Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Lord's Supper Is To Be Understood Symbolically

Verse 22: The head of the household blessing bread and wine was standard for any meal, but later sources suggest that special blessings were used for Passover. Jewish people broke bread rather than sliced it. In Aramaic, one would not distinguish “is” from “represents.” The standard Jewish interpretation of what the household head pronounced over the bread at Passover was not literal: “This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate when they left Egypt.” No one assumed that the bread they were eating was 1300 years old, or had been digested by the ancestors; rather, they reenacted those events and participated in them.

23: Probably some time by the end of the first century, Jewish people used four cups at their Passover meal (like Greeks at banquets); scholars have suggested that this is the fourth cup (which followed blessing the bread) or the third. A common cup was passed, using red wine.

24: Sacrificial blood had long been used to ratify biblical covenants (for “blood of the covenant,” see Exodus 24:8). God had redeemed his people from Egypt through the paschal lamb’s blood. “On behalf of many” probably reflects Isaiah 53. Passover ritual interpreted the wine, but not as blood; the law forbade drinking blood.

25: Jewish people often made vows of abstinence (e.g., “I will not eat this or that until a particular thing happens”; similarly, “I will not use this or that …”). Jewish blessings over the wine called it “the fruit of the vine.” Early Jewish sources often view the kingdom as a banquet (cf. Isaiah 25:6-9); endless wine would then be available (Amos 9:13).

26: People usually sang the remaining part of the Hallel (Ps 113 to 118) after the Passover meal and lengthy discussion about the Passover. (Music was common fare at many ancient banquets.) Walking from a home in the Upper City to the Mount of Olives presumably took fifteen minutes or longer.



  1. Jordan,

    Sorry for the delayed response, but I just noticed that you made a reply to this citation of mine on your blog (your article apparently does not at this point in time have a comments section). There is nothing wrong with my quotation. Citation of a source does not necessarily imply endorsement of an author's beliefs. Your "rebuttal" is adding a different idea with a different citation.

    You are essentially claiming that I misunderstood the excerpt from Dr. Craig S. Keener and that he actually supported Roman Catholic ideology. But that is not what the citation says. The excerpt plainly tells us that transubstantiation did not take place during the Lord's Supper.

    Nevertheless, you are WRONG to suggest that the Lord's Supper is us participating in Christ's death, etc. Jesus Christ Himself only said it was a remembrance, not a participation. You are simply a pig-headed troll looking for blog articles to attack. It would be wise for you to put the scholarly commentaries down for awhile and start reading the Bible for what it says.

  2. Jordan,

    Nice try with your efforts to publicly shame me. I can tell by reading your "rejoinder" that my first response obviously hit you where it hurts.

    The point of me citing this excerpt is to illustrate the absurdity of Roman Catholic transubstantiation being inferred from the words uttered by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. I wanted to emphasize a particular point regarding the Passover meal.

    Your entire argument against me is nonsense. It is much more emotional in nature than it is rational. You attempted to humiliate me and denigrate my research with statements such as this:

    "Jesse’s closing paragraph is highly unfortunate and ironic, considering the nature of many of his blogposts too which are simply statements others had said. So perhaps do what you preach, before you tell others what to do."

    ...as if I ever said or believed that it was wrong to cite excerpts from other people. Where did you come up with this idea? You made it up, not me.

    It is not inappropriate for one to cite from authors of works who have different viewpoints. Moreover, I do not have the same objectives in mind as you do.

    Recognizing Scripture as the final court of authority for establishing doctrine is not tantamount to saying what statements that you have put in my mouth. The "real presence" doctrine is found in Roman Catholicism. So in that sense you do indeed support Roman Catholic ideology.