Something for the “Bible Alone” crowd to chew over.If you walked into a first-century church and asked to see a copy of the New Testament, you’d get a bunch of confused looks and faces.
“What do you mean a copy?”
The Bible didn’t yet exist!
For the early Christians, “New Testament” was not a book, but a sacramental phrase.
“The New Testament” was the Holy Eucharist itself.
When Our Lord Jesus Christ offered a cup of wine to His disciples at the Last Supper, saying, “This cup is the New Covenant in my blood,” His Apostles would have understood Him to say, “This cup is the New Testament in my blood.” For the early Biblical writers, the words “testament” and “covenant” were interchangeable.
In his new book “Consuming The Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church”, Dr. Scott Hahn explains the details of his Biblical research that unites the documents of the New Testament and the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The words “covenant”, “testament”, “liturgy”, and “Eucharist” are all interconnected in profound ways that we do not realise on the surface. When these terms are used without understanding them, we are separated from the mystery experienced in the words of our Faith. So to understand Christianity’s most basic terms, we must see them as the early Christians did.
For them, the phrase “New Testament” was at once sacramental and liturgical. It affirmed that the Bible’s proper home was in “the heart of the Church.”
“God reveals Himself and gives Himself in the scroll.” – Scott Hahn
Christians were meant to consume the Word of God made flesh in the Eucharist (at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) and the Word of God made written in Sacred Scripture. Today, we must follow the early Christians by communing with Our Blessed Lord through both letter and Spirit. They cannot be divided.
According to St. Pope John Paul II, Catholics dine at two tables:
“One of the Word of God, the other of the Eucharist. The work that we take on ourselves consists in approaching these two tables in order to be filled.”