In Stone and Story

Early Christianity in the Roman World

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Chapter 19: Banqueting & The Dead

Class Activities

  1. Have students reconstruct (or identify the “ingredients” of) a Corinthian version of the Lord’s Supper — the sort of thing that Paul challenged in 1 Corinthians 11. What were the dynamics of that meal? What different types of people did those dynamics revolve around? What forms of social relationality might have been evident in the meal? Then have students reconstruct (or imagine) what might have happened if Paul himself could have entered their meal in progress.
  2. Have students identify memorials that supersede the memorial of Jesus (the practice of the Lord’s Supper) in their cultural and theological importance.

Discussion Questions

  1. How were accolades and honorific titles made public in the ancient world? How does this compare with your own context?
  2. Compared with other deities (and important individuals) of the ancient world, what was different about Jesus’ deific memorialization? How was this significant for the early Christian movement?
  3. What similarities and differences exist between the modern observances of the Lord’s Supper and those of the first-century believers? How does Paul envision the meal, especially as it pertains to suprahuman forces? How does your context reject, reflect, or refract those suprahuman forces of the Lord’s Supper?