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ANF03. Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian
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Chapter XL.—How the Steps in the Passion of the Saviour Were Predetermined in Prophecy. The Passover. The Treachery of Judas. The Institution of the Lord’s Supper. The Docetic Error of Marcion Confuted by the Body and the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In like manner does He also know the very time it behoved Him to suffer, since the law prefigures His passion. Accordingly, of all the festal days of the Jews He chose the passover.50705070    Luke xxii. i. In this Moses had declared that there was a sacred mystery:50715071    Sacramentum. “It is the Lord’s passover.”50725072    Lev. xxiii. 5. How earnestly, therefore, does He manifest the bent of His soul: “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.”50735073    Luke xxii. 15. What a destroyer of the law was this, who actually longed to keep its passover!  Could it be that He was so fond of Jewish lamb?50745074    Vervecina Judaica. In this rough sarcasm we have of course our author’s contempt of Marcionism. But was it not because He had to be “led like a lamb to the slaughter; and because, as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so was He not to open His mouth,”50755075    Isa. liii. 7. that He so profoundly wished to accomplish the symbol of His own redeeming blood? He might also have been betrayed by any stranger, did I not find that even here too He fulfilled a Psalm: “He who did eat bread with me hath lifted up50765076    Levabit: literally, “shall lift up,” etc. his heel against me.”50775077    Ps. xli. 9. And without a price might He have been betrayed. For what need of a traitor was there in the case of one who offered Himself to the people openly, and might quite as easily have been captured by force as taken by treachery? This might no doubt have been well enough for another Christ, but would not have been suitable in One who was accomplishing prophecies. For it was written, “The righteous one did they sell for silver.”50785078    Amos ii. 6. The very amount and the destination50795079    Exitum. of the money, which on Judas’ remorse was recalled from its first purpose of a fee,50805080    Revocati. and appropriated to the purchase of a potter’s field, as narrated in the Gospel of Matthew, were clearly foretold by Jeremiah:50815081    This passage more nearly resembles Zech. xi. 12 and 13 than anything in Jeremiah, although the transaction in Jer. xxxii. 7–15 is noted by the commentators, as referred to. Tertullian had good reason for mentioning Jeremiah and not Zechariah, because the apostle whom he refers to (Matt. xxvii. 3–10) had distinctly attributed the prophecy to Jeremiah (“Jeremy the prophet,” ver. 9). This is not the place to do more than merely refer to the voluminous controversy which has arisen from the apostle’s mention of Jeremiah instead of Zechariah. It is enough to remark that Tertullian’s argument is unaffected by the discrepancy in the name of the particular prophet. On all hands the prophecy is admitted, and this at once satisfies our author’s argument.  For the ms. evidence in favour of the unquestionably correct reading, τότε ἐπληρώθη τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ ῾Ιερεμίου τοῦ προφήτου, κ.τ.λ., the reader is referred to Dr. Tregelles’ Critical Greek Testament, in loc.; only to the convincing amount of evidence collected by the very learned editor must now be added the subsequently obtained authority of Tischendorf’s Codex Sinaiticus. “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him who was valued50825082    Appretiati vel honorati. There is nothing in the original or the Septuagint to meet the second word honorati, which may refer to the “honorarium,” or “fee paid on admission to a post of honour,”—a term of Roman law, and referred to by Tertullian himself. and gave them for the potter’s field.”  When He so earnestly expressed His desire to eat the passover, He considered it His own feast; for it would have been unworthy of God to desire to partake of what was not His own. Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, “This is my body,”50835083    Luke xxii. 19. [See Jewell’s Challenge, p. 266, supra.] that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body.50845084    Corpus veritatis: meant as a thrust against Marcion’s Docetism. An empty thing, or phantom, is incapable of a figure. If, however, (as Marcion might say,) He pretended the bread was His body, because He lacked the truth of bodily substance, it follows that He must have given bread for us. It would contribute very well to the support of Marcion’s theory of a phantom body,50855085    Ad vanitatem Marcionis. [Note 9, p. 289.] that bread should have been crucified!  But why call His body bread, and not rather (some other edible thing, say) a melon,50865086    Peponem. In his De Anima, c. xxxii., he uses this word in strong irony: “Cur non magis et pepo, tam insulsus.” which Marcion must have had in lieu of a heart!  He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: “I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that50875087    [This text, imperfectly quoted in the original, is filled out by Dr. Holmes.] they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,”50885088    So the Septuagint in Jer. xi. 19, Ξύλον εἰς τὸν ἄρτον αὐτοῦ (A.V. “Let us destroy the tree with the fruit”). See above, book iii. chap. xix. p. 337. which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies,50895089    Illuminator antiquitatum. This general phrase includes typical ordinances under the law, as well as the sayings of the prophets. He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed “in His blood,”50905090    Luke xxii. 20. affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood. In order, however, that you may discover how anciently wine is used as a figure for blood, turn to Isaiah, who asks, “Who is this that cometh from Edom, from Bosor with garments dyed in red, so glorious in His apparel, in the greatness of his might? Why are thy garments red, and thy raiment as his who cometh from the treading of the full winepress?”50915091    Isa. lxiii. 1 (Sept. slightly altered). The prophetic Spirit contemplates the Lord as if He were already on His way to His passion, clad in His fleshly nature; and as He was to suffer therein, He represents the bleeding condition of His flesh under the metaphor of garments dyed in red, as if reddened in the treading and crushing process of the wine-press, from which the labourers descend reddened with the wine-juice, like men stained in blood.  Much more clearly still does the book of Genesis foretell this, when (in the blessing of Judah, out of whose tribe Christ was to come according to the flesh) it even then delineated Christ in the person of that patriarch,50925092    In Juda. saying, “He washed His garments in wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes”50935093    Gen. xlix. 11.—in His garments and clothes the prophecy pointed out his flesh, and His blood in the wine. Thus did He now consecrate His blood in wine, who then (by the patriarch) used the figure of wine to describe His blood.


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