These show notes correspond with this debate
The irony that will be made manifest tonight is that my opponent, who claims to adhere to the precept of Sola Scriptura, will be attempting to make a case that cannot be made Biblically- the case that the bread and wine of consecration do not become the actual body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is exceedingly- even frighteningly- clear that they do. Here is a clear example of why I laugh out loud when evangelicals have the temerity to accuse Catholics of having teachings contrary to Scripture. Nowhere is there a teaching more contrary to Scripture than the teaching that Transubstantiation is false.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus says that His flesh is real food and His blood is real drink and he who does not eat His flesh and drink His blood has no life in Him. The verbiage Jesus uses is extraordinarily blunt. The Greek word Trogon actually means to crunch, grind or gnaw between the teeth. Jesus is leaving no room for doubt here. The many disciples who walked away were clear about what He was saying. Jesus affirmed it 4 times.
Neither is Paul any less clear in chapters 10 and 11 of his first letter to the Corinthians when he boldly states that the bread and wine are an actual participation in the body and blood of Jesus and that he who eats the bread and drinks the wine unworthily is guilty of profaning the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ! As if that were not far enough, Paul warns us that to eat and drink the bread and the cup without recognizing it as Christ’s body is to eat and drink judgment on oneself!
These teachings are clear and unambiguous and the Catholic church’s proclamation on them is unassailable. These are the facts and nothing my opponent will say tonight will alter that. I could stop now and the Catholic side would win this debate.
Unfortunately for my opponent, I am not going to stop now. The teaching of the Eucharist is not confined to John’s gospel and Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians. It reverberates all through Scripture from Genesis to Revelation as typology, fulfilment and prophecy. Further, much to the consternation of my worthy adversary, it is the consistent and infallible teaching of every generation of Christianity- a fact he would like very much to suppress and pretend away.
Tonight’s debate is not about what the Bible and the history of the church teach on this subject that is a closed case. My opponent will not even attempt to counter the early church’s teaching on this matter, he would rather that not even be discussed and has said as much. Further, his Biblical word parsing is going to be seen for what it is- desperation. The case against Transubstantiation can be made logically or philosophically to a degree but cannot be made- even a little- Biblically or historically. No, tonight’s debate is already settled on the grounds of what guidance the mind of the church and the Holy Scriptures have left to us. Tonight’s debate is about faith. You either have it or you don’t. If you have it, you say “Our Lord said it, that settles it”. If you do not have it, you say “Jesus didn’t really say it” or “Jesus said it but He didn’t really mean it” or “There is no Jesus”. What is the difference? They are only different degrees of the same unbelief. Denial of the Eucharist is denial of the Christian faith and the creation of a new Jesus who is not the bread from heaven that the Jesus of John 6 clearly states Himself to be. Like I said, you either believe Him or you don’t. There is no middle ground here.
My opponent claims to follow the Bible but He does not even understand the Bible. If He did, He would see a foreshadowing of the Eucharist in the Passover. After the Passover lamb- an obvious typology of Jesus- was slain, it was eaten. He would see a typology in the Manna- the bread from heaven- which, again, the believers ate. He would recognize that, in John 6, it is no coincidence that the miracle of the multiplication of loaves directly proceeds the bread of life discourse. In this discourse Jesus announces the starkly clear reality of Eucharist as a direct answer to the direct question of John 6:30 “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? . My opponent, if He understood Scripture, would see the reference , that Jesus was a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7). It was Melchizedek that Scripture tells us brought forth the bread and wine. My opponent, if he understood Scripture as he states, would see the Eucharist as the marriage supper of the lamb in Revelation chapter 19.
My opponent sees none of these things because he lacks the light that comes from faith and cannot get past his own lying eyes that tell him that what appears to be bread and wine, must be bread and win even though Jesus Christ, Himself, said This IS my body, This IS my blood. The Greek term is Touto Estin and cannot be translated as “this represents” or “this is a symbol of”.
Jesus said it, we believe it. That settles it.
Let’s bring the focus in closer. Let’s really look closely at the question posed to Jesus. “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? My opponent adheres to an ideology that stipulates that one must only believe in Jesus to be saved. Yet, right here, He is denying the very definitive sign that must be believed, the very specific answer given to Jesus’ detractors. Listen carefully to Jesus words;
“Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.
My opponent simply can not- and will not- deal with the shockingly direct and blunt words of Jesus here. What my opponent will try to do is to imply that Jesus is speaking metaphorically here. First of all, the text doesn’t allow it. Secondly, each time that Jesus spoke in parables, He then explained the parable. Jesus allowed some 60 disciples to walk away over this doctrine and, at every chance to explain it away as a metaphor, He re-emphasized His words instead. Jesus repeatedly spoke in literal terms and took great pains for everyone to know that He was speaking in literal terms. In fact, the one verse my opponent will use to try and spiritize this passage, actually emphasizes it’s literal interpretation.
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But among you there are some who do not believe.”
Jesus is not contradicting His own words by saying His own flesh is useless. If Jesus were calling His own flesh useless, what value would there be in the crucifixion? No, Jesus is telling us the same truth as in Matthew 16. That truth is that somethings are true even when they cannot be perceived by our fleshy senses or comprehended by our fleshy minds. Jesus words are Spirit and Truth. He even goes so far as to say that anyone who rejects this literal teaching is one who does not believe in Him!
For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”
66 Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67 So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”[h] 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He was speaking of Judas son of Simon Iscariot,[i] for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
So, my opponent must know that, if he continues to deny the true presence, it is not Jesus who He believes, it is Judas and those who walked away.
Paul certainly believed in the true presence, of that He leaves no doubt. Paul’s words to the church in Corinth.
( 1 Corinthians 10)
16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel;[d] are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for[g] you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For all who eat and drink[h] without discerning the body,[i] eat and drink judgment against themselves.
My opponent wants you to believe that we are misinterpreting the words of John and Paul but history is not kind to his assertions. The very first prominent figure to deny it was Ulrich Zwingli in 1525. My opponent has a clear choice. He can accept the clear word of Scripture and roughly 2000 years of clear Christian teaching that affirm the true presence, or he can accept roughly 500 years of heresy that is wholly rooted in a lack of belief. Make no mistake. To deny the Eucharist is to deny Christ. This concludes my opening statement.
1) Since no one prior to Zwingli, in the 16th century, can be found disputing the true presence, can you explain how 15 centuries of Christians failed to see in Scripture what he saw?
2) The word discern means to recognize the truth. In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul says that to eat and drink the bread and cup without discerning (recognizing) the body is to bring judgment on oneself. How else can this passage possibly be interpreted?
3) When you speak to Catholics about how you believe certain Catholic teachings oppose Scripture, how do you suppose that you have any credibility when, here, you are opposing the very clear words of the New Testament?
4) Jesus said “He who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood has no life in him”. How can you say you are alive in Christ, when He clearly says you are not?
In the initial discussions for this debate, my opponent expressed his strong desire that the early church fathers be excluded from this debate, in favor of a ‘Bible-alone’ approach. The problem with such an approach is that the fathers of the church and the men who wrote, translated and canonized the New Testament were one and the same. No amount of historical revisionism can change that. Saint John Neumann once said that to be steeped in history is to cease to be a protestant. Truer words were never spoken. My opponent tonight could not make his case Biblically unless he equivocated and twisted the passages to his liking and duped you into to thinking that his novel interpretations were held by the early church. History is not kind to his new and different gospel.
St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110 A.D.)
I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, WHICH IS THE FLESH OF JESUS CHRIST, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I DESIRE HIS BLOOD, which is love incorruptible. (Letter to the Romans 7:3)
St. Justin the Martyr (c. 100 – 165 A.D.)
For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, AND BY THE CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nourished, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS. (First Apology, 66)
St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 140 – 202 A.D.)
…He took from among creation that which is bread, and gave thanks, saying, “THIS IS MY BODY.” The cup likewise, which is from among the creation to which we belong, HE CONFESSED TO BE HIS BLOOD.
Tertullian (c. 155 – 250 A.D.)
Likewise, in regard to days of fast, many do not think they should be present at the SACRIFICIAL prayers, because their fast would be broken if they were to receive THE BODY OF THE LORD…THE BODY OF THE LORD HAVING BEEN RECEIVED AND RESERVED, each point is secured: both the participation IN THE SACRIFICE… (Prayer 19:1)
Origen (c. 185 – 254 A.D.)
You see how the ALTARS are no longer sprinkled with the blood of oxen, but consecrated BY THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST. (Homilies on Joshua 2:1)
We actually have far more of these quotes in our show notes at deepertruthblog.com. The point is this, and there is no escaping it. Jesus words on this matter are literal. Paul’s words on this matter are literal. The Apostles took them literally, the Jews took them literally, and, there can be no dispute that the early church took them literally. My opponent has absolutely no case here, this is settled, infallible and foundational Christian doctrine. This concludes my closing statement.
St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – 216 A.D.)
Calling her children about her, she [the Church] nourishes them with holy milk, that is, with the Infant Word…The Word is everything to a child: both Father and Mother, both Instructor and Nurse. “EAT MY FLESH,” He says, “AND DRINK MY BLOOD.” The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutriments. HE DELIVERS OVER HIS FLESH, AND POURS OUT HIS BLOOD; and nothing is lacking for the growth of His children. O incredible mystery! (Instructor of Children 1:6:42,1,3)
St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 200 – 258 A.D.)
And we ask that this Bread be given us daily, so that we who are in Christ and daily receive THE EUCHARIST AS THE FOOD OF SALVATION, may not, by falling into some more grievous sin and then in abstaining from communicating, be withheld from the heavenly Bread, and be separated from Christ’s Body…
Council of Nicaea (c. 325 A.D.)
It has come to the attention of the holy and great council that in some localities and cities deacons give the Eucharist to presbyters, although neither the canon nor the custom permits those who do NOT offer sacrifice to give the Body of Christ to those who do offer the sacrifice… (Canon 18)
Aphraates the Persian Sage (c. 280 – 345 A.D.)
After having spoken thus ["This is My body…This is My blood"], the Lord rose up from the place where He had made the Passover and had given His Body as food and His Blood as drink, and He went with His disciples to the place where He was to be arrested. But He ate of His own Body and drank of His own Blood, while He was pondering on the dead. With His own hands the Lord presented His own Body to be eaten, and before He was crucified He gave His blood as drink… (Treatises 12:6)
St. Ephraim (c. 306 – 373 A.D.)
Our Lord Jesus took in His hands what in the beginning was only bread; and He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy in the name of the Father and in the name of the Spirit; and He broke it and in His gracious kindness He distributed it to all His disciples one by one. He called the bread His living Body, and did Himself fill it with Himself and the Spirit.
St. Athanasius (c. 295 – 373 A.D.)
You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine. But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ….
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 350 A.D.)
For just as the bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the Body of Christ and the wine the Blood of Christ…(Catechetical Lectures 19 [Mystagogic 1], 7)
St. Hilary of Poitiers (c. 315 – 368 A.D.)
When we speak of the reality of Christ’s nature being in us, we would be speaking foolishly and impiously — had we not learned it from Him. For He Himself says: “My Flesh is truly Food, and My Blood is truly Drink. He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood will remain in Me and I in Him.”
St. Basil the Great (c. 330 – 379 A.D.)
To communicate each day and to partake of the holy Body and Blood of Christ is good and beneficial; for He says quite plainly: “He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life.” Who can doubt that to share continually in life is the same thing as having life abundantly? We ourselves communicate four times each week…and on other days if there is a commemoration of any saint. (Letter of Basil to a Patrician Lady Caesaria)
Every one of those quotes predates the publishing of the first Bible. That means that every one of those quotes was from the mouth of the very Church that gave us the Bible. To believe in the Bible is to believe in the Eucharist. Period. That concludes my closing statement.