Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 10:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For we, being many, are one bread - The original would be better translated thus: Because there is one bread, or loaf; we, who are many, are one body. As only one loaf was used at the passover, and those who partook of it were considered to be one religious body; so we who partake of the eucharistical bread and wine, in commemoration of the sacrificial death of Christ, are one spiritual society, because we are all made partakers of that one Christ whose blood was shed for us to make an atonement for our sins; as the blood of the paschal lamb was shed and sprinkled in reference to this of which it was the type.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For we - We Christians. “Being many.” Greek “The many” ( οἱ πολλοί hoi polloi). This idea is not, as our translation would seem to indicate, that Christians were numerous, but that “all” (for οἱ πολλοί is here evidently used in the sense of παντες , “all”) were united, and constituted one society.

Are one bread - One loaf; one cake. That is, we are united, or are one. There is evident allusion here to the fact that the loaf or cake was composed of many separate grains of wheat, or portions of flour united in one; or, that as one loaf was broken and partaken by all, it was implied that they were all one. We are all one society; united as one, and for the same object. Our partaking of the same bread is an emblem of the fact that we are one. In almost all nations the act of eating together has been regarded as a symbol of unity or friendship.

And one body - One society; united together.

For we are all partakers … - And we thus show publicly that we are united, and belong to the same great family. The argument is, that if we partake of the feasts in honor of idols with their worshippers, we shall thus show that we are a part of their society.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Did not the joining in the Lord's supper show a profession of faith in Christ crucified, and of adoring gratitude to him for his salvation ? Christians, by this ordinance, and the faith therein professed, were united as the grains of wheat in one loaf of bread, or as the members in the human body, seeing they were all united to Christ, and had fellowship with him and one another. This is confirmed from the Jewish worship and customs in sacrifice. The apostle applies this to feasting with idolaters. Eating food as part of a heathen sacrifice, was worshipping the idol to whom it was made, and having fellowship or communion with it; just as he who eats the Lord's supper, is accounted to partake in the Christian sacrifice, or as they who ate the Jewish sacrifices partook of what was offered on their altar. It was denying Christianity; for communion with Christ, and communion with devils, could never be had at once. If Christians venture into places, and join in sacrifices to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, they will provoke God.
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