The Forum

The Forum

This department is provided for the free and courteous discussion of biblical and spiritual problems which may be considered edifying to the people of God. Letters concerning such matters are requested.

Many are One Loaf


Dear Brethren,

Would you please explain the reason why there is a difference in regard to the loaf and the cup between 1 Corinthians, chapter 10 and 11?

Yours sincerely,


Dear W.R.T.

The key word in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 is partaker. The key word in chapter 11 is remember. The emphasis in chapter 10 is on the continuous communion of saints. The emphasis in chapter 11 is on the weekly expression of that communion at the Lord’s supper.

In chapter 10 there are three tables, expressive of three fellowships: that of Judaism, Paganism, and Christianity. To be present at any one of these identified the person with the fellowship it represented.

The significance of the cup coming first in chapter 10 is because only by the blood of Christ is the believer introduced into the fellowship of the Body of Christ. Thus, the Christian’s participation in the value of the blood of Christ brings him into the participation of the life of the Body of Christ.

The Lord’s table in chapter 10, therefore, declares three things: our separation from the world’s systems of religion, our unification with all the people of God, and our participation in all the benefits of the atonement.

In chapter 10 the emblems are the symbols of the communion or common interest of the saints in the atonement. In chapter 11 the emblems are the symbols of the sufferings and death of our Lord which made this communion possible.

In chapter 10 the bread is the symbol of our Lord’s mystical Body, the Church; whereas, in chapter 11 it is the symbol of His physical Body.

In chapter 10 we rejoice in our position as “we bless” the cup, or speak eloquently of the blood in our daily living. In chapter 11 we remember the person of our glorious Lord and proclaim His death as we partake of the emblems week by week.

Sincerely in Christ,
R. McC.

In order to further impress upon the mind what Brother McC. has said relative to the symbolism of the loaf in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, a contrast might be drawn between the Jewish feast of Pentecost and the symbol that represents the Church born on the Day of Pentecost.

At the celebration of the Jewish feast of Pentecost two loaves were always used (Lev. 23:15-21). No matter how these may be viewed typically, literally they were two loaves. The Body of Christ, the Church of the Living God, born on that very day, is symbolized by only one loaf. What an emphasis upon the organic oneness of the Body of Christ!