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In my translation of a work by John of Damascus entitled Περὶ τοῦ ἀχράντου σώματος, οὗ μεταλαμβάνομεν, it is my understanding that John wrote,

Even as his body prior to the resurrection of the dead was corruptible, broken, eaten, and drunk, nevertheless, [it was] not corrupted. Then why has he not done this after the resurrection, but before the resurrection? Because the body that is incorruptible by the resurrection is neither broken, nor eaten, nor drunk. Neither does the incorruptible body possess blood, nor would it be rightly called "flesh" (σὰρξ), just as Gregory the Theologian stated in the Oration for Baptism: "Believe Christ, the Son of God, shall come again with his glorious presence to judge the living and the death. No longer flesh, yet not bodiless, of a more God-like body (for which things [God] Himself knows the reasons), so that he may also be seen by those who pierced him and remain God without passibility."

Greek text:

Ὥσπερ ἦν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ πρὸ τῆς ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστάσεως φθαρτὸν, κλώμενον, ἐσθιόμενον καὶ πινόμενον, ἀδιάφθορον μέντοι· ἐπεὶ τίνος ἕνεκεν οὐ μετὰ τὴν ἀνάστασιν τοῦτο πεποίηκεν, ἀλλὰ πρὸ τῆς ἀναστάσεως; Ὅτι τὸ διὰ τῆς ἀναστάσεως ἄφθαρτον σῶμα οὐ κλᾶται, οὔτε ἐσθίεται, οὔτε πίνεται· οὔτε αἷμα τὸ ἄφθαρτον κέκτηται σῶμα, ἀλλ' οὔτε σὰρξ ἂν δικαίως ὀνομάζοιτο, καθώς φησιν ὁ τῆς θεολογίας ἐπώνυμος Γρηγόριος ἐν τῷ εἰς βάπτισμα λόγῳ· «Πίστευε Χριστὸν τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἥξειν πάλιν μετὰ τῆς ἐνδόξου αὐτοῦ παρουσίας κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς· οὐκέτι μὲν σάρκα, οὐκ ἀσώματον δὲ, οἷς οἶδεν αὐτὸς λόγους, θεοειδεστέρου σώματος, ἵνα καὶ ὀφθῇ ὑπὸ τῶν ἐκκεντησάντων, καὶ μείνῃ Θεὸς ἔξω παχύτητος.»

John explicitly states that the incorruptible body does not possess blood (οὔτε αἷμα τὸ ἄφθαρτον κέκτηται σῶμα). If this is true, how can Roman Catholics drink Jesus' blood during the Eucharist if indeed Jesus, presently with an incorruptible body, does not possess blood?

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Are you asking about the nature of the Eucharist, or the nature of the incorruptible body? There is an assumption implicit in the question which is actually invalid. –  Andrew Leach May 28 '13 at 13:54
@Andrew Leach: The question: If this is true, how can Roman Catholics drink Jesus' blood during the Eucharist if indeed Jesus, presently with an incorruptible body, does not possess blood? If you believe John of Damascus is wrong, please feel free to state why. –  H3br3wHamm3r81 May 28 '13 at 18:39
The issue is not that John of Damascus is wrong, but your view of the Eucharist is wrong. This is currently Not a Real Question because the whole premise is flawed. –  Andrew Leach May 28 '13 at 23:05
Wikipedia: "In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio, in Greek μετουσίωσις metousiosis) is the doctrine that, in the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and the wine used in the sacrament is literally, not merely as by a sign or a figure, but in actual reality as well, changed into the substance of the Body and the Blood of Jesus..." Catholics do believe they literally drink the blood of Jesus and eat his flesh. This happens because of transubstantiation. Would you care to point out how my view of the Eucharist is faulty? –  H3br3wHamm3r81 May 29 '13 at 0:55
This question is presented more like a trap than a sincere interest in St. John's assertion. The Eucharist is the body and blood "given up for you." It's the sacrifice of the cross made immediately present. If St. John's comments are accurate, the Eucharist is therefor the corruptible, pre-risen body of Christ. In the end, it's all a big paradox. But, if you're going to be a stickler for terminology, I think it's accurate to say the Eucharist is the incorrupt, corruptible body and blood of Christ. –  svidgen May 29 '13 at 5:05
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2 Answers

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The issue is the use of the words substance and substantial, and applying a modern meaning to them.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, following the doctrine expounded at the Council of Trent, says

1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that 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."206

But just because the "substance" of the bread is changed into the "substance" of the Body, and the "substance" of the wine is changed into the "substance" of the Blood, it doesn't mean that the species of the bread has changed. It's still bread; and the wine is still wine.

St Cyril of Jerusalem (313–386) wrote in his Catecheses, quoted by Pope Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei:

Instructed as you are in these matters, and filled with an unshakeable faith that what seems to be bread is not bread — though it tastes like it — but rather the Body of Christ; and that what seems to be wine is not wine — even though it too tastes like it — but rather the Blood of Christ … draw strength from receiving this bread as spiritual food and your soul will rejoice.

Catecheses, 22.9 [myst. 4] PG 33.1103

All the documents of the Church are written in Latin and then translated into other languages. In recent years, there has been a tendency to use Latinate words in English which are cognate with the original Latin text, even though their meaning has shifted since they were originally adopted in English. This particularly afflicts substance which came to English from Norman French, where it had already acquired a different nuance of meaning from Classical Latin. OED has, in its etymology:

physical existence, matter, (in theology) essence (all late 12th cent.)

classical Latin substantia ... underlying or essential nature ...

By the late twelfth century, substance had a meaning very close to its modern English meaning. But the Latin substantia, which is translated as substance, means something different. Thus it's wrong to impute a physicality of flesh to the bread, or of blood to the wine. But even though the bread remains in its species of bread, it nevertheless becomes, in its underlying or essential nature, the Body of Christ (perhaps it might even be said to have two natures in much the same way as Jesus himself had two natures in hypostatic union). The Church teaches transubstantiation; it does not teach transpeciation, where bread is changed into meat.

It is in this way that

The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.207

CCC 1377

The Eucharistic presence of Christ is not derived from his glorious body (which may or may not have blood): it's derived from his earthly body, which definitely was flesh and blood.

CCC 1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different."190

It is Christ's offering of his earthly self on the Cross which is united with the offering on the altar.

Now, this may not actually answer the question "Does the incorruptible body possess blood?" but that's because it answers the secondary question "How can Roman Catholics drink Jesus' blood in the Eucharist?" The Eucharist does not depend on the nature of the incorruptible body.

190 Council of Trent (1562) Doctrina de ss. Missae sacrificio, c. 2: DS 1743; cf. Heb 9:14,27.
206 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1642; cf. Mt 26:26 ff.; Mk 14:22 ff.; Lk 22:19 ff.; 1 Cor 11:24 ff.
207 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1641.

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Eucharistic wine is true blood of Christ, in a mystical sense. It is not actual, physical blood.

It is actual blood in essence, ie, in what it means - life, total self giving. Eucharist is a memory of the actual historical sacrifice, and a continuing, complete self giving of Jesus to us.

A sign is something that is not what it is showing/pointing to. A sign is worthless in it self. In this meaning, Eucharist is not a sign. In contrast to this meaning, Eucharist IS blood and body of Christ.

In this mystical meaning, your question does not apply. Ie, Catholics do not believe that Christ is continually cutting Himself daily to give us a little of his blood, so the question of weather His current body has or has no blood, in relation to Eucharist is meaningless.

Ie, the belief that Eucharist is both blood and body of Christ and bread and wine, is a mystery similar to the Trinity.

Hope this makes a bit of sense :)

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I am not a Catholic, but this explanation seems to differ with the Council of Trent's declaration that "in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ." In other words, not just mystical but literal flesh and blood. –  Bob Black Feb 10 at 18:06
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