December 12, 2017

Second Negative

By Elmer Moore

Proposition: The Scriptures teach that the cup (drinking vessel) in the communion represents the new Covenant. 

In this, my second negative in response to brother Hawk- ins’ second affirmative, I wish to express my confidence you the readers are fully capable of determining what has or has not been done in this exchange. The affirmative, apparently, does not think so. He seems to feel that he must tell you that I have created an exceedingly complicated problem for myself. He tells you that I have twisted his statements and involved myself in contradictions, misrepresentations and failures. He writes, “I am not attacking Brother Moore personally.” I will let you decide whether he is or not. I have confidence in your ability to determine these things for yourselves. However, since charges have been made that I: (1) acted “slyly,” (2) “ignored critical points,” (3) “twisted statements,” (4) “argued from postulated premises,” (5) “made mistakes,” (6) “acted without good sense (“folly”),” (7) acted “presumptuously,” (8) am guilty of “unscriptural practice of individual cups,” (9) used “fanciful tailoring (of) the Scriptures,” (10) “unfairly misrepresented,” (11) “drink too much caffeine” affecting my reasoning, (12) guilty of “contradictions, misrepresentations and failures” creating a “Gordian knot” for myself, I hardly know whether to ad- dress the issues or try to redeem my reputation. However, since these are merely vain attempts to hide the true issues, I will try to ignore them and stick to the Scriptures to prove that brother Hawkins’ proposition is not true according to my understanding of the revealed word of God. You be the judge. By the way, the statement of item 8, introduces a point of contention upon which there is wide spread disagreement and since this written exchange is supposed to present proofs not unsubstantiated conclusions, is completely out of order in my view. 

The affirmative used this second article to re-hash his first article and tell you what I did not do. However he totally ignored my rebuttal arguments, giving not even a slight mention of them. What did he have to say about my argument on the purpose of the Lords supper? We are to “do this in remembrance” of Christ. Whatever is of significance must aid us in doing this, must bring to mind an “affection- ate calling of the person himself.” The bread and the fruit of the vine do this; the container does not. The container was necessary to hold the fruit of the vine. Also, I called attention to the fact that the New Testament teaches that there are two elements of significance in the Lord’s supper and not three (1 Cor. 10:16.) Read the first negative. 

The affirmative again cites Luke 22:20 and Matthew 26:28 and declares that they are teaching “two distinct truths.” He tries to prove this by a conglomerated process that I doubt seriously if anyone will understand. He presents a chart on these two passages.

This is my blood (of the new covenant).

This cup is the new covenant (in my blood). 

Brother Hawkins then states that in the statement “This is my blood of the new covenant” the pronoun “this” is referring to the fruit of the vine. Look at what he does. The word “this” in Matthew 26:26 refers back to the bread. He then argues that the word “this” in Matthew 26:28 refers to the fruit of the vine. He ignores his argument on “gram- mar.” I pointed this out in the first article and he ignored it. According to his argument on grammar the word “this” in Matthew 26:28 refers back to the “cup.” Look at the statement. “And he took a cup and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new covenant.” Thus, according to his grammatical argument Jesus declared that the cup was his blood. The consequence of his argument has Matthew and Luke in contradiction. Matthew wrote that the “cup” (container according to brother Hawkins) was his blood. Luke wrote that the “cup” (container according to brother Hawkins) was the new covenant. 

Brother Hawkins takes issue with my statement that the “order of record is not always the order of occurrence.” I really thought that our brother knew this. I am embarrassed for him. I thought that students of the Bible knew this. I will give him just one example. In Romans 10:9 Paul wrote, “Because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved.” Was Paul teaching that man is to confess to something that he has not believed? Brother Hawkins then wrote, “Our brother has implied that we may arbitrarily relocate words.” Sir, you know that I did not imply any such thing. This accusation is beneath the dignity of a gospel preacher, you should be ashamed. He then writes “his [me E.M.] self-appointed rule.” Just because brother Hawkins (seemingly) has not learned the exegesis of basic biblical hermeneutics does not mean that others have not. He mentions the Catholics in this accusation. He is the one that has the kinship with them in this present matter. They argue that the bread and cup (fruit of the vine) literally becomes the body and blood of Christ while brother Hawkins argues that Jesus is emphasizing a literal container as something that will affectionately call Jesus to mind. (I will be happy to correspond with brother Hawkins on how to properly understand the Bible, when this exchange is over.) 

In Luke 22:20 Jesus declared, “This cup which is poured for you is the new covenant in my blood” (New ASV). The cup is that which is poured out. What was poured out? It was the blood of Christ. Hence the statement declares that the cup is the blood of Christ just as surely as does Matthew. 

In his section discussing metonymy and metaphor, brother Hawkins writes that any rule to “alter” the phraseology will equally apply to Matthew 26:28. Certainly! There is no question about the phraseology; the question is what was he teaching. The Catholics will argue with you on the phraseology and insist that the phraseology states that the bread is his body, i.e., actually becomes his body. You will tell them (and rightly so) yes that is what he said; but this is what he is teaching. I would remind the readers that the Holy Spirit said, “Be not foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17). 

Brother Hawkins cites Bullinger (11) and apparently thinks that Bullinger is denying what he wrote on the same page. This reference is stating the very first rule in determining how a word is to be used — you do not make a word figurative unless you have to. Brother Hawkins wants to know what rule. If he will go back and read my first ar- ticle, he may see this and other matters that he overlooked. However, I will answer the question. A word or statement is figurative only if in making it literal you involve an impossibility. To make the statement “this is my blood” mean that it literally becomes his blood, as the Catholics do, involves an impossibility. This is precisely what the affirmative is doing with the word “cup.” He argues that “cup” is being used to suggest a “drinking vessel” and in doing so has a literal drinking vessel representing the blood of Jesus. To avoid this he changes his argument on the word “this.” One time the word refers back to bread and the next time the word refers forward to “fruit of the vine.” He tries to justify this by writing that “Brother Moore and I agree, the fruit of the vine was ‘in’ the cup.” We do so agree but not for the same reasons. I believe that the fruit of the vine was in the cup of Luke 22:20 for the same reason it was in the cup in Matthew, Mark and 1 Corinthians. The cup is named to suggest its contents. Jesus, in Matthew, told us what was in the cup, “the fruit of the vine.” The same is true of Luke 22:20. The cup is named to suggest fruit of the vine which was in the cup. Brother Hawkins proves this in his kettle illustration. He writes, “it” grammatically refers

to the kettle but through metonymy actually means the “contents.” Apply this to Luke 22:17-20. “It” (Luke 22:17) grammatically refers to the cup, but through metonymy actually means the contents. This is totally devastating to brother Hawkins contention that the literal container refers to the new covenant. Brother Hawkins, in whatever sense the “cup” is the new covenant, it is not the literal container but what is in the container. 

Brethren, I am amazed that brother Hawkins cannot see that what he cites from Thayer and Bullinger establishes precisely what I have been arguing, that the container is named for its contents. His illustration of a kettle does the same thing. He writes that the “object named is not the thing suggested.” Brother Hawkins, do you not see that this is what I have tried to get you to see. The cup the object named, is not the thing suggested. That which is suggested is the contents. Thus, the cup (contents) represents that which was poured out (the blood of Christ) which ratified the new covenant and made possible the remission of sins. Both of these expressions are identified in the institution of the Lord’s supper. 

Brother Hawkins denies that he has misrepresented Thayer ( I use the word misrepresented without thought as to motive). In his first article he wrote, “All reputable scholars agree that the word ‘cup’ in this verse is used (my emphasis, em) literally and means a ‘drinking vessel’” (Thayer, 533). Note that brother Hawkins writes the word used. The quote that he attributes to Thayer is not about how the word is used. Thayer defines the word to mean a “drinking vessel,” and then shows how the word is used. He wrote, “By metonymy of the container for the contained, the contents of the cup, what is offered to be drunk.” That is how the word is used in these passages. Brother Hawkins did misrepresent Thayer in that he applied the basic definition to its usage. Yes, brother Hawkins, I do know what the initials “prop.” means. I wonder if you know what the initials “sq.” stands for? It “sq.” means that the word cup is used in the same way (the container for the contents) in the following references(s) (1 Cor. 11:25-28). This is why I wrote that in whatever sense the “cup” is the new covenant, it is the “contents” and not the container. 

Please look at the two statements that the affirmative has been writing about. Matthew 26:27-28: “He took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto the remission of sins.” It was the blood that was poured out. This blood did two things. (1) It ratified the New Testament (Heb. 9:11-20). (2) It made possible the remission of sins (Heb. 9:22). The contents of the cup are identified (Matt. 26:29) — fruit of the vine. We would not have known what the contents were if the writer had not told us. Thus, the “cup” is named for its contents, the fruit of the vine, which is a fair representation of his blood that ratified the new covenant and made possible the forgiveness of sins. What is the literal container a fair representation of in the Lord’s Supper? Now look at Luke 22:20, Luke’s account of the same incident. “And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, this cup which is poured out for you is the New covenant in my blood” (NASV). In both passages something was poured out. That which was poured out was the blood of Christ. Matthew writes “blood of the covenant!” and Luke writes, “covenant in My blood.” In both passages cup is named for its contents that was a fair representation of the blood of Christ. My friends, these passages are not teaching “two distinct truths” as the affirmative states, they are affirming the same truth. Question: Brother Hawkins tell us where Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:25-28 teach that the fruit of the vine is the blood of Jesus? Don’t forget to do this. You are arguing that the “cup” represents the new covenant. What, in these two references, has reference to the blood of Christ

My Questions 

I don’t believe that brother Hawkins answered my question on what Paul presented to the Corinthians in chapter 11. Brother Hawkins, why did you not answer the question? Regardless of that, you, the readers, know that Paul presented precisely what Jesus taught. Paul wrote what he received of the Lord, and what he received of the Lord is what transpired on the night Jesus was betrayed. What Paul wrote was that they were to “drink the cup” (1 Cor. 11:27). They were to drink the contents of the cup. Thus, in what- ever sense the “cup” is the new covenant; it is the contents and not the container as brother Hawkins has affirmed. In question (2) he answers that they would be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Precisely! These are the two elements of significance in the Lord’s supper. Why did he not also say and “of the new covenant” if this was a third element of significance? In question (3), the disciples were to eat the bread and drink the cup. The action involved had reference to the two elements of significance; the bread and the fruit of the vine. 

It is very dangerous to make a law where God did not. It is not safe, it is soul damaging.

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