Leviticus and the Eucharist


#1

Ok,

You have to have heard this before! This can’t be new to you. But here goes. My contention is as follows:

** Genesis 9:4**
Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

** Leviticus 19:26**
You shall not eat anything with the blood.

** Leviticus 17:14**
For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with it’s life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, “you are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.”

** Deureronomy 12:23**
Only be sure to not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.

** Acts 15:29**
That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled …


Ok, I’m not satisfied (with all due respect) with Mr. Mark Shea’s short answer to this. He basically says in “This Is My Body” that in Mark 17:19, Christ rendered all food clean, removing all Old Testament dietary restrictions (p. 25,26).
So, does that mean that cannabilism is now ok? Or, can we now drink the blood of young bulls and goats? That’s not what Acts 15:29 says.

So, what do you say? I’m willing and open to hear what you have to say. Bring it!


#2

Ok, I’m not satisfied (with all due respect) with Mr. Mark Shea’s short answer to this. He basically says in “This Is My Body” that in Mark 17:19, Christ rendered all food clean, removing all Old Testament dietary restrictions (p. 25,26).

Just what are you referring to?


#3

[quote=Reformed Rob]Ok,

You have to have heard this before! This can’t be new to you. But here goes. My contention is as follows:

Genesis 9:4
Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

Leviticus 19:26
You shall not eat anything with the blood.

Leviticus 17:14
For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with it’s life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, “you are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.”

Deureronomy 12:23
Only be sure to not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.

Acts 15:29
That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled …


Ok, I’m not satisfied (with all due respect) with Mr. Mark Shea’s short answer to this. He basically says in “This Is My Body” that in Mark 17:19, Christ rendered all food clean, removing all Old Testament dietary restrictions (p. 25,26).
So, does that mean that cannabilism is now ok? Or, can we now drink the blood of young bulls and goats? That’s not what Acts 15:29 says.

So, what do you say? I’m willing and open to hear what you have to say. Bring it!
[/quote]

Jesus is the Lamb of God:) The Eucharist is Jesus!Do you realise how many people died so they could partake in Jesus?The Roman soldiers killed Christians because of it.God can do anything he likes and He chose to remain with us in the Holy Eucharist:) God Bless


#4

yes, jews could not eat the blood because it was the life and belonged to God alone. Aside from the fact that all foods are clean for christians, Gave his life for/to us, and so even if all foods were not made clean, the Eucharist would still be fine.


#5

This is argument often brought by Jehovah Witnesses. An article on
Traditional Catholic Apologetics.net answers this question directly.

See Here:

catholicapologetics.net/apolo_150.htm


#6

[quote=Ann Cheryl]Ok, I’m not satisfied (with all due respect) with Mr. Mark Shea’s short answer to this. He basically says in “This Is My Body” that in Mark 17:19, Christ rendered all food clean, removing all Old Testament dietary restrictions (p. 25,26).

Just what are you referring to?
[/quote]

I’m referring to the little book by Mark Shea entitled “This Is My Body An Evangelical Discovers the Real Presence”

You can probably buy it here at Catholic Answers. I think I did.


#7

[quote=philipmarus]This is argument often brought by Jehovah Witnesses. An article on
Traditional Catholic Apologetics.net answers this question directly.

See Here:

catholicapologetics.net/apolo_150.htm
[/quote]

Yes, thank you for that. You are all too kind. That was a pretty good article. I did read it.

I was thinking that if it were such a blatant breaking of such of God’s Laws to actually eat the flesh and blood of Christ, then wouldn’t Martin Luther of all people immediately see that, and leave whatever doctrine he held to (consubstantiation it seems to be) about Christ being actually present with the bread? C’mon.

Also, if we were to let Scripture specifically say what it means, it says:

Leviticus 17:13
So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with the earth.

Now, that’s probably spurious, like, should we take it to only mean beasts and birds that are lawful to eat? Like, it’s not lawful to eat people is it? I think not. But you see what I mean.

However, in Leviticus 19:27
You shall not round off the sidegrowth of your heads, nor harm the edges of your beard.

Ok, who here (Catholic or theonomic Protestants) harms the edges of their beards? I shave most everyday, so I don’t get a beard, but I keep myself from having a beard. Isn’t that just as bad. What if you grow a beard and trim it? Are gotees out?

There’s probably some affirmation to be given to the idea that those laws of the Israelites were meant to distinguish them from the practice of the pagans in whose land they were to take over.

Hmmmmmmm.


#8

If “eat” means to metabolize the accidents of flesh and blood, then we’re off scot free. :slight_smile:


#9

[quote=Vincent]If “eat” means to metabolize the accidents of flesh and blood, then we’re off scot free. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Why couldn’t I say that you’re not “eating” just the accidents of bread and wine (transubstantiation) but also, the very real and present body and blood of incarnate Christ?

It’s not the accidents of flesh and blood in the Eucharist. If the Church is right, it’s the accidents of bread and wine, but it’s actually Christ.


#10

Does not anyone else have another angle to answer this charge from? Come on, this is major.

But thanks for the discussion so far.


#11

OK, I’ll try.

Not one, I repeat, NOT ONE of the verses in the opening post refer to human blood. Just the blood of animals. And we don’t drink animal or human blood during Mass. We drink, when it is feasible to have both Species, consecrated Wine.

The Jews were commanded to eat the lamb in the passover meal. What title does John the Baptist give to Jesus when he sees Him coming?

In Act 15, Peter speaks definitively on the matter of circumcision, not James. And all fell silent after Peter spoke, not James. Peter’s voice is for the whole Church. What James then did was to declare a ruling affecting the local area, because he was bishop of Jerusalem, and was exercising his leadership for that area, and his ruling was not intended for the universal Church, but for those Gentiles who would offend the Jewish Christians by eating certain meat. Furthermore, this ruling that James imposed is quoted from Amos 9: 10-12, and was never intended to be permanent.

This ruling of James was rescinded later on, and is not found anywhere in the bible. Had this ruling not been rescinded by the Catholic Church, Christians in the diocese of Jerusalem would still be forbidden to enjoy a rare steak.

Paul concurs with James in principle as Paul later writes, “If it offends your brother to eat meat, then don’t eat it.”

“Bible only” Christians do not recognize the biblical authority of the Catholic Church to rescind or declare much of anything. Therefore they are not following the bible when they enjoy a rare steak.

They are either violating James in verse 19, or following the Catholic Church in her rescinding of James’ temporary ruling, which is not found anywhere in the bible.

kepha1


#12

[quote=Reformed Rob]Why couldn’t I say that you’re not “eating” just the accidents of bread and wine (transubstantiation) but also, the very real and present body and blood of incarnate Christ?

It’s not the accidents of flesh and blood in the Eucharist. If the Church is right, it’s the accidents of bread and wine, but it’s actually Christ.
[/quote]

Sure, that’s what we’re eating, but this eating doesn’t involve metabolizing Christ’s body as when we metabolize a hamburger, for instance.

The proteins of a hamburger, for example, are metabolized into energy and stored within the human body. With the Eucharist, what’s metabolized are the proteins and carbohydrates of bread and wine. In less technical terms, the material “stuff” that makes up the hamburger and the wafer and wine becomes part of our material “stuff”.

The substance of Jesus’s flesh, however, is not metabolized.

But let’s say that’s a stretch. We say we eat Christ’s body, and eating is eating, whichever way you want to look at it.

There’s no way to get out of the problem even if we reduce the Eucharist to a mere symbolic presence of Christ’s body. If we eat Christ’s body, even if it were just symbolic, it would still be eating his body—otherwise, we wouldn’t use the word “eat”.

Therefore, that kind of interpretation would not only make cannibals out of Catholics, but cannibals out of Protestants, too— the latter would be symbolic cannibals, but cannibals just the same. Either way, Christ would have been commanding cannibalism. But that’s absurd.


#13

You can see a foreshadowing of the drinking of blood by the children of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Job:

27 Does the eagle fly up at your command to build his nest aloft? 28 On the cliff he dwells and spends the night, on the spur of the cliff or the fortress. 29 From thence he watches for his prey; his eyes behold it afar off. 30 His young ones greedily drink blood; where the slain are, there is he. Job 39:27-30.In other words, the children of the Holy Spirit eagle greedily drink the Eucharistic blood; where the body of chalal, the “pierced one,” is, there is the Holy Spirit eagle.


#14

" One of the reasons God commanded the Jews to refrain from blood is that it contained life. Leviticus 17:14 states: ‘…because the life of every creature is in the blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, ’ You must not eat the blood of any creature,’" because the life of every creature is its blood…’ The spiritual reason for this command is that the Jews were under the Old Covenant which did not have the power to grant life. Blood was necessary for sacrifice in order to elicit temporary appeasement from God, but it could not bring life ( Romans 7:10)…In the New Covenant, Jesus shed his blood for the very purpose of forgiving the sins of Adam and Israel ( Matthew 26:28), making it now proper for us to drink the blood of the victum to receive life (John 6:53-58)…"


#15

I can’t say I really see the point of all of this, but I’ll try.

I look at the OT references and see that eating raw meat is forbidden, as is the drinking of blood. This is forbidden because the blood contains the essence of life. The life of a sacrificed animal was given to God - that is what the sacrifice was for - so the blood belongs to God alone. Sacrifice was for worship and for the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus, the final and perfect sacrifice to the Father, actually achieved the goal of atonement for sins by His sacrifice. His sacrifice is eternal - that is, each of ours who believe in Him, His gift to His Church. Eating His flesh and drinking His blood is how we share in His sacrifice to the Father - perfect worship and true forgiveness for our sins - the essence of eternal life. It is His command to His Church, and it doesn’t have anything to do with cannibalism; it is to have His “life within us.”

In the Didache (I think), there is still a prohibition against drinking the blood of sacrificed animals. This was to prevent Christians from participating in pagan rituals, and to acknowledge that no further animal sacrifices would be pleasing to God.


#16

Yeah, Vincent,

I thought about this a couple days ago, and along the lines of what you were saying, just the mere thought (or symbolic partaking of Christ) would be enough to accuse us of cannibilism.

Like, “I’m not really eating flesh and blood, I’m just eating what symbolizes flesh and blood.”

I think it’s more of a “problem” if you will, for Catholics, then Lutherans/Anglicans, and us Reformed and Baptists it’s less of a problem for.

In additioin to that, eating someone’s flesh “symbolically” is like disrespctful, Biblically speaking. I saw a list of passages referring to that, and it was pretty convincing. I’ll have to find that, I think it was on these forums.

Ok, those were pretty good responses.

I don’t get what you’re saying though Kepha. Elaboration would help.


#17

[quote=Reformed Rob] I think it’s more of a “problem” if you will, for Catholics, then Lutherans/Anglicans, and us Reformed and Baptists it’s less of a problem for.
[/quote]

It reminds of another thing:

When Sinead O’Connor ripped that picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live, she was making a symbolic gesture, and even though it was merely symbolic, it was very upsetting. Symbolic cannibalism would be a difficult thing to swallow (pun intended).

I say, if you’re going to be a cannibal, be a cannibal! :wink:


#18

When we consume the Eucharist we never metabolize Jesus! We don’t break down Jesus in any way. Keep in mind that no matter how many smaller particles into which you might break a consecrated host, Christ is wholly present in each particle. Once the appearances of bread and wine are gone, Christ is no longer present. In cannibalism, you eat the victim in pieces. Christ in the Eucharist can never be broken down into pieces. He is always whole and entire.

(Compare the Eucharistic host to a holographic slide vs a photographic slide. If you cut a regular slide in two, or four, and project it, you will only see half or a fourth of a picture. A holographic slide, since it is not formed by a lens, simply captures existing light waves as they pass through, and releases them again at projection. If you cut it in two and project it, you will still see the entire picture. This is analgous to Christ being wholly present in each particle.)


#19

[quote=JimG]When we consume the Eucharist we never metabolize Jesus! We don’t break down Jesus in any way. Keep in mind that no matter how many smaller particles into which you might break a consecrated host, Christ is wholly present in each particle. Once the appearances of bread and wine are gone, Christ is no longer present.

[/quote]

OK, good point. Thanks for that.

I know you didn’t just make that up, that’s in the summa about the whole Christ in each particle of the host.

Well, I’m sure Sungenis addresses this in NOT BY BREAD ALONE. I might borrow that from somebody. I’m tired of buying books.

Thanks for the discussion. It doesn’t have to stop. But I suppose it will now. I’m not putting up much opposition.


#20

[quote=Reformed Rob] Genesis 9:4
Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
[/quote]

This verse is the key. You shall not eat flesh with blood in it because the blood is the life. In other words, you shall not seek your life from something other than God by consuming its blood. You shall not try to assimilate its life by consuming its blood.

Then Jesus comes around and fulfills this prohibition. He says, “Whoever drinks my blood has eternal life” (John 6:54). Why? Because we are to seek our life by consuming his blood. You shall assimilate his life by consuming his blood.

The reason for the prohibition (the life is in the blood) in the OT is the exact reason for the command in the NT (the life is in the blood). The only difference is, who are you seeking your life from? God or animals? Jesus or something else?


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