56. Teresa Polk Says:
October 15th, 2005 at 9:54 am
#54 - Spirit of Vatican II, I think you have gone way too far now. For one thing, I don’t see how from Trent or any other Catholic source you get approval for a non-denominational communion service, possibly by non-ordained people, as being what Christ intended. Even the non-denominational Protestants would not call what they do Eucharist — although you could find some who would say that they believe in the very limited concept of Transubstantiation that you have now made more clear is what you believe. Even in the Early Church, in Tertullian’s writings, there were concerns expressed about who could celebrate sacraments. The Eucharistic liturgy in the Didache is drawn more from John 6 than from the Last Supper, so that it is historically clear that the first century Church understood John 6 as pertaining to the Eucharist. As the Pontificator’s original posting makes clear, finding the Eucharist in John 6 is troubling to the purely Protestant position, and yet it is in the Didache’s liturgy which dates back to New Testament times. I don’t think you can reconcile your position with the first and second century understanding of what Christ intended, unless you view Christ’s intention from Scripture taken out of context from the surrounding culture and the historical events that led to some of the persecution. You would also have to explain, for example, how Roman rumors developed that accused the Christians of cannibalism — clearly, the surrounding secular culture thought they took the Eucharist so literally that it was feared they might actually be eating someone’s flesh. You could not explain that kind of slander toward a group who used a non-denominational Protestant understanding of Christ’s intention.
1.Her own reference to Tertullian implies that even by the 3C, the question of who officiated at the Eucharist was still unsettled.
2.The Didache is generally dated to the 2C.
3.Even if a given teaching or practice did go back to Apostolic times, that doesn’t make it Apostolic. Most of the NT correspondence was occasioned by false teaching which sprung up with great frequency and alacrity in Apostolic Sees whenever the Apostles were away, planting other churches.
4.The Bread of Life Discourse was delivered around AD 30 or so. The historical setting is Jewish and pre-Eucharistic. What would this have meant to Jesus’ Jewish audience, given their preunderstanding? The explicit background and express frame of reference is not the NT Eucharist, but the OT manna.
5.Whenever and to whomever the Fourth Gospel was written, it is a historical record of speeches which were delivered at an earlier time to a different audience.
Failure to distinguish between the target-audience for the Fourth Gospel and the original audience for the embedded narrative discourse within the Fourth Gospel commits an elementary level-confusion and basic hermeneutical blunder.