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Y’all help me out on this.

It is so clear to me that the Lord is speaking metaphorically when he says that the fruit of the vine and the bread are His blood and body, that I sincerely have a hard time seeing it any other way.

Is there something I am missing? Is there some other scriptural support for this? Is there some support from the sacred tradition, outside of the canon, that might help me understand this? Like, where does it come from? What is the support for it?

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I'll point out a couple previous comments to get you on your way.

http://theologica.ning.com/xn/detail/2124612:Comment:348309

http://theologica.ning.com/xn/detail/2124612:Comment:348517

Here's a more substantial workup of the Early Church Fathers on Transubstantiation

One way to think about it is that it's a matter of interpretation.  If you were able to sit and have a beer with the Apostle John, I'm sure he would set you straight on how you should interpret the Lord's Supper, particularly his dealing of it in John 6.  The good news is that we do know what his disciples believed.  They took it literally, and said the others who didn't think that didn't participate in Communion.  I can still remember how the pastor of my youth understood the Lord's Supper.  I expect St. Ignatius could remember how John communicated it as well.

God still holds to the original insistence that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Heb. 9:22).  The difference now is that His injunction against consuming blood (Gen. 9:4, Deut. 12:23) has been partly lifted, in that He now enjoins the opposite on us when it comes to the blood of Christ (John 6:53).  Blood was sacred to God because it contained the victim’s life essence.  And that is precisely why we are commanded to drink the blood of Christ, which contains the victim’s eternal life essence.  Only if Christ is really present in these elements will this be fulfilled.  Real Presence was orthodox doctrine in the early Church for this reason.

I should mention that the effort to defend transubstantiation (the essence/substance of bread and wine are displaced by the essence/substance of Christ) over consubstantiation (the elements retain a dual essence/substance) as an explanation of the phenomenon is, at a basic level, off-point.  Real Presence is Real Presence, regardless of what else may be present. 

(Of course, the phrase “Real Presence” is ambiguous; the “presence” can be deemed purely spiritual and not physical at all.  To be clear: that is not what I mean when I use the phrase.  When I say that Christ is really present in the Eucharist, I mean physically.  I mean, as the early Church Fathers meant, that it is literally Christ’s Body and Blood.)

Some will assert that if the bread and wine are literally the Body and Blood of Christ then they can no longer be bread and wine at all (whatever their accidental qualities or appearance).  The Body and Blood, they will say, must fully occupy the field, leaving no room for any other substance or essence -- and vice versa.  But it cannot be impossible for the elements to retain a dual essence/substance if we allow―as most Christians certainly do― that Jesus himself enjoyed a dual essence/substance while on earth.  The sense in which Jesus Christ can simultaneously be both “true God and true man” is the same sense in which the Eucharist can simultaneously be both true body and true bread, or true blood and true wine.  Certainly Christ’s dual nature is not the easiest concept to grasp; but let someone explain it to me, and I will then articulate an answer for him on why consubstantiation is a viable position to hold.

Lutheran view is that we take Christ at his Word when He said This Is ....., He did not say is means represents. We receive His Body in the bread and His Blood in the wine.

Well, in John 6:55 Jesus refers to His flesh and blood being true food and true drink. That term for "true" in the Greek connotates something that actually occurs or is very real in its being. I personally don't have a problem with it, but I'm Wesleyan and so we choose that middle way that regardless of which side you are on there is a very real, very true presence of Christ in the Eucharist that empowers the believer to go out and live the Gospel.

  Paul taught in 1Corinthians10:16-17  that the elements of communion were a koinonia in the body and blood of Christ.  To him, communion was a true sharing in the Lord's body; but this is not the same as believing in transubstantiation.  Paul and the apostles did not worship the communion elements as the literal incarnate Christ of the Council of Trent. In fact, the western church held to Augustinian vilews of the sacrament for over 1,000 years.  The doctrine of Transubstantiation was an attempt to reconcile the philosphy of Aristotle to the doctrine of the Catholic church.   Sincerely, Tyrone Flanagan 

  Dear  James,  The RCC doctrine of transubstantiation was not dogmatized as a docrine of the RCC until the Lateran council in, I believe, 1240.  The early church fathers all believed in the real presence of Christ in communion but they did not teach that the communion elements were an incarnation of Christ that was created at the command of a priest.  The bible doesn't teach anywhere that  Christ has now been manifested in the earth in the form of inanimate objects such as the communion elements which can neither see or hear.  God would have to devolve and assume the natures of inanimate objects to do this.  The book of Hebrews refutes this when it says that Jesus Christ is the same yeaterday, today and forever.  Hebrews also states that Christ was manifested once at the end of the age to take away sins. Receive the presence of Christ in communion through the power of the Holy Spirit but skip having to worship the elements as some sort of new incarnation.   Sincerely, Tyrone Flanagan      

Two quick things.  Transubstantiation is not the same as believing in the actual presence of the body and blood.  Transubstantiation is a theology defining the process.  It can be confusing but it's actually 2 different but closely related theological points.

As far as your interpretation, what is it that makes it so clear for you and so unclear for the overwhelming majority of Christianity down through the ages?

 Dear Otsukafan,  I have to dispute your claim that a majority of believers down through the ages have bought into transsubstantiation doctrine.  This doctrine first appeared in the middle ages among monks in France as an inhouse debate between Radbertus and Ramtraminus.  At that time, in the 10th century, the prevailing Augustinian view that the reality of the sacrament must not be confused with the elements themselves carried the day.  Transsubstantiation is not an ancient catholic doctrine that was believed everywhere, always and by all, according to the Vincentian canon's definition of catholicity(5th centruy).  Today, only a minority of professing christians accept this view.  Most protestants, pentecostals and even the orthodox church does not teach this docgtrine as dogma.   Tyrone Flanagan     

Tyrone, I don't believe St. Augustine is helpful to your case.

 

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 [Lk 24:16,30-35]. 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

 

He walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless he first adores it; and thus it is discovered how such a footstool of the Lord’s feet is adored; and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring. – St. Augustine Commentary on Psalms 98:9

 

Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, 'This is my body.' [Mt 26:26] For he carried that body in his hands. – St. Augustine Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10

 

What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. – St. Augustine Sermons 272

 

 

In Early Christian Doctrines, the late Protestant historian JND Kelly agrees:

 

a balanced verdict must agree that he [Augustine] accepted the current realism. . . . There can be no doubt that he shared the realism held by almost all his contemporaries and predecessors.

 

 

For that matter, neither is the rest of early Christianity. For JND Kelly also writes:

 

p.440 - Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Savior’s body and blood.

 

p.211 - Hippolytus speaks of ‘the body and the blood’ through which the Church is saved, and Tertullian regularly describes the bread as ‘the Lord’s body.’ The converted pagan, he remarks, ‘feeds on the richness of the Lord’s body, that is, on the Eucharist.’ The realism of his theology comes to light in the argument, based on the intimate relation of body and soul, that just as in baptism the body is washed with water so that the soul may be cleansed, so in the Eucharist ‘the flesh feeds upon Christ’s body and blood so that the soul may be filled with God.’ Clearly his assumption is that the Savior’s body and blood are as real as the baptismal water. Cyprian’s attitude is similar. Lapsed Christians who claim communion without doing penance, he declares, ‘do violence to his body and blood, a sin more heinous against the Lord with their hands and mouths than when they denied him.’ Later he expatiates on the terrifying consequences of profaning the sacrament, and the stories he tells confirm that he took the Real Presence literally.

Tyrone, Sorry for the confusion.  I was speaking of the actual presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, not Transubstantiation.


Tyrone Flanagan said:

 Dear Otsukafan,  I have to dispute your claim that a majority of believers down through the ages have bought into transsubstantiation doctrine.  This doctrine first appeared in the middle ages among monks in France as an inhouse debate between Radbertus and Ramtraminus.  At that time, in the 10th century, the prevailing Augustinian view that the reality of the sacrament must not be confused with the elements themselves carried the day.  Transsubstantiation is not an ancient catholic doctrine that was believed everywhere, always and by all, according to the Vincentian canon's definition of catholicity(5th centruy).  Today, only a minority of professing christians accept this view.  Most protestants, pentecostals and even the orthodox church does not teach this docgtrine as dogma.   Tyrone Flanagan     

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying here BTW.

Tyrone Flanagan said:

 At that time, in the 10th century, the prevailing Augustinian view that the reality of the sacrament must not be confused with the elements themselves carried the day.  

 Dear Otsukafan,  Augustine in his work, "On Christian Doctrine", distinguished between the outward signs of the sacrament, the bread and the wine, and the spiritual reality of the sacrament, the real presence of the body and blood of Christ.  To Augustine they were not one and the same.  Augustine's views of the sacrament were widely accepted in RCC circles from Augustine's time (5th Century)  until at least 1000 AD.  Augustine's views were never dogmatized by a council.  Both Luther and Calvin were highly influenced by Augustine's sacramental theology.  Sincerely, Tyrone Flanagan 

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