1 Corinthians 11:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 11:20, NIV: So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat,

1 Corinthians 11:20, ESV: When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat.

1 Corinthians 11:20, KJV: When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

1 Corinthians 11:20, NASB: Therefore when you come together it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper,

1 Corinthians 11:20, NLT: When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord's Supper.

1 Corinthians 11:20, CSB: When you come together, then, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper.

What does 1 Corinthians 11:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has received a report that the Christians in Corinth are mishandling the Lord's Supper. In fact, what they do is so off-target that it's worse than if they were not practicing it, at all (1 Corinthians 11:17)! Instead of coming together to remember the Lord's sacrifice in harmony, humility, and cooperation, they had turned it into a party. The food is being distributed unequally, and some are even becoming drunk (1 Corinthians 11:21). Rather than being unified by the experience, they were—most likely—dividing between rich and poor, and being raucous in the process.

With that attitude, it doesn't even make sense to call such a service "the Lord's Supper". Paul's reaction, shown in later verses, demonstrates how ridiculous this behavior is. While the practice of communion allows for wide variety of expression, what's happening in Corinth defeats the purpose of the sacrament. Their practice is so far off from how God intends a church to practice communion that it's not even right to call it by that name.