The Mingled Cup, part 4

The East and the West eventually lost track of both the meaning and the mode of the Lord's Supper.
The East and the West eventually lost track of both the meaning and the mode of the Lord’s Supper.

Thus far in our series on the Mingled Cup we have analyzed the ancient history of winemaking from the Greek, Roman, Jewish and early Christian perspectives. In those times it was typical to add water to “pure wine,” or merum,  prior to consumption. Merum alone was too intoxicating and unpalatable to be served without the beneficial tempering effect of water. The resulting mixture was called “wine and water,” “wine with water,” “mingled wine,” or just “wine.” So commonly understood was the mixture of wine and water that early writers simply assumed that Jesus had turned water into “mixed wine” in the miracle at Cana (John 2:1-11), because it was common knowledge that nobody would have served straight merum at a wedding feast.

Continue reading The Mingled Cup, part 4

The Mingled Cup, part 3

In the Early Church, "mixed wine" was so common, they believed Jesus had made "mixed wine" out of water at Cana (John 2:1-11)
In the Early Church, “mixed wine” was such a common wedding drink, they simply assumed that Jesus had made already “mixed wine” out of water at Cana (John 2:1-11)

In the first installment in this series, we provided a survey of the manufacture and consumption of wine in the ancient Greek, Jewish, Roman and Christian cultures. In all these cultures, merum—“pure wine,” or “undiluted wine”—was mixed with water prior to drinking because the consumption of straight merum was both unpalatable and uncivilized. Because merum was unfit for consumption except by barbarians, the whole civilized world added water to merum to make wine. Wine for drinking, therefore, was simply “pure wine” mingled with water. Or, more succinctly, wine was called “wine with water” or “wine and water,” in reference to its two ingredients: “pure wine” (merum) and water. Continue reading The Mingled Cup, part 3

The Mingled Cup, part 2

In the math of ancient wine production, wine + water = wine.
In the math of ancient wine production, “wine and water” was wine.

In our previous installment, we discussed the ancient practice of mixing “pure wine,” or merum, with water to make “wine,” as well as the ancient Greek, Jewish, Roman and Christian aversion to drinking merum straight. That ancient practice and that ancient aversion were widely known, and it should come as no surprise that the Early Church Fathers were aware of them, too.  Roman Catholicism claims that the liturgical rite of mixing wine with water as part of the Eucharistic liturgy can be traced all the way back to Jesus’ own administration of the Last Supper. But their evidence for the early origination of the “liturgical rite” is based not on any actual liturgical tradition of the Early Church, but solely on the early Church’s expressions of the ingredients and production of wine. To the early Church, “wine and water” was, in fact, wine, and that is what they used for the Lord’s Supper. There was nothing liturgically significant about mixing it. It was not until the latter part of the 4th century that the early Church’s use of “wine and water” began to be interpreted as a liturgical, apostolic rite. Over the next two installments, we will assess the ante-Nicene, Nicene and the early post-Nicene references to mixed wine—Justin Martyr, Irenæus of Lyons, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian of Carthage, Aphrahat of Persia, Hilary of Poitiers and Ambrose of Milan—to show how the early references to a commonly known manufacturing process began to be interpreted as a liturgical rite that was eventually codified into Roman Catholic canon law. Continue reading The Mingled Cup, part 2

The Mingled Cup, part 1

Unsurprisingly, Jesus used prepared wine at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, Luke 22:8)
Unsurprisingly, Jesus used prepared wine and baked bread at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, Luke 22:8)

Although Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics both recognize the institution of the Lord’s Supper and celebrate it regularly, one of the several differences between the two is that Roman Catholics have added a liturgical step that is generally unfamiliar to most Protestants. As part of the Eucharistic rite of Roman Catholicism, the priest mixes a little water with the wine prior to consecration. So indispensable to the sacrament is the mixing of water with wine that the 22nd session of the Council of Trent (1562-1563) anathematized anyone who denied that step in the liturgy (Council of Trent, Session 22, Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon IX). It may therefore come as a surprise that, as indispensable as the mixing of the water is to their liturgy, Roman Catholics do not actually know why they do it, do not know how much water to add, are not sure how to administer it correctly, and are not even sure what it is alleged to signify. And that is a pretty thin foundation for a liturgical rite, the denial of which is considered to be an excommunicable offense. Continue reading The Mingled Cup, part 1

The “Protty” Jesus

We agree with Mr. Voris when he says that Roman Catholics worship a different god.
We agree with Mr. Voris when he says that Roman Catholics worship a different god.

The Vortex is a video production of the Roman Catholic ministry called Church Militant, operated by Michael Voris. In his short eight-minute video from May 23, Mr. Voris briefly introduces, and then immediately sets aside, the question of whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God. He does this in order to address what he believes to be a much more pressing question: “Do Protestants and Catholics worship the same Jesus?” His refreshingly honest conclusion is, “Nope,” and such refreshing honesty finds a very welcome reception here at Out of His Mouth. We agree with him. Continue reading The “Protty” Jesus

Nicæa and the Roman Precedent

The Council of Nicæa recognized that the Bishop of Rome was a small fish in a big pond.
At the Council of Nicæa in 325 A.D., Alexandria and Antioch were both located within the civil diocese of Oriens.

Last year we posted two separate entries, False Teeth and “Unless I am Deceived…,” both dealing with the anachronistic projection of late 4th century civil boundaries of the Roman Empire retroactively onto the early 4th century text of Canon 6 of the Council of Nicæa. The anachronism has obscured the meaning of the canon since the days of Jerome (398 A.D.), Rufinus (403 A.D.) and Innocent I (411 A.D.). Continue reading Nicæa and the Roman Precedent

Asking the Wrong Questions

Roman Catholics trying to understand the significance of Eucharistic Miracles are asking the wrong questions.
Roman Catholics trying to understand the significance of Eucharistic Miracles are asking the wrong questions.

This week Roman Catholics of the world rejoiced to hear of yet another eucharistic miracle that has been approved for veneration. In December 2013, a eucharistic wafer of bread was dropped during mass, “and red stains subsequently appeared on the Host.”  Tests performed on the wafer at the Department of Forensic Medicine in Wroclaw the Department of Forensic Medicine of the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, indicated that the wafer contained “fragmented parts of the cross striated muscle. It is most similar to the heart muscle. Tests also determined the tissue to be of human origin, and found that it bore signs of distress” (Catholic Herald, April 19, 2016). The forensic authentication of the miracle has Roman Catholics asking questions about its significance to faith and practice, and no doubt has some Protestants asking themselves if they are in the right religion. Those, of course, are the wrong questions. Continue reading Asking the Wrong Questions

Legs of Iron, part 6

The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.
The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.

Historically, the church has had very little trouble identifying the time periods of the Gold, Silver, and Brass of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2. The time periods of the Lion, the Bear, and the Leopard are as easily identifiable in Daniel 7, as are those of the Ram and the He-goat in Daniel 8. Those figures represent a series of world empires, each dominating the world in succession—Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 6

Legs of Iron, part 5

The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.
The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.

In this series, we have been discussing the dating of John’s vision on Patmos based on the scriptural evidence. Although Irenæaus seems to place the vision at the end of the first century, other early writers of his era place it before Paul’s epistles and even as early as emperor Claudius, as we discussed in Part 1. While the external testimony is inconsistent and contradictory, we believe the date of the vision can be found based on the internal testimony, especially in light of the Danielic nature of the angelic narrator’s language in Revelation 17:10. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 5

Legs of Iron, part 4

The Scriptures Identify the transition from Legs to Feet.
The Scriptures Identify the transition from Legs to Feet.

One thing that can be said of Jesus’ and John’s eschatology is that it is certainly Danielic. Jesus refers to Daniel both directly (Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) and indirectly (Matthew 21:44, 24:30, 26:64; Mark 13:26, 14:62) when speaking of the immediate and distant future. John’s descriptions of the dragon of Revelation 12, the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 are all derivative of the four beasts of Daniel 7. The scene of the throne room of Revelation 4-5 with “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (5:11) surrounding the Lord is clearly resonant of the same scene depicted in Daniel 7:10 where “thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.” Our eschatology, like Jesus’ and John’s, must be Danielic as well. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 4

Legs of Iron, part 3

The Scriptures Identify the Transition from Legs to Feet
The Scriptures Identify the Transition from Legs to Feet

In the previous two weeks we have discussed the dating of the book of Revelation based on the internal evidence. As we noted last week, the angelic narrator provides textual cues as to the dating of the book, and three of those cues are found in Revelation 17: the placement of the “scarlet coloured beast” of Revelation 17 chronologically between the red dragon of Revelation 12 and the sea beast of Revelation 13; the description of the beast which “was, and is not; and shall ascend,” and the placement of the vision between the fifth and seventh king of the empire (Revelation 17:10). John’s narrator was clearly providing cues to the dating of the book, and was using Danielic imagery to do it. When understanding Revelation 17 through the lens of Daniel 2, there are only three possible periods during which Revelation could have been written—during the Legs, during the Feet, or during the Toes of the Statue. Last week we ruled out the period of the Toes because the vision takes place when the ten Toes or ten Kings are yet future, and “have received no kingdom as yet” (Revelation 17:12). This week, we will rule out the period of the Feet altogether. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 3

Legs of Iron, part 2

The Scriptures Identify the Transition from Legs to Feet
The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet

Last week, we began a discussion on the date of authorship of the book of Revelation, highlighting the angel’s discussion with John regarding the “scarlet coloured beast … having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:3). That seven-headed, ten-horned beast is a figure used repeatedly in Revelation (Revelation 12:3, 13:1, 17:3), and shows the significant symbolic unity the book shares with Daniel’s prophecies in Daniel 7. The Four Beasts of Daniel 7 together have seven heads and ten horns (1 Lion Head, 1 Bear Head, 4 Leopard Heads, 1 Beast Head with 10 horns upon it). Whatever the differences that exist between the “red dragon” (Revelation 12:3), sea beast (Revelation 13:1) and the “scarlet coloured beast” (Revelation 17:3), they are unified in their symbolic relationship to Daniel 7. Because the beasts of Daniel 7 share a strong chronological unity with Gold, Silver, Brass and Iron kingdoms of Daniel 2, we can also draw on that chronological unity to understand the date of John’s vision.  Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 2

Legs of Iron, part 1

The Scriptures Identify the Transition from Legs to the Feet.
The date of John’s vision is contained in the Scriptures.

The dating of the Book of Revelation has been a matter of no small controversy throughout the history of the church, some writers placing its authorship during the reign of Claudius (41 – 54 A.D.), others placing it during the reign of Nero (54 – 68 A.D.), and others placing it in the reign of Domitian (81 – 96 A.D.). In the realm of eschatology, Preterists choose an early date, while Dispensationalists and Historicists choose the later. It is not a matter that can be resolved by external testimony, because the external testimony itself is contradictory. But the internal evidence is quite compelling. Continue reading Legs of Iron, part 1

“The Kingdom of Earth is at Hand”

Jesus warned us about those who would say, 'The kingdom of earth is at hand!'
Jesus warned us about those who would say, ‘The kingdom of earth is at hand!’

When John the Baptist was sent forth preaching, he went about saying “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus received the news that John had been imprisoned, He took up John’s message and went forth preaching, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). When His disciples tried “to make him a king,” Jesus fled from them (John 6:15). When Pilate questioned Him about His kingship, Jesus insisted, “My kingdom is not of this world … my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36).  When the Pharisees asked him “when the kingdom of God should come” he said, “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!” (Luke 17:20-21). When His disciples asked him if He would “at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6), Jesus responded that the time for establishing an Earthly Kingdom was not theirs to know, and instead of seeking to establish an Earthly Kingdom, they should focus rather on the preaching of a Heavenly one: Continue reading “The Kingdom of Earth is at Hand”

And Now Ye Know What Withholdeth

"...even as there shall be false teachers among you..." (2 Peter 2:1)
“…even as there shall be false teachers among you…” (2 Peter 2:1)

In one of his several communications with the church at Thessalonica, Paul informed them that they already knew what was holding back “that man of sin,” “the son of perdition,” “that Wicked” one, even “him, whose coming is after the working of Satan” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8-9). We note that in his admonition to them, he said someone or something was holding him back, and would eventually be taken out of the way, so that the Wicked one could be seen plainly for who he was:

“And now ye know what withholdeth [κατέχον] that he might be revealed in his time. … only he who now letteth [κατέχων] will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed …” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8).

Continue reading And Now Ye Know What Withholdeth

The Massacre at Matanzas

The French arrive in Florida, from Theodor de Bry, Grand Voyages (1591).
Ribault’s arrival in Florida, by Theodor de Bry, Grand Voyages (1591).

We mentioned last year in our article, “French Colonial Florida (1564-1565 A.D.)” that we were pleased to hear of the release of a trailer from Aperio Productions for their new film, The Massacre at Matanzas. The story is related in our article, and the excellent documentary is now completed and was released on the web last month. Continue reading The Massacre at Matanzas

Convention of the Angelic Narrators

The two banks of the Tigris River
Daniel’s Narrators were separated for a purpose.

Last week we concluded our analysis of Daniel 11, showing that it is a prophecy that spanned the period from Persia’s confrontation with “the realm of Grecia” and the rise of the Alexander in 336 B.C. (Daniel 11:2-3), until the waning days of his divided empire at the death of Pompey in 48 B.C. (Daniel 11:45). As we noted, the entire prophecy is fulfilled during the Greek period of Daniel’s visions, in a single Alexandrian Frame of Reference in which North, South and East refer to the same respective geographic territories from start to finish, and the “kings” of those cardinal directions are the kings that reign over those respective territories. Under the single frame approach, Daniel 11 ends just four years before Julius Cæsar was declared Dictator perpetuoDictator in Perpetuity, in 44 B.C.. The Empire of Rome had its first “king.” Julius was its first “emperor”—in function if not yet in name. He would be assassinated only two months later, but his descendants and relations would govern the Empire for the greater part of the next century. Continue reading Convention of the Angelic Narrators

The Single Frame Hypothesis

When Daniel 11 is read in a Single Alexandrian Frame of Reference, the Cardinal and Historical discontinuities disappear.
When Daniel 11 is read in a Single Frame of Reference, the cardinal and historical discontinuities disappear.

As our readers are aware, and as we explained in our article, The Shifting Frame, we maintain that Daniel 11 ought to be read in a single frame of reference from start to finish. The commentaries almost universally recognize what we call an Alexandrian Frame of Reference at Daniel 8:8 and 11:4. In those verses, Daniel’s narrators describe post-Alexandrian Hellenism as “four kingdoms” (Daniel 8:22) that are divided “toward the four winds of heaven,” North, South, East and West. For the rest of the chapter, the warring kings and the events related to them are described in terms of these cardinal directions. And yet, no sooner does the narrator of Daniel 11 establish an Alexandrian Frame of Reference at 11:4 than the commentaries introduce a Judæan Frame at 11:5. The reason for the introduction of a Judæan Frame is that the prophecy of a series of interactions between the North and the South—which ought to have been fulfilled between the kings of Asia Minor and Egypt—appears to have been fulfilled by the Seleucids and Ptolemies, ostensibly rulers of Syria and Egypt, respectively. The Judæan Frame, centered as it is on Judæa rather than on Alexander’s empire, is offered as the solution to the dilemma of a cardinal discontinuity that manifests at 11:6. Continue reading The Single Frame Hypothesis

Pirates in the Bay

The promontory of Coracesion, in the Bay of Pamphylia.
The promontory of Coracesium, in the Bay of Pamphylia.

In the last few weeks we have highlighted the significance of the Treaty of Apamea in 188 B.C., by which Rome imposed terms of peace upon Antiochus III after his devastating loss at Magnesia in 190 B.C.. As we noted in “When North was North…“, Asia Minor with Thrace comprised the Northern Kingdom under Lysimachus when Alexander’s empire was divided “toward the four winds of heaven” (Daniel 11:4). The North-South narrative only begins after the Seleucids have already taken the North from Lysimachus, and the Seleucids are then called “King of the North” by Daniel so long as they hold that territory. At Apamea, Rome evicted the Seleucids “from Europe and from all Asia on this side [of the] Taurus” (Polybius, The HistoriesBook 21.17.3), dispossessing them of the Northern territory. Magnesia and the subsequent treaty at Apamea are depicted in Daniel 11:18, and from Daniel 11:19-39 the Seleucids remain in view, but are never again called “King of the North.” This gives rise to two important conclusions: first, Syria is not the Northern Kingdom at 11:6, and second, the title “King of the North” does not attach to the particular dynasty, but rather to whomever happens to be ruling the particular geography. When the Seleucids possess Asia Minor and Thrace, they are “King of the North.” When they are evicted, they are no longer “King of the North.” Continue reading Pirates in the Bay

…and South was South

When Daniel says "King of the South," he is not referring to Egypt alone.
When Daniel says “King of the South,” he is referring not only to Egypt, but also to the territories south of the Taurus mountains.

Over the last few weeks we have addressed the matter of the four kingdoms that arose out of Greece after Alexander’s death in 323 B.C.. As we described in Reduction of the Diadochi, The Bounds of their Habitation, and The Shifting Frame, Asia Minor and Thrace together comprised the Northern Kingdom; Syria, Babylon and beyond, the Eastern. Yet even though the commentaries at Daniel 8:8 and 11:4 almost universally agree that Asia Minor with Thrace comprised the Northern Kingdom in an Alexandrian Frame of Reference, the commentaries just as universally shift to a Judæan Frame at Daniel 11:5. In that shifted frame of reference the “King of the North” in 11:6 is presumed to refer to Syria, which only two verses  earlier had been part of the Eastern Kingdom. No explanation is given for this change of reference except that it appears to make sense of the chapter, and further that the tradition of the shifting frame is to be received as authoritative for its antiquity. It is, after all, an ancient tradition. Continue reading …and South was South

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: