Saint Justin Martyr? Or Justin Idolater?

Fra Angelico, Trial of Justin The Philosopher (1450)
Fra Angelico, Trial of Justin The Philosopher (1450)

In 165 A.D., a Judean named Justin was arrested, and brought before the Roman prefect Rusticus. It seems that this Justin, a Gentile born into a pagan family, had converted to the illegal religion of Christianity. The captured Christians were ordered to offer sacrifice to the Roman idols. Justin, speaking as head of the group, instead used his arrest as an opportunity to proclaim the Christian faith.

Justin’s bravery was hardly surprising: he hadn’t exactly kept a low pro-file. As Eusebius, a Church historian from the fourth century, would later describe, “Justin was especially prominent in those days. In the guise of a philosopher he preached the divine word, and contended for the faith in his writings.” Not only did Justin combat the popular Christian heresies of his day, he also “contended most successfully against the Greeks, and addressed discourses containing an apology for our faith to the Emperor Antoninus, called Pius, and to the Roman senate. For he lived at Rome.”

That’s right. While Christianity was outlawed, and he was living in the capital of the Empire, Justin wrote a defense of Christianity and addressed it to the Roman Emperor and the Senate. Now that’s how you do apologetics.

So perhaps it’s unsurprising that Justin seized the courtroom as a final pulpit from which to proclaim Christ. From an eyewitness account of St. Justin’s trial:

Rusticus said: “What system of teaching do you profess?” Justin said: “I have tried to learn about every system, but I have accepted the true doctrines of the Christians, though these are not approved by those who are held fast by error.”

The prefect Rusticus said: “Are those doctrines approved by you, wretch that you are?” Justin said: “Yes, for I follow them with their correct teaching.”

The prefect Rusticus said: “What sort of teaching is that?” Justin said: “Worship the God of the Christians. We hold him to be from the beginning the one creator and maker of the whole creation, of things seen and things unseen. We worship also the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was foretold by the prophets as the future herald of salvation for the human race and the teacher of distinguished disciples. For myself, since I am a human being, I consider that what I say is insignificant in comparison with his infinite godhead. I acknowledge the existence of a prophetic power, for the one I have just spoken of as the Son of God was the subject of prophecy. I know that the prophets were inspired from above when they spoke of his coming among men.”

Rusticus said: “You are a Christian, then?” Justin said: “Yes, I am a Christian.” The prefect said to Justin: “You are called a learned man and think that you know what is true teaching. Listen: if you were scourged and beheaded, are you convinced that you would go up to heaven?” Justin said: “I hope that I shall enter God’s house if I suffer that way. For I know that God’s favor is stored up until the end of the whole world for all who have lived good lives.”

The prefect Rusticus said: “Do you have an idea that you will go up to heaven to receive some suitable rewards?” Justin said: “It is not an idea that I have; it is something I know well and hold to be most certain.”

The prefect Rusticus said: “Now let us come to the point at issue, which is necessary and urgent. Gather round then and with one accord offer sacrifice to the gods.” Justin said: “No one who is right thinking stoops from true worship to false worship.

The prefect Rusticus said: “If you do not do as you are commanded you will be tortured without mercy.” Justin said: “We hope to suffer torment for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so be saved. For this will bring us salvation and confidence as we stand before the more terrible and universal judgment-seat of our Lord and Savior.

In the same way the other martyrs also said: “Do what you will. We are Christians; we do not offer sacrifice to idols.

The prefect Rusticus pronounced sentence, saying: “Let those who have refused to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the command of the emperor be scourged and led away to suffer capital punishment according to the ruling of the laws.” Glorifying God, the holy martyrs went out to the accustomed place. They were beheaded, and so fulfilled their witness of martyrdom in confessing their faith in their Savior.

Actually, scratch what I said before. Justin’s final earthly pulpit wasn’t the courtroom in which he proclaimed Christ in words. His final pulpit was that spot in which, joyfully letting himself be martyred for the faith, he proclaimed Christ with his entire life. Fittingly, the early Church quickly gave him the title “St. Justin Martyr.”

It’s hard to read this and not be moved: Justin’s defense of the faith, and his willingness – no, eagerness – to die for Our Lord is genuinely inspiring. But while these were his final proclamations of the faith, they were hardly his first. As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, “Justin was a voluminous and important writer.” Over at Word On Fire, I’m taking a look at his First Apology, the defense of Christianity that he wrote to the emperor and the Senate. In it, Justin explains to them what the Christian Eucharistic Liturgy looks like. What follows is one of the clearest descriptions of the Mass and of the Real Presence that you could ask for…. and it was written between 153 and 155 A.D. From Chapter 66 of the First Apology:

This food we call Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us.

For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Saviour being incarnate by God’s word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.

 

Reading that, we’re left with little question about St. Justin Martyr’s views on the Eucharist (or on baptismal regeneration, “the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth”). He even lays out the three requirements to licitly receive the Eucharist: (1) you must hold to the Catholic faith, (2) be baptized, and (3) be in a state of grace, rather than living in sin. All of this is exactly what we Catholics still believe today.

 Paolo Veronese, The Martyrdom and Last Communion of Saint Lucy (1582)
Paolo Veronese, The Martyrdom and Last Communion of Saint Lucy (1582)

But what about Protestants? No Protestant denomination holds to transubstantiation. There are various views on the Lord’s Supper, from purely memorial to spiritual presence to Christ being “in, with, and under” the bread and wine, but no denomination holds to what St. Justin Martyr proclaimed. No denomination teaches that the bread and wine actually become Jesus Christ’s Body and Blood, and cease to be common bread and wine.

 

Given this, it’s easy to see how Protestants like Mike Grendon can think that worshipping the Eucharist is idolatry:

Worshipping the Eucharist is a violation of the 2nd commandment: “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exod. 20:1-5). Catholics who worship the Eucharist can be closely compared to the Israelites who worshiped the golden calf as their true God (Exod. 32:4). Their punishment imposed by God for this most serious sin was death (Exod. 32:27-28).

Even Peter Leithart isn’t immune to such claims. If you’re not familiar with Leithart, he’s the Presbyterian theologian who recently came under fire for believing in baptismal regeneration. This view — the one taught by St. Justin Martyr, by the Catholic Church, and by the plain words of Scripture (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21; Galatians 3:28-29, Ezekiel 36:25-27, etc.) — was enough to get him tried for heresy by the PCA. Ultimately, he was found not guilty, but his worries weren’t over. After the chief prosecutor in the Leithart converted to Catholicism (!), Leithart’s critics seized the opportunity to call for a re-trial.

All of this is to say that it’s particularly saddening to hear Leithart explain that he agrees “with the standard Protestant objections to Catholicism and Orthodoxy” including that “venerating the Host is also liturgical idolatry.”

Don’t get me wrong: I completely follow the train of thought. Protestantism abolished the ordained, sacramental priesthood, and without it, you can’t have the Eucharist. There’s no one to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass, and eventually the whole idea of Masses and sacrifices and the Eucharist starts to look alien, even evil.

So if Protestantism is right about the priesthood and the Eucharist, I can certainly see how Catholics are idolaters. But there’s a problem with holding to that conclusion. You can’t just say that we Catholics today are idolaters. You would also need to hold that St. Justin Martyr is actually Justin Idolater. An you’d have to say this of all of those with him, who held to his same views, were idolaters, too. After all, in the First Apology, Justin’s not presenting some quirky view of his own. He’s explaining Christianity to the pagans: he’s giving the view of the Christian Church in the mid-100s. So you can’t just discount his martyrdom. You have to discount all of their martyrdoms. You have to call idolaters all of those people who said, “Do what you will. We are Christians; we do not offer sacrifice to idols,” even when it cost them their lives.

And you’d have to do this for the entire early Church. As I’ve shown before, Justin Martyr is joined by a whole litany of Church Fathers from the first, second, thirdand fourth century defending transubstantiation. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone remotely orthodox (by either Protestant or Catholic standards) either affirming a contrary view of the Real Presence, or denying the view of the Real Presence put forward by Justin and the other Church Fathers. In other words, there’s an unbroken line of believers in transubstantiation from the earliest days of the Church until the present day, and there’s nothing of the sort for any of the Protestant views of the Eucharist (much less for the view that transubstantiation is idolatry). That fact alone would seem to suggest that the Catholic view is the true one, the historical one, the one taught by Christ and the Apostles.

But let’s say you’re willing to do this: to affirm that all of these martyrs were actually idolaters, that they resisted Roman idolatry just to practice Roman Catholic idolatry. Fine. But if that’s the case, don’t think that you can then rely on the Bible, a Bible which you have only because it was secured for you by the blood of these martyrs, a Bible that you have only because these same Church Fathers testified that these Books were the real ones, and that these Books were consistent with the Gospel message. No, if you reject these Christians as idolaters, you can’t take their Scriptures with you. As St. Augustine explained to the Manicheans:

Perhaps you will read the gospel to me, and will attempt to find there a testimony to Manichæus. But should you meet with a person not yet believing the gospel, how would you reply to him were he to say, I do not believe? For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church. So when those on whose authority I have consented to believe in the gospel tell me not to believe in Manichæus, how can I but consent? Take your choice. If you say, Believe the Catholics: their advice to me is to put no faith in you; so that, believing them, I am precluded from believing you—If you say, Do not believe the Catholics: you cannot fairly use the gospel in bringing me to faith in Manichæus; for it was at the command of the Catholics that I believed the gospel;— Again, if you say, You were right in believing the Catholics when they praised the gospel, but wrong in believing their vituperation of Manichæus: do you think me such a fool as to believe or not to believe as you like or dislike, without any reason? It is therefore fairer and safer by far for me, having in one instance put faith in the Catholics, not to go over to you, till, instead of bidding me believe, you make me understand something in the clearest and most open manner. To convince me, then, you must put aside the gospel.

If the Church Fathers were idolaters, they can’t be trusted to get even the basics of Christianity right. After all, the prohibition against idolatry is Monotheism 101, and this lesson is hammered into the Israelites: idolatry is evil. So if the Fathers got this wrong, why in the world would you trust them about the authenticity of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? It would be as absurd as saying that Mormons aren’t Christians, but that the Book of Mormon is a holy book because they said so.

So that’s where we are. If Grendon and Leithart are right, Justin Martyr’s sacrifice was in vain, as was the sacrifice of all of the early Christians, and we can no longer trust the Bible. On the other hand, if Grendon and Leithart are wrong, if the Eucharist really is Jesus Christ, then our Eucharistic worship isn’t idolatry at all. Instead, it’s a matter of justice, of rendering Divine praise to the Divine Himself. This is the faith that Justin and countless others died for, and it’s the faith that we continue to believe to this day.

47 Comments

  1. “But what about Protestants? No Protestant denomination holds to transubstantiation. There are various views on the Lord’s Supper, from purely memorial to spiritual presence to Christ being “in, with, and under” the bread and wine, but no denomination holds to what St. Justin Martyr proclaimed. No denomination teaches that the bread and wine actually become Jesus Christ’s Body and Blood, and cease to be common bread and wine.”

    I think you are overstating your case a bit. Eastern Orthodox do not affirm Transubstantiation either. And neither do the church fathers, because none of them employed the exact terminology and Aristotelian categories to describe the Real Presence that the RCC does. Honestly, being that Transubstantiation is based upon philosophical categories that we know today are not even true, I would say the more vague, mysterious definitions preferred by the ECF, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox, Presbyterians and such intuitively make more sense, simply because they claim less. SO your argument is not against a few wacko baptists with their grape juice, but it is against the whole of Christendom from the beginning, plus the realms of science and philosophy that would not accord with Aristotelian metaphysics, at least in my opinion.

    Further, concerning the authorship of the court “record:”

    “Though nothing is known as to the date or authorship of the following narrative, it is generally reckoned among the most trustworthy of the Martyria. An absurd addition was in some copies made to it, to the effect that Justin died by means of hemlock. Some have thought it necessary, on account of this story, to conceive of two Justins, one of whom, the celebrated defender of the Christian faith whose writings are given in this volume, died through poison, while the other suffered in the way here described, along with several of his friends. But the description of Justin given in the following account, is evidently such as compels us to refer it to the famous apologist and martyr of the second century” (http://mb-soft.com/believe/txv/martyr8.htm).

    At the very least the manuscript evidence shows that there has been some screwing around with the original, if there even was one honestly. But I leave that to the literary experts, there is nothing he said that would be objectionable to the vast majority of Christendom other than baptists and “non-denominationals.”

    1. Craig,

      So a more accurate way of wording it might be that “the thing fittingly described as transubstantiation” was believed in by the Church Fathers and is believed in by the Catholics, Orthodox, and Coptics. The precise philosophical language of substance and accidents is helpful in explaining the truth, but it’s not like our belief in the Eucharist is premised off of Aristotelian categories. I tried to explain what I meant contextually, as the rest of the part you’re quoting shows: bread and wine ceasing to be common bread and wine, and instead becoming the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

      I also disagree with the idea that we’ve somehow “disproven” the existence of substances and accidents, but given what I’ve just said, I’m not sure that debate is wholly necessary.

      As for the eyewitness account, it’s probably authentic, even though the author is anonymous. Your source makes clear that there was an attempt at tampering “in some copies,” which you’ve exaggerated to mean “some screwing around with the original,” and exaggerated further to suggest means that might not have even been an original. Your own citation describes this as “generally reckoned among the most trustworthy of the Martyria.”

      [As an aside, I wonder if the hemlock insertion wasn’t a Socratic nod. Justin was a philosopher, and praised Socrates several times in the First and Second Apology (Socrates was found guilty of “corrupting the youth of Athens” by teaching them philosophy, and was sentenced to die by hemlock poisoning).]

      In any case, this is hardly the only historical text in which we find alterations in some of the copies. But the fact that someone monkeys with one copy of the text doesn’t mean we throw out the text. After all, Christians get a lot of mileage out of Josephus’ testimony, even though that underwent far worse marring than what’s being described here.

      All of that seems besides the point, though. Even if the acts of Justin’s trial were made-up, that wouldn’t debunk his own writings, or the well-known fact that he died for the faith (he’s known as Justin Martyr).

      You’ve said that “there is nothing he said that would be objectionable to the vast majority of Christendom.” Given that about two-thirds of Christianity is Catholic, Orthodox, or Coptic, that seems to be true even if Justin’s views were rejected by every Protestant on earth. But you then add, “…other than baptists and “non-denominationals.” I don’t believe this, and I don’t even think that you believe this. If you did, why would you waste so much effort trying to discredit the Acts of the Martyrdom of St. Justin, and at such unbelievable lengths? To paraphrase Shakespeare, the man protests too much, methinks.

      If your argument is that Reformed Protestants believe as Justin Martyr does on the Eucharist, and not as Peter Leithart does, I’d be more than willing to hear you out, but I think that’s going to be an awfully hard case to prove. The most you can say is that both you and Justin believe in something that you each call the Real Presence… even though you mean wholly different things by the term. Likewise, our Mormon friends can affirm with us a belief in “the Godhead,” provided that nobody asks us to define terms.

    2. Eastern Orthodox do not affirm Transubstantiation either.

      False. From the 1672 Orthodox Councel of Jerusalem:

      In the celebration [of the Eucharist] whereof we believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be present, not typically, nor figuratively, nor by superabundant grace, as in the other Mysteries, nor by a bare presence, as some of the Fathers have said concerning Baptism, or by impanation, so that the Divinity of the Word is united to the set forth bread of the Eucharist hypostatically, as the followers of Luther most ignorantly and wretchedly suppose, but truly and really, so that after the consecration of the bread and of the wine, the bread is transmuted, transubstantiated, converted and transformed into the true Body Itself of the Lord, Which was born in Bethlehem of the ever-Virgin, was baptised in the Jordan, suffered, was buried, rose again, was received up, sitteth at the right hand of the God and Father, and is to come again in the clouds of Heaven; and the wine is converted and transubstantiated into the true Blood Itself of the Lord, Which as He hung upon the Cross, was poured out for the life of the world.

      Further [we believe] that after the consecration of the bread and of the wine, there no longer remaineth the substance of the bread and of the wine, but the Body Itself and the Blood of the Lord, under the species and form of bread and wine; that is to say, under the accidents of the bread.

        1. That statement reflects the views of the, so-called, “autocephalous” OCA. Not the true, Orthodox Faith.

          Fourthly, attention must be paid that the priest have, at the time of consecration, the intention that the real substance of the bread and the substance of wine be transubstantiated into the real body and blood of Christ through the operation of the Holy Spirit.
          Orthodox Confession of Faith, Peter Mogila, Metropolitan of Kiev (1633-1647)

          340. How are we to understand the word transubstantiation?

          In the exposition of the faith by the Eastern Patriarchs, it is said that the word transubstantiation is not to be taken to define the manner in which the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of the Lord; for this none can understand but God; but only thus much is signified, that the bread truly, really, and substantially becomes the very true Body of the Lord, and the wine the very Blood of the Lord.
          (J. Damasc. Theol. lib. iv. cap. 13, § 7.)

  2. First the important point, then the fun one:

    “You’ve said that “there is nothing he said that would be objectionable to the vast majority of Christendom.” Given that about two-thirds of Christianity is Catholic, Orthodox, or Coptic, that seems to be true even if Justin’s views were rejected by every Protestant on earth. But you then add, “…other than baptists and “non-denominationals.”

    Well, EO and AO do not affirm transubstantiation. Like I said, they prefer to call it a mystery and don’t really define terms other than saying Christ is really present in the bread and the wine. I do not know enough of what they teach, but they would affirm that it is “transformed” but in what sense, and when, they do not say.

    Anglicans, extremely similar to EO and AO, leave it to the realm of mystery.

    Lutherans change their definition of terms, in such a fashion that I never found understandable. However, if you view them in opposition to RCC for using specific terms that you disagree with, then you would have to affirm that you disagree with EO and AO for not using nor affirming the terms that the RCC uses in their definition.

    Presbyterians, as we talked about in another article, affirm Christ’s real divine spiritual presence in the elements (but not the communication of His human nature). If anything, the point of disagreement would be that they have defined their terms, which would disagree with the defined terms of the RCC. If you are the Anglicans, EO, and AO, it is harder to disagree because they just say “mystery” and that leaves it to everyone’s imagination.

    So, in all honesty, I think the main issue here is the using of terms that the ECF did not use, because they would be more in line with Anglicans/EO/AO simply because they did not get as specific as the RCC is today. That’s why despite differences in terms, I tend to think that the RCC/EO/Presbyterians/Lutherans really are not all that different.

    The main issue that divides Protestants from RCC is not the Real Presence but the doctrines that concern 1. the forgiveness of venial sins by partaking in it and 2. calling the elements something that can be worshiped.

    Honestly, I would have more of an issue with the former than the latter. The Scripture says there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood. The Eucharist is a bloodless sacrifice. So, I am not sure how you can actually have any forgiveness of sins, even “minor” ones.

    Pertaining the “worship” of the elements, I never heard Protestants ever really talk about it, so I figure it is more of a dispute over the latter anyhow and not really over the Real Presence. Being that Christ is present in the elements, it is not idolatry to worship Christ…it would be to worship bread and wine. But, RCCs are not worshiping bread and wine so that is not exactly the point.

    “I don’t believe this, and I don’t even think that you believe this.”

    Well I think I do 🙂

    Now the fun one:

    I’ve studied some history, so my historical comments were not meant to be serious critcisms of the conclusions of your article.

    “As for the eyewitness account, it’s probably authentic, even though the author is anonymous. Your source makes clear that there was an attempt at tampering “in some copies,” which you’ve exaggerated to mean “some screwing around with the original,” and exaggerated further to suggest means that might not have even been an original. Your own citation describes this as “generally reckoned among the most trustworthy of the Martyria.””

    Very true, as I was aware of what I quoted. I suppose that like the Martyrdom of Polycarp and other “Contemporary” sources, we are really not exactly sure when or who wrote these things. There was certainly a demand for them, as the martyrs were the celebrities of Christendom. Many of the martyrdoms have fanciful tales. Hence, the copies with the nod to Socrates (which didn’t escape me either) would be rather a soberminded exaggeration compared to claim visions of the martyrs telling someone to write the story down and stuff like that.

    “In any case, this is hardly the only historical text in which we find alterations in some of the copies. But the fact that someone monkeys with one copy of the text doesn’t mean we throw out the text.”

    True. I just kind of question the whole genre at large. A real Roman manuscript would have a stated author and such. it would be addressed to somebody. So, rather it was a tale made by Christians to commemorate a hero. We have made up stories about Babe Ruth, so it isn’t really a huge stretch.

    “All of that seems besides the point, though. Even if the acts of Justin’s trial were made-up, that wouldn’t debunk his own writings, or the well-known fact that he died for the faith (he’s known as Justin Martyr).”

    Definitely true, which is why I didn’t go about arguing against the Real Presence.

    God bless,
    Craig

    1. The subtext of nearly all of your arguments in here is a denial of authority. Jesus established His Church and He graced it with authority to teach all nations whereas you, routinely, oppose some definition of the Catholic Church either explicitly or by averring – The Catholic Church teaches this but the AO or the EOC teaches this and then you summarise their sectarian errors.

      That is the essence of the matter. The Catholic Church teaches with Divinely-Constituted authority whereas those who arrogated authority unto themselves create chaos and confusion.

      Until you submit to the Church Jesus established, you will be chasing after shadows you whole lfe.

      Your choice.

      O, and Clavin di dont believe in the real presence

      1. It seems that every doctrinal dispute comes down to whether anyone accepts X, Y, or Z authority. However, in this discussion, that is irrelevant, because I never denied transubstantiation, but rather pointed out where other denominations stand on the Real Presence.

        Even a cursory look at the history of Catholicism would show that “those who arrogated authority unto themselves create chaos and confusion” often is a valid description of many of the Popes, particularly during the second Great Schism, where the college of cardinals elected three Popes (that all claimed to be Pope simultaneously), and to remedy the situations remedied the fourth one. Now, I am not using this as evidence against the Papacy, but merely point out that if you verify whether a position is true or not depending upon the chaos created by a specific party, you would disqualify even yourself.

        1. Craig. You conflated authority and its ability to teach doctrine- He who hears you hears me – and ecclesiastical praxis which is not doctrine and then you tried, and failed, to suggest that this renders mute the question of authority.

          Jesus established His Church and those who repudiated it and established their own churches (They ain’t churches) were the arrogant ones (check the root of the word) and, thus, they have no authority.

          Unless one has Holy Orders, one can not confect the Eucharist. Period.

          A Lutheran can no more confect the eucharist than I can hit a golf ball from here to Pluto.

        2. Craig Truglia says:
          June 6, 2015 at 12:44 pm
          It seems that every doctrinal dispute comes down to whether anyone accepts X, Y, or Z authority. However, in this discussion, that is irrelevant, because I never denied transubstantiation,….

          Sooo, you believe in Transubstantiation?

  3. Hey Craig, by focusing on the term “transubstantiation” I think you’re missing the point. Joe’s point is that Justin Martyr and all the Fathers believed that the bread and the wine *really* becomes the *real* body and blood of Christ. No Protestant denomination fully affirms this belief.

    1. I don’t know why that point keep getting repeated, it is not true. The vast majority of historical Protestantism has affirmed the Real Presence. You can keep saying it is not the case, but historically only baptists have rejected it. Matin Luther and John Calvin have argued in favor of the concept. The Anglican Church has retained the teaching. So, if I am missing the point of the article, perhaps it is because it is not true?

      As I referred to before, the issue appears to be over terms as to what constitutes the real presence, not whether Christ is actually present.

      1. The only person who can consecrate bread and wine into the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is a Catholic priest. The only time that bread and wine are changed is at the words of consecration during a Catholic Mass. Calvin and Luther may argue the case but their churches cannot provide what the Catholic church provides through the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

        1. I understand that is what the doctrine of your Church teaches, but I don’t see why pointing that out to a Protestant is supposed be convincing. As far as I know, the transformation of bread and wine during the consecration is not explicitly said in the Bible, or by any Church Father. Or that one needs to be a priest, in communion with the Bishop of Rome, to perform the miracle.

          I am going to go out on a limb and say that these ideas are not found in antiquity and are first vocalized during the Middle Ages.

          1. Craig,

            You’re adding “in communion with the Bishop of Rome.” A priest outside of communion with Rome can still consecrate the Eucharist.

            And as for the idea that the Church Fathers don’t specify that the moment of consecration is at the words of institution, that’s false.

            For example, St. Ambrose, On the Mysteries 52-54:

            “We observe, then, that grace has more power than nature, and yet so far we have only spoken of the grace of a prophet’s blessing. But if the blessing of man had such power as to change nature, what are we to say of that divine consecration where the very words of the Lord and Saviour operate? For that sacrament which you receive is made what it is by the word of Christ. But if the word of Elijah had such power as to bring down fire from heaven, shall not the word of Christ have power to change the nature of the elements? You read concerning the making of the whole world: He spoke and they were made, He commanded and they were created. Shall not the word of Christ, which was able to make out of nothing that which was not, be able to change things which already are into what they were not? For it is not less to give a new nature to things than to change them.

            “But why make use of arguments? Let us use the examples He gives, and by the example of the Incarnation prove the truth of the mystery. Did the course of nature proceed as usual when the Lord Jesus was born of Mary? If we look to the usual course, a woman ordinarily conceives after connection with a man. And this body which we make is that which was born of the Virgin. Why do you seek the order of nature in the Body of Christ, seeing that the Lord Jesus Himself was born of a Virgin, not according to nature? It is the true Flesh of Christ which crucified and buried, this is then truly the Sacrament of His Body.

            “The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: This is My Body. [Matthew 26:26] Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks.”

          2. I am wrong on both points and I apologize for misinforming any other readers. Do any other ECFs attest to this? Why to Eastern Orthodox reject this if tradition is specific concerning it?

          3. “You’re adding “in communion with the Bishop of Rome.” A priest outside of communion with Rome can still consecrate the Eucharist.”

            Actually, Chris above me added that 😉

          4. As for other the testimony of other Church Fathers, Tim Troutman has already done the heavy lifting, assembling quite the collection of Patristic testimonies. Two worth special mention are Augustine (who Protestants often claim didn’t believe in transubstantiation, even though he was a disciple of Ambrose) and St. John Chrysostom (perhaps the most important of the Eastern Fathers):

            “You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, consecrated by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what the chalice holds, consecrated by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ. Through those accidents the Lord wished to entrust to us His Body and the Blood which He poured out for the remission of sins.” – St. Augustine Sermons 227

            “The Lord Jesus wanted those whose eyes were held lest they should recognize him, to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. The faithful know what I am saying. They know Christ in the breaking of the bread. For not all bread, but only that which receives the blessing of Christ, becomes Christ’s Body.” – St. Augustine Sermons 234:2.

            “It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s. ‘This is my body,’ he says. This word transforms the things offered.” – St. John Chrysostom, Against the Judaizers 1.6

            And by the way, I stand corrected: it was Chris who first suggested that the priest had to be Catholic. That’s only true in the broadest sense. The Fourth Lateran Council, which defined transubstantiation, also implicitly recognized the Orthodox Sacraments (see canon 4).

      2. Craig,

        Catholics and Orthodox believe that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Protestants deny this, even though some affirm that Christ is present in the bread and wine in some spiritual manner (“in, with, and under” or some other formulation).

        That’s the crucial difference. We can point to the Eucharist and say, “That’s Jesus,” while you would say, “that’s bread and wine,” or “that’s bread and wine in which Jesus is mysteriously present.” That’s a pretty night and day difference, like the difference between saying that you’re Jesus and saying that Jesus is in your heart. So let’s not pretend that this is just squabbling over technical terminology.

        As for the technical terminology, Orthodoxy has freely used transubstantiation to describe its views in the past, even though it tends to caveat it with a hesitation about Aristotelian metaphysics. So it’s not really true to say that the Orthodox don’t believe in transubstantiation. They tend to word their belief differently, but we believe the same thing.

        And no, this same thing isn’t what Presbyterians or Anglicans believe. In the above post, I pointed that out in regards to Presbyterians. Leithart, a Presbyterian, describes his view – that Eucharistic adoration is idolatry – as the traditional Protestant one, and he’s right.

        And the Anglican Church’s 39 Articles of Religion says that:

        “Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.”

        And that “the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.”

        Again, let’s not pretend that these are just technical disputes. It’s the difference between saying that we (and the early Christians) are idolaters and blasphemers, and saying that we’re offering right worship of God.

        1. “Through those accidents the Lord wished to entrust to us His Body and the Blood which He poured out for the remission of sins.” – St. Augustine Sermons 227”

          Can you link to the Latin? I just read Sermon 227 in its entirety (http://david.heitzman.net/sermons227-229a.html#JUMPDEST_sermons.6.744tm) and I cannot find that. It appears that your translation deliberately added the word “accidents” in place of “means of these things.” Being that Protestants aren’t usually translating Augustine, it is my presumption it is a Catholic translation.

          As for what you quoted from sermon 234 and Chrysostom, they do not really relate to the whole accidents thing, though it does show that the historical teaching of the Church is that there is a specific moment when the transformation takes place.

          As for the rest of your reply:

          “Catholics and Orthodox believe that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.”

          As do Anglicans, as do Lutherans, as do etcetera.

          “We can point to the Eucharist and say, “That’s Jesus,” while you would say, “that’s bread and wine,” or “that’s bread and wine in which Jesus is mysteriously present.””

          The latter reply is what an EO would say by the way. And being that Catholicism teaches that the species of the elements remains bread and wine, not even you affirm that in its absolute fullness the bread and wine are Jesus Christ. There is some nature of the bread and wine that remains bread and wine, though you might perform mental gymnastics to ignore the ramifications of your own terms.

          “That’s a pretty night and day difference, like the difference between saying that you’re Jesus and saying that Jesus is in your heart. So let’s not pretend that this is just squabbling over technical terminology.”

          Not really. Marius Victorinus wrote, “Now, because you are one with the reception of the Spirit from Christ, you are Christ. You are therefore sons of God in Christ” (Gal 3:29). So, there is a way we are truly one flesh with God by union with Christ, and on another level still individual people. So, for this simpleton over here it does seem like squabbling over technical terminology, such terminolgoy I am yet to see the ECFs use where then I may appreciate how important it must be that it was absent in the Early Church.

          P.S. I know it must bother you that Protestants are such a motley crew, but there are anglicans that specifically affirm transubstantiation (http://www.prounione.urbe.it/dia-int/arcic/doc/e_arcic_elucid_euch.html , http://anglicanhistory.org/england/cps/black.html).

  4. Craig said – Well, EO and AO do not affirm transubstantiation. Like I said, they prefer to call it a mystery and don’t really define terms other than saying Christ is really present in the bread and the wine. I do not know enough of what they teach, but they would affirm that it is “transformed” but in what sense, and when, they do not say.

    Me – below is a good explanation on what Catholics mean by real presence. From Wikipedia

    In the view of the Catholic Church, the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is of an order different from the presence of Christ in the other sacraments: in the other sacraments he is present by his power rather than by the reality of his body and blood, the basis of the expression “Real Presence”. Accordingly, it considers that those who hold that, in objective reality, the elements of the Eucharist remain unchanged believe not in the Real Presence of Christ in this particular sacrament, but in a presence that is merely personal to the communicant, whatever name (pneumatic, anamnetical, etc.) is used to describe it.

    EO also believe that the bread and wine “becomes” the body and blood of Christ. The same Christ that was crucified. They don’t try to explain it and call it a mystery.

    You seem to think EO and Anglican are in line with each other because they use the word mystery to explain how it happens. You really should be asking what do they think happens after consecration.

    One group believes they are actually holding Jesus in their hands. The same Jesus that died in Calvary. The other believes Jesus is present in the bread.

    Big difference.

    Hope this helps.

  5. “EO also believe that the bread and wine “becomes” the body and blood of Christ. The same Christ that was crucified. They don’t try to explain it and call it a mystery.”

    They don’t define terms, however, that’s my point. They simply call the bread and wine Christ’s flesh and blood. They don’t define which part of the bread is still bread and which part of it is Christ and etcetera.

    “You seem to think EO and Anglican are in line with each other because they use the word mystery to explain how it happens. You really should be asking what do they think happens after consecration.”

    The EO doesn’t have a timeline as to when the bread and wine “transforms.” So, I don’t see how this can be used as a point of difference, because it is not defined.

    The Orthodox Church of America appears to approve if the standard Protestant view:

    “In the first place, we need to acknowledge that many Protestant Christians (including many Anglicans) do believe that Holy Communion offers them a true participation in Christ’s Body and Blood. They may not articulate that belief as Catholics or Orthodox would like; but their faith in Christ’s “real presence in the Eucharist” is genuine and should not be disparaged or denied.”

    https://oca.org/reflections/fr.-john-breck/why-not-open-communion

    Concerning the Anglican view Wiki states:

    On January 6, 1994, the ARC/USA bishops affirmed “that Christ in the eucharist makes himself present sacramentally and truly when under the species of bread and wine these earthy realities are changed into the reality of his body and blood,” while stating “In English the terms substance, substantial, and substantially have such physical and material overtones that we, adhering to The Final Report, have substituted the word truly for the word substantially…” The bishops concluded “that the eucharist as sacrifice is not an issue that divides our two Churches.”

    “One group believes they are actually holding Jesus in their hands. The same Jesus that died in Calvary. The other believes Jesus is present in the bread.”

    Anglicans affirm the same, and neither church is specific enough to affirm specifically what the RCC teaches.

    Honestly, I think a lot of this is an argument over terms which were simply not employed by the ECF or the Scripture. Christ is in the elements, stick them in your mouth and remember how he died for your sins!

    1. Honestly, I think a lot of this is an argument over terms which were simply not employed by the ECF or the Scripture. Christ is in the elements, stick them in your mouth and remember how he died for your sins!

      Me – you can say similar things about the Trinity. There is a lot more to Jesus then just how he died for us and it’s important. We tend to water things down and that leads us down the wrong path.

      I’ll say more about the Eucharist later.

      1. The difference is that doctrines on the Trinity were formulated in response to people espousing patent untruths. There was no need to define many terms, because the pre-Nicene Church simply understood that there is one God, and the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and they are all mutually exclusive all at the same time. When Modalism and Arianism arisen, it was important to discuss the nature of substances, essences, and natures.

        So, with the Eucharist, if an Anglican or Eastern Orthodox affirms “Yes, Christ is in the elements,” and they say no more, they are not saying anything incorrect. It is when terms are defined (i.e. Consubstantiation, Transubstantiation, the Calvinistic view, etc) that now there is grounds for disagreement.

        That is not to say that a particular definition isn’t correct. Obviously, the Creeds and their Councils have defined the Trinity and we do not reject this. However, Catholicism seems to have settled upon a definition, using anachronistic Aristotelian terms, and intends on sticking with it. However, the Aristotelian categories were adopted not in order to combat any specific heresies. For this reason, I cannot consider the EO or the ECF wrong when they affirm the Real Presence, but do not define terms as to eaxtly how this occurs, when, what process, etcetera.

        Hence, stick it in your mouth and don’t worry about it.

        1. I also don’t consider the EO or ECF wrong. My issue is not with how but what do the different denominations “mean” by the Real Presence.

          To me it’s the equivalent of saying God is present in Jesus vs Jesus is God. If God was only present in Jesus the we are all idolatrous.

          I guess I don’t know enough about the Anglican view so I’ll need to read up on their view, but based on my conversation with Calvinists they do not believe the Eucharist “is” Jesus. I’ve been accused of idolatry because I adore the Eucharist and frankly they would be correct “if” the Eucharist is “not” Jesus.

          So the definition of the Real Presence is very important (not necessarily the how). It’s the difference between worshiping God or bread.

          Once this is settled then there is the issue of who has valid priestly orders 🙂

          1. The issue of the worship of the elements, is to me, a side issue. It does not really pertain to the reality of the Real Presence, which is all the article is about here.

            I want to be careful not to be blasphemous, but here is a thought exercise: Christ was crucified in the year 2000 AD instead of 2000 years ago. No reason He could not have been, God’s secret counsel decided otherwise I guess.

            Anyhow, being that there are claims of there being real relics that at the very least contain Christ’s blood (shroud of turin for example), if the Crucifixion happened 15 years ago we might have had had enough blood to freeze, perhaps pieces of His flesh from flogging and where the nails went through his palms. Let’s say all of that is frozen and preserved. Jesus resurrects, but the blood and said pieces of flesh or left behind.

            So, if these things are preserved in the Vatican deep freeze, and put on display for people to come and worship, is that appropriate? There is no doubt that these things are really Christ’s flesh and blood.

            Some may argue that they are no longer, being that they do not belong to His resurrected body. That makes sense, I suppose. Then, with the elements, are we absolutely certain that this is the crucial difference? So, Christ’s resurrected body and human nature takes on inhuman qualities in being able to multiply is mass wherever the Eucharist is celebrated? Is this what makes the Eucharist worthy of worship?

            Just a thought experiment that is all.

          2. Craig Truglia says:
            June 2, 2015 at 5:55 pm
            The issue of the worship of the elements, is to me, a side issue. It does not really pertain to the reality of the Real Presence, which is all the article is about here.

            I want to be careful not to be blasphemous, but here is a thought exercise: Christ was crucified in the year 2000 AD instead of 2000 years ago. No reason He could not have been, God’s secret counsel decided otherwise I guess.

            Anyhow, being that there are claims of there being real relics that at the very least contain Christ’s blood (shroud of turin for example), if the Crucifixion happened 15 years ago we might have had had enough blood to freeze, perhaps pieces of His flesh from flogging and where the nails went through his palms. Let’s say all of that is frozen and preserved. Jesus resurrects, but the blood and said pieces of flesh or left behind.

            So, if these things are preserved in the Vatican deep freeze, and put on display for people to come and worship, is that appropriate?

            Hm? Does that mean you don’t believe in the Resurrection?

            There is no doubt that these things are really Christ’s flesh and blood.

            Some may argue that they are no longer, being that they do not belong to His resurrected body. That makes sense, I suppose. Then, with the elements, are we absolutely certain that this is the crucial difference?

            To which difference do you refer? Alive or dead? If that is your question, you do not understand the meaning of the word, “dead”. The Catholic Doctrine is that we receive the “Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ” in the Holy Eucharist. The meaning of death is the separation of the spirit and body.

            James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

            Does that answer your question?

            So, Christ’s resurrected body and human nature takes on inhuman qualities in being able to multiply is mass wherever the Eucharist is celebrated?

            Again, do you not know that Christ is God? Christ is human and divine. Did you never wonder how He could walk on water before His resurrection?

            Is this what makes the Eucharist worthy of worship?

            Because it is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. Haven’t you ever wondered why, those who profess to believe that Christ is truly present in their version of the Eucharist, such as Lutherans and other Evangelicals, don’t worship the Eucharist? How can you refuse to worship the Eucharist if you believe that Christ is truly present there?

            Either you believe that Christ is truly present there, whether it be a spiritual presence or consubstantiation or whatever, and you worship.

            Or you do not believe in the Real Presence and you don’t.

            Just a thought experiment that is all.

            So, would you worship Christ’s body parts if He had been crucified and remained dead.

        2. Craig said,

          So, with the Eucharist, if an Anglican or Eastern Orthodox affirms “Yes, Christ is in the elements,” and they say no more, they are not saying anything incorrect. It is when terms are defined (i.e. Consubstantiation, Transubstantiation, the Calvinistic view, etc) that now there is grounds for disagreement.

          Christ words apply here:

          Luke 9:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

          Eastern Orthodox affirm the Catholic Doctrine. They are for us. Anglicans and other Protestants, do not. They are against us.

          1. What an amazing mis-use of scripture to “prove” a false point. The response in Luke 9:50 clearly includes those who were working in His name, but were NOT associated with his disciples. That means they believed and had faith in His name obviously, otherwise how could they use it to perform powerful works? Even Apollos did the same in his preaching until he was “instructed more perfectly”. Not only would your use of it have Jesus saying the exact opposite, this passage is not even about doctrine or the Eucharist in the slightest. Jesus here appears to validate the ministry of those who recognized Him but were not “with” His disciples. Jesus also said that anyone who gave one of His disciples a cup of water would receive their reward.

  6. For your thought experiment, we have never and will never worship relics, no matter whose they are.

    P.s. The Vatican doesn’t have a “deep freeze” for relics

          1. Craig Truglia says:
            June 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm
            So, as the thought experiment goes, it has to be living parts of Christ, correct?

            No. We don’t break Christ into living and dead parts. Christ is God.

            Fr. Joe said,

            “we venerate it”

            It, being the Shroud.

            But what about the Blood on the Shroud?

            The only reason why some would not worship that Blood is because they are not certain of the authenticity of the Shroud. However, I am certain that the Church does not forbid me or any other person who is certain of the authenticity of the Shroud, from worshipping the Precious Blood which was shed for my salvation and which is present therein.

            CCC#1432 The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart. Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: “Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored!” God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God’s love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced:

            Let us fix our eyes on Christ’s blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out for our salvation it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.

            If you were certain that the blood upon the Shroud was the Blood of Jesus, would you worship it? Yes or no?

  7. That would be correct, we would not worship his blood, because it is just blood. We would of course venerate it as a relic, just like any relic of any saint. Except we would give glory to God for leaving us with something so precious. We would also use it to recall his life and suffereng and to glorify him for his sacrifice. But we would not worship it.

    However the cases were we have consecrated elements which actually turn to blood or flesh periodically are different. In these cases what we have is actual blood and flesh which are living. And since these have been consecrated that means that Christ is really and truly present in these. And because of that we would worship Christ who is really present. But we do not worship the elements themselves, but Christ who is in them.

  8. Oops Craig you commented after I started typing and I didn’t see it until after I made my last post which I was saying “correct” to joe

  9. I guess to elaborate, you seem mistaken in that the Eucharist is not chunks of Christ’s flesh or a cup full of His blood. Whether under the form of bread or wine, it is the whole Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity.

      1. Thanks for clearing that up! This must be the longest non-argument ever, 30 comments!

        Personally, I have zero problem with transubstantiation. I believe Christ rose from the dead, so the scientifically impossible does not phase me. I hope you don’t think that I am purposely opposing the doctrine because I find it offensive on some level, because I honestly do not. If you can get back to me on Augustine, I would really appreciate that.

        Reading the Confessions, I know Augustine read Aristotle’s Categories (ironically, wasn’t that work translated into Latin by Marius Victorinus?) Does the Categories cover the aspects of matter?

        1. Craig if you get this message I would like to send you an email. I tried to figure out how to contact you by your blog but I couldn’t find any contact information. I would appreciate it if you would send me an email. [email protected] (remove all the dashes.

          Thanks.

        2. “Personally, I have zero problem with transubstantiation.” Awesome!

          “If you can get back to me on Augustine, I would really appreciate that.” I sent Tim Troutman a message this morning to find out his source for it. It’s possible that it’s a bad translation.

          I found the Latin edition in Migne’s Patrologia Latin (the last two pages here, or excerpted here). Here’s what I’m seeing that strikes me as relevant:

          “Quod ergo videtis, panis est et calix; quod vobis etiam oculi vestri renuntiant: quod autem fides vestra postulat instruenda, panis est corpus Christi, calix sanguis Christi. Breviter quidem hoc dictum est, quod fidei forte sufficiat: sed fides instructionem desiderat. […]

          “Potestis enim modo dicere mihi: Praecepisti ut credamus, expone ut intelligamus. Potest enim in animo cujusquam cogitatio talis suboriri: Dominus noster Jesus Christus, novimus unde acceperit carnem; de virgine Maria. Infans lactatus est, nutritus est, crevit, ad juvenilem aetatem perductus est, a Judaeis persecutionem passus est, ligno suspensus est, in ligno interfectus est, de ligno depositus est, sepultus est, tertia die resurrexit, quo die voluit, in coelum ascendit; illuc levavit corpus suum; inde est venturus ut judicet vivos et mortuos; ibi est modo sedens ad dexteram Patris: quomodo est panis corpus ejus? et calix, vel quod habet calix, quomodo est sanguis ejus? Ista, fratres, ideo dicuntur Sacramenta, quia in eis aliud videtur, aliud intelligitur. Quod videtur, speciem habet corporalem, quod intelligitur, fructum habet spiritualem. Corpus ergo Christi si vis intelligere, Apostolum audi dicentem fidelibus, Vos autem estis corpus Christi, et membra (1 Cor. XII, 27).”

          I don’t see any usage of “accidentia,” but do see “speciem.” I’ve asked one of the more Latin-proficient men in the house to give a rough translation; I’ll let you know his response.

          I.X.,

          Joe

          1. My mistake! This was Sermon 272, which also happens to be Eucharistic. I couldn’t find 227 in Latin online, but I’ll check for it in our library later: I think we have all of his sermons downstairs.

          2. Well, we’re getting somewhere if you found the word speciem. What does Augustine mean when he says, “Quod videtur, speciem habet corporalem, quod intelligitur, fructum habet spiritualem.” I run it through Google Translate which says, “What is seen has a bodily appearance [speciem], which is understood has spiritual fruit.”

  10. Justin clearly explains his view of the Eucharist in his dialogue with Trypho, ch. 70 which reads in part:

    Now it is evident, that in this prophecy [allusion is made] to the bread which our Christ gave us to eat, in REMEMBRANCE of His being made flesh for the sake of His believers, for whom also He suffered; and to the cup which He gave us to drink, in REMEMBRANCE of His own blood, with GIVING OF THANKS.

    Guess what…. these words line up precisely with any discussions of the bread and wine in the New Testament. When Jesus broke the bread and offered the wine, he said “do this in REMEMBRANCE of me”, which Paul affirms in 1 COR 11. There is no doctrine which affirms anything remotely like transubstantiation in the NT, or in Justin Martyrs statements. There is also nothing circumstantial which does so.

    For example, when Jesus broke the bread and said “this is my body”, are we supposing that in this first pattern of what was shortly to take place that Jesus was transforming the elements in advance of offering himself? if so, then it is curious that none of the Gospel writers mention it, is it not?

    As well in 1 Cor 11, we have Paul addressing a situation in the Corinthian church (yes, the autonomous church which was planted by Gods will in the region of Corinth), where ones were treating the Lords supper as – a common meal. This would be presumably impossible if any of those believers in question had been taught that the bread and wine were literally Christs body and blood. They were meeting together to share in a communal meal and break bread. At this point it would probably be appropriate for Paul to remind them of this, but he doesn’t. Instead, Paul reprimands them for the divisions existing, for not SHARING appropriately – quote: “and shame them which HAVE NOT”. He then goes on to affirm again, the exact same words of Christ as above and the exact same words of Justin Martyr – “do this in REMEMBRANCE of me”. Even more he affirms it by following up with the words: For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew (PROCLAIM) the Lord’s death till he come. Once again, no mention of transforming the elements, or the necessity for a priest to facilitate the change, even though it would be wholly appropriate in the context.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *