The Lord’s Supper Reformed

 By Barry Waugh - Posted at Presbyterians of the Past:

One of the most important doctrinal changes made by Protestants involved reinterpretation of the Lord’s Suppper. The Latin hoc est corpus meum found in the Vulgate version of Matthew 26:26 translates into English as “this is my body.” The words Jesus pronounced that evening were few, but by the sixteenth century they had been interpreted into the Mass which is the traditional Catholic word for the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper liturgy. As the Reformers studied Scripture with a critical eye it became clear to them that it was based on flawed theology at least partially due to its having been influenced significantly by Medieval philosophy.

In the Mass, Catholicism interpreted “this is my body” in a literal way so that even though the bread and wine continue to appear as such physically, they are in fact in substance the body and blood of Jesus. How does common bread and wine become the Lord’s true body and blood? When the priest pronounces the words of institution given by Jesus, he is in fact acting in the person of Christ consecrating the bread and wine so that through the miracle of transubstantiation they change into the Lord’s body and blood. Further, as the true body and blood of Christ the elements of the Mass constitute a sacrifice for sin, that is, the sacrifice of the Mass.

So, if the practice of the Mass was believed to be incorrect, what were the Reformers going to put in its place in light of sola Scriptura?


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