The Eucharist Sacrement

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
Hey, protestants say that when Christ talked about eating His Flesh He meant the Word of God, so what proof do we have that the disciples did do the Eucharist sacrement and that the Eucharist is 100% given by Jesus and then the Apostles??

Also it doesn't say later in the Book of Acts anything about the Eucharist!!

Any thoughts??



  • quick verses...

    actually... the breaking of the bread is mentioned numerous times in Acts... breaking of bread is a specific inference to communion... here's a quick few..
    "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. " Acts 2:42

    "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. "Acts 20:7

    "And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. " Acts 27:35

    and in response to the fact that it IS 100% of Christ through the Apostles...
    "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? " 1Colossians 10:16
  • Thanks Mary, that's a great reply.

  • Michael_Thoma, anything to add??

  • I know i posted a detailed response about the Most Holy Eucharist somewhere on this site but i forgot! Its amazing how some protestants who claim to believe in everything the Bible says start giving allegorical interpretations to certain parts they suspect may be "Roman Catholic" in feeling. This is just a built-in prejudice to RCism that prevents them from experiencing the fulness of Holy Orthodoxy!

    We first must see the verses in John's Gospel that explicitly tell us to eat of His Flesh and drink of His Blood. John chapter 6 is the "Eucharistic Chapter" par excellence where Our Lord so emphatically tell us to commune with Him. The over all outline of chapter 6 is as follows:

    A) Feeding of the Five Thousand (1-14)
    B) Jesus walks on the Sea (15-21)
    C) The Bread from Heaven Discourse (22-40)
    D) Rejected by His own (41-59)
    E) Many Disciples turn away (60-70)

    In the feeding of the 5,000 people who were following Him around hearing Him preach, the Lord performed the 4th miracle of 7 St John shows Our Lord doing in his Gospel. Thus we see a gathering of people looking for physical sustenance after a long day of following the Lord. The people are fed by the Lord Himself [ notice that the Disciples distributed the bread and fish indicating the future sacramental duties of priests in the Church] out of 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish. Then the Lord christ sets the stage to teach about the True Food.

    The section showing our Lord walking on the sea is a lesson of faith. Faith is the key to be able to see what our Lord will later teach and others would leave becuase they were too blind to see.

    Now here comes the meat and potatoes of the "Eucharistic Chapter'. Our Lord uses imagery form the Holy Scriptures to revealed a wonder! He speaks about the bread (manna) from heaven that the Hebrews received in the desert when leaving Egypt to the Promised Land (Exodus 16:12-36). He tells their ancestors ate the manna but they died ["49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead" ...however the bread He gives will give us Eternal Life: "51 I am the living Bread which came down from Heaven. If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever; and the Bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

    Now we must remember the New Testament was written mostly in Greek thus St John [who believes in the Literal Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist- that's why he focuses alot on the topic here] uses a strong Greek word which literally means to gnaw,
    to munch and also uses the word "sarx" meaning "flesh" not body (soma). So St John believes in the Real Presence of ur Lord Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

    However, lets not end it here ,since others might say this shows nothing that Jesus Christ really meant His Flesh and Blood. So lets continue. If we notice ,whenever the Lord spoke in parables, He would later explain the meanings ( for example, the good and bad seeds, the prodigal Son, etc...) but after hearing the Jews protest about His teaching [since they took it literally- remember also that to eat/drink blood is an abhorrent act for Jews since the Mosaic Law forbids it (Leviticus 17:11-12)] He does not explain anything as if it was a parable:

    "52The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?
    53Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For My flesh is food indeed,[8] and My blood is drink indeed. 56He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him."

    Plus many of His own disciples found it hard to accept as well:

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

    He then re- emphasizes the Real Presence :61When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? 62What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."

    The Eucharist nourishes us spiritually since He is talking about the rising on the last day:

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

    Then after this many of His disciples left Him:

    "66From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. "

    But the 12 Apostles remain :"67Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"
    68But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

    I will end this with what St Paul himself says:

    " 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep."

    So how can a symbol condemn you or eeven make u sick and die? Combine this with John chapter 6 and its hard to deny the Real Presence of Our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist!

    P.S. The word "sarx" also appears in the formulas of St Ignatius of Antioch [who was a DIRECT disciple of St John who wrote the "Eucharistic Chapter"] his letters to the Romans 7:3, to the Philadelphians 4:1 and to the Smyrneans7:1. Now its up tp them and their openess to the Holy Spirit to understand and accept this divine teaching...share it in the Love of Christ and pray for them.

    Glory to the Father + and to the Son + and to the Holy Spirit +, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

  • The doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists frequently attack this doctrine as "unbiblical," but the Bible is forthright in declaring it (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16–17, 11:23–29; and, most forcefully, John 6:32–71).

    The early Church Fathers interpreted these passages literally. In summarizing the early Fathers’ teachings on Christ’s Real Presence, renowned Protestant historian of the early Church J. N. D. Kelly, writes: "Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Savior’s body and blood" (Early Christian Doctrines, 440).

    From the Church’s early days, the Fathers referred to Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. Kelly writes: "Ignatius roundly declares that . . . [t]he bread is the flesh of Jesus, the cup his blood. Clearly he intends this realism to be taken strictly, for he makes it the basis of his argument against the Docetists’ denial of the reality of Christ’s body. . . . Irenaeus teaches that the bread and wine are really the Lord’s body and blood. His witness is, indeed, all the more impressive because he produces it quite incidentally while refuting the Gnostic and Docetic rejection of the Lord’s real humanity" (ibid., 197–98).

    "Hippolytus speaks of ‘the body and the blood’ through which the Church is saved, and Tertullian regularly describes the bread as ‘the Lord’s body.’ The converted pagan, he remarks, ‘feeds on the richness of the Lord’s body, that is, on the Eucharist.’ The realism of his theology comes to light in the argument, based on the intimate relation of body and soul, that just as in baptism the body is washed with water so that the soul may be cleansed, so in the Eucharist ‘the flesh feeds upon Christ’s body and blood so that the soul may be filled with God.’ Clearly his assumption is that the Savior’s body and blood are as real as the baptismal water. Cyprian’s attitude is similar. Lapsed Christians who claim communion without doing penance, he declares, ‘do violence to his body and blood, a sin more heinous against the Lord with their hands and mouths than when they denied him.’ Later he expatiates on the terrifying consequences of profaning the sacrament, and the stories he tells confirm that he took the Real Presence literally" (ibid., 211–12).

    Ignatius of Antioch

    "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 [A.D. 110]).

    "Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes" (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2–7:1 [A.D. 110]).

    Justin Martyr

    "We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. 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 nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus" (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).


    "If the Lord were from other than the Father, how could he rightly take bread, which is of the same creation as our own, and confess it to be his body and affirm that the mixture in the cup is his blood?" (Against Heresies 4:33–32 [A.D. 189]).

    "He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life—flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him?" (ibid., 5:2).

    Clement of Alexandria

    "’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children" (The Instructor of Children 1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]).


    "[T]here is not a soul that can at all procure salvation, except it believe whilst it is in the flesh, so true is it that the flesh is the very condition on which salvation hinges. And since the soul is, in consequence of its salvation, chosen to the service of God, it is the flesh which actually renders it capable of such service. The flesh, indeed, is washed [in baptism], in order that the soul may be cleansed . . . the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands [in confirmation], that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds [in the Eucharist] on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may be filled with God" (The Resurrection of the Dead 8 [A.D. 210]).


    "‘And she [Wisdom] has furnished her table’ [Prov. 9:2] . . . refers to his [Christ’s] honored and undefiled body and blood, which day by day are administered and offered sacrificially at the spiritual divine table, as a memorial of that first and ever-memorable table of the spiritual divine supper [i.e.,
    the Last Supper]" (Fragment from Commentary on Proverbs [A.D. 217]).


    "Formerly there was baptism in an obscure way . . . now, however, in full view, there is regeneration in water and in the Holy Spirit. Formerly, in an obscure way, there was manna for food; now, however, in full view, there is the true food, the flesh of the Word of God, as he himself says: ‘My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink’ [John 6:56]" (Homilies on Numbers 7:2 [A.D. 248]).

    Cyprian of Carthage

    "He [Paul] threatens, moreover, the stubborn and forward, and denounces them, saying, ‘Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord’ [1 Cor. 11:27]. All these warnings being scorned and contemned—[lapsed Christians will often take Communion] before their sin is expiated, before confession has been made of their crime, before their conscience has been purged by sacrifice and by the hand of the priest, before the offense of an angry and threatening Lord has been appeased, [and so] violence is done to his body and blood; and they sin now against their Lord more with their hand and mouth than when they denied their Lord" (The Lapsed 15–16 [A.D. 251]).

    Council of Nicaea I

    "It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters [i.e., priests], whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer [the Eucharistic sacrifice] should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer [it]" (Canon 18 [A.D. 325]).
  • Aphraahat the Persian Sage

    "After having spoken thus [at the Last Supper], 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 [A.D. 340]).

    Cyril of Jerusalem

    "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 19:7 [A.D. 350]).

    "Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that; for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by the faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy of the body and blood of Christ. . . . [Since you are] fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread, even though it is sensible to the taste, but the body of Christ, and that the apparent wine is not wine, even though the taste would have it so, . . . partake of that bread as something spiritual, and put a cheerful face on your soul" (ibid., 22:6, 9).

    Ambrose of Milan

    "Perhaps you may be saying, ‘I see something else; how can you assure me that I am receiving the body of Christ?’ It but remains for us to prove it. And how many are the examples we might use! . . . Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ" (The Mysteries 9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]).

    Theodore of Mopsuestia

    "When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my body,’ but, ‘This is my body.’ In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my blood,’ but, ‘This is my blood’; for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements] after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit not according to their nature, but receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord. We ought . . . not regard [the elements] merely as bread and cup, but as the body and blood of the Lord, into which they were transformed by the descent of the Holy Spirit" (Catechetical Homilies 5:1 [A.D. 405]).


    "Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, ‘This is my body’ [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands" (Explanations of the Psalms 33:1:10 [A.D. 405]).

    "I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord’s Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ" (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).


    "What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction" (ibid., 272).

    Council of Ephesus

    "We will necessarily add this also. Proclaiming the death, according to the flesh, of the only-begotten Son of God, that is Jesus Christ, confessing his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension into heaven, we offer the unbloody sacrifice in the churches, and so go on to the mystical thanksgivings, and are sanctified, having received his holy flesh and the precious blood of Christ the Savior of us all. And not as common flesh do we receive it; God forbid: nor as of a man sanctified and associated with the Word according to the unity of worth, or as having a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and very flesh of the Word himself. For he is the life according to his nature as God, and when he became united to his flesh, he made it also to be life-giving" (Session 1, Letter of Cyril to Nestorius [A.D. 431]).

  • Here is a file from the Coptic Church in the Southern US, here we see that the Eucharistic belief in the Roman Catholic Church and Coptic Church are exactly the same, but administration is different. Note: The Coptic Catholic and Eastern Catholic administration is the same as Coptic Orthodox. Part "c" is not so much true anymore, because most churches do give the cup as well, but in RC belief, Christ is fully present (body, blood, soul and divinity) in either Cup or Body.
  • lets not forget that the first communion was given by Jesus himself to the displices at the last supper.
  • The Holy Eucharist:
    A) Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him" (St. John 6:53&56)
    B) "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to His disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body". The He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink, from it, all of you. For it is My blood of the new covenant, that is shed for many for the remission of sins' (St. Matthew 26:26-28)
    C) "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: That the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread. And when He has given thanks, He broke it and said, "take, eat: this is My body that is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me. In the same manner, He also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood, this do, as often as you drink it in remembrance of Me" (1st. Cor. 11:23-26)
    D) "Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body" (1st. Cor. 11:27-29).
    E) "I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ" (1st. Cor. 10:15&16)
  • hi
    this is the meaning of St John 6:30-70
    Read John 6:30-70
    The meaning of this chapter: the meaning of this chapter is how to abide in Christ and one of the ways is by having Holy Communion. Up until verse 35 we can all say it is a metaphor but the rest isn’t. Jump to verse 41 if it was a metaphor then there was no need for the people to murmur and complain amongst themselves. Why did Christ choose this as a path to heaven he could have said you could read the Bible 7 times a year or be an expert in the theology college etc. but He wanted the simplest person just to eat and drink and of coarse to have faith with that, anyway.
    In verse 57 it means that just like the relationship with the Father and the Son is repeated it is repeated with you and Jesus Christ.
    Also if it was a metaphor he wouldn’t have said to His disciples “does this offend you”
    He also asked them if it offended them because if He is on earth and they don’t believe when He goes to heaven what will they teach? Well the Spirit gives life and we get that from the church not from flesh, prophets, nothing only the Spirit.
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