1 Corinthians 11:29

29 For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves.

1 Corinthians 11:29 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 11:29

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily
As before explained, ( 1 Corinthians 11:27 ) "eateth and drinketh damnation to himself"; or guilt, or judgment, or condemnation; for by either may the word be rendered; nor is eternal damnation here meant; but with respect to the Lord's own people, who may through unbelief, the weakness of grace, and strength of corruption, behave unworthily at this supper, temporal chastisement, which is distinguished from condemnation with the world, and is inflicted in order to prevent it, ( 1 Corinthians 11:32 ) and with respect to others it intends temporal punishment, as afflictions and diseases of body, or corporeal death, as it is explained in ( 1 Corinthians 11:30 ) . This they may be said to eat and drink, because their unworthy eating and drinking are the cause and means of it. Just as Adam and Eve might be said to eat condemnation to themselves and posterity, because their eating of the forbidden fruit was the cause of it. So the phrase, "does not eat condemnation", is used in the Persic version of ( John 3:18 ) for "is not condemned". And let it be observed, that such an one is said to eat and drink this judgment or condemnation to himself, and not another; he is injurious to nobody but himself: this may serve to make the minds of such easy, who are not so entirely satisfied with some persons who sit down with them at the Lord's table, when they consider that it is to their own injury, and not to the hurt of others they eat and drink:

not discerning the Lord's body.
This is an instance of their eating and drinking unworthily, and a reason why they eat and drink condemnation to themselves, or contract guilt, or expose themselves either to chastisement or punishment; because they distinguish not the Lord's supper from an ordinary and common meal, but confound them together, as did many of the Corinthians, who also did not distinguish the body of Christ in it from the body of the paschal lamb; or discern not the body of Christ, and distinguish it from the bread, the sign or symbol of it; or discern not the dignity, excellency, and usefulness of Christ's body, as broken and offered for us, in which he bore our sins on the tree, and made satisfaction for them; a commemoration of which is made in this ordinance.

1 Corinthians 11:29 In-Context

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.
28 Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves.
30 For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Other ancient authorities add [in an unworthy manner,]
  • [b]. Other ancient authorities read [the Lord's body]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.