Westminster Seminary California
New Faculty Essay: Estelle on Passover and the Lord’s Supper
New Faculty Essay: Estelle on Passover and the Lord’s Supper

Dr. Bryan Estelle, Associate Professor of Old Testament here at WSC, has a new essay that has been published in Children and the Lord's Supper, edited by Guy Waters and Ligon Duncan. Other contributors include Iain M. Duguid, former WSC Old Testament Professor, George Knight, Derek Thomas, Cornleis Venema, Nick Needham, Joel Beeke, and a final concluding contribution by the editors. The book is an engagement of the erroneous teaching of paedocommunion. The publisher's description is as follows:

"What age is it okay for a child to partake in the Lord's supper? This book takes a constructive look at the doctrine of paedo-communion as defined: "as the admittance of a covenant child to the Lord's Supper on the basis of his descent from at least one professing Christian parent." Looking at this doctrine, these essays will provide food for thought across the various disciplines such as Biblical, Theological, historical and pastoral. It will be a guide as you seek to explore this key pastoral issue."

Dr. Estelle argues against the very common assumption that the Passover is the OT version of the Lord's Supper, and if children partook of the Passover, ergo, they should be allowed to partake of the Supper. Dr. Estelle sets forth a rigorous case for the idea that the covenant ratification meal of Exodus 24 is the primary backdrop for the Supper, not the Passover. Correlatively, the Passover is the occasion of the Lord's Supper, but the Supper should not be identified with it. There are many exegetical, hermeneutical, philological, and theological data that Dr. Estelle presents for consideration. Nevertheless, he concludes:

"The Passover is not to be identified with the Lord's Supper in some facile manner even though it was the occassion on which the Lord's Supper was instituted. The Passover was a meal of covenant communion. So too is the Lord's Supper. But one may not determine the age level of participants within the framework of simplicistic exegesis."

If the conclusion sounds interesting, by all means, give this essay a read!