Associate professor of church history princeton theological seminary baker book house



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Lord's Supper THE NEW SCHAFF‑HERZOG 30


life‑and made it fit his own mental processes by a theory of the " consecration " of the elements, somewhat as Justin had done before him. He does not lessen the significance of the traditional belief by his theory, but enforces it by words which have a very material sound (" nourished with the body of the Lord and with his blood ") without observing that his unsatisfying explanation of the received designation of the elements does not really fuse the two thoughts combined by him.

This peculiarity of Irenaeus' view will appear more clearly when it is compared with that of the Alexandrian school. Clement need not here be considered; his view is practically the same as that found in a more developed form in his pupil Origen. The latter reproduces the same traditional belief discovered in Irenxua (In Num.. hom. xvi. 9; In Matt. ser. Lxwi.; In Exod. horn. xiii.

8. The 3; In P8. xxxvii. hom. ii. 6). And Origenistio here also, more intelligibly than in

Doctrine. Irenaeus, this traditional belief is put in the light of a mysterious consecration (In Exod. hbm. xvi. 9; Contra Celsum, viii. 33; In Lev. hom. xiii. 5, 6). The difference is that in Origen scarcely anything but the mere words of tradition remain. The spiritualism of Origen was unable to conceive the notion of either the " body and blood " of the ascended Lord, or of eating unto life everlasting, or, in fact, of the resurrection of the flesh. Thus he says: " even if [Christ] was a man, at any rate he is no longer man " (In Jer. xv. 6); " he has ceased to be man " (In Luc. hom. xxix.) : the material be­longs only to this transitory world, and perishes with it; eating and drinking have nothing to do with the spiritual life; in the resurrection, the ma­terial will disappear more and more from us, until in us too the word is fulfilled, " he who shall have followed Christ . . . will be no longer man " (In Luc. ham. ix. 11). Origen does not attempt to conceal the divergence of his view from the com­monly received one; and he states with sufficient clearness what the eating of the body of Christ and similar liturgical expressions mean to him‑the " body " in the Eucharist is a " typical and sym­bolic body," only pointing to the " true food," the Logos, the living Bread. We drink his blood " when we receive his words, in which is life," just as, when we read the words of his apostles, who also shed their blood " and attain unto life from them, we drink the blood of their wounds " (In Num. hom. xvi. 6). Accordingly, the eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ are not confined to the Eucharist; the only preeminence which it has over other hearing of the word of God is in the fact that here the symbol is added to the word. In this spiritualism it is not alone the tradi­tional Christian conception that disappears; there is really nothing left of the thought‑more Greek than Christian‑that the elements acquire a °1 help­ing power" (In John, xxxii. 16) by consecration.

These, then, are the two views of the Lord's Sup­per which have the greatest importance in the his­tory of eucharistic doctrine‑the spiritualism of Origen, and the realism of Irenaeus. The most radical difference between them is that to the spir‑. itualiat everything is spiritual, and the Eucharist a




food for the soul only; while Irenaeus, though not excluding the spiritual effect, yet lays his emphasis on the imparting of immortality to the " body, made fit for the Spirit " by means of the Lord's Supper. But neither was realistic in the Roman Catholic or Lutheran sense. The realistic view of Ireneeua was only realistic‑dynamic.

The spiritual‑dynamic view became the prevail­ing one with the theologians of that period. None of the great Fathers who followed Origen was, it is true, as extreme a spiritualist as he;

9. The none of them allowed the divergence

8ymbolio‑

8aerificiel of the spiritualist view and the re­

View. ceived designation of the elements to

appear as freely as he did; and even

the most decided spiritualists among them, since

they accepted the resurrection of the flesh, attrib­

uted to the faithful reception (following John vi.

54) a secondary significance also for the body. But

Eusebiua of Caesarea, Basil the Great, Gregory Nar

zianzen, and Macariua the Elder ‑ must, in their

treatment of this subject, be classed as Origenists.

Athanasius, whom Steitz places wholly with them,

was, it is true, strongly influenced in his eucharistic

views by Origenistic conceptions, but Irenieus had

a still greater influence on him. One term is of

importance in the study of the Eastern doctrine be­

cause its meaning does not seem to fall under either

of the two divisions adopted above, but rather

points to a third view which was not without its

effect on the later development. This is the ex­

pression employed by Gregory Nazianzen for the

consecrated elements, " antitypea of the body and

blood of Christ." Euaebius (Demonstratio evan­

gelica, i. 10) uses the equivalent term " symbols "

only in relation to the idea of sacrifice; and in

Gregory too a reference to the sacrifice may lurk

in the background. As objects of the " bloodless

and reasonable sacrifice " (Eusebius, DemonsCratio

evangelica, ut sup.) or the " sacrifice without blood "

(Gregory Nazianzen, 4ratio iv. 52), the elements

are symbols or antitypes of the real, historic body

of Christ; as objects of reception, neither Eusebius

nor Gregory could have called them by this name,

since, in their view, the actual body and blood of

Christ have nothing to do with the reception.

Eustathius of Antioch, on the other hand, sees in

Prov. ix. 5 a reference to the " antitype to the

members of Christ's body," and thus must have

found the elements as objects of reception antitypea

of the actual body of Christ. In this use of the

term Steitz and Harnack have seen a transference

of the sacrificial idea to the sacramental. In con­

nection with the latter, as soon as the thought of

" offering the memorial of the great sacrifice " had

taken the shape of " offering the body," a reference

to the actual body of Christ was inevitable even

for the Origenists. Thus the desiguatip; Q1 Qg

elements as " antitypes of the body and blood of

Christ " might be taken as a spiritualistic reserva­

tion; and so it might well have been originally

Alexandrian. But it is scarcely probable that

Eustathius, who was a vigorous opponent of both

Origen and Eusebius, would have taken up and de­

veloped an Alexandrian term; and there is no evi­

dence of its use or; definitely Alexandrian ground



81 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Lord's 8uppor




until later than his time. It is rather an independ­ent tradition which meets us in Euetathius‑the same that becomes evident concerning the Lord's Supper in a single passage in Theodore of Mopsueatia (on I Cor. xi. 34; MPG, lxvi. 889). Its essence consists in the subordination of the sacramental side to the sacrificial; as symbols of the body and blood of Christ, offered in sacrifice, the elements re­ceived communicate what was gained by the sacri­fice of Christ, remission of sins and eternal life. Since Euatathiua is in more than one aspect a pre­cursor, if not a member of the school of Antioch, his words may be taken as a proof that he already entertained this Antiochian conception of the Lord's Sapper. The record of the fragments of Irena;us edited by C. M. Pfaff (Irenwi fragmenta, The Hague, 1715), which seem to show a similar view, must be left out of the question as these fragments have by Harnack (T U, xx. 3, pp. 1‑69, 1900) been shown to be falsifications. Not the second Pfaff fragment, but the passage cited from Eustathius, is the oldest Oriental testimony for this view of the Lord's Sup­per, influential also in the West. It may be called the " symbolio‑sacrificial " view. The peaceful assimilation of the three conceptions described above resulted in the later eucharistic doctrine; and the one last set forth was distinctly influential. It had this advantage over the other two‑that it brought the Lord's Supper into a clear relation to the real body and blood of Christ, while the Origenista only made use of the Logos in him, Irenseus only of the incorruptibility of his body. The acceptance of the term " symbols " or " antitypes " in a sacrificial context by Eusebius, Gregory Nazianzen, and Ma­cariua is an instance of the influence exerted by the Antiochian eucharistic doctrine in the fourth and early part of the fifth century.

The Christological conflicts of the fifth century mark an epoch in the further development. Up to this point the views of the Fathers show a mixture, in varying proportions, of the three conceptions just analyzed. Since the idea has been widely

10. Cyr,,. prevalent that three of the Fathers of

this period‑‑Cyril of Jerusalem, Greg­ory of Nyssa, and Chrysostom‑went beyond all three theories (which agree in the impossibility of conceiving a real presence of the actual body and blood of Christ), some reference must be made to the language used by them. One must begin by remembering that the liturgical tradition, becom­ing fixed and written by the fourth century, had still adhered closely, for all its increasing variety of expression, to the universal form of language in the Church. By its retention of the common des­ignation of the elements, it could not fail to repress the spiritualism of theologians; and by its develop­ment of a " memorial of the great sacrifice," its emphasis on the " offering of the body of Christ," it brought the Eucharist into increasingly close connection with the real body and blood of Christ, The first of these three authors, Cyril, wag teach­ing his newly baptized hearers about the Lord's Supper with especial reference to the words and usages of liturgical tradition. Bearing this in mind, and remembering how closely church teach­ing in Justin's time held to the " this is," it is not




surprising to find the catechist coming down to the level of the aimplices. As the object of the " holy and moat awful sacrifice " (" Catechetical Leo­turee," v [xsiii.], 9) the " bloodless service " (ib. v [axiii.], 8), he sets forth the " slain Christ " him­self: "We offer up Christ sacrificed for our sins" (ib. v [xxiii.], 10); and the question as to the mean­ing of the eucharistic gifts is settled for him by the words of the Savior: " Since then he himself do­dared and said of the bread, ` this is my body,' who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since he has himself affirmed and said ` this is my blood,' who shall ever hesitate, saying that it is not his blood? He once in Cana of Galilee turned the water into wine, akin to blood, and is it incredible that he should have turned wine into blood?" (ib. iv [xxii.], 1‑2; NPNF, 2 ser., vii. 151). As the cause of this " change " appears the invocation of the Holy Spirit; we pray God, he says " to send forth his Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before him; that he may make the bread the body of Christ, and the wine the blood of Christ; for what­soever the Holy Ghost has touched is surely sanc­tified and changed " (" Catechetical Lectures," v [xriii.], 7; NPNF, 2 ser., vii. 154). The neophyte is to believe firmly that " the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the blood of Christ " (" Catechetlcal Lectures," 1V [x%11.], 9; NPNF, 2 ser., vii. 152). Stronger or more positive language could scarcely be found; if his words were taken literally, they would necessitate the accept­ance of a transubstantiation. But Cyril is speak­ing as a catechist. Even to him, as a matter of fact, the bread and wine are only so far transub­stantiated as they are made more than common bread and wine; for him, too, the real sense of the eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ is the nourishment of the soul by the incarnate Word. What Cyril does show is how the transubstantia­tion theory grew up, by a sort of fusion of the real­iatio‑dynamic and the symbolio‑sacrificial views. But before it could proceed in a definite form from this fusion, it was necessary for the idea of a change to be carried further than the mere " sanctifica­tion," and for the symbolic part of the symbolio­sacrificial to be discredited. The latter result fol­lowed on the defeat of, the Antiochian theology in the fifth century; the fulfilment of the former con­dition is usually attributed to Gregory of Nysea.

In his large catechetical work (chap. xwii.; NPNF, 2 eer., pp. 504‑508) Gregory undertakes to show how the body, not only the soul, of the:..be‑

liever can attain " participation and mingling "

with Christ. But a close study of his whole treat­ment shows that while Gregory has

11. Gregory bin often called the originator of o! 1Pysea the theory of transformation rather and ,

e_ tberi transubstantiation), he . himself

oetom. mew nothing of it, and carried the

meaning of the Greek meraPoieiathei.,

" to transform," no further than what was already

understood by hagiazeatluii, "to sanctify.", His,

theory is the : assumption‑theory of Justin, which

Alexaudrians had apiritualized, and which now allied







Lord's Supper THE NEW SCHAFF‑HERZOG 82


itself in a realistic form with that of Irenseua. In thin shape it appears in Cyril of Alexandria. It is more difficult in regard to Chrysostom to sustain the assertion that the development had still gone no further than the sum of the three views described above. He speaks of the presence of Christ in terms which sound so material that the universal agree­ment to attribute to him a belief in a real reception of the actual body and blood is not surprising. But several things must be remembered. He be­longs thoroughly to the school of Antioch, but unites its traditions with the realistio‑dynamic theory in a form which spiritualism does not succeed in refi­ning away; he brings out these really irreconcilable thoughts colored by all the rhetorical artifice of his style as a preacher, accustomed to the wording of liturgical tradition; and he pushes the Lord's Sup­per back, as no one before him except the older Aleaendriana Clement and Origen had done, into the awe‑inspiring obscurity that hangs around the mysteries. It will not do to attempt to find dog­matic formulas in the exuberance of his gorgeous rhetoric. In a word, then, the conception of a change of substance is to be dated neither from Cyril of Jerusalem, nor from Gregory of Nyasa, nor from Chrysoatom. Realistic expressions which may seem to involve it are not rare in the fourth and fifth centuries; but they are usually brief unformulated protests against the acceptance of a purely symbolic presence of Christ. The definite theological theory leading up to transubstantiation is of later origin.

The opposing views held in the fifth and sixth centuries as to the incarnation were reflected in very varied conceptions of the Eucharist. Theo­dore of Mopsuestia and Nestoriua still represent the

symbolic‑sacrificial view of the school itd. Doc‑ of Antioch, while Cyril of Alexandria

trine is and the Monophyaitea favored the view

Fifth and

Sixth which corresponded to their general



Centuries. C~ology, the realistic‑dynamic is

the form which it had assumed with

Gregory of Nyasa. How far the former was dis­

credited by the general overthrow of the school of

Antioch may be seen in Theodoret. The Antiochiaa

traditions, which he combines with other views into

such s curious mixture, did not wholly die out; but

the definitive victory of Cyril's Christology in the

reign of Justinian stamped the corresponding eu­

chariatic doctrine, the realistic‑dynamic, as the

accepted one. The fact pointed out under Irenteus

(ut sup., 18) that the older theologians attempted

to combine two distinct meanings of the term

" body of Christ " without success became lees ob­

vious when, in the iconoclastic controversy, popu­

lar devotion made the " dim religious light,, of the

mysteries still more dim. Even the iconoclastic

council of 754 developed the view accepted as or­

thodox in Justinian's time: the bread and wine

are only the images (types) of the humanity of

Christ; this image of the body of Christ is made di­

vine (a " divine body ") through the " inspira­

tion " (Gk. epiphoit8ais) of the Spirit. But even

before the date of this synod, John of Damascus,

the leading upholder of the images, had opposed

the view expressed by it: " the bread and the wine

are not types of the body and blood of Christ; let


it not be thought; but it is the visible body of the Lord " (De fide orthodoxa, iv. 13). If, he goes on, certain of the holy fathers called the bread and wine "antitypea of the body and blood of the Lord," they referred not to the consecrated but to the unconsecrated elements. These explanations of John were repeated by the second council of Nicaea (787). Since that time the Greek Church has had a eucharistic dogma; it teaches the real presence of the body and blood of Christ after con­secration. And from the same date it has a theory of the change, for John of Damascus, who devel­oped it, has remained the standard theologian of the East. According to him, the Logos assumes the body constituted out of bread and wine in the same hypostatic manner as he assumed the body born of the Virgin; but as there is only one hypo­stasis of the incarnate Logos, the eucharistic body on earth and the glorified body in heaven are one body, by virtue of the one hypoetasis to which they belong. This solution satisfied the theological needs of the age, and remained an axiom for those that followed, in the West as in the East. The Greek Church went no further for centuries; then, in the place of the theory of transformation (Gk. meta­Poiesis), that of transubstantiation (Gk., mtou­aibais) came in, probably as a result of the negotia­tions with the Western Church for reunion. The Greeks agreed to the term netousiasis in 1274 and 1277, in a confession of faith proposed by Rome; but it did not come into use among them until the fifteenth century, after the Union of Florence, and it was not until the contests raised by Cyril Lucar (q.v.) in the seventeenth that it gained a complete triumph, with all its accompanying details.

!d. Development is the West: The West was slower than the East to formulate s dogma on the point, not only because of the breach in continuity of intellectual development caused by the down­fall of the empire, but because s different line was followed in the West. The result of the process is different, to begin with, and there is no parallel is the East for the preponderating influence exer­cised by Augustine in the West.

The views of Tertullian and Cyprian moat be first considered. The moat essential point is re­gard to the latter is that he subordinates the sacra‑

mental aspect to the sacrificial; the Eucharist ~

" the sacrament of the Lord's passion and of our redemption." His thoughts being thus occupied with the crucifixion of the body and

1. Tertal‑ the shedding of the blood, it is not

lien sad surprising that he does not think of

ftyprisn.

them as really present. The sacra­

ment is a symbolic commemoration of the Passion;

its reception conveys, not nourishment to eternal

life or anything of that sort, but the benefit of

Christ's redeeming work, in which every one has a

share who enters into union with him. Cyprian's

whole view is clearly and simply the symbolic.

sacrificial. The fact that an almost magical opera­

tion is attributed to the sacred symbol (as is De

lapsis, acv., xxvi.) is no proof to the contrary; the

idea of some dynamic change in the elements was

(unless apiritualiaed away) always connected in

those days with that of consecration, and we prao‑



33 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Lord's Supper




tically never find a purely symbolic view in the modern sense. It will not, perhaps, do to say as positively that Tertullian held the same view, in a less developed form and occasionally combined with other thoughts; but there is much to show that this was the case. Bread and wine are, for him as for Cyprian, symbolic forms under which the body and blood of Christ are represented. The commentators have, however, usually forgotten to ask whether these symbols were primarily intended to be offered or to be received. That, as with Cyp­rian, the answer is the former, one may conclude from the facts that with Tertullian, too, the body is the crucified body and the blood that which was shed, and that to him the Eucharist is the Pass­over of the new covenant, as well as from certain passages the discussion of which would occupy too much space.

These symbolic‑sacrificial ideas, which are in­separably connected with the actual body and blood of Christ, form the point of departure for the further development of Western doctrine. Thus

they determine Ambrosiaster's con­2. Trami‑ option of the sacrament: " It [the

tion to Eucharist] is a memorial of our re‑

Transub‑ dem tion, that, mindful of the re‑

deemer, we may be worthy to attain greater things by him . . the testament is made in blood, because blood is a testimony of the divine beneficence." Thus Ambrose says on John vi. 56: " You hear ` flesh,' and you hear ` blood,' and you recognize the sacred pledges of the Lord's death." (De fide, iv. 10). Thus for Augustine the Eucha­rist is the "memorial sacrament " by which since the ascension the real sacrifice of Christ is commemo­rated. When, accordingly, from the fourth cen­tury, Greek ideas had a stronger influence in the West than before, these symbolic‑sacrificial con­ceptions prevented the dissociation of the real and the sacramental body which was often noticeable in the East; and the ideas of the realistic‑dynamic type took on, under their influence, an appearance more " realistic " in the modern sense. This is most clearly the case with Ambrose, though no passage in his authentic works shows him a believer in the real presence of the actual body and blood. When, however, he says (De fine, iv. 10) " As often as we receive the sacramental elements, which by the mysterious efficacy of holy prayer are trans­formed (trsnsfigurantur) into the Flesh and the Blood we do show the Lord's death," he comes close to connecting with the symbolic offering a change of the elements into the body and blood of Christ. It would thus not be inconceivable that Ambrose should have addressed his catechumens in the language found in the treatises De mystera'ia and De sacramenlis which pass under his name. Cyril of Jerusalem speaks strongly in the same way under the same circumstances (ut sup., § 9); and the writers of these two works do not accept the real presence. These treatises are of no small im­portance in the history of this question, even if they are not Ambrose's, since long before the ninth century they were thought to be his, and to the men of the Middle Ages it was " Ambrose " who led the way to the doctrine of transubstantiation.




In fact, they are really more interesting if not his. If they had been, they must have been interpreted by his other expressions; but as products of a later period, they show that (just as in the East with Cyril of Jerusalem and Chrysoatom) the realiatic­dynamic conception, when it came under the in­fluence of sacrificial ideas, approached ever nearer to the doctrine of a positive change‑nearer than was the case with Ambrose himself.

The Western development would probably have reached the same conclusion as the Eastern at an even earlier period, if it had not been for Augtts‑

tine. His position on the subject is the

3. Angus‑ same as his general attitude in regard tine's Check to the sacraments (see SACRAMENT)

upon De‑ °` the sacrament is one thing, the vir‑

velopment. toe of the sacrament, another "; (" On John's Gospel"xxvi. ll); "grace is the virtue of the sacrament " (Eruirrstio in Psalmos, Ixxvii. 2). The res sacrsmenti, the benefit to which the signum points, is here also the " sanctification of invisible grace " (Qucestionza in HePtateuchum, iii. 84), with all that this includes. The sanctification by invisible grace is defined by him in three ways: either he thinks, in accordance with the traditional symbolic‑sacrificial view, of the appropriation by faith of the redeeming work of Christ (De doctriren Christians, iii. 16. 24); or, turning in a spiritualist direction, he considers the mystical union with Christ given with the sanctification (De civitate Dei, xxi. 25, 4); or, with a reference to I Cor. x. 17, he deals with the thought that grace incorpo­rates us into the Church‑the body of Christ (" On John's Gospel," xxvi. 15; Ser»ao, cclxxii.). Of an actual presence of the body and blood there is no mention; Christ is, indeed, " everywhere en­tirely present like God," but " in some place in heaven after the manner of a real body " (Epiat., clxxxvii. 13, 41). The fact that he uses expres­sions which sound " realistic " moat not mislead in the light of his own explanation (Epist., xeviii. 9): " For if sacraments had not some points of real resemblance to the things of which they are the sacraments, they would not be sacraments at all. In moat cases, moreover, they do in virtue of this likeness bear the names of the realities which they resemble. As, therefore, in a certain manner the sacrament of Christ's body is Christ's body," etc. (NPNF, 1 ser., i. 410). There is scarcely a pas­sage in the early literature so illuminating for our purpose.‑unless it be De catechizandiF rudibua,

xxvi. 50, where he waCllg the C4%0hUmCp " thit if

he hears anything even in the Scriptures which may carry a carnal sound, he should, even although he fails to understand it, nevertheless believe that something spiritual is signified thereby, which bears upon holiness of character and the future life " (NPNI' 1 aer., iii. 312). Here the " some­thing spiritual " throws a light on the " heavenly reality " already discussed. But although Augus­tine's " realistic " expressions have no significance as regards his own position, they have much for the hater history. He provided the later Roman Catholic development, which departed from his own symbolic­spiritualistic view, with a quantity of formulas, and made it possible for people to close their eyes






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