Transubstantiation Analogy form OT to NT


#1

Transubstantiation Analogy form OT to NT

This discussion is a spin off from another topic titled Does scripture actually teach transubstantiation?

Here is a synopsis of my posts #s
210, 303, 313 and 314 from that thread:

Greater Food
Tthe food Jesus gives is greater than the food which the Israelites ate. Jesus says as much Himself in Jn 6:27.

Flesh and Bread
The food that the Israelites ate was **flesh **and **bread **(Ex 16:8 &12). The food Jesus gives is bread which is His flesh (Jn 6:51)

Daily Bread
The food that the Israelites ate was flesh at **night **and bread in the **morning **(Ex 16:8 &12). This occurs over one complete day according to Hebrew calculations based on scripture (Gen 1:5). The day begins at evening and continues throughout the next morning. So the food given over this time period is one in as much as it comes in one day.

Super-Substantial Bread
The manna/bread which the Israelites ate was miraculous in several ways (Ex 16::15-35
[LIST=1]
*]It was always enough whether gathered in large or small amounts
*]It spoiled overnight but not over the Sabbath
*]It was gone when the sun grew hot
*]It feed them over 40 years
[/LIST]

Jesus refers to this “daily bread” in the Our Father prayer and uses the word ***epiousios ***which is best translated super substantial… extra-ordinary substance.

Visibility/appearance of bread by analogy
The food that the Israelites ate was flesh at **night **and bread in the **morning **(Ex 16:8 &12).
The flesh is given at night when visibility is reduced. This corresponds to the existence of flesh in the bread of life, which is not readily apparent.
The bread is given at morning when there is greater visibility. This corresponds to the appearance of bread in the bread of life.

The bread of life is understood to be the Eucharist.

Question
Although this is not an interpretation that is expressed either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, or throughout Tradition (to my knowledge),:

  1. Does it fit with Catholic doctrine?
  2. Is it beneficial in a catechetical or apologetic way?

#2

Daily Bread
The food that the Israelites ate was flesh at night and bread in the morning (Ex 16:8 &12). This occurs over one complete day according to Hebrew calculations based on scripture (Gen 1:5). The day begins at evening and continues throughout the next morning. So the food given over this time period is one in as much as it comes in one day.

Visibility/appearance of bread by analogy
The food that the Israelites ate was flesh at night and bread in the morning (Ex 16:8 &12).
The flesh is given at night when visibility is reduced. This corresponds to the existence of flesh in the bread of life, which is not readily apparent.
The bread is given at morning when there is greater visibility. This corresponds to the appearance of bread in the bread of life

The above two analogies I consider a bit of a stretch; and I’m not sure how they would be beneficial in catechetics or apologetics. But there is nothing wrong with using them in personal meditation.

Super-Substantial Bread
The manna/bread which the Israelites ate was miraculous in several ways (Ex 16::15-35

  1. It was always enough whether gathered in large or small amounts
  2. It spoiled overnight but not over the Sabbath
  3. It was gone when the sun grew hot
  4. It feed them over 40 years

I can see where there are analogies to the Eucharist in numbers 1 and 4, but what are the analogies for 2 and 3?

By the way, rather than using 40 years, I prefer noting that it fed them until they came to the Promised Land (Ex 16:35; Joshua 5:12). Analogous to God’s provision of the Eucharist as our spiritual food until we leave this wilderness (earth) and come to the border (die) for entering eternal life.

Nita


#3

Excellent post.


#4

2 and 3 are just there to support the claim that the gift of manna is and foreshadows the miraculous. However, there is a parallel in Jn 6:12, 13

*When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted."
So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets 8 with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
*

It’s very poetic that way. Thanks.


#5

Thank you. your signature block says it all:

“Ego sum panis vitae.” (John 6:48)

“I am the bread of life” (John 6:48)


#6

Hi, Catholic Author!

Since the Bread of Life Discourse begins by Jesus taking up a comparison with Manna, it must be useful to see all the characteristics of Manna–than which the Bread of Life is a more real kind of food.

So you point out that:
–Manna is “flesh and bread.” Really good.
–Manna is daily bread. If something is daily, it’s always there. --So it was always what they ate, and it was enough for them to live on.
–This daily bread is at once flesh** and** bread.
–Manna was super-substantial; had supernatural qualities and effects.
–The expression Jesus used for “Daily Bread” in the Our Father includes the notion of super-substantial or extraordinary substance bread.

I think these are good points, and might help flesh out why Jesus goes from Manna to Himself as the Bread of Life, and might help underline the literalness of both breads–both the Manna, and the more-real-than-the very-real-and-super-substantial-Manna-Bread of Life which is His own Flesh and Blood.

I like the other points too–but probably delightful rather than useful;)

And none of your points conflict with Catholic doctrine, by the way.


#7

There are several ways of understanding the Israelites experience in the desert.

The manna did not stop falling on the Shabbat, what happened was that the Jews were to collect a double ration of it on Friday morning so as not to have to work on the 7th day. This practice is still in effect among Orthodox Jews. They do not cook on the 7th day. Enough food it prepared on the 6th day, before the setting of the Sun, so as to have something to eat the next day. See Ex 16; 5, 21-23.

It is very possible that this manna is the same substance that still falls on the Sinai Peninsula to this day, but in miraculous quantities. There is a substance that is found on the ground early in the morning on the Sinai Peninsula and is eatable.

It is true that Jesus referred to it in Jn 6; 32, 49-52 and compares the bread that he will give, his body and blood to the manna in the desert which was simply food that obviously provided for physical hunger and did nothing for the soul.

Whether the writer of Exodus is attempting to make some kind of prophetic statement about the Eucharist in the NT, it is unlikely. Had this been the case, the Jews would have passed this tradition down with their belief that a Messiah would come and that the sign would be life giving bread. I believe this is what took the Jews by surprise in John’s gospel. When Jesus says that he is the bread of life, he gives manna human attributes and himself divine attributes, as only God can give himself to eat, because only God can change the attributes of any substance. This is why the Jews accused him of heresy. They understood the implication of what Jesus was saying and the consequences for believing it.

Are the two analogous? I doubt it. More than likely John interjects the reference to the manna in the desert to imply a progression in revelation and a progression in the Covenant. God stayed with the Jews and protected them. He made them a nation and gave them food to eat and eventually a homeland. Now, through the Logos, he does more. He becomes the food as a sign of his Covenant. God’s favour is not changing. Man is still his beloved creation. However, God’s presence among man is progressing to a deeper level. He provides for the physical and the spiritual needs of man. He has given the Earth to sustain man’s physical well-being; he gives himself to sustain his soul.

Man’s soul will be redeemed by the cross. But because this is a human soul, not a divine soul, it needs sustenance to remain united to his redeemer. Faith alone is not enough. Js 2; 24 ff.


#8

I don’t think typology–we are seeing Manna as a “type” of the Eucharist, right–depends on the human author’s intent… Like how the Ark of the Covenant** is **a “type” of Mary, regardless of whether or not the OT writer knew that.

More than likely John interjects the reference to the manna in the desert to imply a progression in revelation and a progression in the Covenant.

hmmm. The crowd brings up Manna, and Jesus then uses Manna as a bridge to the Bread of Life Discourse: 30* So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? 31* Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’" 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life**;

I read it that Jesus says, " the Manna you know about; now hear about a new and greater Manna–both breads give life, but the new Bread gives it eternally." Implied here is that everything the old Manna was the new Bread will be and infinitely more. My point is, that this looks like more than interjecting a reference to imply a progression. Jesus is introducing an unknown, and explaining it by a known: The new Bread is like the old bread, but more so.

God stayed with the Jews and protected them. He made them a nation and gave them food to eat and eventually a homeland. Now, through the Logos, he does more. He becomes the food as a sign of his Covenant. God’s favour is not changing. Man is still his beloved creation. However, God’s presence among man is progressing to a deeper level. He provides for the physical and the spiritual needs of man. He has given the Earth to sustain man’s physical well-being; he gives himself to sustain his soul.

Man’s soul will be redeemed by the cross. But because this is a human soul, not a divine soul, it needs sustenance to remain united to his redeemer. Faith alone is not enough. Js 2; 24 ff.

Another shining post, JR! But are you saying Manna is not a type for the Eucharist? A foreshadowing? A deliberate divine pre-echo? The forerunner?


#9

Actually, I was coming at this from a philosophical approach instead of a theological one. I cannot deny the theology of it all. I was tyring to use Philosophy of Logic aplied to theology to explain how this works.

In this particular branch of philosophy we have what we call “progressions.” In this case, whe look at the events in Exodus and the events in John 6 and we see links. Which is very important for our understanding of scriptural unity. Nothing in the NT is actually new, as in detached from the OT. It is an on-going saga of God’s saving act. Philosophy uses a mathematical concept called progression.

For example, in elementary school math 3-2=1. Then in pre-algebra we find that there is such a thing as a number line in which you start at point +3 and move in a negative direction 2 units. Then you discover integers and learn of the existence of the eternal origin (zero). You begin at -1 and move 3 units in a positive direction to stop at positive 1. In algebra you learn of the Cartesian plane that allows you to graphically represent this reality. These are progressions on a theme. With each step you discover a hidden reality that was always there, but undetectable.

So . . . by the time you reach Jn 6 you have moved from a very simple explanation of the creation of the universe in the Genesis, up one level to a Covenant with Israel in the desert, and a new covenant in the NT.

While the manna in the desert leads up to the Covenant, it is not the covenant. The Eucharist leads to the covenant, the Paschal Mystery is the covenant. Both are precursors and signs (proofs) of the covenant. Notice that you have a continuation on the theme of sign and covenant, but with each restatement, it becomes progressively more profound and more visible. Just like the math.

This progression is important to the legitimacy of John’s Eucharistic discourse in Ch 6. What we see is God’s on-going activity. But not only is this activity on-going, with each step in the process, it becomes progressively more intense until it errupts into human history in a physical reality that is actually him, not just a reminder of his presence.

Philsophy of Logic calls this progression, from the material to the transcendent. This philosphical analysis is actually a tool that validates its legitimacy.

Even with the passing of centuries and across cultures and language barriers there is continuity that can be supported by by logic, not just because the scripture says so. This is what I find so awesome.

I know I’m simple-minded and I get excited by little things. Yadda yadda yadda. :rotfl:

Isn’t this cool!!!


#10

I see this analogy as involving both the “greater-than / typology” approach of Toaslan and the “progression” approach of JR. My point is certainly more toward Toaslan’s angle. Admittedly my initial post here needs to be fleshed out (pun intended) a bit before it can meet the standards JR is assisting us to visualize, but I think with some effort it can be reconciled.

My interest in creating this thread is primarily to explore the symmetry, parallels and beauty of the grand author of scripture (the Holy Spirit) in a way that is both right and left brained… I guess that’s whole brained then. It looks like we are off to a good start. Give me some time and I will apply these concepts to the two passages Ex 16 and Jn 6 with greater detail. In the meantime, by all means make your own exploration of the possibilities.


#11

I think there are analagous aspects, but I think there is a break down in your point of visibility. The meat given to the people to eat was in the form of quail. Scripture seems to make it clear that the gathering of the quail and thus the meat was not hidden or difficult for the Israelites to see or gather. Perhaps more development along this line will help me see your point.


#12

Yes, the Israelites could see in order to capture the quail. It was probably not the complete darkness of night but dusk when this occurred. That is not the issue. The point is that according to God’s words the meat was given to them at night. How does scripture treat the night? Off the top of my head the story of Nicodemous comes to mind. He came to Jesus under the cover of night. This is saying that he wants to remain hidden from view, so that the other scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees won’t know. It is in this way that I apply the concept of night to the flesh of Ex 16. Does that make sense?


#13

Philosophically, you’re speaking of progression. You’re saying that it is ONE story carved out through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. To prove this to be the case, you will need both exegesis and philosophy. Exegesis will show what the writers meant. Philosophy will provide the method to prove that there is an ongoing activity here by a single agent, the Holy Spirit. Exegetes will translate, interpret and put into historical context the stories of the Bible. Philosophy will prove that what those stories say is credible. This is why the Church makes philosophy a pre-requisit for advanced studies in Theology, such as STL and STD levels.

i

n a way that is both right and left brained… I guess that’s whole brained then.

While the right brain looks at the details, the logic, the language, the sequence, etc, the left brain sees the whole picture and visualizes its symbollic and sensory representation. It also keeps in perspective the beginning and the end of the picture.

Since were are dealing in the world of sign and symbol, you will need both types of people to work with. The left-brained thinker will do well with the signs, where the right-brained thinker does better with symbols. They are not subordinate to each other. Both are necessary for total comprehension. Inside the actual human brain, they interact more than we think. It’s not as if one side of the head goes to sleep while the other works.

It looks like we are off to a good start. Give me some time and I will apply these concepts to the two passages Ex 16 and Jn 6 with greater detail. In the meantime, by all means make your own exploration of the possibilities.

Given your inclination toward the arts and the whollistic, may I recommend that you flesh out the symbols that connect the two ideas that you’re working with and allow others who deal in the realm of details to lend support by explaining each detail, what it means and why it’s here and not there, let’s say. I’m suggesting a collaborative effort much like the scriptures themselves. Each author brought with him or her his gift. If you notice, the poet wrote hymns and psalms, leaving theology to the theologian. the historian wrote the historical accounts, leaving the canonist to write about the Law. The preachers wrote sermons, leaving the philosophers to write the Wisdom writings and so forth.

In working with the Judeo-Christian onion, on single person cannot do all of it. This is the fundamentalist Protestant error. Everyone is an exegete, theologian, canonist, historian, moralist, literary critic and so forth. There is no sense of team. It eventually leads to a million questions, opinions and no conclusions.

I believe that this kind of approach is arrogant and irresponsible, because it leads to chaos.

I strongly recommend that you pull people into this thread who can help peel this onion from different perspectives. It would be a very significant achievement.

I also suggest that those who want to tear down the work of the other simply go away.

We have to draw a line in the sand on these threads. Otherwise we do not learn as much as we should and we waste time trying to discipline those who do not know how to behave in a group. After the other thread that gave birth to this one, I have had my fill of kindergaten theology for a while. I’m in the mood for some real meat and potatoes, not pandering to people who have already made up their minds that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

Nor am I willing to play Carl Rogers and tell everyone that “I’m OK and you’re OK too.” Condescencion is not charity. It may be kindness, but not charity.

I’m willing to follow this thread, because Catholic Author seems to be a genuine person with a genuine interest in arriving at deeper knowledge. I am not willing to entertain someone who has an agenda.

That’s my offer. May I join in?


#14

I am not sure I want to prove it but it should be a prerequisite for scholarship… a hermeneutic of trust.

Philosophy or just the logic element of philosophy… structured reasoning and all that? I very much like your plan of action.

There *are *people who make good use of the whole brain. I have tested several times as one of them. Still I want a collaborative effort and I have not sufficient resources as an island. That’s what I am doing here in this forum,… gathering support.

Correct again… I mean I agree.

Yes. I would like to map out the connections I see and then present them here to develop their form. Incidentally, did you notice my typo in the thread title? Form should be from… providential? I think so.

Yes, collaboration is what I am inviting. I will not set myself up as the arbiter of truth.

I was thinking of exploring this bread of life parallel. Are you suggesting a larger undertaking of other biblical imagery and meaning?

I second that!

Thank you. Please take my sincerity for granted and replace the pseudonym for my real name…Tim, it’s in my signature block anyway.

Yes. You are in. I really wouldn’t want to do this with out you. :slight_smile:

Tim


#15

To be true to tradition let’s go way back in time the the early Church. The Fathers had a double mission to explain natural theology: God, soul, creation, inmortality, freedom of will and creation and the Christian faith: Christology, Trinity, Incarnation, etc. They had to prove their sublimity, beautiy, and defend the mystery of faith in conformity with reason. There is always going to be a certain degree of proof required in any theological exercise.

Philosophy or just the logic element of philosophy… structured reasoning and all that? I very much like your plan of action.

Personally, I prefer the Bonaventurian (Franciscan) approach to theology. While none of Bonaventure’s works are exclusively philosophical, his work Artium ad Theologiam, a short work where Bonaventure demonstrates the relationship between theology, the arts and philosophy is a great background for what you want to do and his masterpiece the commentary on the Sentences is probably one of the Catholic Church’s greatest resources in scholastic theoloogy, especially on Sacraments. Bonaventure deals with the tension between theology and philosophy, while at the same time he teaches us to make proper use of philosophy to express faith in a reasonable manner.

Yes. I would like to map out the connections I see and then present them here to develop their form.

Every cartographer needs a method. The scriptures are no exception. Otherwise, you’re all over the place. Which is one of the problems that we often have on these threads. If you want to map out the connections between the OT and NT on the question of transubstantiation, you need a method. You must ask the right questions and examine the appropriate resources.

You also asked if this would be good catechetical material. I don’t know. Religious education is way outside my sphere of intellectual and theological interest and training. I dare not make pronouncements on something that I know absolutely nothing about. I have only attended two classes in catechetics as a student of the faith and I have never trained in the field. I know it exists. From the two classes that I attended, which led me to refuse to set foot in one again, I can honesty and confidently say that it is a field for those who have the gift and knowledge. Unfortunately, I ran into a catechist who had neither. I believe that those who are trained in catechetics and religious education are in a better place to answer your questions regarding this possibility.

Yes, collaboration is what I am inviting. I will not set myself up as the arbiter of truth.

Theology has to reflect the Church. The Church transcends time, nations and groups. Therefore, theology cannot be done in a vacuum. It has to include many people, both alive and those who came before us, with a view of what those after us will find useful for their salvation.

I was thinking of exploring this bread of life parallel. Are you suggesting a larger undertaking of other biblical imagery and meaning?

It’s your thread. You lead. My only suggestion is to take on only that which you can handle and with which you are comfortable. As I said before, I would never take on catechetics. I don’t even visit that thread. I know nothing about it. I entered the Church through the back door, not the RCIA (thank God, because I would have gone nuts). You have to take on only that which allows you to explore what is of interest to you without driving you to Bedlam.

I really wouldn’t want to do this with out you. :slight_smile:

Thank you for the compliment. I’m not sure how useful I can be, but I’ll hang in there as long as I can follow the thread.

The theme, if you will, of the Bread of Life is an interesting one, especially for a Jew like me. Because we do not look at the Exodus story from this perspective. Our focus is totally on the liberation from slavery and the establishment of Israel as a people. I think I would like to see how a craddle-Catholic develops this theme. I have a good understanding of the Eucharist as the NT presents it. The idea of mana as bread of life, is foreign to me, as a Jewish convert. In fact, Rabbinical scholars have always warned about the many Christian interpretations that have been given to this event. I have to admit, that many of these warnings have validity. Some of these interpretations stretch the limits of reason and history.

I’m not sure if any this helps or not. Keep what is good and throw out the rest, as St. Paul says.

OK, so I paraphrased him. Geez :smiley:


#16

Me too. I’m a convert and I ran ito the same problem you did with catchism but I got a better teacher on the second try.

What I would like to try in mapping this out is to deconstruct the CCC. I am also wondering what minutes were taken at the councils where the doctrine of transubstantiation were defined. Please give me the weekend to outline this first draft.


#17

Guys! This seems very grand. I would like a restatement of what we are doing on this thread, Catholic Author :wink: . I’m a little out on a limb already. I agree that philosophy is essential to doing theology. I don’t know what Phiosophy of Theology is. I did Aristotle for 4 years undergraduate. I did the Summa Theologica for two years. For Math, I did Euclid for a year, then Ptolemy, then Descartes etc. Those are my teachers, I their mediocre student.

I am into understanding John6 better any which way–a natural is the OT typology leading up to John6. JR’s progression sounds like my typology, I guess. I know it’s all about Covenant, God’s keeping faith with His people.

Dig every bit of the Jewish angle.

So, sorry to be dense, but what are we doin’ again?


#18

I’m on board with this thread. I don’t know how much I can actually contribute. I can study and analyze, but I have some real limitations. I hope that we have someone, perhaps JReducation, that can help us through the Jewish understandings and even Hebrew vocabulary with root meanings and derivations that might play into the typology, analogy, and possible parallels.

I’m sort of a nuts and bolts/meat and potatoes, amateur apologist that loves scripture. I see scripture as a supernatural tapestry put into inspired words. Every thread, color, and hue has meaning and connections in the Divine picture of salvation. I am open to possibilities, but I am also cautious about having solid connections to support typologies. If I challenge or question things as we go along, I hope it is accepted in the spirit in which it is presented. I’m here to learn, appreciate, and understand. I hope this is okay.


#19

Your humility and earnestness are very welcome as are all your insights. I like the tapestry metaphor because it reminds my of the song “Through Heaven’s Eyes” that Jethro sings in Prince of Egypt. Again, I will not be able to map anything till after the weekend. Thanks to all for your patience.


#20

wish I had said this, Pax, on my own behalf.
Hurry up, Catholic Author :bounce: . (Actually, if you deliver after the weekend, that’s just when I’ll be offline, so I’ll catch up when I can…)


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