Saturday, September 17, 2011

Clement of Alexandria Seems to Have Used a Gospel Which Had Jesus Say 'This is the Sign of My Blood'

When we get back to the task of deciding whether or not the original saying of Jesus's saying at the Eucharist was something like 'this is the type of my body' a very important - and often overlooked - Patristic source is Clement of Alexandria. It is very hard to argue that Clement had a gospel which didn't record something like this saying (as opposed to our 'this is my blood' when you read:
The Scripture, accordingly, has named wine the symbol of the sacred blood (Μυστικὸν ἄρα σύμβολον ἡ γραφὴ αἵματος ἁγίου οἶνον ὠνόμασεν) [2.2]
We should also consider this explanation by Clement just before:
The Word desired that the 'blood of the grape' be mixed with water as a symbol that his own blood is an integral element in salvation. Now the blood of the Lord is twofold; one is corporeal, redeeming us from corruption, the other is spiritual and it is with what we are anointed. Yet the spirit is the strength of the Word in the same way the blood is of the body. Similarly wine is mixed with water and the Spirit is joined to man. The first, the mixture, provides feasting that faith may be increased, the other, the Spirit, leads us to incorruption.

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