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Home The Light Articles from 1999 The Necessity Of One Loaf On the Lord's Table

The Necessity Of One Loaf On the Lord's Table

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The Necessity Of One Loaf On the Lord's Table

by Alexander Campbell

Proposition: "On the Lord's table there is of necessity but one loaf." The necessity is not that of a positive law enjoining one loaf and only one, as the ritual of Moses enjoined twelve loaves. But it is a necessity arising from the meaning of the institution as explained by the apostles. As there is but one literal body, and but one mystical or figurative body having many members; so there must be but one loaf. The apostle insists upon this. "Be-cause there is one loaf, we, the many, are one body; for we are all partakers of that one loaf" (1 Cor. 10:17).

The Greek word artos, especially when joined with words of number, says Dr. Macknight, always signifies "a loaf," and it is so translated in our Bibles: "Do you not re-member the five loaves?" (Matt. 16:9). There are many instances of the same sort. Dr. Campbell says, "that in the plural number it ought always to be rendered loaves; but when there is a number before it, it indispensably must be rendered loaf or loaves. Thus we say one loaf, seven loaves; but not one bread, seven breads."

"Because there is one loaf," says Paul, "we must consider the whole congregation as one body." Here the apostle reasons from what is more plain to what is less plain; from what was established to what was not so fully established in the mind of the Corinthians. There was no dispute about the one loaf; therefore, there ought to be none about the one body.

This mode of reasoning makes it as certain as a positive law; because that which an apostle reasons from must be an established fact, or an established principle. To have argued from an assumption or a contingency to establish the unity of the body of Christ would have been ridiculous in a logician, and how unworthy of an apostle! It was, then, an established institution, that there is but one loaf, inasmuch as the apostle establishes his argument by a reference to it as an established fact.

Our proposition is, then, sustained, "that on the Lord's table there is of necessity but one loaf." —Millennial Harbinger, December 1830.

 

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