Exclusion and Judgment in Fellowship Meals: The Socio-historical Background of 1 Corinthians

By Lanuwabang Jamir

An exploration of the role of fellowship meals in the ancient world and their significance to Paul’s theology of the Lord’s Supper.

ISBN: 9780227176375


In Exclusion and Judgment in Fellowship Meals, Lanuwabang Jamir seeks to demonstrate that the tradition of fellowship meals in the ancient world form the background against which the Lord’s Supper must be understood. Similarly, the basis of Paul’s response to the situation in Corinth and his theology of the Lord’s Supper is to be found in these traditions.

The role of the fellowship meal in Greco-Roman and Jewish culture indicate that it was an important institution that played a pivotal role in the functioning of society. Judgment was an integral part of the fellowship meal traditions and it made such meal practices all the more significant in ancient cultures. For example, Jamir reveals that social-economic factors were only part of the problem in Corinth, where differences in ideology were the underlying cause of divisions in the church. Paul’s response to the problem shows that he upheld the fellowship meal traditions, linking sickness and death with the abuse of the Lord’s Supper. The concept of judgment in the Lord’s Supper, while based on the fellowship meal traditions, has been redefined in the light of the Gospel tradition.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Lanuwabang Jamir is an Assistant Professor of New Testament and the Dean of Graduate Studies at Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.


Foreword by Steve Walton

1. Fellowship Meals: Practices in the Ancient World
2. Fellowship Meals: Their Roles and Functions in the Ancient World
3. Fellowship Meals in Corinth: The Abuse at the Lord’s Supper
4. Judgment at the Lord’s Supper in Corinth

Final Conclusion

Index of Modern Authors
Index of Ancient Sources


Endorsements and Reviews

A scholarly and fresh examination of the roots of the Lord’s Supper in Corinth which has great relevance to issues that face us today. A book not only for the scholar, but also for the pastor and lay person who wish to study 1 Corinthians in greater depth.
George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, 1992-2002

This thorough study is as fascinatingly illuminating of a whole range of socio-cultural practices around fellowship meals in the ancient world as it is exegetically sure-footed and discerning in its handling of the biblical text. Lanu Jamir brings the world of Paul’s troublesome young church in Corinth vividly to life against a well-painted background. At the same time, we are led through some challenging theological and ethical insights into what it means to belong to those who share the privilege and the responsibility of eating and drinking at the table of the Lord.
Christopher J.H. Wright, Director of International Ministries, Langham Partnership

This study tackles a highly debated, contentious and difficult subject with integrity and careful consideration. By placing it solidly within the socio-historical context of the ancient world and against multiple functions of the meals in the societies, this research offers a fresh look at 1 Cor 11, 17-34. … This is a study worth reading.
Svetlana Khobnya, in Journal for the Study of The New Testament: Booklist 2017, Vol 39, No 5

This is an informative and accessible resource for clergy, lay leaders and instructors called upon to teach individuals, classes and congregations about the roots of their tradition’s worship life and Eucharistic meal in particular. It is also an excellent text for readers wanting a deeper knowledge of 1 Corinthians and Paul’s writing in general. I commend to each and every one.
Mike Jones, in Theological Book Review, Vol 28, No 2