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The consensus view has long been that the Eucharist as practiced in the early Church was modeled primarily on the Last Supper. The meal then disappeared from the rite, and the Eucharist was appended to a morning service of the word inherited from the Jewish synagogue. All of this was supposedly standardized at a very early date, and has remained essentially the same ever s ...more
Paperback, 166 pages
Published December 30th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published January 1st 2004)
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Mar 19, 2014 Alex Stroshine rated it liked it · review of another edition
Paul F. Bradshaw's "Eucharistic Origins" is a very detailed record of the development of the Eucharist service in the early Church (he ends in the fourth century). Bradshaw analyzes different Church Fathers (Justin Martyr, Tertullian, etc...) as well as apocryphal literature (e.g. the Acts of the Apostles) in order to track and trace changes to the liturgy (e.g. changes to the eucharistic prayers). Some of the issues Bradshaw raises includes the fact that there is evidence some Christian groups ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Andrew Doohan rated it liked it · review of another edition
From the blurb on the back cover:
The conventional view of scholars has tended to be that the Last Supper, as recorded in the New Testament, was both the source and the pattern for the early Christian Eucharist. Eucharistic Origins challenges this consensus and argues that, while the Eucharistic sayings of Jesus did play an important part in shaping the beliefs of many early Christian communities:...more
- the actual form of their liturgical celebrations were quite varied;
- the association of the Euchari
A good, in-depth exploration of the Eucharist in the first 3 centuries of the church. Bradshaw systematically treats the surprisingly pauce data, demonstrating how some of that data seems to imply practices (e.g. water rather than wine with the bread) that seem at odds with the NT witness. A good thought-provoking read, but I would emphasize the "seem/s" in that last sentence. I think Bradshaw's acknowledged bias against uniformity in early church belief and practice often pushes him to go furth ...more
Helpful for collecting and commenting on the sources, but Bradshaw tries to make the early church's liturgies as varied and conflicting as he can, lest we actually trace anything back to Jesus and lend any validation to any church's practice today. He also operates with a false view of the gospels and Paul's letters as second century productions of the collective liturgical consciousness of early Christian communities, rather than what we know they were: mid-first century eyewitness testimony.
Much conjecture from little information. You may wonder how detailed study of this topic every became an academic subject. I appreciate Mr. Bradshaw connecting and comparing the various documents, although the conclusions seem very far fetched, as he himself notes when he says, for example, that neither existing texts nor eucharistic commentaries describe practice comprehensively.