Monday, September 17, 2018

Debunking Catholic Apologist Steve Ray On The Eucharist

  • Discussion:
          -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 nevertheless violated (Hebrews 10:10-14). If the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary and the sacrifice of the Mass are one and the same event, then why does it have to be continually offered?

          "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). Although we can see many examples of typology 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 because 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 (Romans 6:9-10; 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." 

          This excerpt from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia online (emphasis added):

           "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)

           “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)

           "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?"

          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. The Apostle Paul stated that Jesus Christ was the Rock (1 Corinthians 10:3-4), yet He never underwent a process of literal petrification. Even granting that this text makes mention of the Eucharist, that fact in of itself does not prove the communion elements go through a process to become the literal body and blood of Christ. There is not even the slightest hint of an ordained ministerial priesthood in this context.

25 comments:

  1. Hello Jesse,

    You said,The Eucharist is called a divine sacrifice (CCC, 1068),

    Get it right. It's called THE Divine Sacrifice.

    1068 It is this mystery of Christ that the Church proclaims and celebrates in her liturgy so that the faithful may live from it and bear witness to it in the world:
    For it is in the liturgy, especially in THE divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, that "the work of our redemption is accomplished," and it is through the liturgy especially that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.

    and is done repeatedly.

    It's offered repeatedly. But Jesus Christ only did His part only once. What was His part? He sacrificed Himself upon the Cross.

    Have you never wondered why Scripture calls Jesus the Lamb of God? By the way, Protestants claim to wash themselves in the Blood of Christ. Where do they get that Precious Blood? They can't and don't. But Catholics are washed in the Precious Blood of Christ every time we partake of the Eucharist.



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  2. Hi De Maria,

    Playing snarky semantic games is not going to help your case. The sacrifice of the Mass is described as being true, proper, and expiatory in nature. It is repeated on a weekly basis. This logically constitutes a re-sacrifice of Christ.

    The Word of God emphatically teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ was offered up once for all. It is that single act by which we can be redeemed. It is that single act that has enabled us to receive forgiveness from God. Only Christ could offer Himself up. His atonement sacrifice is neither ongoing nor re-enacted. He made His sacrifice one time, and died one time. His work has already been accomplished.

    Christ translated His literal blood to the heavenly sanctuary so that it could be applied to the Mercy Seat and sprinkled on believers through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:12-28). Christians approach the Father by the Son through faith, not rituals. The once for all sacrifice of Christ is sufficient to cleanse believers of all sin. The very essence of the gospel is trusting in His death, burial, and resurrection.

    If sacrifices for sin have to continually be made, then those offerings have insufficient power to save lost souls (Hebrews 9:13-14; 10:1-2; 10-11; 18). Thus, the Eucharist of the Roman Catholic Church is idolatry and blasphemous. We are saved only by the blood of Jesus. Anyway, how can a person literally consume the soul and divinity of Christ?

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  3. So according to your translation then the first 1600 years of the church was wrong about the lords supper!?

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    1. The Catholic Church brought in transubstantiation a couple centuries after the REAL church was established. The Papist church invented it. So the REAL church was never wrong, and the REAL church leaving papism was never wrong.

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  4. Hello Jesse,

    Excellent article addressing the monumentally fallacious reasoning set forth by Ray.

    I am inclined to wonder if the Roman Church has made official, infallible pronouncements regarding the scriptures Ray is expounding upon, or if he is just giving us his own personal interpretation?

    I am also inclined to wonder if Ray has Holy Orders in the Roman Church? The Catholic Encyclopedia states:

    By a decree of Alexander IV (1254-1261) inserted in "Sextus Decretalium", Lib. V, c. ii, and still in force, all laymen are forbidden, under threat of excommunication, to dispute publicly or privately with heretics on the Catholic Faith. The text reads: "Inhibemus quoque, ne cuiquam laicæ personæ liceat publice vel privatim de fide catholicâ disputare. Qui vero contra fecerit, excommunicationis laqueo innodetur." (We furthermore forbid any lay person to engage in dispute, either private or public, concerning the Catholic Faith. Whosoever shall act contrary to this decree, let him be bound in the fetters of excommunication.) …when there is a question of dogmatic or moral theology, every intelligent layman will concede the propriety of leaving the exposition and defence of it to the clergy. (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, [New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909], "Discussions, Religious," p. 34) Ecclesiastical approbation: ["Nihil Obstat," May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. "Imprimatur," John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York].

    On an unrelated note, Ray makes the assertion that "the table of the Lord" is a terminus technicus, though he provides no evidence to substantiate this claim. In 1 Cor 10:21 we read

    21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. (RSV Catholic Edition).

    Seeing that there is a clear antithetical pairing made between "the cup of the Lord," and "the cup of demons," I am left wondering if the "cup of demons" contains the literal corporeal blood of the demons? Although I must admit I am uncertain how such a process would play out as I was under the impression that demons were non-corporeal beings. Similarly, I am left wondering if "the table of demons," which is antithetically paired with "the table of the Lord," contains the literal carnal corporal flesh of non-corporeal demons?

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  5. Jesse, just a brief note on your comment from your article. You wrote

    “ 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.”

    I’m not sure how you can suggest This is my Body” could be just like pointing to a map and saying “This is Israel “ for a number or reasons.
    First) from the very beginning it was understood this was a Mystery. There is nothing mysterious about the country Israel on a map”
    Second) a change takes place in the consecrated elements.
    Third) that change takes place during the invocation, “the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him” “receives the Word of God”
    t. Justin the Martyr (c. 100 – 165 A.D.)

    For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, AND BY THE CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nourished, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS. (First Apology, 66)

    Note , the food which has been made into the Eucharist

    Irenaeus
    ‘“When, therefore, the mixed cup and the baked bread receives the Word of God and BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, THE BODY OF CHRIST, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, WHICH IS ETERNAL LIFE — flesh which is nourished BY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD…receiving the Word of God, BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, WHICH IS THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST… (Against Heresies 5:2:2-3)

    And Four) as can be seen above receiving the Eucharist leads to eternal life.

    Ignatius
    [O]bey the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying, but [which causes] that we should live for ever in Jesus Christ.

    Five) The extreme care taken to protect the Eucharist
    Tertullian (c. 155 – 250 A.D.)

    The Sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Lord commanded to be taken at meal times and by all, we take even before daybreak in congregations… WE OFFER SACRIFICES FOR THE DEAD on their birthday anniversaries…. We take anxious care lest something of our Cup or Bread should fall upon the ground… (The Crown 3:3-

    Origen (184-254 AD)

    You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received BODY OF THE LORD, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall, and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish….how is it that you think neglecting the word of God a lesser crime than neglecting HIS BODY? (Homilies on Exodus 13:3)

    Cyril of Jerusalem (313-386 AD)

    So then after having carefully hallowed your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it; giving heed lest you lose any portion thereof ; for whatever you lose, is evidently a loss to you as it were from one of your own members. For tell me, if any one gave you grains of gold, would you not hold them with all carefulness, being on your guard against losing any of them, and suffering loss? Will you not then much more carefully keep watch, that not a crumb fall from you of what is more precious than gold and precious stones?

    Just Goggle the Church Fathers on the Eucharist and you will find multiple examples of the above points from numerous Fathers

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    1. From the very beginning it was meant metaphorically. After all, Jesus wasn't eating and drinking himself.

      Try to find an argument to refute my article here:
      https://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/06/catholic-eucharist-unbiblical-and.html



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  6. By the way, early church "fathers" were also capable of mysticism and re-imagining what Scripture actually said. The BIBLE is our authority, not 2nd and 3rd century "fathers."

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  7. Read what Justin Martyr actually said and meant:
    https://carm.org/roman-catholicism/justin-martyr-and-transubstantiation/

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  8. Read what Tertullian actually said:
    https://carm.org/roman-catholicism/tertullian-and-transubstantiation/

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  9. Betty,

    "I’m not sure how you can suggest "This is my Body” could be just like pointing to a map and saying “This is Israel “ for a number or reasons."

    No one said that it could be just like pointing to a country on a map as that scenario was only used as an illustration of how "this is" can be understood in a figurative sense.

    "First) from the very beginning it was understood this was a Mystery. There is nothing mysterious about the country Israel on a map”

    An example does not have to be "mysterious" in order for it to be true or valid.

    The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 3 that the mystery of the Gospel, unbeknownst to people of prior generations, had been revealed to him through the grace of God by means of divine revelation. Jew and Gentile now can be partakers in the kingdom of God through this message of reconciliation. It is now to be uttered to all. Why should it be a surprise to anyone that patristic authors would speak in this manner when they are communicating about our salvation from sin and spiritual death?

    "Second) a change takes place in the consecrated elements.Third) that change takes place during the invocation, “the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him” “receives the Word of God” "

    It is not the kind of change that you would need to actually eat the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. That idea cannot be substantiated anywhere in church documents of the first three hundred years of Christian history. Hence, you have utterly failed to address my contention. We should expect to find statements with sacrificial language by the early church fathers because they were alluding to the Lord's Supper as recounted in the four gospels.

    "Note, the food which has been made into the Eucharist."

    Note how there is no literal transformation process specified in the excerpt from Justin Martyr. Christ is merely identified with bread and wine in a mysterious way. You do not have to physically consume the literal flesh and blood of Jesus Christ in order to describe the communion elements as being more than common bread and common wine.

    "And Four) as can be seen above receiving the Eucharist leads to eternal life."

    The excerpt from Irenaeus contains a strong degree of realism but does not imply that we eat the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. It does not specify the manner in which the bread becomes His body or that we consume Him in the woodenly literal manner required in order for the text to demonstrate belief in transubstantiation. There is no mention of substance and accidents philosophy, either.

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  10. Fragment 13 from Irenaeus shows that he believed symbolism to exist in the bread and wine to a considerable extent:

    "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]. To these men Blandina replied very admirably in these words: "How should those persons endure such [accusations], who, for the sake of the practice [of piety], did not avail themselves even of the flesh that was permitted [them to eat]?"

    Let's address your citation of Ignatius. The communion elements can be said to be the medicine of immortality because of what they point to, namely the shed body and blood of Christ. We receive and partake of Him by faith. He is life to us: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25)

    "Five) The extreme care taken to protect the Eucharist Tertullian (c. 155 – 250 A.D.)"

    The early Christians venerated the communion elements because they would have recognized such a ritual to be instituted by God. That kind of response is only natural to a person of faith. It does not prove these people believed that we eat Christ in the same manner claimed by Roman Catholics today or that the communion elements were to be worshiped.

    Tertullian's recounting of church tradition regarding offering sacrifices for the dead on their birthday anniversaries has no foundation to rest on in the New Testament. That only proves these men were not perfect and so did not always teach correct doctrine.

    "Just Goggle the Church Fathers on the Eucharist and you will find multiple examples of the above points from numerous Fathers."

    You have not proven anything. I am not really impressed by your arguments.

    It took over five hundred years for Roman Catholic theology on the Lord's Supper to reach a full stage of development. Paschasius Radberts (785-865) explicitly articulated the doctrine of transubstantiation (without using that word) in his book titled On the Body and Blood of the Lord.

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  11. The excerpt from philip schaff and the advent catholic encyclopedia was very interesting. Also the quotes "in pink" just show up in black on my phone"

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  12. The part i found interesting from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia was the part that was underlined. Also it would seem that the point you made about the eucharist would violate Christ being offered once for all, would be true.

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  13. Jesse quotes me

    “I’m not sure how you can suggest “This is my Body” could be just like pointing to a map and saying “This is Israel “ for a number or reasons.”

    And then writes

    “if No one said that it could be just like pointing to a country on a map as that scenario was only used as an illustration of how “this is” can be understood in a figurative sense.”

    Jesse, for what other purpose could you possibly be bringing up in a discussion of “This is my Body” the statement “This is Israel” on a map if you were not suggesting “it could be just like “?

    Jesse

    ““First) from the very beginning it was understood this was a Mystery. There is nothing mysterious about the country Israel on a map”

    An example does not have to be “mysterious” in order for it to be true or valid.

    The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 3 that the mystery of the Gospel, unbeknownst to people of prior generations, had been revealed to him through the grace of God by means of divine revelation. Jew and Gentile now can be partakers in the kingdom of God through this message of reconciliation. It is now to be uttered to all. Why should it be a surprise to anyone that patristic authors would speak in this manner when they are communicating about our salvation from sin and spiritual death?”

    Nice try Jesse but they are writing SPECIFICALLY about the EUCHARIST!!!!!

    Clement of Alexandria

    “Eat ye my flesh,” He says, “and drink my blood.” Such is the suitable food which the Lord ministers, and He offers His flesh and pours forth His blood, and nothing is wanting for the children’s growth. O amazing mystery.”.

    Stromata Book 1, Chapter 12

    Such were the impediments in the way of my writing. And even now I fear, as it is said, to cast the pearls before swine, lest they tread them under foot, and turn and rend us.Matthew 7:6 For it is difficult to exhibit the really pure and transparent words respecting the true light, to swinish and untrained hearers. For scarcely could anything which they could hear be more ludicrous than these to the multitude; nor any subjects on the other hand more admirable or more inspiring to those of noble nature. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him. 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the wise do not utter with their mouth what they reason in council. But what you hear in the ear, says the Lord, proclaim upon the houses; Matthew 10:27 bidding them receive the secret traditions of the true knowledge, and expound them aloft and conspicuously; and as we have heard in the ear, so to deliver them to whom it is requisite; but not enjoining us to communicate to all without distinction, what is said to them in parables. But there is only a delineation in the memoranda, which have the truth sowed sparse and broadcast, that it may escape the notice of those who pick up seeds like jackdaws; but when they find a good husbandman, each one of them will germinate and produce grain.

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  14. The Holy Eucharist in the words of St. John Chrysostom, “

    “What we believe is not the same as what we see. One thing we see (bread and wine), and another we believe (Body and Blood of our Lord). And such is the nature of our Mysteries” (cf. Hom. on 1 Cor. VII , 2).

    Jesse, you go on

    “”Second) a change takes place in the consecrated elements.Third) that change takes place during the invocation, “the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him” “receives the Word of God” ”

    It is not the kind of change that you would need to actually eat the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. That idea cannot be substantiated anywhere in church documents of the first three hundred years of Christian history. Hence, you have utterly failed to address my contention. We should expect to find statements with sacrificial language by the early church fathers because they were alluding to the Lord’s Supper as recounted in the four gospels.”

    Jesse, the Fathers are not just using “sacrificial language, the Eucharist IS THE SACRIFICE. I know you are not seriously considering what I have been posting because we have been over this before with Kevin.

    The Sacrifice of the Mass

    THE DIDACHE

    “Assemble on the Lord’s day, and break bread and offer the Eucharist; but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one. Anyone who has a difference with his fellow is not to take part with you until he has been reconciled, so as to avoid any profanation of your sacrifice [Matt. 5:23–24]. For this is the offering of which the Lord has said, ‘Everywhere and always bring me a sacrifice that is undefiled, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is the wonder of nations’ [Mal. 1:11, 14]” (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).

    Now there are lots of quotes that I posted before. You obviously didn’t read them but for those who are truly TRUTH seekers

    Jesse to my next comment

    “Note, the food which has been made into the Eucharist.”

    You responded

    “Note how there is no literal transformation process specified in the excerpt from Justin Martyr. Christ is merely identified with bread and wine in a mysterious way. You do not have to physically consume the literal flesh and blood of Jesus Christ in order to describe the communion elements as being more than common bread and common wine.”

    Jesse, “no literal transformation”?

    The translation I provided

    “the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, AND BY THE CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nourished, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS. (First Apology, 66)”

    Brian’s article translation

    “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.” (First Apology, 65-66)

    Jesse, I don’t know how you can deny a literal transformation when both translations tell you the Eucharist, ie “the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word” IS, IS ,IS THE FLESH AND BLOOD of Jesus.

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  15. Now Jesse I wrote

    “And Four) as can be seen above receiving the Eucharist leads to eternal life.”

    You responded

    “The excerpt from Irenaeus contains a strong degree of realism but does not imply that we eat the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. It does not specify the manner in which the bread becomes His body or that we consume Him in the woodenly literal manner required in order for the text to demonstrate belief in transubstantiation. There is no mention of substance and accidents philosophy, either.”

    The quote under discussion that receiving the Eucharist leads to eternal life is

    “When, therefore, the mixed cup and the baked bread receives the Word of God and BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, THE BODY OF CHRIST, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, WHICH IS ETERNAL LIFE — flesh which is nourished BY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD…receiving the Word of God, BECOMES THE EUCHARIST, WHICH IS THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST… (Against Heresies 5:2:2-3)”

    Jesse, it’s pretty obvious that Irenaeus is linking eternal life to receiving the Eucharist but instead of discussing that fact you attempt to switch the topic to how the Catholic Church understand the doctrine of the Real Presence. Why? Because you can’t defend your and Brian’s position “Early Church Fathers refute the Real Presence “. Why try to switch the topic to Transubstantiation when you know attempts to explain the Real Presence using Aristotle’s understanding of Matter came hundred of years later.

    “The term “transubstantiation” was used at least by the 11th century to speak of the change and was in widespread use by the 12th century. The Fourth Council of the Lateranused it in 1215. When later theologians adopted Aristotelian metaphysics in Western Europe, they explained the change that was already part of Catholic teaching in terms of Aristotelian substance and accidents”

    So your comment “There is no mention of substance and accidents philosophy, either” in discussing Irenaeus’s views on the Eucharist shows you are either disingenuous or ignorant and I think the former is the case. You need to deal with the FACT that Irenaeus associates receiving the Eucharist with Eternal life. And you can’t do that can you?

    But I would be interested Jesse about your next comment

    “Fragment 13 from Irenaeus shows that he believed symbolism to exist in the bread and wine to a considerable extent:

    “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]. To these men Blandina replied very admirably in these words: “How should those persons endure such [accusations], who, for the sake of the practice [of piety], did not avail themselves even of the flesh that was permitted [them to eat]?”

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  16. Brian of course already addressed this quote in his article

    “The slaves had heard from their masters that the eucharist is the body and blood of Christ and so confessed it to be. But Irenaeus clarifies for us that the slaves confessed in ignorance by saying they imagined it was actually flesh and blood. Irenaeus’ point is made even clearer in Blandina’s reply to the Greeks’ attempt to make he and Sanctus confess the same. The slaves themselves would not even eat the meat that was permitted them to eat much less the literal flesh of Christ. “

    So Jesse, what is the accusation the slaves are enduring in Irenaeus’s last sentence in that fragment. That’s right! The accusation of cannibalism is being made but it’s not against the slaves but their Christian masters! Now if you are unwilling to eat animal flesh due to reasons of piety, it’s hard to imagine a willingness to participate in cannibalism , ie eating human flesh. Jesse, we know for reason’s of piety many of the Christian Fathers were vegetarians.

    “Better known early Christian vegetarians included Clement of Alexandria, Origen, John Chrysostom, Basil the Great etc, Early church writings indicate Matthew, Peter & James were vegetarian. The historian Eusebius reports that the Apostle “Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh.”

    So Jesse, what evidence do you have that the Christian slaves for reasons of piety were vegetarians? Jesse how does Fragment 13 suggest that Irenaeus believed the Eucharist was just a symbol?

    Jesse goes on

    “Let’s address your citation of Ignatius. The communion elements can be said to be the medicine of immortality because of what they point to, namely the shed body and blood of Christ. We receive and partake of Him by faith. He is life to us: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25)”

    Jesse, where does Ignatius say the “communion elements can be said to be the medicine of immortality”. The quote was

    “ Ignatius

    [O]bey the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying. “

    Jesse, the word is IS! You just can’t keep ignoring what the Fathers and the Bible says such as “This IS my body”!!!

    And of course Ignatius also wrote

    “Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead.”

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  17. “Letter to the Smyrnaeans”, paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A D

    One more time, “ the Eucharist IS the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead”

    I wrote further concerning evidence for belief in the real presence among the Fathers

    “Five) The extreme care taken to protect the Eucharist Tertullian (c. 155 – 250 A.D.)”

    To which Jesse responded

    “The early Christians venerated the communion elements because they would have recognized such a ritual to be instituted by God. That kind of response is only natural to a person of faith. It does not prove these people believed that we eat Christ in the same manner claimed by Roman Catholics today or that the communion elements were to be worshiped.”

    The problem of course Jesse is I provided you three statements from the Father’s stressing their extreme care for handling the Eucharist because they believed Christ’s words “This is My Body” and so far I have not found any such admonition among the reformers who deny the doctrine of the real presence. Maybe Jesse you can find a quote to compare with Cyril of Jerusalem’s instructions to the catechumens

    Cyril of Jerusalem (313-386 AD)

    “So then after having carefully hallowed your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it; giving heed lest you lose any portion thereof ; for whatever you lose, is evidently a loss to you as it were from one of your own members. For tell me, if any one gave you grains of gold, would you not hold them with all carefulness, being on your guard against losing any of them, and suffering loss? Will you not then much more carefully keep watch, that not a crumb fall from you of what is more precious than gold and precious stones?”

    Jesse, you go on to write

    “Tertullian’s recounting of church tradition regarding offering sacrifices for the dead on their birthday anniversaries has no foundation to rest on in the New Testament. That only proves these men were not perfect and so did not always teach correct doctrine. “

    Jesse, Tertullian is citing Church Tradition, as in

    2 Thes 2:15

    New International Version

    So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

    Jesse, that quote is taken from the New Testament! So where do you read in the New Testament that oral Church Tradition must be found in the New Testament. We went over this before with Origen and Sr Augustine both stating that infant baptism was of a Apostolic teaching.

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  18. Cyril of Jerusalem

    “8. Then, after the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless service, is completed, over that sacrifice of propitiation we entreat God for the common peace of the Churches, for the welfare of the world ; for kings; for soldiers and allies; for the sick; for the afflicted; and, in a word, for all who stand in need of succour we all pray and offer this sacrifice.

    9. Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls , for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth.

    23. Hold fast these traditions undefiled and, keep yourselves free from offense. Sever not yourselves from the Communion; deprive not yourselves, through the pollution of sins, of these Holy and Spiritual Mysteries. And the Godof peace sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit, and soul, and body be preserved entire without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ 1 Thessalonians 5:23:— To whom be glory and honour and might, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.”

    Jesse, Jerusalem was where it all began! Read Cyril of Jerusalem’s catechetical lectures 22 and 23 and count how many traditions Cyril holds that he considers “undefiled”.

    I wrote

    “Just Goggle the Church Fathers on the Eucharist and you will find multiple examples of the above points from numerous Fathers.”

    And you wrote

    “You have not proven anything. I am not really impressed by your arguments.

    It took over five hundred years for Roman Catholic theology on the Lord’s Supper to reach a full stage of development. Paschasius Radberts (785-865) explicitly articulated the doctrine of transubstantiation (without using that word) in his book titled On the Body and Blood of the Lord.”

    Jesse, seriously 500 years? Technically I understand the point you are making but how many years did it take for the canon issue to be settled? If you read Cyril’s catechetical lectures and his description of the Mass why do you accept the New Testament canon selection from that authoritative body that you, Brian , Mike and Kevin believe was the AntiChrist? You believe the Mass is an abomination! What do you think Cyril of Jerusalem’s last two catechetical lectures is describing?

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  19. Cyril of Jerusalem's claims are not what the CHURCH establishes doctrine by. He was a student of Greek philosophies so his theology is tainted by that. He came almost 300 years after the beginning of the Christian church and added his own ideology, which Rome just kept adding to as they went more and more apostate.

    The ONE perfect proof that the eucharist is figurative is that Jesus was not eating his own body and blood at the Last Supper.

    You really need to let go of the teaching of that Church of Babylon, the Papist organization known as the Roman Catholic Church. You really need to stick to what the Bible actually says and not what some buy 300 years later believed.

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  20. Betty,

    "Jesse, for what other purpose could you possibly be bringing up in a discussion of “This is my Body” the statement “This is Israel” on a map if you were not suggesting “it could be just like?"

    I would suggest that you reread my comment more carefully in order to clear up your confusion. It does not take being a rocket scientist to understand my point. You distort in your mind whatever is being said to you in the same manner that you twist the Scriptures.

    None of your excerpts from Clement of Alexandria speak of transubstantiation. The first excerpt that you bring up simply recounts the words of Christ from the Bread of Life Discourse which no Christian would disagree with on that point. Clement did mention "eating" and "drinking" Jesus Christ by faith, something that any knowledgeable Protestant would say.

    The Didache speaks of consuming Jesus Christ spiritually, not in a cannibalistic manner required in order for it to show belief in transubstantiation. It does not say anything about His literal body and blood entering us physically through our mouths. Moreover, the New Testament does speak of believers offering "sacrifices" of praise and thanksgiving to God for what He has done for us (Hebrews 13:15).

    "Now there are lots of quotes that I posted before. You obviously didn’t read them but for those who are truly TRUTH seekers."

    Copying and pasting a greater number of patristic excerpts than before is not going to change the fact that you are wrong.

    I ended up rejecting your conclusions after actually paying attention to the details of a number of those texts. They simply do not say what you want them to say.

    "Jesse, I don’t know how you can deny a literal transformation when both translations tell you the Eucharist, ie “the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word” IS, IS ,IS THE FLESH AND BLOOD of Jesus."

    There are certainly statements in regard to the communion elements being connected to or associated with the body and blood of Jesus Christ, but it does not follow that the early church fathers upheld the modern-day Roman Catholic dogma of transubstantiation.

    There was no straightforward, clear-cut explanation of how the symbols of bread and wine and the realities that they represent correlate. There were different degrees of realism present throughout their writings.

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  21. "Jesse, it’s pretty obvious that Irenaeus is linking eternal life to receiving the Eucharist but instead of discussing that fact you attempt to switch the topic to how the Catholic Church understand the doctrine of the Real Presence."

    Betty, it's pretty obvious that I stand by what I have said. No amount of beating a dead horse is going to bring it back to life.

    "Why? Because you can’t defend your and Brian’s position “Early Church Fathers refute the Real Presence."

    I am defending my position as I speak. You are very obtuse.

    "Why try to switch the topic to Transubstantiation when you know attempts to explain the Real Presence using Aristotle’s understanding of Matter came hundred of years later."

    The Roman Catholic understanding of the real presence was foreign to the early church fathers and to the writers of the New Testament.

    "Irenaeus’s views on the Eucharist shows you are either disingenuous or ignorant and I think the former is the case."

    I like the false dichotomy that you set up in your mind.

    "You need to deal with the FACT that Irenaeus associates receiving the Eucharist with Eternal life. And you can’t do that can you?"

    I've already provided a broader framework by which these kinds are statements are to be assessed.

    "The accusation of cannibalism is being made but it’s not against the slaves but their Christian masters!"

    Accusations of cannibalism were based on misunderstandings of what Christians believed.

    "Jesse, we know for reason’s of piety many of the Christian Fathers were vegetarians."

    They were like that in a number of instances due to influences of religious monasticism and asceticism, none of which are biblical.

    "So Jesse, what evidence do you have that the Christian slaves for reasons of piety were vegetarians?"

    That has no bearing on anything being said.

    "Jesse how does Fragment 13 suggest that Irenaeus believed the Eucharist was just a symbol?"

    The excerpt implies that the people did not eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ in a cannibalistic way ("imagining that it was actually flesh and blood"). That writer, along with many other Christians of that era, would have condemned the idea of eating human flesh. If Irenaeus had believed in transubstantiation, then how come he did not simply clarify that the blood of Christ was of a different or sacramental nature in answering objections to Christianity?

    You raise a strawman argument in that I never said Irenaeus believed the eucharist to be "just a symbol." Even taking Zwingli's view of the Lord's Supper into account, I think that he had a more reverent view towards the communion elements than them being "mere symbols."

    David Guzik writes concerning a symbolical view of the Lord's Supper, "Scripturally, we can understand that the bread and the wine are not mere symbols, but they are powerful pictures to partake of and to enter into as we see the Lord’s Supper as the new Passover." (https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/1-corinthians-11/)

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  22. "Jesse, where does Ignatius say the “communion elements can be said to be the medicine of immortality”

    That was not a quotation of Ignatius but my interpretation of his words.

    "Jesse, the word is IS! You just can’t keep ignoring what the Fathers and the Bible says such as “This IS my body”!!!"

    Ignatius uses that terminology because he echoes the words of Christ spoken during the Last Supper, not that he believed in transubstantiation. It is not enough for you to demonstrate that a particular church father believed in some mystical presence of Christ in the eucharist or that He is identified with the communion elements in a transcendent way. The real presence is not synonymous with transubstantiation.

    "The problem of course Jesse is I provided you three statements from the Father’s stressing their extreme care for handling the Eucharist because they believed Christ’s words “This is My Body” and so far I have not found any such admonition among the reformers who deny the doctrine of the real presence."

    The problem is more invented than real. Communion is the highest expression of worship to God that exists. If God institutes a ritual, then it ought to be observed and respected. The fact that the Reformers may have had a different way of treating the bread and wine than the church fathers does not prove the later believed in transubstantiation. The Protestant Reformers did not deny the doctrine of the real presence. Even the memorialist view touted by Zwingly admits a psychological presence of Christ. He does not have to be physically present in order to be amongst believers.

    "Jesse, that quote [2 Thessalonians 2:15] is taken from the New Testament! So where do you read in the New Testament that oral Church Tradition must be found in the New Testament."

    The only kind of tradition that has been reliably preserved for us is that recorded in the New Testament. Gnostics made the same kinds of arguments to validate their position.

    "We went over this before with Origen and Sr Augustine both stating that infant baptism was of a Apostolic teaching."

    That only proves those men believed infant baptism to be an apostolic teaching, not that it in fact was.

    "Technically I understand the point you are making but how many years did it take for the canon issue to be settled?"

    Twenty two of twenty seven books of the New Testament were received unanimously by the end of the second century. They were already read and circulated as they were being written. You are making a comparison of issues that are at best only indirectly related. Besides, Jesus Christ and the apostles knew what Scripture was. They understood the concept of divine revelation.

    "If you read Cyril’s catechetical lectures and his description of the Mass why do you accept the New Testament canon selection from that authoritative body that you, Brian , Mike and Kevin believe was the Anti-Christ?"

    If I accept what a church father believes on one issue as true, then it does not logically follow I must accept everything else that he says without desecration. Not every assertion is equally worthy of consideration.

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