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In Acts 20:7, 11, are these TWO different 'breaking(s) of bread,' or is there ONE?
Answer by Bill Cavender

There are TWO distinct "breakings(s) of bread in Acts 20:7 and 11 - Verse 7 has reference to the church eating the Lord's Supper together; verse 11 has reference to Paul taking nourishment, eating, prior to beginning his journey the next morning.

First, you should read your Bible Dictionaries regarding "TROAS," a Gentile, Roman-Greek city. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia begins: "A port on the Aegean coast of western Asia-Minor, opposite the island of Tenedos, at the mouth of the Dardanelles. It is not to be confused with Homeric TROY, whose fortress ruins stand on an escarpment dominating the coastal plain ten miles away..."

Troas was a Gentile city. Their days were counted from midnight to midnight, 12:00 A.M. to 12:00 A.M. just as we still do to this present time." Jews counted their days from sunset to sunset, approximately 6:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M., just as they still do to this present time. In Troas, a new day began at midnight. This is important to note, and to think about, when studying Acts 20: 7-11.

Paul, Luke, and their traveling companions met at Troas, nine brethren (Act 20:4-5). These were the nine men, the "messengers of the churches," conveying the "contribution for the poor saints in Jerusalem" from the Gentile churches and brethren, to their poor and needy Jewish brethren in Jerusalem (Galatians 2:10; I Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:23; 8:4; Romans 15:25-28; Acts 24:17). It was the springtime. Passover week was completed (vs. 6), and these brethren tarried at Troas for seven days. THEY KNEW THEIR BRETHREN, THE CHRISTIANS IN TROAS, WOULD BE MEETING TOGETHER ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK TO BREAK BREAD (partake of the Lord's Supper together, vs. 7).

This was a "first day of the week," "Lord's Day" (Revelation 1:10), "Sunday" (the Roman name for the first day of the week) meeting of the church - and the Troas church and these nine visitors DID WHAT THEY HAD GATHERED TO DO ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, i.e., TO BREAK THE BREAD. Who can deny it? From the beginning of the first, original congregation in Jerusalem, in its worship (Acts 2:42), the believers in Christ, God's children by faith ( Acts 2:37-41, 47; Galatians 3:26-29), Christians (Acts 11:26), ALWAYS met on "the first day of the week" to break the bread in remembrance of the death of Jesus. The first day of the week is the day that Jesus arose from death (Matthew 28:1-4; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1-10). It is the day that the gospel of Christ was FIRST preached in the name of the risen, resurrected Lord Jesus. The "day of Pentecost" was ALWAYS on a Sunday, the first day of the week (Acts 2:1). This was the day that sinners were FIRST told what to do to be saved from their sins by the inspired apostles of Jesus (Acts 2:37-41). This was the day when sinners were FIRST baptized into Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 2:27-38, 41; 8:12; 8:26-39; Acts 10:48; 22:16; Romans 6:1-7; Galatians 3:26-29; I Peter 3:21). This day of Pentecost, Acts 2, was the beginning day of the spiritual kingdom of God and Christ (Ephesians 5:5; John 3:1-8), the church of Christ, in the world.

Paul "continued his speech until midnight" (Acts 20:7). (Some say that Paul was "a long-winded preacher." Maybe so, but we don't know what time he began speaking. He could have begun at 11:30 P.M., for all we know! I doubt the brethren at Troas had a clock on the wall or that the brethren were wearing wrist-watches.) We don't know what time on Sunday evening this "worship service" began. Regardless - they "broke bread" on the first day of the week, Sunday. AT MIDNIGHT A NEW DAY BEGAN - MONDAY.

People who say "the Lord's Supper" is referred to in verse 11 (when Paul "had broken bread," after midnight), MUST DENY that "the disciples met together on the FIRST DAY of the week to break bread." "After midnight" was on Monday, the SECOND day of the week, NOT on the first day of the week! Such people DENY that the brethen at Troas did what they came together to do, and what Luke says they did!

Luke, the historian of Acts, did not tell us the hours of the meeting, when it began, but he did tell us that it was an all-night meeting, with Paul and his companions leaving the next morning (Monday) (vs. 11). He did not tell us the sequence of events of the all-night meeting. He did not mentions hymns sung or prayers prayed, which were usual in the meetings of the brethren (I Corinthians , chapter 14). "The disciples came together to break bread," and did so; Paul "discoursed" until midnight; Eutychus went to sleep and fell out of the third-story window; he was dead; Paul, by God's Spirit and power, raised him from death; and in verse 11 Luke tells us specifically what Paul did - he came back upstairs from below, took nourishment ("broke bread," see Acts 2:46 also) and ate, he continued talking with the brethren, and departed at the break of day. Luke only deals with Paul in this verse. He does not mention Paul's eight traveling companions nor the brethren at Troas in the eating and talking, some while after midnight until daybreak. Probably the other eight did just what Paul did, but Luke does not tell us. He only tells us about Paul.

Scriptures in the New Testament which tell us about the early churches "breaking bread," eating "the Lord's Supper," are: Acts 2:42; 20:7; I Corinthians 10:16, 21; 11:23-29, 33. Common eating, meals of food for the body, food for nourishment of the body, are found in Acts 2:46; 20:11; I Corinthians 11:20-22, 34).

Next Question - Question #6: What are the Scriptural words/phrases to say when offering 'Thanks' for the bread and fruit of the vine, in taking the Lord's Supper?

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