How does the Christian communal meal arise from Jewish and Greco-Roman conceptions of sacrifice? What makes the Christian sacrificial meal different from its Jewish and Greco-Roman forerunners?
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The Christian communal meal, also known as the Eucharist or Communion, arises from both Jewish and Greco-Roman conceptions of sacrifice. In Jewish tradition, sacrifice was a central part of religious practice, and the Passover meal was a communal meal in which the sacrifice of the lamb was commemorated. This meal was seen as a way to remember and participate in the salvation God had provided to the Israelites through the sacrifice of the lamb.
In Greco-Roman culture, sacrifice was also an important aspect of religious practice, and communal meals were often held to commemorate sacrifices made to the gods. These meals were seen as a way to participate in the blessings and benefits provided by the gods through the sacrifices.
The Christian communal meal is different from its Jewish and Greco-Roman forerunners in several key ways. Firstly, it is rooted in the belief that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice, the Lamb of God, who died for the sins of humanity. The Eucharist is seen as a way to remember and participate in Jesus’ sacrifice, and to receive the salvation and blessings provided by this sacrifice. Additionally, in the Eucharist, the bread and wine are believed to be transformed into the body and blood of Jesus, and the act of consuming these elements is seen as a way to participate in Jesus’ sacrifice.
Secondly, the Christian communal meal is different from its Jewish and Greco-Roman forerunners in that it is not just an act of remembrance but also an act of anticipation, looking forward to the coming of Jesus in glory.
Lastly, the Christian Communion is also different from its forerunners in that it is open to all believers, regardless of their social status, unlike the Jewish and Greco-Roman sacrifices which were restricted to certain groups of people.
The Christian Communion arises from Jewish and Greco-Roman conceptions of sacrifice, but it is different from its forerunners in its emphasis on the sacrifice of Jesus, the act of remembrance and anticipation, and the open participation for all believers.

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