The background of Christian thanksgiving in prayer and liturgy is in the Jewish berakah, a term which refers to thank-offerings made prior to meals, at the annual harvests or in-gatherings, and upon such special occasions as a military success against the Philistines. David's song of deliverance in 2 Samuel 22 is an exmple of the latter, and numerous examples of other subjects of thanksgiving are recorded in the Psalms. Psalms 66, for example, represents the sort of thanksgiving offered at the annual “Feast of Weeks” or “Feast of Ingathering” (specifically of grain), the Jewish harvest celebration of Pentecost (see also Exodus 34:22). The New Testament records several occasions upon which Jesus celebrated the berakah at meals, the most notable being at the feeding of the multitude in Matthew 15:36 and at the Last Supper (Luke 22:17); and on his way to Rome Paul offers thanks at the breaking of bread during a storm at sea (Acts 27:35). In the Greek of the New Testament the berakah is translated as eucharistia (“thanksgiving”), and it is the Eucharist that becomes the central rite of Christian worship. In his “Treatise on Good Works” Martin Luther observes that “praise and thanksgiving will follow with a pure heart, from which the mass is called eucharistia in Greek, that is, thanksgiving.” Friedrich Heiler affirms that “The Thanksgiving Prayer in public worship, the direct expression of the living consciousness of salvation, is always a calling to mind of the history of redemption.” In effect, the Jewish offering of thanks for deliverance from generally immediate, tangible enemies (the Philistines, the Moabites, unfavorable crop conditions) becomes the Christian offering of thanks for deliverance from sin and death through the redemption of Christ. The sacrificial lamb of the Old Testament becomes Christ the lamb in the New Testament, and for the Christian “the Eucharistic action is first and foremost a sacrifice of thanksgiving.” Any study of Christian thanksgivings, however, will demonstrate that the occasional and specific nature of the Jewish thank-offering remains in Christian practice.