Skip to comments.The saint who was one of the earliest Fathers of the Church
Posted on 05/30/2013 5:28:14 AM PDT by NYer
St Justin Martyr (June 1) began his career as a pagan philosopher
Justin Martyr (c 100-165) was one of the earliest Fathers of the Church. Yet he began his career as a pagan philosopher and did not convert to Christianity until he was about 30. Thenceforward he was much concerned with the relation between faith and reason, exploring the differences and similarities between his new religion and the speculative Hellenism in which he had been raised.
Justin was born to Greek parents at Shechem (modern Nablus) in Samaria, the hilly region to the north of Jerusalem. He studied philosophy at Alexandria and Ephesus, but found himself unsatisfied by pagan thinkers.
He discovered that the Stoics confused discipline with truth, that the Peripatetics (or Aristotelians) wanted to be paid, and therefore could hardly be classed as true philosophers, that the Pythagoreans relied overmuch on music and geometry, and that the Platonists talked of God but were unable to identify Him.
Then one day he met an old man by the sea who made him understand that the soul could never arrive at a proper idea of God through human knowledge, but needed to be instructed by teachers who had been inspired by the Holy Ghost. Thou art a friend of discourse, the old man told him, but not of action, nor of truth.
Justin was also greatly struck by the courage, even the joyfulness, with which Christians at Ephesus faced suffering and martyrdom. The disciples of the Greek philosophers, he noted, certainly would not die for their doctrines. By contrast, the Christians treated God as though He were a friend, not an abstract theory.
And so Justin abandoned the hopes of philosophy for Christian revelation. Once converted, he wrote copiously in defence of his new faith, although only three of his works remain. His two Apologies set forth the moral virtues of Christians, and defend them against ill-informed reproach. These treatises afford valuable information about early Christian practice.
In his other extant work, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Justin considers the proper relation between Christianity and Judaism. He allows that Jews may continue to observe the Law after conversion to Christianity, but insists that they should not compel other Christians to follow these traditions.
Justin finally fell foul of the state in Rome, under the Stoic Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180). It did not help that he derided the Cynic Crescentius as that friend of noise and ostentation.
If you do not obey, the prefect Rusticus told Justin, you will be tortured without mercy.
That is our desire, came the reply, to be tortured for Our Lord Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give salvation and firm confidence at the more terrible universal tribunal of Our Lord and Saviour. He was beheaded, along with five companions.
Justin Martyr also provides us with an early description of the Mass, circa 125 AD.
--St. Justin Martyr, First Apology, Ch. 66 (A.D. 155-157)
This quote by Justin Martyr does not actually prove the RCC’s doctrine on the Eucharist or transubstantiation. We have other church fathers who use the SAME exact language, and yet define their own language as being used only symbolically.
Here are some Roman Catholic quotations of Augustine allegedly proving that Augustine believed in what the RCC holds to today.
Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, This is my body [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands (Exp. of the Psalms 33:1:10)
I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lords Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ (Ser. 227)
What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction (Ser. 272)
To the unsuspecting reader, you would think that Augustine really does support your theology. But WAIT, how does Augustine actually define his own views?
For if sacraments had not some points of real resemblance to the things of which they are the sacraments, they would not be sacraments at all. In most cases, moreover, they do in virtue of this likeness bear the names of the realities which they resemble. As, therefore, in a certain manner the sacrament of Christs body is Christs body, and the sacrament of Christs blood is Christs blood. (Augustine, Letters, 98)
He speaks of the Eucharist as being in a certain manner the body of Christ, based on its bearing the name of the reality they resemble. Thus, when Augustine speaks of the Eucharist being the body of Christ, he means it from the standpoint of what it symbolizes, but not that it is actually a part of Christs real physical body placed on the altar. It is simply a manner of speaking. Here’s more support:
What you can see passes away, but the invisible reality signified does not pass away, but remains. Look, its received, its eaten, its consumed. Is the body of Christ consumed, is the Church of Christ consumed, are the members of Christ consumed? Perish the thought! Here they are being purified, there they will be crowned with the victors laurels. So what is signified will remain eternally, although the thing that signifies it seems to pass away. So receive the sacrament in such a way that you think about yourselves, that you retain unity in your hearts, that you always fix your hearts up above. Dont let your hope be placed on earth, but in heaven. Let your faith be firm in God, let it be acceptable to God. Because what you dont see now, but believe, you are going to see there, where you will have joy without end. (Augustine, Ser. 227)
Augustine is quite clear that the body of Christ is not consumed. In fact, his entire argument here is that the bread itself symbolizes the Christian directly. In other words, it is US who are offered on the table, though we are not literally transubstantiated into bread.
I would recommend, actually, reading the entire sermon, as it reveals a great deal into Augustines views on the various sacraments. By his definition, sacraments and symbolism is the same thing. Hence, he can have a sacrament of the Holy Spirit which is the oil, also mentioned in that same sermon.
Then came baptism, and you were, in a manner of speaking, moistened with water in order to be shaped into bread. But its not yet bread without fire to bake it. So what does fire represent? Thats the chrism, the anointing. Oil, the fire-feeder, you see, is the sacrament of the Holy Spirit. (Same as above)
Another, the sacrament of the kiss of peace:
After that comes Peace be with you; a great sacrament, the kiss of peace. So kiss in such a way as really meaning that you love. Dont be Judas; Judas the traitor kissed Christ with his mouth, while setting a trap for him in his heart. But perhaps somebody has unfriendly feelings toward you, and you are unable to win him round, to show him hes wrong; youre obliged to tolerate him. Dont pay him back evil for evil in your heart. He hates; just you love, and you can kiss him without anxiety. (Same as above)
Wheres your sacrament of kissing by the way? And do you think that peace is transubstantiated into a kiss? Or is the Holy Spirit transubstantiated into the oil?
Heres more quotes in general, interpreting the Eucharist as Protestants do today:
They said therefore unto Him, What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? For He had said to them, Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto eternal life. What shall we do? they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent. This is then to eat the meat, not that which perisheth, but that which endureth unto eternal life. To what purpose dost thou make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already. NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 25.
Let them come to the church and hear where Christ is, and take Him. They may hear it from us, they may hear it from the gospel. He was slain by their forefathers, He was buried, He rose again, He was recognized by the disciples, He ascended before their eyes into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of the Father; and He who was judged is yet to come as Judge of all: let them hear, and hold fast. Do they reply, How shall I take hold of the absent? how shall I stretch up my hand into heaven, and take hold of one who is sitting there? Stretch up thy faith, and thou hast got hold. Thy forefathers held by the flesh, hold thou with the heart; for the absent Christ is also present. But for His presence, we ourselves were unable to hold Him. NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 50, John 11:55-57, 12:1-11,
It seemed unto them hard that He said, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, ye have no life in you: they received it foolishly, they thought of it carnally, and imagined that the Lord would cut off parts from His body, and give unto them; and they said, This is a hard saying. It was they who were hard, not the saying; for unless they had been hard, and not meek, they would have said unto themselves, He saith not this without reason, but there must be some latent mystery herein. They would have remained with Him, softened, not hard: and would have learnt that from Him which they who remained, when the others departed, learnt. For when twelve disciples had remained with Him, on their departure, these remaining followers suggested to Him, as if in grief for the death of the former, that they were offended by His words, and turned back. But He instructed them, and saith unto them, It is the Spirit that quickeneth, but the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Understand spiritually what I have said; ye are not to eat this body which ye see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth. I have commended unto you a certain mystery; spiritually understood, it will quicken. Although it is needful that this be visibly celebrated, yet it must be spiritually understood. NPNF1: Vol. VIII, St. Augustin on the Psalms, Psalm 99 (98)
Augustine isnt alone in this. Heres from a Pope:
Gelasius, Bishop of Rome (492-496): Surely the sacrament we take of the Lord´s body and blood is a divine thing, on account of which, and by the same we are made partakers of the divine nature; and yet the substance of the bread and wine does not cease to be. And certainly the image and similitude of Christ´s body and blood are celebrated in the action of the mysteries. (Tractatus de duabus naturis 14 [PL Sup.-III. 773]) See Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 3 Vols., trans. George Musgrave Giger and ed. James T. Dennison (Phillipsburg: reprinted by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1992), Vol. 3, p. 479 (XVIII.xxvi.xx).
And another Bishop:
Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466): Orth. You are caught in the net you have woven yourself. For even after the consecration the mystic symbols are not deprived of their own nature; they remain in their former substance figure and form; they are visible and tangible as they were before. But they are regarded as what they are become, and believed so to be, and are worshipped as being what they are believed to be. Compare then the image with the archetype, and you will see the likeness, for the type must be like the reality. For that body preserves its former form, figure, and limitation and in a word the substance of the body; but after the resurrection it has become immortal and superior to corruption; it has become worthy of a seat on the right hand; it is adored by every creature as being called the natural body of the Lord. NPNF2: Vol. III, Theodoret, Dialogue II.The Unconfounded. Orthodoxos and Eranistes.
The idea of a constant tradition on this matter is simply fiction. It stands only by reading into the Fathers the current theology of Rome today, and falsely claiming that all held the same view and meant the same things when they used certain phrases or words. It is not wise to assume that someone speaking in those days meant exactly the same thing the RCC means today, 2,000 years later, as the meaning and usage of words changes a great deal. Justin Martyr would not have been aware that the RCC would come along later and make the sacrament more than just something done for “remembrance,” as he asserts, but into something done for “salvation.” Had he have known, I bet his language would have been different.
Welcome to St. Groundhogs Day in which we play out again the same old Protestant canards again, and again, and again in the hope of luring a single Catholic freeper away from "Rome".
"To those with faith, no proof is necessary, to those without faith no proof is possible." - St. Thomas Aquinas.
"Oh you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?" - Matthew 16:8
My advice for you is to stop getting your source material from William Webster like websites and actually crack a book written by the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church to learn all of that they really taught. The cut and paste of incomplete and out of context citations really isn't working for you.
"A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text." - Dr. Donald Carson.
“My advice for you is to stop getting your source material from William Webster like websites and actually crack a book written by the Church Fathers”
I did. Several, actually. But you just got done dismissing it all because your religion doesn’t need proof, nor does it, apparently, need to answer proof against it.
This is a huge, unwarranted jump, since every Catholic believes that the Eucharist is Jesus' Real Body "in a certain manner." That is, not in every manner.
How can this Eucharist be His Real Body and yet ""in a certain manner"? Well, think of this.
But the Church --- and Augustine and Justin Martyr, believing in the words of Christ --- assents that we are receiving His real, entire Self, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
That's why this is not cannibalism. Cannibals eat dead body parts. We eat not parts, but the whole Christ --- all of us hundreds of millions who eat His Body and drink His Blood around the world --- and alive.
Maybe Petrosius or some other knowledgeable FReeper will explain the difference between substance and accidents.
For now, I just want to say: your misunderstanding of what Justin and Augustine and the Catholic Church believe about the Eucharist, is not surprising to me at all. The whole thing rests entirely on faith, and not in some supposed intellectual "grasp" of what we cannot grasp: of a visitation from the Supreme Being beyond time and space, Who presents His very Self to us under the appearance of Bread and Wine and says, "Eat and Drink".
Christ says "This is My Body."
I say "Amen."
That's it. You say "Amen" or you walk away.
>> Christ says “This is My Body.” <<
Had you quoted the entire statement, it would have made it plain that it is not his body, but a remembrance of what was done to his body for us. He would not have us break a commandment.
(obviously, it was being broken by his body that moment)
“It seems you are saying that all of Augustine’s exceptionally clear, explicit statements about Christ’s Real, Eucharistic Body (the first, second, and third paragraph-long quotes) are nullified because he used the four words “In a certain manner.””
They’re nullified because it’s common sense to assume that when the writer tells us that his language is symbolic, as shown in the very same sermons where he asserts they are the body of Christ, that we ought to take them as symbolic too.
From sermon 227:
“I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lords Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ (Ser. 227)”
Also from sermon 227:
What you can see passes away, but the invisible reality signified does not pass away, but remains. Look, its received, its eaten, its consumed. Is the body of Christ consumed, is the Church of Christ consumed, are the members of Christ consumed? Perish the thought! Here they are being purified, there they will be crowned with the victors laurels. So what is signified will remain eternally, although the thing that signifies it seems to pass away.”
You can’t be more explicit than that. And this isn’t two different sermons here. It’s the same one.
The rest of your post doesn’t touch upon any of the actual specifics of any of the quotes, but seems to pass over them in silence while seeming to be some kind of an answer to them.
Thus proving that the early Chistians — the generation with and after the apostles celebrated the Eucharist.
And it’s in writing to boot!
Why do I need to consider a proof derived from and governed by flawed human capacity when I have faith and complete trust (credo) in the perfection of the Word revealed through the instrument established by Jesus and guided by the Paraclete? Unlike much or Protestantism I do not endeavor to demonstrate that the Word meet my standards, I endeavor to ensure that I meet the Word's standards.
The Church's faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. Faith is a personal act - the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals himself. But faith is not an isolated act. No one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone. You have not given yourself faith as you have not given yourself life. The believer has received faith from others and should hand it on to others. Our love for Jesus and for our neighbor impels us to speak to others about our faith. Each believer is thus a link in the great chain of believers. I cannot believe without being carried by the faith of others, and by my faith I help support others in the faith.
"Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe." - St. Augustine.
Peace be with you
“Why do I need to consider a proof derived from and governed by flawed human capacity when I have faith and complete trust (credo) in the perfection of the Word revealed through the instrument established by Jesus and guided by the Paraclete? “
You really don’t need to keep reminding me that you have perfect faith in the RCC as if it were some kind of groundbreaking retort. I have my faith in Jesus Christ alone, which should be clear enough by now.
Had you quoted ALL that Jesus and the witnesses said on the subject it would be clear that the Epiousios is indeed the Real Presence. Any discussion of the Eucharist that does not present all other versus in the context of John 6 is at best woefully incomplete.
Peace be with you
A real presence of a real desire for salvation by ritual.
I have faith in God whose instrument is the Catholic Church. I do not have faith in the opinions of men that the Reformation produces.
Peace be with you.
All that those quotes show is your ignorance of what the Catholic Church teaches on the Eucharist because none of it actually contradicts Church teaching. It is your (or whomever’s) interpretations of said quotes that “seem” to agree with your Protestant, heretical beliefs.
But Protestants are good at interpreting things the way they see fit..so I’m not surprised.
It is why I don’t bother dialoguing with them anymore (unless they are sincerely looking for the Truth).
“All that those quotes show is your ignorance of what the Catholic Church teaches on the Eucharist because none of it actually contradicts Church teaching.”
The Catholic church teaches transubstantiation, which is that the bread and the wine really do become the body of Christ. This is different from consubstantiation, and the symbolism of Augustine.
You’re free to demonstrate to me how “signifies” and “Is the body of Christ consumed?.. Perish the thought!” and “Believe, and thou has eaten already” support your “interpretation.”
In my Protestant world, words have meaning, context is important, etc.
Except that when he was speaking of the Body of Christ there? He was talking about the People of God as the Body of Christ, not Christ’s literal Body. That’s why the next phrases are “Church of Christ”. So, yeah, the people of God are not consumed.
“He was talking about the People of God as the Body of Christ, not Christs literal Body.”
He was talking about the Eucharist, which symbolizes Christ and His body (us). His entire discourse is on explaining what the Eucharist is, which from his point of view is a spiritual lesson in unity.
From Sermon 227:
“That bread which you can see on the altar, sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ.2 That cup, or rather what the cup contains, sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ. It was by means of these things that the Lord Christ wished to present us with his body and blood, which he shed for our sake for the forgiveness of sins. If you receive them well, you are yourselves what you receive. You see, the apostle says, We, being many, are one loaf, one body (1 Cor 10:17). That’s how he explained the sacrament of the Lord’s table; one loaf, one body, is what we all are, many though we be.
In this loaf of bread you are given clearly to understand how much you should love unity. I mean, was that loaf made from one grain? Weren’t there many grains of wheat? But before they came into the loaf they were all separate; they were joined together by means of water after a certain amount of pounding and crushing. Unless wheat is ground, after all, and moistened with water, it can’t possibly get into this shape which is called bread. In the same way you too were being ground and pounded, as it were, by the humiliation of fasting and the sacrament of exorcism. Then came baptism, and you were, in a manner of speaking, moistened with water in order to be shaped into bread. But it’s not yet bread without fire to bake it. So what does fire represent? That’s the chrism, the anointing. Oil, the fire-feeder, you see, is the sacrament of the Holy Spirit.”
This is why he concludes in saying “Is the body of Christ consumed, is the Church of Christ consumed, are the members of Christ consumed? Perish the thought!” Because the Eucharist “signifies” ALL of those things, and not just Christ Himself.
What is most disingenuous is the practice of presenting a few paragraphs, selected by and for the Protestant eye, as though it were all an Early Church Father wrote on a subject. The ensuing hostile incredulity that results when it completely falls apart when seen by those who have actually read and studied the body of work, or now by those who have witnessed its refutation on these threads dozens of times, is both predictable and at times humorous.
Peace be with you
Thanks for bumping the thread with your posts. I appreciate it more than you know.
I feel like I am dealing with a freshman (high school) theology class. The Church teaches that there is a difference between a substance and a property. The physical accidents of bread and wine do not change, but the substance of the bread and wine do. They change substance (transubstantiation).
It is not the properties of wood, or metal or plastic of a chair that make it a chair. It is an organization of those materials in a specific size and shape that make them a chair. It is not the collection of chemicals that make you a human, it is something greater, it is the properties of humaness that make you human.
Were you able to travel back in time and encounter Jesus, none of the modern forensic tools or the greatest physicians of our time could determine He is Divine from a physical examination of His body (properties). His substance was always divine and is the object of faith. It is the same with the Epiousious, the Eucharist.
“I feel like I am dealing with a freshman (high school) theology class.”
“Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation (CCC, 1376).
This change of substance makes it “really the body of Christ.” Therefore, the Eucharist cannot merely “signify” the body of Christ, it really IS, in reality, the body of Christ. Nor is this consubstantiation, where the the bread and wine remain substantially what they are in combination with being the body of Christ.
This strict definition, that the Eucharist is not merely signifying a higher reality, is incompatible with the quotes presented.
So when I said “[they] really do become the body of Christ.” I spoke accurately, so to avoid the temptation of any of the Catholics to pretend that transubstantiation can survive Augustine’s views on sacraments.
Further, there were accusations along the lines of that which you have just again insinuated were being committed by Rome's critics---which when fully examined --were NOT changing the meanings whatsoever, although yourself and more than a few others were making big noises about it.
Personally, though it is predictable that such will continue to be alleged by Rome's pom-pom wavers, the truth is that crowd is as much or more at fault --which I do not find humorous at all.
Thank God it was not done by Catholic apologists.
Peace and blessings
For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.This statement is plain and unambiguous. Let us look at some other statements from the early Church Fathers:
I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the the seed of David; and for drink I desire His Blood, which love incorruptible.As for St. Augustine, as you have pointed out yourself, he clearly states that the Eucharist becomes the Body and Blood of Christ. Your other quotes only show how he expands, not contradicts, the significance of the Eucharist. With regards to understanding spiritually, Catholics clearly do not believe that in the Eucharist that we have hunks of flesh from the corporal body of our Lord from when he walk upon the Earth. His Body and Blood are indeed presented to us spiritually, i.e. sacramentally under the forms of bread and wine.
--St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans ( circa A.D. 110)
Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. For love they have no care, nor for the widow, nor for the orphan, nor for the distressed, nor for those in prison or freed from prison, nor for the hungry and thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised up again.
--St. Ignatius, Letter to the Smyrnaeans (circa A.D. 110)
But what consistency is there in those who hold that the bread over which thanks have been given is the Body of their Lord, and the cup His Blood, if they do not acknowledge that His is the son of the Creator of the world They are vain in every respect, who despise the entire dispensation of God, and deny the salvation of the body and spurn its regeneration, saying that is is not capable of immortality. If the body be not saved, then, in fact, neither did the Lord redeem us with His Blood; and neither is the cup of the Eucharist the partaking of His Blood nor is the Bread which we break the partaking of His Body.
--St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies (between A.D. 180 - 199)
You shall see the Levites [Deacons] bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine. But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ.
-- St. Athanasius, Sermon to the Newly Baptized (before A.D. 373)
[T]he bread and wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the Body of Christ and the wine the Blood of Christ. This one teaching of the blessed Paul is enough to give you complete certainty about the Divine Mysteries, by your having been deemed worthy of which, you have become united in body and blood with Christ. For Paul proclaimed clearly that: "On the night in which He was betrayed, our Lord Jesus Christ, taking bread and giving thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take, eat, This is My Body.' And taking the cup and giving thanks, He said, 'Take, drink, This is My Blood.' " He Himself, therefore, having declared and said of the Bread, "This is My Body," who will dare any longer to doubt? And when He Himself has affirmed and said, "This is My Blood," who can ever hesitate and say it is not His Blood?
--St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures (around A.D. 350)
Hello, E-S. can you explain to me what you mean by “remembrance”?
I can only encourage you to keep reading. Speaking the truth, but not the whole truth, is at best a half truth and at worst a whole lie.
Nothing anyone posts will change the truth and it will definitely not be decided in the Religion Forum or in a "debate". The Church had the first word and will have the last word. 2,000 years from now the reformation will be numbered among the defunct heresies of history and the thousands of doctrinally differing denominations will be a quantitative foot note. I know this because Jesus promised it (Matthew 16:18)
Peace be with you
There's not a dime's worth of difference around here, all too often. Though there are occasional exceptions...
QUIT making this about YOU.
It is never about me. I responded to a post about me and deferred to a greater truth. That is the rub with those who see God only through the subjective experience of self and perception.
Peace be to you
I mean the same thing that Yeshua meant when he said it.
To recall the suffering he endured to save us from our sins, and heal our bodies. The bread is for our healing, and the wine for our transgressions.
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You can’t win today, can you?
As an aside, my friend - in the face of an onslaught of bullying and outright intimidation by many on this forum that would make a high school gym class proud, you have been a reasoned, calm apologist for the Christian faith. I don’t know why it fell upon you, but if it ever happens that I draw such attacks, I pray for the strength to handle it with the grace you have. Keep up the good fight.
St. Thomas More, pray for us!
“I find it interesting that you have to go to some ambiguous statements of St. Augustine in the 4th century to refute to plain words of St. Justin Martyr in the 2nd century.”
The quotes from Augustine, that are exactly the same as Justin Martyr’s, are ambiguous. His explanation for them, on the other hand, is not. There’s no reason to think that Augustine, a Pope and another Bishop all had heretical views on the Eucharist. If Augustine had no problem saying that the Eucharist is the body of Christ, yet say in the same sermon that it only signifies the body of Christ, I don’t think anyone else would either. The only thing ambiguous about them, and of the assertions by that Pope and other Bishop on the “substance” of the bread and wine remaining the same, exists in your own mind since you will not explain them.
On to Ignatius:
The Epistle to the Romans was Ignatius’s final letter before martydom. He expected, soon, to be eaten alive by lions. He uses metaphorical language such as desiring to be “the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ.” Does Ignatius believe he will be transubstantiated into bread? How can Ignatius be desiring the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic sense, and even assert that he is gaining a victory in this, if he thinks of the Eucharist according to modern Roman Catholic teaching? Is someone going to give him communion in the arena? Or is he actually asking his brethren to let him be martyred, and that he eagerly seeks it out? If the latter, it does not follow that he expects to chew and digest with his stomach the body of Christ. He expects to confirm His membership in the body of Christ through his faithfulness unto death. I think we can easily conclude that Ignatius, like Augustine, considered “eating” Christ the same as believing:
“This is then to eat the meat, not that which perisheth, but that which endureth unto eternal life. To what purpose dost thou make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already.” (Augustine, as quoted previously)
In the second epistle you quote from, Ignatius is not attacking people who don’t believe in transubstantiation. He is against people who deny that Christ even had a body or suffered with a body in the first place. That is the actual context:
“Now, He suffered all these things for our sakes, that we might be saved. And He suffered truly, even as also He truly raised up Himself, not, as certain unbelievers maintain, that He only seemed to suffer, as they themselves only seem to be [Christians]. And as they believe, so shall it happen unto them, when they shall be divested of their bodies, and be mere evil spirits. For I know that after His resurrection also He was still possessed of flesh, and I believe that He is so now. When, for instance, He came to those who were with Peter, He said to them, Lay hold, handle Me, and see that I am not an incorporeal spirit. And immediately they touched Him, and believed, being convinced both by His flesh and spirit.” (Same letter as quoted by you)
The Docetists did not believe Christ even had a body, and that is why they abstained from the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. There’s no reason in any of this to believe that Augustine and Ignatius did not have the same view of the Eucharistic celebration. In fact, considering Ignatius’ letter to the Romans, wherein he declares his great desire to have the flesh of Christ, while in the context of his desire to be martyred, I think we can safely conclude that the two had the same position. Not the mechanical and ritual position of the RCC, but the spiritual position established by Christ Himself.
In reaction to the disciples who thought He literally meant for them to take a bite out of His body:
Joh 6:62-63 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? (63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
On Irenaeus, 3 quotes in response to yours:
“For when the Greeks, having arrested the slaves of Christian catechumens, then used force against them, in order to learn from them some secret thing [practised] among Christians, these slaves, having nothing to say that would meet the wishes of their tormentors, except that they had heard from their masters that the divine communion was the body and blood of Christ, and imagining that it was actually flesh and blood, gave their inquisitors answer to that effect. Then these latter, assuming such to be the case with regard to the practices of Christians, gave information regarding it to other Greeks, and sought to compel the martyrs Sanctus and Blandina to confess, under the influence of torture, [that the allegation was correct].” (Irenaeus, Fragment 13)
” But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.” (Against Heresies, Book IV, Chapter 18)
“Thus, then, He will Himself renew the inheritance of the earth, and will re-organize the mystery of the glory of [His] sons; as David says, He who has renewed the face of the earth. He [Christ] promised to drink of the fruit of the vine with His disciples, thus indicating both these points: the inheritance of the earth in which the new fruit of the vine is drunk, and the resurrection of His disciples in the flesh. For the new flesh which rises again is the same which also received the new cup. And He cannot by any means be understood as drinking of the fruit of the vine when settled down with his [disciples] above in a super-celestial place; nor, again, are they who drink it devoid of flesh, for to drink of that which flows from the vine pertains to flesh, and not spirit.” (Against Heresies, 5:33:1)
These three quotes better lend themselves to a view of consubstantiation. As he writes in the first one, as if it was absurd to think that the communion bread and wine were “really” flesh and blood. In the second, Irenaeus tells us that the bread and wine, once blessed, “[consists] of two realities, earthly and heavenly.”
This is the same position as Pope Gelasius when he writes: “Surely the sacrament we take of the Lord´s body and blood is a divine thing, on account of which, and by the same we are made partakers of the divine nature; and yet the substance of the bread and wine does not cease to be.”
The existence of “two realities” or a continuation of the same “substance” in the bread and wine directly contradicts the Roman view of transubstantiation, because only the form is bread and wine, but the substance is really the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.
The last quote from Irenaeus refers to the communion wine as the “fruit of the vine.” Which, it most certainly isn’t, it is, according to the RCC, really the blood of Christ.
Therefore, you have no defense of transubstantiation with Irenaeus.
“I saw an example of this in the Gospel of John, where treating concerning the eating of his body, and seeing many offended there by, he said, “Does this offend you, what if ye shall see the Son of man ascend where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. The words which I speak unto you, they are spirit and life.” He spake both of the spirit and the flesh, and made a distinction between his spirit and flesh, that not only believing in what was visible to their eyes, but also in his invisible nature, they might learn that the things which he said were not carnal, but spiritual : for, for haw many would his body have sufficed for meat that it should become the nourishment of the whole world? For this reason, therefore, he mentions the Son of man’s ascension into heaven that he might draw them from the corporeal sense, and that they might understand, that the flesh he spoke of was heavenly nourishment and spiritual food given to them from above. For the words which I speak unto you, they are spirit and life. As if he had said, This my body which is shown to you and is given for the world, shall be given as food, so as to be imparted spiritually within each, and to become to each a safe guard against the resurrection of eternal life.” (Festal Letter, 4.19)
Athanasius prefers the spiritual interpretation of John 6, virtually identical to Augustine’s own commentary. No defense for transubstantiation here.
On Cyril of Jerusalem:
“Therefore with fullest assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mightest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are diffused through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, (we become partaker of the divine nature.)” - Catechetical Lectures [22 (Mystagogic 4), 3]
Here Cyril calls it the “figure” of the body of Christ, which cannot be if he believes in transubstantiation. No defense for your theology here.
(Augustine, Exp. of the Psalms 33:1:10)
NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 25.
NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 50, John 11:55-57, 12:1-11,
NPNF1: Vol. VIII, St. Augustin on the Psalms, Psalm 99 (98)
(Tractatus de duabus naturis 14 [PL Sup.-III. 773]) See Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 3 Vols., trans. George Musgrave Giger and ed. James T. Dennison (Phillipsburg: reprinted by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1992), Vol. 3, p. 479 (XVIII.xxvi.xx).
NPNF2: Vol. III, Theodoret, Dialogue II.The Unconfounded. Orthodoxos and Eranistes.
(Against Heresies, Book IV, Chapter 18)
(Against Heresies, 5:33:1)
(Festal Letter, 4.19)
Catechetical Lectures [22 (Mystagogic 4), 3]
(You’ll find the appropriate citation attached to each quote)
Live sources — clickable — Religion Moderator likes it that way.
I don’t see a live source in this post.
“Live sources clickable Religion Moderator likes it that way.”
Please stop badgering me. This is the second time you’ve accused me of not sourcing. And here is what the RM said THAT time:
“Quotes that are commonly recognized do not need to be sourced, e.g. Ask not what your country can do for you...
Ancient manuscripts or documents may be sourced briefly, e.g. 2nd Amendment, Didache, Polycarp to the Philippians.
If it is a modern source, title, date, author etc. are necessary to examine copyright restrictions. But simply noting the url or hotlink is faster and easier - and it strengthens your arguments since your correspondents can examine your excerpts in context.
Looks like me and the other fellow are in the clear.
There was also another matter I wanted to address, which was on the concept of “remembrance” in Justin’s works. I only mentioned it before briefly, and not in any kind of detail, though it was meant as a subtle jab at your assumption.
Here’s another quote by him which gives a different sense to the Eucharist:
“The people who are become depreciated, and there is no understanding in him who hears.’ Now it is evident, that in this prophecy[allusion is made] to the bread which our Christ gave us to eat, in remembrance of His being made flesh for the sake of His believers, for whom also He suffered; and to the cup which He gave us to drink, in remembrance of His own blood, with giving of thanks. And this prophecy proves that we shall behold this very King with glory; and the very terms of the prophecy declare loudly, that the people foreknown to believe in Him were fore-known to pursue diligently the fear of the Lord. Moreover, these Scriptures are equally explicit in saying, that those who are reputed to know the writings of the Scriptures, and who hear the prophecies, have no understanding. And when I hear, Trypho,” said I, “that Perseus was begotten of a virgin, I understand that the deceiving serpent counterfeited also this.” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypo, CHAPTER LXX)
Notice it says rather explicitly, “in remembrance of His being made flesh” and “the cup... in remembrance of his own blood.” That makes it perfectly clear on the biblical roots of Justin’s commentary, as well as his real position on the Eucharist. If the body and blood of Jesus Christ are really transubstantiated in communion, then it stands to follow that it is not “in remembrance,” it is, actually, another sacrifice for the purpose of gaining eternal life. It’s not a memorial to the blood and body of Christ, but really is the body and blood of Christ. It is a rite for salvation. If, on the other hand, it is only done in remembrance of that body and blood, then it fulfills what the scripture teaches on the Lord’s Supper:
Luk_22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
We are never told to partake in communion for the purpose of having eternal life. We are told to do it “in remembrance of me.” This is all the scripture teaches on the matter, which leaves all of Rome’s thoughts and opinions are simply extrapolations. Augustine really has the best commentary on the matter, as he sees in the Eucharist the entire church and a call to true unity, but this only “signified” by the bread, and not a literal eating of Christ or ourselves.
Exactly. And he knows that. You are all wasting your time and energy. Move on to posters that actually have sincere desires to know the Truth of the Catholic Faith.
Yup. You speak the truth yet again.
Somewhat disproven on this thread. It’s more like the opposite is true.
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