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Did Tertullian Deny the Real Presence? (Church Fathers and the Real Presence in the Eucharist)
http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/ ^ | February 11, 2014

Posted on 02/12/2014 6:44:27 PM PST by NKP_Vet

Did Tertullian Deny the Real Presence? In the comments to this post, a Protestant calling himself "meyu" claimed that there wasn't any consensus in the early Church on the Real Presence. Since I've actually written on this subject before, I challenged him on this. After all, I've shown Church Fathers explicitly affirming the Real Presence in the first and second century, the third century, and the fourth century. Even the Jews and Romans were aware that the Christians believed that the Eucharist was actually Jesus.

Of course, if these Church Fathers are wrong, they're blasphemously wrong: they're either encouraging people to worship Jesus or to worship an idol of bread and wine. Yet nobody in the Church disagrees with them: no remotely-orthodox Christian writes against the Eucharist as idolatry. Everyone who writes on the subject writes in a way that's compatible with Catholicism, oftentimes in ways that are undeniably explicit in teaching the Real Presence.

Meyu's initial response was to try to get me to read every early Church Father in order to verify that none of them disagreed with the Church. Obviously, that's an absurd burden shift, so I told him to come back when he had actually read the Church Fathers for himself, and found a place where any of them disagreed with the the doctrine of the Real Presence. Instead, he just copy-pasted (without attribution) someone else's list of proof-texted quotations by the Fathers who allegedly deny the Real Presence: "Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. (Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4.)

Bread and wine are offered, being the figure of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. They who participate in this visible bread eat, spiritually, the flesh of the Lord. (Macarius, Homily xxvii.)

For He, we know, who spoke of his natural body as corn and bread, and, again, called Himself a vine, dignified the visible symbols by the appellation of the body and blood, not because He had changed their nature, but because to their nature He had added grace. (Theodoret, Diologue I, Eranistes and Orthodoxus.)

For the Lord did not hesitate to say: “This is My Body”, when He wanted to give a sign of His body. (Augustine, Against Adimant.)

He admitted him to the Supper in which He committed and delivered to His disciples the figure of His Body and Blood. (Augustine, on Psalm 3.)

We have received a memorial of this offering which we celebrate on a table by means of symbols of His Body and saving Blood according to the laws of the new covenant. (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica.)"

None of these Fathers disagrees with anything that the Church teaches on the Eucharist. In fact, three of them - Tertullian, Augustine, and Eusebius - were actually Fathers that I'd quoted in my original posts (Tertullian here; Augustine and Eusebius here) because of their explicit affirmation of the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ, as the Sacrament of the altar, and as Sacrifice.

As far as I can tell, the only reason that Meyu thought that these Fathers disagreed with the Church is because they talk about the symbolic aspects of the Sacrament. So let's talk about that dimension, before drilling down into the example from Tertullian, specifically.

I. Are the Sacraments Symbolic?

When Protestants talk about Sacraments being symbolic, they typically mean that they're only symbols. And of course, as Catholics, we think that's false. But we don't deny that the Sacraments are symbols. On the contrary, as the Catechism says:

1131 The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.

The paragraph before that quotes St. Thomas Aquinas:

Therefore a sacrament is a sign that commemorates what precedes it - Christ's Passion; demonstrates what is accomplished in us through Christ's Passion - grace; and prefigures what that Passion pledges to us - future glory.

So the Sacraments have threefold signification: they're heavily symbolic. I suspect that nearly every Catholic knows this, on some level. In the Sacrament of Baptism, for example, our sins are washed away (Acts 22:16). Naturally, Our Lord chose water as the matter of this Sacrament: water is what we ordinarily use to clean things.

But it's not just a meaningless ritual of washing: it actually removes our sins, which is why the Sacraments are not just signs of grace, but an efficacious signs of grace, meaning that they cause what the symbolize.Is the water of Baptism symbolic? Yes. Does Baptism still wash away our sins? Yes.

So we can readily affirm that the Eucharist is both a symbol and the Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus could have consecrated something else: say, a melon. But He didn't. He chose bread and wine, and for good reason. I've talked about the importance of the symbolism of bread and wine before, but I want to quote someone else on this same score... Tertullian, who Meyu claims denies the Real Presence.

II. Tertullian on the Real Presence

The reason that I pressed Meyu so hard to get him to actually read the Church Fathers is that reading the Fathers directly tends to dispel a lot of falsehoods. Besides that, if you're going to claim that someone in the early Church agrees with your position (and use that as an argument to "disprove" Catholicism), it seems to me that you should have at least a general idea of who the person you're relying on was, as well as the context of what they were saying. Had he done that here, he would have seen what a mistake it was to rely on Tertullian's Against Marcion. Recall that first quotation from Meyu's list:

"Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. (Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4.)

More specifically, that quote comes from Chapter 40 of Book IV of Against Marcion. In context, it turns out that Tertullian is actually arguing that the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and Christ's Death on the Cross both disprove the Gnostics' claim that Christ didn't actually come in the Flesh (since, if they were right, we wouldn't have the Eucharist or the Atonement). [Tertullian isn't the first to make this particular argument, either: Ignatius of Antioch, one of the Apostle John's students, made the same argument in the early 100s: the Gnostics' beliefs lead them to deny the Eucharist, so we know that they're wrong.] In the midst of this, Tertulilan explains why Christ chose to consecrate bread and wine, instead of a melon:

When He so earnestly expressed His desire to eat the passover, He considered it His own feast; for it would have been unworthy of God to desire to partake of what was not His own. Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. An empty thing, or phantom, is incapable of a figure. If, however, (as Marcion might say,) He pretended the bread was His body, because He lacked the truth of bodily substance, it follows that He must have given bread for us. It would contribute very well to the support of Marcion’s theory of a phantom body, that bread should have been crucified! But why call His body bread, and not rather (some other edible thing, say) a melon, which Marcion must have had in lieu of a heart! He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: “I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,” which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body.

He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed “in His blood,” affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood. [...]Thus did He now consecrate His blood in wine, who then (by the patriarch) used the figure of wine to describe His blood.

So let's recap Tertullian's arguments:

Marcion denied that Christ had a true Body of Flesh and Blood. If that were true, then we would have to believe that the Eucharist was just bread, and that Christ on the Cross was just bread. He says that Christ explained exactly what He meant by “Bread” when He described it as His Body. According to Tertullian, the question now is why Christ referred to His Body as “Bread,” rather than something else (like a melon). He answers this by saying that Christ's Body is referred to throughout Scripture as Bread. He quotes a passage from the Septuagint version of Jeremiah to show that Christ's Crucified Body is rightly called “Bread.” The Eucharistic Bread and Wine affirm the reality of Christ's Flesh, since He couldn't give us His Body or Blood if He didn't have actual Flesh. Christ's Flesh, in turn, proves that He had a true Body. Christ consecrates the wine, fulfilling the Old Testament typology.

Again, all of this is from the very section that Meyu (or more accurately, whoever Meyu cribbed this from) quoted. The only difference is that I actually included context, instead of proof-texting a single decontextualized sentence. Clearly, Tertullian isn't arguing against the Real Presence, but for it, and using the Real Presence to disprove Marcion.

All of this, of course, harmonizes with what I had previously quoted from him: Chapter 19 of On Prayer, in which he explains that partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ don't break the fast on the days of Stations:

Similarly, too, touching the days of Stations, most think that they must not be present at the sacrificial prayers, on the ground that the Station must be dissolved by reception of the Lord's Body. Does, then, the Eucharist cancel a service devoted to God, or bind it more to God? Will not your Station be more solemn if you have withal stood at God's altar? When the Lord's Body has been received and reserved each point is secured, both the participation of the sacrifice and the discharge of duty.

Does that sound like Tertullian is a Baptist, all that talk about the Eucharist being the Lord's Body, and that receiving and reserving it is a participation in the Sacrifice at the altar? Or does that sound like he actually believes in the Real Presence?

Conclusion

Hopefully, no one is still left wondering whether or not Tertullian believed in the Real Presence. Clearly, he did. But I want to draw out two more things from this back-and-forth. First, don't be afraid of the Church Fathers. And second, read them in context. Figure out (a) who they are, and (b) what they're saying (who they're arguing it, what they're trying to say, etc.).

As Catholics, we shouldn't fear the Fathers; on the contrary, they're an enormous spiritual aid. They explain the teachings of the Church, have beautiful spiritual insights, and are the way that we know, for example, which Books belong in the Bible (as well as who wrote them, etc.). Without them, our faith would be ahistorical.

Periodically, the Fathers really will disagree. But more often then not, when Protestants claim that the Fathers disagree with the Catholic Church, they're really just taking them out of context, or not understanding what the Father in question is saying. Going back to the source usually clarifies this. In this case, I chose Tertullian simply because he was the first on the list, and it didn't seem worth going through each one if Meyu wasn't serious enough to even find the source that he claims disproves the Faith. The misleading prooftexting is characteristic of anti-Catholic citations to the Church Fathers.

For those reading this who think that the Catholic Church is wrong on the Eucharist, maybe you can succeed where Meyu failed: can you find an example of an orthodox Christian in the first few centuries arguing against the Real Presence, or arguing that the Eucharist is only symbolic, or otherwise affirming the Protestant view(s) on the Eucharist over and against the Catholic view?

If not, assuming that you don't seriously believe that the Apostles left an entirely apostate and idolatrous Church, isn't that a compelling reason to believe that the Catholic view is the correct one? And if we Catholics really do have the Eucharist (and thus, the priesthood, since the two are inseparable), isn't that a good reason to become Catholic?


TOPICS: Apologetics; History; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS:
Good article on the Real Presence in the Eucharist and the silly Protestant assertion that some of the Church fathers didn't believe in the Real Presence.
1 posted on 02/12/2014 6:44:27 PM PST by NKP_Vet
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To: NKP_Vet
QUOTE from Article: "But it's not just a meaningless ritual of washing: it actually removes our sins, which is why the Sacraments are not just signs of grace, but an efficacious signs of grace, meaning that they cause what the symbolize.Is the water of Baptism symbolic? Yes. Does Baptism still wash away our sins? Yes."

Is this a common Catholic belief and/or doctrine, that baptism washes away sins?

Also, to clarify, by saying the Eucharist is a "...efficacious signs of grace...", does that mean failure to take it will disable justification? How frequently does it have to be taken to maintain salvation?

NOTE: I am not setting up for an argument or debate, but rather am curious as to the orthodox Catholic view on these issues.

2 posted on 02/12/2014 7:03:41 PM PST by jimmyray
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To: NKP_Vet
I have no doubt the ECFs recognized the True Presence. Where are they on transubstantiation? Why then withhold the cup from the laity? Matt 26:27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

No forgiveness of sins for the laity, or a new construct different from the one Christ established?

3 posted on 02/12/2014 7:07:23 PM PST by xone
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To: NKP_Vet
With the links.

None of these Fathers disagrees with anything that the Church teaches on the Eucharist. In fact, three of them - Tertullian, Augustine, and Eusebius - were actually Fathers that I'd quoted in my original posts (Tertullian here; Augustine and Eusebius here) because of their explicit affirmation of the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ, as the Sacrament of the altar, and as Sacrifice.


4 posted on 02/12/2014 7:35:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: jimmyray

“Is this a common Catholic belief and/or doctrine, that baptism washes away sins?”

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 22:16 Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

1 Peter 3:21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,


5 posted on 02/12/2014 7:43:00 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: NKP_Vet

Tertullian was a funny guy.


6 posted on 02/12/2014 7:44:07 PM PST by Tax-chick (The platypus is a metaphor for anything that's keeping you down.)
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To: jimmyray

This query has already been answered:

John 6:48-68. It reads as follows”

“I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.” As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

The Eucharist is much more than a memorial service using grape juice and crackers. It is a sacrifice and a meal. The sacrifice comes in two forms: 1) us giving our whole selves to Christ and 2) the continuation of the sacrifice made by Christ of His flesh and blood. The meal is accepting the gift of holy food in the form of the body and blood of Christ.

Many Protestant Churches misinterpret John 6 and believe it is symbolic. The passage “It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” often confuse people that do not understand that the terms “flesh” and “blood” are used two different ways in the passage. Initially, Jesus is speaking literally of His flesh and blood.

This is what we now call the Eucharist. His use of flesh and blood in the last portion is moving to the familiar analogy between flesh (earthly things) and spirit (heavenly things). He is simply stating that His (literal) flesh and blood are of spirit (of heaven) while flesh (all earthly things) are of no use. He is simply telling us that His flesh and blood are spiritual food. Real food!

Most Protestant Churches teach the truth about Jesus, but do they teach the whole truth? Are you like one of the followers of Jesus who found this hard to believe? When considering the Catholic Church, remember these powerful words of Christ:

“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”

Shouldn’t your answer be: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”


7 posted on 02/12/2014 7:45:20 PM PST by Steelfish (ui)
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To: jimmyray

“Also, to clarify, by saying the Eucharist is a “...efficacious signs of grace...”, does that mean failure to take it will disable justification?”

In itself? No. But why would any justified man refuse a gift of grace from God?

“How frequently does it have to be taken to maintain salvation?”

As often as needed, but I would never say it is “to maintain salvation”. The Eucharist is a gift. How often do you want to receive a gift from God which aids your soul?


8 posted on 02/12/2014 7:45:38 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: Tax-chick

He had a great stand up routine. After he became a Montanist he had them rolling in the aisles. (cough)


9 posted on 02/12/2014 7:46:44 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

*cough*

When one starts to get close to the Greek Fathers ... well .. cough. It’s a big old world out there.


10 posted on 02/12/2014 7:49:37 PM PST by Tax-chick (The platypus is a metaphor for anything that's keeping you down.)
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To: vladimir998
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Acts 16:31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."

Above are 3 verses that regard salvation without baptism. Thanks, but your response did not answer my question.

“Is this a common Catholic belief and/or doctrine, that baptism washes away sins?”

11 posted on 02/12/2014 7:53:57 PM PST by jimmyray
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To: vladimir998
QUOTE: As often as needed, but I would never say it is “to maintain salvation”.

The reason I ask that is I have heard/seen examples of people who are denied the Eucharist, to their great dismay, and I inferred that this related to their maintenance of salvation. I have heard some in the Church of Christ state that it must be partook of weekly, lest you lose your salvation, so to speak. Just curious what the official Catholic doctrine was.

I understand the Catholic position on transubstantiation, and have no intention of debating it.

12 posted on 02/12/2014 8:03:22 PM PST by jimmyray
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To: jimmyray

“Above are 3 verses that regard salvation without baptism.”

False. Belief in Christ would naturally lead to baptism. The verses I posted show that. Paul came to believe in Christ. He was then baptized. Peter convicted the crowd in Jerusalem about their sinfulness. They asked what they should do to be saved. Peter said repent and be baptized. 3,000 were baptized that day. Coincidence? Nope. Necessity.

“Thanks, but your response did not answer my question.”

Actually, it. The Catholic Church believes as scripture teaches: baptism washes away sins. That’s exactly what scripture says - just as it says in the verses I posted.

Go back and read John 3 again. It’s about baptism. Early Christians saw this:

St. Irenaeus, a second century Church Father, described the nature and necessity of Baptism by water in his famous First Apology (written about 155 AD). In this document he has the following to say about Baptism by water:

Those who are persuaded and believe that the things we teach and say are true, and promise that they can live accordingly, are instructed to pray and beseech God with fasting for the remission of their past sins, while we pray and fast along with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are reborn by the same manner of rebirth by which we ourselves were reborn; for they are then washed in the water in the name of God the Father and Master of all, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. For Christ said, “Unless you are born again you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.” Now it is clear to all that those who have once come into being cannot enter the wombs of those who bore them. But as I quoted before, it was said through the prophet Isaiah how those who have sinned and repent shall escape from their sins. He said this: “Wash yourselves, be clean, take away wickednesses from your souls, learn to do good, give judgment for the orphan and defend the cause of the widow, and come and let us reason together, says the Lord. And though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them as white as wool, and though they be as crimson, I will make them as white as snow. If you will not listen to me, the sword will devour you; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken these things” (#61; in Cyril Richardson, Early Church Fathers, 282).


13 posted on 02/12/2014 8:10:29 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: jimmyray

“The reason I ask that is I have heard/seen examples of people who are denied the Eucharist, to their great dismay, and I inferred that this related to their maintenance of salvation.”

Someone would only be refused the Eucharist if they were manifesting a behavior - a sinful behavior - which would preclude any benefit from the Eucharist in the first place.

“I have heard some in the Church of Christ state that it must be partook of weekly, lest you lose your salvation, so to speak. Just curious what the official Catholic doctrine was.”

I’m not so sure you’re just curious.

“I understand the Catholic position on transubstantiation, and have no intention of debating it.”

Okiedokie. There’s no real chance of debate anyway. You could only dispute the truth and be wrong. The truth is already long settled.


14 posted on 02/12/2014 8:13:48 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998
QUOTE: I’m not so sure you’re just curious.

Call me a liar and be done with it. I simply asked what The Catholic doctrine was on baptism washing away sins, and you list 3 verses, but did not answer my query. As I mentioned, I did not desire a debate, just curious what the Catholic teaching/belief was.

It's obvious I am corresponding with the wrong person. Never mind.

15 posted on 02/12/2014 8:54:48 PM PST by jimmyray
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To: jimmyray
Explanation of the Sacrament of Baptism
16 posted on 02/12/2014 9:02:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Exactly what i was inquiring, to wit:

1265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte "a new creature," an adopted son of God, who has become a "partaker of the divine natue," member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks!

17 posted on 02/12/2014 9:25:01 PM PST by jimmyray
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To: jimmyray

You’re welcome.


18 posted on 02/13/2014 7:22:52 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: vladimir998

“You could only dispute the truth and be wrong. The truth is already long settled”.

AMEN.


19 posted on 02/13/2014 8:37:56 AM PST by NKP_Vet ("I got a good Christian raisin', and 8th grade education, aint no need ya'll treatin' me this way")
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To: Steelfish

One oft-overlooked point in this selection is that some disciples (we can call them the first Protestants/Evangelicals) said,

“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

And ...

“Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father’... As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.”

And so they turned away from sound teaching, substituting today ginormous multiple TV screens with close-ups of the pastor, and contemporary worship bands getting their close-ups ... and pictures of Jesus? Nah, gotta focus on what’s important here. Body and blood? Sacrifice? Holiness?

Holiness? Why all you have to do is profess Jesus as your Savior! All sins are forgiven past, present ... future too!

James 5:15-16

“and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

To any P/E who might be reading this, also consider 1 Corinthians 11:29

“For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

I have been to the communion services of various P/E denominations, and I don’t believe anyone —ANYONE— thinks that whomever partakes of their little plastic glasses of grape juice or chunks of bread torn from a loaf (including King’s Hawaiian Bread!! Ha!) is about to eat and drink something that will lead to their destruction, or cause them to be ill. OR that it is the Lord’s body and blood.


20 posted on 02/13/2014 11:19:49 AM PST by stisidore (MM, let's see here)
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To: vladimir998

Notice how none of the usual FR Catholic bashers have weighed in on the Real Presence. I could name names, but they know who they are. The reason is simple. All Church fathers believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.


21 posted on 02/13/2014 6:02:31 PM PST by NKP_Vet ("I got a good Christian raisin', and 8th grade education, aint no need ya'll treatin' me this way")
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To: NKP_Vet
I could name names, but they know who they are.
22 posted on 02/14/2014 12:21:44 PM PST by xone
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To: stisidore
have been to the communion services of various P/E denominations, and I don’t believe anyone

Why are you attending these services as a Catholic?

If you haven't met ANYONE, perhaps you need to expand the circle.

23 posted on 02/14/2014 12:23:45 PM PST by xone
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To: NKP_Vet
Good post. I have personally seen Terrullian's and Augustine's words on the matter similarly twisted by some who insist they are some kind of proto Protestant.

This is a good counter to such commonly misused passages. Passages that, perhaps not technically taken out of context (at least not in a certain sense), are at least divorced from Catholic understanding, specifically here the understanding that the Sacraments are both symbolic AND effectual.

Ultimately though, that point (Protestant divorce of Church fathers from Catholic understanding) will be lost on such people. Not only because once one accepts the historical reality that indeed these men WERE part of the Catholic (or "Papist" as some call it today) Church, (thus, it makes no sense to apply any other understanding or assumptions to their writings) their position crumbles like a sand castle, but also, apparently, because such people are, for whatever sad reason, too obstinate to even consider their position wrong.

So this is a good reference to keep. To keep ourselves grounded in the truth, if nothing else comes of it (which it probably won't, given the obstinacy I mention above).

24 posted on 02/14/2014 12:50:11 PM PST by FourtySeven (47)
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To: NKP_Vet
"Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,” that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. (Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4.)

Bread and wine are offered, being the figure of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. They who participate in this visible bread eat, spiritually, the flesh of the Lord. (Macarius, Homily xxvii.)

For He, we know, who spoke of his natural body as corn and bread, and, again, called Himself a vine, dignified the visible symbols by the appellation of the body and blood, not because He had changed their nature, but because to their nature He had added grace. (Theodoret, Diologue I, Eranistes and Orthodoxus.)

For the Lord did not hesitate to say: “This is My Body”, when He wanted to give a sign of His body. (Augustine, Against Adimant.)

He admitted him to the Supper in which He committed and delivered to His disciples the figure of His Body and Blood. (Augustine, on Psalm 3.)

We have received a memorial of this offering which we celebrate on a table by means of symbols of His Body and saving Blood according to the laws of the new covenant. (Eusebius of Caesarea, Demonstratio Evangelica.)"

In which of these quotes is it affirmed that the bread and wine are changed literally into His body and blood, rather than being figurative-literal tokens. as symbols, for the express purpose of reminding observers and partakers of His Cross-wounds?

In the article as presented here, there does not appear to be a clear connection with the hypothesis that these elements become invested with His Life.

25 posted on 02/14/2014 1:04:28 PM PST by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: imardmd1

‘Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord’ [1 Cor. 11:27]. ~ Saint Paul


26 posted on 02/14/2014 3:15:00 PM PST by NKP_Vet ("I got a good Christian raisin', and 8th grade education, aint no need ya'll treatin' me this way")
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To: NKP_Vet
Whosoever salutes the Flag of the United States, and recites the Pledge of Allegiance to The Flag, not as an article of allegiance but as a cover for disobedience to its principles to the country for which it stands, is a lying traitor; and a damned one, at that.

Same type of thing. The Flag is a symbol, and the patriot truly honors that symbol when the rite of allegiance is called for as a statement of persistent fidelity to this country, its fellow-citizens, and the genius of Freedom as contained in our Founding Documents.

Likewise, the recitation of the Pledge in the presence of the Flag, and as a congregation of citizens, is a continuing reminder to other citizens, as well as before the onlooking world, of that lifelong commitment.

Regarding the Commemoration Supper, the partaking of the symbols reminding the whole congregation, this is all that Jesus called for TILL HE COME: a persistent, continuing rite of fidelity to Him as Savior and Master.

Jesus, all of Him, including His Blood, is currently in Heaven in the Presence of The Father. The Holy Ghost is in this earthly sphere, most particularly dwelling with the soul and spirit of the totally committed regenerated believer-disciple, and He speaks through His Written and Spoken Word. How much holier can one get?

Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord’ [1 Cor. 11:27].

Please note that in this translation of the words given by The Holy Ghost, spoken by Paul, recorded by one of his amanuenses, preserved by The God, and translated to a reasonable degree, but not with the precision demanded here upon which to found a doctrine. Looking at it more closely, Paul's (The Holy Ghost's) words show that the bread as it was being used in the rite was still "artos" (bread loaf), not "sohma" (body), and Paul called it so as guided by The Holy Spirit exactly as appropriate and literally without uncertainty. Similarly, the wine was not said to have turned to blood, it was still just wine in the cup.

One knows that this consumption is not that of a regular meal, but of the Remembrance Supper, because the eating and drinking are in the subjunctive mood. That is, it is being performed as the expectation in participating in the ordinance of remembrance, not as the ordinary meal in which one may consume (or not consume) whatever one wishes. There's more, but this clearly is not a basis for transubstantiation, in my opinion.

27 posted on 02/14/2014 10:08:46 PM PST by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: imardmd1

“There’s more, but this clearly is not a basis for transubstantiation, in my opinion”

I’ll take Jesus’ own words over any protestant that for some reason doesn’t like to to take Jesus at His word. They always seem to think he was talking out of His head and didn’t know what He was saying. I will also take the words of all the Church fathers from the very beginning that believed in the Real Presence.


28 posted on 02/14/2014 10:32:30 PM PST by NKP_Vet ("I got a good Christian raisin', and 8th grade education, aint no need ya'll treatin' me this way")
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To: NKP_Vet
I’ll take Jesus’ own words . . .

Will you, now? Let's see if you really believe that:

Question: Was Jesus speaking/teaching using figurative terms throughout the occasion of the Passover meal in that upper room in less than 24 hours before His death?

Listen to a small sample of these words which Jesus spoke to His disciples at the Last Supper, the same gathering in which He introduced the Ordinance of Remembrance:

"I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing" (John 15:5 DRB).

(1) "I am the vine . . ." -- Was Jesus here speaking figuratively, or was He suddenly transformed before their very eyes into a literal wood-and-bark trunk and root of a grape vine? Please make a choice here as to which mode Jesus is speaking in.

(2) ". . . ye the branches . . ." -- Was Jesus here speaking figuratively, or did each of the disciples suddenly become transubstantiated into a literal branch of a grape vine? Choose here which mode He is addressing the disciples in terms of.

(3) "He that abideth in me, and I in him . . ." -- Was Jesus here speaking figuratively as to their trust in Him, and His teachings carried out and passed on through them? Or was it simply that they found themselves, each a literal vine branch, literally sprouting in that room out of a literal trunk of grape wood, with no other spiritual consequence? Please choose which this illustration is, now.

(4) ". . . the same beareth much fruit . . ." -- Was Jesus figuratively speaking of His expectation that they would make more disciples, or was He speaking of them literally growing bunches of literal grapes at the ends of the limbs into which they had literally been changed? Choose which mode he is talking in, in this parable.

OK, if you do not see the point, it is because you haven't become mature enough to grasp similes and poetic language in speaking and teaching. Or else you are willingly blind to the conceptual mode in which Jesus was instructing his intimate friends.

If so, only you can help yourself. This is not about Protestantism or Catholicism (which are not diametrically opposed); it is about obvious Truths versus blindness and falsehoods (which are diametrically opposed).

Of course, using the literal (but illogical) model of transubstantiation will make catechizing little, concrete-thinking, as-yet illiterate children much, much easier, won't it? Trying to explain the above verse, and its meaning in context would be very difficult with a six year old child would be very difficult, would it not? Or even to an uneducated low-information adult?

I suspect this is the main reason for the use of this approach to explaining the spiritual purpose and meaning of the communal Remembrance Experience to people not prepared for it, eh?

"All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes: and without parables he did not speak to them. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world" (Mt. 13:34-35 DRB).

"And with many such parables, he spoke to them the word, according as they were able to hear. And without parable he did not speak unto them; but apart, he explained all things to his disciples" (Mk 4:33-34 DRB).

You see, Jesus took some three and a half years to educate his disciples to understand literary communication, so that they were quite fit to hear and understand the parable of the vine, and the parable of the fig tree, and the parable of the communal Remembrance Supper and the central elements of Its symbolism, and to explain it to others.

29 posted on 02/15/2014 3:56:21 AM PST by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: imardmd1

You have just called all the Church fathers liars. You know more than they do. Pardon me for believing first Christ, then 2,000 years of Church teaching, starting in the 1st Century.


30 posted on 02/15/2014 7:24:18 AM PST by NKP_Vet ("I got a good Christian raisin', and 8th grade education, aint no need ya'll treatin' me this way")
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To: NKP_Vet
I guess you can't accept what you were presented asundeniable truth.

I believe Christ first, and His willingness to bear my sins actually in His Body on the Cross, on Golgotha; and to not merely cover my sins with His Blood, but to wash them away for ever.

I am keenly aware that He rose from the dead ones and ascended to the Holiest of Heaven, where every drop of His Incorruptible Blood was placed on Heaven's Mercy Seat that The Mighty God's righteous wrath might be proptitiated; and that I might be reconciled to The Father, Who has offered me the gift of intimate fellowship if I but accept the transaction of yielding my sins and myself to His Son for which He would then confer His Son's righteousness upon me in exchange.

I am sad to know that you do not seem to be able to grasp the import of the fact that Jesus related spiritual truths to the multitudes with figurative-literal language, which they were not able to understand without spiritual guidance (See Matthew 13 for example).

But Jesus took His disciples (including Judas Iscariot) aside, and opened their understanding by explaining the method of understanding the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven. By the time they were congregated for the Last Supper, they were quite familiar with understanding the spiritual truths taught them during His discourses before, during, and after that Supper, using figurative-literal examples throughout.

That is most certainly the mode in which He taught them to recapitulate the special ritual through future generations to make sure they remembered and passed on the sense of His once-for-all=time substitutionary sacrifice to satisfy The God's just wrath pent up to exercise on mankind. He was not telling them that the bread and wine had literally become changed into His flesh tissue and hematological oxygen-bearing blood, some part of them which then would not have gone to the Cross! This does not even make common sense, let alone spiritual, theological, nor physical sense.

No, he was giving them a ritual in which they were commanded to use as symbols to perpetually bring His offering of Himself as the One And Only Sacrificial Lamb which would utterly remove Sin and sins as a barrier to fellowship with the Father.

The only real thing happened on the Cross, and no transubstantiation was instituted, required, or desired to proclaim spiritual truth until His Second Coming. I don't believe He endorsed some kind of dispensation of a chewable for of Grace as the purpose of the Remembrance.

31 posted on 02/15/2014 5:19:17 PM PST by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: xone

No, I have never met anyone. Sniff.


32 posted on 02/19/2014 12:45:28 PM PST by stisidore (MM, let's see here)
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To: stisidore

You need to get out more.


33 posted on 02/19/2014 1:47:23 PM PST by xone
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To: xone

OK, now I will.

By the way, here is a salutory tale. Be sure not to tell anyone, or no one, as the case may be. And never, no not ever, dangle your participle in public!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM


34 posted on 02/19/2014 4:15:05 PM PST by stisidore (MM, let's see here)
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