From Justin Martyr’s first apology AD 150:

This food we call Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Saviour being incarnate by God’s word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus

Are there any earlier examples of the belief? Are there other examples of such blatant declarations of the belief this early?



consecrated by the word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus

Earlier than AD 150?? … well, the night before he died He took bread in His hands, gave thanks and said, … “take this all of you and eat it, this IS My Body”.

… there’s where it all began, … and shortly after His rising He was with two of His Disciples at Emmaus where he took bread in His hands, Gave thanks and at that moment His Disciples eyes were opened and they fully saw Him … excited as all get out they ran to tell the others.

Paul also speaks of the Body and Blood of Christ.


St. Ignatius was a disciple of the Apostle John. Is it not believeable that St. Ignatius was conveying the words of his Master as written by his mentor, St. John in John 6:53?

The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans starts:
“ 1:1 Ignatius who is also Theophorus, unto Polycarp (see below) who is bishop of the church of the Smyrnaeans or rather who hath for his bishop God the Father and Jesus Christ, abundant greeting
1:2 to the church of God the Father and of Jesus Christ the Beloved, which hath been mercifully endowed with every grace,
1:3 being filled with faith and love and lacking in no grace, most reverend and bearing holy treasures;
1:4 to the church which is in Smyrna (St. Polycarp, Bishop) of Asia in a blameless spirit and in the word of God abundant greeting.
1:5 I give glory to Jesus Christ the God who bestowed such wisdom upon you;
1:6 for I have perceived that ye are established in faith immovable,
1:7 being as it were nailed on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ,”
(snip to Chapter 6, Paragraph 6 hjj)
“6:6 But mark ye those who hold strange doctrine touching the grace of Jesus Christ which came to us, how that they are contrary to the mind of God.
6:7 They (who hold strange doctrines) have no care for love, none for the widow, none for the orphan, none for the afflicted, none for the prisoner, none for the hungry or thirsty.
6:8 THEY (who hold strange doctrines) ABSTAIN FROM EUCHARIST AND PRAYER,
"7:1 They (who hold strange doctrines) therefore that gainsay (“deny” see below) the good gift of God perish by their questionings.
7:2 But it were expedient for them to have love, that they may also rise again.
7:3 It is therefore meet that ye should abstain from such ( people who hold strange doctrines) and not speak of them (these people who hold these strange doctrines) either privately or in public;
7:4 but should give heed to the Prophets, and especially to the Gospel, wherein the passion is shown unto us and the resurrection is accomplished.”


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What year?



How about something from the middle of the first century?

Paul on the Eucharist:

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24)

Paul received his understanding about the Eucharist directly from Jesus himself. He was not present at Capernaum when Jesus gave the Bread of Life discourse found in John 6, and He was not present in the Upper Room sharing the Passover meal with Jesus and the Twelve when the Eucharist was instituted. He was not influenced regarding this issue by the other Apostles.

Instead, Jesus Himself taught Paul the doctrine of the Eucharist completely independently of all of the above.

Either Jesus communicated poorly AGAIN just as he had done in Capernaum when everyone misunderstood Him to be speaking literally about eating His flesh and drinking His blood :nope:


He stayed on message precisely because He meant what He said the first time! :yup:


Ignatius of Antioch

“I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible” (*Letter to the Romans *7:3 [A.D. 110]).

“Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” (*Letter to the Smyrnaeans *6:2–7:1 [A.D. 110]).


Thanks for the replies.

I am most interested in the teachings of the church fathers. I have read the Bible and particularly the NT many times. I simply do not see the eucharist, and particularly find sacramentalism contrary to the general thrust of the NT. I just read Justin’s fist apology and was disturbed as 150 AD is very early and he is very blatant.



It could be from as early as 90ad or perhaps as late as 106ad.




Before a whole bunch of folks tee off on you… :slight_smile:

What is your understanding of the Eucharist?

As for the sacraments in the NT:

Baptism - Jesus was baptized, the Apostles baptized
Eucharist - Jesus taught John 6 and Last Supper discourses among others
Confirmation - Jesus sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
Marriage - Jesus attended the Wedding at Cana (John 2)
Holy Orders - Jesus told the Apostles “do this” Last Supper, see also John 20 (forgiving sins) among others
Reconciliation - Jesus forgave sins and told the Apostles to do the same, see John 20, James 5 (call the elders)
Annointing of Sick - Jesus healed the sick, see James 5:14

What is your understanding of what sacraments are?


So far Ignatius and Justin at one point indicated a belief in the eucharist .


Ah. Here you go…After Paul (don’t forget him) and Ignatius and Justin comes:


“If the Lord were from other than the Father, how could he rightly take bread, which is of the same creation as our own, and confess it to be his body and affirm that the mixture in the cup is his blood?” (*Against Heresies *4:33–32 [A.D. 189]).

“He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life—flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him?” (ibid., 5:2).

Clement of Alexandria

“’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children” (*The Instructor of Children *1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]).


“[T]here is not a soul that can at all procure salvation, except it believe whilst it is in the flesh, so true is it that the flesh is the very condition on which salvation hinges. And since the soul is, in consequence of its salvation, chosen to the service of God, it is the flesh which actually renders it capable of such service. The flesh, indeed, is washed [in baptism], in order that the soul may be cleansed . . . the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands [in confirmation], that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds [in the Eucharist] on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may be filled with God” (*The Resurrection of the Dead *8 [A.D. 210]).


“‘And she [Wisdom] has furnished her table’ [Prov. 9:2] . . . refers to his [Christ’s] honored and undefiled body and blood, which day by day are administered and offered sacrificially at the spiritual divine table, as a memorial of that first and ever-memorable table of the spiritual divine supper *” (Fragment from *Commentary on Proverbs *[A.D. 217]).


“Formerly there was baptism in an obscure way . . . now, however, in full view, there is regeneration in water and in the Holy Spirit. Formerly, in an obscure way, there was manna for food; now, however, in full view, there is the true food, the flesh of the Word of God, as he himself says: ‘My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink’ [John 6:55]” (*Homilies on Numbers *7:2 [A.D. 248]).

Cyprian of Carthage

“He [Paul] threatens, moreover, the stubborn and forward, and denounces them, saying, ‘Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord’ [1 Cor. 11:27]. All these warnings being scorned and contemned—[lapsed Christians will often take Communion] before their sin is expiated, before confession has been made of their crime, before their conscience has been purged by sacrifice and by the hand of the priest, before the offense of an angry and threatening Lord has been appeased, [and so] violence is done to his body and blood; and they sin now against their Lord more with their hand and mouth than when they denied their Lord” (*The Lapsed *15–16 [A.D. 251]).

Council of Nicaea I

“It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters *, whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer [the Eucharistic sacrifice] should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer [it]” (Canon 18 [A.D. 325]).



Aphraahat the Persian Sage

“After having spoken thus [at the Last Supper], the Lord rose up from the place where he had made the Passover and had given his body as food and his blood as drink, and he went with his disciples to the place where he was to be arrested. But he ate of his own body and drank of his own blood, while he was pondering on the dead. With his own hands the Lord presented his own body to be eaten, and before he was crucified he gave his blood as drink” (Treatises 12:6 [A.D. 340]).

Cyril of Jerusalem

“The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ” (*Catechetical Lectures *19:7 [A.D. 350]).

“Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by the faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the body and blood of Christ. . . . [Since you are] fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the body of Christ, and that the apparent wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so, . . . partake of that bread as something spiritual, and put a cheerful face on your soul” (ibid., 22:6, 9).

“Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual Hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ; for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed.” (ibid., 23:7 [A.D. 350).

“Then, after the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless service, is completed, over that sacrifice of propitiation we entreat God for the common peace of the [URL=“”]Churches, for the welfare of the world; for kings; for soldiers and allies; for the sick; for the afflicted; and, in a word, for all who stand in need of succour we all pray and offer this sacrifice” (ibid., 23:8 [A.D. 350).


“You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine. But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ. ‘And again:’ Let us approach the celebration of the mysteries. This bread and this wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are. But after the great prayers and holy supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine - and thus His Body is confected.”,
-“Sermon to the Newly Baptized” ante 373 A.D

Ambrose of Milan

“Perhaps you may be saying, ‘I see something else; how can you assure me that I am receiving the body of Christ?’ It but remains for us to prove it. And how many are the examples we might use! . . . Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ” (*The Mysteries *9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]).

Theodore of Mopsuestia

“When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my body,’ but, ‘This is my body.’ In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my blood,’ but, ‘This is my blood’; for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements] after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit not according to their nature, but receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord. We ought . . . not regard [the elements] merely as bread and cup, but as the body and blood of the Lord, into which they were transformed by the descent of the Holy Spirit” (*Catechetical Homilies *5:1 [A.D. 405]).




“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).

Council of Ephesus

“We will necessarily add this also. Proclaiming the death, according to the flesh, of the only-begotten Son of God, that is Jesus Christ, confessing his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into heaven, we offer the unbloody sacrifice in the churches, and so go on to the mystical thanksgivings, and are sanctified, having received his holy flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Savior of us all. And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his flesh, he made it also to be life-giving” (Session 1, *Letter of Cyril to Nestorius *[A.D. 431]).



Before a whole bunch of folks tee off on you…

Yeah I realize this is a read meat thread on a forum such as this.

What is your understanding of the Eucharist?

Do you mean: What do I see in Scripture?
Then the lords supper is a ordinance Christ instituted as a memorial.

What is your understanding of what sacraments are?

There are 2 ordinances. Baptism, lords supper



These are the things I was taught as a Protestant, also. You’re starting to see that the early Church saw things very differently from what you’ve been told, aren’t you?

John Henry Newman said, “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.”

Keep reading and asking questions!



The second century quotes bother me. If the canon was completed prior to AD 70 (the fall of Jerusalem) that leaves 80 years for Justin to be getting heresy. Though Paul himself was combating heresy in the canon (so it can come fast, 20 years after Christ).

I will have to search on this elsewhere (no offense but as a Catholic you probably won’t say otherwise), but are the views on the eucharist in the second century universal?



I might get jumped on for this, but I believe the Eucharist is truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus, so I believe it will hold up to scrutiny and you will be led to the truth of this.

No, obviously this view was not entirely universal, as St. Ignatius says in his letter quoted above that:

“They (who hold strange doctrines) have no care for love, none for the widow, none for the orphan, none for the afflicted, none for the prisoner, none for the hungry or thirsty.
6:8 THEY (who hold strange doctrines) ABSTAIN FROM EUCHARIST AND PRAYER,

It must be remembered, however, that the one who is speaking FOR the Eucharist truly being the flesh of Our Lord is one who was taught and mentored by St. John, who was taught by Jesus. Randy Carson’s first post is a very good one. (Not to slander his others of course!)


It must be remembered, however, that the one who is speaking FOR the Eucharist truly being the flesh of Our Lord is one who was taught and mentored by St. John, who was taught by Jesus.

Didn’t Paul have disciples fall away?

No, obviously this view was not entirely universal

Good point. Was this view normal for the bulk of practicing Christians (those we have records of)? And could records of contrary views have survived?



First century, Paul:

[quote="] 1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. 24 And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. 25 In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. 26 For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. 27 Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

“Blatant” implies to me an offensive manner.
It is clear Paul considered the Eucharist the true presence of Jesus and not simply symbolic. In verse 27 he warns those who partake unworithily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Then in verse 29 he warns against not “discerning the body and blood of the Lord”. You can’t discern something symbolic and you couldn’t be guilty of the body and blood of our Lord if it were simply symbolic.


The canon was not established prior to 70AD. The Gospel of John wasn’t even written until around 95AD.

The canon was established in the fourth century…you might want to research that a bit more closely.

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