Author Topic: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?  (Read 2270 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2021, 02:23:37 PM »
From the 1st century forward Christians understood "this" to be referring to the bread that IS Jesus' body - in spite of the various options available for the Greek grammar.  In fact, Ed's explanation, that "this" refers to the fragment of bread (which in Greek is neuter!) fits well with what Christians believed for centuries since the time of the Apostles.


Where do the Apostles say that "this" refers to the "bread"? I'm stating that it isn't so clear in the Greek texts that they have given us.


While it is true that κλάσμα is a neuter noun, it is only used in scriptures in reference to the "fragments" of food left over after the feeding of the 5000 and 4000 (Matt 14:20; 15:37; Mark 6:43; 8:8, 19, 20; Luke 9:17; John 6:12, 13). κλάσις is the word used of eucharistic "breaking" of bread in Luke 24:35; Acts 2:42, and it is feminine. I think that Ed's explanation is a bit of a stretch. I don't find it supported in scriptures.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

George Rahn

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2021, 02:59:28 PM »
From the 1st century forward Christians understood "this" to be referring to the bread that IS Jesus' body - in spite of the various options available for the Greek grammar.  In fact, Ed's explanation, that "this" refers to the fragment of bread (which in Greek is neuter!) fits well with what Christians believed for centuries since the time of the Apostles.


Where do the Apostles say that "this" refers to the "bread"? I'm stating that it isn't so clear in the Greek texts that they have given us.


While it is true that κλάσμα is a neuter noun, it is only used in scriptures in reference to the "fragments" of food left over after the feeding of the 5000 and 4000 (Matt 14:20; 15:37; Mark 6:43; 8:8, 19, 20; Luke 9:17; John 6:12, 13). κλάσις is the word used of eucharistic "breaking" of bread in Luke 24:35; Acts 2:42, and it is feminine. I think that Ed's explanation is a bit of a stretch. I don't find it supported in scriptures.

"This is my Body..."  makes referent back to the bread which has been fragmented/broken by Jesus.  Like an algebraic equation:
Jesus has the broken bread in his hands = This = my Body.  Taking liberties to the grammatical issue referenced in Wallace's text, the antecedent = referent pronoun (ie. This) = postcedent.  What the bread is, is Jesus' body, per grammatical structure using the determinative factor of the antecedent/postcedency of the demonstrative pronoun.  I can't see this any other way.

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2021, 03:36:32 PM »
From the 1st century forward Christians understood "this" to be referring to the bread that IS Jesus' body - in spite of the various options available for the Greek grammar.  In fact, Ed's explanation, that "this" refers to the fragment of bread (which in Greek is neuter!) fits well with what Christians believed for centuries since the time of the Apostles.


Where do the Apostles say that "this" refers to the "bread"? I'm stating that it isn't so clear in the Greek texts that they have given us.


While it is true that κλάσμα is a neuter noun, it is only used in scriptures in reference to the "fragments" of food left over after the feeding of the 5000 and 4000 (Matt 14:20; 15:37; Mark 6:43; 8:8, 19, 20; Luke 9:17; John 6:12, 13). κλάσις is the word used of eucharistic "breaking" of bread in Luke 24:35; Acts 2:42, and it is feminine. I think that Ed's explanation is a bit of a stretch. I don't find it supported in scriptures.

"This is my Body..."  makes referent back to the bread which has been fragmented/broken by Jesus.  Like an algebraic equation:
Jesus has the broken bread in his hands = This = my Body.  Taking liberties to the grammatical issue referenced in Wallace's text, the antecedent = referent pronoun (ie. This) = postcedent.  What the bread is, is Jesus' body, per grammatical structure using the determinative factor of the antecedent/postcedency of the demonstrative pronoun.  I can't see this any other way.


To quote Wallace's point, of which 1 Cor 11:24 is given as an example:


Conceptual Antecedent/Postcedent

The neuter of οὖτος is routinely used to refer to a phrase or clause. In such cases, the thing referred to is not a specific noun or substantive. The singular is used to refer both to an antecedent and a postcedent on a regular basis while the plural is almost exclusively shut up to retrospective uses. Certain formulaic phrases are often employed, such as διὰ τοῦτο, referring back to the previous argument (cf. Matt 6:25; 12:27; Mark 6:14; Luke 11:19; Rom 1:26; Heb 1:9), or μετὰ τοῦτο, referring to the previous events (Luke 17:8; John 5:1; 21:1; Acts 13:20; 1 Pet 1;11; Rev 4:1). (p. 333)


I'm suggesting that in 1 Cor 11:24 (for example) as τοῦτο in τοῦτο ποιεῖτε refers to "the act of eating bread," as Wallace states; so τοῦτο in τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ σῶμα might also refer to "the act of eating bread," rather than just the bread itself. Similarly, τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον in the next verse, refers to the "acting of drinking 'the fruit of the vine' from the cup," rather than just the cup (or wine) itself.

As such, it makes the words of institution in the upper room closer to Jesus' speech in John 6 about the necessity of eating his flesh. (I recognize that there continues to be debates about whether or not John 6 is eucharistic. I think it is.)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2021, 03:38:19 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2021, 04:18:20 PM »
That is to disconnect 1 Cor 11 from 1 Cor 10:16, 17. That makes zero sense.

George Rahn

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2021, 04:24:03 PM »
From the 1st century forward Christians understood "this" to be referring to the bread that IS Jesus' body - in spite of the various options available for the Greek grammar.  In fact, Ed's explanation, that "this" refers to the fragment of bread (which in Greek is neuter!) fits well with what Christians believed for centuries since the time of the Apostles.


Where do the Apostles say that "this" refers to the "bread"? I'm stating that it isn't so clear in the Greek texts that they have given us.


While it is true that κλάσμα is a neuter noun, it is only used in scriptures in reference to the "fragments" of food left over after the feeding of the 5000 and 4000 (Matt 14:20; 15:37; Mark 6:43; 8:8, 19, 20; Luke 9:17; John 6:12, 13). κλάσις is the word used of eucharistic "breaking" of bread in Luke 24:35; Acts 2:42, and it is feminine. I think that Ed's explanation is a bit of a stretch. I don't find it supported in scriptures.

"This is my Body..."  makes referent back to the bread which has been fragmented/broken by Jesus.  Like an algebraic equation:
Jesus has the broken bread in his hands = This = my Body.  Taking liberties to the grammatical issue referenced in Wallace's text, the antecedent = referent pronoun (ie. This) = postcedent.  What the bread is, is Jesus' body, per grammatical structure using the determinative factor of the antecedent/postcedency of the demonstrative pronoun.  I can't see this any other way.


To quote Wallace's point, of which 1 Cor 11:24 is given as an example:


Conceptual Antecedent/Postcedent

The neuter of οὖτος is routinely used to refer to a phrase or clause. In such cases, the thing referred to is not a specific noun or substantive. The singular is used to refer both to an antecedent and a postcedent on a regular basis while the plural is almost exclusively shut up to retrospective uses. Certain formulaic phrases are often employed, such as διὰ τοῦτο, referring back to the previous argument (cf. Matt 6:25; 12:27; Mark 6:14; Luke 11:19; Rom 1:26; Heb 1:9), or μετὰ τοῦτο, referring to the previous events (Luke 17:8; John 5:1; 21:1; Acts 13:20; 1 Pet 1;11; Rev 4:1). (p. 333)


I'm suggesting that in 1 Cor 11:24 (for example) as τοῦτο in τοῦτο ποιεῖτε refers to "the act of eating bread," as Wallace states; so τοῦτο in τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ σῶμα might also refer to "the act of eating bread," rather than just the bread itself. Similarly, τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον in the next verse, refers to the "acting of drinking 'the fruit of the vine' from the cup," rather than just the cup (or wine) itself.

As such, it makes the words of institution in the upper room closer to Jesus' speech in John 6 about the necessity of eating his flesh. (I recognize that there continues to be debates about whether or not John 6 is eucharistic. I think it is.)

This might be close the issue of usus hinted at in Luther’s theology and to a certain extent in the Lutheran Confessions.  It is a different issue than the issue of identity of the bread being his Body.  Imo

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2021, 05:18:05 PM »
If one complains that "This body is My body" makes no sense, can one seriously argue "this act is My body"? The former makes more sense than the latter.

Yet I maintain there is an "elephant" in the upper room, as the verb klao makes clear. It is the klasma in Jesus' hand, which is the piece of bread He presents to the disciples. Surely no one would deny the real presence of the klasma. : )
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2021, 07:52:25 PM »
That is to disconnect 1 Cor 11 from 1 Cor 10:16, 17. That makes zero sense.


I think that it makes the connection stronger. The communal aspect is stated clearly in 1 Cor 10. Eating from the one loaf makes us one body. We share in the body and blood of Christ. (I also note that Paul makes no mention of forgiveness of sins in his explanations of the sacrament. He centers on the unity it brings.)


There are some ambiguities in these phrases.
οὐχὶ κοινωνία  ἐστὶν τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ

οὐχὶ κοινωνία τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐστιν


οὐχὶ implies that a positive answer is expected to the question.


κοινωνία is based on a root that basically means, "to make or be common." Similarly, in English, "communion," "community," "communication," are all based on a root, "common." κοινωνία gets translated with words like, "communion," "fellowship," "partnership." These phrases are addressed to a group: We are sharing in the blood and the body. We have that in common with each other.


While αἷμα literally means "blood," it is also a term frequently used figuratively for "death" ("generally as the result of violence or execution" according to Lowe & Nida). Our sharing could be understood as wine that is also blood of Christ; or it could be understood figuratively as a sharing in the death of Christ. It is similar to Paul's argument in Romans 6 that we are baptized into Christ's death.


One complaint against the Good News Bible when it came out was that they removed the "blood". They argued that it wasn't just Jesus' blood that brought salvation; if it were, he could have just cut his wrists and shed a little blood for our salvation. It's his death that was required as the sacrifice for our sins, not just shedding some blood. So, to be clear about the meaning, there were places where they translated αἷμα with "death." Sharing in Jesus' blood, is sharing in his death, and the benefits that brings to all of us. We participate in the salvation his death brought to all believers when we drink from the cup. (Not just when it is blessed.)


In a similar way, σῶμα has a literal meaning of "(physical) body" of a person, animal, or plant. It is also frequently used figuratively for "a unified group of people," and more specifically, "the believers of Christ who are joined together by Christ." This is clearly the meaning of σῶμα in 1 Cor 10:17: "we who are many are one body." The figurative meaning is clearly meant in 1 Cor. 12 where it occurs in 15 different verses. (A key difference in interpreting 1 Corinthians 11:29 is whether "body" in "discern the body" refers to the physical body of the risen Jesus or to the figurative body of the community of believers.)


"Sharing in the body of Christ" could mean eating the bread that is Christ's body; or it could be understood figuratively as sharing in the community of believers - being part of the one body that Paul talks about in the next verse.


His argument goes on to talk about eating in pagan temples. The food and drink have no power because pagan gods don't exist; but there are demonic powers that would lead us away from the one true God. Eating and drinking with the pagans becomes partners (κοινωνός) with demons. Sharing a meal with others was a sign of fellowship. If that happens with pagan meals, how much more with a blessed meal that unites us with Christ, his death, and his body. There is the power of Christ in the sacrament to bring us salvation and unity of the one body.


I don't think that this interpretation is necessarily opposed to the real body and blood argument; but I see the community aspect being emphasized much more in Paul (and in the synoptics and Didache) than the individualist forgiveness of my sins should I have the proper understanding of the Real Presence.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2021, 08:21:37 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

George Rahn

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2021, 08:45:07 PM »
That is to disconnect 1 Cor 11 from 1 Cor 10:16, 17. That makes zero sense.


I think that it makes the connection stronger. The communal aspect is stated clearly in 1 Cor 10. Eating from the one loaf makes us one body. We share in the body and blood of Christ. (I also note that Paul makes no mention of forgiveness of sins in his explanations of the sacrament. He centers on the unity it brings.)


There are some ambiguities in these phrases.
οὐχὶ κοινωνία  ἐστὶν τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ

οὐχὶ κοινωνία τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐστιν


οὐχὶ implies that a positive answer is expected to the question.


κοινωνία is based on a root that basically means, "to make or be common." Similarly, in English, "communion," "community," "communication," are all based on a root, "common." κοινωνία gets translated with words like, "communion," "fellowship," "partnership." These phrases are addressed to a group: We are sharing in the blood and the body. We have that in common with each other.


While αἷμα literally means "blood," it is also a term frequently used figuratively for "death" ("generally as the result of violence or execution" according to Lowe & Nida). Our sharing could be understood as wine that is also blood of Christ; or it could be understood figuratively as a sharing in the death of Christ. It is similar to Paul's argument in Romans 6 that we are baptized into Christ's death.


One complaint against the Good News Bible when it came out was that they removed the "blood". They argued that it wasn't just Jesus' blood that brought salvation; if it were, he could have just cut his wrists and shed a little blood for our salvation. It's his death that was required as the sacrifice for our sins, not just shedding some blood. So, to be clear about the meaning, there were places where they translated αἷμα with "death." Sharing in Jesus' blood, is sharing in his death, and the benefits that brings to all of us. We participate in the salvation his death brought to all believers when we drink from the cup. (Not just when it is blessed.)


In a similar way, σῶμα has a literal meaning of "(physical) body" of a person, animal, or plant. It is also frequently used figuratively for "a unified group of people," and more specifically, "the believers of Christ who are joined together by Christ." This is clearly the meaning of σῶμα in 1 Cor 10:17: "we who are many are one body." The figurative meaning is clearly meant in 1 Cor. 12 where it occurs in 15 different verses. (A key difference in interpreting 1 Corinthians 11:29 is whether "body" in "discern the body" refers to the physical body of the risen Jesus or to the figurative body of the community of believers.)


"Sharing in the body of Christ" could mean eating the bread that is Christ's body; or it could be understood figuratively as sharing in the community of believers - being part of the one body that Paul talks about in the next verse.


His argument goes on to talk about eating in pagan temples. The food and drink have no power because pagan gods don't exist; but there are demonic powers that would lead us away from the one true God. Eating and drinking with the pagans becomes partners (κοινωνός) with demons. Sharing a meal with others was a sign of fellowship. If that happens with pagan meals, how much more with a blessed meal that unites us with Christ, his death, and his body. There is the power of Christ in the sacrament to bring us salvation and unity of the one body.


I don't think that this interpretation is necessarily opposed to the real body and blood argument; but I see the community aspect being emphasized much more in Paul (and in the synoptics and Didache) than the individualist forgiveness of my sins should I have the proper understanding of the Real Presence.

I don’t think that there is a need to make Paul’s recitation of what Jesus actually gave to him personally (when Paul received the words of institution in these verses) anything other than what Jesus said to him in the 1 Corinthians 11 passages.  Like anything with Jesus you get not just a part but you get the whole Person.  The forgiveness of sins is the same as being reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5) (and then subsequently with one another).  As P.  Melanchthon wrote:  “To know Christ is to know his benefits.”  Forgiveness of sins and reconciliation are some of those benefits.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2021, 01:22:48 AM »
I don’t think that there is a need to make Paul’s recitation of what Jesus actually gave to him personally (when Paul received the words of institution in these verses) anything other than what Jesus said to him in the 1 Corinthians 11 passages.  Like anything with Jesus you get not just a part but you get the whole Person.  The forgiveness of sins is the same as being reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5) (and then subsequently with one another).  As P.  Melanchthon wrote:  “To know Christ is to know his benefits.”  Forgiveness of sins and reconciliation are some of those benefits.


I’m not sure that I would use “subsequently” in terms of being reconciled with one another.


If “is” means “is” when Jesus and we declare, “This IS my body,” shouldn’t the same logic apply to “are” in “we who are many ARE one body”?



"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

George Rahn

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2021, 02:39:50 PM »
I don’t think that there is a need to make Paul’s recitation of what Jesus actually gave to him personally (when Paul received the words of institution in these verses) anything other than what Jesus said to him in the 1 Corinthians 11 passages.  Like anything with Jesus you get not just a part but you get the whole Person.  The forgiveness of sins is the same as being reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5) (and then subsequently with one another).  As P.  Melanchthon wrote:  “To know Christ is to know his benefits.”  Forgiveness of sins and reconciliation are some of those benefits.


I’m not sure that I would use “subsequently” in terms of being reconciled with one another.


If “is” means “is” when Jesus and we declare, “This IS my body,” shouldn’t the same logic apply to “are” in “we who are many ARE one body”?

I can agree with your second assertion as being one body as long as we understand who the head of that body is.  In Christ we are one body. 

To the first assertion 2 Corinthians 5 says:  “God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself...”
That world includes God’s humans individually cumulatively  and collectively .

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What Does Τοῦτο Refer To?
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2021, 08:56:59 PM »
A new question came up in my mind: Does ἄρτος ever refer to unleavened bread?


The answer could make a difference as to whether the Upper Room event occurred on the first day of the festival of Unleavened Bread (the synoptics) or the day before (John).


Preliminary answer is no. ἄρτος never replaces מַצָה in the LXX. מַצָה is the only Hebrew word I've found that means "unleavened bread" or "unleavened cakes." ἄζυμος is the Greek word that is used for [/size]מַצָה


However, there are ten verses where ἄρτος and ἄζυμος; always to distinguish it from λάγανον ἄζυμον; i.e., "unleavened loaf" and "unleavened wafer." So, there were at least two different [/size]מַצָה, distinguished perhaps by shape, but both made without leaven. Jesus could have be holding a [/size]מַצָה in the shape of ἄρτος.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]