Friday, June 10, 2011

Pseudo-Greek Propaganda Regarding the Eucharist

I ran across this gem in the Called to Communion comment box (from Nathan B.):
The Greek in “Do this in remembrance of me” is anamnesis. It does not mean to “intellectually recall a memory”. It means to “again make present a past event or action or state which those now present enter into”, to be a bit long winded about it.
Doesn't that sound great? The Greek meaning of the term turns out to be so handy for Rome! But what do actual lexicons of Greek say:

Liddell-Scott-Jones:
ἀνάμνη-σις , εως, , (ἀναμιμνῄσκω)
1. calling to mind, reminiscence, Pl. Phd.72e, 92d, Phlb.34c (pl.), Arist.Mem.451a21; . τινος λαβεῖν recall it to memory, IG2.628.20; ἀναμνήσεις θυσιῶν reminders to the gods of sacrifices offered, Lys.2.39.
2. memorial sacrifice, LXX Nu.10.10, cf. Ev.Luc.22.19.
3. παλίνδρομος ., of the moon, Secund.Sent.6.
And, of course, other lexicons say much the same thing:

"means of remembering, remembrance, reminder" (Friberg)
"reminder, remembrance" (Barclay-Newman)
"reminder" (Louw-Nida)
"a remembering, recollection" (Thayer)
"calling to mind, reminiscence, remembrance" (Lust-Eynikel-Hauspie)
"reminder; remembrance, memory" (Gingrich)

If you think this is just a conspiracy of modern Greek scholars, consider that the Vulgate translates the term "commemorationem," from which we get "commemoration."

Of course, more sophisticated defenses of Rome's error attempt to have it both ways:
The Church constantly draws her life from the redeeming sacrifice; she approaches it not only through faith-filled remembrance, but also through a real contact, since this sacrifice is made present ever anew, sacramentally perpetuated, in every community which offers it at the hands of the consecrated minister.
Ecclesia de Eucharistia, John Paul II, 17 April 2003, at section 12 (bold emphasis added, italics in original).

But, of course, Scripture only teaches us remembrance, not "real contact." There's nothing about sacramental perpetuation in Scripture and the Scriptures describe the sacrifice of Christ as being a completed and finished activity, not one that is present, on-going, or continued.

-TurretinFan

26 comments:

natamllc said...

Didn't God already address this matter through the writer of the book of Hebrews by having this written about that?:

Heb 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)
Heb 9:12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
Heb 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh,
Heb 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi TF, the problem you have here is that you are foisting an anachronistic meaning of remembrance on a first century AD usage. Anamnesis or remembrance in the 1st century AD meant to enter into the thing or idea being remembered and to bring its power into the present. This understanding of anamnesis is consistent with how Plato uses the term in his Phaedo several hundred years earlier. Thus in remembering, Jesus’ sacrifice becomes present and can be entered into. The sacramental and sacrificial nature of the Eucharist is pretty much affirmed by every early church father who opined on the subject as well as all of the early church liturgies.


God bless!

Turretinfan said...

"Hi TF, the problem you have here is that you are foisting an anachronistic meaning of remembrance on a first century AD usage."

Apparently you mean me and every Greek scholar. I guess I'm in good company in my "foisting." You, on the other hand, haven't a leg to stand on.

"Anamnesis or remembrance in the 1st century AD meant to enter into the thing or idea being remembered and to bring its power into the present."

As between accepting your wish that it were so, versus all the available Greek scholarship, I think I'm going to go with the Greek scholarship. But thanks for weighing in.

"This understanding of anamnesis is consistent with how Plato uses the term in his Phaedo several hundred years earlier."

Liddell-Scott-Jones seems to disagree with your opinion about Phaedo. You should note that Phaedo is the first work that Lexicon cites.

"Thus in remembering, Jesus’ sacrifice becomes present and can be entered into."

Your wish that this were so doesn't make it so.

"The sacramental and sacrificial nature of the Eucharist is pretty much affirmed by every early church father who opined on the subject as well as all of the early church liturgies."

I'm afraid you're not much better informed about the fathers than you are about the Greek.

But thanks for weighing in with your opinions!

-TurretinFan

Viisaus said...

Interesting, Jerome did indeed translate anamnesis as "commemoration" in his Vulgate Bible:


Luke 22:19

"et accepto pane gratias egit et fregit et dedit eis dicens hoc est corpus meum quod pro vobis datur hoc facite in meam commemorationem"

1 Corinthians 11:24-25

"et gratias agens fregit et dixit hoc est corpus meum pro vobis hoc facite in meam commemorationem

similiter et calicem postquam cenavit dicens hic calix novum testamentum est in meo sanguine hoc facite quotienscumque bibetis in meam commemorationem"

natamllc said...

Paul

just out of curiosity, what is the earliest Church father you rely upon, dated, that affirms what you have commented above?

Who is this ECF and when did he write his affirmation to the text in question?

ChaferDTS said...

"Jesus obviously didn't really establish a pagan blood drinking ceremony anyway. Symbolic or literal, its a later addition and the idea was borrowed from Mithraism, as both Justin Martyr and Tertullian point out."

I guess you must have forgotten to read Gen. 14:17-24 where Melchizedek brought out : bread and wine " in his meeting with Abram. It is an OT type of the Lord's Supper. The bread and wine look and taste like bread and wine hence they are bread and wine. No change takes place with their elements at all. The Lord's Supper is really a fulfillment of both the bread and wine in Gen 14 and the Passover institution of Ex 12. They signifies the work of Jesus Christ which looked foreward to His coming while in the NT The Lord's Supper looks back at His work on the cross and His future second coming to reign on the earth. The mode of the presense of Jesus Christ at the Lord's Supper is spiritual as expressed in the WCF and the Thirty-Nine Articles.

Turretinfan said...

a) There isn't a good reason to think that the Mithraistic practices preceded the Christian practices.

b) The Lord's Supper is a replacement of the passover. It's root is pretty clear.

beowulf2k8 said...

"I guess you must have forgotten to read Gen. 14:17-24 where Melchizedek brought out : bread and wine in his meeting with Abram. It is an OT type of the Lord's Supper."

Melchizedek brought food and drink to a hungry Abraham. They didn't eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood. You are being ridiculous.

beowulf2k8 said...

"a) There isn't a good reason to think that the Mithraistic practices preceded the Christian practices."

Both Justin Martyr and Tertullian ADMIT that the Mithraic practice precedes the Christian one. Their theory on how to get around this obvious copying of paganism by their heretical forebears is a theory of preemptive mimicry by the devil. The devil knew Jesus would establish a pagan symbolic cannabilistic supper, so the devil preemptive him and established a few of his own. This was not just done in the mysteries of Mithras, but also of Attis, and a few others.

"b) The Lord's Supper is a replacement of the passover. It's root is pretty clear."

Except the passover does not involve drinking of blood. The lamb's flesh is eaten, but its blood is not drunk. Why? Because the law prohibits the drinking of blood! So then, even if the bread aspect were truly established by Jesus as a replacement of passover, the wine as his blood (whether literal or symbolic) is clearly a pagan addition.

ChaferDTS said...

"Melchizedek brought food and drink to a hungry Abraham. They didn't eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood. You are being ridiculous. "

They ate and drank bread and wine. That was later on taken by Jesus and incorperated in to the Lord's Supper. The bread and wine in Gen 14 represented the future person and work of Jesus Christ. A prefigure of the Lord's Supper is evident there. Or if you like a type of the Lord's Supper which was instituted by Jesus Christ himself in Matthew 26. I never claimed they ate and drank Jesus Christ. Only pointed out the Lord's Supper instituted by Jesus Himself was taken from that and also the Passover. To expand on the Passover itself it was a memorial of God's deliverance of Israel from slavery where as at the Lord's Supper is a memorial of the Christians deliverance from the slavery of sin and unto life based on His work on the cross. Neither in the Passover nor at the Lord's Supper is there any change in the elements. It appears you did not touch on my specific argument and main point. My view on the mode of Jesus Christ in the Lord's Supper is a spiritual presense in agreement with the Reformed position.

natamllc said...

DTS,

The real reality missed here by 2k8 is what that passage brings together in Christ even now to those who by the Spirit will hear it?

The foremost thing brought to the forefront is "who" He is in being our True King of Peace and Righteousness when personally demonstrating by the "death" He submitted Himself to in dying to His own mind, will and emotions becoming the very sacrifice so we can receive forgiveness for our sins; and so that we could be freed from the curse of the Law which is upon us sinners.

Christ came an innocent pure holy lamb, "sent" to lose His Will so that we can lose ours in Him and by His death and resurrection which becomes the sacrament He instituted for us to do in our continual remembrance now realizing as those first Disciples did that He is our Eternal King of Peace and Righteousness and High Priest.

2k8, it seems to me, from all his postings in all the blogs I have seen him post comments in, is devoid of the Spirit of Grace and Truth so what you have shared above and others have shared, possibly myself as well, is not going to bring to him the forgiveness of sins and Peace.

He seems to be a very tormented soul? The Law of Righteousness will do that. Peace will come to him if he takes the bread and wine as we do, that is, if he, too, has been appointed to eternal Life through Christ by the Spirit?

Nick said...

I would investigate this a bit more, since even though the Lexicons state it means 'remembrance', the deeper issue is what kind of remembrance. Just as there are different kinds of love (e.g. eros, agape), there could be different levels/shades of remembering. It is certainly plausible that there is a term for 'make present a past event'.

From what I have found, here is where the term appears:

The term appears three times in reference to the Last Supper:
Lk 22:19, 1Cor 11:24, 1Cor 11:25

1Cor 4:17-Because of this I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in every assembly.
(NB: this appears to be a textual variant)

Heb 10:3-But in those sacrifices there is a yearly reminder of sins.

Lv 24:7 You shall put pure frankincense with salt on each row, that it may be to the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire to Yahweh.

Nm 10:10 “Also in the day of your gladness, and in your set feasts, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be to you for a memorial before your God. I am Yahweh your God.”

Ps 38:0 A Psalm by David, for a memorial.

Ps 70:0 For the Chief Musician. By David. A reminder.

Wsd 16:6 But your wrath endured not for ever, but they were troubled for a short time for their correction, having a sign of salvation, to put them in remembrance of the commandment of your law.

Aside from 1 Cor 4:17 (which could be a textual variant) and Wisdom 16:6 (talking about the Bronze Serpent), there is strong linking of the uses of anamnesis to sacrifices in Hebrews 10:3; Lev 24:7; Num 10:10 (which your Liddell-Scott-Jones quote says links to Luke's Eucharist account).

The two Psalms are interesting, because they don't say anything overtly sacrificial, but according to this link, the Targums (the Jewish rendering of Psalms in Aramaic), it says these Psalms are done in a Sacrifical context (i.e. David was offering a sacrifice).

I'm sold on the idea anamnesis has strong ties to sacrifices, but what type of 'remembering' isn't easily discernible.

Steve Ray has pointed out that Kittel's TDNT (online here) says this for Anamnesis:

"[the Last supper] has the form of active re-presentation as the action of Jesus and the disciples is repeated"

But on what basis he determines this is not said.

I would add that the Passover Meal (which the Eucharist replaces) was more than just a base 'remember', and there is strong indication that it entailed 'reliving' the event (as a Lamb is sacrificed every year).

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Natamllc:

I am checking the Greek to make sure before I post some earlier dated references, but St. John Chrysostom's quote is pretty much indicative of what I am talking about:

"What then? Do we not offer daily? Yes, we offer, but making remembrance of his death; and this remembrance is one and not many. How is it one and not many? Because this sacrifice is offered once, like that in the Holy of Holies. This sacrifice is a type of that, and this remembrance a type of that. We offer always the same, not one sheep now and another tomorrow, but the same thing always. Thus there is one sacrifice. By this reasoning, since the sacrifice is offered everywhere, are there, then, a multiplicity of Christs? By no means! Christ is one everywhere. He is complete here, complete there, one body. And just as he is one body and not many though offered everywhere, so too is there one sacrifice.” (Homilies on Hebrews 17:3(6) [A.D. 403])

The word used for remembrance above is anamnesis.

I will post more as soon as I verify.

God bless!

John Bugay said...

Nice post, TF

Turretinfan said...

"Both Justin Martyr and Tertullian ADMIT that the Mithraic practice precedes the Christian one. "

No, they don't.

"Except the passover does not involve drinking of blood. The lamb's flesh is eaten, but its blood is not drunk. Why? Because the law prohibits the drinking of blood! So then, even if the bread aspect were truly established by Jesus as a replacement of passover, the wine as his blood (whether literal or symbolic) is clearly a pagan addition."

The senseless idea that the cup as his blood is a pagan addition is contradicted by both the gospels and Paul's writings.

The blood of the lamb was not consumed, yes. Nevertheless, the wine isn't really Christ's blood - it just represents it. Therefore it is licit (just as the bread isn't really his flesh). But instead, the feast of the Lord's supper replaces that of the passover. Instead of eating Christ in the passover lamb, we eat him in the bloodless elements of bread and cup.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Nick wrote: "I would investigate this a bit more, since even though the Lexicons state it means 'remembrance', the deeper issue is what kind of remembrance."

By all means do, if you like.

The Hebrews item is perhaps the most damning example:

Hebrew 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

Remembrance of sins! If "remembrance of me" had the sense that our Roman friends suggested, then "remembrance of sins" is a truly bizarre thing, in which the sins are carried forward through time.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Chrysostom in context:

[6.] What then? do not we offer every day? We offer indeed, but making a remembrance of His death, and this [remembrance] is one and not many. How is it one, and not many? Inasmuch as that [Sacrifice] was once for all offered, [and] carried into the Holy of Holies. This is a figure of that [sacrifice] and this remembrance of that. For we always offer the same, not one sheep now and to-morrow another, but always the same thing: so that the sacrifice is one. And yet by this reasoning, since the offering is made in many places, are there many Christs? but Christ is one everywhere, being complete here and complete there also, one Body. As then while offered in many places, He is one body and not many bodies; so also [He is] one sacrifice. He is our High Priest, who offered the sacrifice that cleanses us. That we offer now also, which was then offered, which cannot be exhausted. This is done in remembrance of what was then done. For (saith He) “do this in remembrance of Me.” ( Luke xxii. 19.) It is not another sacrifice, as the High Priest, but we offer always the same, or rather we perform a remembrance of a Sacrifice.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf114.v.xxi.html

-TurretinFan

louis said...

Anybody know what the Aramaic word behind the Greek would be? The Greek in the gospels would of course be a translation of whatever the Lord actually spoke in Aramaic. Just wondering if that would shed any light on things.

Daniel said...

Louis,

The short answer to your question is I have no idea. However, keep in mind that it is the Greek text that the Holy Spirit inspired. Everything the Holy Spirit wants us to know about the language can be found there.

louis said...

Words usually have a range of meaning. Knowing the underlying word that was translated may help to discern the intended meaning of the translation. Just a thought.

Turretinfan said...

We're not told (as far as I know) whether Jesus spoke Greek or Aramaic at the last supper.

natamllc said...

Ha!

For one, (Paul Hoffer), to charge you with manipulation by "foisting an anachronistic meaning of remembrance on a first century AD usage", filling out the St. John Chrysostom quote including those words kinda shines a little light into what Chrysostom meant? I suppose, he didn't want that little light to shine there or by you adding the fuller quotation from him, too?

Thanks TF for doing that little extra editorial work and putting his remembrance into the correct context. Paul Hoffer should, by now, realize, or "bring to remembrance" that he isn't going to get this sort of thing passed with a passing grade!

St. John Chrysostom : "... It is not another sacrifice, as the High Priest, but we offer always the same, or rather we perform a remembrance of a Sacrifice."

I would say that fairly squarely sums up what we do every week in my Church when we partake of this sacrament; "we perform a remembrance of that one single Sacrifice, of Our King and High Priest, Jesus Christ the Lord did once for all one time just as it says when He died on that predetermined cross to be executed by those Roman guards that Good Friday:

Heb 10:1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.
Heb 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?
Heb 10:3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

...

Heb 10:9 then he added, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He does away with the first in order to establish the second.
Heb 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


...

Heb 10:12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
Heb 10:13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
Heb 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.


Maybe now our Roman friends would like to comment on those two words read within those verses from Hebrews 10 or from the additional contextual quotation from St. John Chrysostom?

Those two words are, "once" and "single".

covenantapologist said...

"Anybody know what the Aramaic word behind the Greek would be? The Greek in the gospels would of course be a translation of whatever the Lord actually spoke in Aramaic. Just wondering if that would shed any light on things."

This is a rather dangerous approach to things.

Excellent post Turretinfan.

Rhology said...

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=anamnesis+site%3Antrminblog.blogspot.com%2F

Turretinfan said...

From the links on that search, the most useful is this one:

http://ntrminblog.blogspot.com/2005/05/where-did-we-ever-get-notion-that_11.html

natamllc said...

TF,

I agree! I like how that article highlights the portion of Hebrews 10 and these words:

"... For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, ..."

Now I realize the meaning of the prayer Jesus taught to be prayed:

Mat 6:7 "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Mat 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Mat 6:9 Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Mat 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread,
Mat 6:12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Mat 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
Mat 6:15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


Now is the battle in front of us.

Now we pray that Light will shine throughout the heavens and earth filling the temporal heavens and earth with Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit thus knocking down to the earth the demons with Satan as their head, knocking them out of their high places in the temporal heavens to the earth.

"Woe" to the earth in those days when the Church, as one man, rises up and prays in the Holy Spirit for the Kingdom of God to come and the Will of God to be done "now" on earth as it is "now" in Heaven!

Rev 12:12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"
Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.