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Jesus' Table Fellowship, Baptism, and the Eucharist

Shawn Strout


The practice of communion without baptism has become more prevalent within the Episcopal Church. Proponents of this practice use scripture extensively in their argument for a change in the traditional Ordo, which maintains an indissoluble bond between baptism and the eucharist. They claim that the narratives of Jesus’ table fellowship support the practice of communion without baptism. In this essay, I will critique the use of scriptural references to Jesus’ table fellowship in support of communion without baptism by considering their canonical context. First, I will explain how the canonical context of those scriptural passages actually argues in favor of the traditional Ordo rather than for a change to it. Then, I will provide an example of how canonical context intensifies the radical hospitality called for by proponents of communion without baptism by means of the traditional Ordo rather than a change to it.

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