Does the Greek Word Artuo in the “Lord’s Supper” Prove it Was not a Passover Seder?

Does the Greek Word Artuo in the “Lord’s Supper”
Prove it Was not a Passover Sader?
By
James Scott Trimm

Some have argued that the so-called “Lord’s Supper” was not a Passover Sader based on the appearance of the Greek word “artuo” in the Greek accounts of the “Last Supper” (in passages like Matt. 26:26) in the Gospels, proves that this was not a Passover Sader. This is simply not true.

Artuo is a Greek word with a very broad scope of meaning. Not only can it mean “bread” leavened or unleavened but it can even refer to any kind of food (as in the Greek of Lk. 15:17; 2Thes. 3:8 etc.) so its use does not indicate whether the bread was leavened or unleavened. For proof of this broad use see the word artuo in the GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND OTHER EARLY CHRISTIAN LITERATURE by Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich.

Artuo is also the Greek word that is used to translate the Hebrew word lechem in the ancient LXX Greek Tanak (for example in Is. 65:25 where the Hebrew has lechem and the Greek translates artuo).

The Hebrew word lechem (Aramaic: lachma) also has broad meaning and can refer to either leavened or unleavened bread or even any other kind of food (as in Is. 65:25). In fact the traditional blessing for the unleavened bread used at the Passover Sader to this day is:

Baruch ata YHWH, Eloheynu Melech haolam,
hamotzi lechem min haaretz.
Blessed are you YHWH our Elohim, King of the universe
who brings forth bread from the earth.
So even at the Passover sader, the unleavened bread is called lechem (Aramaic lachma and Greek artuo).

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2 thoughts on “Does the Greek Word Artuo in the “Lord’s Supper” Prove it Was not a Passover Seder?”

  1. Question – was the last supper not the Passover meal because Yeshua could not be eating the Passover meal, and be sacrificed as the Passover lamb at the same time as the lamb sacrifice in the Temple.

    1. There are several possible answers to this question. We may explore some of these in future blogs. One possible answer is that Yeshua and his Talmidim kept a different calendar than the Temple priests. There are various options within this theory, that would account for the discrepancy. Another possible answer is a difference is halacha over when the Passover is eaten and/or when the lamb was offered. Again, there are different possibilities here. The problem is not that there is no answer, but that there are many workable answers to your question.

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