The Lord's Supper and the Concept of Anamnesis

Ray Carlton Jones Jr.

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 10/1/1986

Issue: Romans (Vol. 6, No 4, Fall, 1986)

In one way or another the early church and the first Christians placed the Lord’s Supper in the context of a remembrance—an anamnesis-of Jesus. But the question is: How shall we understand the concept of anamnesis? Is this a concept which was somehow present at the institution of the Lord’s Supper itself? Is this concept in reality a biblical concept, or is it a concept that has worked its way into the Pauline and Lucan narratives-a concept which has its origin in the Hellenistic world of that period? Or has the concept of anamnesis first arisen in the primitive Christian community? Is it an outgrowth of the common meals which the disciples themselves shared with Jesus? Or is it a product of the practice of the first Christians which is recorded in Acts—namely, the practice of breaking bread in fellowship with one another—and with their risen Lord?

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