The Greco-Roman festive meal or banquet was first of all a social event and not merely a time to eat. The meal consisted of two parts: the first was the eating part or supper (Greek deipnon), followed by leisurely drinking and social time together (Greek, symposion) which most often included a variety of entertainment.
The Greek word deipnon, is usually translated “banquet,” “feast,” “supper” or “meal” (meaning especially the main evening meal) and identified the main meal of the day. It was eaten after the day’s work was finished. It was a more leisurely meal at which family members and guests could relax and talk into the evening. Paul calls the eucharist “The Lord’s Supper” (Greek, kyriakon deipnon, 1 Cor 11:20).
From Paul and the Eucharist: The Heart of Christian Community
By Steve Mueller
©2011 Steve Mueller
Paul and the Eucharist will be available as an e-book in the summer of 2011.