Thank you again for your latest response! I appreciate your taking the time to engage my ideas.
My point is that the imagery being used is unholy. Neither you nor I feel that actual cannibalism was taking place in the Last Supper, or even intended to be understood as taking place (cf. transubstantiation). The problem is that (according to the traditional understanding) an unholy symbolism was being invoked for a holy moment. Where else do we find an example of something unholy being introduced as the image for celebrating something holy? There is no reason that Jesus could not have utilized other imagery to serve his metaphorical purpose. Why would he have chosen such unholy imagery?I don't look at it from the viewpoint of spiritualizing something physical , i see it as purely a spiritual abiding in Christ being confirmed by something physical which is not cannabalism by any stretch of the imagination. I think i understand your point how it could be viewed as offensive but i honestly don't think it was meant as imagery for anything physical but rather a metaphorical way of talking about abiding in Christ.
I have no objection to the use of physical imagery to express spiritual concepts. But Isaiah 55 does not introduce any unholy imagery. Bread, water, wine, and milk were all fully acceptable foods. My argument as framed above does not deny the use of physical emblems; in fact, it hinges upon the use of wine and bread as symbols for theological concepts.It may or may not be related to something hellanistic but it sure does sound similar to Isaiah 55 "Come all of you who are thirsty,come to the waters, and you who have no money, come buy and eat. Come buy wine and milk, without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?"
This uses physical imagery but is describing a spiritual covenant through David and ultimately through Christ.
It would not have been necessary for John and Paul to conspire together to arrive at similar conclusions; both labored in Hellenistic contexts, and could have been similarly motivated to develop their thought in similar directions. But on the other hand, there is no reason why the theological perspective of one could not have influenced the other. And it is quite possible that both fully believed they were preaching the truth - but their convincement does not make their concept(s) true. If Jesus were actually God, then the other gospels made a major omission when they failed to highlight this. What Christian today, if asked to tell the story of Jesus, would neglect to mention his divinity?As for John's agenda to portray Christ as a cosmic divine figure i've heard the identical criticisms made about Paul. Sounds like either they conspired together or they just believed they were telling the truth that Christ is the Son of God who came down from heaven.
(BTW, we need to be very careful about conflating "son of God" language with a claim to divinity. The epithet "son of God" was a messianic metaphor from the Hebrew bible, without any implied ontological divinity.)
Yes - why indeed?...probably Emmet is correct in that they were offended, the obvious question is why did Jesus use these descriptions.