Monday, May 11, 2020

Early Church Evidence Against Transubstantiation

“Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: “Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood;” describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,-of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle...Thus in many ways the Word is figuratively described, as meat, and flesh, and food, and bread, and blood, and milk. The Lord is all these, to give enjoyment to us who have believed on Him. Let no one then think it strange, when we say that the Lord's blood is figuratively represented as milk. For is it not figuratively represented as wine? “Who washes,” it is said, “His garment in wine, His robe in the blood of the grape.” In His Own Spirit He says He will deck the body of the Word; as certainly by His own Spirit He will nourish those who hunger for the Word.”

Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor 1.6

1 comment:

  1. Origen similarly rejects Rome's interpretation of John Ch. 6:

    Acknowledge that they are figures, which are written in the sacred volumes; therefore as spiritual, not carnal, examine and understand what is said. For, if as carnal you receive them, they hurt, not nourish you. Not only in the old Testament is there a letter which killeth; but also in the new there is a letter which killeth him who does not spiritually consider it. For, if according to the letter you receive this saying, Except ye eat My Flesh and drink My Blood, that letter killeth. (In Levit. Hom. VII. n. 5.) see (J. P. Minge, Patrologiæ Cursus Completus, [1857], Patrologiæ Græcæ, Tomus XII, Origenis in Leviticum Homilia VII, § 5, Col. 487). Trans. (Edward Harold Browne, An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles, [1894], p. 691).
    Cf. (The Fathers of the Church, Origen, Homilies on Leviticus, 1-16, Translated by Gary Wayne Barkley, [Catholic University of America Press, 1990], p. 146).