In these two essays two distinguished Reformed scholars accept the challenge of understanding and explaining the central meaning of the Lord’s Supper.
How did primitive Christianity understand this event? What relationship was Christ attempting to establish with mankind? Did He wish to establish a link other than the one of preaching His Word? What is the relationship of Word and Sacrament? These and other vital issues for the churches of the Reformation tradition are addressed.
In the first essay, Oscar Cullmann proposes to investigate the true meaning of the Lord’s Supper with which primitive Christianity invested the cultic act of the sacred meal, as it was practised in the communities of the first century. He examines the Breaking of Bread and the Resurrection Appearances and draws a connection between the Lord’s Supper and the Death of Christ, and successfully combines the two in his conclusion.
The second essay, by F. J. Leenhardt, provides an answer to the question: What relationship did Christ wish to establish with man? Or more precisely, since Christ wished His disciples to proclaim His Gospel, He established a link which is the preaching of His Word: “He that hears you, hears me.” The question is therefore whether or not He wished to establish, by another means than the spoken Word, a further relationship with man.
Both essays present new and original insights into the central meaning of the Lord’s Supper.