Monday, January 01, 2007

Receptionism revisited

I got an email reply to my very first post and I wanted to share this response.

I received a response to my posting on the Receptionist position regarding the Lord's Supper. I raised a question in light of the Augsburg Confession article X. The respondent referred to the Triglotta translation of the same sentence I quoted from the Tappert translation.

Tappert says that the body and blood are "distributed" as well as received. Triglotta says: "the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present, and are distributed to those who eat the Supper of the Lord."

It was suggested that this Triglotta translation may support the Consecrationist position as well as the Receptionist. The Receptionist understanding would be that the presence is determined only upon and at the time of eating and drinking.

I find myself stumbling on this argument, however. The Triglotta is no different than Tappert, except that it seems to direct one towards a Consecrationist position even more strongly. Note that there is a comma inserted between the clause stating the Body and Blood are present and the clause stating that they are distributed. To my understanding, this comma would push even further in suggesting that the presence is effective apart from the distribution.

In addition, I am still hung up on the plain meaning of the words. A thing must be present to be distributed. If I were to phrase AC X to support a Receptionist understanding, I think I would word it something like this: "the Body and Blood of Christ are truly received by those who eat the Supper of the Lord."

In fact, I can't seem to get over the notion that the whole of the argument for the real presence would have been altered if a Receptionist position were true. We would no longer have an argument for the real presence, because the Body and Blood are not present until the bread and wine are eaten. Instead, we should have an argument for the real reception. This the AC and Apology do not argue for.

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