Monday, September 5, 2016


Bruce A Ware of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has a fairly good article on Zwingli and the Eucharist: "The Meaning of the Lord's supper in the Theology of Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) in Thomas R. Schreiner and Matthew R. Crawford (eds.), "The Lord's Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ until He Comes" (Nashville: Academic, 2010), pp229-247.

He has a good balance between comment and analysis and direct citation from Zwingli himself.

However, ....... look at the 'howler" on page 247

"Fourth, Zwingli's support for the spiritual, even sacramental, presence of Christ in the Eucharist seems strained: Perhaps owing to his affinities with the young John Calvin and the Geneva School of Reformed teaching, Zwingli sought to uphold also the spiritual presence of Christ for those who partake of the elements in faith. And while he affirmed this clearly, as we have seen, he did not support his views biblically here to the extent that he did so strongly elsewhere."

When did Calvin come to a Reformed understanding? This is a matter of debate. Some have suggested the autumn of 1533 - well after Zwingli died on the battlefield at Kappel am Albis!

What a shame that Ware was not aware of the liturgy for the Eucharist that Zwingli wrote in 1525.

See: Jim West, "Huldrych Zwingli: The Implementation of the Lord’s Supp (Atlanta: Pitts Theological Library, 2016). This is a translation of Zwingli's "Aktion oder Brauch der Nachtmahls" (Z, IV, 13-24)

Zwingli is emphatic that it is not the Lord's Supper if Christ is not present - ie spiritually