"Fragment," a piece broken off, occurs only in the plural, in the accounts of the miracles of the Loaves in the Gospels and references thereto. It is the translation of klasma (from klao, "to break"), "a piece broken off" (Matthew 14:20 the King James Version); "broken meat" (Matthew 15:37).
The Revised Version (British and American) has in each instance "broken pieces." The change is important because it shows that the pieces left over were not mere fragments or crumbs left by the people after eating, but some of the original pieces into which it is said in all the synoptic narratives and references Jesus "broke" the "loaves," which, being thin cakes, were usually broken before distribution; hence, the phrase, "breaking of bread." See Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), under the word "Fragment"; Weymouth translates "broken portions," namely, "those into which the Lord had broken the loaves; not mere scraps or crumbs."
W. L. Walker
These files are public domain.