Paul and the Eucharistic bread (Acts 27:35)

“After he had said this,

Paul took bread.

He gave thanks

To God.

In the presence of all

He broke it

And began to eat.”

εἴπας δὲ ταῦτα καὶ λαβὼν ἄρτον εὐχαρίστησεν τῷ Θεῷ ἐνώπιον πάντων καὶ κλάσας ἤρξατο ἐσθίειν.

The author of Acts indicated that after he had said this (εἴπας δὲ ταῦτα), he took bread (καὶ λαβὼν ἄρτον).  He gave thanks (εὐχαρίστησεν) to God (τῷ Θεῷ).  In the presence of all of them (ἐνώπιον πάντων), he broke it (καὶ κλάσας) and began to eat (ἤρξατο ἐσθίειν).  There are clear Eucharistic overtones to Paul blessing, giving thanks, and then breaking, and eating the bread.  This is exactly what Jesus did at the Last Supper.  The sequence and the phraseology are the same as in Luke, chapter 22:19, where Jesus then took a loaf of bread (καὶ λαβὼν ἄρτον).  When he had given thanks (εὐχαριστήσας), he broke it (ἔκλασεν) and gave it to them (καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς).  Jesus said (λέγων) that this is his body (Τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου) that was given up for them (τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διδόμενον).  They were to do this in remembrance of him (τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν).  Obviously, the part about this is my body and the remembrance were not here, but the structure is the same.  Here only Paul ate the bread.  However, this idea of blessing before meals was common among the Jewish people.  The other question would be where was this bread for two weeks while they were in the storm?  Do you believe in the Eucharist?

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