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The Meal Jesus Gave Us, Revised Edition

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  362 ratings  ·  41 reviews

In this introductory volume, perfect for Protestant new member and confirmation classes, acclaimed theologian and writer N. T. Wright explains in clear and vivid style the background of the Last Supper, the ways in which Christians have interpreted this event over the centuries, and what it all means for us today. This revision includes questions for discussion or reflecti

Kindle Edition, 94 pages
Published August 24th 2015 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published May 31st 2002)
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Joel Wentz
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Utterly accessible and clear, this is by far the best introduction to the idea of "communion," or Eucharist, that I've ever read. The analogies are on-point and memorable, especially the introductory setting of a Martian at a birthday party, and the historical elements are eminently helpful.

Seriously, you can read this whole thing in under an hour, and every page packs a punch. Well worth your time to gulp this one down and start thinking about it for days afterwards.
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short and sweet, but nothing too special or particularly enlightening. An OK book, but short detail and argument. It does draw out some overall themes, very much Wrightian and eschatological, which are helpful. But Wright's refusal to go deep left me frustrated whenever he made a good point (like the one about the inherently and proleptically eschatological of communion) or touched on an interesting topic (like the connection between Thomist cosmology and Catholic Eucharistic theology). Give me ...more
Adam Shields
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short Review: A highly readable brief book about the central act of Christian worship. Non-controversial and inclusive of a variety of Christian practices around Communion. This is primarily targeted toward the lay person, new Christian or someone that has not explored communion previously. Although NT Wright is best known for his more theological works, he is also quite good at addressing the non-academic and this is a very good example of that.

This is something that could easily be read in a
Thomas King
Worth a read

Written with the combination of style and careful scholarship that we have come to expect from the author. Good to be refreshed with the heart of the matter.

Personally, I was just a little disappointed at the end to read the comparatively unfounded comments about church buildings and ordained people being preferred and/or necessary. In my mind those comments undermined some of what had been previously explained about the compelling simplicity and power of the communion meal.

Lena Denman
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
This text gives the early church’s practices of communion and explains how it’s evolved today. The story opens with a Martian visiting earth learning about the practices of the Passover in Judaism and then the Lord’s supper as practiced by those who lived during the New Testament’s time. Although many people view this book as great for new Christians, I learned quite a bit from it that wasn’t taught in the congregations I was raised in. I recommend everyone read this short text.
Kevin Summers
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Sample quote: "Unlike some pagan worship, the symbols of the Jesus-meal are not grain and grapes but bread and wine: fruit of the earth, fruit of the vine, and the work of human hands. We did not initiate this action; God did. But now, in grateful obedience, we bring these tokens of our own life and work, laying ourselves before God as we do so in readiness for his will."
Chris Wermeskerch
Helpful (mostly Reformed) view of the Supper that most Christians could agree on, even though I imagine quite a few will want more out of Wright. (Maybe a crude but somewhat accurate way to describe it is as containing the lowest common denominator aspects of the eucharist)
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, concise, and very readable.
Tristan Sherwin
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another little gem from Tom Wright. Does what it says on the cover, and does it well, all within the space of 78 pages.
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The importance of communion in community.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Justin Edgar
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wright is great, and these thoughts on the Supper are great.
Ryan Beaty
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully helpful introduction to a wildly important practice of Christian faith.

This is not an extensive theological treaties on the practice of holy communion but it is a beautiful and clear introduction to the sacrament that binds us together in unity.
Sam Eccleston
For those who know a bit about the history of the New Testament and the early Church, there are odd asides in this book which are of interest, and even the occasional joke. However, the majority of the material is presented in such a patronising and schoolmarm-ly fashion that the whole thing is rather difficult to stomach; you feel as if Wright has mistaken you for a particularly naive primary school student, and spend most of the book wondering when he is going to realise that you are rather to ...more
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ryan Bassett
Worship Matt Stafford
NT Wright Book Report

NT Wright Book Report

The Book “The Meal Jesus Gave Us” was a very short read and full of great information. I think I will reread the book so I can get a better idea of it. There were a few concepts that jumped out at me.

“Christians believe that in Jesus God's future came rushing into the present to meet us. It isn't just that we were chugging along a railway line, steadily moving towards a distant destination. At one particular moment we d
Robert D. Cornwall
There is a meal that Christians share in that is designed to unify but too often divides. Some Christians share in it frequently while others only occasionally. It has roots in the Passover but is understood by Christians to be instituted by Jesus, who commanded us to continue sharing it until he returns. We call this meal by many names including Eucharist, Lord's Supper, Holy Communion. Some believe that the actual body and blood are present in the elements of bread and wine, while others see i ...more
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of Wright's New Perspectives on Paul stuff, but this mostly falls beyond the parameters of the NPP.

I was hoping for something more biting and profound, as so much of Wright can often be. That's not his intention here. Just a simple little primer on the Lord's Supper. Gracefully written, devotional. Theologically correct (from a mainstream Anglican perspective -- pretty much in agreement with Calvinist folks), but not beholden to his tradition for tradition's sake.

For all his imme
Becky B
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A look at where communion came from, how it has developed into different formats and names over time in different cultures, and a reminder of why the basics of it should be important to Christian communities.

I picked this up because I've been interested in finding out how/why/when communion went from being part of the Passover meal (1st time in the upper room with Jesus and the disciples) to just bread and a grape-based drink now. Liked how Wright sets the stage for understanding the significanc
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A beautifully written book that starts out deceptively simple, but soon gets into the deeper meaning and symbolism of Communion. N. T. Wright has a gift for explaining Biblical concepts clearly. He leads the reader to ask questions about customs that many in today's church take for granted, and in the process provides a fresh, new perspective into God's heart, showing His love.

The last few pages go more into the liturgy of Communion as Wright adheres to in his church, and though valuable, are no
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
N.T. Wright offers a wonderful primer to the Eucharist in this modest, but concise volume. The first half of the book is written in experiential layman terms that makes it readily accessible to those seeking to understand the mystery of meeting Jesus at the Lord's Table.

The second half of the book goes into more detail about the historical theologies which formed to answer the difficult questions that arose when theologians dug deep into the meaning and practice of the Eucharist. He goes on to
Interesting, simple and yet very informative. At the end of the day, we can agree that the presence of Christ is somehow involved with the Eucharist, and we can debate as to how that is, as Wright shows, but it's important to see why and how this meal informs all of what we do as Christians and how often we should celebrate it is open to each stream to decide. I disagree with Wright's comment though that it's better to have more reverence for it and less often if we have more reverence, maybe i' ...more
Glenn Crouch
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an easy to read book that aims to give a basic understanding of Holy Communion - and I believe it achieves that.

As a Lutheran Pastor, I do feel that the Author leans a little too strongly to the Anglican approach - however he is an Anglican Bishop so that is to be expected - and should not dissuade anyone from reading this. I enjoy having gentle challenges, and I do think the Author is being gentle.

In the last chapter, the Author does offer some interesting challenges: that those who are
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: print
This book has a lot going for it. I think Wright does a fine job drawing the reader into the contexts of the Pesach, the Last Supper, and the early church through his "play-acting". He also gives readers something more to chew on during the supper than mere remembrance and introspection.

Wright is strongest when drawing from the Scriptural story and drawing you into it. He's weakest when defending the peculiarities of high church liturgy.

A final weakness of the book is it's call to ecumenism tack
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant little book that gets to the core of the Lord's Supper and its significance. It should be noted that this a non-technical study. That said, Wright avoids the technical and (mostly) controversial in a way that really drives home the truly important issues and that presents the Sacrament in the narrative context of the Gospel. While oriented toward laymen, this is definitely a book for everyone.
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book that deals with communion. The author starts at the beginning with what Jesus had to say. He continues through the ages dealing with the ways communion has changed through the years. The author also talks about the differences between Catholics and Protestants.
A good book on the subject.
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Eucharist in layman's terms. Wright delivers a wonderful commentary on what the Eucharist is and why we must part take in it. Through excellent comparison and stories, Wright gives a lesson to us all about the love that God had for us and the gift and sacrifice His son made for us which we remember every time the Eucharist is received.
Laura Cheifetz
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the newest U.S. edition of the Tom Wright book on communion. It is a really small size, perfect for gifts, Sunday School studies, and personal devotional reading. Each chapter is followed by a couple of questions for discussion or reflection. The short chapters are easy to read, but hold interesting information and helpful metaphors.
Melissa Travis
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful little introduction to the topic of Holy Communion as sacrament. Even though it's only an 85-page booklet, it has some very helpful content, such as the key history behind different perspectives. I would especially recommend this to anyone beginning to explore liturgical/sacramental traditions of Christianity.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As someone else has said, this book starts off simply but quickly deals with some of the more profound aspects of what communion is all about. I would have liked to see something in the book about its place as a covenant meal, but it is a very helpful book.
Will Pareja
Don't let his Anglican ilk deter you from reading this power-packed tome. It's enjoyable, stimulating and easy-to-read.

Chances are, if you come from a free church background, you can learn from the high church guys or at least tighten up your sacramental theology.
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N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England (2003-2010) and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air, and he has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGi ...more

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“Imagine life without parties. Imagine life without the thousand things we do, large and small, that give shape to who we are, that give extra meaning and value to people, to occasions, to the way we do things. I guess you can just about imagine living without any little outward signs as to what you were thinking – no hugs and kisses at the start and end of the day, no wave of the hand, no handshakes, no raising of a glass to toast a bride, or a colleague, or an exam passed. I suppose we might, if we tried very hard, be able to organize our lives without special meals on special occasions, without special trips to special places, without all those things that bring colour and depth to our world. We might just manage it. But life would be very dull.” 0 likes
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