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Did Martin Luther use the phrase "in, with, and under" to describe the Eucharist?

Discussion in 'Theologia Crucis - Lutherans' started by MrPolo, May 14, 2011.

  1. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    I can find the quote "in, with, and under" on several Lutheran Church sites, but I haven't seen it in a writing of Luther himself. Does the phrase appear in Luther's works?
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  2. LilLamb219

    LilLamb219 The Lamb is gone Supporter

    Even if nothing but bread and wine were present in the Supper, and yet I tried, simply for my own satisfaction, to express the thought that Christ's body is in the bread, I still could not say anything in a more certain, simpler, and clearer way than, "Take, eat, this is my body." For if the text read, "Take, eat, in the bread is my body," or, "With the bread is my body," or, "Under the bread is my body," it would immediately begin to rain, hail, and snow a storm of fanatics crying, "You see! do you hear that? Christ does not say, �This bread is my body," but, �In the bread, or with the bread, or under the bread is my body!" And they would cry, "Oh, how gladly would we believe if he had said, 'This is my body'; this would have been distinct and clear. But he actually says, 'In the bread, with the bread, under the bread', so it does not follow that his body is present." Thus a thousand evasions and glosses would have been devised over the words "in, with, and under," no doubt with greater plausibility and less chance of stopping it than now.

    Martin Luther, vol. 37, Luther's Works, Vol. 37 : Word and Sacrament III, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, Luther's Works (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999, c1961), 306.

    (NOTE: I found this on another site and have not verified that the citing is accurate)
  3. CaliforniaJosiah

    CaliforniaJosiah Well-Known Member Supporter


    The closest I can think of (off the top of my head) is this, from the Small Catechism:

    As I understand it, Lutherans passionately embrace Real Presence - that Christ is literally, fully, physically present - as He promised (and as Paul teaches).

    The very minor point (hardly mentioned by Lutherans) is one that Catholics dwell on when discussing Lutherans: Lutherans do NOT teach that Jesus and Paul were wrong to speak (equally) of bread and wine AFTER the Consecration, that Lutherans do not follow Zwingli's example of an arbitrary, baseless, imposed, split "half is/half isn't exactly" handling of the Eucharist texts after the Consecration: we simply accept what Jesus said and Paul penned - that's it, that's all - no dogma to negate anything.

    Why is it SO very, very, very important to the RCC to somehow negate the words of Jesus and Paul is a point that troubled me in my Catholic days - particularly since I never could determine WHY it is SO very obsessed by the need to do that. What's WRONG with what Jesus said and Paul penned? I never could get an answer to that....

    But there's the point I think our Catholic brothers and sisters don't get. Our ENTIRE point is CHRIST, not bread and wine. THEY are the ones (and the only ones) indicating that Lutherans are focused on the cheap crackers and lousy wine (sorry, but it's true). NO. When the Father placed the Host on my tongue tomorrow, I can tell you now what his words will be; VERBATIM. He will say, "Josiah - this IS the Body of Christ." He will not say, "Josiah - this IS a cheap waffer the altar guild bought for the cheapest place they could find it." But nor will he say, "Josiah - I know that Jesus and Paul spoke of bread AFTER the Consecration - but don't you believe it."

    IF I can look to Christ and know He is BOTH God and man (even though even if I lived then I'd only see one of those realities), then I can look at the Eucharist and know it is BOTH what He and Paul said (even though I can only see one of the realities). I feel no need to negate what Jesus said and Paul penned - even if it has no consequence (heck, I have better bread and a LOT better wine right here in my apartment)

    I hope that helps.

    May all the Eucharistic blessings be yours, my brother and friend.


    - Josiah


  4. Brachglad

    Brachglad Newbie

    In his Larger Catechism Luther writes under the heading "The Sacrament of the Altar" (this section is ommitted by some printers, who for some reason only include his teaching on the Ten Commandments):
    "das Sacrament des Altars ... ist der ware leib und blut des HERRN Christi ynn und unter dem brod und wein..." (pardon the archaic German spelling)

    That is: "The Sacrament of the Altar ... is the true body and blood of the LORD Christ in and under the bread and wine". (NB The word 'unter' can also be translated 'among' and where the word 'bei' is rendered 'with' it can also be translated as 'alongside' or 'at')

    Luther is not committed to one particular phrasing, but to the idea of the simultaneous presence of Christ and the elements (bread/wine). This view is often called consubstantiation by theologians. It's noteworthy that in the Smaller Catechism (same heading) Luther uses the shorter "unter dem brod und wein" - which incidentally I believe would be better rendererd "among the bread and wine" than "under ..." as it indicates a sub-material presence which I doubt Luther intended. (L elaborates this in "The Babylonian Captivity of the Church")

    Hope this helps.
  5. DaRev

    DaRev Well-Known Member

    Albeit errantly.
  6. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    I don't see the term "bei" in the quote you cite. Is that in another of his works?
  7. goldbeach

    goldbeach Guest

    Another instance from Luther

    We proved above in our comments on Luke that these words, “This cup is the new testament in my blood,” cannot be a trope, because the expression “in my blood” has the same meaning as “through” or “with” my blood. For Christ’s blood cannot be such an insignificant thing that it yields only a sign of the new testament, as the calves’ blood did in Moses’ time. Neither can “blood” be a trope, for the cup cannot by virtue of a sign of the blood, or ordinary wine, become so important a thing, viz. the new testament.
    Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ; Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther's Works, Vol. 37 : Word and Sacrament III. Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1999, c1961 (Luther's Works 37), S. 37:III-336