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Jesus Didn’t Command Holy Communion

Most Christians read in the Bible which they say is the word of God that on the night Judas betrayed Jesus, Jesus had a supper with his disciples. He took bread and gave thanks and gave it to them saying, “Take this all of you and eat it. This is my body which will be given up for you.” Then in the same way AFTER SUPPER WAS ENDED he took the cup saying, “Take this all of you and drink from it. This is the cup of my blood. The blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all men so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.” Not all accounts in the Bible are the same but this is what you get if you match them all together. Why didn’t Jesus give them the bread and cup at the same time? He was supposed to be picturing his body and blood separated on the cross where he bled and died. Why did he wait to the end of supper and destroy the symbolism? To me it indicates that the material about the cup was clumsily added in by some fraud. He just gave them bread. Let’s assume anyway that he did tell them to use the cup.
 
The dominical words are the words used to consecrate the Eucharist ie, “This is my body” and “This is my blood.” 
 
Jesus never told anybody to say, “This is my body. This is my blood”, over bread and wine. He told the apostles to take bread and wine in his memory. “Get in the car and go to Mass every day in my memory,” does not mean that the person has to go in the car for the going to Mass is the main thing. It is the same with the words, “Eat this for this is my body and do this in memory of me.” This is commonsense for what sense does anybody who is not Jesus saying, “This is my body” make? Jesus would have told them to say, “This bread is the body of the Lord Jesus,” had he intended for the Lord’s Supper to be celebrated. Is it really likely that Jesus would want one to say, “This is my body. This is my blood,” when it makes sense to bless the bread and cup in the name of God and say, “Let this be Jesus’ body. Let this cup be his blood."

The apostle Paul in scripture just relates what happened at the Last Supper to prove that partaking of the bread and drink unworthily is wrong because it is a sign of commitment to Jesus. He does not say that Jesus’ words have to be said.
 
Christians have no right to say the words.
 
To assume that saying them is okay just because the Bible does not expressly prohibit them would be like saying that if God gave the command to avoid adultery and never mentioned fornication that fornication is allowed for it is not mentioned.
 
Perhaps though our alleged obligation to carry on the Lord’s Supper is not in the Bible we can still celebrate it as long as we recognise it as optional and that whenever we eat or drink we must recall Jesus? The answer would be yes only God has forbidden us to use images in worshipping him. The Christian can say that as long as God’s power prevents such use from being offensive it was fine for Jesus to do it but wrong for us to for we don’t have this protection. It is wrong to use things in worship when God is there. It is no excuse that they make it easier because the harder it is the more value there is in it. The pagans intended their worship of the idols – nobody worships a statue because it is a statue but because it is felt that there is a god in it or that it represents the God so that you can use it vicariously to honour the God – and gods to go to the true God if their gods didn’t exist or were not divine and still he rejected it in the Bible (1 Corinthians 10:20) showing that using images in worship is wrong.
 
This implies that the food and drink of the supper were not symbols of Jesus but reminders. A note on the fridge to tell you to pay the milkman is not a symbol. When Jesus told the apostles to eat the bread and said, “This is my body”, he may have meant, “Eat this as if it is my body. My body is here. I don’t mean the bread is my body symbolically or literally but that it reminds you of me. You know what I mean for you are aware that I am against idolatry.” There is an immense difference between using reminders of Jesus and between using bread and wine as symbols of him in communion. Christians may think of Jesus whenever they see bread but that does not make their eating it a Eucharist.
 
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME
 
We have four accounts of the Last Supper in the New Testament. They are in the gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke and in the First Corinthian Epistle of Paul.
 
The Matthew account does not have Jesus asking the apostles to celebrate the supper in his memory. Mark, the earliest gospel, does not have this either. The fact that they put in so much unimportant stuff and left out these important few words suggests that they had traditions that did not even countenance the celebration of the supper. Many ancient copyists left out the words saying the bread must be taken in memory of Jesus and all the material to do with the cup in Luke so its authenticity is doubtful. So Luke just says Jesus took bread and said it was his body. The longer version in our Bibles may be an insertion.
 
So it is possible that none of the gospels say we should remember Jesus by taking bread and wine.
 
Paul has Jesus saying, “Do this in my memory” both after the bread and after the cup (1 Corinthians 11) which we will soon see is of doubtful authenticity. But he says that Jesus did not say the cup was his blood but was the covenant in his blood so it is remembering and accepting Jesus as saviour that matters more than remembering his body and blood. In other words, remembering that Jesus saved you by his body and blood is what counts so that eliminates any notion that the bread and wine are to be regarded as the body and blood of Christ. When the cup just pictures your union in the covenant so does the bread so it is not literally the body of Christ for the cup is not the blood of Christ.
 
The expression about the cup, “Do this as often as you drink it in my memory” is interesting. Now why would you need to be told to remember Jesus as you drink if you had to say the words, “This is my blood” over it? It fits the idea that you should remember Jesus every time you drink a cup better.
 
Why did Paul have Jesus saying do this as often as you drink it? If you are drinking the cup at Mass or communion you will remember Jesus naturally for it stands for his body and blood. But Paul speaks as if Jesus wants us to remember him without a ritual declaration that it is the blood of Jesus. He speaks as if Jesus meant, “Whenever you take any cup to drink remember me”.

When Jesus tells the apostles at the last supper that he will never drink wine with them until the day he drinks new wine in God’s kingdom it is said to be his way of saying his mission on earth is at an end.  But consider this.  He means the cup of wine in front of him.  It is an earthly cup.  The cup in the kingdom is an earthly cup too.  Thus what Jesus did with the food and drink is not to be enacted.
 
In Matthew and Mark, Jesus says of the cup that he said was his blood that it was the fruit of the vine and he wouldn’t drink it again until the kingdom of God comes. But in Luke he says this of a cup he gives them at the start of the meal. Then he gives them the bread and then at the end gives them the cup saying it is his blood. The Christians say he did it twice which sounds a bit odd like themselves. There is a contradiction for in Matthew and Mark he is saying that it is the wine declared blood that he won’t drink again till the kingdom comes and while in Luke it is either another cup or one which was said to be his blood later. One thing for sure it is symbolism for Jesus could not be imagined as drinking wine to celebrate the coming of the kingdom unless he didn’t expect to rise again as a spirit being though the New Testament says he did rise again that way and did expect it. He didn’t expect to come back as such a being that was so non-physical (I didn’t say all non-physical – the Catholic Church teaches that it is because the resurrection body of Jesus is so different that it is able to be given in the form of bread and wine)  or which had supernatural that bread and wine could be turned into him. A wine-drinker has to expect to have a physical body with weaknesses to enjoy the beverage. The Catholic Mass which pretends to do just that is heresy.
 
Jesus has in mind the idea of drinking the wine with his apostles when the kingdom comes. He talks as if it is the last cup of wine they will have before then. If the wine is his blood as Catholics say then is he going to drink his own blood then?
 
Luke says that Jesus gave the disciples a cup and asked them to share it for he will drink no wine again until the kingdom of God comes in BEFORE he gave them the bread he said was his body. Now why would he do that? It only makes sense if they were finishing the wine then! A bit untraditional but possible. He has one last drink of wine with them. This means that the stuff about the cup being said to be blood at the end of the supper in Luke is an inclusion. Luke knew Paul’s writings for they influenced his gospel so when Luke eliminated and rejected the account about the cup being the blood covenant it follows that he knew Paul was tampered with in his First Corinthians letter which speaks of the Lord’s Supper. Jesus gives them the cup and tells them it’s his last drink because it was the last drink they would have together. Luke says then he took the bread. Luke has been corrupted as you can see from the ridiculous verse saying the disciples of Jesus fell asleep on him for sheer grief (Luke 22:45). The New International Version claims they were exhausted from sorrow which is foolish because they didn’t know that Jesus planned to die until a short time before. And when they brought out swords expecting something to happen how could they have slept if they cared that much?
 
Paul said that it was no sin to marry though it is best not to. Paul made optional requests in the name of God and there is nothing in the Bible at all that suggests we are under obligation to remember Jesus by taking bread and drink. Certainly Jesus wants us to remember him but wouldn’t if we could close our eyes and get a vivid sense of his presence and saving power and his bleeding death for our sins be better if it was the method that clicked with us? “This is my body and remember my body”, is really saying that the remembering is the essential part. Jesus asked us to pray always but said he would still accept us if we didn’t do it as much as we should. The Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches make an obligation out of the Eucharist which means they are heretical. “Do this in memory of me”, may apply only to the apostles for they alone could really remember Jesus but perhaps Paul let the Corinthians do it as well for reasons of his own. They were used to having sacred meals when they had been pagans. Jesus did not command that gospels be written and, “This is my body and do this to remember me”, implies remembering all Jesus did in the body he gave for us for Jesus had been giving his body for others long before the crucifixion so it applies to the apostles only.

Paul in the context of the religious use of food said that food whether you abstain from it or take it has no spiritual effect and will not bring you any closer to God. Read 1 Corinthians 8:8.  If Paul had the Eucharist he thought the eating and drinking did nothing special.  The following seems to challenge that!

YOU CANNOT TAKE LORD'S CUP AND DEMON'S CUP
 
In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul tells his disciples to shun idol worship and to judge for themselves what he says. He then says that the cup the Church blesses is a sharing in the blood of Christ and the bread is a sharing in the body and that all are united by partaking of the one bread. But the trouble is you can leave this bit about the bread and drink out without missing it.
 
He says,
 
§ Shun idols and judge this as wrong yourselves.
 
§ He says the bread and cup are union with the body and blood of Jesus and that we are one for we all share the one bread.
 
§ Consider how Israel are made sharers in the altar when they take what was sacrificed on it and eat it.


§ What do I imply then that idol sacrifice amounts to anything?
 
§ No for idols are nothing but do not eat idol sacrifices for it is a communion with demons.
 
§ You cannot drink the Lord’s cup and eat at his table and partake of a cup offered to demons and partake of their table.
 
From this it is clear that the embolded doesn’t even fit in. It can be left out for all it does is interrupt the flow. It looks like an insertion made not by Paul but by a copyist who was less careful than Paul. If the bolded had any value what was the point about going into how Israel regards sacrifices? It is not clear how food and drink which are not sacrifices could have any relationship or relevance when discussing how animal sacrifices on the altars of Israel unite people with the altar.
 
My view is that the bolded material is possibly an insertion. But even if it is not it only says that food and drink are being used to help love Jesus more and love each other which can be said of any food that is shared in the name of Jesus. We must remember that the people he was writing to brought food and drink to worship to share for this very purpose to deepen fellowship. He complains that some were not sharing properly so clearly what you took with you had to be distributed to everybody. Then why does he say cup and not cups for they would have been using several cups. Do you think if he was thinking of one communion cup that one would do? Several would have been needed. Nothing can be read into that. He singles out the bread for that was the main thing brought to the meals and it was broken and shared following the Jewish tradition.
 
But Paul said in his last point about the Lord’s table and the Lord’s cup. This is most likely hypothetical for the demon sacrifices did not involve drinking from chalices and using a table but an altar. When it is hypothetical that means that the embolded bit was an insertion, a forgery. The pagan sacrifices were not comparable to communion as Christians practice it for they involved blood and pouring wine over the burning carcass of the sacrifice. The sacrifices were meant to bribe the gods for favours more than to unite the believers for this unity was only false unity. So it is only hypothetical. Paul when saying you cannot drink the cup of the Lord and eat at his table is using this as a metaphor for saying you are friends with the Lord. He does not mean literal eating and drinking. The proof of this is in the fact that the pagans did not share chalices offered to demons. He knows that but he means it metaphorically so the whole line is metaphorical.
 
Possibly Paul means if you have the cup of the Lord which would be animal blood and the sacrifice of the Lord’s table which would be animal flesh then you cannot partake of pagan sacrifices. He is talking symbolically in the sense that the Christians have the right to partake of sacred things sacrificed to God in the Temple and so they cannot partake of the cup of demons. He does not mean he wants the Corinthians to eat the sacrifices and drink blood for the only place sacrifice was allowed was in Jerusalem. It is symbolism for he doesn’t literally want them to drink animal blood which was forbidden by Jewish law and not practiced at Jewish rites. The symbolism of what he said indicates that the bolded bit which talks literally must be a forgery.

The subject arose about the matter of Christians eating pagan sacrificial meat very early on in the Church.  Acts 15 has the apostles directing the Church to abstain from such meat.  It follows that if the Eucharist is not the literal body of Christ and presented to you as if it is then it is a sin to eat it.   Thus going to communion in a Catholic Church is a sin.  It is the same as a pagan sacrifice.  The problem is not so much that it is a pagan sacrifice but intended to perform false worship.

For Paul, anybody eating flesh sacrificed to idols is okay.  The food is unaffected by the worship for those Gods do not exist.  However if you think they do you are worshipping demons.  This is a clear statement that the modern view that well-meaning sincerity is enough is rubbish.  It is believing in pagan gods that is bad.  Thus believing wrongly that the Eucharist is Jesus is idolatry.  Not all the pagan gods were that bad but idolatry or the worship of those beings was strongly condemned.

THE FEAST
 
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul says he will not commend those who get drunk and won’t share when they meet together for their holy meals. He then says it is because the meal is a memorial of the body and blood of Jesus that he can’t commend them. But that doesn’t really fit for he never explains why the meal being a memorial should mean that people don’t abuse the meal. The passage makes more sense and flows better if you leave out the entire stuff about the last supper and the body and blood of Jesus. The verse before that stuff says something like, “Will I commend your behaviour when you meet to eat? No I will not. And the bit after runs, “So when you gather together to eat, wait for one another.” If the portion is an insertion by a fraudulent disciple of Paul’s that means that there is no authority whatsoever for celebrating the Lord’s supper with the body and blood of Jesus stuff. It could well be an uninspired writing of Paul that he discarded and somebody took it and stuck it in his letter to forge evidence that the rite was celebrated from the start of the Church.
 
There is no proof that we should hold that the Christians that though they might have had breaking of bread ceremonies just to be friendly practiced anything remotely resembling holy communion as the Church now practices it.

In Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8 we read that if food upsets a brother the believer must not eat it for it is downgrading a weak conscience and making the brother vulnerable to falling away from the faith. This is interesting concerning some would have had doubts about drinking wine. But the New Testament records of what Paul wrote nowhere suggest using wine for the Lord's Supper.  Others would not have ate bread they thought was turned into an idol of Jesus.  Those offended by idol worship would never have being able to assimilate and revere the notion that bread and drink can become the body and blood of Jesus.  Paul's diplomacy suggests that using wine, saying the food is Jesus were later inventions he would have opposed strenuously.   
 
In summary, there is no evidence that the Bible asks us to say this is my body or blood over bread and wine. Even if it did there would be no reason to think it was an obligation or command. All it says is that we think of Jesus when we eat bread and of his blood when we drink. All the theology that Christians have built on the Eucharist is nonsense for the Eucharist isn’t even obligatory or authorised by Christ.
 
JESUS DID NOT START THE EUCHARIST
 
The Christian Churches are convinced that Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the last supper but it is easy to prove that this is untrue.
 
The resurrection was the superlative event in the early Church. It was more important than the crucifixion. If Jesus had instituted the Eucharist he would have said: “This is my body that has been raised from the dead for you.” If the Catholic doctrine is true that it is the risen body of Jesus that is in the Eucharist not the crucified one then this wording would definitely have been used.
 
The apostles did not expect Jesus to die cruelly and bloodily so there was no Last Supper as described in the New Testament. Following supper, John 16:17 says that when Jesus told the apostles that he would soon be leaving them and that soon after that they would see him again they were puzzled. They wouldn’t have been if they had just been told at the Last Supper that Jesus’ hours were numbered.
 
The Gospel of John has ancient strands of tradition in it so its omitting the Eucharist account is telling. He wrote his gospel to make people believe in Jesus and would not have left out something so important and essential to a real understanding of the gospel.
 
John 6 is not about the Eucharist though it uses the same symbolical devices. John would not have put in material that gives the false impression of being about the Eucharist but isn’t unless he wanted to attack the Eucharist.
 
The Eucharist would have been an excuse for the Jews to accuse the Christians of idolatry so Jesus would not have started it. But then they might not have used the words that Jesus used like, “This is my body/blood”.
 
Assuming the narrative of the supper Jesus had with his disciples as reported by Paul is authentic and not the work of a forger, the first Christian writer, the apostle Paul declared that he received the story of the Last Supper from the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:23). He said from the Lord Jesus and not from the Lord Jesus through the apostles so he meant it was revealed to him in an experience that would be an “inspired” flash of intuition at the very least. Some Christians say that he had to be told about it in a vision because he had never heard of it. For a religious Pharisee who persecuted and condemned the Christian Church to be unconscious of his victim’s main ritual would not merely be wrong but impossible. Paul does not say who was present at the supper so it was no problem to him if the twelve apostles had never heard of it for he was not saying they were there. Paul was writing against heretics who denied the resurrection for they hated the body in this letter so Paul needed to prove them wrong by proving that Jesus said that his body was good for us when he created the Eucharist. But he gives no verification at all. Paul invented the Eucharist.
 
In Mark 14, Jesus gives the bread and wine to “them” which can only be the Twelve as it reveals earlier on. Luke 22:21 also makes it clear that Judas was given it. Jesus knew that he was planning to betray him – a great sin – so he would not have let him take it but waited until he left to administer them to the others. Judas was there when the gospel says Jesus had the time to celebrate the Eucharist. This proves that Jesus did not institute the Eucharist at all or at least that it cannot be proved he did. A story with an error like that is unreliable.
 
The early Church was plagued by heretics who insisted that Jesus was only and ever an angel, and not a man at all. When these people, the Docetists, had such success it seems that the Christians had a hard time proving that the Eucharist came from Jesus.
 
The Eucharist was a man-made rite.
 
Even if the Bible commanded the acting out of the last supper the rite has been corrupted by Christian inventions.
 
There is no justification for calling the rite the Eucharist a word that means thanksgiving. It might have been meant as a mournful sad memorial not as a rite of thanksgiving. It is no reply to say that Jesus gave thanks before he took the bread and cup for that is a separate thing - a different action. He was only saying grace. The Christians might reply that Jesus would want us to be more focused on his resurrection so we would do communion in a state of joy. But that does not stop us having ceremonies on Good Friday to be sad about Jesus and neither should it. The very term Eucharist is heresy. The Lord’s Supper cannot be a joyful rite when it pictures and remembers somebody’s blood being violently separated from his body.
 
It is also heresy to call the partaking of the bread and wine communion. Communion means something that unites you with God and with other people. Anybody can take communion and be a secret enemy of the Church and most Christians are enemies though they won’t admit it so the unity is artificial. It doesn’t really do anything for unity. Paul knew human nature too well and would have understood the bread and wine to picture unity in Heaven. Paul wrote that the Church practiced Agape meals. That is they all brought food and drink to share with one another and the food and drink was a memorial not a symbol of the body and blood of Jesus and pictured union with Jesus. This was not communion but symbolism of the oneness that should exist between God and his people and with one another.
 
Jesus stressed in the Sermon on the Mount that true children of God hide their virtue and pray in secret and there was no way he would have wanted his followers to be taking bread and wine to state that they are trying to be virtuous and worthy enough to receive it. Paul saying that partaking in sin was a sin of sacrilege completely contradicts Jesus and shows that Paul was inventing.
 
Jesus regarded everybody as sinful and said that nobody was good but God alone and that nobody could be trusted (Luke 16:10) and so would not have instituted transubstantiation for you have to be pure to partake of the sacrament. It would be a sin to take the body of your Lord and Saviour into your own body if you are full of sin and rebellious towards God. If he did he was another deceitful religion-monger.
 
The Bible never says that Jesus meant for the apostles to authorise the Church to carry on the rite. The obvious sense of, “Do this in memory of me”, is, “You who remember me may do this to carry on my memory.” Only those who knew Jesus then would have been asked to do the rite. There is no hint that it would have been a sin if they hadn’t. Matthias being picked to replace Judas does not refute any of this because there is no reason to hold that the substitute apostle could have the right to do the rite for that was given to those who were at the supper and who knew Jesus well and nobody else.
 
CONCLUSION
 
Holy Communion is one of Christendom’s many religious hoaxes. And yet the faith corrupter the Catholic Church added it to the faith. It has founded its doctrines about Jesus turning bread and wine into his body and blood on that invention not to mention the idea that the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary is repeated at Mass!
 
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The Web
Transubstantiation, Is it a True Doctrine?
http://www.geocities.com/christian_apologist2001/
 
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