Thursday, February 9, 2017
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Matthew 26:26 (NKJV)
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Mark 14:22 (NKJV)
And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Luke 22:19 (NKJV)
Sometimes folks get hung up on the smallest things. Grandmother used to say, “Some people make mountains out of mole hills.” During the time of the Passover, Jews did not have leavened bread in their homes, replacing it with the unleavened kind. This bread was usually made in a round shape about 12 to 14″ wide and about an inch thick. There is a good article on unleavened bread in http://truthofyah.net/studies/unleavenedbread.html.
In that link, it states that the word “bread” is not found in the Hebrew text, only the word “unleavened.” In Greek, bread is translated from the word artos (άρτος). The King James Version renders this word as “bread” seventy-two times, “loaf” twenty-three times, and “shewbread” twice. Some have argued that Jesus and Paul used “bread” in the communion rather than a “loaf” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24). Yet, the word artos means bread or loaf. We would stretch it out in our culture by including both with the expression, “loaf of bread.” In Greek that would be redundant. The King James committee decided which English word to use in each text, although both are from the same Greek word!
Mark uses both English words in the same verse, yet both are translated from that one Greek word artos.
“Now the disciples had forgotten to take (artos) bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one (artos) loaf.” (Mark 8:14).
Most congregations today use Matzah Bread in the Lord’s Supper. Although it may be unleavened, it is a “cracker” rather than artos (loaf of bread). There was a time when most churches had an individual who made unleavened bread for the Lord’s supper. We find “packaged” is easier and more convenient today. But we have gone from “loaf” to a box of crackers. Some churches have reduced the cracker to a bite size wafer. Those who argue for “loaf” rather than “bread,” or “bread” rather than “loaf,” need to realize that Matzah bread is a cracker or wafer and artos meant loaf of bread! Size isn’t important. Shape isn’t important. Homemade or store bought isn’t important. It is unleavened. It is what it represents that matters. It symbolizes the body of Jesus, the one who sacrificed his life to pay our sin debt, because we could never pay it ourselves! That is what is important about artos (άρτος)!