The doctrine of Transubstantiation is the belief that the elements of the Lord’s table (bread and wine) supernaturally transform into the body and blood of Christ during the Mass. This is uniquely held by Roman Catholics but some form of a “Real Presence” view is held by Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, and some Anglicans. The Calvinist/Reformed tradition believes in a real spiritual presence but not one of substance. Most of the remaining Protestant traditions (myself included) don’t believe in any real presence, either spiritual or physical, but believe that the Eucharist is a memorial and a proclamation of Christ’s work on the cross (this is often called Zwinglianism). The Roman Catholic Council of Trent (1545-1563) defined Transubstantiation this way:

By the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation” (Session XIII, chapter IV)

As well, there is an abiding curse (anathema) placed on all Christians who deny this doctrine:

If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist are contained truly, really and substantially the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ,[42] but says that He is in it only as in a sign, or figure or force, let him be anathema. (Session XII, Canon I)

It is very important to note that Roman Catholics not only believe that taking the Eucharist in the right manner is essential for salvation, but that belief in the doctrine is just as essential.

Here are the five primary reasons why I reject the doctrine of Transubstantiation:

1. It takes Christ too literally

There does not seem to be any reason to take Christ literally when he institutes the Eucharist with the words, “This is my body” and “This is my blood” (Matt. 26:26-28, et al). Christ often used metaphor in order to communicate a point. For example, he says “I am the door,” “I am the vine,” “You are the salt of the earth,” and “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-14) but people know that we don’t take such statement literally. After all, who believes that Christ is literally a door swinging on a hinge?

2. It does not take Christ literally enough

Let’s say for the sake of the argument that in this instance Christ did mean to be taken literally. What would this mean? Well, it seems hard to escape the conclusion that the night before Christ died on the cross, when he said, “This is my body” and “This is my blood,” that it actually was his body and blood that night before he died. If this were the case, and Christ really meant to be taken literally, we have Christ, before the atonement was actually made, offering the atonement to his disciples. I think this alone gives strong support to a denial of any substantial real presence.

3. It does not take Christ literally enough (2)

In each of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) we have the institution of the Eucharist. When the wine is presented, Christ’s wording is a bit different. Here is how it goes in Luke’s Gospel: “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood” (Luk 22:20). Here, if we were really to take Christ literally, the “cup” is the new covenant. It is not the wine, it is the cup that is holy. However, of course, even Roman Catholics would agree that the cup is symbolic of the wine. But why one and not the other? Why can’t the wine be symbolic of his death if the cup can be symbolic of the wine? As well, is the cup actually the “new covenant”? That is what he says. “This cup . . . is the new covenant.” Is the cup the actual new covenant, or only symbolic of it? See the issues?

4. The Gospel of John fails to mention the Eucharist

Another significant problem I have with the Roman Catholic interpretation of the Eucharist and its abiding anathemas is that the one Gospel which claims to be written so that people may have eternal life, John (John 20:31), does not even include the institution of the Eucharist. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell the story of Christ giving the first Lord’s table, but John decides to leave it out. Why? This issue is made more significant in that John includes more of the “Upper Room” narrative than any of the other Gospels. Nearly one-third of the entire book of John walks us through what Christ did and said that night with his disciples. Yet no breaking of the bread or giving of the wine is included. This is a pretty significant oversight if John meant to give people the message that would lead to eternal life  (John 20:31). From the Roman Catholic perspective, his message must be seen as insufficient to lead to eternal life since practice and belief in the Mass are essential for eternal life and he leaves these completely out of the Upper Room narrative.

(Some believe that John does mention the importance of belief in Transubstantiation in John 6. The whole, “Why did he let them walk away?” argument. But I think this argument is weak. I talk about that here. Nevertheless, it still does not answer why John left out the institution of the Lord’s Supper. It could be that by A.D. 90, John saw an abuse of the Lord’s table already rising. He may have sought to curb this abuse by leaving the Eucharist completely out of his Gospel. But this, I readily admit, is speculative.)

5. Problems with the Hypostatic Union and the Council of Chalcedon

This one is going to be a bit difficult to explain, but let me give it a shot. Orthodox Christianity (not Eastern Orthodox) holds to the “Hypostatic Union” of Christ. This means that we believe that Christ is fully God and fully man. This was most acutely defined at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Important for our conversation is that Christ had to be fully man to fully redeem us. Christ could not be a mixture of God and man, or he could only represent other mixtures of God and man. He is/was one person with two complete natures. These nature do not intermingle (they are “without confusion”). In other words, his human nature does not infect or corrupt his divine nature. And his divine nature does not infect or corrupt his human nature. This is called the communicatio idiomatum (communication of properties or attributes). The attributes of one nature cannot communicate (transfer/share) with another nature. Christ’s humanity did not become divinitized. It remained complete and perfect humanity (with all its limitations). The natures can communicate with the Person, but not with each other. Therefore, the attribute of omnipresence (present everywhere) cannot communicate to his humanity to make his humanity omnipresent. If it did, we lose our representative High Priest, since we don’t have this attribute communicated to our nature. Christ must always remain as we are in order to be the Priest and Pioneer of our faith. What does all of this mean? Christ’s body cannot be at more than one place at a time, much less at millions of places across the world every Sunday during Mass. In this sense, I believe that any real physical presence view denies the definition of Chalcedon and the principles therein.

There are many more objections that I could bring including Paul’s lack of mentioning it to the Romans (the most comprehensive presentation of the Gospel in the Bible), some issues of anatomy, issues of idolatry, and just some very practical things concerning Holy Orders, church history, and . . . ahem . . . excrement. But I think these five are significant enough to justify a denial of Transubstantiation. While I respect Roman Catholicism a great deal, I must admit how hard it is for me to believe that a doctrine that is so difficult to defend biblically is held to such a degree that abiding anathemas are pronounced on those who disagree.

 

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C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    327 replies to "Five Reasons I Reject the Doctrine of Transubstantiation"

    • Gary Simmons

      The Christ who can multiply bread and turn water to wine cannot make Himself freely available all around the world?

      • C Michael Patton

        Gary, I am not sure about this as it has the effect of separating is flesh with his spirit. If the whole of Christ is miraculously made present in millions of places, we have, IMO, both nestorianism and Gnosticism together. Christ is but one peron with one body which was miraculously created by the Holy Spirit. To created through a fiat miracle whole Christ’s all over the place undermines the incarnation through Mary. Making bread is one thing, making a person is a bit different. Could he? Of course. But would he? Not unless we undermine many essential elements of the incarnation. Good question though. I think it shows you are thinking deeply about this.

        • Brian

          Michael, How do you explain Eucharistic miracles? Especially the one Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio witnessed in Argentina in 1996?:

          https://magiscenter.com/the-eucharistic-miracle-overseen-by-archbishop-bergoglio-now-pope-francis/

        • JB

          CMP, you cannot call yourself a true Christian if you believe the words you have spoken – Jesus Christ is NOT a created being. He IS one of the three persons of the Trinity of God, who was incarnated by the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary. The whole Gospel of John attests to His divinity – Jesus Christ is both 100% God and 100% man. The first words of John will tell you that Jesus is God and has always been with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Your argument against John 6 (the Bread of Life Discourse) is quite weak. You are right that Jesus speaks in metaphors, however when questioned what he means – he always clarified (as when Nicodemus questioned Jesus about baptism). In John 6, when the crowds are questioning Jesus – he further emphasizes nearly 7 times to them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. In this case Jesus is not speaking in metaphor – otherwise He would’ve rephrased for clarification. The crowds went back to their former ways of life because they could not come to grips with this reality (as do the Protestants). Also, do you really think Christians for the first 1500 Year’s after the Resurrection have got it all wrong? You think God has led His people astray for that long without correcting them? Even in the Old Testament He did not let them stray without sending a prophet or judge to correct the Israelites. We no longer need another because God humbled himself before all of mankind by taking on human flesh – Jesus is God, High Priest, Judge, Prophet, King, Sacrificial Lamb. Jesus promises He will be with us always, even to the consummation of the world, which holds true in His presence in the Eucharist – body, blood, soul, and divinity. But don’t take it from me – read some of Dr. Scott Hahn’s books – he was once a Protestant who defiantly argued Catholic doctrine, but came to understand the truth that the Catholic Church is the one Holy and Apostalic Church established by Jesus himself. I pray that you stop attacking Jesus as Saul did before his conversion. God bless you!

          • Anthony Sandoval

            Sir, In all due Respect, I would like to mention that there was a massive amount of pagan traditions that infiltrated the church because of its politicization by Constantine the Great. Mary worship for instance came from the ancient city of Babel where queen Semiramus the wife of Nimrod, had a child supposedly as a “virgin”. She called this child the reincarnation of Nimrod, and he was worshiped as a god, but not as much as his mother. Obviously this comes from pagan roots, for there is no mention in the Bible that anyone should pay Mary any respect. Jesus said in John 14:6 “No one comes to the father but by me” the Catholic church totally rejects this and says that Mary is a mediator between Jesus and us. This is totally false, and is heresy. Another thing to consider, is that Jesus never started the Roman Catholic Church. This is a Commonly taught falsehood. Now someone will say “but wasn’t peter the first pope?”, and the answer (from a biblical point of view) is No. The verse that people like to use is Mathew 16:18 where Jesus says “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” In Greek, The name Peter is petros and means small stone, so when Jesus was talking to him he meant something to this affect “I tell you that you are small stone, and on this big Rock I will build my church” What is Jesus? He is the rock of ages. so the church was built on him. The first recorded pope that the Catholic church has listed, is pope Leo IX from 1049 AD. So, obviously Peter was no pope, and in fact, guess who presided at the first church counsel? The apostle James, not Peter. Now back to the mass, one thing that is forgotten is when, after the bread and wine was blessed, Jesus said “this fruit of the vine” he didn’t say my blood. Check out this poem written a long time ago that i think shows the foolishness of the idea the it is literal not figurative.
            A pretty maid, a Bible-Believer, was to a Catholic wed;

            To love all Bible truths and tales, quite early she’d been bred.

            It sorely grieved her husband’s heart that she would not comply,

            And join the Mother Church of Rome and heretics deny.

            So day by day he flattered her, but still she saw no good

            Would ever come from bowing down to idols made of wood.

            The Mass, the host, the miracles, were made but to deceive;

            And transubstantiation, too, she’d never dare believe.

            He went to see his clergyman and told him his sad tale.

            “My wife is an unbeliever, sir; you can perhaps prevail;

            For all your Romish miracles my wife has strong aversion,

            To really work a miracle may lead to her conversion.”

            The priest went with the gentleman – he thought to gain a prize,

            He said, “I will convert her, sir, and open both her eyes.”

            So when they came into the house, the husband loudly cried,

            “The priest has come to dine with us!” “He’s welcome,” she replied.

            And when, at last, the meal was o’er, the priest at once began,

            To teach his hostess all about the sinful state of man;

            The greatness of our Savior’s love, which Christians can’t deny,

            To give Himself a sacrifice and for our sins to die.

            “I will return tomorrow, lass, prepare some bread and wine;

            The sacramental miracle will stop your soul’s decline.”

            “I’ll bake the bread,” the lady said. “You may,” he did reply,

            “And when you’ve seen this miracle, convinced you’ll be, say I.”

            The priest did come accordingly, the bread and wine did bless.

            The lady asked, “Sir, is it changed?” The priest answered, “Yes,

            It’s changed from common bread and wine to truly flesh and blood;

            Begorra, lass, this power of mine has changed it into God!”

            So having blessed the bread and wine, to eat they did prepare.

            The lady said unto the priest, “I warn you to take care,

            For half an ounce of arsenic was mixed right in the batter,

            But since you have its nature changed, it connot really matter.”

            The priest was struck real dumb – he looked as pale as death.

            The bread and wine fell from his hands and he did gasp for breath

            “Bring me my horse!” the priest cried, “This is a cursed home!”

            The lady replied, “Begone; tis you who shares the curse of Rome.”

            The husband, too, he sat surprised, and not a word did say.

            At length he spoke, “My dear,” said he, “the priest has run away;

            To gulp such mummery and tripe, I’m not for sure, quite able;

            I’ll go with you and we’ll renounce this Roman Catholic fable. The end

            I hope this makes sense. if it doesn’t that’s because I am only 15.

            • Anthony Sandoval

              Also quite a few commandments are rejected of changed by the Catholic Church. Idolatry is a sin, but is encouraged, the seventh day is the sabbath, not the first, and lot’s of other stuff that i won’t delve into.

            • Anthony Sandoval

              And I can’t help but say, if you want to take things literally, That Jesus said “I am the door”. so… is Jesus a door?

    • Delwyn Xavier Campbell

      Lutheran perspective holds that He IS present everywhere IN ALL ASPECTS. He is not chained to a throne in heaven, because He is not ONLY fully human, He is also fully divine, and the attributes of that divinity do apply to the entirety of His being. The way you describe Him DOES make Him a demigod.

      • C Michael Patton

        We all hold that his person is present everywhere (or better, theologically, everywhere is in his immediate presence–this avoiding pantheism). It is his nature we are dealing with. He cannot be our High Preist representative if his humanity has become “divinized.”

    • C Michael Patton

      You see, what I am saying is that the tunes of communication present at Chalcedon still apply post resurrection. Otherwise he can’t represent is now. His human nature is still unmolested by his divine nature. Of course sometime, I beleive, some Lutherans redefine the communicatio idiomatum post resurrection (as do some Catholics), but I think this undermines the necessity of the pioneership of Christ. He is forever our representative. Post resurrection, his divine nature could communicate with his person, not his human nature.

    • C Michael Patton

      Here is a post (with charts!) in which I speak only of this issue.
      http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2012/02/why-didnt-christ-know-the-time-of-his-coming/

    • mbaker

      CMP,

      The link you are speaking of is missing from your last comment. I read it already, being a regular on this site, but for those folks who missed it the first time around perhaps you could give a specific link to it. Thanks.

    • C Michael Patton

      Thx

    • mbaker

      CMP,

      Guess we must have crossed posts, which due to the timing can certainly happen. So no problem. Thanks.

    • curt

      And then there is the obvious… it doesn’t look, smell, taste like blood.
      I imagine there is a sophisticated explanation, but it seems too much like when we patronize a child giving a magic show. ‘Wow look, Billy made a dollar out of nothing!’

    • Delwyn Xavier Campbell

      I’m not certain that your Zwinglian perspective DOES see Christ as present everywhere. His omnipresence is compromised by your view of His humanity. Once He took a body, in your view, He became limited in terms of time and space. You can SAY that you believe HE is present, but in reality, it is just a legal fiction to you. If He CANNOT be present – REALLY present – in the Bread and Wine because of His human nature, He cannot be present anywhere else for that same reason. You thus require a different person – the Holy Spirit, to be REALLY present in all the places that the Bible talks about Christ being present. Thus, Christ isn’t really with us always, as He promised, but only figuratively.

      By the way, yes, I DO believe that Jesus REALLY IS the Door, because He said so. He REALLY IS the True Vine, because He said so, and He REALLY IS the Good Shepherd, just as I REALLY AM a sheep, because He said so. Now, does that mean that HE is made of wood? No, but it DOES mean that He does, in that statement, what a door does, and He does, in that statement, what a good shepherd does, etc.

    • Surely we cannot get to the depth of this Roman Catholic doctrine of so-called Transubstantiation in one blog, but I agree that this doctrine, and really dogma is central, in Catholic theology and in the life of Catholicism. However, perhaps it is more historical to see Transubstantiation from the classic Council of Trent, which defined it as “a singular and wondrous conversion of the total substance of bread into the body and of the total substance of wine into the blood of Christ, the external appearances only remaining unchanged.” And along with this are the most certain laborious scholastic thinking & thought with or using Aristotelian logic. Which btw, should not negate all Aristotelian thinking!

      I am myself somewhere between both Luther’s doctrine and Calvin’s here, but yes, I was raised Irish Roman Catholic, and early educated there. But I am long gone in support of any bit of “transubstantiation”! And I don’t see myself Luther supporting it, note Luther himself did not even speak of the later idea of Consubstantiation! ‘Real Presence’, ‘in, above & around’ the elements, yes. And btw, we should also bring in here Augustine’s Eucharist view. Which I would place myself closer to Luther’s, and most certainly no use of “transubstantiation”. ‘Sacraments (Augustine says) have a similitude to the things they signify, and bear their names.’ Yes, for Luther and the Lutheran, the “communication idiomatum” is an ontologically real communication, though since the biblical God is “simplex” or so-called simple/real to the Text itself, and therefore without “accidents, yet He/God has attributes, such as immensity or ubiquity, and surely eternity. Sorry to get somewhat scholastic myself, but I see some aspects of scholastic thought in the Jewish Hellenism, and certainly the Greco-Roman of a St. Paul, and thus the NT Letters.

      Anyway, this is a most important subject and topic!

    • Btw, I would agree with CMP, that the Resurrection and the Ascended Christ..on the Throne of God and Glory, is the central place of any sacrificial centre, for there Christ is now the Mediator (seated, Heb. 1: 3), in “Sessions” for the People of God and the Church of God! And any Sacrament that looses this, simply looses the reality of Christ, now in the Glory!

    • Wolf Paul

      Here are a few thoughts on the issue:
      1. My Roman Catholic theologian friend would say that it is a major misunderstanding to understand substance in a physical or chemical sense; that instead it must be understood in a philosophical sense as “the true essence of something”. Our modern understanding of substance as meaning physical or chemical substance is, in this context, called “the accidentals” (and that answers comment #10 above, doesn’t look or smell like flesh or blood).

      2. Today’s official ecumenical contacts of the Roman Catholic Church would indicate that the Church does not consider this “anathema” pronounced by Trent to be still valid today (if it ever was).

      3. As far as I can tell, the Eastern Orthodox churches accept the hypostatic union. It is the “Oriental Orthodox” churches, also known as monophysites, who historically do not (hence their name), although that may be changing.

      4. I personally tend to think that Christ is really present in the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper, in some special way; I believe that is (a) required by the strong language Paul uses in 1Cor in talking about abusive practices, and (b) supported by the pretty unanimous consensus of the early church on the subject. However I also think that we — all of us — have a tendency to want to define and pin down what is essentially a mystery, and that leads to the proliferation of theological terms claiming to describe HOW Christ is present in the Supper, and to controversies and discussions which do not glorify God or extend His Kingdom.

    • @Wolf Paul,

      As an Anglican, I would agree that the “presence” of Christ in the Eucharist, is more than todays so-called Zwinglian position. And sadly the Reformed churches have missed the real Calvin here certainly! Note as I said, I am close to Luther here somewhat, but not so much “Lutheranism”, especially todays, that is just too close to Rome on the Eucharist! Perhaps a look at the history of the Mercersburg Theology would be helpful here, as too John Williamson Nevin’s book: The Mystical Presence, etc. surely a “Calvinistic” view and position of the Holy Eucharist!

      I was at one time very close to the EO, and with the nastiness of modern Anglicanism, I thought about moving there, but in the end the EO miss badly both the Pauline doctrine of Imputation and also Adoption. Not to mention some other things. But generally their Christology and Trinitarian doctrine are ok. Also we need to see more of the Pauline idea of mystery or the “Musterion”, which is surely more of God’s Revelation, than just “hiddenness”.

      So its Reformed Anglicanism for me, noting the Irish Articles 1615. 🙂

      • Anthony Sandoval (Seventh-day Adventist)

        So, Since you are taking it literally and not figuratively, what about all of the other passages in the bible where Jesus says that he is something. for instance “I am the door”. so… is Jesus a door? There are some things in the bible that Point to something, and are not necessarily literal. if the prophesies in Daniel were literal, we would be worshiping the wrong person, for Jesus would have come much sooner. Honestly think about it.

    • Jason Pratt

      Wolf (and Michael): actually, the Oriental orthodox (Coptics, Ethiopians, Armenians) do accept the hypostatic union–or did back in the days of the Chalcedonian schism. (They may have gone farther by contrast to the central orthodox since then.) The point of contention is more subtle than that; they stress the subordination of the humanity of Christ in the two natures. The central orthodox (and the Church of the East, the Nestorians–a lot of “east” titles to confuse things 😉 ) worried that the OriOs were thereby denying the humanity of Christ by making it of no practical effect. (And the Nestorians worried that the Central Orthodox were doing the same thing by not sharply distinguishing the two natures enough. Whereas the Orientals worried that the Nestorians and the Centrals were distinguishing the two natures two much introducing a schism between them, which the Centrals also worried about in regard to the Nestorians, even though Nestorius himself thought he was in agreement with the Pope–or rather vice versa. Nestorius wasn’t the most diplomatic person ever to live. {wry g})

      Anyway, as someone who leans on the rejection side of agnostic for the RCC doctrine of transsubtantiation, I do acknowledge they have more positive scriptural rationales for it than merely appeal to John 6 and the Last Supper wording. Rationales strong enough that I’m only leaning on the rejection side of agnostic. {lopsided g} I was surprised at how much scriptural and Jewish religious history was behind it, when I started looking into it more closely a couple of years ago. It’s strong enough that I now expect they’re getting something right that my Southern Baptist culture has inadvertently thrown out, although I haven’t figured out yet what version of real presence adds up best. I do see serious problems with trans-sub, but it avoids some serious problems with alternatives, too.

    • C Michael Patton

      Those who accept it: I would be interested on a response, especially to 2-5.

    • C Michael Patton

      Even tho I doubt I will get the time to read them unless it comes soon. 🙁

    • theoldadam

      We Lutherans do believe that the Lord Jesus is truly present in the bread and the wine of the Supper…and in the water of Baptism, when the Word is attached to these elements. “This IS my body. This IS my blood.”

      But what we don’t claim to know (contrary to the transubstantiationalists) is exactly ‘how’ He is present.

      For us, it is enough to trust, by faith, that He is there…for us…in what He commanded us to do.

    • Jason Pratt

      Speaking as someone who doesn’t accept it (yet), but who’s pretty sympathetic toward it:

      #2.) Christ’s atonement is the action of God to save sinners and so operates at right angles to all history (so to speak) omnipresently with God. Thus it affects the past as well as the future; and can be offered by God before the historical event of the Passion as well as after. (This has strong connections to the bread of the presence offered by God in the tabernacle/temple, too, before Christ was even born.) No one anywhere denies that Christ could truly forgive sins during His prior years of ministry, do they?–but this also involves atoning sinners to God.

      #3.) The pouring of the cup may be the covenant, but Christ doesn’t say the cup is the blood. (If it comes to that, neither the cup nor the blood is holy, nor anything else at all including the saints, except insofar as Christ sanctifies it.) Also, the scriptural indications elsewhere aren’t about the cup, but about the body/blood/bread/wine. The cup isn’t Christ, the body and blood are. The cup, somewhat like the cross, is a mediant tool to deliver the self-sacrificial love of Christ and His covenantal intentions toward and with us. Similarly, the divided sacrificial animals YHWH bodily walks between in making covenant with Abraham in Genesis aren’t what is important: they aren’t the covenant, nor the self-sacrifice of God by which we exist (and much moreso by which we have eonian life in cooperation with God).

      #4.) The lack of reporting the form in GosJohn doesn’t obviate the importance of “munching” on the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ, without which we have no life. It may however indicate that the ritual per se is not important in itself.

      #5.) Jesus’ body was transformed in the bodily resurrection, to something substantially different than the flesh and blood He had (and that we have), with different properties. Everyone acknowledges this; our salvation does not depend on Him keeping moral flesh.

    • @Jason Pratt: Yes, the long history of the Orthodox does get messy on the two-natures of Christ! But generally they are all seen as orthodox. We can also note that the so-called Hypostatic Union, i.e. the union of the divine and human natures in the person of Jesus Christ, was the doctrine that was somewhat brought together by Cyril of Alexandria.

      The Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and Church of the East, etc. have sometimes used the term “transubstantiation” (metousiosis); however, terms such as “divine mystery”, “trans-elementation” (μεταστοιχείωσις metastoicheiosis), “re-ordination” (μεταρρύθμισις metarrhythmisis), or simply “change” (μεταβολή) are more common among them and they consider the change from bread and wine to flesh and blood a “Mystery”. The latter in reality must be seen however only in the Pauline sense, at least to my mind! Again, we all should look closely at Augustine here, his Eucharistic doctrine is simply not really a “transubstantiation” in the classic and historical sense! I like Peter Martyr Vermigli’s statement: “We say with Augustine that the sacramental symbols are visible words.”

    • And as to #20, we simply must have biblical exegesis, before we get to dogmatic theology! This is always simply problematic for the High Church positions, and generally I would not place “Luther” here myself!

      Also, Christ really is still “Incarnate”, though glorified as risen & ascended!

    • Jason Pratt

      #2 addendum .1: God doesn’t have to be first convinced to save us from our sins, in a progression of natural history, before He will act to do so: the Son is not atoning the Father to us, but atoning us to God (in and as all three Persons).

      (Admittedly the RCCs, in their Arminianistic soteriology, tend to undermine this notion in various ways, but Calvinists (and Universalists) should appreciate the coherency there. {g!} Also, it fits the grammar of how the NT uses the term we translate “atone”; also, a bit more debatably, how the NT uses the term we translate “propitiate”. We are the objects of the action of atonement and even of propitiation; God, whether the Person of the Father or of the Son, is the doer of the action.)

      #2 addendum .2: the Son’s self-sacrifice is an eternal action of fair-togetherness with the Father, of which the Son’s self-sacrifice to atone sinners is a special mode, as is the Son’s self-sacrifice for any not-God entities to exist at all. The whole Incarnation, not only the Passion, is an enaction of this self-sacrifice as well. Temporality doesn’t restrict the action of the Son’s self-sacrifice (on the contrary, natural time can only exist because of the Son’s eternal action of loving and gracious self-sacrifice!), it only provides a created framework for modal expressions of that self-sacrifice.

      (Admittedly, RCCs in the past have leaned too hard on the spatio-temporal restrictions of the self-sacrifice of Christ, but they seem to be easing off this in the past century or so. RCC mystical tradition of the saints has, on the other hand, often emphasized the transcendent immanence, so to speak, of the living self-sacrificial action of the Son and then connected this to the transfiguration of the Mass. I would expect Von Balthasar has a ton to say about this, for example.)

    • Delwyn Xavier Campbell

      I have learned, as a Lutheran seminarian, to accept that some things aren’t explained, and leave them at that. Thus, I accept the Real Presence, even if I don’t know the process of His being present. do not accept the RCC teaching, of course, else I would BE Roman Catholic, right?

    • Jason Pratt

      Fr. Robert, yes the Three Great Easterns tend not to bother with the details of what happens in the Mass; and I might agree that’s the best approach for now! {g}

      Still, a lot of the debate has come about due to practical questions, such as whether we should be concerned if someone throws the Host into the sewer gutters; or what if mice eat it; or as Michael brings up, what about excrement?

      I’m sympathetic to those concerns, too, out of practical respect for what is deemed so important.

      Fr. Robert, “Also, Christ really is still “Incarnate”, though glorified as risen & ascended!”

      True, but He isn’t incarnate in mortal flesh and blood anymore, these having been transformed, thus also having their properties transformed. That’s much of the point of St. Paul’s reply to the detractor among the Corinthians, who was reducing the resurrection to something like the modern mockery of “zombie Jesus” (not because the detractor thought that, but because he thought the doctrine passed on by Paul involved that and so must be mistaken).

      Thus also our body and blood shall be taken up and transformed, putting on and swallowed up by immortality, seeing as how flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

      Consequently, whatever status of the body of Christ now, the fact that it isn’t the same flesh and blood as ours anymore is not a soteriological problem. It would be a problem if Christ had not Incarnated with our current flesh and blood, or if Christ had simply replaced the mortal flesh and blood rather than contiguously transforming it.

      As for exegetics, the RCCs actually have quite a lot of those, and from a historical standpoint I can see how the broad High Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence came from holding to and applying various scriptural testimonies. So if they’re wrong, it isn’t because they started with doctrine in a presuppositionalistic fashion.

    • This might be of interest for some here?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sacrament_of_the_Body_and_Blood_of_Christ%E2%80%94Against_the_Fanatics

      Again, I am somewhere in-between Luther and Calvin myself on the Eucharist presence. And is there anything higher than “spirit and truth”? As our Lord said: “God is Spirit (spirit), and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4: 24)

    • @Jason: Indeed Luther’s position is about as far as I can or could go now, both biblically and theologically on the Eucharist. Note, I was raised Irish Roman Catholic in Dublin (1950’s). And I even spent some time (few years) with a group of English Benedictines in my mid 20’s (after my “first” tour as an RMC..Royal Marine Commando, (I will be 64 later this year). And yes, I still read many things “RC”! I have read Ratzinger since the 90’s.

      Btw, have you read Augustine on the Sacraments? Note, we cannot leave out Baptism here either! – As our Lutheran friend (theoldadam) has reminded us! Just a friendly point!

    • Jason Pratt

      @Fr.Robert, no, only a smattering of Augustine on the sacraments, not much more than what I’ve read in this thread I expect.

      Of course I wouldn’t leave baptism out of the sacraments. (Or marriage for that matter. 😉 ) But I’m not familiar enough with RCC writing yet to opine on how they’d connect the two in ways that address the debate on the Real Presence. (I’m a bit worried I’ve gone beyond what they’d dogmatically affirm already in my attempt to make a provisional answer for them…)

      I could take a stab at how the sacrament of baptism involves our participation in the sacrificial filial cooperation of Christ, keeping in mind that the baptism of spirit (even/and fire) is the reality which the baptism of water naturally represents (or embodies?); thus connecting to the cooperation of the Mass by that route. But I might still be going off track of the post topic by doing so.

      I’m convinced in any case that the fundamentally eternal self-sacrificial action of the Son in the intrinsic self-existence of the Trinity, which we’re called and empowered to participate in (subordinately and derivatively of course), is the root reality that the sacraments modally enact or embody (not sure of the terminology there).

      I’m not talking about the Persons being modalistic, of course.

    • John

      1. Literalism. That’s an argument Michael, but it’s hardly an argument in favor of your position. It’s merely a mitigating factor against the opposing argument. You can’t deny all literalism in the bible.

      2. Can OT saints get atonement from Christ? If so, what is the issue? Can’t his atonement work backwards for them too?

      3. I don’t think this is a case of the cup being symbolic per se. If I’m handing out beers and I say “do you want a cup?”, its not exactly symbolism at work. It’s more like the shorthand of language.

      4. You seem to be confusing the issue of transubstantiation with some related doctrines about the importance of partaking, which are issues that should be taken on their own merits. Nevertheless, John being written later ignores a lot of stuff in the rest of the NT material, because I think he assumes it is already known. My goodness, if we rejected what is not in John, how many “essential” doctrines even in your own framework would go missing? In any case, this is not an argument for your position, just a mitigating factor against the opposing position.

      5. This seems an odd argument for someone arguing AGAINST tradition. You assume Chalcedon is true, and then argue from there.

      Actually, scientifically speaking, even atheists believe Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. This is because the atoms from people’s bodies are frequently replaced, and get distributed and mixed all around the world. Mathematically there are probably atoms of his body in the Eucharist. I realise this is not the same thing, but I think it makes the point that this supposed devastating argument is really quite nonsense.

    • C Michael Patton

      What these arguments are meant to do is show how the arguments which say that one must take the “this IS my body” literally are both inconsistent and unnecessary. I don’t need to repeat the arguments as they are sufficiently stated in the op.

      However, once one realizes the inconsistencies in interpretation and the poor exegesis involved (IMO), at the very least, one should have serious second thoughts about excommunicating people from the church for non-compliance.

      Concerning the book of John. At the very least we have to admit that John at least THOUGHT that his message alone was enough (as there were “many other things he could have said), even if some may think he was wrong. The point is increadibly strong that the did not even mention the Lord’s table that night.

      Again, at the very least, even if somehow we could justify reading a real physical presence into these passages, how in the world could we think damn people to hell for non-belief here? And how can we justify . . . Too much to say. One bite at a time. (Though I can’t really hang with these comments.

      Good discussion though. Just remember what Trent says about those who don’t hold to this. Do you really want to defend Roman Catholic dogma here?

    • Irene

      a response to your #4:

      The fathers and saints and history of the Church have attested to the Real Presence….including even the reformers. So, if you are going to argue with 1500 years of Christian thought, your argument better be more sophisticated than the book of John not being explicit. We in the 21st century are not the first intelligent, insightful, or spirit-filled people to read it. Now, I’m not particularly accusing you of it, but it sure seems many Christians today think they have some monopoly on Biblical interpretation and are unwilling to trust the intelligence and wisdom of the first Christians, who had the apostles’ words “ringing in their ears”, and who loved Jesus enough to endure martyrdom. I think we shouldn’t be so quick to think we have John all figured out. We are, after all, the culture that has warnings printed on buckets about how to not drown in them.
      So, you think you, while separating yourself from Christian tradition, can interpret the book of John? I think you have underestimated him!
      Yes, John doesn’t give the Last Supper narrative. He also doesn’t relate the infancy narratives, or the parables. His is a different kind of Gospel. (I don’t need to tell you that.) Notice he calls the miracles *signs*. They point to other realities beyond themselves. John doesn’t mention the Eucharist explicitly, because Christians already know. The other Gospels have covered it. He uses the FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND as a sign to point to the mystery and give further insight. Notice its placement. Maybe I can write a comment on that later.
      But think about the mindsets of our culture and his. We are used to explicit, straightforward directions, biographies, news reports, etc. They were used to storytelling and religious connections. In John’s day, they could pick up on things that are harder for us.
      John did NOT ignore the Eucharist.

      • C Michael Patton

        Irene,

        You must understand first that sola Scriptura is a doctrine that says that Scripture is the ultimate trump card. So if Scripture is not clear or is against this (which I think it is), then it is the norm that norms which is not normed. If you have been around this blog long enough (or been to the Credo House—the only Coffee Shop in the world devoted to historic theology!) you would know how much I see Church history as an authority, it just does not have ultimate trumping power. The Pharisees had in their tradition for many many years that spitting on the ground on Sunday was a violation of the sabbath as it could lead to plowing. Christ came in an over turned many of their traditions. Therefore, we need to be careful. Just because many people have believed something does not make it so. It has to be tested by the Scriptures. If John was written that people may have eternal life and he does not include the Lord’s table, this is incredibly substantial.

        But more importantly, it is not really presence that I am arguing against. It is the real PHYSICAL presence which (and don’t miss this) must be believed in order to keep from being anathematized. This is uniquely a Roman Catholic dogma and it is this which all the arguments push back on.

        And your statement about John is telling, simply showing the difference in our traditions with respect to the Bible (although Roman Catholics have incredible confessions about the Scriptures). John’s Gospel was the second most distributed Gospel in the early church. Most people did not have even one Gospel. Even today, it is distributed alone. Many times this is all they would have. Now this is unremarkable until you put yourself in the mind of John through his own world. He could have written many other things, he says. He does not say, “but you have the other Gospels, epistles, and traditions, therefore, I did not write these things. He says, “These have been written that you may have life.” One does not even have to read between the lines to see that John though his message was sufficient. But this cannot be if Rome is right and that a right practice and belief in the Mass is essential. So I would not downplay this Gospel. It was widely distributed in the early church for a reason.

        To say that he does not tell about the Last supper because Christians already know is not just speculation, but it must be wrong. He wrote this to people “so that by believing you might have life in his name.” He did not see himself as writing to those who were already Christians in order to edify this with an appendix version to what they already knew. He wrote to people so that they may believe and have eternal life.

        At the very least, you should have no problem recognizing the strength of this argument, even if you do not agree.

        Now, I know Roman Dogma enough to know that much has changed with regard to what it means to be anathmatized. I know that invincible ignorance now protects me. But this, to me, is historic revisionism and cannot apply to the details of this conversation as I am not really too worries about Rome’s view of my eternal destiny. I know that they view me as kosher now, even when I don’t believe or practice the Mass the way they do. Phew! :). But again, that is beside the point of this theological post.

    • EricW

      The Eastern Orthodox Church’s doctrine of the change in the bread and wine is very close to the Roman Catholic Church’s, though it’s the Holy Spirit, not the priest’s words, that changes them after/during the epiklēsis. From the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom:

      Priest (in a low voice): Once again we offer to You this spiritual worship without the shedding of blood, and we ask, pray, and entreat You: send down Your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts here presented.

      Priest: And make this bread the precious Body of Your Christ.

      Amen.

      Priest: And that which is in this cup the precious Blood of Your Christ.

      Amen.

      Priest: Changing them by Your Holy Spirit. Amen. Amen. Amen.

    • Jason Pratt

      Michael,

      At what point did I (the Christian universalist, of all people) ever defend the Council of Trent’s anathema?!

      Still, they hit that anathema so hard because of the insistence of Christ regarding munching and drinking His flesh and blood. As I noted, John’s omission of the ritual scene at the Last Supper may have been an indication that the ritual isn’t necessary for eonian life, but he wouldn’t have included that (unique) scene from just after the Feeding of the 5000 unless he thought that was important to believe — which in fact Jesus also says.

      As for exegesis, the Roman Catholic Church has a good bit more of it than the couple of points you mentioned in your article. I’ve found Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre a good introduction. I still think he pushes things a bit far in a couple of places, but I respected and understood the RCC rationales a lot more after reading it.

    • David Murrell

      I never understood why transubstaniation was necessary, if he is to be taken literally. The bread is his body, but he said he already was made of bread (I am the bread of life). Therefore, no transformation us necessary.

    • Richard Roland

      >2. … If this were the case, and Christ really meant to be taken literally, we have Christ, before the atonement was actually made, offering the atonement to his disciples. I think this alone gives strong support to a denial of any substantial real presence.

      Michael, surely you prove far too much here. God is not subject to the strictures of time. Are you prepared to deny the efficacy of Christ’s atonement for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

    • C Michael Patton

      Richard, this would simply be theological gymnastics attempting to find harmony for something that is not only exegetically unnecessary, but impossible. Of course if this was taught elsewhere we might be able to force such conclusions, but, as I have shown, I find every reason to reject the Roman Catholic understanding of Trans and the abiding anathemas for its denial.

    • Marc Taylor

      1. Eating is used metaphorically. Jeremiah “ate” God’s word (Jeremiah 15:16). In John it refers to the “believing” in the living Word of God (John 6:47). When the Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ we “drink” of Him (1 Corinthians 12:13).

      2. “It is the LORD’S Passover” (Exodus 12:11) – It represents the LORD’S Passover.

    • C Michael Patton

      I have yet to find an exegetical commentator who comes to these conclusions, even about John 6, liberal or conservative. One must overlay their pre concluded position to make this work IMO.

      The strongest argument for real presence come not from the bible but from history. But even then, the Catholic dogma does not find a comfortable home.

      Again, it is not simply a real presence I am talking about. It is transubstantiation and the anathema that abides on any who don’t agree with Rome on this. That is where the divide is the greatest.

    • C Michael Patton

      “If this were the case, and Christ really meant to be taken literally, we have Christ, before the atonement was actually made, offering the atonement to his disciples. I think this alone gives strong support to a denial of any substantial real presence.”

      You respond.

      “Michael, surely you prove far too much here. God is not subject to the strictures of time. Are you prepared to deny the efficacy of Christ’s atonement for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?”

      This is not the same in any sense to me. One is substantial, the other is non-substantial. One says that the substantial atonement had taken place even before it did. The other says that God passed over “in forbearance” (Rom 3) the sins previously committed. The atonement can’t be made effectual without the event. When Christ said “This is my body” this shows he was not being literal since the substantial atonement was not yet a reality. .

    • Irene

      Michael,
      still on your number 4:
      Here’s a distinction I think you’re missing. Christian history/church fathers teach a certain doctrine, and you say the Bible teaches an opposing doctrine; you are then saying Scripture trumps tradition. But here’s my point– it’s not Scripture vs. Tradition. In reality, it’s *your* interpretation of Scripture vs. *the fathers’* interpretation of Scripture. In reality, Scripture is supreme on both sides. The only difference is which *interpretation* you subscribe to.

      So applied to the issue of the Eucharist in the Gospel of John—
      You say it’s not in there. The fathers saw it there, not because tradition trumped Scripture, but because that’s what they believed Scripture said.

      Also, it wasn’t just I am the Bread of Life, it was the feeding of the 5,000. I haven’t read up again to “tune-up” my understanding, but you’re the professional. I’m sure you can read up on it more effectively than I could articulate it here. 12 extra baskets, Jesus provides bread for our Sabbath, etc.

    • C Michael Patton

      Irene,

      Do you accept everything the Fathers said? (And, yes, this is a set up).

      Like I said, very sincere Jewish Fathers believe that one is not to spit in the dirt on the Sabbath. Christ spent much of his time correcting bad tradition. Are you saying that tradition cannot go bad.

      But more importantly, Transubstantiation an the dogma of anathema certainly is an interpretation of history and, IMO, one that has to be read into history. Real presence is historically present. Transubstantiation and excommunication for non-belief, not there. So keeping focus here, I don’t find the RC doctrine in either tradition or Scripture.

      So. . . Yes, there will be many times that tradition goes astray. The regula fide becomes corrupted and added to. What starts as a short Apostle’s creed turns into fundamentalistic catachisms filled with curses for people who miss church, take birth control, do not believe in transubstantiation, and a thousand other things. I see the Protestant burden to glory in the simplicity of grace and offer freedom and mystery to those things that are not so clear.

      Can you beleive in transubstantiation. Sure, no real harm to me. But when the Church says that all have to or they are outside the church where there is no salvation or that hard working pastors who slave for Christ are declared to pastor illegitimate churches (as the pope said) then lines are crossed. Serious lines.

    • C Michael Patton

      Irene,

      Quick question (and take this in a very non-threatening spirit as there isn’t much one can say that will Hirt me too bad): since I don’t believe in Transubstantiation in the Roman Catholic sense, am I anathema?

    • Irene

      Are you anathema?
      Honestly, I can’t give you an answer that is reliably representative of the Catholic Church.
      Other than this–that the Church cannot condemn any individual person to hell. (Or determine that they are condemned). Not judas, not Nero, not Hitler. It’s not within her authority. Morality and doctrine, yes. Final judgement of the heart, no.
      If it were up to me, I’d say you were in (; because you are trying to follow God……anyway, with a humble spirit, an inquisitive mind, and all the access to history and theology you have, I could imagine you eventually becoming Catholic. (:

    • C Michael Patton

      Actually, while I have a respect for the Catholic Church, the more Protestant I become. That is almost word for word what justo Gonzalez said to me a few weeks ago when he was at Credo. I tend to agree.

      However, all you are prevented from doing is definitively pronouncing someone to heaven or hell. You certainly can express your fallible belief. Trent says that if I deny transubstantiation, I am anathema. Is that true? Am I anathema if I sent transubstantiation?

    • C Michael Patton

      In the words of Butthead . . . “Excommunication sucks . . . Ahhh hu hu hu hu”

      Bevis: “no it doesn’t Butthead. There is fire, fire, fire, fire. Burned at the stake.”

      Butthead: “Oh yeah. Excommunication rules!”

    • Irene

      Easy, fellas. First, “imprimatur” and “nihil obstat” don’t mean that such and such material is declared to be infallibly true, or even true in the normal sense of the word. It specifically means that the writing contains nothing which contradicts the official declarations of the church. There’s a difference.

      Second, here is a blip from Catholic Answers that puts the term anathema in context. So, Michael, your answer is no, you cannot be anathematized. If you were a) Catholic and b)teaching no transubstantiation, then theoretically you could be excommunicated. But just look at Catholic politicians to see how often that is actually practiced.

      But this [damned as a heretic] is not what the term means. In Catholic documents the term refers to a kind of excommunication. By the time of the Council of Trent (which Chick faults for using it), it referred to an excommunication done with a special ceremony. Thus when Trent says things like “If anyone says . . . let him be anathema,” it means that the person can be excommunicated with the ceremony. It also did not apply to Protestants since they were not part of the Catholic Church. Only someone who is part of the Catholic Church can be excommunicated from it.

      The purpose of excommunication is not to damn a person but to bring him to repentance—the same principle Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Corinthians 2:5—10.

      Further, though ordinary excommunication still exists, the ceremonial form of excommunication (anathema) does not exist. The 1983 Code of Canon Law ended the penalty. Thus, while one can still be excommunicated for holding beliefs against the Catholic faith, one cannot be anathematized.

    • mbaker

      Irene,

      Thanks for your answers here. I have several dear Catholic friends that I value, and who who believe in His saving grace.

      I think the worst thing we can do is to doubt that they are saved too, despite our Protestant disagreemenst with some of their beliefs. Not every Catholic, I know at least, believes in what has been outlined in this post.

    • C Michael Patton

      Irene,

      Please understand the rather awkward position you put us in. First you point us away from something that has the imprimatur and nihil obstat telling us that it does not necessarily contain a correct interpretation. Then you point us to Catholic Answers video that does not even have a imprimatur and nihil obstat. Then you further offer your interpretation which contains neither as well. All the while believing that the Catholic Church is necessary to keep interpretations straight, especially about big matters. This always comes back to the age old question Who has the authority to interpret the church? Why are there so many interpretations?

      Of course that is tongue-in-cheek and simply shows how living authorities don’t solve much as we all eventually return to our own interpretations. I have had this discussion for years with some good Catholic friends, never coming to any conclusions since we can’t call up the Pope or call a council to figure this out.

      What it means to anathematize is one of those things. No dogma, only variously accepted doctrines that are hard to interpret and do not carry infallibility.

      And it is not as if this is a minor question.

      However, what you say is right from one Catholic school of thought. The ironic thing in this school is that it is actually easier to make it to heaven by remaining a Protestant than it is by becoming Catholic! Why, because we remain invincibly ignorant outside the faith. This means that if we were Catholic and denied Transubstantiation, we are in trouble as anathemas are more likely. But if we are Protestant and denied Transubstantiation, we are good since we can’t be held guilty for something we are either ignorant of or unconvinced of.

      Finally, Trent was part of the Counter-Reformation. It would not have been convened had it not been for Protestants, so I will have to disagree with you pretty strongly here . . . the anathemas were for Protestants. Besides that, there is the school of thought that any Catholic who denies any Catholic doctrine (i.e. cafeteria Catholics) is by definition, Protestant.

      But here we go again, interpreting the Church that is very difficult to interpret. All we can really do is offer our best opinion until a ordinary or extraordinary means of dogma is produced about these specific questions.

      Until then, I will have to stick with the history of the issues, rather than what I see so many doing in following the historical revisionism of the Church. Back then, excommunication was not just a slap on the wrist. It was a ticket to hell. Just ask Frederick II and follow his crusade (pardon the pun) through this issue. Outside the church there is no salvation tied in very closely with excommunication and anathemas.

      Having said that, I am glad that, from my perspective, you hold to the revisionist side of things. As MBaker said, I like you believing that I can make it to heaven even in my wrong doctrine. I agree with her that Catholics will to. Catholics and Protestants are both saved the same way in my theology: calling on God through Jesus to have mercy on them. Perfect theology, for the most part, optional.

    • anonymous

      not sure I understand all the subtlely, don’t need to-
      EVERY minute, the Lord is my portion, my reward…

      The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” Lam 3:24 “

      Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps 73: 25-26

      Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. John 14:23

    • theoldadam

      When I was a Catholic, I believed in transubstantiation.

      It was what I was taught.

      But then I learned about faith. Not walking by sight…but trusting even against what I see. That’s when I became a con-substantiationist.

      He is in, under, and with the bread and the wine. How? Who knows. God knows.

      • Craig Giddens

        God is omnipresent, but actually only indwells the believer. The Bible specifically tells us Jesus is seated on the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 1:3, 1 Peter 3:22) and yet indwells the believer (John 14:16-18, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 4:30, Colossians 1:27).

    • Irene

      ” First you point us away from something that has the imprimatur and nihil obstat telling us that it does not necessarily contain a correct interpretation.”
      I wasn’t trying to lessen or contradict anything in that Catholic Encyclopedia article Greg posted. I was just tweaking his informal definition. Often, people will point out an imprimatur and say, “See? See, here? This means that this is official church teaching!” That is not technically true.

      ” Then you point us to Catholic Answers video that does not even have a imprimatur and nihil obstat. ”
      I pasted part of a tract about Jack Chick. Those types of things don’t typically have an imprimatur. It isn’t necessary to have an imprimatur for a piece of writing to be true and in line with the Catholic faith. Catholic Answers is a reputable group and gave a concise answer to your anathema question. I’ll have to root around for a modern piece on the anathema question with an imprimatur, if that’s what you are looking for.

      You don’t seem to accept the Catholic Answers explanation. And your reason is that there are multiple answers floating around and that the Church is confusing?
      It doesn’t make sense to say the reason for one answer being wrong is that other answers exist.

      Anathema and excommunication fall under Canon Law. The imprimatur date on Greg’s article is 1907. The Church now has the 1983 code of canon law. Before that was the 1917 code. What was before that I’m not sure. So the excommunication ceremony described in Greg’s article is from an outdated code of canon law.

      When Catholics (or any people) are confused, it’s normally because they don’t know the answer. If the Church has not given an official answer, then most likely, it has not made a dogmatic declaration on that matter, in which case Catholics are perfectly free to debate and hold differing opinions (issues such as the length of creation, nuts and bolts of predestination, and various private…

    • Irene

      …various private revelations.

    • C Michael Patton

      Yeah, I know Catholic theology pretty well. The idea is that a living authority is necessary to keep the unity. I was pointing out the irony of two things: your slight on something that is more official in favor of a video blog and the difficulty in figuring out to understand that darn magisterial living authority. We are all fallible interpreters of some infallible source and we all come to varying conclusions.

      Fun stuff.

    • Irene

      ” We are all fallible interpreters of some infallible source and we all come to varying conclusions.”

      Maybe so, but some of those infallible sources can talk back and might even excommunicate you! (;

      I do appreciate all your knowledge, and I’ve appreciated your comments. (:

    • C Michael Patton

      Wait. You can talk to the Pope???!! You can get an infallible statement from him about this issue? Please call him and let us know what he says!

      😉

      21 ecumenical councils in 2000 years and three or four infallible statements by the man hardly qualify for “talking back” to us. And once they do finally talk, everyone debates endlessly what they meant (e.g. V2). I love V2 as it, in my interpretation, undoes just about 1/2 of the missteps of Trent. But. . . Interpretations are interpretations.

    • C Michael Patton

      And I definitely appreciate you. All your comments are always so representative of the spirit of this blog. I can’t wait for glory where we sit down are see how much we were both wrong about, but glorify the God-man whom we know truly but not fully.

    • Indeed nice to see/hear “Irene” once again! We can always learn much from this ‘RC’! 🙂

    • In my opinion, this subject is a real historical as well as a biblical-theological one. We must do our homework here! This is where the Greco-Roman of St. Paul surely matters, i.e. the “musterion” (Gk.) is Revelation, and not just something “hidden”!

    • Jason Pratt

      Michael: “The ironic thing in this school is that it is actually easier to make it to heaven by remaining a Protestant than it is by becoming Catholic!”

      Not necessarily; if Catholic doctrine is true, and the explanation offered by Catholic Answers is true, the only people who can be excommunicated from the Church are people who were already properly inducted into the Church, therefore who are people God will certainly save from their sins eventually.

      In effect, the explanation from Catholic Answers means that an anathema hands unrepentant Catholics over to purgatory, not to hell. Protestants may go to purgatory, too, or to hell, depending on various circumstances, but can’t be anathematized and excom’d (because they haven’t been inducted into the fullness of the Church yet).

      An particular excom’d Catholic might not make it into heaven as easy as this or that more devout Protestant Christian, but he’s certainly going to get there eventually (per RCC doctrine), whereas a particular Protestant Christian might not.

      Thus St. Paul expects the Stepmom-Sleeping Guy from 1 Corinthians to be saved in the Day of the Lord to come eventually even if his flesh is destroyed first by being handed over to Satan; or as another example, Heb 10 involves people who have tasted the good things of the Spirit (and so who demonstrate the intention of the Spirit to save them from sin) being handed over to God for chastising vindication parallel to what God intends for the rebel Jews in Deut 32 (cited by the Hebraist): after they’ve been destroyed in the Day of the Lord to come, until they are neither slave nor free (a euphamism for being killed insofar as it is possible to kill anyone), the rebels will finally learn better, repent and be restored to fellowship with the Lord and with the righteous. Thus God vindicates even His rebel people.

      (This fits Christian universalism, too, of course, but could also fit varieties of Calvinistic soteriology.)

    • […] Patton at Parchment and Pen gives a good explanation of Christ’s presence in this post on the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. In refutation of this doctrine, which proclaims that the Eucharist represents the real presence of […]

    • C Michael Patton

      Well, again, besides the fact that the anathemas in question were written at Trent, directly to the Protestant issue, and besides the fact that to be outside the church there is no salvation, and besides the fact that since V2 we are seen as part of the church, just separated bretheren, it is easier, from my studies, to get into heaven as a Protestant since we cannot possibly fit the bill for the mortal sins that send so many Catholics down the tube (disagreement in doctrine, missing Mass without a valid excuse, use of birth control, etc). All of these I do. But I am covered since one qualification is that one has to know and believe it is a mortal sin before they commit it. I never will. So I am cool (literally). But the Catholic (about 75% of whom take birth control or disagree with the Church on the matter) are in mortal sin which kills the grace of God in their soul. So they have to make sure they make it to a preist. I don’t.

      So, if Catholicism is true, I am better off being a Protestant.

      But, this is not the issue of this thread. Soon, I will write on this issue specifically. I have some really good material on this. I even have some very significant admissions that this is true from Catholic apologists. How do they respond? You will just have to wait and see.

      • Stone

        Can you provide a link to this article?

        So, if Catholicism is true, I am better off being a Protestant.

        But, this is not the issue of this thread. Soon, I will write on this issue specifically. I have some really good material on this. I even have some very significant admissions that this is true from Catholic apologists. How do they respond? You will just have to wait and see.

      • Stone

        Michael,

        Did you ever write that article? I would appreciate a link to it. Otherwise can you share the material you have on this?

        So, if Catholicism is true, I am better off being a Protestant.

        But, this is not the issue of this thread. Soon, I will write on this issue specifically. I have some really good material on this. I even have some very significant admissions that this is true from Catholic apologists. How do they respond? You will just have to wait and see.

    • John

      Michael: “You must understand first that sola Scriptura is a doctrine that says that Scripture is the ultimate trump card. So if Scripture is not clear or is against this (which I think it is), then it is the norm that norms which is not normed.”

      But Michael…. didn’t we have discussions a while back where you said tradition is supposed to be authoritative? Unless scripture flat out says the traditional position is wrong, you have to accept it, or else rewrite a long history of your position on the value of tradition. Here we are again with your inconsistency, on one hand saying how tradition is an authority, and on the other hand throwing it under the bus even when it is as unanimous as it is on this issue. Give us the unarguable, incontrovertible verse for your position, or else it fails. Or else finally admit that tradition is utterly devoid of authority.

      “Do you accept everything the Fathers said? (And, yes, this is a set up).”

      But Michael… as far as I see, there is no more certain witness to a doctrine than on this issue. This is not some side issue that one or two random fathers “got wrong”. This is pretty central to a big portion of the fathers, and to historical Christian theology. So all your talk about the authority of tradition is shown to be nonsense. If you want to throw tradition under the bus, be my guest, but be consistent about it. Don’t claim tradition has authority, but then reject it when it is most clear.

    • Nathan James Norman

      This is a thoughtful article, thank you. I agree with your conclusions and all your points, except point 3: “It does not take Christ literally enough (2).

      In Hebrew literature “cup” was an idiom/metaphor for one’s destiny or future. In this metaphor, it was the contents of the cup which were under scrutiny. (See Psalm 11:6 for a cursed cup, and Psalm 16:5 for a cup of blessing). So, when Jesus speaks of the cup, it seems rather likely that he is using this Hebrew understanding and, even taken “literally” is referring to the contents of the cup.

      Again, I agree with your conclusions, but I don’t think point 3 will get you there.

    • Jason Pratt

      Michael: {{It is one thing to read interesting theological loopholes to get out of the pickle, but when you read—and I mean really read—church history focusing on primary documents, this change but not really idea quickly loses its viability.}}

      Obviously I (currently) agree or else I wouldn’t be (currently) Protestant. But I thought the post was about the interesting theology, not about complaints on the RCC not being consistent about what counts as infallible teaching of faith and morals.

      John: {{But Michael…. didn’t we have discussions a while back where you said tradition is supposed to be authoritative? Unless scripture flat out says the traditional position is wrong, you have to accept it, or else rewrite a long history of your position on the value of tradition. […] [A]s far as I see, there is no more certain witness to a doctrine than on this issue. This is not some side issue that one or two random fathers “got wrong”. This is pretty central to a big portion of the fathers, and to historical Christian theology.}}

      Yep, I remember those discussions, too. And it isn’t like the scriptures CLEARLY say transsub is false, or CLEARLY say that some other theory about the Lord’s Supper is clearly true. (By contrast, there is at least a feasible prima facie case that the scriptures clearly teach hopeless punishment of one or another kind.)

      I also recall you not long ago writing that where you yourself couldn’t see how the scriptural testimony you accepted added up theologically, you were prepared to accept the doctrines anyway as being something no one could even in principle rationally accept and to even try to understand would be heresy. Why could RCCs not just as validly fall back on the same position (as in fact they historically have on occasion), at least for self-defense on their doctrines if not to accuse you of heresy for using your “human reason” to oppose the mysterious truth of their doctrines?

    • Irene

      Greg(Tiribulus) asked: ” Am I deluding myself with my life that is utterly consumed and defined by Jesus Christ? Is it all a lie?.”

      No, but you are missing out. There is more to receive than what you already have. I used to be a devout Lutheran and thought I was on the right track in my faith. It turned out, it wasn’t so much that I was on the wrong track, but that I was limiting Him.
      Here’s my own dumb little analogy. Being a Protestant was like holding a snowcone. You have to be careful how you hold it. Don’t let it melt or drip out the bottom. It was like you had to guard this special thing. You had this special theology of the 3 solas, Always filtering new ideas and methods through them. Like you were a guard for the glory of God! Be careful! Never let anything overshadow God’s Work and His Glory.
      But then it was like He dragged me out the door. If the Protestant faith was like a snowcone, the Catholic faith is like being outside in a beautiful snowfall. God didn’t need me to protect his glory. He wanted me to experience his glory. Not crude little shavings of frozen water that fit in a paper cup, but infinite beautiful snowflakes, each one a marvelous perfection. Not a faith I could hold in my hand, but a faith that enveloped me. Not a faith that depended upon me to keep it pure and intact, but a faith that came from far above me. So, now I guess you could say I am making snow angels. And I know God is smiling at me. My snowcone lies abandoned on the ground.

      About this separated brethren thing: don’t let it get you too at ease. I had never heard the term “illegitimate churches” Michael referred to earlier in this thread, but I have heard the term “ecclesiastical communities” to refer to Protestant “churches”. Only the Eastern Orthodox, that I am aware of, is referred to as “the other lung of THE CHURCH”.

    • C Michael Patton

      I am not sure what you all are getting at about tradition. Tradition is simply “teaching.” Scripture is written tradition and the interpretation of Scripture is unwritten tradition.

      I believe the Scriptures clearly teach that Transubstantiation is wrong just as I do think they teach that papal infallibility, the Marian dogmas, and purgatory are wrong. They are all just absent. Therefore, they cannot be a part of the regula fide guide which the Holy Spirit has tought everywhere always and by all throughout the church. Indeed, they are not. Just step into Irenaeus as you will find this from the beginning. So the regula fide (tradition) stands gaurd over the Scriptures because the Holy Spirit is in the heart of believers leading them to a proper interpretation of the Scriptures when the doctrine is held always, everywhere, and by all. This way, someone cannot come in 2000 years later and say that they have discovered something essential which has never been held.

      As well. everyone has authoritative tradition. The one who says that tradition plays no part, only Scripture is a tradition itself! “No creed but the Bible” is a creed!!

    • C Michael Patton

      Is there any way to like my own post? That last one was good!

    • C Barton

      I appreciate the collective scholarship of the comments above. Many of us would spend hours to examine what you have at your fingertips.Yet I wonder if this issue cannot be resolved by one with ordinary skills, by a correct discernment of the scriptures?
      Jesus said that he would send the Comforter (Holy Spirit) after he is gone, indicating that he will not return to earth in bodily form until certain criteria are met, including Israel’s confession, etc. On the other hand, he said that he would always be with us and in us. If he is with us and the HS is within us, there is no necessity for him to manifest in the inanimate bread and wine. I submit that such a thing is a subversion of his person and his divinity.

    • theoldadam

      He also said, “This IS my body…this IS my blood.”

      And He said, “Whoever does not eat my body and drink my blood, has no life in them.”

    • John

      Michael: “You must understand first that sola Scriptura is a doctrine that says that Scripture is the ultimate trump card. So if Scripture is not clear or is against this (which I think it is), then it is the norm that norms which is not normed. ”

      But Michael… when does tradition have the authority which you claim it does? If we consider all the possible combinations: scripture clear/unclear tradition clear/unclear, when exactly does tradition have authority? I would have thought the little gap you leave for it would be scripture unclear, tradition clear. If you don’t leave that gap, when does tradition have ANY authority? WHEN? This is the question I keep asking you.

      “The Pharisees had in their tradition for many many years that spitting on the ground on Sunday was a violation of the sabbath as it could lead to plowing. Christ came in an over turned many of their traditions.”

      Do you actually think these situations are comparable? I don’t think they are, but assuming they are, what possible authority can you leave for tradition with such a negative view of it?

      “But more importantly, it is not really presence that I am arguing against. It is the real PHYSICAL presence which (and don’t miss this) must be believed in order to keep from being anathematized. This is uniquely a Roman Catholic dogma and it is this which all the arguments push back on.”

      What the RCC anathematises is irrelevant to the truth of this doctrine. And I don’t think this doctrine is uniquely RCC. I know Orthodox don’t think the presence is “spiritual”. I don’t think Lutherans or high Anglicans do either. And “body” and “blood” are distinctively physical attributes of the human being, not spiritual attributes. If you’re going to accept any presence, its the physical that the bible talks of. Why accept spiritual presence?

    • John

      “John’s Gospel was the second most distributed Gospel in the early church. Most people did not have even one Gospel.”

      That is irrelevant to sound exegesis. Nobody counts distribution as a means of interpreting an author.

      John is very acontextual. Even if you look at chapter 1, it dives into things that are meaningless to the new reader. In the beginning was “the word”. What word? What is that about? You would have no idea if you weren’t a Christian already.

      ” One does not even have to read between the lines to see that John though his message was sufficient.”

      You’re going on again about the RCC’s anathemas. Which are irrelevant to the truth of this doctrine.

      BTW, if we’re going to take whatever can be found in each and every gospel account as definitive of the true and essential gospel, I’m not seeing salvation by faith alone in the gospels. Where is it in Matthew? Can you prove it definitively from Matthew in a debate without other books? If not, doesn’t the Protestant reason for being vanish?

    • C Michael Patton

      Actually the Orthodox believe in the real physical presence, they just don’t accept Rome’s definition of it.

      When you say that this is irrelevant, you are missing the point of this post. The reason why this particular argument about John is crucial is because Rome’s abiding anathema is one of my main concerns here. It may not be yours, but the post must determine what arguments are relevant.

      Concerning the importance of tradition in my spiritual epistemology, I have an extremely high view. But I have written so much on this throught the years I would not know how to begin to express it. The best I can do now (since I unfortunately don’t have the time to engage in my own blog comments much—my engagement as of late has been active, bit this is not the norm), I will have to punt to another very extensive post found here: http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/10/evangelicals-we-can-and-we-must-distinguish-between-essentials-and-non-essentials-better/

      I hope this helps.

    • C Michael Patton

      ““John’s Gospel was the second most distributed Gospel in the early church. Most people did not have even one Gospel.”

      That is irrelevant to sound exegesis. Nobody counts distribution as a means of interpreting an author.”

      That is quite a definitive statement. You probably ought to ask what relevance this has rather than making such an assertive and dismissive assumption.

      This is very relevant so long as you know what I mean. It is used to support the understanding that historically, when we look at distribution and ownership of these books, most people did not have much. They may have had one or two works available to them. Matthew was the most widely distributed. John, when writing, was not writing assuming that people had already heard this Gospel. This is evidenced in his words (“many other things Christ said and did, but these have been written so that you might believe…” It was not a Christian community he was writing to. The distribution of the manuscripts shows how this book was carried (much of the time by itself) as an all inclusive work (a lot like many missionaries do today). This fits a late date and helps to understand and affirm that the purpose of the work was not to append the other Gospels.

      This is all part of exegesis. You must look toward everything, even the context of understanding which the people had to which he was writing to. It help understand the assumptions (if any) toward Christ, the Gospel, the church, and, in this case, the Lord’ s table that John expected the people to have.

      In short, John’s exclusion of the Lord’s table narrative is very important for one who claims that right practice and a literal belief in this doctrine is essential for one’s salvation.

      Again, this is not me alone saying this. It is often thought that John’s Gospel, due to the absence of the Lord’s table, is, in part, a polemic against such abuses in his day. I am not sure that I believe this. But it is incredibly curious that he would leave it out. I don’t even believe in the real presence nor that it is necessary for salvation, and I am uncomfortable having John leave it out! And, had he included it, it adds nothing to the argument. But its exclusion is quite significant in my opinion.

    • C Michael Patton

      And “the word” is the Logos. It is actually a very Greek concept that Christians adopted. John’s use of it is evidence, actually, that he was not writing to Christians. Look up the philosophical context for “logos” and you will see what I mean.

      But I am glad you are thinking things through. I would just approach this with questions as it does not seem as though you should or can be so definitive about things you speaking.

    • C Michael Patton

      I never said that the doctrine of salvation by faith alone was essential for salvation.

      However, John’s Gospel only mentions faith leading to life. Therefore, John’s Gospel does teach justification by faith alone very clearly. For example, if you were sick and dying and a doctor gave you one bottle of medicine and said that this will heal you, you would not assume that he meant that you were suppose to take two medicines. The absence of any other remedy is a strong argument. In this case, an argument from silence is pretty good.

      So, again, John’s lack of inclusion of the Lord’s Supper narrative is deafening.

    • LUKE1732

      Actually the Orthodox believe in the real physical presence, they just don’t accept Rome’s definition of it.

      But in the OP you said:

      Most of the remaining Protestant traditions (myself included) don’t believe in any real presence, either spiritual or physical, but believe that the Eucharist is a memorial

      …so shouldn’t you want to refute the Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran AND Anglican notions of the Real Presence – not just quibble with Aquinas, Trent, and Transubstantiation?

      Do you cut the others slack because they don’t use the word “anathema”?

      How is it possible that Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant (high church) all misunderstood (and in pretty much the same way) what was really going on at the Last Supper?

      • C Michael Patton

        Luke, it is just limiting the subject of the Post. And only some Anglicans believe in this. Lutherans have a different scheme and Orthodox don’t like Transubstantiation. Only the Catholics dogmatize that it is essential for salvaion. So, only one thing at a time.

        But, yes, there is a lot of slack for those who don’t anathemtize me for not agreeing. They Rupertus Meldenius in his creed, “in essentials unity, in non-essential, liberty…” That is significant for me. If you have read my blog much, this becomes very clear. Hope that makes sense.

    • Irene

      Michael, you said on a previous comment–

      “I have yet to find an exegetical commentator who comes to these conclusions, even about John 6, liberal or conservative. One must overlay their pre concluded position to make this work IMO.”

      and then in the thread on rewards in heaven, you said gave an explanation of what an exegetical commentator is–
      “But an exegetical commentary is focused on historical-grammatico hermeneutics. In other words, they are commentaries which seek to understand the author’s intent and, often, leave broader theological implications and influences aside. Grammar, historical background, context of the argument, attitude of the writer, literature, and original languages are all important here.”

      Would you also call this a historical-critical commentator, or do I misunderstand?

      John was writing to a community with a common history and their own traditions. If not established Christians, then at least Jews, right? There are so many allusions to Jewish history.

      So why depend on an exegetical commentator for evidence of the Eucharist in John, when the book wasn’t written for them? Wouldn’t it make the most sense to put the most stock in a converted Jewish commentator (if you could find one)?

      Why depend on a non-Christian interpretation in order to derive Christian meaning?

      You list as a major reason for not believeing in Eucharist the absence of explicit mention in John. You say you don’t see Eucharist in John because exegetical commentators don’t. At the same time, you are dismissing the Christian fathers who did see it. They saw it not just in oral tradition, but there inside the book of John.

      For example, what do you think John meant by recording Jesus as Lamb of God?

      • C Michael Patton

        Irene,

        I the issue with John has to do primarily with Rome’s claims that it is essential for salvation, not the issue of Transubstantiation. I come to this conclusion on my own, but it is verified by commentators. It is not historical-critical commentator, but historical-grammatico or authorial intent hermeneutics. Historical-critical normally refers to something a bit different, but sometimes this can be splitting hairs.

        So, why do we rely on commentators? Because the interpretation of Scripture is our primary source. If we don’t see it in the Scripture when one follows a proper method of hermeneutics, then this is our ultimate authority. One cannot interpret the Bible however they want. One cannot read into the Scriptures their traditions. And theological commentaries on the Scriptures (glosses included) are only concerned with theology (the second step in the theological process. One must first approach the Scriptures on their own term, attempting to understand what they meant then. What they mean to us is irrelevant. The Bible is not a magic book from which we can see what we want. It is not a book confined to a few who tell us what it means. It is a book that is to be studied and authorial intent hermeneutics is the only way to study it with integrity in my opinion.

        Jesus as the Lamb of God has to be understood in the historical context in which it was written. It is an allusion to God’s perfect redemptive sacrifice.

        Some people believe John was writing to Jews. Some believe to the Greeks. I believe he was a bit more cosmopolitan and we don’t have to make such a choice. Either way, he clearly says that he was writing to people so that they would believe and have life. It goes without saying that these people, in John’s mind, were not already believing or his comment makes no sense.

        So, as you can see, it is hard to say that a right belief and practice in the Eucharist is essential for salvation (as Rome says) if John fails to mention it. But this does not even speak of Paul to the Romans who does not mention it. It is clear from the beginning that Paul’s intention is to give the Romans a comprehensive presentation of the Gospel. And, again, the Eucharist is undoubtedly absent from his teaching. He did not see it as important as Rome.

        As for the Church Fathers, it is not unlike a lot of undeveloped doctrine. They just took it in the simplest form, which is okay, especially pre-controversy. It is like the atonement. “Christ died for you.” No one really developed what the “for” meant until controversy arose. They just understood it in its simplest form. In the 11th century we see some controversy and development here. When the fathers say “this is his body” I would be careful about reading Transubstantiation into it. It was, in my opinion, but a seed doctrine until the 8th century and an infant until the 12th. All of this to say that while I place a lot of stock in tradition, we must be careful not to anachronistically read our understanding into theirs. As well, we also have to keep in mind that much tradition is wrong.

        I ask you again: Do you believe everything that the early church fathers taught (and, yes, this is a setup again!)? 🙂

        • C Michael Patton

          Okay, for the next few days I am going to be nothing but teaching. I actually teach on Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism tonight and the Lordship Savation Debate.

          Then, tomorrow, it is the two Crusades of King Louis (can’t wait). Then it is how to teach (Principles of Biblical Teaching).

          After this, I have a two day board meeting.

          Please say a pray for me as this starts a long sprint.

    • Greg

      Michael,

      As a Protestant considering Catholicism, I was interested in your #5 objection and what it could mean for transubstantiation.

      Since this was a complex objection, I asked Bryan Cross over at the Called to Communion blog his thoughts on it, and he pointed me to a comment he had written about it recently in response to RC Sproul raising the same objection.

      So here is that link: http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/12/church-fathers-on-transubstantiation/

      It is comment #185.

      Michael, it’d be nice to see you post your objections in less-friendly forums and see how they hold up. It’s always more interesting to see equals battle then non-equals.

    • John

      ” Only the Catholics dogmatize that it is essential for salvaion. So, only one thing at a time. ”

      This whole post is not “one thing at a time” because it confuses the doctrine with RCC position about its importance. But if you want to get technical, I don’t think RCC says believing it is essential for salvation ( except in so far as RCC says you need to believe everything it says ). But let me ask you this: is the lord’s supper an essential part of the Christian faith? Or is it an optional extra for churches to do. If you say essential, then your own argument about john’s ( supposed ) omission comes crashing on your head just as hard. If you say it’s not essential to Christianity, I’d like to hear your reasoning, and if it allows the rest of the faith to be disposed of too.

    • Jason Pratt

      God’s grace on your teaching schedule, Michael! {g}

      Michael: “I believe the Scriptures clearly teach that Transubstantiation is wrong just as I do think they teach that papal infallibility, the Marian dogmas, and purgatory are wrong. They are all just absent. Therefore, they cannot be a part of the regula fide guide which the Holy Spirit has tought everywhere always and by all throughout the church.”

      Now that’s just confusion of thought (maybe from being tired). Even if an absent doctrine (or an undeveloped seed doctrine as you later allow transsub to be) cannot be a part of the regular fide guide which the Holy Spirit has taught everywhere always and by all throughout the church, that isn’t the same as scripture teaching clearly against it. Scripture can only clearly teach against it by clearly teaching something else instead: clearly teaching against is a positive action in itself.

      And if you thought the scriptures actually did teach clearly against it, you would have cited what the scriptures clearly teach differently on the topic, instead of appealing to what the absence of the doctrine (at least clearly 😉 ) in the scriptures mean.

      But if the doctrine is a seed doctrine brought out by centuries of reflection on what the scriptures do teach — much like the fully developed trinitarian doctrine set! — then that’s obviously another category again, and not a category to be lightly dismissed.

    • Irene

      Do I believe everything the church fathers taught?

      That’s an impossibility, because they were not unanimous on all points. The canon of Scripture is a good example.

      Do good teaching about Catholicism and Orthodoxy! Saint Peter pray for us! (:

    • C Michael Patton

      John, “essential” in what way? It’s essential for ecclesiology, something John was not dealing with. John was dealing with salvation.

      Not quite the pickle you thought, eh? 🙂

      You need to check out the newest post.

    • C Michael Patton

      Quick post before bed. 🙂

    • C Michael Patton

      Jason, I did not understand a word you said. (Maybe its because your tired?)

    • C Michael Patton

      So, Irene, you are saying there are some traditions you believe and some you don’t?

      How do you test which ones are right and which are wrong? Well, as a good Catholic, you rely on your fallible interpretation of the magisterium. I rely on my fallible interpretation of the Scriptures and other church traditions, with the Scripture being the ultimate source.

    • C Michael Patton

      Greg, I agree. I don’t think that John six has anything to do with the Eucharist either. We just talked about that last week on Theology Unplugged. It certainly would not make any sense to John’s audience if it did.

    • C Michael Patton

      Okay, I really am done. I just love discussing this too much. :/)

      Btw: my teaching on Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy was quit a bit of fun. These posts help me to get energized.

    • C Michael Patton

      Greg,

      Sproul is no mean theologian. He seems to have a pretty good handle on Roman Catholic docrine and the problem he presents is substantial. Monophysitism (post-resurrection) is the elephant in the room. The fact that Chalcedon did not feel it nedessary to handle this problem is telling that they did not have the same understanding as Rome today. The Aristotilian distinctions don’t do anything as it is not just peices of Christ that are present on countless places, but “the whole of Christ,” not that that makes too much a difference anyway. R

    • Irene

      Michael,
      You wrote (in response to John’s excellent point in #39 this page 2)–
      “John, “essential” in what way? It’s essential for ecclesiology, something John was not dealing with. John was dealing with salvation.”

      I think John’s point is still valid because your answer implies that
      1)ecclesiology is non-essential to salvation
      2)there is a hard line bewteen ecclesiology and salvation
      3)the Eucharist only falls under ecclesiology, not under salvation

      These three reasons come from the theological lens with which you are viewing John. Through this lens you arrive at your theological conclusion: John doesn’t (you say) mention the Eucharist, so it is nonessential for salvation.

      ————-
      Michael, you also said,

      “Well, as a good Catholic, you rely on your fallible interpretation of the magisterium. I rely on my fallible interpretation of the Scriptures and other church traditions, with the Scripture being the ultimate source.”

      My fallible interpretation of the magisterium gives me an infallible, alphabetized and spell checked list of the inspired books. Does your fallible interpretation of the Scriptures give you one?
      (I’ve always wondered how Protestants can claim to do canonical exegisis, or “read the Scriptures as a whole” as they are so fond of saying, with a fallible canon.)
      You can’t seriously tell me there’s no difference between the Magisterium and the Scriptures. In fact, isn’t that what this whole post is about? The Magisterium going beyond the Scriptures?

    • LUKE1732

      It certainly would not make any sense to John’s audience if it did.

      So, John’s audience got it right, but then somehow things ran off the rails such that the Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican churches have it all wrong to this day.

      Can you pinpoint the time/event when that happened? Was there a time in the very early Church when some Christians will had it right and others had the Catholic view? Shouldn’t there be writings of the early church that address and debunk what became the Catholic misunderstanding?

    • C Michael Patton

      Irene,

      Issues of ecclesiology are essential for salvation? Which ones? Church government? Liturgy? How to elect a new pope? Can’t be there as all of these have changed. And it can’t be the Lords supper since John leaves it out

      And your fallible interpretation and belief in the church does not really give you an infallible canon since your belief in such is fallible. Again, since we both start with the real possibility that we can both be wrong (you about the church and me about the Bible) each of us has to deal with fallibility. I just take out the middle man. But it is no different. We both have our fallible interpretations and beliefs.

    • C Michael Patton

      The Catholic Church is the only one who says that it is essential to believe and practice right to be saved.

      We are all going around and around in circles.

      I don’t think anyone has anything else to add that will be new or keep us moving forward.

      The OP is clear to me and is strong: the Bible does not teach the Transubstantiation. I have not seen any of the five points answered.

      We probably better let this one go as I cannot allow you all to waste time having the same discussion over and over. It has been good though.

    • Jeff Ayers

      Excrement.
      Argumentum ad absurdum

      and

      reductio ad absurdum

      Disproof of a proposition by showing that it leads to absurd or untenable conclusions.

      Theology, logic, Bible doctrine , the words of Paul and the words of Jesus flow off the catholics back faster than water through a sieve.

      But what shocks the average catholic back into reality is the simple question:

      “Where does the body and blood of Christ go after 12-24 hours?”

      Does their wafer god get defecated?

      This may seem like shocking, disrespectful and out of bounds. BUT THAT IS THE ONLY LOGICAL CONCLUSION ONE CAN COME TO.

      ICorinthians 11 gives the proper understanding of the Lords Supper.

      1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

      And it is no coincidence that Paul says : 1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

      The heresy of transubstantiation helps us to see the ABSURDITY of such a doctrine.

    • John

      “Does their wafer god get defecated?”

      Catholics have dealt with this question. I forget the official answer, but it ceases to be the body and blood when it is digested, or after 24 hours or something. I forget the details, but this is a really bad argument.

    • Jeff Ayers

      Your response is “the really bad arguement”.
      We are dealing with the Lord Jesus Christ.

      And the best argument that can be proffered is that it ceases to be body and blood (the blood of God manifest in the flesh) or after 24 hours OR SOMETHING!!!!!!

      Where is any of this absurdity found in the scriptures?

      Sad, deceived, heresy and an offense to the Great God who formed all things.

    • John

      If you ask an obscure question, why must the answer be in the scriptures? The point is, there are possible speculative answers. Your attempt at reductio ad absurdum failed. If there is a possible answer that is not absurd, then your argument fails, because it is not reductio ad absurdum. You’re welcome for the logic lesson.

    • John

      But Greg, it is not unavoidable that “God gets defecated”, ergo your objection has no weight.

      And your question is obscure in that it has no bearing on anything of significance. What happens to it ultimately affects nothing, ergo, it doesn’t matter.

    • C Barton

      Jesus spoke of this duality of our human nature. What goes into a man (through his stomach) passes out into the drain. His point being that what we eat does not defile us, and by extention, sanctify us, either. That comes by Spirit.
      Jesus’ words about eating his flesh were not taken well by many who heard him, and yet we find no explanation nor example of its fulfillment except at the Last Supper. The Last Supper was a unique event. What he asked us to do is remember him by reenacting it. His body is in Heaven now, and in fact we as the church are called his body, also.
      The apostles made faith, repentence, and public confession the requisites for membership, and baptism after. There is no mention of the Lord’s supper as a requisite for salvation.

    • Irene

      When the host no longer appears as bread, it is no longer Jesus. This is why there is a 15 minute fast after Communion.

    • John

      “There is no mention of the Lord’s supper as a requisite for salvation.”

      Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

      It’s all a matter of perspective and interpretation isn’t it.

    • Irene

      Also, Paul said our Passover lamb has been sacrificed, therefore let us “keep the feast”.

      And the first Christians “broke bread” together.

    • C Barton

      Well, something as important as salvation has an authoritative answer, not just a matter of perspective. Jesus mentions being born again and salvation by faith in John 3:16 and many other places. “Whosoever” means everyone, but he never said we all must eat his physical flesh to have life. Paul spoke specifically in 1 Cor. About declaring the Lord’s death by the bread and cup. It is a special ritual we keep in the assembly as communion with him. Yet there is no mention there about the bread physically becoming human flesh. Paul says we are all one body in Christ.

    • John

      “Jesus mentions being born again and salvation by faith in John 3:16 and many other places.”

      John 3 also says you must be born of water which has always historically been understood as baptism. Interpretation and perspective again.

    • C Barton

      “Born of water” is understood by many as born of flesh, and that Jesus defines this later in the passage. Paul mentions baptism as baptism into Christ’s death, and being raised to new life in him, so it rather speaks of resurrection and not rebirth.
      I think by “a matter of interpretation”, you mean the origin of diverse doctrine and practice?
      Yet the Lord’s supper is practiced by all ecclesiastical bodies – we just disagree about its significance. But if there is an absolute truth in the matter then there can be only one answer.

    • C Barton

      When Jesus lifted up the cup, he said, “This is . . .”, and not, this will become, or this will be now and in the future.
      Even so, when we obey his command, his glory is seen over the bread and cup when we lift them up this way. This is why the apostle says that it is no longer an ordinary meal when we lift it up. This we all can agree!
      I personally see no reason or evidence that in contemporary times it actually becomes real flesh and blood, neither is it necessary for the Lord’s glory to be seen over it.

    • Delwyn Xavier Campbell

      The bread ceases to appear to be bread as soon as it enters the mouth; does that mean it ceases to be His Body the moment you chew on it (now chew on that!)? It would seem that the connection between the bread and His Body is rather tenuous.

    • J. Schwartz

      As Michael mentions, the RCC teaches both partaking of the elements and acceptance of the doctrine of transubstantiation are required for salvation. And, since the CC teaches a forensic justification that occurs in parallel with the process of sanctification, partaking of the eucharist is viewed as a necessary means of becoming righteous. I have often wondered, though, if Jesus’ teaching in Matt 15:17-20 doesn’t have application here. Just as eating with unwashed hands does not defile the eater it would seem a necessary corollary that nothing we eat can make us righteous (for the same reasons Christ gave – i.e. food passes into the stomach and is expelled). Christ identifies the heart as the source of defilement. It is likewise “with the heart one believes and is justified” (Romans 10:10).

    • LUKE1732

      You can create doubt in your own mind by focusing your attention on the digestive process but you still need to explain how your inability to understand and accept Jesus’ teaching in John 6 compares to the writings of the Church Fathers and the history of Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican belief.

      If they are all wrong, then there should be centuries of contemporaneous writings of Christians who believe in the Lack of Presence like you do today who would have at the time criticized the Heresy of the Real Presence.

      So, let’s see who can find the earliest denunciation of what later came to be called Transubstantiation.

    • John

      ” it would seem a necessary corollary that nothing we eat can make us righteous”

      Firstly, the Catholic Church does not teach that the Eucharist is simple food. It’s a supernatural help. Why does the book of James say to anoint the sick with oil? Why in the book of acts is someone healed with Paul’s handkerchief? The Eucharist is taught to be a supernatural medicine, just like other supernatural instances of physical instruments of medicine.

      Secondly, it’s not taught that it “makes you righteous” like forensic justification. Rather it is a supernatural medicine and help.

    • Irene

      John is right. It doesn’t “make you righteous”. You should already BE in a state of justification, (sanctifying grace within you), before you receive Jesus. If you are in a state of mortal sin when you receive him, you do yourself great harm.

    • Geoff

      My problem is that when you push hard enough there is no difference between a Real Presence view and a Spiritual Presence view.

      You end up getting non-fleshy flesh. You get some attempts at an explanation of how Christ’s body is there without having any attributes of a body being there. And then there seems to be no idea what “body” actually means in the context of the Lord’s Supper.

      So why not just hold a Spiritual Presence view?

    • John

      “So why not just hold a Spiritual Presence view?”

      So why not just hold a Real Presence view, if they are the same? Why go contrary to the two biggest churches and the historical view? Just to be difficult?

    • J. Schwartz

      John and Irene,

      According to the CCC [1393], “Holy Communion separates us from sin,” and “For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins.” This sounds to me as though the RCC is teaching the Eucharist is a means of increasing in righteousness. No? Call it a supernatural medicine if you will, but the ailment being treated is sin (i.e. unrighteousness). This teaching of the RCC appears to contradict Jesus’ own teaching in Matt 15:17-20. Righteousness is not obtained by ingesting food, regardless of the substance, just as the ingestion of food does not defile the eater. Jesus is saying the heart is what must be addressed and Paul tells us in Romans 10:10 that the “supernatural medicine” is faith (i.e. a believing heart).

    • John

      Well even as Luther was being condemned at the diet of Worms for justification by faith, Luther was happy to affirm the sacraments as a means of grace. How can it be?

      When we are dealing with these terms, people get gridlocked into narrow views. If you look up righteousness in the bible, it covers a lot of ground. On one level, doing good works is righteousness. And on that level there are infinite things I can do to improve my righteousness. Anyone who thinks biblical righteousness can only be forensic imaginary righteousness has biblically got their head in the sand. Do a word study on righteousness.

    • Irene

      J. Schwartz,

      When I say the Eucharist doesn’t “make you righteous”, I mean in the sense that it’s not like getting your ticket to heaven punched. It’s not equivalent to what, in the Protestant view, the “sinner’s prayer” does. As the CCC says in 1395–
      “The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins-that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation. The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church.”
      If you take the sacrament in a state of unworthiness, you harm yourself, as Paul says in 1 Cor 11. and CCC in 1385-
      “Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.”

      I think a lot of the misunderstandings and disagreements come from the differences between the Protestant and historic Catholic/Orthodox understandings of what righteousness is. Many Protestants would primarily see it as all or nothing. Light on or light off. Historically, righteousness is more a progression. We become more and more holy, as we become more and more unified with Christ. This unity with Christ is one of the fruits of the Eucharist.

    • Geoff

      “So why not just hold a Real Presence view, if they are the same? Why go contrary to the two biggest churches and the historical view? Just to be difficult?”

      Because it doesn’t make any sense. Non-fleshy flesh doesn’t have any meaning. It’s like saying “square circle.”

    • John

      “Because it doesn’t make any sense. Non-fleshy flesh doesn’t have any meaning. It’s like saying “square circle.””

      If that’s true that you haven’t been able to make sense of it, why should we believe you that they reduce to the same thing?

      And if it has no meaning, why is it filled with meaning for the world’s biggest religion?

    • Irene

      Doesn’t make any sense?
      You mean like creation out of nothing? Like 3 in 1 and 1 in 3? Like a virgin birth? Like changing water into wine? Like the multiplication of the loaves? Like healing with dirt and spit? Like walking on water?
      Like God dying?

      Is Scripture really so un-supernatural that the Real Presence can be denied because someone thinks it “makes no sense”?
      Can 1500+ years of Christian doctrine be dismissed because someone in 2013 doesn’t understand what they’re talking about?

      It can be difficult to put transubstantiation into words. (if This Is My Body isn’t enough for you) It takes some philosophical terms. But the complexity of an explanation, or the possibility that someone cannot or will not believe the explanation, does not make that explanation untrue.

    • Irene

      Greg,

      If one could accept the possibility that Christianity, for the majority of its history, and still today the overwhelming majority of Christendom, teaches the real physical presence in error, then St. Vincent’s canon, which CMP always references, has to be discarded. One would have to say the church went apostate very early on.
      Don’t know if you care about St. Vincent’s canon or not.
      Seems to me if one allows the possibility that the Holy Spirit could allow the Church to be in error, then one can have no confidence in the church’s teaching today, either.

    • LUKE1732

      Did the always present holy remnant leave any writings? How do you know it existed?

    • John

      “This is a BIG subject, but your church’s attempt at a monolithic earthly visible organization as if that could ever be THE bride of Christ was ill conceived from the start, is opposed by scripture and has been a non stop to this day God dishonoring disaster ”

      Depends what you mean by monolithic.

      You’re going to have to make SOME attempt to sort the wheat from the chaff, or you have no biblical canon. ALL the ancient church from which you derive your canon believed the real presence. You want to start paying attention to what weird heretical groups believed? Fine, you’ll have to consider their canon too. Maybe Marcion’s canon is to your liking? But if you want to accept the established church, then your objection doesn’t work.

    • Irene

      As far as CMP’s short list of arguments at the end of his original post, I think I can anticipate his arguments for “issues of anatomy” and “idolatry”, but does anyone know what he means by “practical things concerning Holy Orders”?

    • Geoff

      “You mean like creation out of nothing? Like 3 in 1 and 1 in 3? Like a virgin birth? Like changing water into wine? Like the multiplication of the loaves? Like healing with dirt and spit? Like walking on water?
      Like God dying?”

      No. When you say Christ’s body is present but the communion elements have no properties of a body, that is incoherent. A miracle isn’t incoherent.

      So what’s going on is that people are using the word “body” but filling it with meaning which means “not a body” because they have to define “body” in such a way where there are no physical properties. Roman Catholics use Aristotle. Lutherans say “mystery”. But the basic gist is that you have non-bodily bodies.

      Honestly, I would like someone to explain how a Real Presence view is different than a Spiritual Presence in a way that doesn’t boil down to “But we use the word ‘body’ so the elements are the body!”

    • Ed B

      Your discussions from a Roman Catholic are quite comical. The real question is how you “interpret” John 6.

    • John

      “Honestly, I would like someone to explain how a Real Presence view is different than a Spiritual Presence”

      I’d like to know how spiritual presence is different to a pure Zwinglian memorial. Christ is spiritually present? So what? What difference does it make? How does it affect me? Cause if it makes no difference, I argue it isn’t different. And under a sola scriptura theory where you don’t accept real presence, under what verse can you justify spiritual presence?

      Real Presence differs in that it teaches that the body is real, and therefore DOES something. Remember that handkerchief of Paul’s in Acts that people touched and they were healed? If you owned that handkerchief how would it look different to a regular handkerchief? My guess is it wouldn’t look different at all. Yet it contained within it properties that affect reality and are part of reality, even though they can’t be seen by merely looking at the handkerchief. Whether you accept the reality if the body or not, you ought to at least admit that this aspect: that physical things can have a special holy nature that affects reality, is a biblical world view.

    • C Michael Patton

      John 6? What the… I just read it for the first time. You are right. It is so clear now. Everything Rome teaches about this issue right before my eyes. I am enrolling in catechism class tomorrow.

      🙂

      Sorry for being sarcastic, but your comment about comical made me want to be comical.

    • […] Got Roman Catholic friends who believe the wafer and the wine actually become the body and blood of Christ? Here are some reasons for rejecting transubstantiation. […]

    • Irene

      Geoff, here are portions of the Baltimore Cat. question 242, with link following if you are interested.

      “Substance” literally means that which stands underneath. Underneath what? Underneath the outward appearances or qualities-such as color, taste, figure, smell, etc.-that are perceptible to our senses. Therefore we never see the substance of anything. Of this seat, for instance, I see the color, size, and shape; I feel the hardness, etc.; but I do not see the substance, namely, the wood of which it is made. When the substance of anything is changed, the outward appearances change with it. But not so in the Holy Eucharist; for by a miracle the appearances of bread and wine remain the same after the substance has been changed as they were before. As the substance alone is changed in the Holy Eucharist, and as I cannot see the substance, I cannot see the change….Our Lord changed water into wine….Why, then, could He not change in the same way and by the same power the substance of bread and wine into the substance of His own body and blood? When He changed the water into wine, besides changing the substance, He changed everything else about it; so that it had no longer the appearance of water, but everyone could see that it was wine. But in changing the bread and wine into His body and blood He changes only the substance, and leaves everything else unchanged so that it still looks and tastes like bread and wine; even after the change has taken place and you could not tell by looking at it that it was changed….Now Our Lord, being God, created the world out of nothing; and He could therefore easily change the substance of bread into the substance of flesh.

      Since these are snippets, here is the link. Question 245 also contains some relevant explanation.

      http://www.cin.org/users/james/ebooks/master/baltimore/bsacr-e.htm

    • DelawareMom

      The Gospel of John fails to mention the Eucharist??? John 6:55 “my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” No mincing words here. That’s why Paul says it is such a serious thing to receive unworthily. If it was just symbolic, it wouldn’t be a big deal. And He let them walk away, because they understood what he meant but couldn’t accept it. If he meant symbolically, he would have called them back and clarified.

    • LUKE1732

      What is needed is a compelling reason to believe that he actually did/does a given thing or not.

      Besides John 6 and the Last Supper narratives and 1 Cor 11, we’ve got 1) the prefigurement of the Eucharist in the Passover observance (eating the flesh of the sacrifice), 2) Jesus of Nazareth being born in Bethlehem (“house of bread”) and being laid in a manger (feeding trough) and 3) the disciples on the way to Emmaus not recognizing Jesus in his resurrected body but recognizing him “in the breaking of the bread”.

      There are others.

    • John

      “The reasons given by Catholics for this extraordinary proposition are entirely unconvincing to anyone who has not already surrendered their mind to Rome. ”

      It’s foolish to blame Rome. The Coptic church which broke away in the 400s believes the same thing.

      If you want to say every church since that time is idolatrous, that’s great. Now who have you got left to quote as a basis for your biblical canon? Nobody! You’ve got nothing left but your own fancies. Which BTW is your basis for sitting as judge over church history as idolatrous.

    • John

      Greg: I don’t see REPRESENTS in the text, and writing it in ALL CAPS doesn’t make it so. I think good points have been made about the seriousness with which Paul treats the bread and wine. If its just bread and wine, how can it bring judgement on you?

      As for the Passover as a prefigurment, did painting their doors with blood DO something to stop the angel of death coming? Or was it just a nice to have symbol, no harm no foul if you forgot to do it when the angel of death came? Once you answer that, you lose.

    • John

      “Always argue your opponents postilions to yourself with all the zeal and jealousy as if they were your own before concluding that you have a refutation”

      I’m not RC, I’m Orthodox which is catholic. But I’m a convert. Spent years arguing against catholicism, with zeal. Eventually concluded I don’t have a good refutation.

    • LUKE1732

      Greg,

      I don’t need an entire book on the “remnant”. If you could provide even one reference to something written before A.D. 1500 (from someone you wouldn’t label as a heretic) that agrees with your position on John 6 and refutes the catholic/orthodox position, that would be great.

    • John

      Greg: I had a look at what Tertulllian, Clement and Eusebius say on the subject, and they say a heck of a lot more than it being a metaphor. If they do say that (I didn’t find any such quote), that’s not precluding it being a sacrifice. The catholic view doesn’t mean it is not a rememberance. It just goes way beyond that. These church fathers say the Eucharist is a sacrifice. If you read all the stuff they say it goes WAY beyond anything that any memorial faction Protestant would be caught dead saying. And that’s without going and consulting other church fathers which are even more clear.

      Greg, I understand perfectly the weight of arguments in favor of your position, from a sola scriptura viewpoint. If the scriptures existed in a vacuum, your view has a lot of weight. But… What were the scriptures born into? If you say a vacuum then you have a very uncomfortable position of explaining why the world wide church read those scriptures and universally came to a position of real presence at the very earliest date. But if you acknowledge it wasn’t born into a vacuum, but rather it was born into an existing church, established by the apostles, and with a shared understanding of how to interpret it, given by the apostles, then your position is even worse, because the scriptures were born into a church with a pre existing apostolic tradition, which explains the consensus against your view. Either way, your position fails, not because on an intellectual basis it is without merit, but because there are multiple intellectually defensible positions, purely on the basis of the text, but only one of them has a place in the history of the church. That’s why I am orthodox. Not because I don’t understand Protestant arguments and their weight. But precisely because I do understand them, but also I undertand Orthodox arguments. For that matter I understand Jehovah’s Witness arguments, and they have some pretty damned good ones too on various topics.

    • John

      Greg: “it ain’t that tough to discern which writings should be granted authority and which shouldn’t.”

      Really. Perhaps you could point to chapter and verse showing the criteria for something to be considered scripture. Then we could see if its hard to discern which writings fulfil it. But since there is no chapter and verse, what you wrote is highly speculative without a physical organisation to lend opinion to it.

      “The text says what it says. Regardless of what anybody 15 minutes later says that it says.”

      Yeah, it says what it says. “This is my body”. But you don’t accept that. So… its a bit more difficult than that, right?

      “Paul himself warned that even if HE began preaching something other than he already had that HE HIMSELF would be anathema.”

      Yes, and he’s talking about his orally transmitted gospel. In theory then, what he wrote in his letters should be disregarded if it contradicts his previously given oral gospel. How would you know? By asking the church. No other way to know.

    • John

      Greg, since I’m not Roman Catholic, I have no Vatican issued glasses. So much for that theory.

      So… reading between the lines of your example of what is scripture (devoid of any explanation, we’re supposed to just see what you see), what are you saying? That any book with material in it that you can’t accept and/or don’t understand and/or seems weird to you, we can reject?

      Firstly, that’s just a negative criteria. That’s not a positive criteria in favour of what we should accept. What about all the early “orthodox” literature? What about the first Epistle of Clement, found in many NT manuscripts? Don’t say he wasn’t an apostle, because neither was James, neither was Jude, neither was Mark, Luke, probably Hebrews, etc.

      Secondly, you picked one of the oddest sections in all pseudo-Christian literature as your example. Wow. What about all the other books, many of which were in some circles accepted in the canonical churches?

      Thirdly, what is odd in the recognised canon? What about Mark 16 “They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them.” That’s kinda odd. What about 1 Corinthians 15:29, baptism for the dead. Kinda odd. What about the whole book of Revelation? I mean where does it end?

      Fourthly, your criteria seems to set yourself up and judge, jury and executioner of what material you can accept to be in the NT.

      –“The point he was making was: “what we are saying and WRITING right now CANNOT BE CONTRADICTED”

      (a) That’s not actually what he said. He said disregard anything different to what he previously gave orally prior to the NT being written. You can claim it means the opposite of what he said, but its an empty claim.

      (b) It’s all in your interpretation anyway. Depending on what you mean by “Catholic”, if you include belief that was actually universal in the church (not just Rome), who are you to know better than Christendom?

    • Ebouty

      How can anyone explain to me what the Council of Chalcedon mean in her definition on the Hypostatic Union? Because what I believe is that the Roman Catholic Church contradict the Chalcedon definition.

      Why Jesus say:

      “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” Why Jesus really wants to go?

      How can you explain these following presence to me. Is it in Spirit or Flesh?

      “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

      “…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

      Catholics said that after consecration the bread changed really to the flesh and bone and maybe everything a human being has, so how can they explain that according to Jesus saying:

      “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

      You said the bread after consecration is transformed into the literal flesh and literal blood.

      What is the difference between flesh and bone and SPIRIT?

      If the Holy Spirit present with us during the Eucharist,
      Is God the Father and the Son are sleeping at Home in Heaven no knowing the Holy Spirit was dwelling on earth among the Believers? Or is the Father and Son also present with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit? What is Trinity? Is it three Gods or One God? I think you understand my point, because some said and I quote:

      “If He CANNOT be present – REALLY present – in the Bread and Wine because of His human nature, He cannot be present anywhere else for that same reason. You thus require a different person – the Holy Spirit, to be REALLY present in all the places that the Bible talks about Christ being present. Thus, Christ isn’t really with us always, as He promised, but only figurative”

      God bless

    • John

      1. Is hardly a reason to reject transubstantiation. At best its a reason to be cautious.

      2. Did Christ die for those in the old covenant???? If so, how is this a problem?

      3. Kind of silliness, but yet again we see the problems of sola scriptura. Am I really as an individual to know when to interpret literally apart from tradition?

      4. Again, you THINK John doesn’t mention the eucharist, but that is again your speculation and up for debate. In any case this is really an argument about the SIGNIFICANCE of transubstantiation rather than the EXISTENCE of transubstantion, which is really a totally different issue. John’s not mentioning it doesn’t disprove it, at best it says something about its importance.

      In any case, do the gospels discuss salvation by faith alone, the centrepiece of protestantism? No? So is it untrue?

      5. Actually, science proves that Christ is truly present in the bread and wine. Why? because we shed all the cells in our body every 10 years or something, and the atoms get scattered all over the world, and apparently that means some atoms are likely to be in that bread at church. Yep, atoms are small.

      Anyway, that may or may not be the case, but the point is, if science can say its possible, it seems astonishing that Protestantism cannot allow for it. Being in a million places is NOT omnipresence. Even regular mortals can have bits of their bodies in millions of places.

    • Ebouty

      Some will say that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is not confine with the LAW OF NATURE and that is why it is truly a presence in physicality (literal Body)

      How about the presence of the Spirit in the Eucharist, is such a presence confined with the LAW OF NATURE?

      Please answer my questions above including this one.

      God bless all

    • Ebouty

      I believe the Roman Catholics and those who held the same belief with them must not use the term real presence. The reason is because they make people confused. If they want to talk of the real presence better used their own term TRANSUBSTANTIATION, because that will avoid confusion. We also understand what you mean by real presence, but for your own good use your loving word.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      Roman Catholics and others claims that the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is not mentioned in the gospel and in the New Testament as a whole. But then let me asked did the doctrine of Trinity mentioned in the scripture? Did Trinity was not mentioned in the scripture but only in the Tradition? Where does those who formulate that doctrines acquired their evidence or information in support of the Trinity? Is it from Tradition or scripture?

      Seems quite a lot of questions I asked here, but I will wait then for my questions if someone willing to take.

    • John

      @Ebouty I think it’s fair to say that the trinity is one possible inference you could draw from the facts found in scripture. It’s orthodoxy as the correct set of inferences, as opposed to other possible inferences, is to be found in the authority of tradition.

    • Ebouty

      Thanks John, but I kind to wait first for answers to my questions above and I will be able then to respond to your reply on your post dated November 4, 2013 at 11:19 pm.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      Good day everyone.

      Do I not make myself clear in my questions above? Please let me know if you don’t understand the wordings especially my Grammar so I can make it clear. Or if there are some reasons you believe such questions are not relevant.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      While I’m still waiting for anyone to answer my questions, I would also like to post some interesting quotes from St. Augustine that I have no doubt you knew already:

      ‘If the sentence . . . SEEMS TO ENJOIN A CRIME OR VICE. . . it is FIGURATIVE. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,” says Christ, “and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” THIS SEEMS TO ENJOIN A CRIME OR A VICE; it is therefore a FIGURE, ENJOINING THAT WE SHOULD HAVE A SHARE IN THE SUFFERING OF OUR LORD, and that we should RETAIN A SWEET AND AND PROFITABLE MEMORY of the fact that His FLESH was wounded and crucified for us.’ (Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. II, St. Augustin: The City of God and On Christian Doctrine, On Christian Doctrine 3.16.2 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), p. 563.)

      “In respect of the presence of the Majesty we have Christ always; in respect of the presence of the flesh, it was rightly said to the disciples, But Me ye will not always have. For the Church had Him in respect of the presence of the flesh, for a few days; now, by faith it holds, not with eyes beholds Him.”
      A Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, Homilies on the Gospel According to St. John by S. Augustine, Homily 92.1, p. 873; Homily 50.13 (Oxford: Parker, 1849), pp. 677-78.”

      Then I offer anyone a chance to put some light here on those comments from St. Augustine. I believe he wasn’t a proponent to the doctrine of Transubstantiation, unless someone gave me a good reason that he does not mean what he said.

      What I really know in some place, If he had doubt, he would write again to clarify his point whether he hold on to what he says or not. But that wasn’t happen here thus he meant what he said in those aforementioned comments.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      John, I believe you can give reasonable and logical answers to my questions I long been waiting for anyone to answer. Can you?

      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty, as a reluctant convert to Orthodoxy, and as someone who used to be on forums quoting like you are, I understand perfectly where you are coming from.

      However, after a long while of doing that, and reading the fathers on their own terms, I started to get a better insight into their thinking, and I reluctantly came to the conclusion that they one and all believed in the real presence. Yes including Augustine.

      “Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, ‘This is my body’ [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands” (Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10 [A.D. 405]).

      “I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord’s Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ” (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).

      “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. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction” (ibid., 272).

    • John

      As for the quotes you gave, it would seem that in this quote in city of God he is not interpreting John 6 Eucharistically. Protestants often try to argue it is not eucharistic. Anyway, if he isn’t interpreting it eucharistically, then it doesn’t really have any bearing on his beliefs about the eucharist.

      For the other quote, it’s hard to comment since this work doesn’t seem to be very readily available so there isn’t much context to work with. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess you haven’t read the context either. It’s one of those internet quotes that takes on a life of its own, but nobody has really read for themselves. I’ve been around the traps long enough to distrust such quotes because I’ve seen how much they are twisted when the full context is known. But if I had to guess, I would say that again, Augustine is not speaking eucharistically. Yes of course there is a sense in which Christ is not here in the flesh. He’s not walking around like he was in the 1st century.

      Anyway, if you want to selectively quote the fathers to look like Protestants, and if you honestly believe the fathers were protestants, be my guest. A long time ago I was naive enough that I found that enough. Then I started to read the fathers for myself, and I couldn’t hold that any longer.

    • Ebouty

      Thanks John, but please go on and deal with the other biblical passages I gave earlier and explain it to me.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      Just a simple question to ask, is not those quotes are from St. Augustine’s work on the Gospel of John? Where did your inference for your Transubstantiation comes from, is it not one the Gospel of St. John Chapter 6, the bread of life discourse?

      Any way, it was amazing that every Catholic (but I believe you are from an Orthodox if I’m right) I had a debate with him and when he cannot answer my questions he comes up with brilliant ideas like what you did now in saying that St. Augustine is not talking about the Eucharist. Wow, keep up the good work.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******Anyway, if you want to selectively quote the fathers to look like Protestants, and if you honestly believe the fathers were protestants, be my guest. A long time ago I was naive enough that I found that enough. Then I started to read the fathers for myself, and I couldn’t hold that any longer. *******

      You are wrong again John, that is the practice of the Roman Catholic Church by selectively quoting Church Fathers to look like Romanism, but not the Christian Protestants, and if you want prove read this article:

      http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/mt16.html

      And by the way I still keep on reading writings of early Church Fathers and who knows maybe I will end like you.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      Did you worship the bread in the monstrance? Do the Apostles, early Christians and Early Church Fathers especially those in the Ante-Nicene period do the same?

      I believe you worship the monstrance because the bread is now transformed into our Lord Jesus Christ literal Body. He was confined inside that man-made monstrance. So every Catholic must go to the Church to worship because Jesus can only be found in the monstrance. I believe the Apostles and those that I mentioned do the same for why not and that’s really the literal real presence of Christ. So please give me a source that shows they did worship the remaining breads or wafer if you like.

      God bless

      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty, I found your post with a lot of hypothetical questions to be very confusing, and I don’t know what point you are making. Obviously you think they are significant questions, but I don’t quite get the point. I’m wondering a bit if you’re not a protestant, but from some other sect, but maybe not, I can’t tell.

      One question I do understand is you’re asking how Jesus is with us, in spirit or also in flesh based on passages like “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

      Well, if you obey everything Jesus said, including consuming the eucharist, then he is present in flesh also, because believers have consumed his flesh.

      Concerning your question, where the doctrine comes from if not John 6, well it comes from various places, a literal interpretation of the gospels: “this is my body”, as well noting Paul’s reference that those who consume it unworthily are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, which would seem strange if it were just a symbol or just the spirit of the Lord.

      I’m not sure why you are disparaging my comments about Augustine. As far as I see, every Protestant I’ve ever seen has to make the Church fathers contradict themselves in order to make them support Protestant doctrine. I take the view that the Fathers were smart people, they knew what they believed, and they probably didn’t contradict themselves all that often. That means we should try and understand them with the assumption that their teachings can be harmonised. If you think they contradicted themselves at every turn, then I hope you don’t mind if I twist your words to contradict yourself too. 😉

      Not being Roman, your reference to Mt 16:18 is like water off a duck’s back.

      Orthodox don’t use a monstrance as such, but venerate the elements, as the body of the Lord. You ask for reference the apostles did. You show me a reference that they disrespected the body of the Lord. Hint: 1Cor 11:27

    • Ebouty

      *****I’m not sure why you are disparaging my comments about Augustine. As far as I see, every Protestant I’ve ever seen has to make the Church fathers contradict themselves in order to make them support Protestant doctrine. *****

      Yes I did that because you are trying to make St. Augustine looks confusing which in fact he clearly understood the Lord’s presence in Spirit.

      Aren’t you an Orthodox? So what kind of Orthodox are you?

      *****@Ebouty, I found your post with a lot of hypothetical questions to be very confusing, and I don’t know what point you are making. ******

      We all have brains and don’t pretend that my hypothetical and confusing thus don’t know what point I was trying to make.

      That can happen to someone who cannot deal with such questions.

    • Ebouty

      ********Orthodox don’t use a monstrance as such, but venerate the elements, as the body of the Lord. You ask for reference the apostles did. You show me a reference that they disrespected the body of the Lord. Hint: 1Cor 11:27 ********

      So are you telling me that after the Eucharist rite you did nothing to the remaining bread, you just venerate it during the Eucharist. Am I right? Because if that so then I agree with you.

      What so funny then is when you ask me back instead of just giving me a source. Is not that shows a lack of evidence?

      And by the way, we all show respect to the bread and wine, because they are sacramental signs of the Body and Blood of our Lord shed on the cross once and for all.

      But my point in asking is in order to understand really that the bread, in the sense of the Apostles, is the literal Body of Christ and if that so then they should have collected the remaining bread,keep it maybe in a plate and hide it in a sacred place or put it on the Alter, but wait do they have an Altar too or they just eat the bread around the table?

      All such things I just want to know, but instead you shows me lack of understanding by saying and I quote:

      “I found your post with a lot of hypothetical questions to be very confusing, and I don’t know what point you are making.”

      Keep it up and God bless

    • Irene

      @Ebouty,

      Actually the first Christians DID reserve the host, “bread”, that was left. This comes from one of the early saints, I believe St Justin martyr? I would need to track that down for you.

      Now this is seen as a fulfillment of the Old Testament Jewish practice of keeping holy bread always in a holy place in the temple, called “the bread of the presence”, or literally, I believe, “the bread of the face”. So the Bread of the Presence is a “type”, or foreshadowing of, the Bread that is Christ, the Eucharist.

    • Ebouty

      Now that you are tracking that down for John, we need then to deal with my questions one by one. First explain to me why Jesus really want to go?

      “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”

      God bless you

    • Ebouty

      Oh I forgot Irene. I just mentioned keeping the remaining bread only. You also need to provide sources showing the Apostles bowing and worshiping that remaining bread. Is that OK for you? But please show me a direct evidence, I mean the practice of the Apostles.

      I want to have a lot of information, so please show me, because I still trying to find it in the scripture. But I don’t believe i can get it till end of age.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******Not being Roman, your reference to Mt 16:18 is like water off a duck’s back. ********

      I believe the site I gave you has no effect on you, but my point is just showing you that the selectively quoting is not the practice of Christian Protestants. It is your Sister’s practice; Roman Catholic Church which I do believe is yours too, but not on Matthew 16:18.

      By the way what kind of Orthodox are you in, because I just know one that is in the East, I guess; Eastern Orthodox Church. Are you then in that Church John?

      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty: “you are trying to make St. Augustine looks confusing which in fact he clearly understood the Lord’s presence in Spirit.”

      I listen to everything he says, not just some. Being present in spirit doesn’t exclude being present in body.

      “We all have brains and don’t pretend that my hypothetical and confusing thus don’t know what point I was trying to make.”

      Your style of writing in your first posts was to make quotes and assume everyone else sees what you see. You need to be clearer.

      “So are you telling me that after the Eucharist rite you did nothing to the remaining bread, you just venerate it during the Eucharist.”

      After the eucharist, the priests consumes anything remaining.

      “What so funny then is when you ask me back instead of just giving me a source. Is not that shows a lack of evidence?”

      There is a general lack of evidence of what happened in the 1st century. The best evidence we have is that as the church emerged into the light in following centuries, the church world wide had a common understanding of such things. There was never any arguments and splits and schisms in the early centuries about the real presence.

      “And by the way, we all show respect to the bread and wine, because they are sacramental signs of the Body and Blood of our Lord”

      Respect, veneration, worship, they are all just words that express a general concept. Getting hung up on labels doesn’t really solve anything. You “respect” the bread, we “venerate” it and Catholics “worship” it. Just words really.

      “collected the remaining bread,keep it maybe in a plate and hide it in a sacred place or put it on the Alter, but wait do they have an Altar too or they just eat the bread around the table?”

      Is that a question? Bread is consecrated on the “altar” if you want to call it that, and is in the usual case remaining is consumed. There are some cases in which it is stored.

    • John

      “”my point is just showing you that the selectively quoting is not the practice of Christian Protestants.”

      I’ve shown many examples on this blog. e.g. quoting Basil to make him look like a sola scriptura proponent, when he is probably the clearest proponent of the authority of tradition in all history.

      Yes, I’m Eastern Orthodox

    • Ebouty

      *****@Ebouty: “you are trying to make St. Augustine looks confusing which in fact he clearly understood the Lord’s presence in Spirit.” I listen to everything he says, not just some. Being present in spirit doesn’t exclude being present in body. *****

      How about explain this comments from St. Augustine to me:

      Now there would be no great merit and glorious blessedness in believing, if the Lord had always appeared in His Risen Body to the eyes of men. The Holy Ghost then hath brought this great gift to them that should believe, that Him whom they should not see with the eyes of flesh, they might with a mind sobered from carnal desires, and inebriated with spiritual longings, sigh after. Whence it was that when that disciple who had said that he would not believe, unless he touched with the hands His Scars, after he had handled the Lord’s Body, cried out as though awaking from sleep, “My Lord and my God;” the Lord said to him, “Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” This blessedness hath the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, brought to us, that the form of a servant which He took from the Virgin’s womb, being removed from the eyes of flesh, the purified eye of the mind might be directed to This Form of God, in which He continued equal with the Father, even when He vouchsafed to appear in the Flesh; so as that with the Same Spirit filled the Apostle might say, “Though we have known Christ after the flesh; yet now we know Him so no longer.” Because even the Flesh of Christ he knew not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, who, not by touching in curiosity, but in believing assured, acknowledgeth the power of His Resurrection; not saying in his heart, “Who hath ascended into heaven? that is, to bring Christ down; or, Who hath descended into the deep? that is, to bring back Christ from the dead.” “But,” saith he, “the word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, that Jesus is the Lord; and if thou shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”These, Brethren, are the words of the Apostle, pouring them forth with the holy inebriation of the Holy Ghost Himself.

      Is your belief in the presence of the Body does not contradict the decision of the Council of Chalcedon on the Hypostatic Union?

    • Ebouty

      For as you mentioned again Sola Scriptura then I need just to have a bit conversation on.

      The doctrine of Trinity is “…based simply on the fact that Christianity began with the witness that Jesus is the Son of God, and the deity of Christ is at the heart of its message.”

      Before the Council of Nicaea Eusebius brought before that Council a Creed which he states that it was one which he had learned from his childhood, from the bishop of Caesarea, and one which he accepted at his baptism, and which he had taught through his whole career, both as a presbyter and as a bishop. Here is that Creed:

      “‘I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things both visible and invisible, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God of God, Light of Light, Life of Life, the only begotten Son, the First-born of every creature, begotten of the Father before all worlds, by whom also all things were made. Who for our salvation was made flesh, and lived amongst men, and suffered, and rose again on the third day, and ascended to the Father, and shall come in glory to judge the quick and the dead. And we believe in one Holy Ghost. Believing each of them to be and to have existed, the Father, only the Father; and the Son, only the Son; and the Holy Ghost, only the Holy Ghost: as also our Lord sending forth His own disciples to preach, said, ‘Go and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:’ concerning which things we affirm that it is so, and that we so think, and that it has long so been held, and that we remain steadfast to death for this faith, anathematizing every godless heresy. That we have thought these things from our heart and soul, from the time that we have known ourselves, and that we now think and say thus in truth, we testify in the name of Almighty God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, being able to prove even by demonstration, and to persuade you that in the past times also thus we believed and preached.’”
      If we read and examine that creed carefully, we will find nothing that cannot be found in the scripture. In other words, all we have in that creed are from the scripture. Now let compare again with a new Creed formulated from the former after being a hard debate at the Council of Nicaea on the Arian controversy:

      “We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father [Original reads: the Son of God, begotten of the Father, only begotten], God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father [Original reads: that is to say, of the substance of the Father].Through Him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary [Added in], and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered death and was buried.”

      Again, there is nothing here that cannot be based on facts from the scripture only some additions to the former, but such additions are based on the scripture too. They all reason according to the Word of God concerning that doctrine, because they believed that there was but One Living and True God, as what the scripture said, so they must end with an accurate explanation concerning the relationship of the Son to the Father which in fact they did and likewise there must also be an explanation of the person of the Holy Spirit.

      So you are absolutely right when you said that the doctrine of Trinity is one possible inference you could draw from the facts found in scripture as the word Trinity is nowhere in the scripture. But you are wrong when you said that it is to be found in the authority of tradition. The tradition you are referring comes from the scripture, unless you can show me one source to prove your point of the authority of Tradition which is in the creed but not in the scripture. Can you do that?

      Allow me then to explain the notion that the doctrine of sola scriptura share the same way in its formulation with the doctrine of Trinity. There are a lot of passages from the scripture and other early sources that we can use for our possible inference to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, and one good and very interesting one is 2 Tim. 3:14–17. But in order to explain this passage clearly, let use the universal interpretation of the Roman Catholic Church which she commonly used against Sola Scriptura:

      “This passage shows two things – firstly, Paul is advocating the following of Tradition. And, secondly, Paul is revealing what he means by “Scriptures” – he means the Old Testament, the Seputagint as it was known. Timothy is urged to read the Scriptures which he has known all his life – the New Testament did not exist when Timothy was a child, the only Scriptures were the Jewish Scriptures. So, if this verse shows sola scriptura it in fact shows sola Old Testament – the New Testament should be abandoned. But, if we abandoned the New Testament, we wouldn’t have this verse – so we wouldn’t need to abandon the New Testament!”

      This is one common defenses of the Catholic Church to bring down the importance of scripture to make it in-line with their loving and desiring Tradition. But if that so, then let me asked Roman them what exactly that Tradition St. Paul instructing Timothy to follow and that we cannot find it in the scripture? I don’t think they can give because there is none. Paul was referring here to their teaching of the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ that are not yet being put into writings, but being preach orally. Those traditions or teachings are now come to us in a written form like Irenaeus said and I quote:

      “We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.”

      Thus any latest or developmental teachings (Catholic Traditions) such as Transubstantiation, which is an invention of Radbertus and formally accepted by the Catholics as a dogma centuries later, or the assumption of Mary that comes from an apocryphal Gospel known as the Transitus Beatae Mariae and many more are not of the Apostles’ Tradition, because nowhere in the scripture and in the practice of the first century Christians could be found.

      Now the more interesting one from that same passage is the word “scripture” or sacred writings. According to Romanism that sacred writings or scripture is not about the New Testament but the Old Testament. The New Testament is not yet being existed as a canon. Absolutely 100% right, but I asked what exactly Paul was trying to tell us here? What did Timothy knows from such sacred writings (Old Testament)? Is it about the exile of the Jews that Timothy knows? Is it about how the angels slaughter the first born son of the Egyptians? This is really makes me astonished due to the fact that Romanism and those who share the same hatred of sola scriptura does not want to used the wisdom God gave them as a gift for the salvation of His people and this should be possible regarding their claim of the infallibility of the Pope, but instead the Pope and his church did the opposite.

      Let read this conclusion from the quotation I gave above and then discuss it:

      “So, if this verse shows sola scriptura it in fact shows sola Old Testament – the New Testament should be abandoned. But, if we abandoned the New Testament, we wouldn’t have this verse – so we wouldn’t need to abandon the New Testament!”

      Isn’t that funny John? Does your logic agree with that assertion too? Let me show you what exactly Paul really mean of the word “scripture” in his writing to Timothy.

      The focal point so imperative of the Old Testament to St. Paul is the Gospel Message. Paul was referring to the Old Testament prophesies of the Messiah’s birth, death, resurrection etc. that would be able to make Timothy wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ. This is known to me as the beginning of the Gospel Message that Timothy knows about from the Old Testament when he was a child; the coming of the Messiah, and later in his life comes to believe all such prophecies being fulfilled by the Person the Apostle told him about; the One and only One Lord Jesus Christ. And what more important from that Tradition (teaching) is the Atonement –“The center of Christ’s work, the main event to which the whole Old Testament pointed and to which the whole New Testament expounded was Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. Christ’s death is the very heart of the Christian faith. It is the central theme of Scripture.”

      Due to the aversion of Sola Scriptura by Romanism and others for some reasons, they try with all possible means to limit that passage to the Old Testament without thinking of logical possibilities. But limiting it in that way does not help them to their cause. This is because there is a true connection between the Old and the New Testament (i.e. the Apostles’ tradition or teaching), and that connection, as I mentioned already, is the Gospel Message, and that message leads Christians in the early Church life to come to believe that Jesus is really their Messiah, because everything they have known from their Childhood same with Timothy i.e. of the Old Testament writings has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. And for centuries later after the Apostles gone, Christians comes to believe that Gospel Message as the Old Testament pointed and to which the whole New Testament expounded, the Apostles’ teachings. This is truly the case when Irenaeus, as I did quote earlier, said:

      “We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.”

      The first generation of Christians, as we all know, did not have the New Testament, and so Catholics are right, but they kind of overlooking several vital facts which I believe they do have knowledge on, but something make them blind:

      “First, the early first Christians at that time have the Old Testament as their Bible. (cf. 2 Tim. 3:15‐17; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:6). Second, early New Testament believers did not need further revelation through the apostles in written form for one very simple reason: they still had the living apostles to teach them. And thirdly, their argument wrongly assumes that there was an apostolic succession. The only infallible authority that succeeded the apostles was their infallible apostolic writings; the New Testament.”

      Additionally, some Early Church Fathers made some comments on how important the scripture is such as:

      John Chrysostom (354-407AD) says: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is a great cliff and a deep abyss. Not knowing the Scriptures is the cause of all evils.” Then St. Jerome (347-420AD) said even more insensitively flank: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”

      If we look into the ignorance of the Roman Catholic Church of the scripture we can prove those Fathers statements to be veracious. The act of the Roman Catholics throughout history truly ignores the importance of scripture and I believe they endure to do so. One good example of the Catholic practice and teaching that ignores the Tradition of the Apostles for their lustful desire is the crusade and torturing and burning of heretics. St. Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians. We will examine thoroughly the following passage(s) and see if they agree with the Roman Catholic’s purposeful effort to Christianize people:

      “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds), casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;…” (2 Cor. 10:3-5)

      So if we do not war according to the flesh, then what kind of weapons Christians must use in their war? Let the Tradition of the Apostles, which is now known as the scripture tells you:

      “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Wherefore take up the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; withal taking up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one . And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints,” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

      Now did the infallible Pope, the Successor of Jesus on earth, follow his Predecessor’s, teaching? Absolutely did not, thus we might believe that the Gospel he followed is a gospel of another Jesus. Paul says:

      “But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;” (2 Tim. 3:14)

      So is not 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 and Ephesians 6:10-18 are the Apostles’ teaching? And why did the infallible Pope ordered Christians to kill others? If he did not follow such teaching, then where did they get the idea opposite to the teaching of the Apostles that comes from God and can be found only in scripture? And who is the chief Planner of the Pope? Satan? I might come to believe so. Beside, the Pope, as they claim, was infallible and how come he does not know such things he wrongfully did that contradicts the Apostles’ teaching? Maybe (I’m guessing here) there is a time only when the Holy Spirit lives in him (infallible) and a time He does not (impeccability), and when the Holy Spirit does not then he can do what he want; allow the killing of people for the sake of his kingdom, that Jesus absolutely contradict it.

      So that wasn’t the right way it should be, so like I said, and with no doubt that comes from the ignorance of scripture. So what can we say about those Popes and those who are in obedience to them including those inventors, which they claim of their invention of truly the teaching of the Apostles, but just lately developed? Let the scripture says so:

      “And if any man obeyeth not our word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no company with him, to the end that he may be ashamed. And yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thes. 3:14-16)

      Isn’t that passage above so wonderfully amazing? Paul says that you should count anyone who does not obey their teaching not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Did the Roman Church who claims to be the true Church, because she was apostolic do that? I don’t think so.

      “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4.

      “Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written;” (1 Cor. 4:6)

      Therefore, returning to our point of discussion, the doctrine of Trinity is “…believed and affirmed, not on the basis of either antiquity or the infallibility of the Church, but on the sure and certain warrant of Holy Scripture.” and so the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. What is there about Trinity is from the Scripture, nothing more nothing less. So, don’t mine if I use yours in saying, I think it’s fair to say that sola Scriptura is one possible inference you could draw from the facts found in scripture. It’s orthodoxy as the correct set of inferences, as opposed to other possible inferences, is to be found in the authority of Scripture alone. Hence without the Apostle’s Tradition (not one in the mind of Catholics and others) or later known in a written form as the New Testament, there is no such doctrine of Trinity. Don’t you agree with me? In the scripture alone, comes all the teaching of the Church and if so, the Church then is the foundation and pillar of the truth. But if not only from the Scripture, but something else then, as we have already seen, they would not know Christ and will follow Satan’s wish. It is true, and don’t tell me that it not true. You have seen an example of the real ignorance of the scripture because they thought something was the same authority with it, their own desiring teachings (Tradition).

      We must pray that God will help us to understand His truth in order to walk with Him in His direction without boast of our Tradition and jealousy of others.

      God bless us all

    • Ebouty

      I believe John that some of the point I mentioned above are not applicable in your case except your hatred to the Scripture alone as the only authority of the Church.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      *****There is a general lack of evidence of what happened in the 1st century. The best evidence we have is that as the church emerged into the light in following centuries, the church world wide had a common understanding of such things. There was never any arguments and splits and schisms in the early centuries about the real presence. ******

      You are wrong John, there is, and that between Radbertus and his opponent on the belief in Spirit and Literal. Read it here:

      http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc4.i.xi.xxi.html

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ****After the eucharist, the priests consumes anything remaining. *****

      So you are telling me that the Apostles consumes the remaining bread even if it is more than 12 baskets left and some tiny pieces of bread left on the table, and even the wine they will drink full even if they have plenty left?

      Where did you get that, could you please show me a source that you come to know it from?

      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty, wow long post. I get truncated when I try and post so much.

      Augustine: Yes but that quote is not about the Eucharist. When he actually talks about the Eucharist, then I think we find his doctrine of the eucharist. When he talks about Christ being in the flesh in his time in the 1st century, I assume he is talking about that. You might say that a very literal interpretation of what he says here would seem against real presence, but I don’t want to hyper-literalise his writings to say something on a topic that he isn’t actually discussing in this passage. Again, as I said, if you want to make Augustine and all the Fathers to be self contradictory at every turn, go ahead. I prefer not to do that.

      Trinity: Yeah, but the Arians quoted scripture too, And Eusebius is usually thought to have been rather Arian. And his creed which you quote approvingly, about Christ being “firstborn of creation”, was probably interpreted by Arians as being created as first. Yes, scripture says that, and an Arian interpretation is a possibility.

      You asked some Roman Catholics for traditions not in scripture, and they couldn’t tell you any? Really? How many did you talk to? 😀

      I’m not sure what aspect of transubstantiation you think was invented by Radbertus since the earliest Fathers teach that the bread and wine becomes really Christ’s body. There is less development by far than for the trinity.

      The assumption of Mary comes from an apocryphal gospel? How do you know? Just because it is mentioned in an apocryphal gospel doesn’t mean that is the origin. A resurrection is mentioned in ancient Egyptian stories. Does that mean the Christian gospels “come from” there? That’s a major logical fallacy you’ve got cooking there. And its not in scripture for the obvious reason that it happened after scripture was written.

    • enness

      I stumbled on this and was pleased to see some fine comments. Keeping it simple here: I do not believe Jesus would make such a strong statement as “unless you do X, you do not have life within you” and make it impossible to do. If that were the case, everything the atheists say about our God being a malevolent sadist would be right on point.

      I’d like to throw Lanciano in there and see what effect that has on the conversation…http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html

    • John

      @Ebouty You say that in 2Ti 3:16 Paul is referring to central prophesies about Christ’s death and resurrection? If you want to say that is the context, then he’s not talking about all doctrine, but just these important issues, and thus you lost this verse as a proof of sola scriptura.

      If you want to abandon that argument and say it is about all doctrine, then the sola-old-testament argument comes into force. Either way, it doesn’t teach sola scriptura.

      You seem to concede the 1st century Christians didn’t practice sola scriptura, because of your reasoning “they still had the living apostles to teach them”. Well yes, and in fact, it is impossible they could have followed sola scriptura, since the apostles were teaching them new stuff not in the OT, so they certainly could not be sola scripturaists. And if they weren’t sola scripturaists, then we can infer that the apostles didn’t teach sola scriptura. In which case, you’ve conceded twice in your posting that 2 Ti 3:16 doesn’t teach sola scriptura.

      I don’t think sola scriptura is even a possible inference from scripture. In that respect, it’s even shakier than Arianism. Nothing in scripture teaches it, and nobody in scripture practices it. The OT prophets don’t practice it, the apostles don’t practice it, and Christ didn’t practice it. The Church NEVER practiced it, and the Fathers taught against it. That means it is basically without any support at all.

      And if the apostles didn’t teach it, which you’ve conceded, and the 1st century Christians didn’t practice it, why should I? In point of fact the church NEVER followed it, which is unsurprising if the apostles didn’t teach it, which you conceded. Would you expect the 1st century Christians to monitor the death of the last apostle, then form a church council and say to themselves, hey, we’d better switch to sola scriptura now? Well they didn’t of course, and had they held such a council, then it wouldn’t be based on sola scriptura!

    • John

      @Ebouty You quote Chrysostom on the importance of scripture. Sure. But I can quote him on the importance of tradition: “Hence it is clear that the Holy Apostles did not deliver everything by epistle; rather many things they handed down via the spoken word which is also trustworthy.”

      Both are important

      Yeah, Rome is in error to burn heretics. Protestants were in error when they burned, hung and tortured heretics. A plague on both your houses.

      You mention Radbertus as referring to some who didn’t believe in the real presence. Well, the 9th century isn’t exactly “the earliest centuries” is it?

      You ask the question “So you are telling me that the Apostles consumes the remaining bread even if it is more than 12 baskets left and some tiny pieces of bread left on the table, and even the wine they will drink full even if they have plenty left?”

      You seem to assume firstly that the eucharist in the 1st century was an actual meal, which is not even a point of agreement among Protestants. You also seem to assume its a very important question, and I don’t see why it is.

    • enness

      Also, a few words about invincible ignorance:

      1) I’m sure it is still possible, but in the age of the internet, it’s less probable. If you have heard that a major Christian church considers something a mortal sin, I’m going out on a limb here but I am about 99.9% certain that you are not invincibly ignorant and are to some extent culpable for making the choice to reject that information.

      2) It is a dangerous game of Russian roulette. Ignorance is to knowledge (of the truth) as mediocrity is to excellence — it’s not a desirable situation at all. This is addressed here: http://www.catholic.com/video/does-god-judge-us-on-what-we-know

    • Ebouty

      *****Yeah, Rome is in error to burn heretics. Protestants were in error when they burned, hung and tortured heretics. A plague on both your houses.****

      Wow, I don’t know what to say to such an amazing defense. Never mind, I will decide to answer or to continue my unclear questions or points.

      By the way, Protestant were also in error when they burn or tortured heretics. Do you think John before answering that? Who claims to be infallible and Vicar of Christ and who claim to be the true Church of Christ that continue the apostolic teaching, Protestant or Catholics?

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      *****You asked some Roman Catholics for traditions not in scripture, and they couldn’t tell you any? Really? How many did you talk to? *****

      Yes, some whom I did ask them and shall I give the names? I don’t think so for their own sake. Oh, I forgot, maybe those whom I asked lack understanding. So how about you? Now let me ask you then show me what Traditions Paul was referring in his letter to Timothy, and that wasn’t written in the scripture, but practiced by the Church from the first century till now. Don’t tell me the latest diversion from the true Gospel of Christ.

      I think, regarding the Tradition, you have come across this quotation too from Basil, if I’m right of him as the author.

      “For I hold it apostolic to abide also by the unwritten traditions. “I praise you,” it is said, “that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you;” and “Hold fast the traditions which ye have been taught whether by word, or our Epistle.” One of these traditions is the practice which is now before us, which they who ordained from the beginning, rooted firmly in the churches, delivering it to their successors, and its use through long custom advances pace by pace with time. If, as in a Court of Law, we were at a loss for documentary evidence, but were able to bring before you a large number of witnesses, would you not give your vote for our acquittal? I think so; for “at the mouth of two or three witnesses shall the matter be established.”

      Could you please tell me again what TRADITIONS he referred in the above quotations? Is that about Transubstantiation? Veneration or worshiping of Mary and the Saints? The worshiping of Mary by the Apostles?

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      *****@Ebouty You say that in 2Ti 3:16 Paul is referring to central prophesies about Christ’s death and resurrection? If you want to say that is the context, then he’s not talking about all doctrine, but just these important issues, and thus you lost this verse as a proof of sola scriptura. *****

      Wow, don’t know what to say again. Nice try and keep up your good work. I know that the Gospel Message is not important to you, but the wisdom of men is. That’s really really good.

      Keep up the good work

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      *****@Ebouty, wow long post. I get truncated when I try and post so much. Augustine: Yes but that quote is not about the Eucharist. ******

      Yes, I was trying to at first. Never mind.

      You are now the only one who told me that all such comments are not about the Eucharist. What a nice defense if someone cannot refutes the fact of truth.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******I don’t think sola scriptura is even a possible inference from scripture. In that respect, it’s even shakier than Arianism. Nothing in scripture teaches it, and nobody in scripture practices it. The OT prophets don’t practice it, the apostles don’t practice it, and Christ didn’t practice it. The Church NEVER practiced it, and the Fathers taught against it. That means it is basically without any support at all. *******

      Really? Really? So what kind of book is the foundation and pillar of your Church as Irenaeus says, sources developed from men’s wisdom, a shakable and movable one?

      Did really our Lord Jesus never practice Sola Scriptura? Have not Jesus used scripture against Tradition? Never mine, but I wasn’t surprise of that, because I have seen many Catholics who often shows their hatred to the scripture, but now I just know that even the Eastern Orthodox too; absolutely relying also on the lies of men.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      *****I’m not sure what aspect of transubstantiation you think was invented by Radbertus since the earliest Fathers teach that the bread and wine becomes really Christ’s body. There is less development by far than for
      the trinity. *******

      Haven’t you read the site I posted for you to read? Read it and you will know what aspect of Transubstantiation I mean for Radbertus’ invention. But I think is not the aspect of Transubstantiation. The proper term you should use is real presence; the aspect of real presence. The idea of Trans. was invented by him.

      It is a waste of time if you don’t read it.

      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty: Who claims to be the true church of Christ, continuing apostolic teaching? Pretty much everyone claims that. 😉

      What traditions was Paul referring to, in his letter to Timothy? Or Basil in his letter? Any traditions taught by the apostles. Which traditions might that have included that are not in scripture? Well first and foremost, it would include the correct interpretation of scripture. But if you want something not really taught in scripture, but practiced from the 1st century until now, I’m sure there are many, but if you want one with very good documentation also, there are a number I could mention. One would be the practice of fasting on Wednesday and Friday, a practice that is mentioned in the Didache (“teachings of the apostles), a document that is usually reckoned to date from the 1st century. This practice is considered the norm in Orthodoxy to this day. Another I could refer to is Christmation which was mentioned by 2nd century fathers all over the empire, which is inexplicable if it was not of apostolic in origin. It is mentioned by Irenaeus, Tertullian, Theophilus of Antioch, Pope Cornelius, Cyprian, Firmilianus of Caesarea, Origen, St Hippolytus, Cyril of Jerusalum, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, Chrysostom, Ambrosius, Didymus the Blind, Cyril of Alexandria, Augustine and I’m sure others. That covers everything in early Christianity, both in time and geographically. How can it be, if it is not apostolic? This early support is much greater than support for some books in the NT. Why have Revelation in your bible, or 2 Peter, books with conflicting early support, but not practice christmation, something with universal support?

      2Ti 3:16, your response is a non-response. Do you claim it as a proof text or not? If so, how, since you just preached to me it is only talking about central claims of Christ’s coming and resurrection and not all doctrine?

    • John

      @Ebouty: Augustine: You seem enraged that I want to talk about context. As far as I see, it’s simply a plain fact that your quotes are not about the eucharist. But when I quote Augustine on the topic of the eucharist, you have nothing to say, no response. Seems you don’t want to interpret the fathers on their own terms.

      You claim that the Holy Tradition of the church is “developed from men’s wisdom, a shakable and movable one”, but you provide no argument why we should accept your claim. In point of fact, Paul said to hold to the traditions whether in writing or taught orally. We know as a simple fact of history that the church had to hold to such oral teaching when there was no written Gospel. What you don’t tell us is why… the church having learned in its formative years to hold to such oral teaching… that it should have stopped doing such. If it were to stop, it would need an apostolic command to do so. Where is that command? There is none. Furthermore, there could never be one, because any apostle giving such a command would be treading on the toes of the other apostles, who for all they know, would be continuing to give oral teaching right up until their death.

      No, sola scriptura is not only unscriptural, it’s historically impossible and inexplicable.

      Did Jesus use scripture against tradition? Yes sure. Not the Holy Tradition though, but the “tradition of the elders”, some traditions used by certain sects. He also used his own teachings against scripture. Like in Matt. 5:31-33. Does that mean Jesus is against scripture? If you want to take one episode and extrapolate it to all tradition (in opposition to Paul!), then why wouldn’t we take this one episode and extrapolate it to all scripture too?

      Anyway, you have no canon without tradition, so railing against the tradition of the Church ends up railing against yourself.

    • Ebouty

      John even if St.Augustine talks on Eucharist, he was talking about Spiritual presence not real presence, not physical. What you are trying to do here is making St Augustine look confused which in fact does not. Do you believe St. Augustine can interpret John 6 as symbol and then on the other hand a literal? No way, its only happen to those who are hardly can find good reasons to support their friend’s wisdom.

      “For he who does not believe the Spirit does not believe in the Son, and he who has not believed in the Son does not believe in the Father. For none “can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost,”and “No man hath seen God at any time, but the only begotten God which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

      Then its your turn now to explain to me the difference between flesh and bones and SPIRIT.

      ****2 Ti 3:16, your response is a non-response. Do you claim it as a proof text or not? If so, how, since you just preached to me it is only talking about central claims of Christ’s coming and resurrection and not all doctrine?***

      You cannot understand John. Without Christ what will you think? Can doctrines exist by itself? The idea in that passage is rightly preached to you, but I will not be surprised like anyone I have met. IGNORANCE, IGNORANCE always to get from them and now you.

      One thing that you forgot to mention is TRANSUBSTANTIATION amongst the Traditions you listed. And by the way, have you read the site I gave you?

      ****@Ebouty: Who claims to be the true church of Christ, continuing apostolic teaching? Pretty much everyone claims that. ;-)*****

      See, you even don’t understand my point. Its a waste of time I believe. Maybe I will make it clear after you explain to me the difference.

      Good luck and God bless you

    • Ebouty

      Oh, one more thing John, You have not shown me yet a source, maybe a written or documented Tradition showing the Apostles bow and worship the remaining bread that they cannot consume, because they were already full.

      Please show me. I believe there must be, and maybe one of the Ante-Nicene Fathers wrote it.

      Gog bless

    • Ebouty

      You claim that the Holy Tradition of the church is “developed from men’s wisdom, a shakable and movable one”, but you provide no argument why we should accept your claim. In point of fact, Paul said to hold to the traditions whether in writing or taught orally. We know as a simple fact of history that the church had to hold to such oral teaching when there was no written Gospel. What you don’t tell us is why… the church having ****learned in its formative years to hold to such oral teaching… that it should have stopped doing such. If it were to stop, it would need an apostolic command to do so. Where is that command? There is none. Furthermore, there could never be one, because any apostle giving such a command would be treading on the toes of the other apostles, who for all they know, would be continuing to give oral teaching right up until
      their death. ****

      So after I received your explanation on the difference between flesh and Spirit, then I will answer your comments or post above an interesting one.

      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty: Yet again, you don’t seem to have listened. Is John 6 talking about the Eucharist? Most Protestants claim no. So must I automatically assume yes in order to make Augustine self-contradictory? Why oh why?

      Augustine always talked about a spiritual presence, not physical? Well, once you comment on my Augustine quotes where he refers to it as physical, then you might be enlightened.

      Why do I have to explain the difference between flesh and spirit? Is there some dispute on this topic I am not aware of? Can I ask you to explain random topics too? Let me ask you, is blood a physical thing or a spiritual thing? Why would we say his blood is present if what we really mean is that his spirit is present?

      2 Ti 3:16… An ad-hominem tirade about ignorance isn’t really a response.

      Transubstantiation as a tradition? Yes, pretty much all the fathers listed the reality of the bread and wine as Christ’s flesh and blood. If you want to label that as transubstantiation, I don’t have a problem with it particularly, although that term is of RC origin. We have no answer about why his blood should be spiritually present, or even what such an odd concept would entail.

      I don’t understand your point about who claims to be the true church? Maybe because your point is actually bogus.

      You want a source that “the Apostles bow and worship the remaining bread that they cannot consume, because they were already full.”. Maybe if anyone in the history of the world made such a claim, we could look into it, what say you?

      You refuse to to tell us how sola scripture will work, because you’ve issued a random request for me to explain what flesh and spirit is? Really?

    • Ebouty

      ******Another I could refer to is Christmation which was mentioned by 2nd century fathers all over the empire, which is inexplicable if it was not of apostolic in origin. It is mentioned by Irenaeus, Tertullian, Theophilus of Antioch, Pope Cornelius, Cyprian, Firmilianus of Caesarea, Origen, St Hippolytus, Cyril of Jerusalum, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, Chrysostom, Ambrosius, Didymus the Blind, Cyril of Alexandria, Augustine and I’m sure others. That covers everything in early Christianity, both in time and geographically. ****

      Is it Christmation or chrismation? Because I was new to that word, and when checking up on the dictionary it shows only chrismation, meaning putting Holy Oil on somebody. Is that right? So if it’s right is that nowhere similar to some practice in the scripture? And more importantly, is that the kind of Tradition with the others you mentioned having the same authority with scripture or just a practice existed from the authority of Tradition, but not scripture?

      Now I kind of misunderstanding the meaning of Tradition in your context, thus still believe in Sola scriptura, and agreed with this following quotation:

      “And then you turn around and find out that Eastern Orthodox polemicists use exactly the same arguments in favor of what they call their ‘Holy Tradition’ which is contrary to papal tradition. And so here you have two august Christian bodies (professedly Christian bodies) claiming the authority of tradition, and yet their authorities conflict with each other; their traditions conflict with each other. And yet, they laugh at Protestants for their ‘paper’ pope.”

      So, because I cannot understand you on the word Tradition, I want you then to answer these following questions I took from the same source I quoted above in order to get your point:

      What is it precisely that your Church accepts as a source of doctrinal truth and authority in addition to the Scriptures?

      What is it that you accept?

      What is it you would add to the Scripture? What do you mean by tradition?

      “What are the proper bounds of authoritative tradition?”
      Has all oral tradition now been divulged?

      Has everything the Apostles taught now been given to the Church? Or are we still waiting for this to build and build and build?

      Is tradition limited to what was orally taught by the Apostles? Is every tradition allegedly something that traces back to them (the Apostles)?

      By what warrant, theological or epistemological, by what warrant does you accept this additional source of doctrine or ethical truth?

      Give me an example of some doctrinal or ethical principle that is (1) not already in Scripture; (2) not contrary to Scripture; (3) based upon what is properly identified as tradition (that’s what all these introductory questions were about); (4) is necessary in some sense to the Christian life or Church (necessary); and (5) could not have been revealed during the days of the Apostles.

      Can you even give me a convincing illustration of something that matches all these criteria?

      What is a believer to do when Church traditions contradict each other?

      What are we to do with the tradition that was alive in the early Church that said Christ would shortly return and establish an earthly kingdom?

      If tradition is authoritative, what are we to do with conflicting traditions?

      I believe you can answer those questions and please attempt all.

      And by the way, here is an amazing and more convincing quotation that I’m sure of to believe than some form of human wisdom:
      “This Bible, or the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, are the only complete guide to everlasting blessedness: men may err, but the Scripture cannot; for it is the word of God Himself, who can neither mistake, deceive, nor be deceived. . . From this word all doctrines must be derived and proved; and from it every man must learn his duty to God, to his neighbor, and to himself.” (Dr. Adam, Clarke, in “ Clavis Biblica” [“The Preacher’s Manual”], page 64.)

      And you know what? That exactly the reason why St. Augustine says:

      “When, however, a meaning is evolved of such a kind that what is doubtful in it cannot be cleared up by indubitable evidence from Scripture, it remains for us to make it clear by the evidence of reason. But this is a dangerous practice. For it is far safer to walk by the light of Holy Scripture; so that when we wish to examine the passages that are obscured by metaphorical expressions, we may either obtain a meaning about which there is no controversy, or if a controversy arises, may settle it by the application of testimonies sought out in every portion of the same Scripture.”

      Wait a minute, is not that also refer to a Eucharistic passages that you take it literally from the Gospels?

      God bless all

    • Ebouty

      *****You claim that the Holy Tradition of the church is “developed from men’s wisdom, a shakable and movable one”, but you provide no argument why we should accept your claim. In point of fact, Paul said to hold to the traditions whether in writing or taught orally. We know as a simple fact of history that the church had to hold to such oral teaching when there was no written Gospel. What you don’t tell us is why… the church having learned in its formative years to hold to such oral teaching… that it should have stopped doing such. If it were to stop, it would need an apostolic command to do so. Where is that command? There is none. Furthermore, there could never be one, because any apostle giving such a command would be treading on the toes of the other apostles, who for all they know, would be continuing to give oral teaching right up until their death. *****

      First of all, do the teachings of men by flesh and blood inspired? Because if they are then we should follow even though they contradict the Holy Scripture which I believe you would agreed with me that the scripture is indeed an inspired one, because it is God’s word. But if not, how can we rely on those Traditions for our salvation?

      Now let get on to the point, first, you said that I didn’t provide argument why you should accept my claim. But wait are you sure you want to accept my claim even if it is the truth nothing but the truth? I don’t think so. Never mind. Now let starts with your interesting comments, a passage from the scripture that you quote from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians right? And please bear with me and listen very carefully. That passage says:

      “So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours.” (II Thessalonians 2:15)

      Now from that passage above, it looks to me that there is something wrong in your thinking , because Paul doesn’t say, “Make sure you hold on to the oral traditions AND to the written traditions,” does he? What he says is, “So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, WHETHER by word, OR by epistle of ours.” Can you see the difference there John? Do you have one thing that comes to the Church in two ways? Or do you have two things that come to the Church?”

      Secondly, you said and I quote: “If it were to stop, it would need an apostolic command to do so. Where is that command?” There is none.”

      In Matthew 10:40 and I quote:

      “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”

      “Jesus explains the concept of an apostle known well in that day. He was sent by the Father, and Jesus turns and sends the Apostles into the world. And He says “the person who receives you (as My apostle) in fact receives Me; and in so doing, receives the Father Who sent Me!”

      So the Apostles were spokesmen for Christ, authorized to speak His Word EITHER orally OR in writing. The Bible tells us that what the Apostles spoke they did not do so by their own will, nor speak according to human instruction. But rather they spoke by the revelation of the Father and the Son through the guidance of the Holy Spirit! “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” He does not say, and those whom they receive you can speak words according to their own will and desire.

      Let me quote an article by Dr. Greg Bahnsen which I used throughout this:

      “…the one who was speaking this word had Apostolic authority! Remember Jesus said, “He who receives you receives Me!” So when the Apostles went to various congregations and taught, that was to be received as the very Word of Jesus Christ Himself. When the Apostles speak the Word of Christ, then that binds the Church.”

      “But how about other teachers? Is their oral teaching authoritative in virtue of it being oral? Do they carry Apostolic authority? How about Dr. Bahnsen?…What if I were to stand up here and say, “I want you to believe what I’m teaching you because I say it?” Do I have the right to do that? God forbid! And you wouldn’t flatter me if you say, “You know, I think you’re right because you’re so smart, or you’re Greg Bahnsen, or you’re a minister in the OPC,” or whatever it is, “therefore I’m going to believe it!” That’s not flattery! I have no right, and you aren’t under any obligation to receive my oral teaching just because it’s me speaking. I don’t have Apostolic authority. Paul, on the other hand, did! John, on the other hand, did! And when they taught orally, that was the truth passed down from God to the Church.”

      The Apostles authorized to speak His Word, not their own as I said earlier. That is exactly the reason why they can teach either orally or in a written form because we know God’s spoke in them. Those who were authorized later are to speak God’s words being deposited into the Church by those Apostles, because words of the Apostles are not from their flesh and blood but from God. And the only way to know such Tradition to conform or consistent to the teaching of the Apostles is by scripture alone. So later Traditions that are not conformed or consistent with the teaching of the Apostles which are in the infallible scripture, an unshakable and movable one, are not from God but from their own flesh and blood unless they spoke what the Apostles originally taught them, which I believe are to be found in the infallible scripture. Therefore, those who spoke according to their flesh and blood don’t receive them (Apostles) and so they neither receive Christ. The Apostle speaks on behalf of Christ, and I truly believe they cannot err, because they are absolutely chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ.

      So let me ask you, do we have other letters or epistles maybe from Popes or from your Patriarch (?) in your Eastern Orthodox Church or from the Early Fathers that can be added into the scripture now? Because if there is then there is no command to be stop and you’re right, but if no other writings could be added now or in the future, then that’s it. There is a command to be stop. Do you get it? And by the way, you are right when you said that “…there could never be one, because any apostle giving such a command would be treading on the toes of the other apostles, who for all they know, would be continuing to give oral teaching right up until their death.” But remember the command is not from them, I mean the Apostles it is from Christ alone.

      “In Revelation 22, verses 18 and 19, John says: “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.”
      Anyway, there are some quotations too I like to share with you:

      Jeremiah 23:16, the prophet says, “Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they teach you vanity; they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of Jehovah.”

      Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:

      Indeed, in the 15th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, verse 6, our Lord Jesus condemned those who, He says, “make void the Word of God” because of their “tradition.”

      “he shall not honor his father. And ye have made void the word of God because of your tradition.” (Matthew 15:6)

      God bless all

    • Ebouty

      John do you or do you not hold the same belief with Romanism that after consecration the bread and blood changes to physical or literal things?

      Can you be clear on that, because that is why I asked you to define the difference because there is absolutely a debate going on regarding the doctrine of Transubstantiation.

      Most of the Romanist I asked them that question elect not to answer. Believe me. And I asked why and they just give me an answer Oh the incredible mystery.

      So are you going to say that to me too and elect not to answer? So please tell me which side are you on my friend; literal or spiritual?

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******Why would we say his blood is present if what we really mean is that his spirit is present? *******

      Could you please be more specific. I can’t understand you. Are you saying that you don’t believe in physical presence but spiritual?

      God bless

    • Delwyn Xavier Campbell

      By the way, Lutherans do not use the word “mystery” to explain the teaching of the Real Presence.” We say that Christ said, “This is My Body, which is given for you.” He did not lie, because He cannot lie. That is all the reason that we need.

    • Ebouty

      “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

      In the above passage taken from the Gospel of Luke chapter 24:39, Jesus explain the difference between Spirit and flesh and bones.

      I know that you are not 100% in agreement with Romanism. But I believe you are on a literal sense as well. Am I right?

      So is Jesus lie and contradicting His words at the Last Supper when after the resurrection He said of the difference?

    • Ebouty

      *****Augustine always talked about a spiritual presence, not physical? Well, once you comment on my Augustine quotes where he refers to it as physical, then you might be enlightened. ******

      Maybe, who knows, but seems that I had already deal with your comments and more on other blogs that looks physical in the mind of men. But never mind that’s another place. But don’t worry I will add more with your previous quotes that looks physicality and explain it to you.

      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty, how is it you can write such long posts and I can’t, are you an admin on this site?

      Chrismation. Yes, I misspelled it. Is there a similar practice in scripture? There is anointing with oil in scripture, but not the specifics of the practice that was universally practiced by the church since the 1st century.

      Does it have the same authority as scripture? Yes, for the reasons the fathers say it does. Since you seem keen on Augustine, we may as well quote him, but I could quote many others: “there are many things which are observed by the whole Church, and therefore are fairly held to have been enjoined by the apostles” – Against the Donatists 5:23

      You say that two Christian bodies, Orthodox and Rome claim the authority of tradition yet disagree. Well Protestants and Mormons, or Protestants and Muslims claim the authority of scripture yet disagree. Are you panicking?

      What precisely do we accept as a source of doctrinal truth you ask? The Orthodox church.

      What do we mean by tradition? The doctrinal teachings of the Orthodox church.

      Has all oral tradition been divulged? You can’t tradition something that is not divulged. Tradition means to pass on.

      Has everything the apostles taught been given? Your question is self-answering, unless you know of any apostles wandering around.

      By what warrant do I accept this “additional” source of doctrine? Additional to WHAT? I accept it on the same warrant I accept scripture.

      You want a doctrine that could NOT have been revealed in the days of the apostles? Why would I want to provide such a thing? Did I say there exists such a thing?

    • Ebouty

      Wow, don’t know what to say. Seems that I have to decide to whether to rest my case on Sola Scriptura and stand by the facts or not; and let the reader decide.

      God bless you John

    • John

      What is a believer to do when Church traditions contradict each other? You should look to the Church for its opinion about such cases. What should YOU do about contradicting canons of scripture??

      What are we to do with the tradition that was alive in the early Church that said Christ would shortly return and establish an earthly kingdom? You should look to the Church for its opinion about such cases.

      You quote Augustine about interpretation of scripture. But if you read Augustine in context, his purpose is to give a guide to interpreting scripture, his purpose is not to discuss whether scripture is the sole authority in the church. I’ve quoted Augustine before on that topic, and showed that he disagrees with you. As for his guidance on interpreting scripture, it’s fine as far as it goes on THAT topic, which is interpreting scripture.

      Are the teachings of men of flesh and blood inspired? Last I checked Jesus and the apostles were flesh and blood, so I guess I have to answer yes.

      If your complaint is that traditions were passed on by men, then I have to point out that so was scripture, and there are now some arguments about what is scripture because of that. Is Mt 16 scripture? John 7:53-8:11?

      You say, “Paul doesn’t say, “Make sure you hold on to the oral traditions AND to the written traditions,” does he?”

      What is your point? He says to hold to the traditions, doesn’t matter the mode, whether written or oral. I just follow what Paul says unquestioningly. Is it one thing passed in two ways, or two things? That’s a question for theological naval gazers. I just obey what Paul said and hold to the traditions.

    • Irene

      @Ebouty,

      You have tried pointing to differences between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church as regards tradition.
      I would just like to point out that the Orthodox Church is the only other “church” recognized as a true church by the Catholic Church. To be precise, Protestant “churches” , Mormon “churches”, etc. are just ecclesiastical communities, not true churches. Catholics call the Orthodox Church the “other lung” of THE Church of Christ. She has a valid priesthood and sacraments, including the true Eucharist. The main difference between the two (Catholic and Orthodox) is the primacy of the successor of Peter, along with other finer points, and some points that are just differences in historical custom. But a Catholic could technically receive communion at an Orthodox Church, and receive absolution from an Orthodox priest if necessary.

      My point to you is that there is no point trying to pick at the differences in Eucharistic traditions in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. As far the Catholic is concerned, there is no critical difference, and I am almost certain it is the same for the Orthodox.

    • Ebouty

      *******@Ebouty, how is it you can write such long posts and I can’t, are you an admin on this site? *******

      No John, I’m not an Administrator, I’m just one like you, but it looks like if you are a truth Seeker the knowledge God gave you will be useful. But if it just for your bias without a will to seek for the truth then that knowledge won’t work for His will. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open. Just an opinion.

      God bless you

    • John

      @Ebouty You say that Mt 10:40 is a command to stop holding to the oral traditions? But you already admitted that the 1st century church by necessity followed the oral Apostolic teaching, and Mt 10:40 is a quote from Jesus that predates the church. So are you saying the church was in apostasy from AD 30 onwards?

      There’s several other problems with your reasoning. Firstly I would take it that Jesus is expressing a general principle. If they accept me, they’ll accept the ones I sent, You. The principle extends that if they accept You, they’ll accept the ones you send too, ad infinitum.

      Secondly, the apostles couldn’t be everywhere at once. An apostle might visit… oh say Corinth, give their oral teaching, and then move on. I take it that when the apostle left Corinth, the church didn’t hang out the “WE’RE FULL” sign, and ask any enquirers to come back later when an apostle is available. NO! People were joining the church all the time, and they were expected to hold to the oral tradition of the church, NEVERMIND there was no apostle available to give it first hand.

      If you stop with the polemics for two seconds, you’ll realise this is a fact, and that holding to the oral traditions was never a command to only hold to them when received first hand. The church followed this practice BY NECESSITY, and you haven’t given us any verse saying that they should ever stop. Therefore, by sheer force of logic, your premise is untenable.

      So your question about whether I have new pages from patriarches to add to scripture carries with it the false assumption that there aren’t oral teachings from the apostles and we can’t pass them on orally.

      Rev 22:18, even Protestants acknowledge that it is a statement about Revelation. Anyway, Revelation was accepted into the canon very late, it can hardly be a command about cessation of oral tradition.

    • John

      Jesus said not to “make void the Word of God” because of their “tradition.” That’s true. But he also followed non-biblical traditions. Like he followed the non-biblical feast of Hanukkah in Jn 10:22. There’s a difference between the Holy Tradition, and ungodly traditions. Just because feel unsure of the difference, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

      You ask if “after consecration the bread and blood changes to physical or literal things?

      That’s a very vague and ill expressed question. I don’t even understand the meaning of your question. I believe that after consecration it becomes the body and blood of Christ.

      You say you don’t understand my question “Why would we say his blood is present if what we really mean is that his spirit is present?”

      The point is, blood is a physical thing by its nature. It’s not a spiritual thing. As you quote, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

      He asks Thomas to touch, because a spirit can’t be touched. The bread and wine is physical, not spiritual. If Jesus wanted a spiritual presence, he wouldn’t want a physical manifestation. Because “handle me and see”. A spirit can’t be handled, can’t be touched. That’s Jesus’ teaching.

    • Ebouty

      Why the hurry? Are you going to catch someone. If you do that then it will lead you into trouble. Don’t panic.

      But I believe that that can be possible if you are a Scholar, but if not, which I believe you are not, if my guess is right from your answers, then you should take your time to answer one at a time. I’m not a Scholar or an Apologist. I’m just a truth Seeker.

      Will respond to you soon on your last post.

      Oh by the way, you still not tell me whether you are a literal or Spiritual Defender.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      *****You ask if “after consecration the bread and blood changes to physical or literal things? That’s a very vague and ill expressed question. I don’t even understand the meaning of your question. I believe that after consecration it becomes the body and blood of Christ.**

      I like to post these comments in order to understand you, because if I said literal, you don’t believe it. You just believe that after the consecration the bread becomes the Body of Christ.

      This is your Church belief:

      During the Eucharist, the Priest calls down the Holy Spirit (in Greek: epiklesis) upon the gifts (the bread and the wine). They then change into the actual body and blood of Christ. The precise way in which this happens is a divine mystery.

      WHAT ACTUAL BODY YOUR CHURCH REFERRING TO? CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO ME?

      Here is the belief of the Catholic Church:

      As in Orthodoxy, the Priest invokes the Holy Spirit during the Mass. However, the consecration becomes effective through the Priest, who acts in the person of Christ. The gifts change completely into Christ’s body and blood and this change is termed ‘Transubstantiation’ i.e. the outward appearance remains the same, but the substance changes.

      This (Catholic belief) to me seems to go further beyond your belief, because I know they mean the bread to be His real Flesh in a literal and physical. I know that from other Catholic Apologists I made a conversation with them.

      Now just explain to me what you mean by ACTUAL BODY.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      John it looks like you don’t know what you have said. You mentioned about St. Augustine as a proponent to the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist, AND then in some place you said “That’s a very vague and ill expressed question. I don’t even understand the meaning of your question” when I ask you if after consecration the bread and blood changes to physical or literal things.

      But wait I kind to know the problem. Let me rephrase my question.

      After the consecration did the bread and wine changed to the literal Body of Christ or just a Spiritual presence as in the belief of Reformed Churches?

      I believe you will understand that, but if not then I don’t know what to say. But I will also wait for your explanation on the meaning of ACTUAL BODY.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      John seems elect not to answer my question about the difference between Flesh and Bone and Spirit so as you are a Roman Catholic could you please do me a favor Irene to explain it to me.

      God bless

    • Irene

      Well, Ebouty, I will speak for the Catholic belief, but I believe the Orthodox belief to be essentially the same, with any difference being subtle.

      After the consecration, the host (“bread”) and chalice (contents) (“wine”) are the physical body and blood of Christ. An important distinction is that this is not the dead body of Christ, separated from his spirit. It is the living, resurrected body, and is his body, blood, soul (or spirit, if you will), and divinity.

      You have mentioned Luke 24:39 more than once. I’m not exactly sure what you’re getting at either, but I wonder if there is a difference in understanding of terms here. When Jesus says that a “spirit” has not flesh and bones, he is explaining to the disciples that he is not a ghost, that he is not the spirit of someone who’s body is dead. He doesn’t mean that flesh and bone never has a spirit, because spirit and flesh are united in someone who has not died, and in someone who is resurrected.
      “Spirit” can mean the soul of a person.
      “Spirit” can mean a being with no body, as an angel, or as God the Father.
      “Spirit” can also be used in English, especially older English, to mean a ghost, as in the spirit of a dead person.
      You can see the connection in “ghost” and “spirit” in the name of the third person of the Trinity: Holy Spirit, or alternately, Holy Ghost.

      If this is not at all what you were asking, I will try again soon.

    • John

      @Ebouty: my answer is it is the literal body of Christ.

      Of course, literal is just a word. If he was just spiritually present, what use is that? Christ says that where 2 or 3 gather in my name, I am there. Isn’t he always spiritually present among believers then? What added thing does the eucharist give if it just makes him spiritually present, which he already is?

      As Cyril of Jerusalem says, “And since He has affirmed and said, (This is My Blood), who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?”

      The substance and liquid you put into your body is not spiritual, it is physical. Thus Christ is physically present. It’s obvious because it is physical. “handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones”. A spirit neither has physical manifestation.

    • John

      You ask about the meaning of “ACTUAL BODY”. What is there to say to such a question?

      As Gregory of Nyssa says, “The bread is at first common bread; but when the mystery sanctifies it, it is called and actually becomes the Body of Christ.”. Or as Chrysostom says “The priest standing there in the place of Christ says these words but their power and grace are from God. ‘This is My Body,’ he says, and these words transform what lies before him.”. Or as Cyril of Alexandria says, “The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ’s Body and Blood”. Or as Augustine says, “That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ.” or as Marcarius the Magnesian says “[Christ] took the bread and the cup, each in a similar fashion, and said: ‘This is My Body and this is My Blood.’ Not a figure of His body nor a figure of His blood, as some persons of petrified mind are wont to rhapsodize, but in truth the Body and the Blood of Christ”.

      What more is there to say on such topic, than these words by the holy fathers? If one added even more explanation, you still would not be satisfied.

      I believe this understanding was already well entrenched by the time the book of John was written, and that’s why John gives the dialogue of John 6. “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will araise him up on the last day. “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.” etc.

      I think as time went on, some in the Church were struggling with the concept, and John decided to document this dialogue, with “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”, as a teaching to those who struggle.

      As far as I see, it’s no coincidence that the belief in real presence is very very early, and John wrote this to deal with dissent.

    • Ebouty

      Wow, isn’t that all funny? O.K, I will not going to laugh until I respond to all your comments or posts.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      I just remember one Sunday during the mass when a Priest told people who were present not to forget the presence of the Holy Spirit because people seems to forget about the Holy Spirit.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      Thanks Irene, but one more thing. Because in your post you only explain Spirit. So please explain the word Flesh in order to make my response to you.

      God bless

    • Irene

      @Ebouty,

      Ok–“flesh” is a word that can have different meanings, too.
      “Flesh” can mean the meat of an animal you eat.
      “Flesh” can mean the body, as “in my flesh, I will see God”
      “Flesh” can mean the baser/lower part of our human nature, as in pleasing the flesh instead of obeying God.

      So when we say The Eucharist is Jesus’s body, we mean the substance. It takes up space.

      Hope that helps a little.

    • Ebouty

      Right Irene, and I will post here a definition that I received from a Catholic Priest for you:

      “… Well, as the words words indicate, “spirit” is immaterial and not visible to the eye. It is real, of course, but not visible. “Flesh and bone” are obviously material which can be see and felt.”

      I will respond to your post with John soon.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ***** He doesn’t mean that flesh and bone never has a spirit, because spirit and flesh are united in someone who has not died, and in someone who is resurrected. ******

      Yes you are absolutely 100% right, and that is the reason why Jesus told His disciples and I quote:

      “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send to you.”

      Is Jesus going away only in Spirit and not in His human nature or only in His human nature but not in Spirit? No, and as I said you are right: He doesn’t mean that flesh and bone never has a spirit, because spirit and flesh are united in someone who has not died, and in someone who is resurrected.

      But what so funny is that you absolutely contradict yourself don’t you know that? You said the Spirit and flesh of a living being and one who is resurrected cannot be separated. Really? Are you sure of what you said? And why then your Church claims that after the consecration the bread becomes flesh of Christ in a literal sense? Is that not contradicting your belief? John said literal is just a word. So is that means literal is just a word without any weight or meaning? By the way, what does the word flesh means to you Irene? An invisible, immaterial and untouchable? I asked that because you said one thing right but on the other hand you mean to something else. You need to read this quotation from one of a Church Father:

      “The soul became flesh that the soul might become visible. Well, then, did the flesh likewise become soul that the flesh might be manifested? If the soul is flesh, it is no longer soul, but flesh. If the flesh is soul, it is no longer flesh, but soul.”

      Now why don’t you see the reason Jesus said that it is for their good that he should go? Is not that a kind of a farewell speech from the Lord God Jesus Christ? The disciples don’t want Him to go. But remember He was with them at that time both in His Two Nature; divine and human, in other words, they can see Him, touching Him, eating with Him etc and also can disappear from them, entering any house through the lock door. And the reason they don’t want Him to go, I believe, is because they knew they won’t see Him again in His physicality or maybe they were afraid of being live without Him. But what did Jesus said? He said, “It is for your good that I should go because if I don’t the Advocator will not come. But who exactly that Advocator is? He is the Holy Spirit or Spirit if you like. Then who is that Spirit? Paul says in His letter to the Corinthians:

      “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

      Now Irene could you please tell me who is that Lord?

      “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Act 1:10-11)

      That passage shows us that the same Jesus (i.e. Jesus with flesh and spirit) shall come in like manner as He was ascended. So we know that His coming in Glory is in like manner when He departed them. And that is the only proof from the scripture that Jesus will come again in flesh and Spirit if I’m right, or in both of His Nature.

      Why then those two men stood by them does not say, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall come in the manner of the bread after the Priest consecrated it?

      Jesus ascended into Heaven both Human and Divine. He said that it is better for Him to go otherwise the Comforter will not come. Now after the ascension the Holy Spirit dwells amongst believers as the Lord God Jesus Christ promised.

      The Bible teaches us that only Christ’s divine nature is omnipresent, not His human nature, which consisted of the flesh. So, you can’t have it both ways. But what the Catholics and the Orthodox have is both. But surprisingly, in the mass there is nothing we can see that really mean flesh even though they insist that there is. So what I come to believe is that you didn’t see the difference here for some reasons I don’t understand. And one more thing; do you see the problem you have? That is a deviation from the decision of the Council of Chalcedon and more likely an absolute breaching of the hypostatic union decided by that Council. Do you understand the Chalcedon definition right? Then better to think about it.

      Now John said:

      *******Of course, literal is just a word. If he was just spiritually present, what use is that? Christ says that where 2 or 3 gather in my name, I am there. Isn’t he always spiritually present among believers then? What added thing does the Eucharist give if it just makes Him spiritually present, which he already is? ********

      What did John said? John what did you say? What use is that if Jesus present in the Eucharist only in spirit? Wow, do you realize what you have just said? Isn’t that a blasphemy, a kind of looking down and an ignorance of the Spirit?

      So are you trying to tell me that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist spiritually is no use if it only in Spirit? Is God not Spirit? Who is God from the beginning of all things? By the way, does not the presence of the Holy Spirit involve the presence of the Father and the Son? Do you really understand the meaning of Trinity or not?

      Let me quote another Church Father for you:

      “For he who does not believe the Spirit does not believe in the Son, and he who has not believed in the Son does not believe in the Father. For none “can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost,”and “No man hath seen God at any time, but the only begotten God which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

      See? So it looks like you are one amongst those people in this world who ignore the presence, importance and the role He (Spirit) or even not heard of Him, and what can I say to those who say that? Their belief is not in full harmony with the teaching of the scripture, and that of course comes from their other belief in a Tradition of men that they claim to have the same authority with the infallible scripture. In reality they did not fully believe in the Son, Jesus Christ, because they don’t believe in the Spirit. In Act 19:2 it says and I quote:

      “…and he said unto them, Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed? And they said unto him, Nay, we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit was given.”

      I believe that that is the kind of situation you live in it now.

      You also said “What added thing does the Eucharist give if it just makes Him spiritually present, which he already is?” Wow you actually don’t understand anything especially on the doctrine of Trinity or Holy Spirit in particular.

      John, there are so many added things the Eucharist gave if it just makes Him spiritually present, which you said He already did, but the most important one is life. First, in this life: “In the realm of nature it is the role of the Holy Spirit to give life to all animate creatures, whether on the ground or in the sky and sea, for “When you send forth your Spirit, they are created” (Ps. 104:30). Conversely, if God “should take back his spirit to himself, and gather to himself his breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust” (Job 34:14 – 15). Here we see the role of the Spirit in the giving and sustaining of human and animal life.”

      Secondly, which is the reason for the incarnation and the Atonement is the life after this life, an eternal life.

      “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).

      The Spirit of Christ dwells among Believers and only believers are only people who gathered in His Name and have life.

      Do you really believe eating the flesh will give you life? I believe St. Augustine will answer that question for you.

      “What then if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?” What meaneth this? “Doth this offend you?” “Do ye imagine that I am about to make divisions of this My Body which ye see; and to cut up My Members, and give them to you? ‘What then if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?’” Assuredly, He who could ascend Whole could not be consumed.”

      “But then this shall be, that is, the Body and the Blood of Christ shall be each man’s Life; if what is taken in the Sacrament visibly is in the truth itself eaten spiritually, drunk spiritually. For we have heard the Lord Himself saying, “It is the Spirit That quickeneth, but the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken unto you, are Spirit and Life. But there are some of you,” saith He, “that believe not.”

      Therefore “it is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing,” as they understood the flesh, but not so do I give my flesh to be eaten.

      “Jesus answered and said Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek me, not because ye saw the signs, but because ye have eaten of my loaves.” Ye seek me for the sake of the flesh not for the sake of the spirit.

      God is Spirit and if you take earthly things and said it is His Body, because you really don’t understand the hidden meaning of His word when He said “This is my Body,” then you put your own self into trouble.

      I can see a proof to my point especially by the Roman Catholic Church only for I haven’t deal previously with an Orthodox to know whether they did the same or not. The proof I was talking about is the worshiping of the Host or sacramental signs, believing that Jesus in His physicality confined in a monstrance under the power of the Priest. So if that the case, then we have two physical bodies of Christ; one is in heaven and the other in the monstrance. Oh! No, no. Not only two but maybe more than a thousand throughout the world, which in fact that can only be happened with His Spirit of being as one of His character known as omnipresence.

      Before I end here I like to share the word of God to you my brothers and Sisters. If those verses I will share with you are not relevant to our issue here, but believe me there is much greater in reading it than not to. Here are some verses I took from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans chapter 8:

      “For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”

      “For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace:”

      “But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

      The reason I qoute those passages because you only believe that if the Spirit has no flesh then it of no use. But your belief is inconsistent with the Word of God.

      Remember I’m just a Truth Seeker and I appreciate any comments if I end up wrong in some place from both side Protestant and others.

      God bless all

    • Delwyn Xavier Campbell

      “λάβετε φάγετε· τοῦτό μού ἐστι τὸ σῶμα τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν κλώμενον·” That’s enough for me. Even after 2000 years, “is” means “is.” Not “becomes,” not “represents.” “Is.” Taste and see that the Lord is good! To God be the Glory!

    • John

      @Ebouty, I really think you should answer the question of how come you are allowed to make posts of unlimited length, and the rest of us poor slobs are limited to 2000 characters.

      You quote “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you”. I’m not sure what milage you are trying to get here. We are not told here how long he plans to go away for. Neither are we told much about what “go away means”, or in what sense he is going. Do you not believe that he is present? Where 2 or 3 gather in my name, etc? If so, why are you any better off?

      Neither do you tell us what your position is here. Are you claiming that Jesus’ flesh and spirit ARE separated, thus Jesus can be in the Eucharist in spirit, not in flesh? Why is that a compelling position to hold, especially in light of the importance of the doctrine of the bodily resurrection? “handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones”..

      You don’t tell us why belief in the real presence is supposed to contradict a belief that soul and body are not separated.

      You quote “Now the Lord is that Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17). But you don’t tell us what you think it means. Looking at a range of Protestant commentaries, I don’t see anything that supports you. For example, Clarke commentary: “the word to pneuma, spirit, evidently signifies the Gospel”.

      You quote Act 1:10-11, but you don’t tell us why your position that he is already here in the eucharist in spirit is better reconciled with it. Nor do you tell us how your position is tenable that Jesus is now separated from his body, given the trouble he went to to be resurrected and reunited with his body.

      You say “The Bible teaches us that only Christ’s divine nature is omnipresent, not His human nature, which consisted of the flesh”.

      Chapter and verse please? Actually the bible says very little about such topics. Even if we accept your proposition, having your body widely distributed is not omnipresence.

    • John

      Your question “So are you trying to tell me that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist spiritually is no use if it only in Spirit?” is being obtuse, because you don’t tell us how, if he is spiritually present ANYWAY, how he can be doubly spiritually present in the eucharist?

      Is that what the bible teaches and we are called to understand from sola scriptura? Double presence? Really?

      You ask “does not the presence of the Holy Spirit involve the presence of the Father and the Son? Do you really understand the meaning of Trinity or not?”

      Umm, yes I understand it. Don’t think you do though. The presence of the Holy Spirit does not by necessity imply the presence of the other two persons. Didn’t you just lecture us on “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you”.

      You say “there are so many added things the Eucharist gave if it just makes Him spiritually present, which you said He already did, but the most important one is life”.

      Well, the bible doesn’t say “unless you eat my spirit, there is no life in you”. It says “unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood there is no life in you”. Think I’ll stick with the bible, thanks.

      You quote Augustine “It is the Spirit That quickeneth, but the flesh profiteth nothing”. Really? Does acontextual protestant quoting reaching such a zenith? This quote has NOTHING to do with the Eucharist. It doesn’t even have anything to do with anything, about Christ’s body. Was Christ in error to resurrect his body since “the flesh profiteth nothing”. That’s about as sensible as the conclusion you are coming to.

      You say “So if that the case, then we have two physical bodies of Christ; one is in heaven and the other in the monstrance.”

      This is silliness. If I cut off your finger Ebouty, and put it in a monstrance, do you now have 2 physical bodies?

    • Ebouty

      I believe you mean 1 Cor. 11:24, and if I’m right then you actually base your belief in the word “IS”.

      There are some examples I would like to use that will make my point apparent concerning the interpretation on such a passage you gave.

      Take for instance, in Luke 8:11. Jesus said: The seed is the word of God’ (Luke 8:11). The notion I would like to share with you is only concerned with the word “is”. Let me quote Jim Seghers’ (Catholics) article called “This is my body”. He made a comment regarding “This is my body” that there is no linguistic basis for claiming that the word “is” in the institution narratives means “symbolizes” or that “this” refers to the bread.”

      How about going back to our example above and refer to the word “is” used by Jesus in those passages? Did the word “is” in Matthew 26:26 and other Synoptic gospels differ with “is” in Luke 18:11 or in 1 Cor. 11:24? We all know that in Luke 18:11 Jesus said the seed “is” the word of God. So, how about when we said that there is no linguistic basis too on this narrative to mean the seed represents the word of God, thus the seed is actually the word of God? So any seeds you come across are the word of God in a literal sense. Am I right? Did the seed in Luke 8:11 is actually the word of God like “This is my body”? What do you think? Because mine says No, and I think you will agree with me too that the seed is not the word of God but indeed represents the word of God.

      By the way, why not looking for other passages in the scripture, like what others did, that will solve this controversial issue rather than using reason (wisdom of men) that Augustine regards it as a dangerous practice? St. Augustine wrote:

      “When, however, a meaning is evolved of such a kind that what is doubtful in it cannot be cleared up by indubitable evidence from Scripture, it remains for us to make it clear by the evidence of reason. But this is a dangerous practice. For it is far safer to walk by the light of Holy Scripture; so that when we wish to examine the passages that are obscured by metaphorical expressions, we may either obtain a meaning about which there is no controversy, or if a controversy arises, may settle it by the application of testimonies sought out in every portion of the same Scripture.”

      “If the sentence . . . SEEMS TO ENJOIN A CRIME OR VICE. . . it is FIGURATIVE. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,” says Christ, “and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” THIS SEEMS TO ENJOIN A CRIME OR A VICE; it is therefore a FIGURE, ENJOINING THAT WE SHOULD HAVE A SHARE IN THE SUFFERING OF OUR LORD, and that we should RETAIN A SWEET AND AND PROFITABLE MEMORY of the fact that His FLESH was wounded and crucified for us.”

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      *****Neither do you tell us what your position is here. Are you claiming that Jesus’ flesh and spirit ARE separated, thus Jesus can be in the Eucharist in spirit, not in flesh? Why is that a compelling position to hold, especially in light of the importance of the doctrine of the bodily resurrection? “handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones”.. *****

      I was interested first in go forth to respond to this one and then I will deal with the rest later as you know I’m not a Scholar who can respond quickly.

      First thing you need to do John in order to answer your question is study the two Nature of Christ. See what difference or what does it really mean by Human Nature and Divine Nature according to the definition of Chalcedon or what are the characteristics of Divine and Human. Second Study Trinity,especially on Pneumatology (if I’m right) and you will see how important Spirit is.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      John, I just read your respond fully and its so funny. I will deal with it later and tell you how it’s funny. So be patient.

      God bless

    • Delwyn Xavier Campbell

      Luke 8:11 – “The seed is the Word of God. Since this was a parable, I would answer the question “Yes, the seed in the parable is the Word of God; see Isa 55:11.

    • Irene

      So Ebouty, are you saying we should learn how to interpret Scripture correctly from the Church Fathers?

    • Ebouty

      I will try first to explain that passage according to my opinion. Unfortunately, I haven’t read the all chapter, and it was wrong to take the passage out of context, but just for now I will try, but if that wasn’t right then I appreciate everyone advice.

      The passage goes like this:

      “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

      Now, if we take that and apply to the Redemption story of our Lord Jesus Christ, then it will appear to have some consistency. God has a design in giving his Word to people, and we all know that the Word is Jesus Christ (John 1:14). He gave His Son (His word) for the life of the world. And Jesus Christ would have to accomplish that design which in fact He did, because the Father does not please to receive void.

      Jesus said “This is my Body” yet what He was truly referring to when He said that is not yet to come. He told the disciples to do that in remembrance of the work He was about to accomplish, few more hours or few more days to come.

      The Word which we all understand what it means is Jesus Christ, and that that comes from His mouth shall not return void. In other word Jesus (the Word) must accomplish what God has design which He pleased with, like I said before. Fortunately, Jesus accomplished that once and for all on the cross thus He did not returned to the Father void or without accomplishing the design that pleased Him; redemption of mankind from the sin of the world.

      So if we think what we believe that the bread is the literal Body of Christ, then we are wrong. We have to do that in remembrance of Him, and what we now have to offer is our praise and thanksgiving which that cannot be void if received by God when knowing that we truly believe in His design.

      More imperative for us not to have such though is because if we did, in believing that we must continue to offer Christ literally, because that pleased Him and that is His word that shall not return to Him void then we are of some kind of a wrongful though that Jesus didn’t accomplish His work that pleased the Father, so His incarnation has no use.

      I really appreciate some advice.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******So Ebouty, are you saying we should learn how to interpret Scripture correctly from the Church Fathers?****

      Irene in order for me to answer your question, please answer this first. Are the Church Fathers infallible?

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      Now let me try again to make my point obvious. What I said here has nothing to do with your questions such as how long Jesus plans to go away or defining the meaning of “go away” etc.

      John, I think you haven’t considered my point seriously, and that’s the reason why your own-self logic won’t tell you.

      So bear with me very carefully, because I will tell you what my logic knows on the “go away” meaning. The “Go away” means the disappearance of Jesus in His visible human being from the eyes of men. Here it does not mean for the two Natures to be separated. The visible will no longer visible, for He would ascend, but the Spirit, the invisible one, on the other hand will do all the rest of the work, that Jesus had promised to His disciples, and that Spirit is the Lord which I will explain how that Spirit is the Lord.

      You even asked me; do you not believe that He is present? John don’t you understand what faith is? How can I not believe when Jesus said: “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

      I haven’t seen Jesus in flesh but you know what I believe His Gospel or if you like His Spirit that He did present among those who have the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen; that is faith (Heb 11:1).

      Jesus said after dealing with Thomas’ unbelief; “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) The “have not seen” here, according to my opinion, refer to the work of Him and secondly, of the visibility of His Body in which Thomas has just believed because He saw the proof in Christ’s humanity.

      You said: “You don’t tell us why belief in the real presence is supposed to contradict a belief that soul and body are not separated” Really? That’s really absurd and I’m not interested to answer it, because I believe you really don’t understand what the difference between Jesus’ two Natures describe in the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union. But don’t worry you will understand from me later.

      ******You quote “Now the Lord is that Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:17). But you don’t tell us what you think it means. Looking at a range of Protestant commentaries, I don’t see anything that supports you. For example, Clarke commentary: “the word to pneuma, spirit, evidently signifies the Gospel*******

      I kind of agreeing with what you said that the Spirit “signifies” or “is” the Gospel, but isn’t the Gospel the Word, the Word of God or the Word of life? And what is that Word? In the Gospel of John it says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) John (the Apostle) does not end up there, he continues to explain who that Word is and I quote: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). Then who is that word that dwells among us? Is not our Lord Jesus Christ? I truly believe He is. So Spirit and Gospel or word all referred to Jesus Christ.

      “But turning to the Lord is entering into this covenant, for the “Lord is that Spirit.” The Spirit is Christ’s presence with us.”

      John the rest of your comments are untenable, and I don’t know what to say.

      You say “The Bible teaches us that only Christ’s divine nature is omnipresent, not His human nature, which consisted of the flesh” Chapter and verse please? Actually the bible says very little about such topics. Even if we accept your proposition, having your body widely distributed is not omnipresence.

      Wait a minute what do you mean by “your proposition”? What is my proposition? Can you please explain it to me? So are you telling me that Jesus has three Natures instead of two; (1) Human (flesh and bone), (2) Human (flesh and bone) but invisible and (3) Divine Nature?

      You are right having a body widely distributed is not omnipresence, because it’s impossible unless is in the form of a God or deity, the Spirit.

      Here are some passages from the Bible showing His omnipresent character while He was still on earth:

      “Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” (John 1:48)

      For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matt.18:20)

      Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. (Matt. 28:20)

      And here are some passages from the scripture showing His physical body unable to be omnipresent:
      And he spake to his disciples, that a little boat should wait on him because of the crowd, lest they should throng him: (Mark 3:9)
      Mary, therefore, when she came where Jesus was, and saw him, fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. (John 11:32)
      The Body that Jesus took when He emptied Himself is the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men, and being found in appearance as a man (Phil. 2:5-8). For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form (Col. 2:9)

      And that is the form or kind of Nature the Council of Chalcedon referred to. Not the form which is the flesh and bone, but invisible.
      “But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”

      And that, I believe, is the reason why He took that form, to taste death for everyone, because His divinity cannot taste death.
      So what you are trying to tell us John is something that is logically impossible. You are transferring one to the other, and that really and absolutely contradicting the Hypostatic Union. Are you admitting that the two natures in Christ are not mixed or confounded, yet maintain that the attributes of the one are transferred to the other? Remember the properties or attributes of a substance constitute its essence, so that if they be removed or if others of a different nature be added to them, the substance itself is changed. In your Transubstantiation nothing changed.

      I truly believed that you did not adhered to the doctrine as it had been settled in the Council of Chalcedon, maintaining that there is such an essential difference between the divine and human natures that the one could not become the other, and that the one was not capable of receiving the attributes of the other, though you still claim to be orthodoxy.

      I understand that Jesus Christ the son of the Virgin Mary is a divine person, but denied that his human nature was. So let me ask you guys; Romanism, Orthodox and Lutherans how can the body of Christ (flesh and blood; visible, touchable, material) which is in heaven be in many different places at the same time?

      Finally according to Charles Hodge he said:
      “A body which fills immensity is not a human body. A soul which is omniscient, omnipresent, and almighty, is not a human soul. The Christ of the Bible and of the human heart is lost if this doctrine (the doctrine of both Transubstantiation and Consubstantiation, emphasis mine) be true.”

      God bless us all

    • Ebouty

      There are two forms of oral Traditions in my opinion; one is from flesh and blood (wisdom of men) and the other is from God. So for the former Yes, Mat 10:40 is a command to stop holding to men’s tradition. Have you not read Gal 1:6-8? Paul says and I quote:

      “But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.”

      Does Paul or Peter mention the idea of Transubstantiation in all their epistles? Did they teach the veneration or worshiping of images and idols? So what happen if they are not in their teaching and know that such traditions just existed many centuries later after the Apostles? For those who hold on such false teachings let them be anathema, because those teachings or traditions are not from them, but a later diversion and not doctrinal development. So do you think those who were goes before such developments are not safe, because they did not complete the message of the Gospel?

      Now for the other one, where can we find those oral traditions while the Apostles no longer in this world and cannot trust those who claim to posses such an authority of Tradition? The only place we shall look in for that tradition of the Apostles is in the scripture. And why should I believe that? It is the Word of God that we all agreed on, and that oral tradition later put into a written form as Irenaeus says so.

      Wait a minute, why did Paul says though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema to the Church in Galatia? Is there something not right? Yes there is. So in asking me did the church was in apostasy from AD 30 onward? Yes, there’s an apostasy that Paul refuted and such a practice continues until now.

      You said also “Firstly I would take it that Jesus is expressing a general principle. If they accept me, they’ll accept the ones I sent,You.

      If I’m right, how can they accept Jesus without first accepting those He sent? I think you twisted what really Jesus said to His disciples. But what you said is true when Jesus lives on earth. In fact, Jesus did not say that, and what He said is as follows:

      He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. That is why Paul says: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.”

      The “you” is the disciples or Apostles and “me” is Jesus. And furthermore, if then they received Jesus after hearing the words of the Apostles they received the Father. How odd for you in trying to put Mat 10:40 into your own context.

      How do you received Jesus John? Do you receive Him from the tradition the Apostles never mentioned in their writings? In what way you come to know how Jesus died. Did you receive Jesus without hearing first the words of those whom He sent? You just, by accident, miracles or vision came to know Him without first hearing the word from the scripture, right? Can you honestly tell me how you come to know Him?

      You continue from your illogical opinion in saying: “The principle extends that if they accept you, they’ll accept the ones you send too, ad infinitum.” I agree with that but if those whom you claim to be sent by the Apostles continue to pass on such teaching and some, centuries later, diverted from their (Apostles) teaching what will happen then? So the solution for not getting caught in some short of such a diversion, which some claim as a doctrinal development, is to check with the infallible scripture, because that was truly come not from the flesh and blood of the Apostles, but directly from God.

      So, what grounds are we going to accept those who were sent by the Apostles? What about those who were mentioned in Gal 1? Are they not being sent or being taught too by the Apostles orally? And why did they so quickly removed from Jesus’ true Gospel? I believe they did, because they hold on to their own traditions, even though they actually received first-hand tradition from the Apostles.

      You are absolutely right in your second point, but you didn’t consider other possible consequences that can happen. Take for instance, let consider the case of the church in Galatia. They had been given the authority of Tradition, right? And why they still have troubles? Fortunately, Paul heard what they did and that is why he corrected them in a letter. And imagine what will happen then to other churches if Paul or other Apostles did not know that they were being led to another Gospel, are they going to continue on the right path? I don’t think so. Aren’t they going to confuse with their traditions? I believe those churches will confront each other on the issue of their oral traditions. So let me quote this:

      “But as controversies arose, and disputants on both sides of all questions appealed to “tradition,” i.e., to what they had been taught; and when it was found that these traditions differed, one church saying their teachers had always taught them one thing, and another that theirs had taught them the opposite, it was felt that there should be some common and authoritative standard.”

      Remember John, we are human beings, and human beings are the kind that they cannot be satisfied with what they have at hand. They want to get more, hardly to be filled fully. And that is what happened to the church in Galatia. Even though they had received what they had been taught first-hand, they wanted more thus some people who are not actually chosen by the Lord, but are chosen by the Apostles to continue spreading what they received leads the people away from the true gospel to their own. So is your principle works in this situation? Absolutely not, but let me tell you, it will if you stick to the infallible scripture, the only available evangelical and apostolical Traditions left.

      Now is the worship of Mary or images and many more diversion or development which are in progress many centuries after the Apostles are one of their tradition? I ask you this because nowhere in the scripture mentioned or to be found and if they are truly comes originally from the oral Tradition of the Apostles then show me a source, an earliest one, maybe from Polycarp or Irenaeus or those before them which I believe they are much closer to the spring?

      Therefore, I repeat my question that you try to avoid; can anyone of your Patriarchs’ writings be included as part of the existing canon? They should be, if I take your words, because they are the one as you said earlier “if they accept me, they’ll accept the ones I sent, you.”

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******Your question “So are you trying to tell me that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist spiritually is no use if it only in Spirit?” is being obtuse, because you don’t tell us how, if he is spiritually present ANYWAY, how he can be doubly spiritually present in the eucharist? *******
      How can the Spirit be double? Are you kidding me? It seems that you are telling me that the Spirit is like a human being too that countable.
      First, the indwelling of the Spirit in every believer is the fruit of the redemption work of our Lord Jesus Christ. And by faith that Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: we they Him, for He abideth with them, shall be in them ‘ John 14:16, 17. Therefore, the indwelling of that Spirit can be recognized only by faith, not by eating.
      So in the case of the Zwinglian, if I’m right, anyone who truly believes (have faith) in the redeeming work of the Lord had the Spirit abide in him, because as Paul says in his letter, to the Corinthians and I quote: ‘Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?’ -1 Cor. 3:16. Because of that already presence, what you did in the Lord Supper is in fact a remembrance of that redeeming work. In other words, it is a remembrance feast for what the Lord has done for us, and we must do that because our Lord commanded us to do:
      “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments: and I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth” (John 14:15,16)
      John what will you do if you lost someone you dearly love so much? Aren’t you going to spare one special day for him or her in remembrance of him or her? I believe Christians did that by dedicating a special day called Easter in remembrance of that redeeming work. But wait a minute isn’t a different oral traditions raised some disputation on the issue of when it suppose to be held? Never mind.
      Concerning what you said of doubling the Spirit, which I don’t believe you can say it aren’t you doubling more times in the process of the mass, because in Transubstantiation all the humanity and divinity of Christ are present. When you eat the bread, according to your teaching, you eat flesh, soul and Spirit isn’t that a natural doubling instead of spiritual doubling?
      So how about doing it as a remembrance only, did you attempt any double presence there? How did you come up with that mysterious idea John? Where did you get that idea of double spirit?
      St. Chrysostom says and I quote: “And He gives thanks, to teach us how we ought to celebrate this sacrament, and to show that not unwillingly doth He come to the passion, and to teach us whatever we may suffer to bear it thankfully, thence also suggesting good hopes.”
      On the other hand, attacking your mysterious belief on the double presence from the Reformed Churches perspective, if I’m right too, is again so simple, the same, I believe, with the Zwinglian. The Spirit has no essence of Humanity, thus uncountable. Can you count how many Spirit are there when you all eat? Don’t confuse yourself with the soul of a human being. Here we are talking about the Spirit of God.
      *******Umm, yes I understand it. Don’t think you do though. The presence of the Holy Spirit does not by necessity imply the presence of the other two persons. Didn’t you just lecture us on “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you.”*********
      What did you say John? The presence of the Holy Spirit does not by necessity imply the presence of the other two persons? Wow, is that the teaching of your Orthodox Church?
      And by the way, I will shortly reply to your comment here and then proceed to that one and the rest of yours: Didn’t you just lecture us on “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you? Yes I did, and I explain that clearly in my other post saying: The visible will no longer visible, but the Spirit, the invisible one, on the other hand will do all the rest of the work, that Jesus had promised to His disciples.
      John, in the Scripture alone we are told that the divine names of the Holy Spirit shows that He is God. I will try to lecture you on some passages from the scripture which I believe you haven’t read as based on your ignorance of the presence of the other two persons of the Trinity.
      The Spirit or Holy Spirit is God, and how do I know? “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost….Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.’” Acts 5:3-4. The Spirit is called “Lord.” Again how do I know it? “But we. . . are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:18. The Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. How? “…baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matt. 28:19. Now, do you want me to explain what I mean in those passages? Not now, but let the Spirit teach you.
      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty: “You are transferring one to the other, and that really and absolutely contradicting the Hypostatic Union. ”

      Firstly, you don’t tell us why distributing his body widely is omnipresence. I’m assuming that is your objection, because you don’t spell it out.

      Secondly, there is a UNION. I mean, I presume Jesus’ human body uttered “when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.”, and yet, at least according to your theory, it was his divine nature who actually saw it, not his human body. That’s what happens when there is a UNION.

      Similarly, Jesus rose up again his human body, after it was dead. Not something that human bodies do all alone. So if you want to argue that the divine nature can’t make a human body do a particular thing, otherwise it destroys the “hypostatic union”, you’d better have a VERY good argument. Very good.

      As far as one nature receiving the “attributes of the other”, I don’t think anything has definitively set out what parts of each nature are absolutely and unalterably an attribute of one or the other. Certainly divinity is a certain thing which is unalterably different to humanity. But quantifying those things for our feeble human brains? I don’t think you’re qualified to go down that road.

      “So let me ask you guys; Romanism, Orthodox and Lutherans how can the body of Christ (flesh and blood; visible, touchable, material) which is in heaven be in many different places at the same time?”

      I’m sure if we took out a microscope, and a DNA analyser, we’d find particles of your skin everywhere you’ve been. At home, at your workplace, at your friend’s places. Are you omnipresent?

    • Ebouty

      Isn’t that funny? Insisting on the corruption of the Hypostatic Union. I think I had to bow my head my friend because you cannot understand what we are trying to argue here and it will be a waste of time. But before I decide on that, just simply and honestly tell me what kind of Nature the Council of Chalcedon defined.

      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty: “but if those whom you claim to be sent by the Apostles continue to pass on such teaching and some, centuries later, diverted from their (Apostles) teaching what will happen then?”

      That would be unacceptable of course. Which is why we rely on the pillar and foundation of the truth, the church, to keep safe the deposit of faith.

      You have NO WAY of knowing what that deposit of faith is without, in some fashion, consulting the church. At least I assume you weren’t walking along one day and had a bible fall out of the sky on your head. Someone told you what the deposit of faith is. They might have got it wrong, especially if they were from a heterodox group, but someone gave you that information.

      “So, what grounds are we going to accept those who were sent by the Apostles? What about those who were mentioned in Gal 1? Are they not being sent or being taught too by the Apostles orally? And why did they so quickly removed from Jesus’ true Gospel? I believe they did, because they hold on to their own traditions, even though they actually received first-hand tradition from the Apostles.”

      That’s true. So you need to compare what one person says came from the apostles, with the opinion of the universal church. That applies whether your source is written or oral. You don’t escape the conundrum.

      “Paul heard what they did and that is why he corrected them in a letter. ”

      Yes he did correct them with a letter. That’s not to say he always did so with a letter. I mean, the very fact that the letter refers to earlier oral teaching shows that he wasn’t wedded to the written form.

    • John

      @Ebouty: ““But as controversies arose, and disputants on both sides of all questions appealed to “tradition,” i.e., to what they had been taught; and when it was found that these traditions differed, one church saying their teachers had always taught them one thing, and another that theirs had taught them the opposite, it was felt that there should be some common and authoritative standard.”

      Yes, there was a movement to standardise both scripture and extra-scriptural things. Thus, over centuries, the canon became more standard, and doctrine became clarified in ecumenical councils, and church rules became standardised in canons. It wasn’t purely about scripture.

      ” So is your principle works in this situation? Absolutely not,”

      It works no less well than your theory, with multiple and erroneous lists of holy books circulating, some of them heretical. Arguing about written sources of authority vs oral sources is the same epistemological problem, until the church expresses its authority on which is true and which isn’t.

      “Now is the worship of Mary or images and many more diversion or development which are in progress many centuries after the Apostles are one of their tradition?”

      Putting aside your polemical characterisation of “worshipping Mary”, the earliest liturgical sources seem to indicate belief in intercession of the saints, and the earliest archaeological sources seem to indicate a love for iconography. We wouldn’t really expect a lot of discussion by the apostles on the departed NT saints, when there weren’t many yet.

      The question for you is why these things were present in the early church, and yet little controversy is recorded till much much later. Did nobody at all receive a different tradition from the apostles?

    • Ebouty

      Before commenting on my posts, please just answer my question that I ask you. What kind of Nature the Council of Chalcedon defined?

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******That would be unacceptable of course. Which is why we rely on the pillar and foundation of the truth, the church, to keep safe the deposit of faith.*******

      “We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith. For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed perfect knowledge, as some do even venture to say, boasting themselves as improvers of the apostles. For, after our Lord rose from the dead, [the apostles] were invested with power from on high when the Holy Spirit came down [upon them], were filled from all [His gifts], and had perfect knowledge: they departed to the ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things [sent] from God to us, and proclaiming the peace of heaven to men, who indeed do all equally and individually possess the Gospel of God. Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards,John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.”

      “But it is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. …since the “pillar and ground” of the church is the Gospel and the spirit of life, it is fitting that she should have four pillars…From this fact, it is evident that the Logos, the fashioner (demiourgos) of all, he that sits on the cherubim and holds all things together, when he was manifested to humanity, gave us the gospel under four forms but bound together by one spirit.” (Against Heresies 3.11.8)

      I will explain more on that when you answer my question.
      God bless

    • John

      “can anyone of your Patriarchs’ writings be included as part of the existing canon? ”

      They aren’t regarded as the canon of scripture, but many are regarded as important parts of the tradition of the church.

      “How can the Spirit be double? Are you kidding me?”

      Great, so if he can’t be doubly present, and he is already present ANYWAY, that means the eucharist is NOTHING in your theology. Just a Zwinglian remembrance. There is no special presence. It’s just some food that might trigger some memories in you.

      “I believe Christians did that by dedicating a special day called Easter in remembrance of that redeeming work.”

      Oh dear, you don’t follow church traditions like Easter do you?

      “When you eat the bread, according to your teaching, you eat flesh, soul and Spirit isn’t that a natural doubling instead of spiritual doubling?”

      Not sure what you’re getting at.

      “Where did you get that idea of double spirit?”

      Got it from you. You said the Spirit is always present, then you claimed he is present in the eucharist. Strange.

      “The presence of the Holy Spirit does not by necessity imply the presence of the other two persons? Wow, is that the teaching of your Orthodox Church?”

      It’s the teaching of every trinitarian church.

      “in the Scripture alone we are told that the divine names of the Holy Spirit shows that He is God. ”

      He is God, but he is not the Father, nor is he the Son. That is confounding the persons. Haven’t you see this diagram:
      http://www.quora.com/Christianity/What-is-the-best-way-to-explain-the-Trinity-to-others

      The father is not the son, is not the spirit.

      Something similar used to be on stained glass windows in Latin. Pater est deus. Filius est deus. Spiritus sanctus est deus. Pater non est filius, non est spiritus sanctus. The father is God, the Son is God, the Spirit is God. The Father is not the son, is not the spirit.

    • Ebouty

      ******Great, so if he can’t be doubly present, and he is already present ANYWAY, that means the eucharist is NOTHING in your theology. Just a Zwinglian remembrance. There is no special presence. It’s just some food that might trigger some memories in you. *******

      I told you John you are like someone I made an argument on the same subject and even though he was fail, he keep on insisting.

      Why so ignorant to the true fact? Never mind but are you trying to pretend that you did not hear me asking you to define the Hypostatic Union according to Calcedon?

      Is the Spirit countable like you can count visible things?
      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******There is no special presence. ******

      John what special presence? Superstitious presence? aren’t you so funny? Wow.

      God bless you

    • Ebouty

      ******The father is not the son, is not the spirit *****

      You are right, the father is not the Son, but He is God. The Son is not the Father, but He is God. the Holy Spirit is not the Son but He is God. The Holy Spirit is not the Father, but He is God and so on.

      So John it seems to me that you took it this way; are you trying to tell me that there are three Gods instead of one? So if one dwells on earth the other two were sleeping in heaven and when the Spirit, maybe who was on duty return from His tour He report then to the Son and then the Son start His next tour? Because His (Spirit) presence on earth the Son does not know about, right? Is not that funny?

      God bless

    • John

      Well Ebouty, the doctrine of the trinity says that any proposition you would care to make about one person of the trinity, doesn’t necessarily apply to the other two, because they are different persons. So at least as far as the trinity doctrine is concerned, yes one could be sleeping in heaven, while the other is on earth. There might be other doctrines that would have a bearing on that question, but at least as far as the trinity is concerned, you can’t assume any proposition that applies to one, necessarily applies to the other.

    • Ebouty

      To settle first what our argument is all about, please make me understand what is the Hypostatic Union according to the Council of Chalcedon as I already asked you earlier.

      God bless you.

    • Ebouty

      *****So at least as far as the trinity doctrine is concerned, yes one could be sleeping in heaven, while the other is on earth.******

      Wow, what an amazing knowledge John has. He was now telling us that there are three Gods, one God is dwelling on earth, the other is sleeping in heaven and the other playing with the Angels and Saints. There are three gods according to John’s theology.

      His not that heresy?

      God bless you in your belief.

    • John

      Wow, what an amazing knowledge Ebouty has. He was now telling us that there is one person of God. Jesus, the Father and the Spirit, are the same thing. Any proposition that applies to one, applies to the others, so they are the same, there is no distinguishing them. There one person of God according to Ebouty theology.

      Martin Luther put it this way: “if you do not make a distinction between each of the Persons within the Godhead, … apart from, and above, all creatures; and do not ascribe to each his own perculiar properties which cannot be ascribed to the rest; then, you confound the Persons, which is … false and departing from the faith!”

    • John

      I don’t really understand why randomly, some of my posts don’t show up here. I can post them again and again, but they never show. Other posts come up straight away.

    • Ebouty

      *****The question for you is why these things were present in the early church, and yet little controversy is recorded till much much later. Did nobody at all receive a different tradition from the apostles *******

      Read this site that I think will help:

      http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/assumption.html

      Tell me if you don’t understand, but keep in mind I’m waiting for your explanation on the Hypostatic Union.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******I don’t really understand why randomly, some of my posts don’t show up here. I can post them again and again, but they never show. Other posts come up straight away. ******

      And why this one comes up?

    • Ebouty

      By the way, I’m gonna leave for hours to do some work. I’ll be in touch with you maybe today or make it tomorrow.

      Good luck.

    • John

      @Ebouty, You quote a polemic against the assumption of Mary, which claims that the first church father to affirm the assumption was in 590AD.

      At the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when bishops from throughout the Mediterranean world gathered in Constantinople, Emperor Marcian asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the relics of Mary to Constantinople to be enshrined in the capitol. The patriarch explained to the emperor that there were no relics of Mary in Jerusalem, that “Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . . . was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven.”

      Nobody has ever claimed to have a bodily relic of Mary, which is in stark contrast to every other saint.

      No doubt, what happened to Mary’s body was not high on the list of priorities for the early church fathers to discuss. But that doesn’t mean that the church, at least locally, didn’t take a keen interest in what saints were buried where. And in the case of Mary, the collective memory that her body was nowhere.

      What happened to Mary is not of such overarching importance that it rises to the level of dogma, which is why Orthodoxy doesn’t dogmatise such things. On the other hand, you don’t really have any cause for saying it didn’t happen. Unless you were there at the time?

    • John

      “And here are some passages from the scripture showing His physical body unable to be omnipresent:”

      And to be fair, all those passages show is Jesus not using super-human powers on various occasions. I mean, there is massive eisegesis going on here. Take this one: “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” But you’re trying to sell us the story that the Lord WAS there, omnipresent in his divine nature… yet he still died. So much for that theory.

    • John

      Wow, super frustrated here about bugs in this comment system….

      “Wait a minute what do you mean by “your proposition”? What is my proposition?”

      I quoted your proposition, namely that Christ’s divine nature is omnipresent, but not his human nature.

      “You are right having a body widely distributed is not omnipresence, because it’s impossible unless is in the form of a God or deity, the Spirit.”

      What is impossible? To distribute your body widely? Why do you say such a thing?

      “Here are some passages from the Bible showing His omnipresent character while He was still on earth:”

      To be fair, those only point to super-human powers rather than omni-presence. Anyway, whatever, either way I don’t see why this is important.

    • John

      –I will first try and explain that passage according to my opinion”

    • John

      I’ve given up trying to figure out what it is that makes the comment system accept or reject a posting. It’s just totally broken right now, so its frustrating I can’t post what I wrote.

    • Ebouty

      ******What is impossible? To distribute your body widely? Why do you say such a thing? ******

      Do you think John at the time you cut your finger and give it to someone in one location, can the other 1000 miles away can receive the same finger at the same time? That is what I mean for the impossible only in physicality.

      What are you, John?

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ******Wow, what an amazing knowledge Ebouty has. He was now telling us that there is one person of God. Jesus, the Father and the Spirit, are the same thing. Any proposition that applies to one, applies to the others, so they are the same, there is no distinguishing them. There one person of God according to Ebouty theology. ******

      Is that how you understand Trinity John?

      You bring up Martin’s comment, but you even don’t understand what you are getting at.

      You accept that if the Spirit dwells on earth the the others remain in heaven without knowledge of what is going on on earth, unless HS report to them.

      You are the most funniest guy I ever met in a debate.

      Never mind I will respond to that soon.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      Oh! I almost forgot. John you still have not answer my question concerning your explanation on the Hypostatic Nature discussed at the Council of Chalcedon.

      God bless

    • John

      Ebouty, it’s too frustrating to post here when half of what I post doesn’t come up. Tried different browsers, tried breaking it up into smaller sections, nothing works.

      Meanwhile, you continue to post stuff WAY in excess of the 2000 character limit that everyone else is limited to. For reasons you don’t explain, you have that power, and the rest of us poor slobs don’t.

      If you want to adjourn this to another forum, we can continue.

    • Ebouty

      John how about doing it one at the time? I mean post what you can one after another. There is no rush in so doing. I can wait without making a reply until you finished.

      How about that? And if you agree, start first with the Council of Chalcedon and tell me what they really mean by the Hypostatic Union they were discussing.

      God bless

    • John

      Ebouty, I can’t post what I wrote. I know it doesn’t make sense that I can post this reply to you (assuming it turns up), but I can’t post my answers. There must be some heuristic or bug or something that I just can’t fathom that decides what it will let through. I even tried just posting the first sentence of my reply, but no. I don’t know if there’s some heuristic that tries to avoid duplicates, or who knows what.

      Meanwhile, you still won’t tell us why you are allowed to post oversized replies. I can’t believe you don’t know why. You must know why, whether you are somehow associated with reclaiming the mind or what.

    • Ebouty

      ******and the rest of us poor slobs don’t. *****

      John everyone are poor slobs, even myself so don’t think I wasn’t. You are absolutely wrong if you excluded me.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      Why not contacting the Administrator?

      God bless

    • John

      OK, I just left a message on the contact page. I have zero confidence that anything will change though since the 2000 character limit has always truncated at 1950 or something, leaving hundreds of comments on the site with missing last line. Nobody seems to care about that.

      Meanwhile, obviously you are not denying that you are somehow associated with the site, since you can post more than 2000, and you won’t tell us why. So why don’t you get it fixed?

    • Ebouty

      *****There must be some heuristic or….*******

      It was so funny if that what going to happen in this blog or forum. Are you sure the Administrator are avoiding us to discover or learn something that you think is the truth? Really sure of that, how about waiting for a reply from the Administrator?

      God bless

    • John

      No Ebouty, I don’t think anyone is targeting me. I’m not that paranoid. But there might be some heuristic I don’t know about, even so. Something about duplicates that isn’t working correctly perhaps.

    • Ebouty

      ******Meanwhile, obviously you are not denying that you are somehow associated with the site, since you can post more than 2000, and you won’t tell us why. So why don’t you get it fixed?******

      You really are a funny guy. I just found this site and how come then have some relation or association with. I even don’t know them well.

      I told you before, I did with the power of the mind. Nothing more nothing less. God will help me so. There is nothing to suspect having a relationship or association with this site.

      But I just wonder how come everyone here (according to your claim) don’t want to use the power of their mind, if I’m right of using that to mean what I did; using my mine to break the limit which I think is not so hard to do. Doesn’t need all day to think of.

      Maybe the Administrator too will figure that out, and who knows I will not be able then to do the same again.

      God bless

    • John

      Oh, the power of the mind, aka disable javascript?

      Doesn’t fix my problem.

      @Ebouty: “but if those whom you claim to be sent by the Apostles continue to pass on such teaching and some, centuries later, diverted from their (Apostles) teaching what will happen then?”

      That would be unacceptable of course. Which is why we rely on the pillar and foundation of the truth, the church, to keep safe the deposit of faith.

      You have NO WAY of knowing what that deposit of faith is without, in some fashion, consulting the church. At least I assume you weren’t walking along one day and had a bible fall out of the sky on your head. Someone told you what the deposit of faith is. They might have got it wrong, especially if they were from a heterodox group, but someone gave you that information.

    • John

      “So, what grounds are we going to accept those who were sent by the Apostles? What about those who were mentioned in Gal 1? Are they not being sent or being taught too by the Apostles orally? And why did they so quickly removed from Jesus’ true Gospel? I believe they did, because they hold on to their own traditions, even though they actually received first-hand tradition from the Apostles.”

      That’s true. So you need to compare what one person says came from the apostles, with the opinion of the universal church. That applies whether your source is written or oral. You don’t escape the conundrum.

      “Paul heard what they did and that is why he corrected them in a letter. ”

      Yes he did correct them with a letter. That’s not to say he always did so with a letter. I mean, the very fact that the letter refers to earlier oral teaching shows that he wasn’t wedded to the written form.

    • John

      @Ebouty: ““But as controversies arose, and disputants on both sides of all questions appealed to “tradition,” i.e., to what they had been taught; and when it was found that these traditions differed, one church saying their teachers had always taught them one thing, and another that theirs had taught them the opposite, it was felt that there should be some common and authoritative standard.”

      Yes, there was a movement to standardise both scripture and extra-scriptural things. Thus, over centuries, the canon became more standard, and doctrine became clarified in ecumenical councils, and church rules became standardised in canons. It wasn’t purely about scripture.

    • John

      ” So is your principle works in this situation? Absolutely not,”

      It works no less well than your theory, with multiple and erroneous lists of holy books circulating, some of them heretical. Arguing about written sources of authority vs oral sources is the same epistemological problem, until the church expresses its authority on which is true and which isn’t.

      “Now is the worship of Mary or images and many more diversion or development which are in progress many centuries after the Apostles are one of their tradition?”

      Putting aside your polemical characterisation of “worshipping Mary”, the earliest liturgical sources seem to indicate belief in intercession of the saints, and the earliest archaeological sources seem to indicate a love for iconography. We wouldn’t really expect a lot of discussion by the apostles on the departed NT saints, when there weren’t many yet.

      The question for you is why these things were present in the early church, and yet little controversy is recorded till much much later. Did nobody at all receive a different tradition from the apostles?

    • Ebouty

      *****That’s true. So you need to compare what one person says came from the apostles, with the opinion of the universal church. That applies whether your source is written or oral. You don’t escape the conundrum *****

      Really? Comparing a human being with another human being, how so or another lies with another lies? Why are you trying to get rid of the word of God as the only source for our rule of faith, I believe so?

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      ***Oh, the power of the mind, aka disable javascript?****

      John nothing is technical here. It just the power of the mind . I told you, but you don’t want to understand. Its going to be a waste of time.

      The power of my mind doesn’t disable anything technically or how do I say it. It just a way of thinking your way out. Nothing more nothing less.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      I’m still waiting John for your explanation on the Hypostatic Union discussion at the Council of Chalcedon. Like I ask you before or like this one; to explain to me how they distinguished the two Nature of Christ one must what and the other must what. Just like that and many more that you can.

      God bless

    • John

      Which words are the words of God? You didn’t know till some church told you so. It didn’t fall out of the sky onto your head. So since a church told you ANYWAY what to believe, telling you other things to believe is no epistemological leap.

      You ask me “how they distinguished the two Nature of Christ”. What does that mean? Did they do such a thing? They said there are two natures. Whether they distinguished them, as if they had Christ on the laboratory table, is another matter. If you want to quote some canon of the council and ask a question about it, go ahead.

      I didn’t say anything about whether the father and the son are in heaven “knowing nothing unless the spirit reports it to them”. I just said that you can’t assume something applies to one member of the trinity, just because you established that it applies to another one. Your entire argument was based on this false premise. Now if you want to PROVE that a PARTICULAR proposition applies to a PARTICULAR member of the trinity, then go ahead, and we can discuss that argument on its merits. But if you just want to argue based on your being a modalist then there’s no point talking as if you understand the trinity doctrine.

    • Ebouty

      John, let us try not to make things confusing here by talking about three things at a time. So what I think will try to finish first is on the Chalcedon declaration or whatever.

      What exactly is all about the Hypostatic Union, John? Is it about Human Nature (flesh and bones -visible), Half Ghost and half Human Nature (flesh and bone -invisible) and Divine Nature?

    • Ebouty

      You understand what I mean right? Take an example you reply to me on the Chalcedon only and don’t mention about trinity. I will reply to you on trinity then do the same without mentioning Chalcedon or whatever. I believe I did the same before, but please just to make my records on different issues kept separately.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      *******They said there are two natures. Whether they distinguished them, as if they had Christ on the laboratory table, is another matter. ******

      That’s my point John, what are those two Natures according to them. Are they just saying Oh it just only two Natures we need to say here and that all, lets go on to another issue, is that right?

      Just explain to me what they mean by two Natures.

    • Ebouty

      I ask you before and I quote: “So if the one dwells on earth the other two were sleeping in heaven…?” and you answered “Yes one could be sleeping in heaven, while the other is on earth.” I also asked you: “He report then to the Son and then the Son start His next tour? Because His (Spirit) presence on earth the Son does not know about, right? Here, you did not reply, so I assume you agree. But then you said “ I didn’t say anything about whether the father and the son are in heaven “knowing nothing unless the spirit reports it to them”.

      You should know that I wasn’t referring to the person of God. We all understand that there are three persons in God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. My point is the essence, so let me quote you a formula the church has been formulated:

      “The one divine essence subsists in three persons; or (what is the same thing), In the Deity there are three persons and one essence; or also, God is, one in essence, ,but the same God, one in essence, is threefold in person.”

      Your problem John in understanding the Trinity is the word Person. I believe you take the word person according to our understanding. But you forgot that there is always this difference in the word person when used with reference to God or man, respectively, that in the latter case it signifies a subject subsisting by itself, which has its own essence, whilst in the Trinity there is only one undivided essence, of which all the three persons of the Godhead partake.”

      Here we are required then to recognize in this one essence three persons. From this unity one person in virtue of the unity of essence is within another (John 14: 11; 17: 21), through which term the error is precluded, of regarding the three persons as subsisting separately alongside of one another; as also the equality (so that no one person is greater or less than another, and that the Father cannot properly be called God; by way of eminence or be said to be greater than the Son by reason of the mode of subsistence).

      Do you see where you get wrong in your thinking? You regard the three persons as subsisting separately alongside of one another. So how can one dwells in earth while the other could be in heaven without knowing until something being reported to them, when there is only one undidived essence, of which all the three persons of the Godhead partake?

      “Thus, in the Church, the term person is used in a different sense from the common usage of speaking. Among men we know what a person is, among angels we understand what it is. Peter, Paul, and John are three persons to whom one human nature is common. But, they differ very much, (1) in substance, because one entirety is distinct from another, (2) in time, (3) in will, (4) in power, (5) in work •••• But in the Trinity, persons are not thus distinguished, as an angel from an angel, and a man from a man (nor do they differ in time, will, power, work; but, in the persons or the Trinity, there is coeternity , one will, one power, one working).”

      “These works are undivided, because then the three persons are together and work together… In God there is so great unity, and so great power of one and the same essence, that to individual persons individual and peculiar works, which are wrought separately in creatures, ought by no means to be assigned,” whence follows the statement: “By one person, named in works ad extra, the entire Trinity is meant.”

      So the presence of the Spirit in the Eucharist involves the presence of the Father and the Son.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      I’m sorry John. I have to make myself clear once again. We can debate on Tradition, Eucharist and Trinity, but in making responds its better to do it separately in a post especially in your case, but if you find your way then that won’t be necessary.

      I believe that will help you to mention more on one point in one post, and for me to record it separately.

      God bless

    • Ebouty

      I come across one quotation from one article that I like to share with you, and it says:

      “The relationship between the three persons is so close that they “indwell” on one another, and all share in the distinct work of each. Their mutual indwelling activity has been traditionally described as a kind of “Dance.” The key to understanding the Trinity is to recognize that it is not just a math problem (how can three be one?), the Trinity is a relationship.”

      This I believe was another quotation that seems to agree with my point that the presence of the Holy Spirit during the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper involves the Father and the Son. And maybe it could be the reason when saying .. the Spirit of God ..Spirit of Christ, not really sure.

      God bless you

    • Ebouty

      *****Which words are the words of God? You didn’t know till some church told you so. It didn’t fall out of the sky onto your head. So since a church told you ANYWAY what to believe, telling you other things to believe is no epistemological leap.******

      “It’s not the Church that told you what to believe. It is the word of God given (falling from heaven -adding mine) the Apostles and then from them onto the Church, not one church but various churches (you right when you said some churches) they had laid the foundation, and that foundation is the word of God. Even the Church does not wrote the word of God (mine), did they? What the Church did is collecting them.”

      “Also the church doesn’t determine what is inspired. The Church merely discovers what is inspired. This makes sense from not only a Biblical viewpoint, but from a temporal one. What really matters is that today we have the books that God intended us to have – and those books are in harmony with each other. Any other books that are not in complete agreement with the OT and NT in message, history, and accuracy of transmission should be discarded. The apocryphal books would not qualify.”

      John “If the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, what is the pillar and ground of the church? The Apostle Paul said that we, Christ’s church, are built on the prophets and apostles with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone of the foundation. How do we know what the prophesies are? Scripture! How do we know what the fulfillment of the prophesies are? The writings of the apostles! And who do the prophets and apostles testify of? Christ! If Paul said we are built on this foundation then clearly this is the foundation of the truth the church is supposed to proclaim. Irenaeus clearly understood this because he also said that the base and pillar of the church is the fourfold Gospel.”

      Just to let you know that those words are not from me. I took it from someone I know in one forum I used to debate in before this…

    • John

      @Ebouty, Actually Peter and Paul ARE one substance… the substance of flesh and blood. The father and the son are one substance… God substance, whatever that is.

      You seem to have some notion that one substance means that there is some etherial thingami that the Three somehow joined to, yet not joined to. As if the three are three in one way, but one in another way, BUT WE HAVE NO understanding of what that threeness or oneness is all about.

      No, such vague nonsense is not the doctrine on the trinity. The trinity is that there are three persons in God, made of the same God-stuff, same substance.

      Yes they are undivided, just like the Catholic Orthodox church is said to be undivided. Undivided in purpose and in will and destiny and so on and so forth. Not undivided in personhood.

      Yet again, I repeat, I never said that other members of the trinity are in heaven knowing nothing until the Spirit submits his annual report. All I said was that the trinity doctrine says nothing to such a topic. Other doctrines or teachings might, but the trinity doctrine does not.

      As John of Damascus put it, the persons neither mingle nor coalesce.

      You talk about the church merely collecting the books and passing them on. But you are splitting a hair that can’t be split. The church recognised them and passed them onto you. Your knowledge is dependant on that correct recognition. If the recognition is fallible or flawed, your list is flawed.

      Yes, multiple churches pass on such lists. Mormons have their list, Muslims their list and so forth. Only the true church can pass on the true list. If you got your list from the false church, it is only as good as how close it corresponds to the true list, and thus the true church. If your church can’t plausibly claim to be the one true church, then its a crap shoot whether you got the true list.

    • John

      @Ebouty, Your question of what is the hypostatic union, is a very broad question, and I’m not even sure of the point really.

      You asked if your finger was chopped off, could it be in two churches at once? Well yes, if I chopped it into 2 pieces. And in fact, at the rate we shed skin cells, my guess is your body IS in probably hundreds of churches right now. As I pointed out already in this thread, even an atheist could readily admit, using math alone, that Christ probably IS in the eucharist, simply by virtue of the math concerning shedding of skin, number of atoms, distribution of atoms etc. So if its possible with natural causes, there is certainly no objection at all if the supernatural is called into play.

    • Ebouty

      Wow good try John. Will respond soon or later. But as for the list you mentioned, did you add the apocryphal books in your canon?

      ******@Ebouty, Your question of what is the hypostatic union, is a very broad question, and I’m not even sure of the point really. ********

      We all know that there are two Natures of Christ. Is that right? So what are those two Natures all about?

      God bless

    • John

      “did you add the apocryphal books in your canon?”

      The so-called apocryphal books, yes.

      `”what are those two Natures all about?”

      Very vague question.

    • Ebouty

      Why is so hard for you to explain those Natures?

      God bless

    • John

      “Why is so hard for you to explain those Natures?”

      People have written volumes.

      What is it you want to know?

    • Ebouty

      I want to know how you, you as John understand the Two Natures of Christ according to the Chalcedon declaration or statement whatever it is. Is that hard for you to tell me?

      God bless

    • John

      This is how I understand it…

      Our Lord Jesus Christ is to us
      One and the same Son, the Self-same Perfect in Godhead, the Self-same Perfect in Manhood; truly God and truly Man; the Self-same of a rational soul and body; co-essential with the Father according to the Godhead, the Self-same co-essential with us according to the Manhood; like us in all things, sin apart; before the ages begotten of the Father as to the Godhead, but in the last days, the Self-same, for us and for our salvation (born) of Mary the Virgin Theotokos as to the Manhood; One and the Same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten; acknowledged in Two Natures unconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the difference of the Natures being in no way removed because of the Union, but rather the properties of each Nature being preserved, and (both) concurring into One Person and One Hypostasis; not as though He were parted or divided into Two Persons, but One and the Self-same Son and Only-begotten God, Word, Lord, Jesus Christ; even as from the beginning the prophets have taught concerning Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself hath taught us, and as the Symbol of the Fathers hath handed down to us.

    • Ebouty

      John that is not your understanding, that is the Chalcedon definition that I want you to tell me what you really understand of, especially on this one and I quote:

      One and the Same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten; acknowledged in TWO NATURES UNCONFUSEDLY, UNCHANGEABLY, INDIVISIBLY, INSEPARABLY; the difference of the Natures being in no way removed because of the Union, but rather the properties of each Nature being preserved, and (both) concurring into One Person and One Hypostasis;”

      What those two Natures that are UNCONFUSEDLY, UNCHANGEABLY, INDIVISIBLY, INSEPARABLY?

      God bless

    • John

      @Ebouty: I don’t understand the problem or the controversy. I understand it as written. I’m guessing the bishops at Chalcedon didn’t aim to write it with ambiguity.

    • Ebouty

      John even if you don’t understand the problem or the controversy, that definition is so obvious for everyone to understand.

      I’m not really sure why hardly for you to understand. Never mind, for I think have to bow my head on this issue.

      May God bless us all.

    • Ebouty

      I have to conclude here that because you cannot tell me what those two natures are then you fail to support the doctrine of Transubstantiation.

      Those two Natures are UNCONFUSEDLY, UNCHANGEABLY, INDIVISIBLY, INSEPARABLY, but Transubstantiation makes the Natures CONFUSEDLY, CHANGEABLY, DIVISIBLY and SEPARABLY.

      UNCONFUSEDLY, UNCHANGEABLY, INDIVISIBLY, INSEPARABLY is what the Church understood at the Council regarding the Human and Divine Nature, but what makes that understanding corruptible is the decision of the later Church when the literal issue raised by Radbertus.

      Now let read John of Damascus in his exposition of the orthodox faith:

      “Since we find many terms used symbolically in the Scriptures concerning God which are more applicable to that which has body, we should recognise that it is quite impossible for us men clothed about with this dense covering of flesh to understand or speak of the divine and lofty and immaterial energies of the Godhead, except by the use of images and types and symbols derived from our own life. So then all the statements concerning God that imply body, are symbols, but have a higher meaning: for the Deity is simple and formless.”

      Now don’t think that this statement has nothing to do with the Eucharist. What they understand about “This is my body” or other terms that imply a body are symbol, but has a higher or hidden meaning. I repeat they are symbols, but as a higher and hidden meaning.

      Another comments from one of a Church Father:
      “The soul became flesh that the soul might become visible. Well, then, did the flesh likewise become soul that the flesh might be manifested? If the soul is flesh, it is no longer soul, but flesh. If the flesh is soul, it is no longer flesh, but soul.”
      First of all, we need to understand that there is a difference between soul and spirit, but the essence (if I’m right in using that word) that these two (Soul and Spirit) shared is invisible.

      Now the doctrine of transubstantiation is very wrong in this sense. It called the soul and Spirit fresh, which according to that comments if the soul is fresh it is no longer soul and that soul become visible. Even our Lord Jesus Christ understood the difference.

      “Now, if they are neither in particular, although they become both one and the other, it is, to say the least, very absurd, that we should understand the soul when we name the flesh, and when we indicate the soul, explain ourselves as meaning the flesh.”

      “But in Christ we find the soul and the flesh expressed in simple unfigurative terms; that is to say, the soul is called soul, and the flesh, flesh; nowhere is the soul termed flesh, or the flesh, soul; and yet they ought to have been thus (confusedly) named if such had been their condition.

      “For the soul-flesh, or the flesh-soul, is but one; unless indeed He even had some other soul apart from that which was flesh, and bare about another flesh besides that which was soul. But since He had but one flesh and one soul,—that “soul which was sorrowful, even unto death,” and that flesh which was the “bread given for the life of the world,”—the number is unimpaired of two substances distinct in kind, thus excluding the unique species of the flesh-comprised soul.”

      As I said already I have to bow my head and good luck.

      God bless us all in our journey

    • Ebouty

      *******I’d like to throw Lanciano in there and see what effect that has on the conversation…http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html*******

      Let us not hood-wink by signs that the devil can do on earth. In Matthew 16:4 Jesus says:

      “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of Jonah.”

      Catholics often and will always never stop claiming of things as signs, even though Jesus says that there would be no more sign to be given except the sign of Jonah. So what is that sign of Jonah? The sign of Jonah was an analogy of three days he was in the great fish and Jesus would be in Hades (cf. 1 Pet. 3:19).

      So, the only sign that we need to know and believed is the sign of the death and resurrection from the death. It is not about a sign for a conversion or transformation of the bread into the literal Body of our Lord.

      What is vital for Christians is to follow and believed Jesus as the Son of God, because He conquered death and rose after three days (sign of Jonah), appearing to His disciples and there Thomas did not believe, but after Jesus convinced him physically He said:

      “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29).

      Also Jesus said: “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

      To believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit in the commemoration of the Lord’s passion is all we need for our salvation because we believe and follow His commands when He said “do this in remembrance of me.” Nothing carnal or literal required for our salvation or signs, in my opinion, that we need more for increasing our salvation, because those will lead us to adulterous superstitious ideas thus condemnation will fall upon us.

      Apparently the Jewish religionists are similar with Romanism as they wanted evidence that Jesus was empowered by YHWH. Which in fact Jesus gave them already that sign (i.e., His resurrection), and nothing more to be given.

      God bless

    • […] 5 Reasons I Reject the Doctrine of Transubstantiation. “Here are the five primary reasons why I reject the doctrine of Transubstantiation.” […]

    • Cryptocatholic

      Amazing how we Protestants love to build up Catholic straw men and then tear them down. We Christians accepted His presence in both His earthly body and blood, yet somehow we do not recognize His presence in the eucharist as though they were just another piece of bread or glass of wine that we eat or drink in remembrance of Him and not a symbol under which He is present. If that be so, among other things why are we warned that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord? 1 Cor. 11:27 Whereas, we are never given such warnings with the other symbols: the door; the way; water, etc.?

    • Ebouty

      *********If that be so, among other things why are we warned that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord? 1 Cor. 11:27 Whereas, we are never given such warnings with the other symbols: the door; the way; water, etc.?**********

      It is Christ our Lord’s command, and that is the reason eating and drinking unworthy shows that you are ignorant or do not want to follow His command and more importantly did not believe in His death and resurrection. In other words, you did not understand the purpose of His incarnation when He took the form of a servant.

      You must understand the importance of John’s gospel. God did not send His Son to be eaten, but what the scripture says is:

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

      That is the vital massage of the bread of life discourse.

    • ebouty

      I have no intention to continue a debate on this issue, because there’s been so many things being discussed already, but I was only interested to make a respond to this interesting question only raised by John on the 19th of March 2013.

      Here’s the question; So why not just hold a Real Presence view, if they are the same?

      I know that when he mentioned about real presence he was referring to the doctrine of transubstantiation, a literal or physical view. So my own answer to his question is this, they are not the same. Jesus said and I quote:

      Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (Luke 24:39)

      The difference was absolutely comes from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ. In that case such a doctrine is a failure both from scripture and from the Council of Chalcedon definition.

      God bless

    • ebouty

      I have no intention to continue a debate on this issue, because there has been so many things discussed already, but I was only interested to make a respond to this interesting question only raised by John on the 19th of March 2013.

      Here’s the question; So why not just hold a Real Presence view, if they are the same?

      I know that when he mentioned about real presence he was referring to the doctrine of transubstantiation, a literal or physical view. So my own answer to his question is this, they are not the same. Jesus said and I quote:

      Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (Luke 24:39)

      The difference was absolutely comes from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ. In that case such a doctrine is a failure both from scripture and from the Council of Chalcedon definition.

      God bless

    • Jim

      Michael, your article and comments are convincing to a rational mind; however, rationality is not required to believe in transubstantiation since it is a matter of blind faith. Roman Catholicism, which I have studied for years, is first and foremost a dogmatic commitment to the Church which was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone and Peter His vicar here on earth. Once doctrine is dogmatized it is beyond question. Logic, rationality, whatever, may support our understanding but not prove it, according to their way of thinking. So, in essence, we who hold a more generalized view like consubstantiation or that communion is simply a sign or symbol will never argue our way out of this. Remember Church tradition trumps private interpretation and sola scriptura is in essence heresy. Scripture is simply an infallible guide in the sense of providing an embryonic resource to develop, support and when convenient confirm Catholic doctrine. Interestingly enough Mormons take a similar approach.

    • Ebouty

      Scripture is truly the word of God, right? and it is the foundation of the Church like what Irenaeus said and not the Church alone, because the majority of the scriptures are the Apostles. We don’t have them, but we have their words or teachings that are in the scripture. The Apostles did not say this “we handed you (Church) our teachings, but remember it’s not yet being developed for that’s the task of the Pope who is our Leader, because he is the only Vicar of Christ on earth and not us, to develop it. Did Paul, Peter and some other Apostles said that? I don’t think so. So the Church was truly builds on the foundation of scriptures, because Scriptures are the Apostles and prophets i.e. Old and New Testament.

      By the way, there is no need for development, I think, because the only message the Apostles want us to know is to believe in Jesus Christ and the Spirit will do the rest.

      Now you say that sola scripture is in essence heresy. I don’t understand what you said, and is that the reason the Roman Catholic Church does not believe Paul’s words to the Corinthians when he said:

      For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)????

      Is that also the reason your Church says that burning heretics is the will of the Spirit, because your Church tradition trumps private interpretation?

      Let me give you two personal interpretations that came up during the reformation (if I’m right). One is from your Pope who said that killing the heretics is the will of the Spirit. The other is from Martin Luther who goes against that interpretation saying that that’s not the will of the Spirit. Which one do you think is right?

    • Amaresh

      Hi, I would just like to say that the author is incorrect in saying that the Eastern Orthodox Church or more correctly Chalcedonian Eastern Churches (i.e. the Greek Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church etc.) do not believe in the Hypostatic Union, these Churches do accept the Council of Chalcedon’s decree on the Hypostatic Union. Just wanted to make that clear.

    • Thera

      So what is your opinion of the Eucharistic miracles? There have been hundreds! they go back even to the medieval times. A recent miracle was On February 28, 2010, in the Vatican.

    • Phoebe

      So thank you for enlightening me as to the exact meaning of blasphemy. You write an entire article full of what I assume you consider well thought out arguments, then invalidate your argument by calling that which you reject “excrement.” I belong to a Church whose teaching is that God will save whom God will save, that God is not limited by any thing. In our Church, some might well call you misguided, but no one is going to pronounce anyone seeking to spread the Gospel as a purveyor of crap. People once called Jesus’ power demonic, that is, he was using evil crap, not Godly power to work miracles. As I recall, Jesus was a lot more than displeased by these accusations.

    • pat

      I am Catholic. I do believe that Jesus is present. I also watch EWTN on a regular basis. It is our Catholic network with tons of great information. Let me share a story with you that I saw on a Catholic TV program. There was a young girl who became very ill. The child was too sick to attend mass so her mother asked her parish priest to say mass in their home. He agreed. The child had two nurses at her side, one who was Jewish and the other Baptist. The child slipped into a coma but somehow was always able to receive communion. One day as the priest lifted the host up as he was praying he noticed what appeared to be blood in it. Naturally, he was startled. Our church documents everything. He sent the host to a lab not connected with the church in any way so it would not be biased and they indeed confirmed the substance was blood. Also a statue of Mary that was present cried tears. Those too were sent. They were said to be olive oil. Both the Baptist and the Jew converted to the Catholic faith after witnessing what they considered to be a miracle. The child was very sick and did die. But many have claimed they were healed of their own illnesses while visiting the child. She may become a saint in our church one day. She lived her life with a love for Jesus and inspired many.

    • Jim

      A Critique of Random Thoughts on the Eucharists, the real presence and faith:
      First of all Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas-Aristotle suggested that the reason for anything coming about can be attributed to four different types of simultaneously active causal factors:
      1. Material cause describes the material out of which something is composed.
      2. The formal cause is its form, i.e., the arrangement of that matter.
      3. The efficient cause is “the primary source”, or that from which the change under consideration proceeds.
      4. The final cause or teleos is the purpose or function that something is supposed to serve. This covers modern ideas of motivating causes, such as volition, need, desire, ethics, or spiritual beliefs.
      Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics argues for foundationalism on the basis of the regress argument. St. Thomas Aquinas apparently agreed by positing faith as the teleos or functioning principle in our pursuit of God the efficient cause. The depth of this retrogressive cycle of paradoxical understanding is, indeed, amazing in that we are the recipients and initiators in our spiritual journey in and through faith.
      Faith as Primal Understanding
      It was not without cause that Paul in the book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, verse one calls faith a substance, an evidence of things not yet seen. Thus, through faith we both see and understand that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist under the form of bread and wine.
      By this change, then, of the substance of the bread into the body of Christ, this body, itself remaining unchanged, becomes really present under the accidents of the bread, because these accidents lose the real and containing relation they had to the substance of the bread and they acquire a new, real, and containing relation to the body of Christ. This new real relation presupposes a real foundation, which is transubstantiation.
      “Thus it comes,” [says the Catechism of the Council of Trent, [904] “that the entire substance of the bread is by divine power changed into the entire substance of Christ’s body without any mutation in our Lord.”
      Think of it this way, if in a house where there was no fire in which we now find a fire, that fire either must have been brought there or produced there. Similarly, if a body is present where before it was not, then, by the principle of identity, this body must undergo a change of place, or then another body must be changed into it. Hence, if the earthly or resurrected body of Christ Himself is not the subject of the change, He cannot become really present except by the changing the substances of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. This, I say, because according to Tridentine Creed and the Catechistic doctrine thereof to speak of transubstantiation as adductive is to deny the conversion of one substance into another, and to affirm the substitution of one for the other.
      Which, Scripture so vividly illustrates on the night of the Last Supper, when Christ, clearly visibly present at the table with them lifts the bread and the chalice and utters these words: “This is my body . . . this is my blood.” Thus, the substances of bread and wine become the substance of His body and His blood leaving as it were Christ fully embodied in His humanity and in the consecrated Bread and Wine of which they partook. In other words, the bread and wine was transformed or transubstantiated into the body and blood (body), soul and divinity of Christ. Therefore, once again and in the spirit of Malachi 1:11 , He is materially present with us in the fulness of the Godhead bodily simultaneously at each and every Eucharistic celebration.

      Thus, primal knowledge is first of all revealed or intuitive, a priori knowledge, though not contrary to reason, faith is nonetheless superior to reason. Reason apprehends faith, not the other way around. God makes no apologies as to who he is; but simply states, “I am that I am.”—thereby affirming, his self-sustaining existence. However, because of His generous grace and love toward us, he by revelation makes himself known unto us. This act of grace, though unmerited, is nonetheless a necessary grace in as much as it is an expression of His divine nature. God is love, and in him is no shadow of darkness within him. Thus, we can count on the transparency of his love to clearly reveal his inwardness by his outwardness. So, we therefore understand that his inwardness and outwardness are one and the same, but not in that order.
      Love is foundational to his outwardness. Faith, therefore, is based on the outwardness of his inwardness to assure us of the perfection of his inwardness. We who depend on his outwardness to understand his inwardness clearly understand that now abide these three: faith, hope, and charity; but the greatest of these is charity. Each of these, however, do not stand alone, as they are but the natural consequences of the foundational principle of love. Without love there is no hope—for all may end in naught, and, therefore, confidence is lost. Also, we may easily understand that without love there is no charity—for there is no reason for charity. Furthermore, it can also be safely said that “perfect love castes out fear, for there is no fear in love [1 John 4:18].”
      We, therefore, are securely anchored in love by hope with full confidence in His promises to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior [Hebrews 6:17-20].

    • C J Barton

      Not.
      Good logic and reason are man’s effort to arrange thoughts in order to arrive at truth. Aquinas was a master of reason, not so much the Holy Spirit. Knowledge (God’s truth) must be imparted by the HS, and cannot be deduced entirely by reason. God’s Word is Truth. The Bible still trumps man’s best logic.

    • Benedict D'silva

      The belief in the real presence was right from the beginning even BEFORE the canon of the New testament was complied. A lot is mentioned in scripture and some things are not. Those are found in Apostolic tradition.Who decided that the other epistles and gospels should not be included in the canon of the new testament? The same early Christians had beliefs which are not written down……

    • Ron Willis

      Here should be the primary question, Michael: What did the Church (Jesus body of believers on Earth) say about the Eucharist in its very beginnings? That is the true litmus test, don’t you agree? Well, then it becomes very clear that transubstantiation WAS the belief of the Christians at that time. Read Augustine or any other early Doctor of the Church. Paul himself said “This cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” 1 Cor 10:16.

      Finally, your ignoring of the John Chapter 6 Bread of Life Discourse indicates that you have not studied the actual meaning of the words spoken by Christ at that time. Begin with the context of the setting. Christ tells this to his Disciples while TEACHING in a synagogue in Capernaum after they have eaten “of the loaves and were filled,” “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.” Then they respond, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus’ answer . . . “Your ancestors at the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and NOT die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats (meaning is gnaws) this bread will live forever . . . ” The “quarreling” then began and Christ made it even clearer that he was speaking literally when he said, “For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.”

      “Then many of his disciples who were listening said, ‘This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Jesus’ response, “Does this shock you? . . . The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Many of his disciples then “return to their former way of life” and Jesus asks the 12, “Do you also want to leave?” Peter responds, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

      So then the gospel of John does INDEED not only support transubstantiation, it is the most revealing of its true meaning of all of the gospels, Michael. I will pray first for the anathema that you have written and secondly for God’s wisdom to come upon you to understand the power of the Eucharist.
      C

    • R. Zell

      Hi Michael,

      The Gospel of John fails to mention the Eucharist

      Although St. John does not include the Institution of the Eucharist in the details of his eyewitness account of what occurs in the “Upper Room,” he does point us to the Institution of the Eucharist. In John ch. 6, he places the feeding of the 5,000, the walking on water and The Bread of Life Discourse near the time of the Passover. The second temple Jews were awaiting deliverance from Roman or Pagan oppression. At John’s Last Supper narrative, again, it is the Passover. St. John wants this connection to be understood.

      Without getting into the a lengthy discussion on Transubstantiation, looking at the last part of The Bread of Life Discourse, verse John 6:25-71, only two Apostles are mentioned, Simon Peter and Judas. St. John makes it a point to tell us that Judas, one of the 12 was going to betray him. This is very important to understanding the narrative occurring in the “Upper Room.” Jesus now echos the words of St. John in John 6:71 in John 13:21 and said “Truely, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” The Apostles don’t know who it is, but we do know who it is. John revealed this to us.

      Now to the “Upper Room.” The only two Apostles named of the 12 who were present at The Bread of Life Discourse and at the Last Supper are again, both Simon Peter and Judas. It’s interesting that Simon Peter asks the Disciple who Jesus loved, who was reclining on the bosom of the Lord (where else should one put there head to rest) to ask Jesus who it was that was going to betray him and he asks “Lord, who is it? And Jesus answers him in verse 6:26-28

      (26)”It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. (27) After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” (28) Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.

      There are no coincidences in Scripture. This we can 100% agree on. St. John wants us to connect: The Bread of Life Discousre, the Passover, the Disciples who leave Jesus in John 6:66, Simon Peter, Judas, and The Last Supper with Bread. Let me explain.

      John doesn’t have an Institution Narrative and an eating of the Passover Meal, so we can assume that the Passover Ritual is observed here in Johns Gospel. From the other Gospels we know that Jesus takes the bread, blesses the bread, breaks the bread and gives it to the Apostles. What Bread does He give to the Apostles? Blessed Bread.

      Jesus gives us the difference between ordinary bread from the kitchen and the Consecrated, Blessed Bread of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Right from the hand of Jesus himself, He gives Judas the unconsecrated, unblessed Bread and at that very moment Satan enters him. The bread Judas eats is symbolic of bread that is neither Consecrated and Blessed by the Words of the Savior when he picks up bread and Institues the Eucharist.

      Judas and therefore Satan, is never a witness to the Institution of the Eucharist and the New Covenant. Neither has a part in it.

      These are St. Johns pointers for us to understanding the Eucharist. Again, there are no coincidences in Scripture.

      In Christ,

      R. Zell

      The difference between the Bread that Jesus gave to the Apostles and the bread he gave to Judas,

    • Pastor Jim

      The Eucharist
      Semiotics is roughly speaking the study of the use of symbols and/or signs to represent or signal an actual referent. In medicine a sign may be considered a symptom, for instance, of an identifiable disease that is present in the patient. It is not the disease, it simply signals or indicates the presence of the disease. The same can be said for a sign of health. The rhythm of a sound heart beat signals a certain wellness, or good stamina indicates a healthy constitution.

      In theology, however, we must carefully differentiate between symbol and sign. A dove, for instance, my represent peace or even the Holy Ghost, but the symbol in no way takes on the characteristics of that for which it stands except to suggest. Whereas, on the other hand, a sign does directly connect to the referent to which it suggest—in other words, there is a synergetic relationship.

      Take, for instance, the promise that—
      “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover (Mark 16:17-18).”

      The scripture does not say, “These symbols shall follow,” no rather “These signs shall follow.”

      Now, it is my contention that The Lord’s Supper, of instance, is sign rather than a symbol—a synergetic relationship is present in the form of an efficaciously prevailing presence of Christ under the form of the bread and wine. This is my body, truly means that this is His Body, and the same for the wine.

      Let us carry this one step further. There is a world of difference between saying, “I am the door” (which He is obviously not a wooden door with iron hinges) and saying, “This is My Body, this is My blood.” One, the former, is a symbol, whereas, the other is a sign. Nowhere does Christ hold up and door, and say, “This is me. Take a good look. This is me.” The same applies to a road, or vine or whatever symbol he chooses to compare himself with as a symbol. The poet may say and theologians agree that Christ “is the lily of the valleys, and the rose of Sharon in Song of Solomon 2:1, but none would suggest that He is present in the lilies or roses—certainly, these are not signs, but rather symbols or metaphors.

      Now, how do we know these things? We know them because of two things—firstly, because of commonsense; and secondly, because nowhere else in relation to anything else has He ever said, this is My Body, this is My blood.

      I am not quite sure if I am able to go as far as Flannery O’Connor, an otherwise devote Catholic who once remarked in response to someone suggesting that the Eucharist was simply a symbol—

      “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it!”

      I will, however, say, that as a symbol it fails to explain why Paul cautioned against taking the Eucharistic meal unworthily. (1 Corinthians 11:27). A symbol has only the power of suggestion; whereas, a sign signifies a presence. To put it bluntly, I have failed to see a symbol or memorial kill anyone; whereas, illness that is present in the human expresses itself as a sign or symptom, but never a symbol. Thus, the difference between a sign and a symbol. With a sign there is always something present; whereas, with a symbol there is only ideation.

      Then, of course, we also have the first centuries of Christian history to vouch for the real presence in the form of bread and wine, beginning as early as The Didache , which most scholars place in the mid to late first century, however, the renown, albeit liberal, Anglican scholar Bishop John Robinson argues that it was most probably written in the first generation of Christian history, dating it as early c. 40–60 AD.

      So, we must decide whether or not we are willing to accept the testimony of Scripture as well as Church history as a true testimony or that of schismatic Protestants and/or other erstwhile heretics.

      “In the Orthodox view, all of reality—the world and man himself—is real to the extent that it is symbolical and mystical, to the extent that reality itself must reveal and manifest God to us. Thus, the Eucharist in the Orthodox Church is understood to be the genuine Body and Blood of Christ precisely because bread and wine are the mysteries and symbols of God’s true and genuine presence and manifestation to us in Christ. Thus, by eating and drinking the bread and wine which are mystically consecrated by the Holy Spirit, we have genuine communion with God through Christ who is himself “the bread of life” (Jn 6:34, 41).

      I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh (Jn 6:51).

      Thus, the bread of the Eucharist is Christ’s flesh, and Christ’s flesh is the Eucharistic bread. The two are brought together into one. The word “symbolical” in Orthodox terminology means exactly this: “to bring together into one.”

      The mystery of the holy Eucharist defies analysis and explanation in purely rational and logical terms. For the Eucharist—and Christ himself—is indeed a mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven which, as Jesus has told us, is “not of this world.” The Eucharist—because it belongs to God’s Kingdom—is truly free from the earth-born “logic” of fallen humanity.

      Now, whereas, the Orthodox position may sound a little simplistic, in reality it is not. To declare something is not to define that something. Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, made a straightforward declaration—“This bread is my body,” he said; and “This wine is my blood” requires belief not an explanation.

      Finally, let us revisit 1 Corinthians 10:14-15, which reads:
      Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

      Firstly, I would like for you to notice that Paul addresses the sin of idolatry; which, coincidentally negates any thought that the Eucharistic celebration is in any way connected with idolatry. Secondly, it should also me noted that Paul appeals to “sensible people,” then goes on to say, “Judge for yourself!” Which in a sense is quiet astounding, considering the fact that he immediately asserts that to give thanks over the cup of thanksgiving (which is filled with wine) is to actually participate—that is, ingest the blood of Christ. When we share a Eucharistic meal that is precisely what we do—we ingest the same bread and the same wine which both Paul and Jesus agree is the body of Christ. And, Paul considers this to be a “sensible” conclusion.

      Why should this baffle our senses? Mark informs us that following the Resurrection Jesus “appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country (Mark 16:12)”; which was no doubt the same incident that Luke records that happened on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:14). Jesus is in no way restricted to a particular form, should he chose not to be. His resurrection appearance baffled Mary at the tomb—it was only after she heard his voice was she able to say, “Rabboni” (John 20:16). Further, if we backtrack into Matthew 13:1-13 we find that even prior to His Resurrection His appearance change on the Mount of Transfiguration. Then, of course, we could reference the Theophanies which once again illustrate His reincarnate ability to change, as it were His appearance—remember, He was the lamb slain from the foundation of the earth; so the efficaciousness of His power as Savior is not limited to time or space. He is, after all—
      [The] radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3 NIV)

      That, of course, includes sustaining the efficacy of His sacrifice by the sheer force of saying of the bread and wine at the Last Supper, “This is my body, this is my blood.” Although, some would object and say, how can bread and wine be transformed into His body and blood? Science as a matter of fact, they say, refutes that. Whereas, Aristotelian logic has shown that there is a fundamental distinction between the essential and accidental properties of a thing. Take a chair, for instance, which can be made of wood or metal—both of which are accidental to its being a chair since it is still functionally and fundamentally a chair regardless of the material from which it is made. To put this in philosophical terms, an accident is a property which has no necessary connection other than form to the essence of the thing being described. Why then do we struggle over the fact that He has chosen to appear to us in another form—that is, in the bread and in the wine?

      Now, let us dig a little deeper into this thought. Was not the fleshly, earthy body of our Lord but a temporary dwelling place awaiting a resurrected ascended body, as is the case with us also? Is not our earthly bodies a temple—a sacred place wherein as Christians dwells our invisible self; that is, our personhood? Our tripartiteness—that is, body, soul and spirit—is in no way eschatologically restricted to the accidents of temporality except by a momentary functionary design. The essence of man shall live on in another body for another day. That is the blessed hope with resides in the heart of each of us because of His efficacious sacrifice.

      Now, this is not to say that this accident of functionary temporality is unrelated to our eternal likeness; it is, however, to affirm the transiency of the accidents of our temporality in no way prevent us from achieving by Our Savior the potentiality of our personhood as new creatures in Christ. Quibbling over form is, in my opinion, quibbling over the hot air of an argumentative semantic; because in the long run the essence and sanctity of personhood is not thwarted from an eschatological perspective.

      Indeed, once again in my opinion, the essence in his begottenness as both God and man in hypostatic union is an indelible unity of eternal personhood and purpose. His eternal timelessness is therefore unaffected by the transitory accidents of history or form. The essentiality of His essence remains the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrew 13:8).

      So, is he present body, soul and divinity in the accidents bread and wine? Yes, he is; but in saying this, no one expects the bread to grow legs and walk about as a man, nor do we expect either human DNA to show up in the wine. These are but the accidents of form and shape wherein the real essence or substance lie.

    • James

      Jesus being fully God and fully man is one of the mysteries of our faith, yet you presume to fully understand it… therein lies a critical flaw in your argument.

    • Athanasius

      C. Michael,

      That Christ is truly present in the Eucharist is without doubt. You mention John 6; please go back and read it before you dismiss it so casually. The Greek word used for eat, “sarx,” literally means to “gnaw or chew.” Not only this but in Jewish culture at the time to figuratively tell someone to “eat my body” was equivalent to telling them to “bite me” (basically revile me). So Christ is telling his followers “unless you hate me you have no life within you?” This is ridiculous. Also, those who murmur and say “this is hard teaching, who can accept it” only makes sense if He is speaking literally. What is hard about accepting a symbol? It’s only hard when understood properly and that’s why Our Lord says “the spirit gives life but the flesh profits nothing,” which, contrary to Protestants who quote this to argue that He is speaking figuratively, really means: the flesh (you stupid sinful people) can’t help you get this, only the spirit (the Holy Spirit, by grace) can help you understand. And why would Our Lord let the people walk away over a symbol? Wouldn’t he say, “Hey, guys, wait, I didn’t actually mean eat my body…” He let them walk away because HE DID MEAN THAT and it is a hard teaching, a teaching one can only grasp by the grace of God and is, in the end, the true faith test of being a Christian. Some other objections to your article: 1. Why couldn’t Christ give the apostles His Real Body and Blood before His Death on Good Friday? HE’S GOD, HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS, He’s not bound by time or space. 2. The first objection isn’t applicable…no Christians have a sacrament about the vine, door, salt of the earth, you’re right these are expressions but the Holy Eucharist is a Sacrament, a “stop everything” moment and pay attention thing, not something said in passing 3. About Nestorianism, see point #1, HE IS GOD, miraculously being in a “million places at once” doesn’t somehow make him a million persons, He is, again, not bound by the laws of nature or mathematics. 4. Paul never mentions the Holy Eucharist? What? 1 Corinthians 11:27–whoever eats and drinks the Body and Blood of the Lord eats and drinks damnation upon himself…again, if it’s juts a symbol, it cannot be profaned, cannot be blasphemed. Only Our Lord, Jesus Christ Himself, can be. God bless you, brother.

    • Athanasius

      p.s.

      one final point on the previous post…How can you honestly square not believing in the Real Presence with the fact that every Christian from the time of Our Lord until post Martin Luther (1500 years or 75% of all Christian history) believed it? Sure, you had your pockets of heretics from the beginning, the Cathars of the 12th C for example, but all the early Church Fathers believed it and wrote passionately in defense of it. Are you really going to say that Jesus, Who is God, would let his followers be so confused on such an important teaching? That for over a thousand years God, Who personally promised His followers that the Holy Spirit would protect the Church (the Church, not 37,000 churches) from error would allow that to happen. Not in the realm of theology or dogma, just in common sense, this makes absolutely no sense at all.

      and, on your post to Irene, about “change in Church history” it’s funny you quote Cardinal Newman, who you know converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism, about Church documents because he said “anyone who wishes not to remain Catholic needs to refrain from reading Church history.” C’mon, man, be real. You really are going to argue that there was the true Church in the years 0-33 AD and then nothing until 1517? Seriously? That’s not Christianity, that sounds like Mormonism.

    • Athanasius

      Why were my posts deleted? True Christian apologetics is about discussion. What I wrote was sincere, not inflammatory or to “be a troll.” Please repost them, we, all of us Christians, need to be open and in dialogue with one another to work towards Our Lord’s hope that “all may be one.” Silencing dissent doesn’t accomplish anything. Thank you and God bless

    • connor

      🙂 jesus is a beast

    • scott Raymond

      This is a hot topic. Lesson 1 don’t criticize Catholics on it.
      I only have the sad submission that most Catholics don’t believe it: https://churchpop.com/2019/08/07/new-study-finds-70-of-u-s-catholics-do-not-believe-in-jesus-real-presence-in-the-eucharist/
      I used to be Catholic and I understand the sacredness of it. I like all your arguments and agree but I do not know how to proceed with this difficult area. Is it possible to accept the love devout Catholics have despite misplaced beliefs? I hope so. There are so many Christian Catholics whom I love greatly.

      • scott Raymond

        One further perhaps wrong idea why I would not rejoin Catholicism is that only priests are capable of transubstantiation. To my thinking this has human motivation. Also when I read Acts 2:46, I see people eating in their homes so between bible and early church fathers something went wrong.
        Acts 2:46 (ESV2011)
        46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,”

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