Comment on Thursday: Jesus, the Divine Messiah by Maurice Ashton

The use of both words actually predate the Roman Catholic church. The first use of the word “Trinity” (in its Greek form) to apply to the three/once concept of God was by Theophilus of Antioch, circa 180AD so it is a fairly early addition to the Christian vocabulary. The Greek form of the word “Eucharist” is used by Paul in 1 Cor 11:24 where it is used in the sense of thanksgiving. So in a sense it is Biblical.

There is no doubt that the word “Eucharist” has since been appropriated by the Roman Catholics and is essentially associated with the notion of transubstantiation – that the wafer is turned into the actual body of Christ. I would find it surprising to find it used in an Adventist context without some explanation about Paul’s use of the word.

While I can understand that someone, coming from a Catholic background wants to avoid the use of those words, it needs to be understood that not everyone has those associations and may use the words in the original sense.

I am very much aware of the associations of meanings that we have with words. A good communicator is aware of how their listener interprets words. In an international environment one needs to be aware that we all have different backgrounds, education and culture. I live in Australia and we often have North American speakers come over here for camp meetings and other church gatherings. It is always humorous to listen to these speakers weave their way through Australian word meanings and associations even though we speak the same language.

Perhaps in all of this we need to understand that the true meaning of Christianity is not in the way we interpret words such as these, but in the way we live our lives in Christian love, bearing one another’s burdens, sharing our Christian love and experience, and being tolerant in an international community of believers when so may of us have such very different cultures and education. We are united in Christ in spite of our differences.


Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons