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Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper Paperback – November 1, 2007


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Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper + Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper (Counterpoints: Church Life) + Understanding Four Views on Baptism (Counterpoints: Church Life)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 135 pages
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602581908
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602581906
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Witherington provides compelling answers to many of the crucial issues.

- E. Arnold, Professor and Chairman, Department of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

About the Author

Ben Witherington, III (Ph.D. Durham) is Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary and the author of more than 20 books, including The Problem with Evangelical Theology (Baylor University Press 2005) and Troubled Waters: Rethinking the Theology of Baptism (Baylor University Press 2007).

More About the Author

Bible scholar Ben Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies.

Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.

Witherington has written over thirty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications, and is a frequent contributor to the Beliefnet website.

Along with many interviews on radio networks across the country, Witherington has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.

Customer Reviews

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The book covers the biblical background to communion very well.
Tim A. Sheets
As someone who owns about 20 of Witherington's books I would rate this one quite highly ... O.K. who am I kidding, I'd rate nearly all of them highly.
Jeffrey N. Lemke
Dr. Witherington surely brings a weighty discussion, but does so with winsomeness and humility along the way.
D. Whitmarsh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey N. Lemke on November 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful little book on the history, meaning, and current theological importance of The Lord's Supper. As someone who owns about 20 of Witherington's books I would rate this one quite highly ... O.K. who am I kidding, I'd rate nearly all of them highly.

Witherington's understanding of social setting and of discourse material are beautifully displayed in his chapter, "The Long Farewell," which explores the relationship of John (or should we say "Lazarus") chapter 13 ff. to the Last Supper and to Holy Week. ... Also notable is his chapter "The Table of the Entitled and the Table of the Lord" - an eyeopening explanation of the church at Corinth's situation around the meal.

"The Mystery of the Meal" is the closing chapter of this book and I found it both a challenging and a beautiful piece to read. It's discussions around "discerning the body" are pastorally helpful and theologically rooted in Ben's knowledge and wisdom displayed earlier in the book. Also, he uses two very moving stories near the end of this chapter (from his own experience), and the names Meltem and Georgio arose in one of my sermons almost as soon as I had finished this wonderful little offering.

This book will not appeal to most Roman Catholic readers - at least that is my impression as a (possibly very ignorant) protestant. But it will appeal to most Christians who want to be challenged and deepened in their appreciation of this central celebration of our faith.

Thank you Ben, for yet another gift to the church of Jesus.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Morine VINE VOICE on December 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Coming from a church of Christ background, this book was highly interesting. It does an excellent job of looking at the Biblical text as well as some of the early expressions of the Lord's Supper. This was one of the riches and best books of the year for me. Your mind will be expanded and your heart will be enriched.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tim A. Sheets on October 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper by Ben Witherington III. This was one of about four books I read this past summer.

The book, which is somewhat small in page numbers, is a pretty heavy in content. In it, Ben explores the history of what many of us call communion/Lord's Supper. He begins with a study on the Passover. Why? Well, it seems it was on the night of Passover (very early, maybe even pre-mature to when Jews celebrated Passover) that Jesus introduced the Lord's Supper (the first communion). The book covers the biblical background to communion very well. When you finish reading this book you walk away feeling as if you have a complete biblical grasp on communion and its roots.

Another great thing about this book is that it takes you beyond the scriptures in learning about communion. You get a good dose of church history while reading this book. Ben traces the transformation of the communion meal from the Early Church Fathers into something entirely different (all happened within just a few centuries of its beginnings). I felt this book was very comprehensive in its coverage of communion.

Theologically speaking, there is plenty to whet your whistle. Ben isn't just attempting to trace the roots of communion, but to explain its importance and role in the 21st Century. This is a great book to help shape and form your perspective on communion (it sure has been helpful to me!). As a bonus, you could easily take the sections/chapters of this book and craft them into sermon(s). You could do a whole series of sermons on communion based off of this book. Great sermon fodder here!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Whitmarsh on September 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Among Christians, few topics are both as important and as debated as the meaning and practice of the Lord's Supper. And Dr. Witherington has done us all a favor in writing a book in which he attempts to get beyond the rhetoric and debate, taking a fresh look at the biblical texts, the early Christian writings, and the theological developments up to the present age. There is much here that challenges just about every 'tradition,' be it the Roman Catholic sacramental version to the simple ordinance of the Baptists. Dr. Witherington surely brings a weighty discussion, but does so with winsomeness and humility along the way. I especially appreciate the way he drives the discussion right back to its proper place - not so much the meal on the table, but the Lord who invites us there.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Marc Axelrod VINE VOICE on May 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Dr. Witherington does a great job of showing the Hebrew roots of the Lord's Supper and how it looks back on the Exodus from sin accomplished by Christ just as Passover looks back on the Exodus from Egypt. The author expounds all of the salient texts from the Old and New Testaments, though in my view, he spends a tad too much time defending his view of the authorship of the Fourth Gospel.

He shows how the Lord's Supper was offered in the context of a love feast in 1 Corinthians 11, and that the Corinthians were treating it like one of their pagan guild meals where favoritism is extended to the wealthy and well off.

He also notes that the NT texts we have about the Supper are tantalizing not only for what they do say, but what they don't say. However, Dr. Witherington interprets them quite well, and then he challenges us to take the Supper more often and with proper reverence and reflection.
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