When was the idea of "symbolic" Eucharist invented?


#1

I’m not sure if Luther was the first (well-known) person to distort the true meaning of the Eucharist. I would have thought so, but apparently he believed something similar instead called “consubstantiation”? What’s the difference?


#2

I just listened to one of the Catholic Answers Live shows and it said that the first person who didn’t believe in the Real Presence was in the 11th century. Yeah Lutheran taught consubsantiation…which means more of a ‘spirtual’ presence of Jesus along side the Bread and Wine. Not the real physical presence. Someone else could probly explain it better.


#3

Yeah the first eucharistic heresey was in the 11th century however it was squashed and then brought up again naturally at the Refromation.
Luther beleived in a real presence of body and blood in an under the species of bread and wine. He was close but still off a little on church teaching here. Calvin is the first refrormer to deny that the eucharist was not the body and blood of Jesus he did not deny a presense of Jesus he believed in a spirtual or dynamic presence.
The first person to deny any presnece of christ during the refromation and beleived in a symbolic memorial meal that is so prevelant amon baptist and evangelicals these days is Urich Zwlingli in fact he and Luther got in a heated debate about this Luther did not beleive this guy could even be christian by going so far away from what was understood as the real presence of the body and blood in the eucharist.
Zwingli retorted Luther was really a Papist who have never left his love for the papal sacraments. Luther sat across the table with his arms folded yelling this is my body! this is my body! over and over to prove his point. It was the beginning of the fracturing of the Reformation into denominations at one time the Reformers believed they agree with each other on important matters but the more they talked the more they found out they disagreed on scriptural interpretations. THus the obvious flaw to sola scriptura was revealed. Scripture did not interpret scripture.


#4

[quote=Maccabees]Yeah the first eucharistic heresey was in the 11th century however it was squashed and then brought up again naturally at the Refromation.
[/quote]

Thanks for your help. Do you know what the name of this 11th century heresy was off-hand?

EDIT: this came to mind right after I originally posted the reply. Wouldn’t the Gnostics before them, believing that all matter was completely evil, have probably had some distortion of the Eucharist as well?


#5

Consubstantiation means both the substance of bread & wine and the substance of the body and blood of Christ are present in the Eucharist after consecration.

Transubstantiation means a change occurs from the substance of bread & wine to the substance of the body and blood of Christ.

The phrase Real Presence encompasses both Consubstantiation and Transubstantiation. But the Church teaches the doctrine of the Real Presences as Transubstantiation only.

There is a wonderful book published by Ignatius:

The Hidden Manna: A Theology of the Eucharist, by James T. O’Connor. It is endorsed by John Cardinal O’Connor and has ecclesiastical approval.

You will understand every concept clearly, see where the ideas came from, how they were argued, how Protestants came to differ, and even how modern liberal theologians have treated the Eucharist.

I highly, highly recommend it.


#6

There must have been those in the early church who did not believe in the real presence.

If that weren’t the case Ignatius of Antioch wouldn’t have written about how they abstained from sharing in the eucharist because they did not confess the bread to be the flesh of Christ. And Justin Martyr would not have written that none could partake of it except for one who believed the teaching to be true.

I’ve wondered about who those people are. Useless wondering, I’ll probably never know. And as to whether they believed in symbolism or transignification I don’t know at all.


#7

[quote=exoflare]Thanks for your help. Do you know what the name of this 11th century heresy was off-hand?

EDIT: this came to mind right after I originally posted the reply. Wouldn’t the Gnostics before them, believing that all matter was completely evil, have probably had some distortion of the Eucharist as well?
[/quote]

I was thinking of Berengarius of Tours I have a good summary of eucharistic errors it should be noted that the belief was so well believed that most non-catholics sects that attempted to rival catholicsim the first thousand years beleived in a eucharitsic theology close to the church. I think the main exception would be the gnostics who had extreme problems with the spiritual entering anywhere that matter once existed.
It was a contradictary worlds for them. Go Ignatius would be talking about gnostics and Ireneiaus would be talking about gnostics it has been strongly suggested Saint John was addressing gnostics in John 6.

From New Advent:
As for the cogency of the argument from tradition, this historical fact is of decided significance, namely, that the dogma of the Real Presence remained, properly speaking, unmolested down to the time of the heretic Berengarius of Tours (d. 1088), and so could claim even at that time the uninterrupted possession of ten centuries. In the course of the dogma’s history there arose in general three great Eucharistic controversies, the first of which, begun by Paschasius Radbertus, in the ninth century, scarcely extended beyond the limits of his audience and concerned itself solely with the philosophical question, whether the Eucharistic Body of Christ is identical with the natural Body He had in Palestine and now has in heaven. Such a numerical identity could well have been denied by Ratramnus, Rabanus Maurus, Ratherius, Lanfranc, and others, since even nowadays a true, though accidental, distinction between the sacramental and the natural condition of Christ’s Body must be rigorously maintained. The first occasion for an official procedure on the part of the Church was offered when Berengarius of Tours, influenced by the writings of Scotus Eriugena (d. about 884), the first opponent of the Real Presence, rejected both the latter truth and that of Transubstantiation. He repaired, however, the public scandal he had given by a sincere retractation made in the presence of Pope Gregory VII at a synod held in Rome in 1079, and died reconciled to the Church. The third and the sharpest controversy was that opened by the Reformation in the sixteenth century, in regard to which it must be remarked that Luther was the only one among the Reformers who still clung to the old Catholic doctrine, and, though subjecting it to manifold misrepresentations, defended it most tenaciously. He was diametrically opposed by Zwingli of Zurich, who, as was seen above, reduced the Eucharist to an empty, meaningless symbol. Having gained over to his views such friendly contemporary partisans as Carlstadt, Bucer, and Oecolampadius, he later on secured influential allies in the Arminians, Mennonites, Socinians, and Anglicans, and even today the rationalistic conception of the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper does not differ substantially from that of the Zwinglians.


#8

The “Lord’s Supper” and the Eucharist have always had symbolic meanings.

Perhaps a better question is: “When and how did the rejection of the Real Presence take place?”


#9

check out the archives of This Rock, under the Fathers Know Best column for the topic of the Eucharist, Ignatius of Antioch reviles heretics who deny the Real Presence and consider it a mere symbol


#10

Truly, there does not seem to be any “new” heresies. Just the same old ones that keep popping up. I actually find it comforting. I can go back and read the Church Fathers and see that the Catholic Church has always taught about the Real Presence, infant baptism, etc. because they had to squash the same heresies throughout the history of the Church.

God Bless,
Maria


#11

Well you know Maria the Bible has a saying there is nothing new under the sun. I beleive the catholic historian Belloc would quote that saying in Ecclesistes when he desribed the heresies of his day in comparision to the heresies in the days of the church fathers.


#12

[quote=exoflare]I’m not sure if Luther was the first (well-known) person to distort the true meaning of the Eucharist. I would have thought so, but apparently he believed something similar instead called “consubstantiation”? What’s the difference?
[/quote]

Luther didn’t use the word “consubstantiation.” What he believed was actually in some ways more literal than the view of someone like Aquinas. Luther thought that the recantation of Berengar (the 11th-century heretic someone else mentioned) was right on target, praising the Pope who forced Berengar to admit that in the Eucharist Christ’s body was really chewed with the teeth. Ironically, that is not considered to be a fully correct view by Catholics. So Luther really was “more Catholic than the Pope” on this one in a sense.

Yes, Luther believed that the bread and wine continued to exist, but that did not take away from the literal presence of Christ. There was also some debate among Lutherans as to whether Christ was still present after the end of the Mass. Melanchthon tended to think not–Luther thought that He was.

Luther’s big break with Catholic theology of the Eucharist was that he didn’t believe it was a sacrifice. It was God’s gift to us, not our gift to God. But he was emphatic that Christ’s real Body and Blood were present. It was one of the things he believed most passionately, and he furiously condemned other Protestants who held a more symbolic view.

As for when such a view originated–that’s tough. Zwingli and Calvin and others (not that they all held the same view themselves) were able to cite passages from some of the Fathers, particularly Augustine. But Augustine also used more “realistic” language, and he certainly never expressed any disagreement with Ambrose, who used language that essentially implies transubstantiation, or something like it. The Fathers don’t seem to have thought of symbolic and realistic language as opposed to each other. The Nestorians in the 5th and 6th centuries were, I believe, criticized for their overly spiritualized view of the Eucharist (stemming from their heretical Christology). But at least in the West the first big debate on the subject was in the Carolingian era (9th century) between Radbertus and Ratramnus. Even then it wasn’t really orthodoxy against heresy but two theologians hashing things out. Berengar is the first person who clearly got in trouble for asserting a more symbolic view.

In Christ,

Edwin


#13

The Eucharist Makes Present Jesus’ One Eternal Sacrifice; it’s Not Just a Symbolic Memorial

Gen. 14:18 - remember that Melchizedek’s bread and wine offering foreshadowed the sacramental re-presentation of Jesus’ offering.

Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - the translation of Jesus’ words of consecration is “touto poieite tan eman anamnasin.” Jesus literally said “offer this as my memorial sacrifice.” The word “poiein” (do) refers to offering a sacrifice (see, e.g., Exodus 29:38-39, where God uses the same word – poieseis – regarding the sacrifice of the lambs on the altar). The word “anamnesis” (remembrance) also refers to a sacrifice which is really or actually made present in time by the power of God, as it reminds God of the actual event (see, e.g., Heb. 10:3; Num. 10:10). It is not just a memorial of a past event, but a past event made present in time.

In other words, the “sacrifice” is the “memorial” or “reminder.” If the Eucharist weren’t a sacrifice, Luke would have used the word “mnemosunon” (which is the word used to describe a nonsacrificial memorial. See, for example, Matt. 26:13; Mark 14:9; and especially Acts 10:4). So there are two memorials, one sacrificial (which Jesus instituted), and one non-sacrificial.

Lev. 24:7 - the word “memorial” in Hebrew in the sacrificial sense is “azkarah” which means to actually make present (see Lev. 2:2,9,16;5:12;6:5; Num.5:26 where “azkarah” refers to sacrifices that are currently offered and thus present in time). Jesus’ instruction to offer the bread and wine (which He changed into His body and blood) as a “memorial offering” demonstrates that the offering of His body and blood is made present in time over and over again.

Num. 10:10 - in this verse, “remembrance” refers to a sacrifice, not just a symbolic memorial. So Jesus’ command to offer the memorial “in remembrance” of Him demonstrates that the memorial offering is indeed a sacrifice currently offered. It is a re-presentation of the actual sacrifice made present in time. It is as if the curtain of history is drawn and Calvary is made present to us. Mal. 1:10-11 - Jesus’ command to his apostles to offer His memorial sacrifice of bread and wine which becomes His body and blood fulfills the prophecy that God would reject the Jewish sacrifices and receive a pure sacrifice offered in every place. This pure sacrifice of Christ is sacramentally re-presented from the rising of the sun to its setting in every place, as Malachi prophesied. :blessyou:


#14

Without a sacrificing preisthood any other Eucharist is indeed symbolic. It is a true statement about a true reality. It is truly symbolic of the Catholic and Orthodox Eucharist.

st julie


#15

disciplesnow.com/catholic/html/article888.html

I found this page


#16

Hi Ruzz,

Why don’t your read this catholic.com/library/Christ_in_the_Eucharist.asp

It is written for adults. The other site was for kids 6 - 12. In my opinion, in trying to explain it, they simplified it too much. The one at CA has an *NIHIL OBSTAT and IMPRIMATUR. *I did not see any such thing on your link.

God Bless,
Maria


#17

[quote=exoflare]I’m not sure if Luther was the first (well-known) person to distort the true meaning of the Eucharist. I would have thought so, but apparently he believed something similar instead called “consubstantiation”? What’s the difference?
[/quote]

Consubstantiation teaches that the bread and wine remain with the body and blood of Christ. Transubstantiation says that the bread and wine change into the body and blood. Consubstantiation does not work because it means that part of it is not the body of Christ, while another part is. The Catholic teaching is that the entire thing is the body of Christ, each and every particle.


closed #18

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