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1 Corinthians 11:33

ESV So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another—
NIV So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.
NASB So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
CSB Therefore, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, welcome one another.
NLT So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other.
KJV Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

What does 1 Corinthians 11:33 mean?

This passage about how to participate in the Lord's Supper should have been a serious wake-up call for the Christians in Corinth. Their practice of the communion meal had been disastrously different than Paul's picture of it. Instead of being a time of sober reflection about their own sinfulness and Christ's sacrifice, the Corinthians had turned it into a dinner party where some ate too much and got drunk. Instead of acknowledging their unity together as the body of Christ, the wealthy Christians were humiliating the poorer Christians by ignoring their hunger and overeating in front of them (1 Corinthians 11:17–22). As a result, God's judgment had come upon the believers in the form of sickness and even death (1 Corinthians 11:27–30).

Paul now urges them to do things differently the next time they observe the Lord's Supper. He tells them to wait for each other. The language behind the phrase "wait for each other" brings several connotations. This is especially clear in the context of Paul's earlier criticisms.

These words, combined with Paul's words in verse 21, suggest some Corinthians were not waiting for everyone to arrive before digging into their food. A contrast to this would be sitting down to the meal together and sharing the food each person brought to the table. This would solve the problem of some going hungry and feeling unwelcome. Many modern churches follow this principle by asking participants not to consume the bread or wine until everyone in attendance has been served.

Paul addresses the problem of eating and drinking too much in the following verse.
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