-This article strives to interact with a post published by Roman Catholic apologist Steve Ray at Catholic Answers called Ankerberg Aweigh
on the dogma of transubstantiation. Following are quotations from the author in pink alongside my comments:
"The Catholic Church does not teach that Christ is "re-sacrificed" on the altar. Why does Ankerberg say that it does? The quotation he uses from the Catholic Encyclopedia does not use anything like"re-sacrifice," yet Ankerberg says it teaches "re-sacrificing." Words are important; smart Catholics will catch on to what he is doing- playing footloose with terminology to suit his own interests."
The eucharist is called a divine sacrifice (CCC, 1068), and is done repeatedly. We are told that the sacrifice of the Mass and the sacrifice of Jesus are "one in the same sacrifice" (CCC, 1367). The eucharist is believed to be propitiatory (CCC, 1367). It is believed to make atonement for sin (CCC 1414). So the Catholic distinction between "re-sacrifice" and "re-presentation" is a weak one. The principle of Jesus Christ being offered "once for all" is violated (Hebrews 10:10-14).
"Catholics teach that there was only one sacrifice and that the Mass is a re-presentation of that sacrifice, a partaking in and of the one sacrifice-the eating of the Lamb (Ex. 12:11, John 6:52-58)."
All the atonement sacrifices that were performed in the Old Testament pointed to the one perfect, final sacrifice accomplished by Jesus Christ at Calvary (Hebrews 10:1). This is an instance of taking typology way too far. Although we can see many examples of such in Exodus 12 (the bones of the lamb [symbolizes Christ] not being broken), we have no reason to interpret these blood of the covenant passages as being supportive of transubstantiation. They do not say anything about a mysterious conversion of the consecrated elements at the Mass into the literal flesh and blood of Christ.
"So we have an anomaly: Christ seated at the right hand of the Father, and Christ, the Lamb of God, standing on the altar. In the temporal world, he was slain once-but in heaven, the world outside time, it appears that the sacrifice of Christ is an eternal event. We are even told that he was crucified before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8)."
Even though the Scripture portrays the sacrifice of Christ as being displayed on an alter in heaven to remind us continually of His atonement, the effects of His work are permanent. Only He can offer Himself up. He has conquered death, and never has to offer Himself up as a sacrifice again (Hebrews 10:18).
If the literalistic interpretation of the Last Supper is correct, then does that mean Roman Catholics who partake of the eucharist become living tabernacles? If the consecrated wafer is the body of Christ, then should we not be able to use it in the process of cloning Him? How is consuming a person's flesh and blood communion? If the Church of Rome had such a high view of Christ, then why is He so frequently portrayed in congregations as dead crucified on a cross or as a helpless babe in the arms of Mary?
It should not surprise us when early Christian writers made statements similar to "this is my body" and "this is my blood," since they were alluding to the words spoken by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. The focus should become what is meant by such language, as one can point to a country on a map and say, "This is Israel." One in that instance would not be literally saying the place pointed at on the paper is Israel but it represents the location. Even if a church father believed in some mystical presence of Christ in the communion elements, that does not demonstrate he believed in transubstantiation. The former notion can be embraced without knowledge of the later.
This excerpt from Church Historian Philip Schaff's work called History of the Church, Volume II, paragraph 69
, is pertinent here:
"The doctrine concerning the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, not coming into special discussion, remained indefinite and obscure [during the period from 100-325 AD]. The ancient church made more account of the worthy participation of the ordinance than of the logical apprehension of it. She looked upon it as the holiest mystery of Christian worship, and accordingly, celebrated it with the deepest devotion, without inquiring into the mode of Christ’s presence, nor into the relation of the sensible signs to his flesh and blood. It is unhistorical to carry any of the later theories back into this age; although it has been done frequently in the apologetic and polemic discussion of this subject.”
This excerpt from John D. Hannah, Our Legacy: The History of Christian Doctrine, p. 274, is pertinent here:
"...they saw the Lord's Supper with a strong degree of realism, though with a spiritualizing tendency. The elements really and truly were the body and blood of Christ, yet not in such a way as to be identical with the historical body of the Savior. Christ's literal body had ascended into heaven, to be brought from heaven only in His return in the last great judgement."
excerpt from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia online
"The Leonine and Gelasian Sacramentaries show us what is practically our present Roman Mass. How did the service change from the one to the other? It is one of the chief difficulties in the history of liturgy. During the last few years, especially, all manner of solutions and combinations have been proposed. We will first note some points that are certain, that may serve as landmarks in an investigation…Justin gives us the fullest Liturgical description of any Father of the first three centuries (Apol. I, lxv, lxvi, quoted and discussed in LITURGY). He describes how the Holy Eucharist was celebrated at Rome in the middle of the second century; his account is the necessary point of departure, one end of a chain whose intermediate links are hidden. We have hardly any knowledge at all of what developments the Roman Rite went through during the third and fourth centuries. This is the mysterious time where conjecture may, and does, run riot.
By the fifth century we come back to comparatively firm ground, after a radical change. At this time we have the fragment in Pseudo-Ambrose, “De sacramentis” (about 400. Cf. P.L., XVI, 443), and the letter of Pope Innocent I (401-17) to Decentius of Eugubium (P.L., XX, 553). In these documents we see that the Roman Liturgy is said in Latin and has already become in essence the rite we still use."
Following is a good observation from J.N. Darby
on the substance and accidents Aristotelian philosophy employed in Roman Catholic transubstantiation:
"The doctrine of transubstantiation is simply the fruit of the scholastic use of Aristotle in the middle ages. It depends, on the face of it, on the difference of substance and accidents. The substance of bread is changed into the substance of the Lord's body, the accidents of bread remain. Without this theory, the idea could not exist. But this theory of a particular substance and accidents was a mere metaphysical theory, without any real foundation. We have got nowadays to molecules and atoms infinitely minute, which may be called perhaps substance or essential matter; but all this Aristotelian theory of an imaginary substance and accidents in material objects, is a mere groundless fancy. We see different qualities which awaken sensations in us; colour, form, hardness, etc., and the mind recognises there is something there. Of this conviction, which in relation to us creatures I do not dispute, Aristotle and the schoolmen, who were as a rule wholly under his influence, made a distinct but imaginary substratum in which the various qualities were inherent. There was the substance of bread, etc. But this was a mere philosophical notion, a mere theory of the heathen Aristotelian school, adopted by the schoolmen, and has no other foundation whatever. But the whole doctrine of transubstantiation, and even the word, depends on it, cannot exist without it, is the mere expression of it, only bringing in a miracle on the ground of it, as to the Lord's supper."
An excerpt from Dr. Francis Nigel Lee's Fifty-Five These Against Transubstantiation
"Even since A.D. 831, many Roman Catholics still opposed such transubstantiation. So: Ratramnus, Berengarius, John Scotus Eriguena, Rabanus Maurus, Walafrid Strabo, Christian Druthmar, Florus Magister, Eusebius Bruno (Bishop of Angers), Frollant (Bishop of Senlis), and Elfric. Also, according to the famous RC Cardinal Bellarmine in his De Sacramento Eucharistea (111:5 and 4 dII q.6 art. 1,2 and q. 3 art. 1,2 and I:5) - even the celebrated Cardinal Cameracensus said: "Transubstantiation cannot be proved from Holy Writ .... To this Cardinal Roffensis, Cardinal Cajetan and also Scotus all concur." Indeed, the RC scholars Gabriel, Nicolus, Cusanus, Tapper, Hessel and others all present the "Protestant" interpretation of John 6:54. See Dr. P.G. Logan's Ph.D. dissertation The History and Doctrine of Transubstantiation, Sydney, 1994, pp. 84f."
The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the origin of the Roman Catholic priesthood as follows:
“A priesthood developed gradually in the early Christian church as first bishops and then elders, or ‘presbyters,’ began to exercise certain priestly functions, mainly in connection with the celebration of the Eucharist. By the end of the 2nd century, the church’s bishops were called priests (Latin: sacerdos)… The development of eucharistic theology resulted in a further emphasis of the priest’s supernatural powers and qualities…” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/priest-Christianity)
"Notice the sacrificial language being used. The term "table of the Lord" is a technical term which in the Old Testament always refers to a table of sacrifice. Why would Paul use such blatantly sacrificial terminology if he is trying to deny any association between the Eucharist and sacrifice?"
“Although the term ‘priest’ (Greek hiereus) refers to the entire Christian people, it is given to no church office in the New Testament. First appearing in the 2nd century, the office is associated with the establishment of the eucharistic sacrifice, over which the priest was called to preside. No doubt the development of the monarchical episcopate also contributed to the emergence of the priesthood…” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Roman-Catholicism/Structure-of-the-church)
The context of this passage pertains more to appropriate conduct and application of discernment in worship services than having a correct view on the eucharist. The purpose and meaning, not the substance, of the communion elements are being discussed in 1 Corinthians 10-11. The communion that the pagans had with idols was also very real, yet there is no evidence suggesting that their offerings were transubstantiated. Even granting that this text makes mention of the eucharist, that fact in and of itself does not prove the communion elements become the literal body and blood of Christ at the words of consecration by a priest.