Against some recent publications on the historical Jesus, this book argues that there was indeed an intentional last supper at which Jesus, with a messianic consciousness, fully enlisted his followers in his redemptive mission.
Against some recent publications on the historical Jesus, this book argues that there was indeed an intentional last supper at which Jesus, with a messianic consciousness, fully enlisted his followers in his redemptive mission. In support of his argument, Professor Koenig examines the continuity between the last supper and the earliest church s meal practices, especially as these helped to disclose, define, and fuel outreach activities. Turning to the Pauline churches, he points out that meals did not include everyone in the eating and drinking and were understood as apocalyptic holy space, replete with charismatic phenomena. Still, in serving to build up the body of Christ, these meals also promoted missionary expansion. A number of passages not usually taken to be eucharistic, such as Romans 12 and 2 Corinthians 8-9, are then explored, showing that good cases can be made for seeing them as allusions to ritual meals and noting that many of these passages also exhibit missionary concerns. Finally, Professor Koenig links the results of his study to contemporary church life, arguing that eucharistic presence denotes all of the persons of the Trinity, the kingdom, and ourselves in a unique interplay that strengthens our vocation within God s redeeming plan. John T. Koenig is Sub-Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of New Testament at the General Theological Seminary, New York. His is the author of Rediscovering New Testament Prayer: Boldness and Blessing in the Name of Jesus (Morehouse). For: New Testament and liturgical scholars and students, clergy and eucharistic ministers, missiologists, general readers>