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Featured The Eucharist and Commandment to not drink Blood

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by iam1me, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    One of the earliest commandments in the Bible given to all mankind as part of the Covenant with Noah, and one of the only dietary restraints to persist under the New Covenant is to not consume blood. The commandment is also repeated many times throughout the OT.


    Genesis 9:4-6 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. 6 “Whoever sheds human blood,by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind."

    Leviticus 3:17 “‘This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.’”

    Acts 15:19-20 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

    Unlike other dietary constraints that would merely make one ceremonially unclean, the consumption of blood was a severe offense meriting excommunication.


    Leviticus 7:26-27 And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal. 27 Anyone who eats blood must be cut off from their people.’”

    Leviticus 17:13-14 “‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, 14 because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off.

    When Jesus preached about the Eucharist in John 6, even the disciples are recorded as saying that this is a hard teaching and that many stopped following Jesus after this. Given severity of the commandment, and the strangeness of being told to eat your teacher's flesh and blood, this reaction seems pretty natural. We kind of take it for granted now - but it would have been an abhorrent thought to an observant Jew. One might go so far as to say that this was presented in an intentionally provocative manner.

    Of course, in laying out the scriptures like this I do see a loophole: the commandments are specifically about hunting and eating the flesh of animals. Providing the term 'animal' is contextually understood to not include humans (which would be murder and thus prohibited by other parts of the Law), then we can interpret this as not being applicable to the Eucharist.

    Another would be that many Protestants don't view the Eucharist as literal, but merely symbolic - though that would not cover Catholics and such. However, taking this approach would again suggest that the symbolism is intentionally provocative.

    The reason that Leviticus 17:14 gives for not consuming blood is because the life of every creature is its blood. This is also, of course, the very reason we are told we must partake of his blood, and are given life. For Christ is a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45).

    Given the above, I don't believe that the Eucharist is in violation of the Law (whether interpreted literally or symbolically), though I do think it was presented extremely provocatively and that this fact is rather underappreciated now a days.

    What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my analysis as for why the Eucharist isn't in violation of the commandment not to consume blood? Or do you perhaps have a better one? What do you think about the provocative nature of this teaching?
     
    #1 iam1me, Feb 27, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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  2. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    I think you raise an interesting point and I tend to agree with your idea that it may have been a provocative break with the old religion and a hard teaching to test the will of the disciples.
     
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  3. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.

    Joh 6:63 It is the Spirit that gives life. The flesh does not profit anything! The words which I speak to you are spirit and are life.
     
  4. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    It seems the law against eating of blood was still a necessary thing even after Jesus death and resurrection.

    Act 15:27 Therefore, we have sent Judas and Silas, they by word also announcing the same things.
    Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to put not one greater burden on you than these necessary things:
    Act 15:29 To hold back from idol sacrifices, and blood, and that strangled, and from fornication; from which continually keeping yourselves, you will do well. Be prospered.
     
  5. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Wow what a contradiction!

    Consume blood.

    Don't consume blood.


    What does God do with the blood anyway?
    Inject it up his arms like heroin?
     
  6. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    don't let it get you..............RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    revelation 2:17

    hidden mannah eaten by the monster of love

    matthew 16:11


    there is one type of food for the physical and another for the spiritual. food for thought. the banquet is spread out before you.





    just as there is one type of baptism for the physical, there is the baptism for the spiritual. holy fire.





    mr giggles alot
     
    #6 Fool, Feb 27, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
  7. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    In order to better understand the Catholic teaching on this, it very much helps if one understands the concept of "essence" that is used quite often in both Testaments. IOW, the bread & wine are the "essence", thus not just symbolic, of Jesus' body & blood.

    That same approach also is used in Jesus being of the "essence" of God the Father.
     
  8. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    I think the main problem is that this is supposed to be HUMAN flesh and blood. The idea of eating and drinking human flesh and blood sounds disgusting.
     
  9. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    I'd argue the concept of essence is extra-biblical - it's origin in Greek Philosophy. A separate topic though (I'm not a Trinitarian)
     
  10. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    Indeed. I'm in favor of a symbolic interpretation myself.
     
  11. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    The NT was written in Koine Greek, thus Greek idioms were used that were widespread throughout the Mediterranean region amongst the literate and especially the scholarly.

    One needs always to remember that the Bible also has a human element to it besides Divine since it was written by and for people in a language and use of symbolism that they would generally understand.

    Also, the Greeks did not invent the concept of "essence" since similar linguistic approaches are also used extensively in the Tanakh. The Psalms is packed with them, for example.
     
  12. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts exactly. If you draw a map and put an X and say, "this is the gas station on Main St.", of course you mean that the X represents a gas station. It very obviously is not really a gas station. And when Jesus said,"this is my body", he was saying it represented his body for the observance of the Passover. Jesus has been called the lamb of God but of course Jesus is not a lamb. Lambs were used in the Passover celebration. Jews use real lambs and Christians use Jesus to represent our lamb.
     
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  13. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    First off, the (rigorous) concept of essence is Aristotelian in origin. It was thus well known - but the term originates in Philosophy.

    Oh, and what passages in the NT do you think explain Jesus' relationship to the Father in terms of essence? I did a search across a number of common translations, and even Young's Literal Translation, and came up with zero scriptures that use the word "essence." Are you sure you aren't reading what you want into scripture?

    God is more than proficient with language. If we can invent terms to capture complex concepts, then he's certainly capable of developing such words. If he thought words like 'essence' were more accurate language to say what he wanted to say, he would have used that term.

    The term essence is Greek in origin. And no translations that I've seen of the OT use the term essence - that's a matter of interpretation on your part.
     
  14. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Somehow, you've managed to miss the point, including the simple fact that I never stated nor implied that the word "essence" is found in the scriptures, so there's no reason for me to go any further into this with you. I explained to you how and why the word "essence" figures into how we tend to interpret that relationship between Jesus and God the Father using the scholarly language common throughout the diasporah, but you just seemingly just want to twist what I said and then argue using a "strawman" approach. I don't play such games.
     
    #14 metis, Feb 28, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
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  15. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    Jesus never said, "this is the essence of my body". He said "this is my body". But he also never said that he changed the bread in any way. So that is one reason that it is symbolic. It represents his body for purposes of the celebration.
     
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  16. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    You very clearly suggested that the term was infused in the scriptures in your last post. I started looking for explicit references to the term and there are none. You are welcome to show that the term is implied in passages. It is your job to provide evidence. I'm sorry if asking you to substantiate your posts is too much for you.
     
  17. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    For those interested in having a serious discussion on this, an interesting book that sorta spells this out is "How Jesus Became God" by Bart Ehrman, who's a professor of theology at the University of North Carolina.

    His analysis of the oldest materials has it that the 1st century Church believed that Jesus was of God but that there appears not to have any consensus that goes beyond that as the Gospels are rather unclear as to exactly what that relationship may be. It was clear, however, that Jesus was viewed as being more than a prophet, more than the "Messiah", and that belief in him was mandatory as being of God even though he was not God the Father. Dr. Hanson (Anglican) in his book "Tradition In the Early Church", concludes much the same.

    The concept of "essence", which I also mentioned is implicit in Jewish writings as well that predate the translation of Torah into Koine Greek, again uses this methodology, whereas God is often portrayed in material terms, such as "being in the wind" for just one example. In the Christian scriptures, we see Jesus being an "unblemished lamb" whose sacrifice can save us. In John, Jesus says that the bread & wine is his body & blood

    Again, the concept of "essence" helps to possibly explain these relationships, such as when we partake in the Eucharist/communion. Now whether they're explain correctly certainly can be subject to opinion.

    Anyhow, this is sort of a side-bar from the OP, so I'll stop here and wish all to have a Most Blessed Lord's Day. .
     
  18. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    BTW. as an addendum to the above, "essence" states that an object may be more than just a sum of its parts.

    For example, let's say that I have no clue what an automobile is, so I ask someone, and then what that someone does is to hand me a list of all of the parts in an automobile. That's all there is, right? But it wouldn't be to me because I then would like ask what it's used for-- iow, its "essence" that goes beyond just its basic composition?

    In scripture, this is used frequently, including in Jesus' parables.
     
  19. Rival

    Rival Noahide Unicorn
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    This is the only one that applies to non-Jews and refers to eating the limb of a still living animal. Another translation could be 'with its soul'. You can eat blood from a dead animal.
     
  20. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    Really? Are there any Jewish sources you can recommend that elucidate the passage? I don't feel that an accurate interpretation just from the English translation, but open to learning more if there are more details to be found in the Hebrew.
     
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