Ancient Christian Worship: Early Church Practices in Social, by Andrew B. McGowan

By Andrew B. McGowan

This creation to the origins of Christian worship illuminates the significance of historical Christian worship practices for modern Christianity. Andrew McGowan, a number one student of early Christian liturgy, takes a clean method of knowing how Christians got here to worship within the distinct kinds nonetheless normal this present day. Deftly and expertly processing the bewildering complexity of the traditional resources into lucid, fluent exposition, he units apart universal misperceptions to discover the roots of Christian ritual practices--including the Eucharist, baptism, communal prayer, preaching, Scripture examining, and music--in their earliest recoverable settings. scholars of Christian worship and theology in addition to pastors and church leaders will worth this paintings.

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Wine was a focus at banquets for reasons beyond aesthetics or nutrition, since libations (offerings poured onto the ground) or, in Jewish circles, blessings over wine were regularly offered to initiate and sanctify the whole proceedings. Thus wine, like meat, had religious significance. 7 Early Christians did not live by bread and wine alone; other foods (opsa) sometimes played an important part in their “eucharistic” eating as well, as we will see. Yet the normative pattern of bread and wine central to the Christian communal meal reflects the staple food and drink of the ancient Mediterranean, not just a specific ritual or tradition associated with Jesus.

23–25) not to give instructions for proper ritual or prayer, or to suggest consumption of mere crumbs and sips, but to shame a divided community at Corinth with the example of Jesus’ humility and self-offering (vv. 27–30). We do not know what resulted in this case but should not assume that Paul’s intention was to separate out a token form of eating or have such replace the communal meal. The bread and wine to be shared in his ideal banquet are still staple foods, shared fairly—not odd, merely “sacramental,” additions to the meal.

11:21). Paul uses the story of the Last Supper (vv. 23–25) not to give instructions for proper ritual or prayer, or to suggest consumption of mere crumbs and sips, but to shame a divided community at Corinth with the example of Jesus’ humility and self-offering (vv. 27–30). We do not know what resulted in this case but should not assume that Paul’s intention was to separate out a token form of eating or have such replace the communal meal. The bread and wine to be shared in his ideal banquet are still staple foods, shared fairly—not odd, merely “sacramental,” additions to the meal.

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