Patristics: Eden and Eucharist

I know there’s a connection here-- in Eden, we ate what was hanging from a tree and thereby died… at Mass, we eat what was hanging from a tree and thereby live. Mary is the new Eve, Jesus is the new Adam, the Eucharist is the new Fruit. The medievals knew it:

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I’m looking for patristics on this. Do you know of fathers who said things like this?

That’s so beautiful! I love all of these parallels. I don’t know the answer, but thanks for sharing!

I don’t have references from the father’s.

I just have an addition.

When man ate from the tree’s in the garden he reached up for food. In the garden before sin nothing had to die in order for man to live.

After the fall man sttoped down for food and ate from the ground where life returns when it dies.

Hey man, it’s a bit late, so this isn’t exhaustive, but I found some sources dor you. Some are apocryphal.

Apocryphal Acts of the apostles: Acts and Martyrdom of the holy apostle Andrew

The blessed Andrew answered: This it is which I desired time to learn, which also I shall teach and make manifest, that though the souls of men are destroyed, they shall be renewed through the mystery of the cross. For the first man through the tree of transgression brought in death; and it was necessary for the human race, that through the suffering of the tree, death, which had come into the world, should be driven out. And since the first man, who brought death into the world through the transgression of the tree, had been produced from the spotless earth, it was necessary that the Son of God should be begotten a perfect man from the spotless virgin, that He should restore eternal life, which men had lost through Adam, and should cut off(4) the tree of carnal appetite through the tree of the cross. Hanging upon the cross, He stretched out His blameless hands for the hands which had been incontinently stretched out; for the most sweet food of the forbidden tree He received gall for food; and taking our mortality upon Himself, He made a gift of His immortality to us.

Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus:

Chap. 8 (24).–While Hades was thus discoursing to Satan, the King of glory stretched out His right hand, and took hold of our forefather Adam, and raised him. Then turning also to the rest, He said: Come all with me, as many as have died through the tree which he touched: for, behold, I again raise you all up through the tree of the cross. Thereupon He brought them all out, and our forefather Adam seemed to be filled with joy, and said: I thank Thy majesty, O Lord, that Thou hast brought me up out of the lowest Hades.(4) Likewise also all the prophets and the saints said: We thank Thee, O Christ, Saviour of the world, that Thou hast brought our life up out of destruction.(5)

Not exactly what you asked for but interesting Eden parallels with Cross:

St Basil the Great, An Exact Exposition of The Orthodox Faith, Book 4, Ch. 12

Since, therefore, God(7) is spiritual light(8), and Christ is called in the Scriptures Sun of Righteousness(1) and Dayspring(2), the East is the direction that must be assigned to His worship. For everything good must be assigned to Him from Whom every good thing arises. Indeed the divine David also says, Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth: O sing praises unto the Lord: to Him that rideth upon the Heavens of heavens towards the East(3). Moreover the Scripture also says, And God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed(4): and when he had transgressed His command He expelled him and made him to dwell over against the delights of Paradises(5), which clearly is the West. So, then, we worship God seeking and striving after our old fatherland. Moreover the tent of Moses(6) had its veil and mercy seat(7) towards the East. Also the tribe of Judah as the most precious pitched their camp on the East(8). Also in the celebrated temple of Solomon the Gate of the Lord was placed eastward. Moreover Christ, when He hung on the Cross, had His face turned towards the West, and so we worship, striving after Him. And when He was received again into Heaven He was borne towards the East, and thus His apostles worship Him, and thus He will come again in the way in which they beheld Him going towards Heaven(9); as the Lord Himself said, As the lightning cometh out of the East and shineth(1) even unto the West, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be(2).

Ephraim the Syrian, The Nisibene Hymns, LVIII

R., Glory to Thee Who by Thy crucifixion, didst conquer the Evil One: and by Thy resurrection gain victory, likewise over Death!–3. And for our Lord’s sake Death spake curses on him: who was the cause of His shame, and crucifixion.–4. D., The fiery pit be thy grave, O Satan: who blasphemedst the Voice from the grave, that rent the graves–5. My Lord I know, and the Son of my Lord, O thou Satan! thou hast denied thy Lord, and crucified the Son of thy Lord.–6. This is the name that fits thee, “Slayer of thy Lord”: when He appears Whom thou slewest, He shall slay thee.–7. At thee shall every one shake the head, for by thee the chiefs: shook their heads at Him, the Lord of life.–8. A bruised reed under the feet, of the just shall thou be: for through thee they put a reed in His hand, Who upholds all.–9. With a crown of thorns was He crowned, to signify: that He took the diadem of the kingdom, of the house of David.–10. With a crown of thorns was He crowned, the King of kings: but He took the diadem of the kings, of those that shamed Him.–11. In the robes of mockery that they gave him, in those He mocked them: for He took the raiment of glory, of priests and kings.–12. To vinegar is thy memory akin, O thou Satan: who didst offer vinegar for the thirst, of the Fount of Life.–13. The hand shall every man lift against thee who strengthenedst the hand that smote Him by Whose hand, all creatures stand.–14. He was smitten by the hand and He cut off the hand, of Caiaphas: the hand of the priesthood is cut off, in the cutting off of the unction.–15. On the pillar again they stretched Him, as for scourging: Him Whose pillar went before, to guide their tribes.–16. The pillar on the pillar, He was scourged: He removed Himself from out of Zion, and its fall came.–17. When they put two beams together, to form the Cross: He broke them, even the two staves, the guardians of them.-18. Ezekiel put together the sticks, the two in one: in the two beams of the Cross, their staves have ceased.–19. The two sticks, as it were wings, bore the people: lo! his two staves were broken, even as his wings.–20. The bosom and wings of the Cross, He opened in mercy: its pinions bowed and bore the nations, to go to Eden.–21. It is akin to the Tree of Life, and unto the son of its stock: it leads its beloved that on its boughs, they may feed on its fruits.–22. Go howl and weep, Evil One, for me and for you: for not one of us shall enter the “Garden of Life.”–23. S., Now that thou hast confessed O Death, come let me tell thee: that all this discourse of thine, to me is idle talk.–24. I will go and watch the snares, which I have set: thou too, Death, fly and look after, all that are sick.–25. Our Lord has brought both to nought, on either hand: the Evil One shall be brought to nought here, and Death hereafter there.

Nisibene Hymns, XLI

  1. Death looked forth from within his den, and marvelled when he saw our Lord crucified, and he said “O raiser of the dead to life where art thou! Thou shalt be to me for meat, instead of the sweet Lazarus, whose savour lo! it is still in my mouth. Jairus’ daughter shall come and see this Thy cross. The widow’s son gazes on Thee. A tree caught Adam for me: blessed be the Cross which has caught for me the Son of David!”

St. Gregory Thaumaturgos, Four homilies, The Fourth Homily

It becometh me to ascend the cross, and to be pierced with its nails, and to suffer after the manner of that nature which is capable of suffering, and to heal sufferings by my suffering, and by the tree to cure the wound that was inflicted upon men by the medium of a tree. It becometh me to descend even into the very depths of the grave, on behalf of the dead who are detained there. It becometh me, by my three days’ dissolution in the flesh, to destroy the power of the ancient enemy, death. It becometh me to kindle the torch of my body for those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. It becometh me to ascend in the flesh to that place where I am in my divinity. It becometh me to introduce to the Father the Adam reigning in me. It becometh me to accomplish these things, for on account of these things I have taken my position with the works of my hands.

Hyppolytus of Rome, Extant Work ands Fragments on Proverbs

(10)The fruit of righteousness and the tree of life is Christ. He alone, as man, fulfilled all righteousness. And with His own underived life(11) He has brought forth the fruits of knowledge and virtue like a tree, whereof they that eat shall receive eternal life, and shall enjoy the tree of life in paradise, with Adam and all the righteous.

St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on epistle of St. Paul to Romans, Homily 10, Romans 5:12.

How did it reign? “After the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come.” Now this is why Adam is a type of Christ. How a type? it will be said. Why in that, as the former became to those who were sprung from him, although they had not eaten of the tree, the cause of that death which by his eating was introduced; thus also did Christ become to those sprung from Him, even though they had not wrought righteousness, the Provider(1) of that righteousness which through His Cross(2) He graciously bestowed on us all. For this reason, at every turn he keeps to the “one,” and is continually bringing it before us, when he says, “As by one man sin entered into the world”–and, “If through the offence of one many be dead:” and, “Not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift;” and, “The judgment was by one to condemnation:” and again, “If by one (or, the one) man’s offence death reigned by one;” and “Therefore as by the offence of one.” And again, “As by one man’s disobedience many (or, the many) were made sinners.” And so he letteth not go of the one, that when the Jew says to thee, How came it, that by the well-doing of this one Person, Christ, the world was saved? thou mightest be able to say to him, How by the disobedience of this one person, Adam, came it to be condemned? And yet sin and grace are not equivalents, death and life are not equivalents, the Devil and God are not equivalents, but there is a boundless space between them. When then as well from the nature of the thing as from the power of Him that transacteth it, and from the very suitableness thereof (for it suiteth much better with God to save than to punish), the preeminence and victory is upon this side, what one word have you to say for unbelief, tell me? However, that what had been done was reasonable, he shows in the following words.

Origen, Origen against Celsus, Book 6, Ch. 36-37

The subject of the “tree of life” will be more appropriately explained when we interpret the statements in the book of Genesis regarding the paradise planted by God. Celsus, moreover, has often mocked at the subject of a resurrection,–a doctrine which he did not comprehend; and on the present occasion, not satisfied with what he has formerly said, he adds, “And there is said to be a resurrection of the flesh by means of the tree;” not understanding, I think, the symbolical expression, that “through the tree came death, and through the tree comes life,”(9) because death was in Adam, and life in Christ. He next scoffs at the “tree,” assailing it on two grounds, and saying, “For this reason is the tree introduced, either because our teacher was nailed to a cross, or because he was a carpenter by trade;” not observing that the tree of life is mentioned in the Mosaic writings, and being blind also to this, that in none of the Gospels current in the Churches(10) is Jesus Himself ever described as being a carpenter.(11)
CHAP. XXXVII.
Celsus, moreover, thinks that we have invented this “tree of life” to give an allegorical meaning to the cross; and in consequence of his error upon this point, he adds: “If he had happened to be cast down a precipice, or shoved into a pit, or suffocated by hanging, there would have been invented a precipice of life far beyond the heavens, or a pit of resurrection, or a cord of immortality.” And again: “If the ‘tree of life’ were an invention, because he–Jesus–(is reported) to have been a carpenter, it would follow that if he had been a leather-cutter, something would have been said about holy leather; or had he been a stone-cutter, about a blessed stone; or if a worker in iron, about an iron of love.” Now, who does not see at once(12) the paltry nature of his charge, in thus calumniating men whom he professed to convert on the ground of their being deceived? And after these remarks, he goes on to speak in a way quite in harmony with the tone of those who have invented the fictions of lion-like, and ***-headed, and serpent-like ruling angels,(13) and other similar absurdities, but which does not affect those who belong to the Church. Of a truth, even a drunken old woman would be ashamed to chaunt or whisper to an infant, in order to lull him to sleep, any such fables as those have done who invented the beings with asses’ heads, and the harangues, so to speak, which are delivered at each of the gates. But Celsus is not acquainted with the doctrines of the members of the Church, which very few have been able to comprehend, even of those who have devoted all their lives, in conformity with the command of Jesus, to the searching of the Scriptures, and have laboured to investigate the meaning of the sacred books, to a greater degree than Greek philosophers in their efforts to attain a so- called wisdom.

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