tisdag 13 februari 2018

The Innovations of the Roman Church #3 Unleavened wafers

This is extracted, unedited, from “The Innovations of the Roman Church” by Apostolos Makrakis (1831-1905). Even in his lifetime, Makrakis was notorious as an “Orthodox Fundamentalist” and got himself into trouble. However, whilst his approach is abstruse, and at times verges on rant. I make no claim to be able to follow the argument except in the most general terms. 

The comments on the chronology of Holy Week are important. That the Last Supper was not a Jewish Seder is evident from the Gospel of John, which records that the bodies were taken down from the Cross because it was Preparation Day for the Passover. Makrakis makes the important point that the confusion over the day arises from a mistranslation of Luke 22:7. From the confusion over this point arises a further confusion, that the Mass is a re-enactment of the Last Supper; in 1976, I was at a course where a Jesuit liturgical expert defended the Vatican 2 liturgical reforms with the statement that “the Last Supper certainly did not look like the Tridentine Mass.”

 “Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you It was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread out of heaven... I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst... I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if anyone eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world... Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you... he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.” (John 6.32,35,51,53,58).

Through Moses the heavenly Father gave the Jews the manna in the wilderness, which manna they called “bread from heaven.” (John 6.31). But that bread was the shadow, the type, and the similitude of the true bread. The true bread is Jesus, whom the good Father gave out of heaven, and the eaters of whom shall never die. Having first taught and theoretically explained the food value of the bread that came down out of heaven, he afterwards practically delivered to the Apostles the true bread—His body and His blood—as is related in the following passage: “And as they were eating, Jesus took the bread, and blessed and brake it, and gave of it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.” (Matt. 26.26).

It was through eating of the forbidden fruit in Paradise that sin and death entered into men, and it is through eating the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ out of the cup that righteousness and life enter and dispel death. The flesh and blood of Jesus is the antidote to death, and by eating and drinketh them man, who is mortal because of the original sin, becomes immortal.

The holy Apostles did as they had been taught by Jesus. They always performed the sacrament of the divine Eucharist by means of (leavened) bread. The church of Christ was instructed by the Apostles how to perform the sacrament with bread, and it observes and will forever observe this rigorous rule unchanged.

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and in communion and in the breaking of bread and in prayer.” (Acts 2.42). They called the sacrament. of the Eucharist breaking of bread and communion.

“And upon the first day of the week (our Sunday), when the disciples gathered together to break bread, Paul conversed with them... And having come up, and having broken bread, and having tasted thereof, and having talked for quite a while until daybreak, he departed.” (Acts 20:7,11). “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, and, after giving thanks, brake it, and said. “Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor. 11.23-24). This custom the Orthodox Church strictly keeps and observes, performing the bloodless, sacrifice with leavened bread.

“For the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Where wilt thou that we make ready for thee to eat the passover?” (Mali. 26.17). “And for the first day of unleavened bread, when they were wont to sacrifice the passover, his disciples say unto him, Where wilt thou that we go away and make ready that thou mayest eat the passover.” (Mark 14.12). “And the day of unleavened bread came, on which the passover had to be sacrificed. And he sent Peter and John away, saying, Go and make ready for us the passover, that we may eat the passover.” (Luke 22.7.).

The fifteenth day of the month of March was called the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, because, beginning with this day, all leavened bread disappeared from every Jewish household, and unleavened bread (“matzos”) was eaten for seven days. On the evening of the fourteenth day of the same month the paschal lamb was sacrificed, and it was eaten during the night with unleavened bread in accordance with the law’s percept. But the Passover was made ready three or four days in advance, or before the day of unleavened bread, on which the lamb was sacrificed and eaten. For this reason the dative case of the Greek word for “first” (day) must be interpreted by the preposition “for” as an expression of a causal relation, and not by the preposition “on” as an expression of a temporal relation. The dative case is equivalent, as a general rule, to the English prepositions “to” and “for”—either the one or the other of which is employed to translate it, according to the context. In the case under discussion it is plain that “for”. And not “to” makes sense in English, as well as “on”, and in Greek likewise either a causal or a temporal meaning may be attached to the dative case in the sentence above quoted. Which is the true meaning can be inferred only by reference to the context as a whole and surrounding circumstances.

If we accept the causal sense as the true one,the meaning becomes: “Because of the first day of unleavened bread,” or, “on account of the approach of the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, and asked Him where He wanted them to get the Passover ready, so that they might eat it on the first day of unleavened bread.” But the headless translators of the Holy Scriptures overlooked these facts and relied only on guesswork, in making their translations; for this reasons their readers are unable afterwards to make heads or tails of their words. Their mistranslation is inconsistent with the preparation of the Passover, which took place several days before the first day, and not on the first day, for on that day the Passover was ready to be eaten. In order to reconcile the false statement in the English version with the truth of the matter, commentators are compelled to make many absurd assumptions, and become involved in an endless labyrinth of foolish suppositions. The same reasoning, of course, applies to all three of the passages above quoted. In order to convince himself concerning the truth of these conclusions, the reader is advised to consult the Old Testament passages bearing upon the celebration of the Jewish Passover, particularly Ex. 12.17-19.

The Jewish Passover was sacrificed (celebrated) on the evening of the fourteenth day of March; the preparation for it, however, began on the tenth day of the month and lasted until the thirteenth, which was the eve, or day before the Passover. Nevertheless, it was the custom to say “Passover has come” on the eve of Passover, and not on the day thereof.

Apostolic Canon LXX: “If any Bishop or Priest or anyone in the list of clergymen fasts with the Jews or celebrates a feast with them or receives from them the gifts of the feast, that is, azymes, or any such thing, let him be deposed. In case he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.”

From this also it becomes patent how reprehensible the Latins are, who have made innovations in the sacrament of the Eucharist and have introduced into it the Jewish azymes (“matzos”), or unleavened wafers. That the azymes are an innovation is quite plain. For, from the time of Christ down to the year 1053, the Western Church celebrated mass with leavened bread; in the year just mentioned Pope Leo IX substituted azymes for the first time. The first man to compose the Holy Mass was James the Apostle, and St. Basil extended it, and his extension was further lengthened by St. Chrysostom. All these writers direct the Holy Eucharist to be celebrated with bread.

The infallible Pope uses unleavened bread, instead of leavened, in celebrating the Eucharist, on the strength of the allegation that Christ ate the Passover with unleavened bread in the case under discussion, misinterpreting the passages above quoted and thereby inviting perdition upon himself and his followers.

In doing so he rejects or disregards the positive statements of Jesus; “I am the bread,” “he that eateth of this bread,” “Jesus took the bread... and said,... this is my body,” etc., so as to further his heresy and error. The disciples made ready the Passover on Thursday the fifth day of the week, and ate it in company with Jesus; then went to a place called Gethsemane, where Jesus was arrested by the Pharisees. However, it was the New Passover, or Easter, which they ate, and not the Old, or Jewish, Passover. The Jewish Passover was sacrificed, or celebrated, on the following Friday, the sixth day of the week, in the evening, about six o’clock by the Jewish hour, or twelve o’clock by ours, and was eaten in the night with azymes (matzos), and the following day (Saturday) was called the first day of azymes (unleavened), for it was counted the first and after it came the other six days of azymes.

“Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium (the governor’s headquarters, or hall of justice). It was morning; and they themselves (the Pharisees) went not into the praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.” (John 18.28).

The scribes and Pharisees dld not fear God, and, contrary to the law, they condemned righteous and innocent Jesus to death, but they did fear being defiled by going into the praetorium, which would have prevented their eating the Passover that evening. Though swallowing the camel, they strained out the gnat, lest they swallow it too. The infallible pontiffs of Rome, on the other hand, outview the Pharisees by swallowing the camel without even straining out the gnat; for they eat the Jewish azymes, but observe no law whatever.

The last-quoted passage is further proof that Jesus did not eat azymes and the paschal lamb at the supper of the last evening with His disciples, for that was not the day of azymes and of the Passover. Thus it is plain that they did not eat the “legal” Passover, but the new Passover of the Lord, which they ate with bread and reclining at the table; whereas, had it been the “legal” Passover, or Jewish Pasch, they would have been obliged to eat azymes standing and with their loins girded. No complaint was made against Jesus and His disciples that they had eaten the Passover reclining, for they did not eat the “legal” Passover at all. The Lamb of God took bread and, having blessed it, said: “This is my body. Take, eat;... do this.” Moreover, He sacrificed Himself the next day, Friday, becoming both sacrificer and sacrificial victim in the person of the Lamb. Therefore the bread offered in sacrifice at the Eucharist is in reality the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world; and he that eateth of this bread will live forever.

The Roman Catholics keep the Jewish Passover instead of the Christian Easter, for instead of bread they use unleavened wafers, or azymes, and let them not deceive themselves. Instead of the essence they keep the type and the shadow; instead of grace, the curse of the law. But both the Jews and the Roman Catholics are on the road to perdition, which will surely be their fate unless they repent and embrace Christ. The few Orthodox Christians who join the ranks of the Roman Catholic Church are to be classed with Judas the betrayer and are only inviting their own perdition. Let them beware of hallucination.

Jesus expired upon the Cross the ninth hour of Friday, or about 3 p.m. according to our time of the day. While the Jewish Passover was being celebrated, Jesus was already in His new tomb. His disciples, having scattered out of fear or having hidden themselves in the attic, were groaning in grief, until they heard that immortal reveille announcing: “He is risen; He is not here!”

Consequently, the false supposition that Jesus ate the Jewish Passover with His disciples with azymes, before the advent of the Passover, is proven to be utterly fallacious. Yet upon that supposition the Roman Catholic Papists base their heresy of azymes—the heresy of celebrating the sacrament of the Eucharist with unleavened wafers, and not with (leavened) bread in accordance with the Lord’s teaching. Moreover, those of our own Orthodox brethren who accept the sprinkling of Roman Catholics joining the Orthodox Church as valid and sufficient to take the place of true baptism (trine immersion) are equally guilty of the azyme heresy of the Pope, since he is the inventor and legislator of both those diabolical institutions; and let them not deceive themselves. The Holy Spirit prophesied with regard to such persons: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. But because thou art thus lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”
(Rev. 3:15-16).

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