Transubstantiation


#1

I am thinking of joining Catholicism but can’t fully accept the doctrine of transubstantiation/real presence. I know Catholics use John 6 as evidence, but I see it as evidence against it! Read John 6:63-64, " The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe." Catholics say if Jesus were speaking figuratively previously in the chapter he would’ve stopped those that walked away to explain. Well, that’s what he does in verse 63. Can someone explain to me how Catholics interpret that?


#2

** Well, that’s what he does in verse 63.**

**It’s the Holy Spirit that comes down and changes the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, which gives life to us.

Note also the sad words in John 6–how those who would NOT accept this truth “walked with Jesus no more.”**


#3

You can accept that:

God created the universe from nothing
God sustains all that is by a mere act of his will
God is a Trinity, one God in three Persons
God became Man, truly God and truly Man in the hypostatic union

You cannot accept:

God transforms bread and wine into his Body and Blood to feed us Sacramentally

Sorry, why, exactly can you not accept this?


#4

I recomenend reading the article on this from catholic answers library, its short and to the point

a snippit

n John 6:63 “flesh profits nothing” refers to mankind’s inclination to think using only what their natural human reason would tell them rather than what God would tell them. Thus in John 8:15–16 Jesus tells his opponents: “You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me.” So natural human judgment, unaided by God’s grace, is unreliable; but God’s judgment is always true.

And were the disciples to understand the line “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” as nothing but a circumlocution (and a very clumsy one at that) for “symbolic”? No one can come up with such interpretations unless he first holds to the Fundamentalist position and thinks it necessary to find a rationale, no matter how forced, for evading the Catholic interpretation. In John 6:63 “flesh” does not refer to Christ’s own flesh—the context makes this clear—but to mankind’s inclination to think on a natural, human level. “The words I have spoken to you are spirit” does not mean “What I have just said is symbolic.” The word “spirit” is never used that way in the Bible. The line means that what Christ has said will be understood only through faith; only by the power of the Spirit and the drawing of the Father (cf. John 6:37, 44–45, 65).

catholic.com/library/Christ_in_the_Eucharist.asp


#5

I agree with the others here - its IMPOSSIBLE for somone with an objective and rational mind and not predisposed to any prior doctrines or biases to read those passages and come away with the wrong message that Jesus is speaking symbolically. It in particular makes no sense to John 6:66 (ironic verse # no?) where a large number of believers walked away and refused to believe. If those present had thought that Jesus was speaking figuratively there would have been no reason to walk away would there? The teaching would have been as easy as any of the others of Jesus’.

No, one has to have a doctrinal bias to read anything other into these passages than what is stated at face value. If one goes back to the time of the protestant revolution and puts yourself into the shoes of Luther one almost has to say that Luther was EXACTLY like the men who walked away from Jesus in John 6:66 - he didn’t like this one message but he kind of liked most of the other things Jesus said so rather than walk away as his predecessors did - he hijacked the message and reinterpreted and somehow took a crowd of people with him. How was that? He appealed to the common demagoguery of the day - aversion to authority (in particular the church) and gave everyone a license to roll their own theology through a self teaching bible that was open to any interpretive whim of any unlettered person in the pews. He essentially gave every one a license to sin - to have their cake and eat it to - to sin and sin boldly in confidence that they were saved. Utter poison.

For protestants to tenaciously reject Christ’s real presence they are putting themselves in the same role as those of John 6:66. This is inescapable.

James


#6

Do you believe Christ’s flesh counted for nothing? If you are a Christian you cannot and do not believe this. So clearly that is not what Christ is saying. Notice that in John 6 Christ speaks of both “my flesh” and “the flesh”. Are they the same thing?

If you want to understand “the spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing” then look at Mt 16:17. Jesus says to Peter "“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”

Thus, “the flesh” or “flesh and blood” refers to human powers of understanding or intellect. We cannot know the truths of the faith based on our own understanding or intellect. Rather, it requires the grace of God for us to know these things. So when the crowd replied “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” Christ was saying that one cannot understand his saying on their own, but only through the grace of God.

BTW, how many Christians denied the Real Presence before 1500? Catholics didn’t. Eastern Orthodox didn’t. So if the doctrine of the Real Presence is false, how come nobody read John 6 and saw that it was false?


#7

May I offer you an simple analogy I use with second graders that are preparing to receive Holy Communion for the first time?

After Mass when the children and parents come down for one of the final lessons prior to receiving Holy Communion for the first time – I held up an unconcentrated host before them. I asked them what was different about this host before them and the Sacred Host received at Holy Communion. They understood that the Sacred Host at Holy Communion was Jesus Himself – Body Blood Soul and Divinity in His Glorified Body. I asked them how that could be – one young child said it was a miracle…what a beautiful simple and innocent answer.

I held up two eggs. Without saying one word, they made the connection. Their little arms waved with the answer – they already knew that one was raw and one was hard-boiled. They understood that they looked exactly alike on the outside but they knew that one was totally transformed and different inside. They knew the substance of the egg was changed though the appearance on the outside was not.

The wonderful part of this lesson was not the innocence of the second graders…it was the reaction of their parents. There were, seemingly for the first time, adults who seemed to understand what the word “Transubstantiation” meant. Was it an egg demonstration that turned the light on for them? I doubt it – it was their open hearts and faith to persevere in faith without a clear rational understanding.

I ask you to consider this…do not wait until you come to “understand” to believe. Believe and you will come to “understand.”

I will pray for you.


#8

I took this from a post of mine from a couple of months ago:

Perhaps it would be helpful to look at what those people closest to the disciples thought about the matter. After all, if you want to interpret the passages in the Bible correctly, it would be useful to see what the first few generations of Christians actually thought.

Catholics believe that Jesus is not just symbolically present in Communion, but actually physically present. You may be interested to note that we are not the only denomination that holds to this view. In fact, about 2/3 of ALL Christians believe this to be true, including the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and some Anglicans and Lutherans. In order to prove the Real Presence, I think it’s essential to look at both what the Bible says and what has historically been true. After all, if it is a corruption, it should be fairly easy to track down at what point it entered into Catholic belief. Looking at what people believed in the very early church would be critical to your argument that it is false.

So, I’m going to begin to answer the question from the historical perspective, and then go back and deal with the Biblical issues. I realize that it will be very important to back up the claim with what’s taught in the Bible, since it is an inspired source. BUT, if we want to know how to correctly interpret that source, we need to see what the apostles and the followers of the apostles thought about how it should be interpreted. If it matters, I’m a professional historian at a small private college in the South, although my area of expertise is Latin America, not the Catholic Church or theology. (Just so you know that my research has some credibility.)


#9

I will try to present some evidence for you in reverse order, starting with dates we can both agree on and then working backward. Keep in mind that despite my profession, I am no liturgical effort, and I’m sure others on here can help me out.

First, a couple of assumptions:

  1. I think we can both agree that the idea of the Real Presence in the Eucharist is established by the Reformation, so I will leave any discussion from that era out.

  2. Since the Eastern Orthodox Church also believes in the Real Presence in the Eucharist (and the Roman Catholic Church recognizes the legitimacy of the Real Presence in the Orthodox Eucharist), we can assume that the doctrine predates the Great Schism between the Catholics and Orthodox.

(Now, that said, the Orthodox will not use the word “Transubstantiation”. They leave the miracle of the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ as a mystery, but they DO believe in the Real Presence of Christ, and in basically the same way as Catholics.)

Ok, right away I suggest that we can push the date much further back, since the Oriental Orthodox and the Assyrian Church of the East BOTH believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and they broke off from the Catholic Church as a result of the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451. This fact pretty well speaks for itself, so we now have the date pushed back to the early to mid 5th century. Bear in mind that the word “Transubstantiation” did not develop until much later, as a result of challenges to this doctrine. The Catholic Church does not generally define dogmas unless the particular belief is challenged and requires further explicit explanation. You cannot judge when the belief began by the introduction of the word Transubstantiation.

While we’re at it, it’s probably good to look at what the Council of Ephesus had to say on the matter:

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]).

As an official pronouncement of the church, the date of the belief is now safely established at least as far back as 431 A.D.


#10

We can now proceed to push the date of the doctrine of the Real Presence back even further, using quotes from St. Augustine, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and St. Ambrose:

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).
**
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]).

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]).

These are all mainstream figures in the Catholic Church. Ambrose and Augustine were both important bishops. These statements are clear, and they define the position of the Catholic Church, which is then stated more formally at the Council of Ephesus. As a result, it’s clear that the idea of the Real Presence develops absolutely no later than the late 4th century


#11

I should mention that most of these quotes are coming from the Catholic Answers library on the front page of this site. I’m just adding some additional commentary.

In 350 A.D., we have another very important document from Cyril of Jerusalem. He states:

“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).

Again, we have a clear indication of the doctrine of the Real Presence. Now we begin with some quotes that are slightly less clear, but offer some strong evidence for the Real Presence:
**
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]).

Now granted, this particular quote could be interpreted as merely symbolic, but given the documentary evidence from other sources and the fact that the Real Presence is clearly believed in 350 A.D., it strongly suggests that this quote is to be taken literally.

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]).

Here we have a reference to the Eucharist in one of the most important of all Church councils, the Council of Nicaea. The important parts of this quote are the reference to the sacrificial, rather than symbolic nature of the Eucharist, and the fact that it is regarded as something special and important enough that only priests and bishops may offer it.

Next, we have Cyprian of Carthage talking about how the Eucharist must be eaten only by those who have confessed of their sins. The sacrifice of the Eucharist may only be consumed by the pure, because it is truly the Body and Blood of Christ. He then proceeds to back up his opinion through Holy Scripture:
**
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]).*


#12

Here are several more quotes:
**
Origen**

“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]).
**
Hippolytus

“‘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]).

Tertullian

“[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]).

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]).

Here is what J. N. D. Kelly has to say in his book Early Christian Doctrines about the above quotes. (pgs 211-212):

“Hippolytus speaks of ‘the body and the blood’ through which the Church is saved, and Tertullian regularly describes the bread as ‘the Lord’s body.’ The converted pagan, he remarks, ‘feeds on the richness of the Lord’s body, that is, on the Eucharist.’ The realism of his theology comes to light in the argument, based on the intimate relation of body and soul, that just as in baptism the body is washed with water so that the soul may be cleansed, so in the Eucharist ‘the flesh feeds upon Christ’s body and blood so that the soul may be filled with God.’ Clearly his assumption is that the Savior’s body and blood are as real as the baptismal water. Cyprian’s attitude is similar. (see my last post) Lapsed Christians who claim communion without doing penance, he declares, ‘do violence to his body and blood, a sin more heinous against the Lord with their hands and mouths than when they denied him.’ Later he expatiates on the terrifying consequences of profaning the sacrament, and the stories he tells confirm that he took the Real Presence literally”.

Now, out of these last few passages, no single quote would support belief in the Real Presence all by itself. However, taken as a collection, it provides strong evidence that the belief was widespread. In light of even earlier documentary evidence (which I’ll give in my next post) that is far more clear on the doctrine of the Real Presence, these quotes become important as evidence of continuity.*


#13

And finally, we come to the most important quotes of all:

Irenaeus

“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).

About this passage, J.N. D. Kelly states:
From the Church’s early days, the Fathers referred to Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. Kelly writes: “Ignatius roundly declares that . . . [t]he bread is the flesh of Jesus, the cup his blood. Clearly he intends this realism to be taken strictly, **for he makes it the basis of his argument against the Docetists’ denial of the reality of Christ’s body. . . . Irenaeus teaches that the bread and wine are really the Lord’s body and blood. His witness is, indeed, all the more impressive because he produces it quite incidentally while refuting the Gnostic and Docetic rejection of the Lord’s real humanity” **(ibid., 197–98).

Now this IS significant! We have Iraneus of Lyons, in 189 A.D., writing an entire tract to refute the heresy of the Docetists. Here is what Wikipedia says about the Docetists:

"In Christianity, Docetism (from the Greek δοκέω [dokeō], “to seem”) is the belief that Jesus’ physical body was an illusion, as was his crucifixion; that is, Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and to physically die, but in reality he was incorporeal, a pure spirit, and hence could not physically die. This belief treats the sentence “the Word was made Flesh” (John 1:14) as merely figurative. Docetism has historically been regarded as heretical by most Christian theologians.

Christology and theological implications

This belief is most commonly attributed to the Gnostics, who believed that matter was evil, and hence that God would not take on a material body. This statement is rooted in the idea that a divine spark is imprisoned within the material body, and that the material body is in itself an obstacle, deliberately created by an evil lesser god (the demiurge) to prevent man from seeing his divine origin.

Docetism could be further explained as the view that, because the human body is temporary and the spirit is eternal, the body of Jesus therefore must have been an illusion and his crucifixion as well. Even so, saying that the human body is temporary has a tendency to undercut the importance of the belief in resurrection of the dead and the goodness of created matter, and is in opposition to this orthodox view. Docetism was rejected by the ecumenical councils and mainstream Christianity, largely dying out during the first millennium A.D. . Other surviving gnostic movements, such as Catharism incorporated docetism into their beliefs, but the movement was destroyed by the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229)."

Irenaeus is arguing against Docetism because it denies the sacrifice of Jesus. If God could never take true human form because it was evil, then Jesus’ death was simply an illusion with no real value. Irenaeus HAD to emphasize the Real Presence as part of his argument to prove that Jesus actually DID become flesh. How could someone reject the Real Presence as possible if it didn’t already exist?! The document by Irenaeus is long, but clear, and combined with the other quotes above, helps to push the date for the Real Presence all the way back to the late 2nd century. Keep in mind that Irenaeus was born a mere 25-30 years after the death of the Apostle John, so we are now getting VERY close to the New Testament era


#14

Justin Martyr

“We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration * and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).

Here, we have Justin Martyr writing an Apology (a defense of the Christian faith) to the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius to try and defend the practices of the Christians and thus end the illegality and persecution of the Church. As such, it had to be very accurate as to the current beliefs of the Catholic Church, as it would be read by high officials, and possibly Antoninus Pius himself. As a classically trained philosopher, he was well-versed in the debating methods of the time, as well as the arguments of the Romans themselves. The First Apology was written in 151 A.D., so the Real Presence is now clearly a Catholic doctrine just a mere 121 years after the death of Christ, and about 50 years after the death of John, the last surviving apostle.
**
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]).

And finally, we have the most important quote of all. Our existing evidence suggests that Ignatius was trained by none other than the Apostle John himself, and that he was personally ordained a bishop by the Apostle Peter. This is a man who intimately knew and conversed with the Apostles, and even HE is professing belief in the Real Presence. He is doing this in his letters to his congregations, and we have written records of it as early as 110 AD. The Didache, written about 70 AD (not by Ignatius, but by an unknown author), is the oldest non-Biblical surviving document that we have about Christianity, and it too emphasizes the sacrificial nature of the Mass.

So what’s the bottom line? If the Real Presence of the Eucharist is a false teaching, then the Apostles themselves incorrectly trained and appointed a bishop with false beliefs, and are responsible for the perversion of the Catholic Church. It is very clear that this would not be likely. There are other documents that also support this opinion, but I’ve only listed the most important and significant ones. I should also point out some relevant Bible passages:
**
1 Cor. 10:16–17, 11:23–29; and, most forcefully, John 6:32–71**

It would also do you well to read** “The Lamb’s Supper” by Scott Hahn.** It describes in detail how the Catholic Church has always taught that the Book of Revelation by John is in fact an analogy describing the Sacrifice of the Mass. Most of the images used are direct symbolic representations of the various parts of the Catholic Mass. His interpretation is not new (nor is it the only acceptable one), but it does demonstrate how the Mass IS highly Biblical, as is the Real Presence and its sacrificial nature.

I now give you some time to digest all of this…:)*


#15

I should also note that the vast majority of Christian denominations believe in the Real Presence. By numbers:
**
Those that believe in the Real Presence**
Catholics - 1,120,000,000
Eastern Orthodox - 225,000,000
Oriental Orthodox - 72,000,000

Total - 1,417,000,000

Anglicanism - 77,000,000 (Some believe in the Real Presence, some do not)

**
Those that reject the Real Presence**
Protestantism (mainline) - 590,000,000
Pentacostalism - 105,000,000
Non-Trinitarian - 28,500,000
Restorationaism - 18,000,000

Total - 741,500,000

Total number of Christians - 2,235,500,000
Percentage of those that believe in the Real Presence - 63.38%
Percentage of those that reject the Real Presence - 33.17%
Percentage of Anglicans - 3.44%

Now, of course, I realize that this says nothing about whether the belief is actually true or not, but is a powerful indication of what the MAJORITY of Christians believe.

Edit: I forgot to add in Lutherans, which ALSO believe in a form of the Real Presence…


#16

I’d also like to present the following Biblical argument, spelled out expertly in The Lamb’s Supper by Dr. Scott Hahn. Perhaps you would like to re-read Revelation in light of the following idea. Compare the imagery of Revelation to the parts of the Catholic Mass:

Sunday worship 1:10
a high priest 1:13
an altar 8:3-4; 11:1; 14:18
priests (presybteroi) 4:4; 11:15; 14:3; 19:4
vestments 1:13; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9; 15:6; 19:13-14
consecrated celibacy 14:4
lamp stands, or Menorah 1:12, 2:5
penitence ch. 2 and 3
incense 5:8; 8:3-5
the book, or scroll 5:1
the Eucharistic Host 2:17
chalices 15:7; ch. 16; 21:9
the Sign of the Cross (the tau) 7:3; 14:1; 22:4
the Gloria 15:3-4
the Alleluia 19:1, 3, 4, 6
Lift up your hearts 11:12
the “Holy, Holy, Holy” 4:8
the Amen 19:4; 22:21
the “Lamb of God” 5:6 and throughout
the prominence of the Virgin Mary 12:1-6; 13-17
intercession of angels and saints 5:8; 6:0-10; 8:3-4

(You will want to pay attention to these three in particular. Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb of God” in Revelation (and almost exclusively in Revelation) to emphasize his ongoing sacrifice. He becomes the one perfect sacrifice for all, and replaces eternally all other sacrifice. His sacrifice, which continues for all time in the Catholic Mass, is a foreshadowing of the worship we will have for God in Heaven.)
devotion to St. Michael, archangel 12:7
antiphonal chant 4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:10-12; 18:1-8
readings from Scripture ch 2-3; 5; 8:2-11
(again, note the strong importance of Scripture with regard to the Mass)
the priesthood of the faithful 1:6; 20:6
catholicity, or universality 7:9
silent contemplation 8:1
the marriage supper of the Lamb 19:9, 17

I could go into much greater detail, but Dr. Hahn does it much better than I.


#17

The majority of people in the world do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior so according to your logic Jesus Christ isn’t the Savior.

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Luke 22.19

There is no teaching anywhere in the Bible that the followers of the Lord Jesus are to eat His body. The Lord Jesus commanded His followers to eat the bread in remembrance of Him.

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#18

This is flawed logic. All it means is that among Christians, the idea that Communion is merely symbolic is by far the minority opinion. Further, since virtually NO ONE in Christianity held to this position before the Reformation, it makes the idea incredibly suspect.

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Luke 22.19

There is no teaching anywhere in the Bible that the followers of the Lord Jesus are to eat His body. The Lord Jesus commanded His followers to eat the bread in remembrance of Him.

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Ok, correct me if I’m wrong, but I just read the quote from Luke you provided. It said that He (Jesus) took the bread and broke it, saying, “THIS IS MY BODY”. How is this not telling us to eat His body? There is no idea among the Early Church Fathers that has MORE evidence to support it (INCLUDING the Trinity) than the Real Presence (or perhaps you didn’t read through the other posts).


#19

So are you claiming that in your religious services Christ is not present?

If “rememberance” (a poor translation) does not preclude Christ from being present at your services, why does it preclude him from being present in the Eucharist?


#20

“It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing.”

“what means ‘the flesh profiteth nothing’? It profiteth nothing,
but only in the manner in which they understood it. They indeed
understood the flesh, just as when cut to pieces in a carcass, or
sold in the shambles; not as when it is quickened by the Spirit.”

  • St. Augustine

Thus it profits nothing to eat mere dead flesh, such as is sold
in the market, separated from the spirit, that is from the soul
and divinity of Jesus Christ. It was in this sense the Capharnites
understood the words of Jesus. But on the other hand, the
sacramental manducation of his flesh profiteth much. The error
then of the Jews consisted not in thinking that our Lord wished to
give us his flesh to eat, but in conceiving that we were to eat it,
as we eat flesh sold in the market. - St. Alphonsus Liguori

“The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.”:

NOR is there anything contrary to the tradition of the Church in the
word of the Lord saying to the disciples, who seemed scandalised: The
words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life (John vi, 63). He
did not thereby give them to understand that His true flesh was not
delivered to be eaten by the faithful in this Sacrament, but that it
was not delivered to be eaten in the way of ordinary flesh, taken and
torn with the teeth in its own proper appearance, as food usually is;
that it is received in a spiritual way, not in the usual way of fleshly
food. - St. Thomas Aquinas


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