practice to make a loaf that is not so brittle that it shatters when touched. Each communicant should be able to break or take his or her portion to eat in a trouble-free manner. We hope to go into more about the bread later, Lord willing.