Full Text for Two Treatises on the Means of Grace (Text)

TWO TREATISES ON THE MEANS OF GRACE By :'II. l{EC, D.D., LITT.D. CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY LIBRARY SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS TWO TREATISES ON THE "MEANS OF GRACE Reprinted by permission of the \/{artburg Press, Columbus, Ohio Manufactured in the United States of America by Augsburg Publishing House, MinneapoHs~ Minnesota FOREWORD This volume offers reprints of two essays by the sainted Dr. 1\1. Reu which are perhaps as timely today as when they first appeared. The frequent requests com­ing to Reu ?vIemorial Library and the eagerness with which seminarians acquire used copies testify to the abiding value of these two treatises. \Ve at vVartburg Theological Seminary in particular greatly appreciate the service which the Publishers are rendering the Clmfch by again making this material available. February 1952 E:~fIL \V. MATZNER vVarthurg Seminary Dubuque, 1o\\"a CONTENTS What Is Scripture and How Can \Ve Become Certain of Its Divine Origin Can We Still Hold to the Lutheran Doctrine of the Lord's Supper 1 39 WHAT IS SCRIPTURE and How Can We Become Certain of Its Divine Origin? WHAT IS SCRIPTURE AND HOW CAN WE BECOME CERTAIN 01" ITS DIVINE ORIGIN? I What is Scripture? Many are ready to say it is a collection of moral precepts surpassing all other law-books of the world. Even when they refuse to recognize its authority in other respects they will applaud its ethical statements. The Ten Command­ments, a number of moral passages in the Psalms and the proph­etical books, the sublime character of Jesus and His moral teach­ings, especially parts of the Sermon on the Mount win their approval. Very many of the eulogies of the Bible that have been written by men of fame are to be understood from this view point. They compare Scripture with the Code of Hammurabi, with the Ethics of Aristotle, the Morals of Epictetus, the precepts of the Koran, the ethical directions of Buddha and Confucius, Spinoza's philosophy of life, with Kant and Eucken and then, sometimes reluctantly and slowly, sometimes with firm conviction and loud enthusiasm, they proclaim the superiority of the Bible. We indeed rejoice over such evaluations, but they do not go down to the root of the matter and do not consider the funda­mental difference that exists between natural and biblical Ethics. Weare very thankful for the moral directions and principles of Scripture; and in our judgment they surpass all other systems of morality as the light of the sun exceeds the light of all the stars; they stand above them as the sky above the earth and they have their origin in another world. But to say the Bible is nothing more than a code of morals is to remain at the periphery instead of penetrating to the center and grasping the heart of Scripture. Others strike a higher note and say: Scripture is a code of divine teaching as they appreciate, not only the ethical but also the doctrinal contents of Scripture. Now it is certainly true that Scripture is brimful of wholesome doctrine; that all the teaching concerning our salvation is to be found in Scripture alone. St. Paul emphasizes its ability to make us wise unto salvation and that it is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (II Tim. 3 :15 f.) that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." But frequently this is understood as though in Scrip­ture, all doctrinal statements are on the same level, like the paragraphs of a code of laws so that one could dive into it at 2 random, pick out a truth in the form of a Scripture passage and apply it to the given case. As far as they all are God's word, they are undoubtedly on the S:lme level, but it does not follow that they are therefore all of the same value nor even that they are applicable to the given case. Their distance from the center varies and whether they are applicable to the case in question depends upon the connection in which we find them in Scripture and upon the light which the whole of Scripture throws upon them; sometimes their value depends on the of revelation in which they are found. Not all Old Testament passages, even though they are divine words can be applied without further ado to our New Testament times. How many heresies arose in the course of history because this fact was overlooked! And many a so-called scripture proof of the old dogmatics was manufactured in just that way. As Hauck once said, Sometimes the whole house of Scripture was ransacked and what was found at times in the most obscure place furnished the Scriptural basis for a certain dogmatical thesis. And a still greater evil crept in. The idea was encouraged that the whole divine revelation con­sisted in nothing but the transmission of specific truths and concepts, and that, consequently the whole of Christianity, estab­lished on this basis, would be primarily or exclusively a matter of the intellect. And this again in many cases suggested and actually led to the idea that what Scripture calls justifying and saving faith is not much more than mere knowledge and a purely intellectual assent to the truths contained in Scripture. It is hardly necessary to demonstrate the viciousness of this error. No, Scripture is primarily a book of history. It begins with the history of the creation, the primitive state and the fall of man, and leads on to its center, the account of the incarnation, the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ, and we can easily see that the so-called doctrinal and prophetical books are also necessary links in the great historical process that is related in Scripture. If, to begin with, we leave the divine factor, active in the production of Scripture. completely out of consideration and consider the Bible as a purely human book like other human books, then the Old Testament presents the history of Israel and the New Testament the history of Jesus and His first congrega­tion on earth. Considered from the purely human standpoint it is quite conceivable that at the time of Moses the idea was entertained of writing a history of the people of Israel and the preceding times. Through the liberation from Egypt and the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, Israel had become a nation and had received its fundamental statutes. This immediately car­ried with it the need of recording these important events for the coming generations and to transmit them to posterity by means of written records. It was only natural then to go farther 3 back and to show the antecedents of this history as they are found in the time of the patriarchs, and finally by prefacing it with the first eleven chapters so as to make the nation conscious of the fact that it'! history is only the history of one branch of the tree of mankind. And Moses, the savior and leader of the people, by means of his position and his intimate knowledge of all the wisdom of the Egyptians, which for centuries had included the art of historical presentation, was the logical man to write this fundamental book of history. We understand that in writing things of which he had been neither eye-nor ear-witness, he made use of the oral tradition which among the people of antiquity was far more tenacious and reliable than it is today. We would not be surprised if written accounts of the events of the days gone by had been preserved in the sarcophagus of Joseph and had been used by Moses. Since we know that Abraham came from Babylonia with its highly developed culture and at the same time was in contact with Egypt, where there was a similar cultural deVelopment, and that in the Amarna period each town of Canaan had its own clerk whose business it was to write the official letters and to note down the important events of his time, there is no longer any reason to reject the assumption of the existence and use of such written accounts. After the basic beginnings of Israel's history had been written down by Moses, these beginnings themselves naturally led nationally minded and prophetically gifted men to record the further development of Israel's history. Since the statutes given by Moses were of fundamental character, the further development had to show how they operated in the life of the people; and it was natural to consider the further development of Israel in the light of these beginnings. And this it is what we find in the second part of the Hebrew Old Testament. This view establishes the con­nection between the earlier and the later prophets. The former do it by means of their historical accounts, the latter by the prophet­ical discourses. It is hardly necessary to emphasize the fact that the books of Joshua, the Judges, Samuel and the two books of Kings are what we call "Tendenzschriften" taking this term in the good sence of this word. They relate history, relate it in a trustworthy way, but relate it with the special purpose of recording how these fundamentals laid by Moses were carried through, and how the weal and woe of Israel depended upon the measure in which they were observed. And the powerful dis­courses of the prophets, filled with threats of punishment and calling to repentance are all linked in some way with the founda­tions laid by Moses and they view their present in the light of that past. In order to understand them correctly one certainly must investigate the historical occasion which demanded them. but this endeavor just mentioned permeates them all. Even many of the great prophetical discourses that point to future salvation 4 or judgment had their basis in the foundations laid by Moses ai'RtWould never have come into existence without them. And in the third part of the Hebrew canon, in the "Ketubim," we have a collection of such noble blossoms which grew out of the medita­tion of the especially religious concerning the Law and the pre­ceding national history, and from their hope of its future develop­ment. How rich and full these blossoms were we learn from the Psalms, while the book of Koheleth makes one conscious of the limitations under which they developed. It is the same with the books of the New Testament. Those who experienced such great and unique events as did the disciples in the fellowship of their Master could not keep silence, but must proclaim the story of His life to everyone, even if no direct command had demanded this of them; furthermore some of the disciples and their co-workers must have felt the urge of writing down what they had experienced, especially at a time when the eye-and ear-witnesses passed away one after another. So certain traditional material for the purpose of preaching came into existence, collections of discourses of Jesus in oral or written form were formed, so our Gospels and the book of Acts as the history of Jesus and His first congregation came into existence. Paul and the other apostles would not have fulfilled their duty if they had abandoned the congregations established by them in their times of need. They had to come to their assistance by means of their personal presence or by writing letters to them. :t{ow they had to put the work of Christ in its proper light over against heretics of various kinds; now they had to apply the basic direc­tiOns of J eSU8 concerning the moral life to the various congre­gations as it was demanded by the special needs of everyone of them. And as the antagonism of the world-power to the Church of Christ became stronger and fiercer, they also had to answer the question concerning the final outcome of this conflict. Thus the ground was prepared for the rise of an apocalyptic literature. In so far liberal theology will agree, although it claims that parts of the Old and even New Testament are only legends and myths and although it applies the principle of evolution to both, especially to the Old Testament, and in the latter reverses the order of Law and Gospel. It concedes that Scripture isa book of the history of Israel and of Jesus and His first congregation. But is Scripture not more than this? Most assuredly! It is the book of the history of God's dealings with men, of His revelation and of the reaction of man towards this revelation. Everywhere God stands in the foreground, not only in Deuteronomy, often compared with the Gospel of John on account of its inwardness and deep conception of the religious, and not for the first time with the prophets Amos and Hosea, Isaiah and Micah, who, it is said, changed the national God of Israel into the God of heaven and earth. but even in GeneRis and all the following books. If 5 we only compare the Biblical account of creation with the Baby­lonian we will at once recognize the fundamental difference be­tween them. Here we see the free, living God who is Lord over all and who by means of His word, that is, His free will calls the whole universe into being and whose whole creation finds its goal in His fellowship with man who had been made after His own likeness. Here the abiding foundations are laid for the whole history which in following times was to be enacted between God and man. And how God steps into the foreground after the fall of man, in the judgment of His holiness and the grace of His eternal love! Now we have the beginnings of what Scripture calls revelation in the narrow sense of this term. For to reveal means to uncover, to disclose, to draw back the veil, and so revelation presupposes that God, on account of man's sin, has withdrawn from man and retired into darkness, that for man He has become an unknown God. From the darkness He will again emerge into light, from the remoteness into closer touch that we might recognize Him and He might again enter into fellowship with us. He is about to withdraw that thick, impen­etrable veil by which He had covered His face in order that we might look into His face and heart once more. Not all at once, but step by step. As in creation He chose to go the way of gradual development, so now in this self-disclosure to man. And Scripture is the history of this His gradual revelation or self­disclosure. All that it tells us about God's acts and utterances in speech is to be viewed from the angle of revelation, whether this term is used or not. The word of divine warning and judgment to Cain, the removal of Enoch, the admonition to the antediluvian mankind, the command to Noah, the judgment of the flood, the protection of Noah and the promise given to him was the hardly perceptible raising of the veil from God's face. Directly designated as revela­tions are the theophanies of patriarchal time. The term mira~ (rocpiht in Septuagint) so often used after Gen. 12, "He was seen, showed Himself, appeared" is only another term for "He revealed Himself." The apparition for the purpose of calling Moses, the deliverance from Egypt, the miracles during the migration through the desert, the appearance on Mt. Sinai, the giving of the Law -all these fall under the viewpoint of revelation. The condescending passing by of God before Moses that permitted him to look after Him and to hear the words of that wonderful self-description of God: "Yahweh, Yahweh, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth" which sound as though they were given in the New Testament -what else was it than a drawing back of the veil in order that Moses could see as much of God's face as mortal man could endure at that time? The appearance of the divine glory in the tabernacle, the introduction into the promised land. 6 the speaking and acting of God with Samuel, the establishment of the kingdom of David, the dwelling of the divine glory in the temple, the influence exerted upon the prophets and the communi­cation of God's decrees to them (compare especially Amos 3 :7) -it is all included under the view-point of revelation. The leading away into captivity and the deliverance therefrom is often e::cpressis verbis termed a divine revelation (Is. 40 :5, 9; 35 :2, 4). And when God by means of law and promise and the whole direction of its history had sufficiently prepared His people, He revealed Himself by the incarnation and the whole life work of His son in an entirely new and unheard-of way. "God revealed in the flesh." Here the veil was withdrawn completely and all concealment was put aside. "We beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" says St. John in jubilant tone. He calls Jesus the Myo", because God had spoken through Him and revealed His most inner being. And Jesus Himself says, "He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father." In Bethlehem we have the appearance "of the kindness of God our Savior and His love" (Tit. 3 :4), on the cross the Evan;." or manifestation of His punitive and saving righteousness. In Christ Jesus the hidden God became the revealed God. The Bible is the history of this revelation. The establishment of the Christian Church, the knowledge of Peter that the Gentiles may participate in the salvation wrought by Jesus without becoming Jews, his introduction into the understanding of the Gospel­this all is called revelation. Even the history of the expansion of the Christian Church among the Jews and the Gentiles was enacted only by means of divine revelation, since none recognizes the Son but alone the Father, and none recognizes the Father but alone the Son and to whomsoever the Son reveals Him. And the letters of Paul and the other apostles were not written with­out revelation nor did they attain their goal without revelation, that is, without the operation of the Spirit upon the hearts of their readers. This is the reason why Paul in Eph. 1 :17 prays that God might give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation. And what shall I say about the final consummation of the Church of Christ predicted by Scripture! Is it not brought about by the apparition, the Emcpavfw or WrOx.Uh.njJlr; of Christ? Thus Scripture contains the history of God in His relation to mankind, the his­tory of the revelation and self-disclosure of God in its gradual development from the first beginnings to its final consummation, from the first hardly noticeable lifting of the veil to the full with­drawal of the same, thus enabling us to behold Him as He is. This is what raises Scripture infinitely above all other books in this world. And the history of the divine revelation recorded in Scripture is the history of a revelation for the sake of our salvation. It is the history of salvation, the history of the preparation of salva-7 tion in the Old Testament and the history of the establishment of salvation in the New Testament. It cannot be otherwise if, as we have seen, the history of revelation recorded therein found its climax in Christ, because Christ is the author of salvation, the Savior for all men. We are indebted to the school of Erlangen which emphasized so emphatically the two-fold fact, that Scrip­ture is history and that this history is the history of our salvation, finding its climax and consummation in the incarnate Son of God .. For this reason we readily condone Hofmann for having em­phasized God's revelation by deed in such a degree that only little room was left for the revelation by word without which the revelation by deed is silent and cannot be understood. His over­emphasis of the revelation by deed was a wholesome and necessary antidote over against the old dogmaticians who by their strong and almost exclusive emphasis upon the divine revelation as doctrine almost completely forgot what is fundamental, namely, the revelation by deed. The great Wuerttemberg theologian, Albrecht Bengel, whose memory was celebrated in 1937, han already preceded the ErJangen school in this particular, for, according to him, we have in Scripture the gradual unfolding of a great divine economy of salvation, an unum continuum systema, an organism of divine deeds and testimonies beginning in Genesis with the act of creation, gradually continuing and finding in the person and work of Christ its summit and in the new heaven and earth predicted in Revelation its consummation. On account of the unity of this economy of salvation that meets the reader in Scripture, Bengel demanded that all facts and thoughts of Scripture must be understood in their relation to the economy of salvation as a whole. It was a fine observation of Hofmann when, in explaining Micah 5 :1, he underscored the fact that instead of Luther's Ausgang the Hebrew text offers the plural, and that the terms olam and kedem are often relative and not absolute concepts, one of them in Amos 9:11 pointing to the times of David and the other one in Micah 7 :14, 20 to the days of Moses. Therefore he translated: "His issues, the issues of the Messiah, date back to the days of yore, to the days of remote antiquity" and offered this explanation: "The Messiah is He who is the goal of the whole history of mankind, of Israel, of the house of David, and all advancements of this history are beginnings of His coming, are issues of the son of Jesse:' Whether this explanation of Micah 5:1 is correct or not, the thought expressed is no doubt correct. E~er since Gen. 3 :15 the Messiah was about to come, and all progress in the history of salvation, the calling of Abraham, the election of Israel from all nations, its deliverance from Egypt, the establishment of the whole divine service in the tabernacle, the founding of the theo­cratic kingdom under David and Solomon, the liberation from Babylon with all the prophecies pertaining thereto were begin-8 nings of the coming of the Messiah, were steps leading gradually upward, seeking and finding their goal in Bethlehem and Golgotha. Not only the Law was a n:mbo.y(l)yo<; et<; XQto'tOv, still more the promise; but also the whole divinely ordained course of Israel's history with its peak in the reign of David and its low point in the Babylonian exile. When the kingdom of David and Solomon was broken down, the hope for a worldly Messianic reign was also shattered and room was made for a new hope, one that still contained the expectation of earthly glory, but which was com­pletely permeated by the waiting for a spiritual deliverance, the deliverance from sin and death. Whatever our attitude may be toward Hofmann's great book Weissagung und Er!ueUung, its fundamental thought, with­out doubt, is correct. It is this: History itself is prophecy; each stage of its development points to the step following; it holds the germ of future development in its bosom and is a prefigura­tion of it. So the whole sacred history in all its essential progress is prophecy of the final, abiding relation between God and man. The first advent of Jesus Christ is the beginning of the essential fulfillment-the essential, because He is the new man, the antitype of the former, but only the beginning, for the head demands its body, the firstborn all his many brothers, before the eternally intended complete communion with God becomes a reality. To the prophesying history the word of prophecy is closely attached, having its roots in this history, always accompanying it, and it can be understood correctly only with this as its basis. Each new epoch in history brings an advancement of prophecy. But the final goal to which all advancement tends is Christ incarnate. All the various stages of development are to be explained in view of this goal, without forgetting, however, the gradual advance­ment of the divine revelation and without pressing artificially the last stage already into those which are only preparatory. So Scripture pictures Christ, the God-man, as the goal of a history of salvation extending through thousands of years and as the source and center of the history of His Church upon earth, with­out whom she never would have come into existence and without whom she cannot live. And the history of the Church upon earth is to Scripture again only prophecy of that future stage when Christ's redeemed with body and soul shall rejoice over their eternal communion with God in Christ Jesus. This then is what we have in Scripture: the description of the complete self-disclosure of God and of His entrance into history, in order to prepare, to establish, to apply and to complete the salvation for mankind, and at the same time the description of the reaction of men over against this revelation of salvation. Therefore the Bible is often called the document or record of the divine revelation. And indeed this term expresses a two-fold truth. In the first place, it shows that the formation of Scripture 9 itself belongs to the process of revelation. For what distinguishes a document or record from the mere report of any happening? Is it not this that the document or record is in itself an essential part of a certain happening that took place and that this hap­pening comes to a close by the execution of the document? Take the sale of a piece of property. That the sale is reported by the newspaper does not add a single thing to the sale nor does it deduct anything from it. The sale is not closed before the deed is made out and handed to the new owner. So when we call Scripture the document or record of divine revelation, it is likewise des­ignated as something that belongs of necessity to the process of revelation. The production of the Scripture itself then is based upon revelation and is a component part thereof. In the second place, if the Scripture is a document or record, using these terms in their full import, then it is an absolutely trustworthy report of the facts under consideration. This lifts the Bible far above all other historical books. It is then not a book based upon careful human investigation, or the use of merely human traditions and sources; the discourses of the prophets registered therein are not only the result of human deductions and human expectations, and the Psalms are not only the purely human expressions of the reflection made by revelation upon the hearts of men, but revela­tion itself participated in their formation. * * * Thus we have reached an important result; however, is it already the full truth or does the testimony of Scripture about itself lead us still farther? The result reached is a truth of great value, but it is still rather general. Does Scripture not speak still more precisely and concretely about its own formation and its abiding character? Theologians such as Ihmels and Haus­leiter, although exponents of the Erlangen school, were not satisfied with this assumption of their great teacher Hofmann. They were of the opinion that Scripture should not be defined merely as the record of revelation, but as the documentary testimony of revelation. Ihmels in his Zentralfragen der Dog­matik in der Gegenwart, published in 1910 and again for the fourth time in 1931, made this statement: "Scripture has nothing in common with a lifeless book of minutes. It is a living testi­mony. What we call record is something that is dE;lad as stone, and petrified and petrifying. By registering a certain fact of history it becomes itself a fact of the past. Living testimony, on the contrary, assists us to experience what happened in the past again and again in our present time. To designate Scripture as the record of revelation is expressing a truth not to be given up, but it does not express the whole truth. Scripture is rather the documentary testimony of the divine revelation enacted in the process of a human-divine history." This remark of Ihmels is 10 certainly correct, but in the present connection of our investiga­tion it does not lead us farther. The truth it contains shall come to its own, when later on we have to consider Scripture as a means of grace. At the present stage of our investigation it does not lead us a step ahead, because it does not say more in detail concerning the influence of revelation to which we owe the formation of Scripture. When in 1883 at Dorpat, a controversy about Scripture was started by a pupil of Hofmann, Wilhelm Volck, the question debated upon was just this whether Scripture is not more than the record or the documentary testimony of the divine revelation. Volck maintained it is merely this, while pastor "" Nerling and others defended the assumption, that it is the "' revelation of God and His word itself. What does Scripture testify about itself? Our first question is what does the Old 'restament testify about itself? In answering we confine ourselves to pointing out a threefold fact: 1. Moses on several occasions was commanded by God to write down parts of the Law and consequently the Law of the Covenant and, in case the pronoun in Deut. 1:5 refers to the preceding, the whole Thorah or, to be more specific, the whole code of Law is said to be written by him. This time the impul8U8 ad scribendum was the direct command of God; 2. In not a few cases the discourses of the prophets are introduced with the remark, "Thus said the Lord to me" and thereby are directly designated as the word of God; 3. The prophet Jeremiah ex­presses again and again his unfaltering certainty not only that he was called by the Lord, but also that it was His word that he spoke. By no other prophet is this certainty so repeatedly and so unfalteringly expressed. If one reads his book carefully he must recognize how sharply he draws the line between that which he received as divine word and that which he says in a merely human way. When he heard the false prophet Hananiah proph­esying Jeremiah at first did not know what he should answer (Jer. 28). He stood there surprised and perplexed. He only would maintain that the former prophets spoke differently than his opponent Hananiah. Sneered at by the people he left the scene. But all of a sudden he gained the certainty: in this moment Yahweh spoke to me, "return and tell Hananiah that he is a false prophet who will be punished by Yahweh for his false prophecy!" At another time he waited ten days before he gave his questioner a divine answer; but when he did, he was absolutely certain that what he spoke was God's voice. Although by nature iru:lined to reflect, one thing never became doubtful to him: that the word of Yahweh was with him. Even his enemies never doubted that. Zedekiah, this weakling of a king, could surrender Jeremiah to them, but secretly he again sent for him in order to ask him whether he had a word from Yahweh. Baruch, the friend of Jeremiah, and Ebedmelech, the stranger from Ethiopia, the 11 priests of Jerusalem, his most bitter enemies, and the common people so fickle and wavering,-in this they all agreed: Jeremiah had the word of God. Some will say, this third point as well as the second mentioned above is of value only as far as the oral word of the prophets is concerned. Certainly, but who will main­tain that a man like Jeremiah who when speaking, so carefully made a sharp distinction between his own reflections and God':; word, would have mixed them up when he was writing down his discourses? No, what he called God's word, was really God's Word; he only wrote down what God told him. We begin to see that we have more in the Old Testament than a trustworthy. but merely human report; ,we have in the Old Testament the revela­tion of God, the word of God itself. What does the New Testament say concerning the Old? What opinion about the origin of the Old Testament was held. by the Jews at the time of Jesus, can be seen, although only through the necessary deductions. from the pseudo-epigraphical literature. For our purpose the wellknown word of Josephus in Contra Apionem I, 7 f. is sufficient: "Into every Jew it is im­planted in his early youth to recognize the canonical books as 0coii Mi'Wl1:a, to hold fast to this and, if it is necessary, gladly to die for it." Since this estimation of the Old Testament was so general among the Jews, it was not necessary for Jesus and His apostles to develop a detailed doctrine about the Old Testament and its origin. Their respective utterances are of a more casual character, but nevertheless sufficient, and for that reason perhaps all the more convincing. What we notice first in reviewing these occasional utterances is the unity of Old Testament Scripture. It follows from the manner in which Jesus and the apostles quote the Old Testament writings. At times when quoting they mention the name of the author of the respective book Cf. i. in Matt. 13 :14), but as a rule they do not stress the fact that the quotation is taken from the writing of this or that certain author, but they are content with the fact that the quotation is taken from Scripture, being a part of the whole of the Old Testament Scripture. "It is written" or "Scripture says" is the form generally used in introducing a quotation (compare Matt. 4:4,7.10; 21:42; 26:31; Mark 11:7; Luke 20:17; John 6:45; 19:36; Rom. 12:19; 14:11; 15:9 ff. etc.). Jesus and the apostles would not have quoted in this manner, if the books of the Old Testament in respect to their trustworthiness and their origin were not placed by them on the same level and if, inspite of all their differences, they did not form one coherent unity. It is just this absolute trustworthiness and uncontradictory unity ,of the Old Testament which Jesus maintains expressis verbis in the important passage John 10 :35: 011 /lwa'ta,1. i..111tijVaL it i'Qa. Jeremias thinks this would follow from two facts: 1. from the fact that Mark's account contains more Semitisms than Paul's; 2. from the fact that Paul's account contains such later additions as Tal'TO Jtol€iu:, etc. But we already saw that the second point rests merely upon a very doubtful subjective assumption, and the first point dwindles more and more into nothing, the closer it is examined. For those who believe that Paul, as well as Mark, Matthew and Luke, were when writing their accounts under special control of the Holy Spirit, it is a matter of course that every part of every account is to be considered in order to get a correct and complete picture of the institution of the Lord's Supper, but even if we, for the sake of investigation, look at these accounts as purely human reports, we believe that Paul's account ought to be made the basis for doctrinal statements concerning the Lord's Supper. Not because we are of the opinion that the passage 'Eyffi Y(L'} mlQif,a~O'V WtO TOV xUQlou 0 xul JtuQiliwxu Uf.l.L'/ would indicate that Paul received his knowledge of the Lord's Supper by immediate revelation. That is untenable, for the verbs JtuQu/,Uf.l.jJU'VEL'Y and ;t(lQUliLliO'/al are the technical terms used for human oral tradition. naQaAaf.l.~UvEL'V is a translation of the rabbinical term 10 '~p and JtaQUlilliO'/ul a translation for the rabbinical term, 100. and these rabbinical terms always refer to human oral tradition. The comparison with I Cor. 15: 1 if. alone should prove that beyond any doubt, for here Paul says of his xl)QuYf.l.a that he had received it, and he uses the same termini JtaQalilliO'/(lL and JtaQ(tf,(t!-t­jJUVEL'/ as in I Cor. 11 :23, and it is impossible that he is here thinking of anything else but oral tradition. Therefore, I Cor. 11 :23 does not want to say anything else but this: the chain of tradition concerning the Lord's Supper that he has transmitted to the Corinthians goes back without interruption to Jesus Him­self. He does not state when he himself was made acquainted with this tradition. There are, however, only two possibilities. Either it was done when he became a member of the congregation at Antioch (Acts 11 :26) and that was hardly later than 43 and hardly earlier than 40, or immediately after his conversion in 35, because it is hardly correct to assume that the congregation at Damascus did not celebrate the Lord's Supper even once during the "many days" that he stayed there (Acts 9 :23). This brings 84 us into close proximity to the year when the Lord's Supper was instituted. It is impossible to assume that between 30, the year of the Lord's death, and 35, the year of Paul's conversion, the tradition concerning the Lord's Supper had undergone any essential change, as e. g. the addition of Tomo nOLELTE d,; T~V ilJ.~v UVUI-'VTjOW. Thus we may rest assured, the account of Paul is the oldest account and the most trustworthy basis for the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. But we mentioned a second reason: Paul wrote his account under certain conditions existing in the congregation at Corinth that demanded an account setting forth the true nature and real purpose of the Lord's Supper in an authoritative and all inclusive manner. Paul's report in I Cor. 11 presupposes that at that time the xUQt{/.xov I'IEinvov was celebrated in connection with anothel' common meal, and that the necessary food and the usual wine were brought along by the members, especially the wealthier members of the congregation, and that the Lord's Supper was considered as a meal not of one or two, but of many, if not all members of the congregation. But now an abuse in several directions had crept in. The members of the congregation, con­sisting partly of slaves and other members of the working class, cuuld often not come in time to this common meal. In that case the well-to-do should have waited for the poor that were prevented from coming there in time. Instead of waiting for them, however, the well-to-do began to eat and to drink of those supplies which they had brought along for themselves as well as for the poor, and so it happened that the rich were filled to satiety and some even were drunk, while for the poor, when they finally came, little or nothing was left, so that they hungered. By this abuse the Lord's Supper, that was to be held in connection with this meal, could not be held at all. Paul does not only say they lacked the right spiritual preparation that certainly was also true, and the following verses, therefore, emphasize the necessity of the worthiness of the participants -, but he writes: consequently its celebration at all was made impossible, because not only were the provisions used up, but also it could be celebrated no longer as a meal of the whole communion of the congregation. This appeared to Paul as a terrible abuse, a lack of differentiation between a common meal and this holy supper. Let them eat and drink in their homes, he says, whenever they feel the necessity to eat and drink; the meal in connection with which the Lord's Supper is celebrated is a singular and peculiar meal and must be recognized and kept as such. 85 In order to do away with this abuse and to lead the Corinth­ians back to its proper celebration, Paul reminds his light­minded and superficial congregation, that was ever in danger of sinking into its former heathen ways, concerning the nature and the purpose of this holy meal. And to accomplish this he knows of no better way than to recall to their mind the fact that the origin of the Lord's Supper is not human but divine: The Lord Himself did once institute this meal, and He did it at a most solemn time: it was in the night when He was betrayed, when He entered upon the most dangerous road He had ever trod, the road of His suffering and death. How is it possible for Christians to deal lightly with a divine institution established in the most decisive hours, as the last will and testament of Jesus Christ their Lord? For the same reason Paul reminds the Corinthians that participation in this meal is an ever­repeated proclamation of Christ's death and that whoever eats this meal unworthily, that is, whoever does not discern the Lord's body, who eats of that meal, is guilty of the body of Christ and will not escape the divine judgment. But a still more effective protest against the abuse of the Lord's Supper by the Corinthians and a stronger appeal for its correct estimation in Paul's eyes are the verba testamenti themselves. According to them the meal once instituted by Christ is to be repeated by Hi8 disciples for the purpose of a remembrance of Him, a fact entirely forgotten by the Corinthians, and the gift of this meal is nothing less than the body and the blood of Christ given unto death for the accomplishment of forgiveness of sin. How should the realization of this nature and this purpose of the Lord's Supper bring the Corinthians back to their senses and a God-pleasing use of this holy meal! Indeed, we have reasons enough to use Paul's account as the basis for the doctrine of the Lord's Super. In doing so, we alwaY3 compare the other accounts, especially Matthew's and Mark's, because they go back to the same oral tradition and might supple­ment Paul's account in this or that point. They were written later than Paul's account, for congregations in whose midst the Lord's Supper had been celebrated and correctly estimated for several decades, and since their repetition was not necessitated by abuse, they could be shorter; especially was there no reason to remind the readers that the Lord's Supper was to be repeated, repeated for the purpose of being an dvdJ.LVTJGI.~ of Jesus and His work of redemption. 86 Now we know the source out of which the doctrine of the Lord's Supper can be developed. According to Paul the last meal of Jesus connected with the Passover meal consisted in thia: In the night in which Christ was betrayed, that is to say, in the night in which his fate was sealed and his road became the via dolorosa, He took some of the unleavened bread used in the Passover meal, gave thanks over it -apparently, as the Jewish head of the house was accustomed to do at the Passover meal, when he took the bread in his hands and gave thanks for the fruits of the earth -, broke it -on account of its thin, flat shape -into pieces and (gave it to His disciples and) said certain words, again, as the head of the house did when during the Passover meal after the passing of the second cup he had taken the unleavened bread in order to distribute it among those that participated in the meal. The head of the house usually said, "This is the bread of misery that our fathers ate in Egypt." Jesus, however, said: "This is my body which is for you," 1:0ii-to IWv EO'1:W 1:0 criiil-'ct 1:0 UJtEQ "I-'iiiv. The 1:0fuo referred apparently to the bread which He held in His hands and distributed among His disciples. That Christ, as He spoke the word 1:0fuo pointed to his body and made a statement about it, is a queer notion for which Carlstadt very properly earned Luther's ridicule and scorn. The words 1:0 Wt€Q ul-'iiiv lack the corresponding verb. Some codices supplemented XI..WI-'6VO'V, others i}QVJtLo!-'evO'V and still others /)4001-'6'10'1. This variety alone makes it at least probable . that Paul did not write any of these participles and left th'J 1:0 Wt€Q ul-'iiiv without any complement; it did not necessarily need one. The reading XI..WI-'EVOV, testified to mostly by Western and Syriac texts, would create difficulty; since it would be in contradiction to the story of Christ's death and especially to John 19:36; and to follow Hofmann who thinks XI..Wl-'s'VOv could indicate the forceful spraining and dislocation of Christ's body on the cross, is -although this usage in itself is to be conceded made nearly impossible in our passage by the fact that Paul had used )tI..UV in the same sentence in an entirely different sense. "This is my body" -these words can hardly mean any­thing else but this: "In eating this bread you are eating at the same time my body, that body that is about to be given in your stead or for your sake unto death." While at first sight the thought might seem worthy of consideration that the bread had suddenly been transformed into Christ's body, this thought is forever excluded by the immediately following statement: "This cup is the new covenant by virtue of my blood" -how could 87 the cup or its contents, the wine, have been transformeu into the new covenant? Such an interpretation is even more definitely excluded by the fact that Paul in I Cor. 10 :16 calls the bread of the Lord's Supper a XOt'VW'VLu toil O'rolla1:0~. Whatever %ot'Vo:rvIa may mean, it can be used only then when the relation between two objects is to be expressed. So here bread and body of Christ are the two objects that mutually participate. It is bread, but bread that has part in the body of Christ; it is the body of Christ, but the body of Christ that has part in the bread; by taking the one we at the same time take the other. And the body of Christ, in which the disciples received part by receiving the bread, was the body that that night, when Jesus was betrayed, was about to be given into death for their sake. Then followed the second part of the holy act, because there really was a second act. We know why Luke did not mention this second part and wrote, according to the original text only the words: 1:ofno to'tw to OWIlO: IlOU. This second part, however, did not immediately follow the first. So we celebrate the Lord's Supper today, and so we might, if we had only the accounts of Matthew and of Mark, assume that it was celebrated on the evening when it was instituted. But Paul writes that the second part followed IlE'a. ,0 8E .... "tVijOW" that is, after they had "supped." It would be puerile to think that this clause referred to the just mentioned eating of the bread. Then it would not only be super­fluous, but the Greek word 8eLJ't'VijO(lL would also not come into its own. ~£LJ't'V£L'V denotes the eating of the whole meal, whether . breakfast, dinner or supper, not only of a single part of it. Meta. to 8£LJ't'Vijow, is, therefore, identical with our German nach dem Essen; ick komme erst nack dem Essen. Luther's translation nach dem Abendmahl is correct, although one might wish he had written nach dem Abendessen in order to do away with the pO&lible misunderstanding that he would here use the term Abendmahl in its dogmatical sense. If we take 8ELJ't'VeL'V in its only possible sense, then it fits excellently into the historical situation. It was the Passover meal in connection with which Jesus instituted His new supper, and here followed, after the head of the house had taken a part of the unleavened bread and distributed it with the words: "This is the bread of misery that our fathers ate in Egypt," the eating of the Passover lamb. This it is that Paul had in mind when he wrote ~Eta. to 8eLJt'VijO' ULltUn. The addition of .0 n:o.'!jQwv to .oino makes it incontrovertibly clear that in the first part of the act the word .oino referred to the bread, though really no proof is necessary to establish this fact; neither should it be doubted • that .0 n:o.1jQLOV is used by metonymy for the wine which was contained in the cup and drunk from it. So, according to this Pauline account, Jesus now made a statement concerning the wine, as He shortly before the eating of the Passover lamb had made one concerning the bread. According to Matthew and Mark the statement was: .oino fa·dv .0 al/.tu /.to\! 'ii~ /)LUi}1jX'fJ~, this wine contained in this cup is the blood of the covenant; according to Paul the statement was: .oino .0 n;o.1jQW'V ft XUL'Vl] /)LU~'fJ la.tv E'V .4'> uLlta·n. At first sight the Pauline wording seems somewhat distorted and as having another sense than the wording in Matthew and Mark; but really neither is the case, as has been shown above in another connection. The preposition €V is to be taken in the causal sense meaning "on account of" or "by virtue of." That there is such a causal use of E'V no one can doubt, and the position of EaLtV showi3 that this sense is to be applied here: "this cup or this wine is the new covenant by virtue of my blood." If my blood would not be, and if it would not be con­tained in this cup or wine this cup or wine would never be the new covenant, in fact, the new covenant would not be established if it were not for my blood. If that is the sense, then the harmony between the Pauline wording and the wording of Matthew and Mark becomes apparent, although the latter bringa out more clearly the parallel between the words accompanying the distribution of the bread and the words accompanying the passing of the cup: "This is my body -this is my blood." "This blood" is modified as the blood of the new covenant; and this can mean nothing else than the blood that established the cove-89 nant. To speak accurately we must say: According to Matthew and Mark Jesu!' spoke of the blood by means of which the cove­nant is established, and according to Paul He spoke of the covenant that is established by the blood. In both cases blood and covenant are inseparably connected. Furthermore: Matthew and Mark describe the blood as blood that is about to be shed eto ltEQL [Mark l\Jtf.Q] ltoJ.Hiw ExXUVVO!J.E'VO'V). Paul does not have this modifying clause, but this causes no uneasiness to him who knows that the New Testament, when speaking of the blood of Christ, never means the blood that flowed in His veins while He lived but always the blood that was shed. So the meaning of the statement according to all three accounts is: By means of drink­ing of the cup filled with wine the disciples participate in th8 blood of Christ and thereby become members of that new cove­nant that is to be established by the shedding of this blood. • We say: by means of drinking from the wine they participate in the blood of Christ -that this is the correct understanding of Paul's account becomes evident when we again compare what he himself says in I Cor. 10 :16. Here he says of the cup that it is XOlVuWtU 1:oii ut!J.u,or; ,oii XQt(TtOU, and that means: who drinks of this cup has part in the blood of Christ. Since Matthew also adds ilL; aq:E(JIV UltuQniiiv, he emphasizes the purpose for which the blood of Christ is shed, and in so doing adds a statement about the effect of this drinking of the cup. If they with the wine drink that blood of Christ that is about to be shed for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness of sins, then they will certainly by drink­ing this blood obtain that end for which it was shed, that is forgiveness of sins. But even this addition does not go beyond the wording of Mark and Paul, since forgiveness of sins, as we shall presently see, is one of the principal characteristics of the new covenant of which Mark and Paul speak as well as Matthew. The terms IlLu{hlXll, XUWT! Iltu1h)Xlj and the comp!>site term 1:0 uIlLu 1:fi,; IlLU1h)Xlj'; demand special attention. Luther translated Iltu1h)x11 with Testament and translated Blut des Neuen Testa­ments, and the A. V. followed him, and in this translation we have the principal reason why we call the words of institution Verba Testamenti, and why, especially in popular literature, we speak of the institution of the Lord's Supper as the last will of Christ whose words we should not dare to alter in any particle but should ponder everyone most carefully. Now it is true, we can call the words of institution a testament or the last will of Christ, and it is especially true that we have no right to alter them in any way; but the use of the term Iltuihlxlj has nothing 90 to do with that. While lIUli1Tl'XT\, formed from lItfl1:tiil]ll.t, to ordpr or dispose of, can mean an order or arrangement by which on0 disposes of his property, and in legal language often meant really nothing else than testament or last will, we find it in the New Testament in this sense only once, in Gal. 3 :15, according to some also in Heb. 9 :16, 17; in all other cases it has the meaning of the Hebrew li".:J (compare Luke 1 :72; Acts 3 :25; 7:8; Rom. 11:27; II Cor. 3:14; Heb. 7:22; 8:6, 9, 14; 9:4, 15,20; 10:16; 12:24; 13:20 esp. II Cor. 3:6; Heb. 8:8; 9:15); li".:J, however, means any order or disposition and is the term for the relation arranged or established between God and His people. When applied to a relation established between men and men, it always expresses a mutual relationship in which both promise each other this or that. But when it is applied to God's relationship towards His people, it is always a one-sided relationship. It is God who establishes this relation between Himself and His people, and whatever order He establishes stands whether men on their part agree with and enter into this relationship or not. This was true of the <'lw.ih'jld upon the cross. Since Christ shed His blood on the cross, the relation between God and man is changed; it is now of such a nature that there is real com­munion with Him, forgiveness of sins and the creation of a new heart. That this is the meaning of IhaihixT\, and that Jesus referred to Jer. 31 when He spoke of the xatviJ Ihaihix1'\ is more and mor~ generally conceded. But what is the meaning of 'to «l/l.« 'tije; lItaih'lXT\';? Usually it is explained by reference to Exod. 24 :8. Here we have a description of the establishment of the covenant at Sinai. Sacrificial animals were killed, and then for the pur­pose of the sealing of the covenant between God and His people a twofold blood-rite was carried out: half of the sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the altar, concerning the other half, however, we read, "And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people and said: 'Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord has 91 made with you.''' Formerly I believed with others that the words of the institution pointed back to this passage; and the fact that, as we can prove from the Targum of Onkelos and the Targum Jerusalem I. the Jews at Jesus' time considered the sprinkling of the blood upon the altar as an act of expiation, seemed to strengthen this explanation. But meanwhile we have learned from Jeremias, that in two places in the Talmudic liter­ature in the explanation of Zech. 9:11 and Exod. 12:6 the blood of the Passover lambs that were killed in Egypt is called "the blood of the covenant." While to the sacrifice of the Passover lambs, as they were killed year after year and their blood was sprinkled on the altar, there was not ascribed any expiatory effect, this was done as far as the first Passover lambs in Egypt were concerned. ff in connection with a meal that was held during the night of the Passover the expression "the blood of the covenant" is used as here by Jesus, and the blood of the first Passover lambs had expiatory effect and was likewise called by this name, then there should be no doubt that this expression refers not to Exod. 24, but to Exod. 12. And then it follows that Jesus here ascribed to the shedding of His blood expiatory effect, the power to cover up sin and thereby to bring into com­m union with God. Keeping all this in mind, we mUl~t say: By tlte second part of the Verba Testamenti Jesus declared to his disciples: By drinking of this cup you partake of my blood, of the same bloot! by the shedding of which your sins are covered, you are protected against the power of death and are lifted up into real communion with God. In the greatness of this gift the account of Matthew finds the reason (ylJ.Q) why all the disciples should drink of the cup. The repeated injunction 'tou'to JtOtEtn Et<; 'tTjv e""Tjv dv6.",,'VI1(J1.v, peculiar to Paul's account) leaves no doubt as to Christ's intention of instituting an act that was to be perpetually observed by His followers, for, as we have seen, we have no right to consider this passage as not spoken by Christ Himself. The 'tou-ro in both cases refers to all the acts mentioned before, to the taking, breaking (as far as necessitated by the shape of the bread that is to be distributed), giving thanks, distributing, speaking and eating, and again to the taking of the cup, giving thanks, dis­tributing, speaking and drinking. Moreover, these acts are to be performed "for the purpose of Christ's remembrance." The term UVUIJ.VT]O"l'; is often taken in the subjective sense: whenever the disciples celebrate the Lord's Supper, they are in their 92 thoughts to go back to this fateful and blessed hour in which Christ prepared Himself to go into death for their salvation. They shall recall Him and all He did for them; instead of only outwardly performing these acts they shall with their whole personality take part in them and remember His great love. Now there is no doubt that every disciple should do that when partak­ing of the Lord's Supper, but the Biblical usage of a:va.fl,'V'I}mc,; points in another direction. 'AV6.fl,V'ljOLc,; is sometimes used Interchangeably with fl,VIlfl,oOUVO'V or even with fl,'Vl]fl,eWv and both express whatever keeps the memory alive and renews it again, be it a stone or a meal or something else. The twelve stones taken from the Jordan and set up at Gilgal Josh. 4:8 should serve as a pi~r, as a fl,Y'llfl,oOUVO'V, that is, they should keep alive the memory of the great deed by which God led the Israelites across the Jordan. The Passover lamb should be killed year after year and thereby serve as a pi~T or fl,'Vl]J,tOOlJ'vo'V (Exod. 12 :14), that is, a means of keeping alive the memory of their' liberation from the bondage of Egypt, The shewbread, over which the pure frankincense has been put, lay before Yahveh as an ni~T~, as an Q'V6.fl,VIlGLt,; (dc,; Q'V6.fl,'V'I}GL'V JtQOXelItE'V(l 'tij) xUQtljl), that is, they were a means of reminding God of His people (Lev. 24 :7). The trumpets blown over the burnt offerings should serve Israel as a memorial before God (pi~6, eG'tm UIt('V QVa.ItVl]crlc,; E'V(1.'Vn 'tot; hot; UltiIYv). In Heb. 10:3 the author emphasizes the fact that the sacrifices of the Old Testament, instead of being able to cover the sin, served as an a'Va.It'V'l}OL; of sins, they caused God to think of them again. Whether stones or sacrifices or shewbread or trumpets -all these lifeless or at least impersonal objects served Et,; a'VaItVllot'V; we think especially of the yearly Passover lambs and Passover meals. Just so, Jesus says, the repetition of the acts He performed at His last meal with His disciples is to serve as an avalt'V'l1oL;, as a reminder, as a holy drama that re-presents, re-enacts before the congregation what He did and said in the night when He went to His death. The mere repetition in itself -whether men participating in this holy meal think of Christ and His death, or not, whether they believe or not -the mere repetition of this meal in itself puts Christ before the eyes of all as He was about to give His body and His blood unto death. We only need to be witnesses of the repetition of these acts of Jesus and hear the accompanying words, and we cannot help thinking, we must think of Christ and of what He was ready to do. So every repetition of the Lord'" 93 Supper is in itself a proclamation of Him and of His death, as Paul reminds the thoughtless Corinthians: the fact that the celebration of the Lord's Supper is a proclamation of Christ's death (I Cor. 11 :26) should bid them stop to think and urge them to participitate in it in a way corresponding to this fact. There is still another point that should not be overlooked. Jesus said: ,oU,o Itotsin st\; ,fry BIJ.~V dvu~'Vl]m'V. What word has the emphasis? In popular literature we again and again find the emphasis laid on ItOLSLTE. Now there is no doubt that MUll'S must come into its own, but it does not have the emphasis. The emphasis is entirely on EL\; ,fry EWf)V d'Vu~'Vl]aw, but here again on the possessive pronoun EIJ.~'V. Et\; ,fry EIJ.~V d'V~'Vl]at'V is stronger than d\; ,fry dvulJ.'Vl]at'V IJ-OU. Luther already recognized this and said, EIJ.~'V indicates a contrast, and the antithesis is to be found in the Passover meal ana its purpose, The Passover meal should be repeated year after year pi~r" as a memorial of the deliv-erance from Egypt (Exod. 12 :14). The new supper that Jesus instituted is likewise to be repeated, and its repetition is likewise to serve as a memorial, but as a memorial of Him and the greater deliverance that He was about to accomplish by shedding Hi::i blood. The result so far attained is: (1) The Lord's Supper is not the outcome of a longer or a shorter historical development, more or less influenced by non-Christian elements, but an institution of Jesus Himself; (2) He instituted it in connection with the Passover meal; (3) It consisted of two parts: the distribution of the bread and the passing of the cup; (4) Both parts were accompanied by certain words that brought this meal in con­nection with His death for the sake of men; (5) According to these words Jesus gave His disciples in and with the bread His own body to eat and in and with the wine His own blood that He was about to give into death in order to accomplish for them the remission of their sin; (6) This last Supper that Jesus ate with His disciples was to be repeated, and its repetition should be a memorial of Him and the salvation to be accomplished by Him just as the yearly repetition of the Passover meal was a memorial of the Passover lamb and the deliverance from Egypt. But did we really understand Jesus rightly, when we said that in and with the bread He gave to His disciples His own body and in and with the wine His own blood, and are we Lutherans still justified in believing in the unio sacra-mentalis expressed in these words and in its consequences, the manducatio oralis and the communio indignorum? 94 Since ancient times attempts have been made to interpret the Verba Testamenti in a symbolical fashion, and during the last decades these attempts have been renewed in many quarters. All of them can be reduced to three forms. Some think that the 'tofrto in Jesus' words 'tofrt6 EO"tL'V 'to O'rol~1l /-tou pointed not to the bread in His hand. but to the action of breaking the bread into pieces, and this breaking of the breail, they believe, symbolized the breaking of Jesus' body, and thus was an image of His death. Jesus wanted to tell His disciples: Just as I have broken this bread, so my body is about to be broken in death. We concede that such an interpretation would fit into the context, for this last supper of Jesus was surrounded by sayings concerning His imminent death. According to Matthew and Mark the prediction of the betrayal through Judas immediately precedes the account of the Lord's Supper, and the prediction that He from now on will no longer drink with them of the fruit of the vine until He drinks it with them new in His Father's kingdom follows this account. This is likewise true according to the account of Luke, although the order is there changed. The words spoken about the bread and the wine would only repeat what was said before, with this difference, however, that this time the words were accompanied by the sign-lan­guage of breaking the bread. But three facts exclude what the context would permit: (1) The act of breaking the bread, although mentioned in all four accounts, was a rather subordinate element in the celebration of the Passover meal as well as in the last supper of Jesus, necessitated only by the shape of the bread and preparing for what was no doubt the principal act, the eating of the bread. Is it not strange to single out this one unimportant fact and make it the principal feature of the whole act? The exponents of this form of symbolical interpretation concede this, but they maintain, nevertheless, that in apostolic times much emphasis was laid on this feature, because the term "breaking of the bread" was a common designation for the Lord's Supper. We answer: (1) In the New Testament the terminology "breaking the bread" is not yet firmly fixed; the term is used in a wider and in a more specific sense. Compare, on the one hand, Matt. 14:19; 15:36; Luke 24:30, 35; Acts 2:42, 46; 27:35, and, on the other, I Cor. 10:16; 11:24; Matt. 26:26; Luke 22:19; Acts 20 :11. There is only one passage in which the term "to break the bread" can scarcely mean anything else than the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and that is Acts 20:11. We answer: (2) It is true, this is changed in the post-apostolic age, 95 beginning with the usage of our term in the Didache and in the epistles of Ignatius; but this change took place with the intro­duction of the disciplina arcani; here the term "the breaking of the bread" was welcomed, because it indicated to Christians what was meant and to non-Christians it at the same time veiled its real nature. It is very possible that even the usage of this term in Acts 20:11 for the Lord's Supper already was influenced by the same disciplina arcani. The second reason that does not permit us to take the breaking of the bread as a symbol of the breaking of Christ's body in death is this: in none of the original texts do we find the word "broken" when they refer to the body of Christ. While all four mention the breaking of the bread, none mentions the breaking of Christ's body. That xAWIJ.£'VO'V in I Cor. 11 :24 is not original we have already seen. Then Jesus would not have told the disciples of what the breaking of the bread should be a symbol; that is, the principal thing, without which the Whole act was meaningless would not have been told them. And we can understand quite well why XAWIJ.E'VO'V is not used in the genuine texts. It would not fit, because the body of Christ was not broken in the same sense in which the bread was broken. The breaking of the mazzoth of the Passover meal consisted in this that a whole was broken into its individual parts. The body of Christ was not so broken; and yet, if the genuine text offered xAWIJ.£'VO'V, it would have to have this and no other meaning, since it would be impossible to give to the same word in the same sentence two different meanings. And there is a third reason why this first symbolical inter­pretation is untenable. If it were correct, then only the first part of the last Supper of Jesus would mean anything; why Jesus then also took the cup and distributed it saying: "This is the blood of the New Testament" would be past finding out. In order to escape this absolutely logical consequence, we are told, no, also this second part of the celebration is of a symbolical character: the pouring out of the wine from the pitcher into the cup symbolized the shedding of the blood of Christ. But how is that possible? When the blood of Jesus was shed, its drops fell upon the cross and the ground; when, however, the wine is poured out into the pitcher, this is done in order to preserve it and distribute it for the purpose of drinking. To state this difference suffices as proof for the impossibility of this whole assumption. And still more: not a single account mentions this outpouring of the wine into the cup! Certainly this outpouring took place, 96 but how can we ascribe to it any symbolical character if it is not at all mentioned? Jeremias points to still another fact that excludes the symbolical interpretation of both, the breaking as well as the outpouring, especially however the latter: between the outpouring of the wine into the cup and the passing of the cup to the disciples the closing table prayer was spoken, and that consisted in the elevation of the cup (Mark 14:23), the admonition to the participants of the meal to pray, the prayer itself consisting of several benedictions and the "Amen" of the participants. How should it have been possible that the 1:"omo of the now following 1:"01;'tO icrnv 'to uIJ-t