- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd (April 30, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0334004144
- ISBN-13: 978-0334004141
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Eucharistic Words of Jesus Paperback – April 30, 2012
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The book was first published in English in 1955, and it is utterly exhaustive. Jeremias argues persuasively that the words spoken by Jesus were reliably conveyed to the early church and reported faithfully by Paul and the gospel writers.
There had been types of Eucharist in Judaism, but the Eucharist begun by Christ was not merely a Passover meal, and would be memorialized constantly by the early Christians, not only at Passover, and not only in a small family group, but by a new kind of family - those who accepted Christ.
Although earlier scholars had argued against the Eucharist being a memorial, Jeremias digs into the Old Testament to locate numerous earlier memorials. For example, the cereal offering of Lev. 2.2 is a memorial. Also the shewbread is a clear memorial and obvious type of the Eucharist. He finds that the 'fruit of the vine' does refer back to the first cup of Passover.
"Already in the first century AD we can trace the eschatological interpretation of the unleavened bread; on it God had miraculously fed Israel during their journey through the desert...It is no accident that in the New Testament the unleavened loaves are also eschatologically interpreted: (p 59).
For Second Temple Jews "wine was drunk at festive occasions...when entertaining guests...family celebrations...circumcisions...marriage" (p 50).
Jeremias tackled the greatest objection many scholars have to the reliability of the transmission of the Eucharist to early Christians, that of John's gospel. He points out that "The fact that John depicts here the same meal as that described in Mark...is shown by the betrayal scene...as well as by the ensuing walk to Gethsemane. Some of the remarks made by John presuppose that this was a passover meal...the Last Supper was held at an unusual hour....Jesus celebrated this meal with the closest circle of his disciples....a ceremonial meal...reclining at table" (p 81).
The information about the Eucharist has been conveyed reliably can also be seen in "I Cor 11:23-25 Paul...quotes the words: 'For I received of the Lord what I also delivered to you...'to receive'...'to deliver' ..represent the rabbinical technical terms kibbel min and masar le....the chain of tradition goes back unbroken to Jesus himself: (p 101).
Proof of the fact that the early Christians believed the Eucharist to be sacred can be found in Hippolytus of Rome when he wrote about the Eucharist "'He shall not tell this to any but the faithful'" (p 136). More proof: "an enigmatic manner of speaking about the Lord's Supper to the Acts of the Apostles (pseudonyms for the Eucharist), to Hebrews (reservation of Eucharistic teaching to the 'mature'), to the Didache (silence about Eucharistic procedure), then to the shorter text of Luke (limitation to the first words of the formula), and to the symbolic representation of the Eucharist in the Abercius inscription, and finally top the secrecy imposed upon the whole baptismal and Eucharistic procedure by Hippolytus" (p 136).
One book you must have in your library.