Posted by Smokey Stover on July 31, 2007
In Reply to: Breaking bread posted by ESC on July 30, 2007
: : : What does this phrase mean? "There's More to Breaking Bread Than Sharing a Meal"
: : Depending on context, it might mean that mealtime is a social occasion as well as an opportunity to take in nutrients, or it might be a complaint from a disgruntled diner who was served very hard bread. ~rb
: Breaking bread has a lot of religious and social meanings. It's about fellowship, not just eating. http://messianicfellowship.50webs.com/bread.html
The literal meaning of breaking bread is pulling the loaf apart into mouthfuls. The OED finds this meaning as early as around 1300, alongside the figurative meaning of sharing a meal. Other symbolic meanings have been attached at times, including the distribution of bread, as in the New Testament, and partaking in Communion (e.g., in the Roman Catholic Mass).