Author Topic: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...  (Read 5911 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
"Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« on: October 23, 2014, 10:34:39 AM »
Here is the metaphorical view as best as I can understand it. - How does the 'Orthodox' view differ and why?

In John’s Gospel (Ch.4), we read of the disciples urging Jesus to eat. He replied: "I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” The disciples, we are told, wondered if others had brought food of which they had no knowledge - but, He had spoken metaphorically. He explained: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (Jn.4:34, NIV).

He hungered to do the will of God the Father. This was His daily bread. The metaphor is rich in meaning. He consumed the will and word of His Father. Emmanuel, God with us, in a human body, came to mankind as the living Word of God made flesh (Mat.1:23; John 1:14). Visibly, in Jesus, mankind experienced the Word – He was what He ate - living out God’s will.

Jesus rebuked the devil with the words: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ (Mat.4:4, NKJV). This was the food by which He lived.

Of Himself, He said: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48). - The Word of God is the bread of life. His “words” spoken to us “are life” (John 6:63). If we inwardly digest His words, so that His words become part of our very being, lived out in daily obedience, then we will have His life in us. It is life of the Spirit, for His words are also Spirit (v63).

The Word of God in the flesh was offered up, according to the Father’s will. This was the “food” He ate for our sakes, in perfect obedience and faith. The Word become flesh (John 1:14) was the bread He gave as food, of which He said, “He who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:58). It is the bread of self-sacrifice, in accordance with the Father’s perfect will. As we eat the bread of Christ, so we eat the food of the Word and live out the Father’s will in our lives, in Spirit and in truth.

As we eat the bread of thanksgiving, so we solemnly remember His great sacrifice and recall the need to live by every word of God, as Jesus gave example, in the unity of God as members of Christ’s body on earth.

Though the disciples had thought that He had spoken of food that might actually sustain the physical body, and though many had thought that He had been speaking of eating His actual flesh, Jesus explained that He was not talking about sustenance for the physical body - “the flesh profits nothing” – but had been speaking metaphorically of the life-giving words of God: “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).



Offline Sam G

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,212
  • One Rome to rule them all.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2014, 11:58:54 AM »
You're analysis skipped over several key passages in verses 51-56 in John 6.

Verse 51: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

Verse 54: "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Verse 56: "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him."

From this we can establish that the bread that Christ gives is his flesh, the same flesh that he will give for the life of the world, that is, his physical flesh, and that who ever eats of this flesh (his physical body) and drinks of his blood will have inherit eternal life and have Christ dwell within him. The verb that Christ uses in Greek for "eat" literally meant to "gnaw/chew" and was used to describe the eating habits of carnivorous animals. You could also point to the last supper when Christ take the bread and says "this is My Body" not "this is My Word".



All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,017
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South (OCA)
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2014, 01:00:27 PM »
You're analysis skipped over several key passages in verses 51-56 in John 6.

Verse 51: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

Verse 54: "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Verse 56: "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him."

From this we can establish that the bread that Christ gives is his flesh, the same flesh that he will give for the life of the world, that is, his physical flesh, and that who ever eats of this flesh (his physical body) and drinks of his blood will have inherit eternal life and have Christ dwell within him. The verb that Christ uses in Greek for "eat" literally meant to "gnaw/chew" and was used to describe the eating habits of carnivorous animals. You could also point to the last supper when Christ take the bread and says "this is My Body" not "this is My Word".





I cannot accept Ilwain's post as an analysis because, as you pointed out, he carefully selected those passages that support his thesis. So, let's call it Ilwain's proposition that he put out here for us to analyze and comment on. I agree with you that he conveniently omitted many crucial passages that contradict his premises. As we know, a logical argument may be well made but the conclusion is false if any of the premises are wrong. In his case, his omission of obviously critical passages, such as the ones you pointed out, invalidates his argument from the onset. If I may, I would like to add just one more, not because your selections are definitive, but because I think it complements yours.

John 6 Verse 53: So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

Offline Sam G

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,212
  • One Rome to rule them all.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2014, 01:54:22 PM »
Something else I noticed looking at 6:60-69:

Quote
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Now according to Ilwain, Christ is presenting the metaphorical understanding to his disciples in verses 63-65:

Quote
Though the disciples had thought that He had spoken of food that might actually sustain the physical body, and though many had thought that He had been speaking of eating His actual flesh, Jesus explained that He was not talking about sustenance for the physical body - “the flesh profits nothing” – but had been speaking metaphorically of the life-giving words of God: “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

Yet, this passage takes place immediately before many of Christ's disciples walk away from him in verse 66 over what was commanded in verses 53-58. Even with the supposed "metaphorical explanation", many still found cause to leave to leave Christ over the commandment in question, indicating that his audience still understood Christ to be speaking literally in verses 53-58.

Looking a Peter's response in verse 68, it seems as if the disciples had no greater understanding of the commandment to eat the Lord's flesh than those who walked away. They accepted it purely out of faith, for they had already come to believe that Christ was the Son of God.
All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl

Offline primuspilus

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,990
  • Inserting personal quote here.
    • St. Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox (former WR)
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2014, 02:41:27 PM »
Also, for me, the ultimate kicker:

John 6:55
Quote
For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

THere's really not much else to look at. The "metaphorical" approach is just plain ridiculous...especially coming from those who spout that they're Bible believing, Bible teaching, etc...

PP
"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker

Offline Sam G

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,212
  • One Rome to rule them all.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2014, 04:09:36 PM »
Looking at verses 63 and 64:

Quote
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe."

Building off what I said before, it appears as if Christ is trying to reassure his disciples that what he's commanded in verses 53-58 is of the Spirit of God and is life to those who follow it. Those who stay with him, as demonstrated by Peter's response, are those who believe. That "the flesh profits nothing" is his warning to his disciples not to follow "the flesh" (their unguided reason) in determining that this is a difficult saying to accept. For "with God all things are possible" and "if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." Those who do stay listen to the Spirit, not the flesh.
All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Stratopedarches
  • **************
  • Posts: 18,637
  • You're my guardian angel hiding in the woods
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: Enemy State Orthodox Church Abroad
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2014, 09:50:20 PM »
Also, for me, the ultimate kicker:

John 6:55
Quote
For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

THere's really not much else to look at. The "metaphorical" approach is just plain ridiculous...especially coming from those who spout that they're Bible believing, Bible teaching, etc...

PP

I like it in Spanish as the wordcarne means both "flesh" and "meat".  I grew up in both Spanish- and English-speaking pentecostal sects and this section was always skipped.  Not even an "is this a metaphor" discussion.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2014, 08:37:51 AM »
You're analysis skipped over several key passages in verses 51-56 in John 6.

Verse 51: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

Verse 54: "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Verse 56: "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him."

From this we can establish that the bread that Christ gives is his flesh, the same flesh that he will give for the life of the world, that is, his physical flesh, and that who ever eats of this flesh (his physical body) and drinks of his blood will have inherit eternal life and have Christ dwell within him. The verb that Christ uses in Greek for "eat" literally meant to "gnaw/chew" and was used to describe the eating habits of carnivorous animals. You could also point to the last supper when Christ take the bread and says "this is My Body" not "this is My Word".

Thanks for the replies. No, I wouldn't want to overlook any verse. - In the above quotations, are we to believe that Jesus was using figurative speech and metaphor or meaning His words to be understood literally? Now, we know that He did not mean for disciples to gnaw on His actual flesh as He spoke to them, so "flesh" and "blood" need to be interpreted as meaning something other than human flesh and blood.

For "blood" we can infer "life" - or more exactly, "sacrificial life". So here, the interpretation is that we need to "drink in" of His life. It is true - we need the food and spiritual drink of God's word and Spirit, if we are to have His life in us.

Why did the disciples not walk away - offended by these commands? - It was because they knew that He spoke of His "words". Peter said, "You have the words of eternal life" (Jn.6:68). These words of our Lord are food and drink of eternal life.

Is it the 'Orthodox' view to understand the reference to 'flesh and blood' as inferring 'bodily substance' of the Spirit? 

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,631
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 08:55:22 AM »
Ilwain, the Orthodox position on the bread and wine of the Eucharist as consecrated during the Divine Liturgy is that it is the true body and blood of Christ. It is the true and actual body and blood, not a mere symbol of it. This is a central, unequivocal and non-negotiable doctrine. Please do not waste your time and effort in trying to convince us otherwise.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 08:59:47 AM by LBK »
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Inquirer

  • Antihyperaphthartodocetist
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 326
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 09:04:14 AM »
Ilwain: I have noticed you are quoting an English translation of the Gospel of John. Obviously Jesus did not speak English, he spoke probably Aramaic or possibly Greek. In any case, his disciples probably understood what he was saying, at least better than you and I could right now, reading an English translation of the Greek that John recorded.

We know from history that John's disciple was Polycarp, and Polycarp's disciple was Irenaeus. Both of them believed that in the Mass or Divine Liturgy (whatever you would like to call it), the offered bread and wine literally becomes the literal Body and Blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine:

"But what consistency is there in those who hold that the bread over which thanks have been given is the Body of their Lord, and the cup His Blood, if they do not acknowledge that He is the Son of the Creator of the world..." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:18, 2 (c. A.D. 200).

"[T]he bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood..." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:18,4 (c. A.D. 200).

"He acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as his own blood, from which he bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of creation) he affirmed to be his own body, from which he gives increase to our bodies." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:2,2 (c. A.D. 200).

Are you going to argue that you know better than Apostolic tradition?
"[The Sacred Congregation of Rites'] decisions are made by a crowd of dirty little Monsignori at Rome in utter ignorance of the meaning or reason of anything. To the historian their decisions are simply disgusting nonsense, that people of my kind want simply to ignore." -- Fr. Adrian Fortescue

Offline Regnare

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 523
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 10:09:56 AM »
On the contrary, Ilwain, there is already an established Scriptural metaphorical meaning for eating someone's flesh and drinking their blood.
"When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell." (Psalm 27:2)
"Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm..." (Isaiah 19:20)
"And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine..." (Isaiah 49:26)
"...Is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron." (Micah 3:1-3) (all of the above are KJV)

In other words, if John 6 is a metaphor, then by Old Testament precedent it means that to have eternal life, you must persecute, assault, and reject Jesus. This is why the Jews had such trouble with it, and when they questioned Jesus again, He could have told them it was a metaphor, as He did with Nicodemus regarding being "born again". Instead, He simply repeated the statement, and let a whole crowd of Jews walk away from Him because of it. Ironically, by refusing to accept the literal meaning, they ended up entirely fulfilling the metaphorical one during Holy Week.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 10:10:46 AM by Regnare »
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust." --Psalm 91: 1-2

Offline LarryP2

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 10:17:10 AM »

Thanks for the replies. No, I wouldn't want to overlook any verse. - In the above quotations, are we to believe that Jesus was using figurative speech and metaphor or meaning His words to be understood literally? Now, we know that He did not mean for disciples to gnaw on His actual flesh as He spoke to them, so "flesh" and "blood" need to be interpreted as meaning something other than human flesh and blood.

For "blood" we can infer "life" - or more exactly, "sacrificial life". So here, the interpretation is that we need to "drink in" of His life. It is true - we need the food and spiritual drink of God's word and Spirit, if we are to have His life in us.

Why did the disciples not walk away - offended by these commands? - It was because they knew that He spoke of His "words". Peter said, "You have the words of eternal life" (Jn.6:68). These words of our Lord are food and drink of eternal life.

Is it the 'Orthodox' view to understand the reference to 'flesh and blood' as inferring 'bodily substance' of the Spirit? 

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2014, 07:43:32 PM »
How could the disciples eat and drink the substance of our Lord's flesh and blood while He sat with them at table? This very fact alone surely militates against a literal interpretation?

When the apostles ate the bread and wine, they knew they were not actually eating His flesh and drinking His blood - not only because that would be anathema and contrary to the Mosaic Law, but also because He was sitting right there with them, in their midst. So, they naturally had to interpret His meaning figuratively and according to His impending death, of which He had made them aware, as a remembrance.


(Irenaeus is interesting and someone whose comments I would like to discuss on my return in a couple of days as I have to travel. Thanks.)



Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2014, 08:11:41 PM »
How could the disciples eat and drink the substance of our Lord's flesh and blood while He sat with them at table? This very fact alone surely militates against a literal interpretation?

When the apostles ate the bread and wine, they knew they were not actually eating His flesh and drinking His blood - not only because that would be anathema and contrary to the Mosaic Law, but also because He was sitting right there with them, in their midst. So, they naturally had to interpret His meaning figuratively and according to His impending death, of which He had made them aware, as a remembrance.


(Irenaeus is interesting and someone whose comments I would like to discuss on my return in a couple of days as I have to travel. Thanks.)




The Mosiac Law also mandates blood sacrifices and circumcision which the Gentiles were not required to undertake to be "Christian". We view the Bread and Wine during the Liturgy as the true Body and Blood of Christ, reflecting His dual nature. It's fully bread and wine and fully Flesh and Blood simultaneously. Yet, we seek what I would call the "Idea"(Platonic sense) of the Bread and Wine which is higher hence the elements being called the Body and Blood of Christ. An "Idea" is the higher reality that the "Form" points towards. We can only perceive the Form of objects not their Idea. The Idea remains free of our perception and would be incomprehensible if experienced. This is why we can only perceive the Form of the Elements not their Idea.

Also, I can rip off my flesh, squeeze out my blood and force feed you with it while being in close proximity with you. While it isn't like that with Jesus, we can't just limit Him or we would be denying His Omnipresence. He can manifest His Presence where ever so He wishes and if He wants to project them into the Forms of Bread and Wine, nothing can stop Him. He is all powerful after all. Jesus Himself declared the Bread and Wine to be His Body and Blood. Not so sure about the actual Greek being used but when we say "X is Y" we do not mean it figuratively. Likewise if Jesus says that the Bread and Wine are His Body and Blood, it does not mean that He is being figurative, He means it. The Apostles knew it and by Faith obeyed the decrees and instructions of Our Lord. Nowhere did Scripture ever records that they took it figuratively.
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline Regnare

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 523
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2014, 09:14:21 PM »
How could the disciples eat and drink the substance of our Lord's flesh and blood while He sat with them at table? This very fact alone surely militates against a literal interpretation?
Why is this any more opposed to a literal interpretation than any other miracle performed by Jesus, any of the prophets, or any of the saints?
Quote
When the apostles ate the bread and wine, they knew they were not actually eating His flesh and drinking His blood - not only because that would be anathema and contrary to the Mosaic Law
The reason it was contrary to the Mosaic Law is because "the life of a creature is in its blood", and so if you were to drink an animal's blood, you would have that animal's life in you. By contrast, if you drank the blood of God...
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust." --Psalm 91: 1-2

Offline TheTrisagion

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,814
  • All good things come to an end
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2014, 10:23:40 PM »
Ilwain, the Eucharist is a celebration that takes place outside of time. We directly participate in Christ's death even though we are separated by 2000 years. If we can directly participate in it 2000 years after the event, why could the disciples not participate in it the day before? God is not constrained by time or by causality.
God bless!

Offline primuspilus

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,990
  • Inserting personal quote here.
    • St. Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox (former WR)
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2014, 09:26:23 AM »
Quote
How could the disciples eat and drink the substance of our Lord's flesh and blood while He sat with them at table?
Last I checked, Jesus is God and could do whatever the heck he felt like doing. I prefer to take God at his own words, thank you.

PP
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 09:27:08 AM by primuspilus »
"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker

Offline LarryP2

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2014, 09:56:44 AM »
Quote
How could the disciples eat and drink the substance of our Lord's flesh and blood while He sat with them at table?
Last I checked, Jesus is God and could do whatever the heck he felt like doing. I prefer to take God at his own words, thank you.

PP

Protestants = "People who claim that they believe in Sola Scriptura, except the verses that spell out the doctrine of the Real Presence in the Eucharist."

Offline primuspilus

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,990
  • Inserting personal quote here.
    • St. Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox (former WR)
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2014, 10:02:04 AM »
Ehhhhh, again you cant fall into the trap of looping all Protestants together.

PP
"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2014, 06:49:51 AM »
Is it 'Orthodox' doctrine that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible?

If this is so, then how is it reasoned that the Old Testament saints, not partaking of the Eucharist, are to be raised to immortality?

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,631
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2014, 08:14:05 AM »
Ilwain, why do you put the word Orthodox in quotes?

Quote
Is it 'Orthodox' doctrine that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible?

Firstly, the Eucharist is nothing less than the body and blood of Christ. It is not merely "bread and wine" after its consecration by the Holy Spirit. Secondly, it is not some sort of magic potion guaranteeing salvation or bodily incorruption.

Quote
If this is so, then how is it reasoned that the Old Testament saints, not partaking of the Eucharist, are to be raised to immortality?

God can do as He wishes. Moreover, the Church recognizes and venerates the righteous ones of the OT as equally holy as the saints of the NT era. The whole chapter of Hebrews 11 eloquently addresses your question.

Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2014, 09:30:21 AM »
Ilwain, why do you put the word Orthodox in quotes?

Quote
Is it 'Orthodox' doctrine that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible?

Firstly, the Eucharist is nothing less than the body and blood of Christ. It is not merely "bread and wine" after its consecration by the Holy Spirit. Secondly, it is not some sort of magic potion guaranteeing salvation or bodily incorruption.

Quote
If this is so, then how is it reasoned that the Old Testament saints, not partaking of the Eucharist, are to be raised to immortality?

God can do as He wishes. Moreover, the Church recognizes and venerates the righteous ones of the OT as equally holy as the saints of the NT era. The whole chapter of Hebrews 11 eloquently addresses your question.

I mean 'Orthodox' - as known by this term on this forum.

LBK: "Secondly, it is not some sort of magic potion guaranteeing salvation or bodily incorruption."

Thank you for replying, but let me rephrase my first question: Is it 'Orthodox' doctrine that the eating of the bread and wine of the Eucharist - the 'body' and 'blood' of Christ, Matt.26:26-28 - is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible?



Offline TheTrisagion

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,814
  • All good things come to an end
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2014, 09:38:29 AM »
The Holy Mysteries are not some sort of spiritual embalming fluid. The Eucharist is for the salvation of our soul, not a way to preserve our earthly body.
God bless!

Offline Inquirer

  • Antihyperaphthartodocetist
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 326
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2014, 09:40:37 AM »
Ilwain, why do you put the word Orthodox in quotes?

Quote
Is it 'Orthodox' doctrine that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible?

Firstly, the Eucharist is nothing less than the body and blood of Christ. It is not merely "bread and wine" after its consecration by the Holy Spirit. Secondly, it is not some sort of magic potion guaranteeing salvation or bodily incorruption.

Quote
If this is so, then how is it reasoned that the Old Testament saints, not partaking of the Eucharist, are to be raised to immortality?

God can do as He wishes. Moreover, the Church recognizes and venerates the righteous ones of the OT as equally holy as the saints of the NT era. The whole chapter of Hebrews 11 eloquently addresses your question.

I mean 'Orthodox' - as known by this term on this forum.

LBK: "Secondly, it is not some sort of magic potion guaranteeing salvation or bodily incorruption."

Thank you for replying, but let me rephrase my first question: Is it 'Orthodox' doctrine that the eating of the bread and wine of the Eucharist - the 'body' and 'blood' of Christ, Matt.26:26-28 - is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible?

I kindly ask that you not put Orthodox, Body, and Blood in quotation marks anymore.

It depends on what you mean by incorruptibility. Some saints were exhumed from their burial sites and found to have not undergone bodily corruption. However the Church does not teach that ONLY those souls that left incorruptible bodies are in heaven. Is that what you refer to?
"[The Sacred Congregation of Rites'] decisions are made by a crowd of dirty little Monsignori at Rome in utter ignorance of the meaning or reason of anything. To the historian their decisions are simply disgusting nonsense, that people of my kind want simply to ignore." -- Fr. Adrian Fortescue

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,631
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2014, 09:56:07 AM »
Ilwain, why do you put the word Orthodox in quotes?

Quote
Is it 'Orthodox' doctrine that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible?

Firstly, the Eucharist is nothing less than the body and blood of Christ. It is not merely "bread and wine" after its consecration by the Holy Spirit. Secondly, it is not some sort of magic potion guaranteeing salvation or bodily incorruption.

Quote
If this is so, then how is it reasoned that the Old Testament saints, not partaking of the Eucharist, are to be raised to immortality?

God can do as He wishes. Moreover, the Church recognizes and venerates the righteous ones of the OT as equally holy as the saints of the NT era. The whole chapter of Hebrews 11 eloquently addresses your question.

I mean 'Orthodox' - as known by this term on this forum.

LBK: "Secondly, it is not some sort of magic potion guaranteeing salvation or bodily incorruption."

Thank you for replying, but let me rephrase my first question: Is it 'Orthodox' doctrine that the eating of the bread and wine of the Eucharist - the 'body' and 'blood' of Christ, Matt.26:26-28 - is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible?

I kindly ask that you not put Orthodox, Body, and Blood in quotation marks anymore.

It depends on what you mean by incorruptibility. Some saints were exhumed from their burial sites and found to have not undergone bodily corruption. However the Church does not teach that ONLY those souls that left incorruptible bodies are in heaven. Is that what you refer to?

And there are plenty of instances in the accounts of the lives of saints of bodily incorruption being seen as a sign of unrighteousness before God.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • A highly skilled and trained Freudian feminist slut
  • Section Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,897
  • I am the Provisional Supreme Church Authority
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: Mercenary Freudianism
  • Jurisdiction: Texas Feminist Coptic
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2014, 10:58:31 AM »
Thank you for replying, but let me rephrase my first question: Is it 'Orthodox' doctrine that the eating of the bread and wine of the Eucharist - the 'body' and 'blood' of Christ, Matt.26:26-28 - is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible?

What does that mean?
OC.NET is full of temptations, but in temptations we are enforced, remember about the thread "Temptation in the Desert: Rachel Weisz and the Undoing of Mor Ephrem". OC.NET helps in becoming unpassionate.

Quote
Oh you Greeks, you are all dumb!

An Athonite

Offline gavaisky

  • Level 10 cleric
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2014, 11:10:22 AM »
If we take “the flesh profiteth nothing” to refer to Christ’s flesh, then that would either make the Incarnation irrelevant for salvation or it would cause a tendency towards Docetism. St. John Chrysostom’s homily on the passage states:

Quote
He speaks not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is understanding carnally? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eats not His flesh, and drinks not His blood, has no life in him. How then does the flesh profit nothing, if without it we cannot live? Do you see that the words, the flesh profits nothing, are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing?

The Orthodox Church believes that we partake of the Body and Blood of Christ in a manner past understanding. St. John of Damascus writes:

Quote
This is the body which is truly united to the Godhead, the same which is from the blessed Virgin. This is not because that body which was taken up to heaven comes down from heaven, but because the very bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of God. However, should you inquire as to the manner in which this is done, let it suffice for you to hear that it is done through the Holy Ghost, just as it was through the Holy Ghost that the Lord made flesh subsist for Himself and in Himself from the blessed Mother of God.

Thus, just as the Word assumes human nature in order to make Himself manifest and unite Himself to humanity, the Holy Spirit changes ordinary bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, so we are able to be united to Christ in a very literal manner.

Quote from: Ilwain
If this is so, then how is it reasoned that the Old Testament saints, not partaking of the Eucharist, are to be raised to immortality?

Christ Himself descended into Hades and took from it all the righteous. The Old Testament prophets commune with Christ in Paradise, face to face, whereas we commune with Christ under the species of bread and wine.
Let the mouth too fast from disgraceful speeches and railing. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and fishes, and yet bite and devour our brethren? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother, and bites the body of his neighbor.
—St. John Chrysostom

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2014, 03:25:56 PM »
There are a number of points being made above to which I will respond. Firstly, let me quote this passage from Irenaeus as it provides more background to my last question (the passage was referenced by Sam G):

"When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him? [...] and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption" (Irenaeus: Adv. Her., Bk.V, Ch.2:3).

This might sound as though he believed the eating of the Eucharist 'is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible' - hence my question. - I was seeking some sort of confirmation or denial regarding your church position. It seems to be that you don't agree with the saint's remarks on this matter.

He was addressing the heretical Gnostic denial that the Saviour had come in the flesh and sought to counter their arguments with reference to the Eucharistic service which speaks of the Lord having flesh and blood. Why, he asks, would Christians conduct the Eucharistic service if the Christ did not have flesh and blood? Although something may be lost in translation from Greek to Latin to English, the reason for the emphasis that he was making is clear. He wrote in opposition to the denial that the Christ had come in the flesh and had been raised in the flesh.



Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2014, 04:31:21 PM »
There are a number of points being made above to which I will respond. Firstly, let me quote this passage from Irenaeus as it provides more background to my last question (the passage was referenced by Sam G):

"When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him? [...] and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption" (Irenaeus: Adv. Her., Bk.V, Ch.2:3).

This might sound as though he believed the eating of the Eucharist 'is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible' - hence my question. - I was seeking some sort of confirmation or denial regarding your church position. It seems to be that you don't agree with the saint's remarks on this matter.

He was addressing the heretical Gnostic denial that the Saviour had come in the flesh and sought to counter their arguments with reference to the Eucharistic service which speaks of the Lord having flesh and blood. Why, he asks, would Christians conduct the Eucharistic service if the Christ did not have flesh and blood? Although something may be lost in translation from Greek to Latin to English, the reason for the emphasis that he was making is clear. He wrote in opposition to the denial that the Christ had come in the flesh and had been raised in the flesh.

Of course, the Gnostics or more specifically, the Docetists would deny that Christ had a physical body. However if there is no physical body of Christ how can the Eucharist be the Body and Blood of Christ in the first place? The Gnostics also have a disdain for physical matter which St Irenaeus was trying to counter through the emphasis of Earthly matter as according to him is Good for Creation which includes Earthly matter is Good.

Before paragraph 3 as well, St Irenaeus wrote,

Quote
By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins." Colossians 1:14 And as we are His members, we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills Matthew 5:45). He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.

Linguistically speaking when one "acknowledges" something to be something else, it means that something is that mentioned something else. Of course you are right to say that St Irenaeus was also refuting the Gnostic's claim that Christ has no physical body and the implications of such is that nothing would be able to become His Body or Blood.

In the quote you left out from paragraph 3 as well, St Irenaeus also states that,

Quote
even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that "we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones." Ephesians 5:30 He does not speak these words of some spiritual and invisible man, for a spirit has not bones nor flesh; Luke 24:39 but [he refers to] that dispensation [by which the Lord became] an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones—that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body.

When one says that "X is Y" it is an affirmation that entity "X" is indeed entity "Y" and not metaphorically "Y" or a representation of "Y". It is an affirmation that "X=Y". This is what St Irenaeus did here to further enhance the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. There is no use of "figure" or "metaphor" here. He didn't assert that the Bread and Wine are symbolic representations of the Body and Blood of Christ but rather it "is". "Is" is a copula which means to link the subject of the sentence to the predicate(an expression that can be true of something or used to define a property that a subject has or is characterized by). Through this, when St Irenaeus says that "by the cup which is His blood", he is trying to link the subject, "cup" to the predicate which is "His Blood". Through this, the "cup" is defined as having the property or character of the "Blood of Christ" and that it is truly the "Blood of Christ". The same could be said in his reference to the Bread being His Body.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 04:34:06 PM by sakura95 »
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline LarryP2

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2014, 04:39:42 PM »
Orthodoxy is a LOT older than the Bible. While the Bible is one part of Holy Tradition, it is just a part. Any "contradictions" that one might perceive is usually based on just that.

Many of us have been down the same "Scripture Sculpting" and "History Sculpting" road that you are on.

Hope it works out better for you than it did for us. 

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • A highly skilled and trained Freudian feminist slut
  • Section Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,897
  • I am the Provisional Supreme Church Authority
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: Mercenary Freudianism
  • Jurisdiction: Texas Feminist Coptic
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2014, 05:11:52 PM »
This might sound as though he believed the eating of the Eucharist 'is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible' - hence my question. - I was seeking some sort of confirmation or denial regarding your church position. It seems to be that you don't agree with the saint's remarks on this matter.

I would like to know what you mean by this phrase--"effective to the saving of the body".
OC.NET is full of temptations, but in temptations we are enforced, remember about the thread "Temptation in the Desert: Rachel Weisz and the Undoing of Mor Ephrem". OC.NET helps in becoming unpassionate.

Quote
Oh you Greeks, you are all dumb!

An Athonite

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2014, 06:40:41 PM »
Quote
Many of us have been down the same "Scripture Sculpting" and "History Sculpting" road that you are on.

Hope it works out better for you than it did for us.  

 :laugh:

Sakura: 'There is no use of "figure" or "metaphor" here.' - Agreed. That would have diminished his intention to overthrow the arguments of his opponents. We need to look at his purpose for writing and his intended audience.

On the matter of metaphor, to state that X = Y is precisely the form that metaphor takes. Hence, it is a stronger figure of speech than simile, which makes use of words to compare, e.g.  "as" or "like". In John 6, the passage can easily be interpreted through metaphor.


Looking at verses 63 and 64:

Quote
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe."

Building off what I said before, it appears as if Christ is trying to reassure his disciples that what he's commanded in verses 53-58 is of the Spirit of God and is life to those who follow it. Those who stay with him, as demonstrated by Peter's response, are those who believe. That "the flesh profits nothing" is his warning to his disciples not to follow "the flesh" (their unguided reason) in determining that this is a difficult saying to accept. For "with God all things are possible" and "if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." Those who do stay listen to the Spirit, not the flesh.

Sam, I need to respond to your logic. - Many grumbled because they could not accept a literal interpretation (v52). His disciples also murmured and were offended (v61). Why? - Because they were taking His words with literal meaning. What is the context for the word 'flesh' that Jesus used? - He was not speaking of fleshly understanding, as opposed to spiritual. He was referring to the eating of His flesh - as was supposed, the physical flesh of His body. That is how the many understood His words and is why they started to leave. But, He said, 'the flesh profits nothing'. The context is not about the incarnation. It is about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. So, let's stay with the context. It was a forceful figure of speech.

The fleshly understanding was simply to accept that He meant His words literally. Why do so? - What is the benefit? The very idea of eating someone's flesh, let alone the actual flesh of God's Son, is grotesque. Imbibing His words and making them a part of our very being is not.

Think about it. Would Jewish Christians eat human flesh and drink blood? The thought is repulsive. The saints of old did not have to eat the Saviour's actual flesh and blood to be redeemed and nor do we. Nevertheless, all were nourished by the words of God and lived out those words in daily life, inspired by the spiritual drink of the Holy Spirit.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 06:43:51 PM by Ilwain »

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2014, 06:55:25 PM »
This might sound as though he believed the eating of the Eucharist 'is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible' - hence my question. - I was seeking some sort of confirmation or denial regarding your church position. It seems to be that you don't agree with the saint's remarks on this matter.

I would like to know what you mean by this phrase--"effective to the saving of the body".

 :laugh: Are you being evasive, Mor?

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • A highly skilled and trained Freudian feminist slut
  • Section Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,897
  • I am the Provisional Supreme Church Authority
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: Mercenary Freudianism
  • Jurisdiction: Texas Feminist Coptic
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2014, 07:22:24 PM »
This might sound as though he believed the eating of the Eucharist 'is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible' - hence my question. - I was seeking some sort of confirmation or denial regarding your church position. It seems to be that you don't agree with the saint's remarks on this matter.

I would like to know what you mean by this phrase--"effective to the saving of the body".

 :laugh: Are you being evasive, Mor?

No.  Are you?
OC.NET is full of temptations, but in temptations we are enforced, remember about the thread "Temptation in the Desert: Rachel Weisz and the Undoing of Mor Ephrem". OC.NET helps in becoming unpassionate.

Quote
Oh you Greeks, you are all dumb!

An Athonite

Offline gavaisky

  • Level 10 cleric
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2014, 09:18:29 PM »
In order to make progress in the discussion we should go back to the context of the Gospel. What was the mindset of the Jews and the disciples who left Christ? At the beginning of the chapter, Christ fed the multitude in a miraculous way, and then crossed the Sea of Galilee. On the other side, He encountered the crowds who had followed Him in order to get more free food. The Jews were thinking of Jesus as a miracle-worker who will give them what they want; not spiritual wealth, but things of this world.

Thus, when Christ told them that He was the Bread of Life, they were scandalized saying: “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” And when He started talking about them eating His flesh and drinking His blood, naturally they were shocked because they could only relate it to eating earthly meat, something dead. When you eat a piece of steak, for example, it is something lifeless. It serves only to give you calories, protein, nutrients. The Jews were only interested in calories.

The Orthodox Church, however, is not focused on physical but on spiritual nutrition. When we partake of the Holy Mysteries we are partaking of the life-giving and deified Body and Blood of Christ, not something dead. The elements of bread and wine break down and are digested, but Christ Himself gives life to our souls and bodies through these elements, just as He came into the world through His Incarnation.

This chapter is all about the Incarnation. The Jews did not understand Christ’s words because they saw Him as only a man. Attacks on the Orthodox belief in the Eucharist (such as calling it cannibalism) is based on a fleshly understanding, which in turn betrays a problematic understanding of Christ’s Incarnation. If Christ is not God, or if the human nature of Christ is not deified (if indeed it profits nothing), then the Orthodox understanding is indeed foolish. However, if the opposite were the case…
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 09:37:51 PM by gavaisky »
Let the mouth too fast from disgraceful speeches and railing. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and fishes, and yet bite and devour our brethren? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother, and bites the body of his neighbor.
—St. John Chrysostom

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2014, 09:23:45 PM »
Sakura: 'There is no use of "figure" or "metaphor" here.' - Agreed. That would have diminished his intention to overthrow the arguments of his opponents. We need to look at his purpose for writing and his intended audience.

On the matter of metaphor, to state that X = Y is precisely the form that metaphor takes. Hence, it is a stronger figure of speech than simile, which makes use of words to compare, e.g.  "as" or "like". In John 6, the passage can easily be interpreted through metaphor.

Of course, St Irenaeus cannot be metaphorical here. His audience would be the faithful as to allow them to be able to defend themselves from the heresy of the Gnostics. The purpose then is to refute the notions of Gnosticism which is why from your citation of St Irenaeus, there's a special emphasis on physical matter that is the Bread and the Wine that would be used in the Eucharist. But it is also important to note that the context he is using simply allows for no form of "metaphor" or "figure" at all.

It is true as well that a metaphor takes the form of "X=Y" which is why context is important. The structure of St Irenaeus' "Against Heresies (Book V, Chapter 2)" does not have any use of metaphor or figure as you stated in agreement with my point regarding it. In terms of John 6 however it cannot possibly be a metaphor. Jesus never bothered to clear up any misunderstandings the disciples had when they strove amongst themselves after His Disclosure. After all, He did clear up misconceptions on other occasions and the disciples know whether or not the context is metaphorical or literal.

Also, in the original Greek, Jesus used "Phago" first which is simply the general term for eating. Then, he suddenly increased the intensity up to "Trogo" which is to "Gnaw" or "Crunch". The former can be used figuratively. The later can't. Nowhere in Scripture is the Greek "Trogo" used in a metaphorical sense. However, because of the fact that it is impossible to perfectly translate from one language to the other, this distinction has been removed, simply replaced with "eat" in English. This raises the opportunity for misinterpretation and misconception since we can practically use "eat" as a metaphor easily.

« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 09:28:25 PM by sakura95 »
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2014, 09:37:34 PM »
In order to make progress in the discussion we should go back to the context of the Gospel. What was the mindset of the Jews and the disciples who left Christ? At the beginning of the chapter, Christ fed the multitude in a miraculous way, and then crossed the Sea of Galilee. On the other side, He encountered the crowds who had followed Him in order to get more free food. The Jews were thinking of Jesus as a miracle-worker who will give them what they want; not spiritual wealth, but things of this world.

Thus, when Christ told them that He was the Bread of Life, they were scandalized saying: “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” And when He started talking about them eating His flesh and drinking His blood, naturally they were shocked because they could only relate it to eating earthly meat, something dead. When you eat a piece of steak, for example, it is something lifeless. It serves only to give you calories, protein, nutrients. The Jews were only interested in calories.

The Orthodox Church, however, is not focused on physical but on spiritual nutrition. When we partake of the Holy Mysteries we are partaking of the life-giving and deified Body and Blood of Christ, not something dead. The elements of bread and wine break down and are digested, but Christ Himself gives life to our souls and bodies through these elements, just as He came into the world through His Incarnation.

Nice Job with the reply (*^-‘) 乃
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 09:38:01 PM by sakura95 »
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline Laird

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 303
  • Faith: Baptist
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2014, 12:16:23 AM »
Though the disciples had thought that He had spoken of food that might actually sustain the physical body, and though many had thought that He had been speaking of eating His actual flesh, Jesus explained that He was not talking about sustenance for the physical body - “the flesh profits nothing” – but had been speaking metaphorically of the life-giving words of God: “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

Quote
It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing.
His meaning is, You must hear spiritually what relates to Me, for he who hears carnally is not profited, nor gathers any advantage. It was carnal to question how He came down from heaven, to deem that He was the son of Joseph, to ask, How can he give us His flesh to eat? All this was carnal, when they ought to have understood the matter in a mystical and spiritual sense. But, says some one, how could they understand what the 'eating flesh' might mean? Then it was their duty to wait for the proper time and enquire, and not to abandon Him.

The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.

That is, they are divine and spiritual, have nothing carnal about them, are not subject to the laws of physical consequence, but are free from any such necessity, are even set above the laws appointed for this world, and have also another and a different meaning. Now as in this passage He said spirit, instead of spiritual, so when He speaks of flesh, He meant not carnal things, but carnally hearing, and alluding at the same time to them, because they ever desired carnal things when they ought to have desired spiritual. For if a man receives them carnally, he profits nothing. What then, is not His flesh, flesh? Most certainly. How then says He, that the flesh profits nothing? He speaks not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is understanding carnally? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eats not His flesh, and drinks not His blood, has no life in him. How then does the flesh profit nothing, if without it we cannot live? Do you see that the words, the flesh profits nothing, are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing? St. John Chrysostom, Homily 47 on John

This whole passage in John 6 is not a contrast between the literal vs the figurative, but between the physical and the spiritual.

You're analysis skipped over several key passages in verses 51-56 in John 6.

Verse 51: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

Verse 54: "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Verse 56: "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him."

From this we can establish that the bread that Christ gives is his flesh, the same flesh that he will give for the life of the world, that is, his physical flesh, and that who ever eats of this flesh (his physical body) and drinks of his blood will have inherit eternal life and have Christ dwell within him. The verb that Christ uses in Greek for "eat" literally meant to "gnaw/chew" and was used to describe the eating habits of carnivorous animals. You could also point to the last supper when Christ take the bread and says "this is My Body" not "this is My Word".

Thanks for the replies. No, I wouldn't want to overlook any verse. - In the above quotations, are we to believe that Jesus was using figurative speech and metaphor or meaning His words to be understood literally? Now, we know that He did not mean for disciples to gnaw on His actual flesh as He spoke to them, so "flesh" and "blood" need to be interpreted as meaning something other than human flesh and blood.

Yes, Jesus did mean for His disciples to eat His actual flesh and blood. But He meant this spiritually, not physically. They were taking this in a physical sense, when they should have been taking this in a spiritual sense. You too are taking this in a physical sense, which is why you insist that it has to be taken figuratively.
"Do not deceive yourself with idle hopes that in the world to come you will find life if you have not tried to find it in this present world." - Theophanis the Monk

Offline Ted1411

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2014, 12:21:07 AM »
When we click on a thread, why does it automatically take us to the last post? Maybe we want to see the first post.
 Post-moderated status for suspicion of duplicate account.

--Mina

Offline LarryP2

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2014, 06:42:21 AM »
I am curious.

Orthodoxy says its traditions and beliefs surrounding the Eucharist and its mysterious nature were taught to them by the Apostles, and date back to the First Century. The Letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch demonstrate the truth of the matter beyond all reasonable doubt. Ignatius was a disciple of St. John, inherited the Bishopric at Antioch from St. Peter, and most likely knew St. Paul well. Tradition holds that it was he that was held by Jesus Christ during the "Suffer the Little Children" admonition. That a man, who by all accounts wrote his Epistles while in chains being willingly and cheerfully transported to his hideous death in Rome, would have committed apostasy or erred in doctrine as taught by the Apostles seems at best, far fetched. If not facetious or even farcical.  

The usual arguments that the Eucharist is "symbolic" come from a book that was finally compiled about 300 years after St. Ignatius's death, a book that very few people possessed until the 1500s and  illiterate Christians - which were the vast, overwhelming majority - could not have read in AD 400. Zwingli - the proponent of the amazing modern innovation of Eucharistic symbolism - was purely the product of the increasing availability of the Bible even before the Gutenberg Printing press. It is just fascinating how the Bible wasn't actually truly universally available to everyone that wanted one until more modern mechanical printing presses were invented in the 1800's. And the "bastard offspring of science and Biblical literalism" known as Fundamentalism did not appear until less than 100 year ago. And Evangelical Fundamentalism is the main proponent of making the Eucharist even LESS than symbolic, as preachers dressed as circus clowns and Darth Vader throw out "pre-packaged communion product" like candy at a parade, to the beat of hip hop Christian music.

Why is the burden of proof skeptically-placed on Orthodoxy to validate its Eucharistic doctrines from a book that finally arrived some 300 years after its liturgical traditions were already strongly entrenched?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 06:51:56 AM by LarryP2 »

Offline Inquirer

  • Antihyperaphthartodocetist
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 326
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #40 on: November 03, 2014, 09:42:59 AM »
There are a number of points being made above to which I will respond. Firstly, let me quote this passage from Irenaeus as it provides more background to my last question (the passage was referenced by Sam G):

"When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him? [...] and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption" (Irenaeus: Adv. Her., Bk.V, Ch.2:3).

This might sound as though he believed the eating of the Eucharist 'is effective to the saving of the body, so that it can be raised incorruptible' - hence my question. - I was seeking some sort of confirmation or denial regarding your church position. It seems to be that you don't agree with the saint's remarks on this matter.

He was addressing the heretical Gnostic denial that the Saviour had come in the flesh and sought to counter their arguments with reference to the Eucharistic service which speaks of the Lord having flesh and blood. Why, he asks, would Christians conduct the Eucharistic service if the Christ did not have flesh and blood? Although something may be lost in translation from Greek to Latin to English, the reason for the emphasis that he was making is clear. He wrote in opposition to the denial that the Christ had come in the flesh and had been raised in the flesh.

lol.

You can make all sorts of logical contortions to change a person's statement X to mean not-X.

Sorry, but I will stick with the Fathers. The people that personally knew Jesus, and actually spoke his language, are more likely to have understood him than somebody 2,000 years later reading a translation-of-a-translation and proclaiming superior knowledge. Plus, I do not think Jesus lied in Mt 16:18-19 and Paul lied in 1 Tim 3:15, which assuredly they did if the Church they founded ended up worshiping bread and wine as God.
"[The Sacred Congregation of Rites'] decisions are made by a crowd of dirty little Monsignori at Rome in utter ignorance of the meaning or reason of anything. To the historian their decisions are simply disgusting nonsense, that people of my kind want simply to ignore." -- Fr. Adrian Fortescue

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2014, 01:39:51 PM »
Firstly, thank you for taking time to explain your beliefs on this very important doctrine. I much appreciate it.

1) Gavaisky: “When we partake of the Holy Mysteries we are partaking of the life-giving and deified Body and Blood of Christ, not something dead.”

“If Christ is not God, or if the human nature of Christ is not deified (if indeed it profits nothing), then the Orthodox understanding is indeed foolish.”

2) Sakura: “In terms of John 6 however it cannot possibly be a metaphor. Jesus never bothered to clear up any misunderstandings the disciples had when they strove amongst themselves after His Disclosure.”

“Then, he suddenly increased the intensity up to "Trogo" which is to "Gnaw" or "Crunch". The former can be used figuratively. The later can't.”

3) Laird: “They were taking this in a physical sense, when they should have been taking this in a spiritual sense.”

4) LarryP2: “Why is the burden of proof skeptically-placed on Orthodoxy to validate its Eucharistic doctrines from a book that finally arrived some 300 years after its liturgical traditions were already strongly entrenched?”

5) Inquirer: “The people that personally knew Jesus, and actually spoke his language, are more likely to have understood him”


1.   You say the wine and bread of the Eucharist become the actual deified blood and body of Christ after thanksgiving prayer. This actual life-giving deified flesh and blood is what you eat and drink.

Response: His body is still human. When He spoke to His disciples, He was not then glorified. Yet, He commanded them to eat His body and blood – while He still lived. For what reason? - He said, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me.’ - Let’s not waffle about time and place. This occurred while He sat at meal with them. How could the bread and wine at that time also be His actual deified body and blood? – Oh, but don’t think too hard about that. - Just file that question under ‘mystery’.

And why do you think it would be less repulsive to first century Jews to eat the actual flesh of a human when still alive as opposed to human flesh when the person is dead? – You think that just because you believe the human to be the Son of God makes this act spiritual? - And that God will reward such faith with immortality? - Chew on His words, mull them over, inwardly digest. Pray for the spiritual drink of the Holy Spirit. This is life-giving.

2.   LOL. You can’t see it? – Or, is it that you are in denial because you don’t want to see it? – Are we to love form, ceremony and tradition above God’s Word? – What did the Word say? – In this context, when disciples wondered over outward literalness, Jesus said: ‘The words [He doesn’t say flesh] that I speak [that we, receiving, believe] to you are spirit, and they are life (v63).’ – Then Peter’s reply: ‘You have the words of eternal life (v68).’ – Yet, you say He provides no interpretation. - This and more.

The meaning is also brought out in the Passover narrative of John’s Gospel, chapters 13 onwards: e.g. – “I have given to them the words You have given to Me, and they have received them. […] Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Ch.17) ...and etc..

3.   You can’t ‘physically eat’ ‘spiritual food’. It’s just not possible. Spiritual food is for the mind, not the body. It is the truth and wisdom of God and is spiritually discerned (1 Cor.2:14). You can’t just munch on it with your teeth.

4.   The writings of the apostles were being copied and circulated from a very early date. You are mistaking the canonization of Scripture with the general acceptance of the apostolic writings. The four Gospels were never in doubt. Bishop Ignatius, whom you infer conveyed a literal stance on the meaning of John 6, was indeed an important figure in the early Church. So, let’s read a few passages that clearly convey some of his metaphorical usage:

“You, therefore, must arm yourselves with gentleness and regain your strength [or, ‘renew yourselves’] in faith (which is the flesh of the Lord) and in love (which is the blood of Jesus Christ)” (Letter to the Trallians, 8 – Lightfoot/ Harmer translation).

“I want the bread of God, which is the flesh of Christ who is the seed of David, and for drink I want his blood, which is incorruptible love” (Letter to the Romans, 7). There is one bread just as there is one faith of God, symbolic of unanimity, which Ignatius emphasizes throughout his epistles.

“[…] I have taken refuge in the gospel as the flesh of Jesus Christ and in the apostles as the presbytery of the church” (Letter to the Philadelphians). – Another metaphor that Ignatius uses for the flesh of Jesus Christ: His Gospel.


5.  “The people that personally knew Jesus, and actually spoke his language, are more likely to have understood him”- I couldn't agree more. :)

You can’t ‘physically eat’ what is ‘spiritual food’. - We feed on Him in our hearts - with the mind - by faith.

Thanks to everyone for replies!

Offline Inquirer

  • Antihyperaphthartodocetist
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 326
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2014, 01:51:40 PM »
5.  “The people that personally knew Jesus, and actually spoke his language, are more likely to have understood him”- I couldn't agree more. :)

You can’t ‘physically eat’ what is ‘spiritual food’. - We feed on Him in our hearts - with the mind - by faith.

Thanks to everyone for replies!

Perhaps you are unaware, so I will respectfully explain it to you. The Catholics and Orthodox teach that at the Last Supper, and in the liturgy, the offered bread and wine literally become the Body and Blood of Christ while retaining the appearance of bread and wine. Therefore one CAN physically eat what is spiritual food. This is not a teaching that some people just decided upon whilst reading the Bible one day; this is the tradition that has been handed on by the Apostles to the Fathers to us, as testified by Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus, and others.

Your thesis appears to be, "Jesus intentionally let billions of people idolize bread and wine because he refused to clarify a misunderstanding". Does this not make Mt 16:18-19 and 1 Tim 3:15 false? Sounds like the gates of hell have prevailed if this is the case.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 01:54:05 PM by Inquirer »
"[The Sacred Congregation of Rites'] decisions are made by a crowd of dirty little Monsignori at Rome in utter ignorance of the meaning or reason of anything. To the historian their decisions are simply disgusting nonsense, that people of my kind want simply to ignore." -- Fr. Adrian Fortescue

Offline TheTrisagion

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,814
  • All good things come to an end
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2014, 02:18:03 PM »
Quote
“You, therefore, must arm yourselves with gentleness and regain your strength [or, ‘renew yourselves’] in faith (which is the flesh of the Lord) and in love (which is the blood of Jesus Christ)” (Letter to the Trallians, 8 – Lightfoot/ Harmer translation).

“I want the bread of God, which is the flesh of Christ who is the seed of David, and for drink I want his blood, which is incorruptible love” (Letter to the Romans, 7). There is one bread just as there is one faith of God, symbolic of unanimity, which Ignatius emphasizes throughout his epistles.

the gospel as the flesh of Jesus Christ and in the apostles as the presbytery of the church” (Letter to the Philadelphians). – Another metaphor that Ignatius uses for the flesh of Jesus Christ: His Gospel.
I fail to see how the second supports your conclusion. On the contrary, it supports the teachings of the Orthodox Church. The flesh of Christ is the bread of God. He recognizes that the Body and Blood of Christ is incorruptible love in physical form.

I also note that you did not quote the entire passage in the Letter of the Philadelphians which states:

Quote
Be ye careful therefore to observe one eucharist (for there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and one cup unto union in His blood; there is one altar, as there is one bishop, together with the presbtery and the deacons my fellow-servants), that whatsoever ye do, ye may do it after God.
That again seems to be supportive of the Orthodox belief.
God bless!

Offline gavaisky

  • Level 10 cleric
  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2014, 02:52:43 PM »
Response: His body is still human. When He spoke to His disciples, He was not then glorified. Yet, He commanded them to eat His body and blood – while He still lived. For what reason? - He said, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me.’ - Let’s not waffle about time and place. This occurred while He sat at meal with them. How could the bread and wine at that time also be His actual deified body and blood? – Oh, but don’t think too hard about that. - Just file that question under ‘mystery’.

His human nature was (and is) still united with His divine nature. Unless you think that the hypostatic union somehow was not present or weaker before the Resurrection?
Let the mouth too fast from disgraceful speeches and railing. For what does it profit if we abstain from birds and fishes, and yet bite and devour our brethren? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother, and bites the body of his neighbor.
—St. John Chrysostom

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2014, 04:30:34 PM »
Quote
2.   LOL. You can’t see it? – Or, is it that you are in denial because you don’t want to see it? – Are we to love form, ceremony and tradition above God’s Word? – What did the Word say? – In this context, when disciples wondered over outward literalness, Jesus said: ‘The words [He doesn’t say flesh] that I speak [that we, receiving, believe] to you are spirit, and they are life (v63).’ – Then Peter’s reply: ‘You have the words of eternal life (v68).’ – Yet, you say He provides no interpretation. - This and more.

But since the Words spoken earlier are of the Spirit and of the Life, isn't He reinforcing the fact that one have to Literally eat His Flesh and drink His Blood? When He says that His Words are Spiritual, He doesn't mean "Wait guys, I meant it symbolically". After all if His words are the "Spirit" and of the "Life" then it is obvious that they must be obeyed and taken as truth, just as He said prior that one must Literally Eat His Flesh and Drink His Blood. The Grammatical Structure earlier proves it and He simply reinforces it by calling what He had said, His words are the Spirit and of the Life. If this is mere metaphor wouldn't it be the case that Jesus would attempt to downplay the literalness? It didn't happen in John 6.

Peter said that in an Agnostic sense as in he himself doesn't know what He meant, he and the other Apostles stuck with it and gave their reason for believing in Him that is His words are the words of Eternal Life. If the act itself is merely metaphorical, this would not be the reply, Peter would've made indications that such is a parable. But..it never happened so we obviously know that the Apostles stuck to His Disclosure by Faith and that they took it Literally and not Metaphorically. The entire context itself would destroy the memorialist interpretation.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 04:33:24 PM by sakura95 »
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2014, 05:23:30 PM »
Quote
“You, therefore, must arm yourselves with gentleness and regain your strength [or, ‘renew yourselves’] in faith (which is the flesh of the Lord) and in love (which is the blood of Jesus Christ)” (Letter to the Trallians, 8 – Lightfoot/ Harmer translation).

“I want the bread of God, which is the flesh of Christ who is the seed of David, and for drink I want his blood, which is incorruptible love” (Letter to the Romans, 7). There is one bread just as there is one faith of God, symbolic of unanimity, which Ignatius emphasizes throughout his epistles.

�the gospel as the flesh of Jesus Christ and in the apostles as the presbytery of the church” (Letter to the Philadelphians). – Another metaphor that Ignatius uses for the flesh of Jesus Christ: His Gospel.

The last time I checked, the Eucharist in the Orthodox Church can have heavy symbolical meanings and metaphor. Just because St Ignatius does the same does not mean that he is a memorialist. He called the Eucharist the medicine of Immortality, mere bread and wine cannot be such. He even directly addresses the Eucharist as the Flesh of Jesus, the very same Flesh that suffered and was raised. I'm highly certain that the original Greek would make this even more literal if translated directly just as Phago and Trogo in John 6.

Either way, it is also important to look at the context of what he is really addressing in his letters. Without context, anyone can simply twist his words around.

In his Letter to the Philadelphians, the full context reads as,

Quote
My brethren, I am greatly enlarged in loving you; and rejoicing exceedingly [over you], I seek to secure your safety. Yet it is not I, but Jesus Christ, for whose sake being bound I fear the more, inasmuch as I am not yet perfect. But your prayer to God shall make me perfect, that I may attain to that portion which through mercy has been allotted me, while I flee to the Gospel as to the flesh of Jesus, and to the apostles as to the presbytery of the Church. And let us also love the prophets, because they too have proclaimed the Gospel, and placed their hope in Him, and waited for Him; in whom also believing, they were saved, through union to Jesus Christ, being holy men, worthy of love and admiration, having had witness borne to them by Jesus Christ, and being reckoned along with [us] in the Gospel of the common hope.

Here he isn't exactly addressing the Eucharist at all in anyway. The main issue here is Faith in the face of martyrdom and peril. He does indeed use metaphor to bring the Gospel and the Flesh of Jesus together just as the Apostles and the Hierarchy of the Church but he is referencing two very literal entities together through putting them side by side with each other. By fleeing to the Apostles, we flee into the arms of the Church. By fleeing to the Gospel we are fleeing to the Flesh of Christ for the Words and events detailed within occurred when Jesus was in the Flesh both Human and Divine.

Based on the Roberts-Donaldson Translation, Chapter 7 of Letter to the Romans is titled, "Reason of Desiring to Die"

The first paragraph reads,

Quote
The prince of this world would fain carry me away, and corrupt my disposition towards God. Let none of you, therefore, who are [in Rome] help him; rather be ye on my side, that is, on the side of God. Do not speak of Jesus Christ, and yet set your desires on the world. Let not envy find a dwelling-place among you; nor even should I, when present with you, exhort you to it, be ye persuaded to listen to me, but rather give credit to those things which I now write to you. For though I am alive while I write to you, yet I am eager to die. My love has been crucified, and there is no fire in me desiring to be fed; but there is within me a water that liveth and speaketh, saying to me inwardly, Come to the Father. I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life.

Context here is about his reason for his desire to be martyred. He isn't talking about the Eucharist here. St Ignatius explicitly proclaims that he doesn't want and have no delight in Earthly Pleasures and corruptible food for he wants the True Food and True Drink that is incorruptible that is Christ Himself. Also when one thinks about it, it is perfectly fine to say that the Blood of Jesus is incorruptible Love. It is that blood that was shed for the world so that it may obtain Eternal Life and Salvation. It is that blood that confirms that Jesus dwelled amongst us and subjected Himself to human limitations, pain, hunger, betrayal, He endured for our sake at the cost of His Blood. With this clearly, St Ignatius does mean that the Blood of Christ is incorruptible love which is sufficient for him to die for his Faith.

In Letter to the Trallians, the Roberts-Donaldson Translation names Chapter 8 as:
Quote
Be on Your Guard Against the Snares of the Devil

This would inevitably mean that he isn't addressing the Eucharist as the core issue or topic here. He can use the Eucharist as reference but he does not here. In this chapter his main intention is to extort the Faithful towards Imitating Christ. In fact, since St Ignatius places Faith and Love as the Flesh and Blood of Christ, this is simply a reference to the Pistis Christou that is to say " the faithfulness of the Messiah" which is pretty evident as in the same chapter, he wrote,

Quote
Do ye therefore, clothing yourselves with meekness, become the imitators of His sufferings, and of His love, wherewith He loved us when He gave Himself a ransom for us, that He might cleanse us by His blood from our old ungodliness, and bestow life on us when we were almost on the point of perishing through the depravity that was in us

This is without a doubt what Pistis Christou is mentioned and pertained to here.

Here's a link that discusses it in more detail,
http://onbehalfofall.org/pistis-christou-and-implications-for-the-doctrine-of-justification/
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,631
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2014, 06:18:49 PM »
Quote
When He spoke to His disciples, He was not then glorified.

Ilwain, you're forgetting the Transfiguration.

Also, as others have said, Christ never stopped being God.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #48 on: November 05, 2014, 08:32:06 PM »
I will briefly state my understanding of views expressed on this board regarding John 6:

1) The metaphorical view of this passage is rejected on the grounds that the spiritual understanding is to believe in the literal sense of our Lord's words with respect to the eating of His flesh and blood. The carnal view is not to have faith in that he gives us His actual flesh and blood to eat in the Eucharist.

2) However, a metaphorical understanding with respect to the flesh and blood of Christ, as expressed in the writings of the Church fathers, is not to be denied. There is both a literal and also a metaphorical view expressed in Church tradition - and both are accepted. To interpret metaphorically is not to deny that there is also a literal application. (I believe this is what Sekura was hinting at in our discussion of Ignatius.)

3) The flesh and blood that Jesus gives is of His actual glorified body. The bread and wine are transformed in a way that is invisible to the senses by the Holy Spirit when the thanksgiving prayer is offered during the Eucharist.

4) This is the unbroken tradition of the Church


Tertullian, the early Church father of North Africa, expressed an understanding that refutes these views:

     "He says, it is true, that "the flesh profiteth nothing; "but then, as in the former case, the meaning must be regulated by the subject which is spoken of. Now, because they thought His discourse was harsh and intolerable, supposing that He had really and literally enjoined on them to eat his flesh, He, with the view of ordering the state of salvation as a spiritual thing, set out with the principle, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; "and then added, "The flesh profiteth nothing,"- meaning, of course, to the giving of life. He also goes on to explain what He would have us to understand by spirit: "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." In a like sense He had previously said: "He that heareth my words, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but shall pass from death unto life." Constituting, therefore, His word as the life-giving principle, because that word is spirit and life, He likewise called His flesh by the same appellation; because, too, the Word had become flesh, we ought therefore to desire Him in order that we may have life, and to devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith.

Tertullian: On the resurrection of the flesh, Ch.37 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf03.v.viii.xxxvii.html



Offline Inquirer

  • Antihyperaphthartodocetist
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 326
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #49 on: November 05, 2014, 08:58:16 PM »
The Tertullian quote is him merely explaining that the Eucharist is co-adjunctive with Christ's exhortations. If you think he didn't believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, then you should read a bit more of him:

 "Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, 'This is my body,' that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body…He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: 'I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,' which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed 'in His blood,' affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood."

“He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed 'in His blood,' affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood. In order, however, that you may discover how anciently wine is used as a figure for blood, turn to Isaiah, who asks, 'Who is this that cometh from Edom, from Bosor with garments dyed in red, so glorious in His apparel, in the greatness of his might? Why are thy garments red, and thy raiment as his who cometh from the treading of the full winepress?' The prophetic Spirit contemplates the Lord as if He were already on His way to His passion, clad in His fleshly nature; and as He was to suffer therein, He represents the bleeding condition of His flesh under the metaphor of garments dyed in red, as if reddened in the treading and crushing process of the wine-press, from which the labourers descend reddened with the wine-juice, like men stained in blood. Much more clearly still does the book of Genesis foretell this, when (in the blessing of Judah, out of whose tribe Christ was to come according to the flesh) it even then delineated Christ in the person of that patriarch, saying, 'He washed His garments in wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes'--in His garments and clothes the prophecy pointed out his flesh, and His blood in the wine. Thus did He now consecrate His blood in wine, who then (by the patriarch) used the figure of wine to describe His blood."

--Tertullian, Against Marcion, 40 (A.D. 212).

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/03124.htm
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 09:02:55 PM by Inquirer »
"[The Sacred Congregation of Rites'] decisions are made by a crowd of dirty little Monsignori at Rome in utter ignorance of the meaning or reason of anything. To the historian their decisions are simply disgusting nonsense, that people of my kind want simply to ignore." -- Fr. Adrian Fortescue

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #50 on: November 05, 2014, 09:16:54 PM »
Quote
2) However, a metaphorical understanding with respect to the flesh and blood of Christ, as expressed in the writings of the Church fathers, is not to be denied. There is both a literal and also a metaphorical view expressed in Church tradition - and both are accepted. To interpret metaphorically is not to deny that there is also a literal application. (I believe this is what Sekura was hinting at in our discussion of Ignatius.)

Yes, the Orthodox Church views the Eucharist as Real and as a Symbol. Metaphorical implications can be subscribed to the Eucharist when compared to other aspects of Faith which is simply what the Fathers are doing each time a figurative appearance regarding the Flesh of Christ and the Eucharist is used. But this isn't all however, when the Fathers use "Symbol", their understanding can also be different as in the "Symbol" is in some sense the thing "Symbolized" as Anglican Scholar, JND Kelly puts it in "Early Christian Doctrines". The modern use of metaphor and this Platonic use are both utilized by the Fathers which is why context is important. If a particular Father is focusing on another issue, he can use the Eucharist as comparison which would make it appear that he takes the Eucharist figuratively when he is in fact not.

Regarding your citation of Tertullian, it is important to note that the main topic he is addressing isn't about the Eucharist. The title of the work quoted is amply called "On the resurrection of the flesh". The chapter itself, titled, "Christ’s Assertion About the Unprofitableness of the Flesh Explained Consistently with Our Doctrine". With this, it is important that his main concern isn't the Eucharist, he is simply using John 6 as a framework to fit within the main topic he is addressing that is on the fact that the "Flesh profits nothing" and on the Resurrection of the Flesh. Tertullian's reason for this was simple, it's because  "it is subject to death". Only through the Spirit can the Flesh profits which he made clear just after the part you cited.

His main issue was to refute the claims of his opponents that there was no Resurrection of the Flesh in which he suggested that they used John 6 as their justification for it. Hence we see that he is really just dealing with this issue. If the issue is related to the Eucharist, he wouldn't have expressed this in the figurative manner as of here.

When the topic is about the Eucharist or relates to it such as cited by Inquirer, Tertullian goes full on Literal with the Eucharist. The original Latin he used in his citation can only be used Literally as Scholars such as JND Kelly and Darwell Stone noted. In "History of the Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist", Stone goes on to give examples of "Figure" as used in the passage cited by Inquirer. Schaff who is responsible for translating the works of Tertullian also noted that he would take a materialistic turn when addressing the Eucharist.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 09:20:04 PM by sakura95 »
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2014, 10:08:42 AM »
Inquirer: "He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed 'in His blood,' affirms the reality of His body."

The passages you quote relate to Tertullian's argument against the Docetic beliefs of the Marcionites. These views were first voiced by Gnostic sects c. AD 70 but were taken up by others, including the heretic Marcion, c. AD 140. These taught that the Logos - the Christ – did not appear in the flesh, but was a spiritual entity sent by the Monad (the Supreme Being). Consequently, according to their beliefs, his crucifixion and death were an illusion - for he only ‘seemed’ to possess a material body and to die. – Knowing the historical context is essential to understanding texts such as the ones you have quoted, as occur in the writings of the early Church fathers.

The Eucharist is presented as evidence for the reality that the Christ had flesh and blood when He walked the earth. Tertullian was not affirming the reality of Christ’s flesh in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. He was merely stating - as other Church fathers had done - that Jesus, by instituting a memorial of His sacrifice, had asserted that He had truly come in the flesh.

Offline Ilwain

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 91
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2014, 10:19:14 AM »
Sakura: “If a particular Father is focusing on another issue, he can use the Eucharist as comparison which would make it appear that he takes the Eucharist figuratively when he is in fact not.”

Lol. - So you may have been taught. However, as there is only one ante-Nicene, early Church writing of which we are aware that deals exclusively with the Eucharist, I think your comment is in need of correction: “If a particular Father is focusing on another issue, he can use the Eucharist as comparison which would make it appear that he takes the Eucharist literally when he is in fact not.” – That’s more like it!

So let’s take a close look at this document. - Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage (c.249-258, martyrdom), wrote a letter to counter a practice that some congregations had adopted - of using only water in the Eucharistic cup, instead of wine mingled with water. Cyprian’s letter 62 (63) to Cæcilius (c. AD 251), http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf05.iv.iv.lxii.html:

2. “Know then that I have been admonished that, in offering the cup, the tradition of the Lord must be observed, and that nothing must be done by us but what the Lord first did on our behalf, as that the cup which is offered in remembrance of Him should be offered mingled with wine. For when Christ says, “I am the true vine,” the blood of Christ is assuredly not water, but wine; neither can His blood by which we are redeemed and quickened appear to be in the cup, when in the cup there is no wine whereby the blood of Christ is shown forth, which is declared by the sacrament and testimony of all the Scriptures.”

Straight away, Cyprian dispels any notion of literalness by declaring the blood of Christ to be wine – not vice versa. It is offered “in remembrance” and that only through the use of wine in the cup, would it “appear to be” the blood of Christ “shown forth”. - Obviously, in saying ‘the blood of Christ is wine’, he was meaning in a figurative sense, not literally.

Using the same figurative language, he goes on to refer to ‘figures’ and ‘types’ of ‘the passion of the Lord’ from O.T. examples, to further illustrate the need for using wine in the cup. On this, he wrote (11): “I wonder very much whence has originated this practice, that, contrary to evangelical and apostolical discipline, water is offered in some places in the Lord’s cup, which water by itself cannot express the blood of Christ.”

In other words, “to express the blood of Christ” the cup must contain wine, not just water. Again, the idea stated here is that the wine is to “express” the blood of Christ – he does not state “to be” the blood of Christ.

The stated reason for the Eucharist is that it is a remembrance done in commemoration of the Lord’s sacrifice (2; 10; 14 and 17). The water, to Cyprian, is to convey the understanding that believers (who are symbolized by the water) are brought by the Lord’s sacrifice into spiritual union with Him. This was the spiritual meaning conveyed when the water is added to the wine and to the bread flour, in the making of the Eucharistic bread: “in which very sacrament our people are shown to be made one” (13).

Cyprian wrote (17): “As often, therefore, as we offer the cup in commemoration of the Lord and of His passion, let us do what it is known the Lord did.”

* It is interesting to note that this letter also provides a clear statement with respect to the making of the Eucharistic bread: “the body of the Lord cannot be flour alone or water alone, unless both should be united and joined together and compacted in the mass of one bread; in which very sacrament our people are shown to be made one, so that in like manner as many grains, collected, and ground, and mixed together into one mass, make one bread; so in Christ, who is the heavenly bread, we may know that there is one body, with which our number is joined and united.”

In this, no mention is made of yeast. The bread is made with just flour and water – hence, Cyprian used unleavened bread in the Eucharist. – As he was being so particular about the correct employment of mingled wine, he could hardly have been negligent with respect to the constituents of the bread. This letter offers proof of the practice of offering mingled wine with unleavened bread in the Eucharistic service of the 3rd century at Carthage. Furthermore, we can surmise that such was the general practice throughout the region, to the bishop’s knowledge – or else he would surely have remarked upon the matter in this letter.

Blessings!

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
  • Jurisdiction: Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2014, 11:03:34 AM »
What St Cyprian is addressing is Liturgical Abuses as in using merely Water during the Eucharist. He is trying to lay out his argument as to why Bread and Wine mixed with water should be used when Administering the Eucharist. The issue of the Elements used being the Body and Blood of Christ is not what he is addressing here. The heading of the chapter itself should give some insight to this as it reads,

Quote
"Argument.—Cyprian Teaches, in Opposition to Those Who Used Water in the Lord’s Supper, that Not Water Alone, But Wine Mixed with Water, Was to Be Offered; That by Water Was Designated in Scripture, Baptism, But Certainly Not the Eucharist. By Types Drawn from the Old Testament, the Use of Wine in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Body is Illustrated; And It is Declared that by the Symbol of Water is Understood the Christian Congregation."

While it is indeed true that St Cyprian used the Old Testament "Types" and "Figures" here, it is used to justify the use of Water mingled with Wine in the Eucharist to oppose the use of Water alone. This should be very obvious with the heading of the text itself.

Using the "In remembrance" argument doesn't cut up to be true because in the very same chapter of St Cyprian you cited, he makes heavy implications that the Eucharist is a Sacrifice as he wrote,

Quote
"; yet since some, either by ignorance or simplicity2664 in sanctifying the cup of the Lord, and in ministering to the people, do not do that which Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, the founder and teacher of this sacrifice..."

The Eucharist is not a Sacrifice in the Memorialist perspective but a memorial in the sense of commemorating the Last Supper. All Orthodox Liturgies contain the very same thing with a twist, "remembrance" is more than the act of mental recollection, it is to rather "Make Present". The Greek and Latin "Anamnesis" as used in the Septuagint offers heavy Sacrificial implications. In the original Latin St Cyprian would've used, he would've used "Anamnesis" as well to indicate the "Making Present" of the Passion of Our Lord. Of course in the modern sense, Anamnesis would simply mean "remembrance" or "commemoration" as in the mental act of recollecting memories of a particular event. In the sense St Cyprian was using, he meant it in a Sacrificial and very Literal Sense. In the same work you cited, he makes this very clear stating that,

Quote
"And because we make mention of His passion in all sacrifices (for the Lord’s passion is the sacrifice which we offer), we ought to do nothing else than what He did. For Scripture says, “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth the Lord’s death till He come.”

Of course there's much more to this. He makes heavy leanings towards taking the Bread and Wine as the Body and Blood of Christ when he writes as well, in the same citation you used,

Quote
" Thus, therefore, in consecrating the cup of the Lord, water alone cannot be offered, even as wine alone cannot be offered. For if any one offer wine only, the blood of Christ is dissociated from us; but if the water be alone, the people are dissociated from Christ; but when both are mingled, and are joined with one another by a close union, there is completed a spiritual and heavenly sacrament. Thus the cup of the Lord is not indeed water alone, nor wine alone, unless each be mingled with the other; just as, on the other hand, the body of the Lord cannot be flour alone or water alone, unless both should be united and joined together and compacted in the mass of one bread; in which very sacrament our people are shown to be made one, so that in like manner as many grains, collected, and ground, and mixed together into one mass, make one bread; so in Christ, who is the heavenly bread, we may know that there is one body, with which our number is joined and united."

If your memorialist view is what St Cyprian would take why must he go through a literalistic explanation?, as if suggesting that to use Wine alone or Water alone in the Eucharist is to dissociate the Blood of Christ from the Faithful. He could've easily refute the notions of those using Water alone through reference to the Old Testament which he did but it is just rather odd that he would go and use this rather Literalistic explanation as well for using Wine and Water in the Eucharist. But this is not all for he says too that,

Quote
". But the discipline of all religion and truth is overturned, unless what is spiritually prescribed be faithfully observed; unless indeed any one should fear in the morning sacrifices,2695 lest by the taste of wine he should be redolent of the blood of Christ.  Therefore thus the brotherhood is beginning even to be kept back from the passion of Christ in persecutions, by learning in the offerings to be disturbed concerning His blood and His blood-shedding.  Moreover, however, the Lord says in the Gospel, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed.”2696 And the apostle also speaks, saying, “If I pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”2697 But how can we shed our 363blood for Christ, who blush to drink the blood of Christ?

"Redolent" is defined as "strongly reminiscent or suggestive of" or "strongly smelling of" which both are used in a Literalistic context. All synonyms of this word is associated with Scents which suggests that the Wine is the Blood of Christ. Of course the use of "redolent" here could suggest being reminiscent or like the Blood of Christ but given his Sacrificial view of the Eucharist and his use of "Anamnesis", only a literalistic use of "Redolent" can be applied as to allow St Cyprian to be consistent. If not, he would be contradicting himself which would be the last thing he wants when addressing the errors of some who decided to use Water alone in the Eucharist.


Quote
In other words, “to express the blood of Christ” the cup must contain wine, not just water. Again, the idea stated here is that the wine is to “express” the blood of Christ – he does not state “to be” the blood of Christ.

"Express" according to Merriam Webster is defined as,

a) directly, firmly, and explicitly stated <my express orders>

b) exact, precise

c)designed for or adapted to its purpose

d)of a particular sort

Given these definitions, the Cup must contain Wine and Water to either "Directly or firmly" state that it is the Blood of Christ, to be the Blood of Christ, to be designed for or adapted to be the Blood of Christ or to be a particular sort of Blood of Christ. Nothing symbolic or metaphorical here.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 11:17:09 AM by sakura95 »
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,631
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #54 on: November 08, 2014, 05:15:02 PM »
Ilwain, a look at the prayers said by an Orthodox priest sotto voce during the Divine Liturgy are clear as well as ancient. There is no ambiguity whatsoever. What the chalice contains is truly the body and truly the blood of Christ. No ifs, no buts.

You're wasting your time trying to convince us otherwise.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,017
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Diocese of the South (OCA)
Re: "Bread" - John 6: metaphorically speaking ...
« Reply #55 on: November 10, 2014, 11:24:30 AM »
This thread  is illustrative of where the Western world has progressed to. We have all argued as if we are capable of understanding and explaining all things, to include the Holy Mysteries. I continue to me amazed by our presumptions (mine included).