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Author Topic: 'Rational sacrifice'?  (Read 925 times) Average Rating: 0
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William
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« on: June 12, 2011, 10:54:08 PM »

What does it mean when the priest mentions that the bloodless sacrifice is rational?
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2011, 11:09:05 PM »

This will not be a complete answer, but ...

In Greek, the whole prayer begins:

’’Ετι προσφέρομέν σοι την λογικην ταύτην καì αναίμακτον λατρείαν ...
Again we offer unto you this rational and bloodless worship ...

The key words are λογικην (logikin) and λατρείαν (latreian).

λογικην can mean "logical", but I have also seen it translated "reasonable", "rational", "spiritual" and "noetic". I might be drawing the bow too far, here, but I suppose it could also be translated "according to (the) Logos" or Christ himself -- no doubt a better Greek-speaker will correct me.

λατρείαν means adoration, worship.

Remember that in the ancient world all worship was made by sacrifice, usually bloody sacrifice. So many of the words tied to worship in ancient languages are related to the concept of offering up or burning whole or letting blood. This is also highlighted by the appearance of λογικην so close to αναίμακτον -- "unbloody", "without shedding blood".

By contrast, the Divine Liturgy is offered in spirit and truth, not in blood. The worship we give to the Creator is offered by our intelligent and noetic self, not only according to flesh as a pagan sacrifice.

So, in at least that way, the worship and adoration that is offered to God in the liturgy is λογικην.

"Spiritual" and "noetic" are looser translations of λογικην than "reasonable" and "rational", but I think they fit better. I don't think St John's words are meant to be advertising how obvious and logical the sacrifice of the Divine Liturgy is -- as if it could be arrived at by the application of reason alone. Nevertheless, it is reasonable.

I don't doubt that, like everything else in the Divine Liturgy, there is a fuller and deeper explanation than the surface-level one I have offered.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 11:20:16 PM by akimori makoto » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 12:04:55 AM »

Good question William.

What happened to Apples and your cute picture?


Aki Mori,

Again we offer unto you this rational and bloodless worship ...


Remember that in the ancient world all worship was made by sacrifice, usually bloody sacrifice. So many of the words tied to worship in ancient languages are related to the concept of offering up or burning whole or letting blood. This is also highlighted by the appearance of λογικην so close to αναίμακτον -- "unbloody", "without shedding blood".

By contrast, the Divine Liturgy is offered in spirit and truth, not in blood. The worship we give to the Creator is offered by our intelligent and noetic self, not only according to flesh as a pagan sacrifice.

So you are saying that it's a "rational thinking" sacrifice because unlike wild pagans we don't use blood?

But what about the concept of mystical blood in the Eucharist?
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 12:14:08 AM »

I do see a possible problem with the Eucharist: Namely that the First Five Books of the Bible ban consuming blood.
I think I read a few Catholic websites try to get around this by saying we aren't under the OT anymore. But guess what, Acts 15 has this same prohibition on Christianity, even with uncircumcized Christians. And the Church reaffirmed this rule in the Middle Ages.

Here is a much better explanation I found:
Quote
“Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh [is] the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off” (Lev. 17:4) and “Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood [is] the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh” (Deut. 12:23)... Jesus said, “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53).  That is exactly why we must drink His blood.  We don’t want the life of cattle or goats in us, but we do want Jesus’ life in us!
http://www.biblicaltruth.org/supper.htm

Another explanation I see is that there are many OT references to blood as wine and vice verse, although it appears to mean this is meant in some visionary or petic terminology, rather than saying that wine is spiritual blood by nature........

Still, I do see a contradiction: the scriptures set forth a rule against consuming blood, yet the concept at least in Christianity of ritual blood consumption.
The best way I see to get around this is by saying the prohibitions are about physical blood, not some spiritual or poetic blood in the Eucharist.
Granted, saying physical blood is banned goes against the RC view of Transubstantion.
Orthodoxy leaves the Eucharist's nature open as a mystery.

What do you think? How might you get around this contradiction?

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akimori makoto
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 12:17:23 AM »

Good question William.

What happened to Apples and your cute picture?


Aki Mori,

Again we offer unto you this rational and bloodless worship ...


Remember that in the ancient world all worship was made by sacrifice, usually bloody sacrifice. So many of the words tied to worship in ancient languages are related to the concept of offering up or burning whole or letting blood. This is also highlighted by the appearance of λογικην so close to αναίμακτον -- "unbloody", "without shedding blood".

By contrast, the Divine Liturgy is offered in spirit and truth, not in blood. The worship we give to the Creator is offered by our intelligent and noetic self, not only according to flesh as a pagan sacrifice.

So you are saying that it's a "rational thinking" sacrifice because unlike wild pagans we don't use blood?

But what about the concept of mystical blood in the Eucharist?

Certainly the worship we offer in the Divine Liturgy is noetic and intelligent, not just bloody. I'd hesitate to say that it is entirely bloodless, but for the fact that the word αναίμακτον appears a few times in the silent prayers.

How about this though (I am just thinking aloud, here) -- it is bread, wine and love that we offer but the Precious Body and Blood that we receive? ie: what we offer is unbloody but what we receive is bloody, in a mytical fashion.
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 12:24:24 AM »

I do see a possible problem with the Eucharist: Namely that the First Five Books of the Bible ban consuming blood.
I think I read a few Catholic websites try to get around this by saying we aren't under the OT anymore. But guess what, Acts 15 has this same prohibition on Christianity, even with uncircumcized Christians. And the Church reaffirmed this rule in the Middle Ages.

Here is a much better explanation I found:
Quote
“Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh [is] the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off” (Lev. 17:4) and “Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood [is] the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh” (Deut. 12:23)... Jesus said, “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53).  That is exactly why we must drink His blood.  We don’t want the life of cattle or goats in us, but we do want Jesus’ life in us!
http://www.biblicaltruth.org/supper.htm

Another explanation I see is that there are many OT references to blood as wine and vice verse, although it appears to mean this is meant in some visionary or petic terminology, rather than saying that wine is spiritual blood by nature........

Still, I do see a contradiction: the scriptures set forth a rule against consuming blood, yet the concept at least in Christianity of ritual blood consumption.
The best way I see to get around this is by saying the prohibitions are about physical blood, not some spiritual or poetic blood in the Eucharist.
Granted, saying physical blood is banned goes against the RC view of Transubstantion.
Orthodoxy leaves the Eucharist's nature open as a mystery.

What do you think? How might you get around this contradiction?




It is the real blood, that is certainly what is taught about the Eucharist, it isn't just "spiritual". It would surprise me if the Council of Jerusalem didn't athamatize such belief, as it was dealing with Calvinism.

The way you get around the prohibition is simple: The reason why you don't drink the blood of animals is because that is considered their very essence, their life itself.
In the case of drinking the blood of Christ this is desirable, and in fact what he commanded us. We want the essence of Christ, his very being, to fill us.

It shouldn't be seen as a contradiction to the law that we not drink blood, rather it should be seen as the exception.
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 12:48:22 AM »

I think much of the above is good. I would add a facet which also refers to the sacrifice itself as rational, not merely our act of offering it.

Animals are irrational creatures. They are sacrificed against their will; indeed they are sacrificed without understanding the significance of what is happening.

Meanwhile Christ—a rational creature, a human being—was sacrificed at his own will. His sacrifice was rational. We offer Christ's sacrifice back to Himself as our worship.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 12:48:55 AM by bogdan » Logged
akimori makoto
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 06:10:03 AM »

I think much of the above is good. I would add a facet which also refers to the sacrifice itself as rational, not merely our act of offering it.

Animals are irrational creatures. They are sacrificed against their will; indeed they are sacrificed without understanding the significance of what is happening.

Meanwhile Christ—a rational creature, a human being—was sacrificed at his own will. His sacrifice was rational. We offer Christ's sacrifice back to Himself as our worship.

Love this. I knew there'd be more to it.
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2011, 03:13:07 PM »

I think much of the above is good. I would add a facet which also refers to the sacrifice itself as rational, not merely our act of offering it.

Animals are irrational creatures. They are sacrificed against their will; indeed they are sacrificed without understanding the significance of what is happening.

Meanwhile Christ—a rational creature, a human being—was sacrificed at his own will. His sacrifice was rational. We offer Christ's sacrifice back to Himself as our worship.

Nice. Clear, simple, concise, and "reasonable".

Thanks.

I really am enjoying listening to Fr. Thomas Hopko's on-going series where he is breaking down the DL bit by bit.
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William
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2011, 03:31:18 PM »

Good question William.

What happened to Apples and your cute picture?
People thought I was a girl.  Embarrassed

Anyway, thanks for the answers, everyone.
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Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
rakovsky
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 05:49:58 PM »

I do see a possible problem with the Eucharist: Namely that the First Five Books of the Bible ban consuming blood.
I think I read a few Catholic websites try to get around this by saying we aren't under the OT anymore. But guess what, Acts 15 has this same prohibition on Christianity, even with uncircumcized Christians. And the Church reaffirmed this rule in the Middle Ages.

Here is a much better explanation I found:
Quote
“Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh [is] the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off” (Lev. 17:4) and “Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood [is] the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh” (Deut. 12:23)... Jesus said, “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53).  That is exactly why we must drink His blood.  We don’t want the life of cattle or goats in us, but we do want Jesus’ life in us!
http://www.biblicaltruth.org/supper.htm

Another explanation I see is that there are many OT references to blood as wine and vice verse, although it appears to mean this is meant in some visionary or petic terminology, rather than saying that wine is spiritual blood by nature........

Still, I do see a contradiction: the scriptures set forth a rule against consuming blood, yet the concept at least in Christianity of ritual blood consumption.
The best way I see to get around this is by saying the prohibitions are about physical blood, not some spiritual or poetic blood in the Eucharist.
Granted, saying physical blood is banned goes against the RC view of Transubstantion.
Orthodoxy leaves the Eucharist's nature open as a mystery.

What do you think? How might you get around this contradiction?




It is the real blood, that is certainly what is taught about the Eucharist, it isn't just "spiritual". It would surprise me if the Council of Jerusalem didn't athamatize such belief, as it was dealing with Calvinism.

The way you get around the prohibition is simple: The reason why you don't drink the blood of animals is because that is considered their very essence, their life itself.
In the case of drinking the blood of Christ this is desirable, and in fact what he commanded us. We want the essence of Christ, his very being, to fill us.

It shouldn't be seen as a contradiction to the law that we not drink blood, rather it should be seen as the exception.

Kasatkin F,
(1) The OT is filled with dozens of demands saying don't eat blood! I made a list of the times, and it's pretty long. So this wasn't just a broad rule that you can easily make a little exception to. And do I even need to go back and check that it didn't just mean animals' blood, people's blood is meant here too?

That's my first reaction. But then, OK, exceptions exist to tons of rules, and here, there's a reason for the exception:
The rule was given because the life is in the blood. So God's life would be fulfilling.

(2) OK, I see that there can be an exception- God coming down and saying: that's what I told you in the OT, and this was about animals' blood [and people's blood???]. But now we are talking about God's blood, which doesn't contradict the idea about animals' blood[and people's blood?]

But now you are coming in and saying the Eucharist does have the physical, manly blood of Jesus who was both God and physical man?

The physical man's physical blood part sounds pretty contradictory against the rule against blood consumption, don't you think?


OK, it's an exception? But the tons of times the rule is mentioned in the OT doesn't look like it is just some broad rule exceptions are easy to make about.
I see the reason for the exception is that the life is in the blood. But here we are partly talking about physical manly blood in your viewpoint, not just the divine essence.

I would like there to be  consistent way to understand this or get around the contradiction. What you said was helpful...
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 05:53:59 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 05:54:49 PM »

Good question William.

What happened to Apples and your cute picture?
People thought I was a girl.  Embarrassed
hehe. me too. But aww, it was cute.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 05:55:09 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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