Luther said Yes, Zwingli said No. Both men are arguing on biblical grounds. Who is interpreting scriptures correctly?
ESV - 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
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This is an issue which is difficult because it has for a long time divided Christians into two parties and is the subject of great controversy. Luther believed that the real body and blood of Christ was present in the elements of bread and wine. Zwingli believed that the bread and wine only signified the body and blood of Christ and they were not really present. Which is right? The answer to this question hinges up whether the passage in the Bible "This is my body which is given for you " is designed to be understood literally or figuratively. Many Christians take the view that the Bible should always be understood literally wherever that is possible and that we are in danger of explaining away the real meaning of the Bible if we try to interpret it figuratively. So when Jesus says, "This is my body" they claim we have to understand that the literal body of Christ is present in the bread and wine. Other Christians believe that the Bible uses figurative language in many places and that a strict literal interpretation is not only superficial but leads to serious errors of understanding. So when Jesus says "This is my body" these Christians claim that we need to understand this means the bread and wine only signify his body and are just a picture of his body. At the end of the day what it comes down to is this: how well do you know Jesus and the way that he talks to his disciples? How well do you really understand him and his language? This is the same Jesus who used figurative language, pictures and parables more than any other teacher. John 16:25 This is the same Jesus who said, "I am the Vine, you are the branches", who said "Let the dead bury their dead", Who said "I am the gate for the sheep", etc. In this context, when Jesus says "this is my body" the disciples who sat round that table would have understand that Jesus was using a picture as he had done so many times before. This bread was not his literal body, for his body was sat in front of them. This was something they would do to remember him, and the bread and wine would signify his body. Those who took him literally didn't really understand him at all. (John 10:6) Zwingli got it right, Luther for once, got it wrong. But then we can't all be perfect, can we? Regards, Philip
I think Luther was correct and Zwingli misinterpreted scriptures. Here's why. The doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that in the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists frequently attack this doctrine as "unbiblical," but the Bible is forthright in declaring it (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16–17, 11:23–29; and, most forcefully, John 6:32–71). When Jesus said, "Take and eat, this is my body", the audience understood it literally. The Church Fathers interpreted these passages literally. Catholics continue to preach this passage literally. Luther's banging of the table shouting "This is my body! This is my body! This is my body!" was understandable.
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