The Instigator
mightbenihilism
Con (against)
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The Contender
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Tied
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Transubstantiation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 794 times Debate No: 63070
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

mightbenihilism

Con

Here is my argument (Con may refute in round one):

The eucharist of the body and blood of Jesus are SYMBOLIZED in the bread and wine. They are not transubstantiated in them. The Roman Catholic doctrine is in error on this point, as are the Lutherans, and the Reformed (Calvinist) tradition is correct.

As proof:

"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19)

The word "remembrance" in Koine Greek is anamnesis, which means: "a remembering, recollection." (Strong's Concordance G364). This clearly means that the eucharist meal is done as a ritual whose aim is to bring to remembrance the sacrifice of Christ. Nothing beyond this is implied. The bread and wine are purely there as a vivid aid to recollection, and for no other reason.

The Con must show how the Greek text (the entire NT) can be interpreted as to indicate any such doctrine as transubstantiation. If variations exist in different Greek manuscripts, you can cite them and give your basis for their superiority or inferiority in accuracy.

Also, this is not a debate on Sola Scriptura. The debate assumes that the New Testament text in Greek is enough to establish or disestablish this doctrine, irregardless of the opinions of any Church or the consensus of Church Fathers. If you cannot prove it from the Biblical text, do not enter the debate.
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

In John 6 Jesus said to have eternal life you must eat his flesh and drink his blood. "As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me" (John 6:57). The Greek word used for "eats" (trogon) is very blunt and has the sense of "chewing" or "gnawing." This is not the language of metaphor. he switched to a stronger word for 'eat', indicating something literal.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. 10:16). Paul also said, "Therefore whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. . . . For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1 Cor. 11:27, 29).

a 'remembrance' can be given even with a literal interpretation.

more on the early church
"What Did the First Christians Say?

Anti-Catholics also claim the early Church took this chapter symbolically. Is that so? Let"s see what some early Christians thought, keeping in mind that we can learn much about how Scripture should be interpreted by examining the writings of early Christians.

Ignatius of Antioch, who had been a disciple of the apostle John and who wrote a letter to the Smyrnaeans about A.D. 110, said, referring to "those who hold heterodox opinions," that "they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again" (6:2, 7:1).

Forty years later, Justin Martyr, wrote, "Not as common bread or common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, . . . is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus" (First Apology 66:1"20).

Origen, in a homily written about A.D. 244, attested to belief in the Real Presence. "I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the Body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence" (Homilies on Exodus 13:3).

Cyril of Jerusalem, in a catechetical lecture presented in the mid-300s, said, "Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that, for they are, according to the Master"s declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy
of the body and blood of Christ" (Catechetical Discourses: Mystagogic 4:22:9).

In a fifth-century homily, Theodore of Mopsuestia seemed to be speaking to today"s Evangelicals and Fundamentalists: "When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, "This is the symbol of my body," but, "This is my body." In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, "This is the symbol of my blood," but, "This is my blood," for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements], after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit, not according to their nature, but to receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord" (Catechetical Homilies 5:1). "
Debate Round No. 1
mightbenihilism

Con

Wow what fun! Thank you for accepting the debate and providing a reasoned response!

One issue: the testimony of early Church Fathers is relevant to the topic, but not to the debate itself, as I stated, "The debate assumes that the New Testament text in Greek is enough to establish or disestablish this doctrine, irregardless of the opinions of any Church or the consensus of Church Fathers." Nonetheless, I found the quotes provided fascinating and helpful, and feel free to quote from them in the future --- however, keep in mind that emphasis on the Biblical text itself is what the debate is about.

For our reader's sake, a definition of transubstatiation: "By the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation." (Council of Trent)

If I understand the Pro's rebuttle, it can be summarized as follows:

1. "eat" (trogon) is not the language of metaphor.
2. 1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:27-29 supports literal interpretation.
3. "remembrace" (anamnesis) does not rule out literal interpretation.
4. In the comments, the Pro brought up that "estin" can mean "is really" or "is figuratively", but the "usual meaning of estin is the former". (I apologize if bringing up a comment is bad form, but it is relevant because this is something I was going to address and we can save some time if I address it sooner than later).

Refutation of these points:

1. Jesus uses the Greek term "trogo" (G5176) to translate the Hebrew word "'akal" (H398) when he quotes Psalm 41:9 in John 13:18. This means Jesus understood the word "'akal" to be synonymous with "trogo" (though not exclusively). "'Akal" is used metaphorically in Isaiah 9:12, Isiah 10:17 and Isaiah 24:6 (among other places, potentially). Therefore, while I am unable to find a metaphorical usage of "trogo" in the NT, Jesus clearly had the Hebrew word "'akal" in mind when saying "trogo", and since "'akal" can be metaphorical, there is no basis for saying it is not the language of metaphor. This does not mean that it is metaphorical, but to say "trogon" is absolutely not the language of metaphor is to say that "'akal" is not the language of metaphor, which is clearly not the case. Also, Matthew 26:26 uses the term "esthio" (G5315) which is often used metaphorically, as in James 5:3 which reads: "Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat (esthio) your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days." We must also conclude that "esthio" and "trogon" are synonymous, for it is not conceivable that a Holy-Spirit inspired author of scripture would alter the meaning of Christ's words, though he may give a different phrasing or translation (I believe Jesus spoke Aramaic, but that is besides the point), provided the original meaning is retained. Esthio, therefore, is conclusively synonymous with trogon in this context.

2. St. Paul nowhere speaks of a thing, once being bread and wine, leaving its former state and changing into the body and blood of Christ. At best, the verse is either figurative or it is saying that the eucharist is presently the body and blood of Christ --- which is untenable, considering that the bread and wine did not derive organically from the physical body of Jesus, nor was the physical body of Jesus present on earth while St. Paul wrote these remarks. You may argue for the presence of Christ, spiritually, in the eucharist on the basis of these verses, but you are not able to argue for a change of state of literal bread and wine into literal human flesh and blood. At least, not with these verses. Perhaps you have some others?

3. I agree that remembrance does not rule out a literal interpretation, but what is the significance of the word "remembrance?" To remember something is to call to mind something that IS NO LONGER PRESENT (not yelling, just ignorant of how to use italics). If Christ's literal flesh and blood are present, you do not need to remember them. You can look at them. They're right there! Therefore, the Pro must show the significance of remembrance when we are speaking of a present fact before our eyes (which transubstatiation must imply for the eucharist). The fact of remembrance IMPLIES that the presence IS NOT PRESENTLY THERE and must be RECOLLECTED MENTALLY. This is crucial, for it demonstrates the soundness of Reformed doctrine on this issue. The bread is there to aid in remembering the body of Christ which was wounded for our transgressions and the wine is there to aid in remembering the blood of Christ which was shed as a covering for our sins.

4. The Pro agrees that "esti" (G2076) can be used figuratively. If it has two usages, we must have something which decisively pushes the matter into one or the other. Point 3, I think, is the strongest in arguing for symbolism. Point 1-2 are insufficient to demonstrate transubstantiation as defined in Roman Catholicism.

Thank you for your efforts and I look forward to your response, Pro.
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

more that i left out last time

Turning to the text, we read, "And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me"" (Luke 22:19). The Greek here and in the parallel Gospel passages (Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22) reads: Touto estin to soma mou. Paul"s version differs slightly: Touto mou estin to soma (1 Cor. 11:24). They all translate as "This is my body." The verb estin is the equivalent of the English "is" and can mean "is really" or "is figuratively." The usual meaning of estin is the former (check any Greek grammar book), just as, in English, the verb "is" usually is taken literally.

The Greek word for "body" in John 6:54 is sarx, which means physical flesh, and the word for "eats" (trogon) translates as "gnawing" or "chewing."
Debate Round No. 2
mightbenihilism

Con

As to the issue of speaking of the bread as his "sarx", its not relevant if it in is the context of "anamnesis" (remembrance) which implies bringing to mind something not present.

I explained the issues with "trogon". It is synonymous with the Hebrew word "akal" and Greek "esthiu". Both can and are used figuratively. (which supports the idea of anamnesis over transubstantiation)

I asked for clearer evidence in regard to the rest. The Pro's last response didn't address most of the things I brought up --- or, if it did, I have not had enough coffee to properly perceive it and, for that, I apologize in advance.

Anyway, thanks, Pro, for the debate.
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

In John 6:60 we read: "Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?"" and then, we have 666, ironically the sign of the antichrist.... John 6:66 "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him."

i leave us with the followers walking away, to symbolize con and others walking away from this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
@mightbenihilism:

It depends on how it's brought up. The big thing, I guess, would be to be as precise as possible, and to define anything you think is going to be contentious in your R1. If a semantic argument gets run mid-debate, just remember you have to give a reason for your own meaning to be preferred. If it devolved into "X means Y" "Nuh uh, X means Z!" without any argument, even if X really does normally mean Z, it's going to be a tough call.
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
I *should* have typed should.

I *can* improve. :p

Thank you for your remarks bladerunner. What is the best way, in yr opinion, to preempt semantic arguments like "what is is?" or "good --- what does it even mean?"
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Incidentally, Con: There's a few ways to get italics/bold/underline. There should be some buttons at the top of the window. You can also select "rich text" to get more options. But Rich Text sometimes gives strange font sizes.

I usually just do the tags manually, without using the buttons or the Rich text. I type in the plain text box and, when I want something bold, I use <strong> TEXT </strong>, when I want it italics I use <em> TEXT </em> and when I want underlined I use <ins> TEXT </ins>. Tags like that aren't recognized in comments fields, so I can put them in for you to see, which is nice (but means that we can't format comments unfortunately).
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
This debate was interesting until the end, there, where it seemed Pro sorta stopped responding to Con's points. It was unfortunate.

In the end, Con's mistake was when he laid out the BoP for Pro--the implied BoP is, to my mind, on the instigator whether or not they're Pro, unless otherwise specified. Here, it was specified. But it's HOW it was specified that really made me null this debate: " Con must show how the Greek text (the entire NT) *can* be interpreted as to indicate any such doctrine..." (emphasis mine). Pro did a pretty good job of showing it CAN be interpreted that way. I think Con was looking more for *Should*. Con at several points seems to tend towards that view of the debate.

But because of Pro's failure to respond to what Con brought up in subsequent rounds, I can't quite give her the win, so I'm nulling my points.

This one actually did have potential. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
To clarify, "I agree that remembrance does not rule out a literal interpretation" should be "I agree that the word remembrance does not rule out a literal interpretation in some instances, but it does rule out the necessity of a literal interpretation in this context." I then go on to describe why.

Kablooie. :(
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
Turning to the text, we read, "And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me"" (Luke 22:19). The Greek here and in the parallel Gospel passages (Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22) reads: Touto estin to soma mou. Paul"s version differs slightly: Touto mou estin to soma (1 Cor. 11:24). They all translate as "This is my body." The verb estin is the equivalent of the English "is" and can mean "is really" or "is figuratively." The usual meaning of estin is the former (check any Greek grammar book), just as, in English, the verb "is" usually is taken literally.

The Greek word for "body" in John 6:54 is sarx, which means physical flesh, and the word for "eats" (trogon) translates as "gnawing" or "chewing."
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
Dangit, I meant "Pro" may refute. This is why you really got to read over stuff , people. Don't be like me. :(
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
mightbenihilismdairygirl4u2cTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.