OK, I admit, the title of the thread is a little tongue in cheek but, Dr. Blank on the “Protestants Why are you not Catholic” thread, now closed, contends that St. Clement believed in a symbolic Eucharist. My original question was, paraphrasing, was where in the first 1,500 years of Christianity can we find a church that believed in a symbolic Lord’s Supper, especially one in the early Church. The document in question is St. Clement’s writing from the (Paedagogus) Instructor
[,_EN.pdf"]A link to the document is here]("documentacatholicaomnia.eu/03d/0150-0207,_Clemens_Alexandrinus,Paedagogus[Schaff)
Copying from the previous thread, Dr Blank stated
Clement’s writings from Paedagogus:
“Eat ye my flesh,” He says, “and drink my blood.” Such is the suitable food which the Lord ministers, and He offers His flesh and pours forth His blood, and nothing is wanting for the children’s growth. O amazing mystery. We are enjoined to cast off the old and carnal corruption, as also the old nutriment, receiving in exchange another new regimen, that of Christ, receiving Him if we can, to hide Him within; and that, enshrining the Savior in our souls, we may correct the affections of our flesh.”
This is where most Catholics stop. If you continue reading:
“But you are not inclined to understand it thus, but perchance more generally. Hear it also in the following way. The flesh figuratively represents to us the Holy Spirit; for the flesh was created by Him. The blood points out to us the Word, for as rich blood the Word has been infused into life; and the union of both is the Lord, the food of the babes–the Lord who is Spirit and Word. The food- that is, the Lord Jesus–that is, the Word of God, the Spirit made flesh, the heavenly flesh sanctified…”
I then replied quoting that Book Two, Chapter Two are Clear, that St Clement was speaking “TWOFOLD”, two parts, not either or but both.
And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of His flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord’s immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh.
Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality.
And the mixture of both— of the water and of the Word— is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul. For the divine mixture, man, the Father’s will has mystically compounded by the Spirit and the Word. For, in truth, the spirit is joined to the soul, which is inspired by it; and the flesh, by reason of which the Word became flesh, to the Word.
Dr. B than replied that one needs to look at more of the writing, especially page 347 and that Clement is speaking figuratively. So looking at page 347, here’s the key verse that I believe Dr. is focusing on below. St Clement then speaks at length in a figurative tone.
But you are not inclined to understand it thus, but perchance more generally. Hear it also in the following way. The flesh figuratively represents to us the Holy Spirit; for the flesh was created by Him.
But the key words above are the transition words, “Here is also in the following way”. This is consistent with St. Clements writings above where he describes the blood of The Lord as Two-Fold.
Also of interest, the Coptic’s have the same belief. ** Here’s is a link** to their explanation of the same subject, using nearly the same quotations. I’ll quote their explanation on St Clement on the following post.