Monday, December 27, 2010

Markus Barth on the Lord's Supper

I'm reading through Rediscovering the Lord's Supper by Markus Barth (thanks to Wipf & Stock for the copy). Here is what Barth concludes about the Jewish background of the Lord's Supper:

1. The abandonment of altar-like structures in favor of real tables.
2. The participation of children because it is not only permissible but necessary.
3. The combination of liturgical act with a real meal, called an agape in the early church.
4. Joyful and jubilant means of celebration including oral, musical or artistic contributions.
5. The elimination of clerical dominion over the meal.
6. The opening of the church and chapel doors with for spontaneous and regular communion.

7 comments:

Danilo Sergio Pallar Lemos said...

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E said...

How many theologians concur or conclude that Christ's request that the partaking be for His anamnêsis was equivalent to the Jewish zikkaron, and that the diners/communicants are to use the occasion to remember Jesus to His Father (as opposed to it primarily being about them reflecting on Jesus' life and death), as well as proclaim His death to His Father, so that the covenant His death effected might be "remembered" and acted upon by His Father with respect to those who have put their faith in Him? I.e., we "remember" Jesus and His Body and Blood to God, His Father, so that He will not only save us now, but will also "remember" us "on that Day."

jeff miller said...

Sounds like a reasonable book. Thanks for posting.

pennoyer said...

@E: Is this your proposed take on the Lord's Supper or are you paraphrasing Markus Barth here? In any case it seems overly creative to me; or what good professor Hillers used to call a tour de force in a negative sense. - Ray

Matt said...

well said Ray.

E said...

No, it's not my take on it. I'm just wondering if many scholars have picked up on this possible aspect of it. See, e.g., EUCHARIST by Louis Bouyer of the Oratory; EUCHARIST: Symbol of Transformation by William R. Crockett; and THE EUCHARISTIC WORDS OF JESUS by Joachim Jeremias. There's this short read, too: http://www.trushare.com/0109Jun04/JU04REAR.htm

pennoyer said...

@E: Thanks for the clarification and references.

I went back to my copy of Jeremias and, sure enough, he treats this in chapter 5. To draw primarily from Jeremias: "This do, that God may remember me" would mean that God remembers the Messiah in that he causes the kingdom to break in by the parousia. One meaning of the Lord's Supper would then be that of an enacted prayer by the disciples for the expansion and consummation of the covenant established by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

The Lord's Supper is rich with meaning. And this meaning, I have to admit, is worthy of consideration and so I stand corrected. - Ray