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Communion (Christian) facts for kids

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Última Cena - Juan de Juanes
The Eucharist has been a key theme in the depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art, as in this 16th-century Juan de Juanes painting

The term Communion comes from Latin communio (sharing in common). The corresponding term in Greek is κοινωνία, which is often translated as "fellowship".

In Christianity, the basic meaning of the term communion is an especially close relationship of Christians, as individuals or as a Church, with God and with other Christians.

Biblical usage

In the Bible, the Greek term κοινωνία is only used in the New Testament. It does not appear at all in the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. As a noun, or in its adjectival or verbal forms, it is found in 43 verses of the New Testament. In addition, the noun is found in some manuscripts (used for producing the English translation known as the King James Version, but not for more recent translations) in Ephesians 3:9.

The word is applied, according to the context, to communion, sharing or fellowship with:

  • the divine nature (2 Pt 1:4), God (1 Jn 1:6), the Trinity (1 Jn 1:3), Jesus, Son of God (1 Co 1:9), his sufferings (Ph 3:10; 1 Pt 4:13), his future glory (1 Pt 5:1), the Holy Spirit (2 Co 13:14; Ph 2:1)
  • the blood and the body of Christ (1 Co 10:16), pagan sacrifices and gods (1 Co 10:18, 20)
  • fellow Christians, their sufferings and the faith (Ac 2:42; Ga 2:9; 1 Jn 1:3, 7; Heb 10:33; Rv 1:9; Phm 6, 17)
  • a source of spiritual favours (Rm 11:17), the gospel (1 Co 9:23), light and darkness (2 Co 6:14)
  • others' sufferings and consolation (2 Co 1:7; Ph 4:14), their evangelizing work (Ph 1:5), their graces or privileges (Rm 15:27; Ph 1:7), their material needs, to remedy which assistance is given (Rm 12:13, 15:26-27; 2 Co 8:4, 9:13; Ga 6:6; Ph 4:15; 1 Tm 6:18; Heb 13:16)
  • the evil deeds of others (Mt 23:30; Ep 5:11; 1 Tm 5:22; 2 Jn 11; Rv 18:4)
  • the bodily human nature all have in common (Heb 2:14)
  • a work partnership, secular or religious (Lk 5:10; 2 Co 8:23)

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