The English word dinner originated from a word that meant to eat, that is, to dine. Dinner is generally used to refer to the main meal of the day, eaten at some time from afternoon to evening. The English word supper is derived from an old Teutonic (German) word meaning to sup (sip, soup and sop all came from the same word). Supper is usually used to refer to the evening, or last meal, or last dinner (a supper is a dinner, while a dinner isn’t necessarily a supper) of the day. In the Bible, “dinner” is used to translate the Greek word pronounced ariston, meaning early meal, usually referring to what is eaten sometime in the afternoon. Supper is used to translate the Greek word pronounced dipenon, meaning the chief meal of the day, usually eaten in the evening when all family members were at home together after their day’s work or travels. Dinner is only used three times in the New Testament. In Luke 14:12 Jesus combines them both. “Then said he [Jesus] also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee” (Luke 14:12). I always thought dinner was after church on Sunday whether it was at church or home, like Thanksgiving dinner was more a noon feast. Supper was always the evening meal.
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