In the last article in this series we made note repeatedly of the concept of "being in Christ" and it's parallels from Egypt when the devotees and followers of Osiris were "in Osiris." Little has changed in 3500 years and Paul is proof of it. We noted earlier in this articles on other of our websites some of the ethical and ceremonial prerequisites for becoming an Osiris (similar to "being in Christ" as expressed by Paul). But none of these could avail at all without the miraculous power contained in the divine eucharist: there was power, there was power in the flesh and the blood of Osiris. He was the grain; and the bread made from it was the sacred food, the barley ale brewed from it the divine drink, literally believed to be the body and the blood of the god. Since the ancient Nilotics believed that human beings become whatever they eat, this Osirian sacrament was believed able to make them celestial and immortal. The doctrine of the eucharist has its ultimate roots in prehistoric cannibalism: it was universally believed among savages that by eating other human beings or gods, their virtues and powers would be absorbed by the eaters. Such cannibalism, common among African tribes until very recently and still practiced among the most primitive, had this primary objective. Melville describes the same sacerdotal rite among the south sea islanders (Cf. Typee XXXI). One of the oldest of the Pyramid Texts is that of Unas from the VIth Dynasty, cir. 2500 B. C. This is of great importance because it shows that the original ideology of Egypt had commingled with the Osirian concepts. Although he is ultimately given high place in heaven by order of Osiris, Unas is represented as being at first an enemy of the gods and his ancestors, whom he hunts, lassoes, kills, cooks, and eats so that their powers and attributes may become his own. It is obvious that at the time this was written, the eating of parents and gods was considered a most laudable ceremonial; and it emphasizes how difficult it must have been for the Osirian priesthood to stamp out the older cannibalism:
"The Akeru gods tremble, the Kenemu whirl, when they see Unas a risen Soul, in the form of a god who lives upon his fathers and feeds upon his mothers.... He eats men, he feeds on the gods . . . he cooks them in his fiery cauldrons. He eats their words of power, he swallows their spirits. . . What he finds on his path, he eats eagerly.... He eats the wisdom of every god, his period of life is eternity. . . Their soul is in his body, their spirits are within him."
Having partaken of this dynamic sacrament, Unas becomes an Osiris and is admitted to the company of the gods.
A parallel passage is found in the Pyramid Text of Pepi II, who, it is said"
"seizeth those who are in the following of Set . . . he breaketh their heads, he cutteth off their haunches, he teareth out their intestines, he diggeth out their hearts, he drinketh copiously of their blood!' (Line 531 ff.).
Although crude, savage, and grotesque, this was the core of an overwhelming concept. The conviction that it was possible for humanity to achieve immortality by eating the body and drinking the blood of a god or of an immortal god-man who had died that mortals might have abundant and everlasting life, became a dominating obsession in the ancient world. The cult of Osiris forbade the older cannibalism, but did not proscribe the dismemberment and eating of enemies; and it certainly practiced the bloody sacrifice of captives and the sacramental rending and eating of the sacred bovine, which symbolized Osiris (The Book of the Dead, CLXXXI). The moral elevation of the Osirian cult lay in its identification of bread with the flesh of its god and of barley ale with his blood. The partaker of this eucharist could now achieve a mystical transformation and become an Osiris by living on wheat and barley bread during his lifetime, by drinking and eating the sacred ale and cakes during the annual mysteries, and by enjoying the same sacred fare in Sekhet-Aaru once his Khu had joined his Sahu in the next world. By this simple metaphysical transposition, the bloody sacrament became symbolic, but no less effective.
Now please pay close attention and "think" when reading the
next item. For Osiris was, to his believers, literally and with complete
reality, the divine seed which came down from heaven and was reborn from
the earth that men might have life and have it more abundantly; and all who ate
of that bread might live forever, for it was the flesh of the god, which he
gave for the life of humanity. Whosoever ate the flesh and drank the blood of
Osiris had eternal life; for he would be resurrected beyond the grave.
Whosoever ate that flesh and drank that blood dwelt in Osiris and Osiris dwelt
in him. This was the divine mystery which was given to the world by Egypt and
which spread throughout the Mediterranean area in various cults; this concept
originated only once, but it proliferated in all directions and became the
dynamic force in every mystery-cult. It was solely by means of this sacramental
food that the corruptible of the deceased could be clothed with incorruption.
This idea appears again and again in infinite variety. Paul uses this
idea" in selling his Jewish "revelation" to the Gentile world; notice as I said earlier, that he does hot have to change anything when presenting his version of this "g-dman" and "his eucharist to the Gentiles...they already believed in solar/astral g-dmen who came drown from heaven in 'virgin births' and already were partakers in their 'mysteries' where their body and blood were 'eaten' in the forms of the suppers of their g-dmen.
The scribe Nebseni implores: "And there in the celestial mansions of heaven which my divine father Tem hath established, let my hands lay hold upon the wheat and the barley which shall be given unto me therein in abundant measure." This was the celestial eucharist without which the Sahu itself, the spiritual body, could not germinate from the mummy. Nu corroborates this fact by stating: "I am established, and the divine Sekhethetep is before me, I have eaten therein, I have become a spirit therein, I have abundance therein." Again he declares; "I am the divine soul of Ra . . . which is god. . . I am the divine food which is not corrupted." Nu identifies himself with Osiris and with Ra, who is called the divine, that is, the sacramental food. As we know, Horus, the Son of the Godman Osiris, who comes from an immaculate conception no less, was also frequently identified with his father; and we read: "Horus is both the divine food and the sacrifice." We read that the bread and the ale of Osiris make the eater immortal, (The Book of the Dead, 40) an idea which is frequently elaborated. The Osirian "shall eat of that wheat and barley, and his limbs shall be nourished therewith, and his body shall become like unto the bodies of the g-ds" (The Book of the Dead, XCIX). That the sacramental food which gave immortality was a very ancient concept we learn from the Pyramid Text of Teta, which dates from about, 2600 B. C. and which embodies ideas far more ancient still. We read here that the Osiris Teta "receives" thy bread which decayeth not, and thy beer which perisheth not." In the Text of Pepi I we read:
"All the g-ds give thee their flesh and their blood.... Thou shalt not die."
In the Text of Pepi II, the aspirant prays for "thy bread of eternity, and thy beer of everlastingness (Line 390).
Such was the great g-dman Osiris: human, like us, and thus able to take upon himself all our sorrow, but also divine, and therefore able to confer divinity upon us. He brought the divine bread from heaven for mankind; he taught justice and practiced mercy; he died, was buried, and rose from the grave; he gave to all who became members of his mystical body his flesh to eat and his blood to drink so that this divine sacrament might then transfigure them into celestial g-ds; he went before to prepare mansions for his initiates in Elysium (our concept of Heaven); and he was to be the just and merciful judge before whom men and women must appear beyond the grave.
The Eucharist signifies the mystical incorporation of the initiate into the g-dhead by eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ (just another in a long line of Osiris proto-types). Such a ceremony implies the deification of Jesus and is quite impossible to reconcile with a view of Jesus as merely a Messiah in the Jewish sense. Moreover, the Eucharist, as well as implying a doctrine of participation in the g-dhead, implies a doctrine of the sacrifice of Jesus as an atonement for mankind; the worshipper partakes of the body of the sacrificed Jesus much as the Jewish worshippers used to eat the Paschal lamb (to which Jesus is likened in I Corinthians 5:7....sacrificed just like Osiris for his followers). Such a concept of the death of Jesus cannot be reconciled with any variety of Judaism, for it amounts to the reinstatement of human sacrifice, which for Judaism was anathema! Indeed a large part of the Hebrew Bible constitutes a campaign against human sacrifice. The institution of animal sacrifice was understood to entail the complete supersession of human sacrifice; and the story of the akedah or Binding of Isaac in which God finally renounces human sacrifice in favor of animal sacrifice is the validating myth of this advance.
While it is true that the idea of vicarious atonement is not wholly alien to Judaism, as pointed out earlier, it is peripheral and forms no part of the main pattern of salvation. The story may be told in the midrash that Rabbi Judah's sufferings ensured good harvests (Genesis Rabbah 33), but this does not mean that the average Jew was encouraged to lay his burden of sin upon Rabbi Judah or other such figures and abandon his own individual struggle against the evil inclination by the guidance of the Torah. Even the story in the Bible about Moses's offer to sacrifice himself for the Israelites is a peripheral narrative device, heightening the character of Moses as a lover of Israel, rather than pointing a way to salvation. In any case, Moses's offer is immediately refused by God in terms that reinforce the usual pattern of individual responsibility: "And the Lord said unto Moses, 'Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book'" (Exodus 32: 33). The implication of the Eucharist that salvation is to be obtained through faith in Jesus' death and the shedding of his blood is thus a radical departure from Judaism and a return to pagan concepts of atonement. Thus we see the "Eucharist" as the Catholic equivalent of the Protestant's "Communion." This "sacrament" originated in Egypt and spread thought the know world and offered a form of salvation to its partakers. Paul picks up this concept and advances it with Jewish overtones to his "converts." Thus, again we see that it was Paul and not Jesus who was the founder of a faith that has as its core not the Passover, but the supper of their Godman....Christianity.
Equally relevant is the fact that the Eucharist, as the basic sacrament of Christianity, marks it off from Judaism as a separate religion. If Jesus instituted the Eucharist, then he was founding a new religion thereby, if only in the institutional sense of providing a central ceremony not contained in Judaism and taking the place of the Jewish sacraments of the Temple or (in the absence of the Temple) of the Shema, the affirmation of the unity of God, which forms the central act of Jewish worship. The institution of the Lord's Prayer by Jesus, as pointed out before, did not constitute any such radical departure from Jewish practice, for it was quite usual for rabbis of the Pharisaic movement to compose some personal prayer, for the use of themselves and their immediate disciples, which would be used in addition to the normal prayers. A number of such prayers have been preserved in the Talmud, and some of them have actually been incorporated into the Jewish Prayer Book and are used by all Jews today. It was only when the Lord's Prayer, after the death of Jesus, was made into a central feature of the daily service, instead of being added to the normal Jewish prayers, that it became a specifically Christian observance; for in itself, it contains nothing contrary to Judaism, and is indeed a characteristically Jewish prayer.
In the Gospels, certain familiar texts portray Jesus as founding the Eucharist. The earliest of these is in Mark:
"And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave it to them, and said, 'Take, eat: this is my body.' And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, 'This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many'" (Mark 14:22-24).
Matthew and Luke give the same account, with some small variations. This account forms part of the story of the Last Supper.
Answer for yourself: Did you ever notice that the Gospel of John explains the Eucharist completely different than the Synoptic Gospels?
John, however, strangely enough, does not mention this incident in his account of the Last Supper, but instead attaches the Eucharistic idea to a quite different phase of Jesus' life, his preaching in Galilee in the Capernaum synagogue:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John 6: 53-58)
Please notice the conflicting origin for Jesus' supposed introduction of the Eucharist:
In the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke), Jesus is represented as performing a ceremony (distributing bread and wine to his disciples), but not as instituting a rite to be observed by his followers in perpetuity. It is left to the reader to surmise that this story provides a historical origin for the rite of the Eucharist as practised in the Christian Church. In John, on the other hand, Jesus does not even perform a ceremony: he merely expresses some ideas, dark and cryptic even to his disciples, some of whom are alienated by them (John 6: 66).
Answer for yourself: Does this blatant contradiction as to the origin of the Eucharist by Jesus possibly indicate that he had nothing to do with such an idea and the writing of this "account" in various ways were the later attempts of the Gospel writers to tie its origin to Jesus and not Paul, thereby giving greater credibility to the sacrament if it could be shown to have originated with Jesus instead of Paul? Without a doubt!
Answer for yourself: Could the Jew's rejection of Jesus' supposed offer to "eat his flesh and drink his blood" be historically accurate to the overwhelming Jewish lack of acceptance of Paul's Eucharist and it's implied meaning among the Jews? Without a doubt, but the attempt and connection had to be made in order to tie it to Jesus. The accounts of trying to tie it to Jesus are not the same; again showing the mark of man's creativity and not God's!
Answer for yourself: Where, then, do we find the first expression of the notion that Jesus actually instituted the Eucharistic rite as a regular sacrament in the Christian Church? Well we do not find it an any writings that can accurately shown to be written by Jewish hands; we have to go to the Gentile convert Paul again for this! I hope you don't forget that since a child Paul would have been impressed by the mystery of such a saving sacrament that was the center of Gentile religion; like Tarsus for example where he grew up.
The earliest assertion of the institution of this Osirian sacrament/Eucharist within Judaism is to be found in Paul's Epistles, and this is indeed the earliest reference to the Eucharistic idea too, i.e. to the idea that there is salvific power in the body and blood of Jesus...just as we saw was identical to Osiris:
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (I Corinthians 2: 23-30)
From this passage, it is abundantly clear that Paul himself was the inventor and creator of the Eucharist, both as an idea and as a Church institution. For Paul says quite plainly that the Eucharist was founded on a revelation which he himself received:
"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you."
The fact that Paul says here that he received directly "from the Lord" (i.e. by direct revelation from Jesus himself, in one of the many appearances which Paul claims occurred to him) the details of how Jesus instituted the Eucharist (or what Paul calls "the Lord's Supper", verse 20), has been glossed over by scholars in a manner that might be considered extraordinary; but it is really quite understandable, for there is a great deal at stake here. To admit that Paul was the creator of the Eucharist would be to admit that Paul, not Jesus, was the founder of Christianity. It means that the central sacrament and mystery of Christianity, which marks it off as a separate religion from Judaism, was not instituted by Jesus. Nor are the ideas underlying this sacrament - the incorporation of the worshippers in the body of the divine Christ by a process of eating the god ?-part of Jesus' religious outlook: indeed, he would have found such ideas repugnant, though not unfamiliar, for they were a well-known aspect of paganism, especially in its mystery religion manifestations.
Even Christian scholars, however, have not been able to hide from themselves completely that Paul is here claiming to have received by revelation from Jesus personally how, at the Last Supper, Jesus gave instructions about the institution of the Eucharist. A typical comment is the following: "Perhaps St Paul means that he received this information by revelation, though the preposition apo (from) rather suggests his having received it from the Lord through the elder apostles or other intermediaries" (Evans, Corinthians, Clarendon Bible, 1930). While allowing that it is possible that Paul is here claiming a revelation (though without admitting how momentous such an interpretation would be, or why it has to be fended off so desperately), this scholar takes refuge in a grammatical comment of little weight (Maccoby, Mythmaker, p. 113).
We must accept, then, that Paul is saying here that he knows about Jesus' words at the Last Supper by direct revelation, not by any information received from the Jerusalem Apostles, some of whom were actually at the Last Supper. It would obviously be absurd for Paul to ascribe to an exclusive revelation of his own an institution already well known in the Church since the days of Jesus himself. This explains the otherwise inexplicable fact that, as we shall see, the Eucharist was not observed by the "Jerusalem Church" at all, but only by those churches that had come under the influence of Paul. For if Jesus himself had instituted the Eucharist, one would expect it to be observed, above all, by those who were actually present at the Last Supper - unless they had unaccountably forgotten Jesus' words, and needed to be reminded of them through a special revelation given to Paul.
The Gospels, of course, do assert that the Eucharist was instituted by Jesus - or, at least, that as an institution it was based on something that Jesus did and said at the Last Supper. But we must remind ourselves, once more, that the Gospels were all written after Paul's Epistles, and were all influenced by Paul's ideas. Coupled with this fact is the scholars who today point out the fact that the Gospels bearing the Apostles' names were written quite late; much later than Church traditions reports and the hand of the authors of these Gospels were not the Jewish Apostles but non-Jews due to the innumerable internal evidences of errors which no 5 years old Jewish child would have made let alone the Holy Spirit. Of course, there is much in the Gospels that is not derived from Paul, especially in relation to Jesus' earthly life, in which Paul did not take much interest. But here is one alleged incident in Jesus' life about which, for once, there is a close correspondence between something in Paul's Epistles and the account of the Gospels. It is significant that this one incident concerns an institution so central for the Christian Church, which had a strong motive to ascribe its institution to Jesus, since otherwise it would have to admit that Jesus had no intention of founding a new religion at all. We are forced to the conclusion that the source from which the Gospels derive their account of the Last Supper, in its Eucharistic aspects, is, in fact, Paul's account of his revelation on the matter in Corinthians.
The Gospels, in general, have other sources for their accounts of Jesus' last days. But the Gospel-writers, being members of a Church in which the Eucharist was already centrally important (Gentile churches), and having no other source for the institution of the Eucharist than Paul's account, had to turn away from their usual sources and draw on Paul directly in order to write into the story something corresponding to what Paul alleged to have seen in his vision of the Last Supper. This explains the numerous verbal correspondences between the accounts given in the Synoptic Gospels and Paul's words in Corinthians. These cannot be a coincidence, but must mean that the Gospel authors had Paul's words before them as they wrote (they cannot be from a common source, since Paul says explicitly that he did not have them from any source but by personal revelation).
Though the Synoptic Gospels follow the outline of Paul's account closely, they do not go as far as Paul in ascribing to Jesus the actual institution of the Eucharistic rite; instead they portray Jesus as performing a ceremony which was afterwards made the basis of the Eucharistic rite. The absence of the whole incident in their other sources must have embarrassed the Synoptic writers to the extent that they inserted only a pared down version of Paul's visionary incident.
The author of John, on the other hand, omitted the incident altogether from his account of the Last Supper.
Answer for yourself: How could this be if Jesus instituted such an important sacrament?
This "omission" was certainly not because he was indifferent to the Eucharist, for, in another context, he gives a much longer and more impassioned version of its theory than is found in any of the Synoptic Gospels, making it essential to the attainment of eternal life, and evidently regarding it as a mystery of incorporation with the divine just as in the mystery cults. His omission of the topic from the Last Supper must mean that he was unacquainted with the Epistle of Paul in which the topic was attached to the Last Supper for the first time.
Answer for yourself: How could this be if Jesus instituted such an important sacrament at the Last Supper and he was writing under the unction of the Holy Spirit; or was he?
Nevertheless, as a member of a Church in which the practice of the Eucharist was regarded as essential for salvation (though unaware that this doctrine came from Paul), he included a long defence of the institution as part of Jesus' preaching. Thus all the Gospels provide some kind of basis in Jesus' life for the Eucharistic rite of which Jesus, in historical fact, knew nothing.
John shows himself well aware of the shocking character of the Eucharistic idea in Jewish eyes when he portrays even the disciples as offended by it, and some of them as so alienated that "they walked no more with him". What John is describing here is not the shock felt by Jewish hearers of Jesus (for Jesus never expressed any Eucharistic ideas) but the shock felt by hearers of Paul when he grafted on to the practice of Christianity a rite so reminiscent of paganism, involving a notion of incorporation of the g-dhead by a procedure with strong overtones of cannibalism.
This is not to say, of course, that Jesus did not distribute bread and wine to his disciples at the Last Supper...which was simply a Passover Seder! This was quite normal at a Jewish meal, whether at festival time or not. The leading person at the table would make a blessing (blessing is the original meaning of the word "eucharist") and then break the loaf of bread and pass a piece to everyone at the table. This cup of wine seems to be what is referred to in the Synoptic accounts and in I Corinthians, and speaks of the kiddush wine of sabbath and festivals, which preceded the bread and certain parts of the seder. This procedure, which is still practised today at Jewish tables, has no mystical significance; the only meaning of it is to thank God for the meal He has provided. The addition of mystery religion trappings (i.e. the bread as the body of the god, and the wine as his blood) was the work of Paul, by which he turned an ordinary Jewish meal into a pagan sacrament. Since the blood even of an animal was forbidden at a Jewish meal by biblical law (Leviticus 7:26), the idea of regarding the wine as blood would be found disgusting by Jews. Here again, Paul seems to be deliberately removing himself from the Jewish ethos and canons of taste, and aligning himself with the world of paganism.
It is worthy of note that the term Paul uses for the Eucharist is "the Lord's Supper" (Greek kuriakon deipnon). This same expression was used in the mystery religions for the sacred meals dedicated to the saviour god. There is evidence that in the early Gentile Church, this ceremony was indeed regarded as a mystery, for an atmosphere of secrecy surrounded it, and non-Christians and even catechumens (those being inducted into Gentile Christianity) were not allowed to witness it. Paul's expression "the Lord's Supper" was so redolent of mystery religion that the early Fathers of the Church became embarrassed by it, and they substituted for it the name "Eucharist", which had Jewish, rather than pagan, associations. Thus the Fathers sought to align the Christian ceremony with the non-mystical, non-magical kiddush of the Jews, in which the wine and the bread were "blessed" (or, more accurately, God was blessed for providing them). Despite this change of name, however, the Eucharist continued to have magical associations, since it was believed that a miracle occurred every time it was celebrated: the bread and wine turned into the body and blood of Christ. This magical significance existed from the first institution of the rite by Paul, as can be seen from his expressions concerning the magical effect of the proper performance of it:
"For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."
Nevertheless, even Paul had no wish to cut off his new religion, with its new rite of communion, from Judaism entirely. To do that would strip any authority he could have from the Jerusalem church which was promoted as the authorities who backed Paul's mission (when in reality they had strong reservations concerning it). Even though he gave authority to the new rite by a vision, it was not his own authority that he cited, but that of Jesus. He would thus have approved of the effort later put into the Gospels and Acts to derive Paul's doctrines, including the Eucharist, from Jesus, and thus to play down the role of Paul himself. Paul had no wish to be acclaimed as the founder of a new religion; on the contrary, he wished his doctrines to be accepted as the logical continuation of Judaism, and therefore to have the backing of the whole panoply of history contained in the Jewish scriptures. Consequently, even in his institution of the Eucharist, he seeks to stress biblical antecedents. Thus he relates the sacrifice of the Eucharist and the eating of the body and blood of Christ to the sacrifices of the Temple (1 Corinthians 10: 18), and the imbibing of Christ's blood to the imbibing of miraculous water by the Israelites in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10: 4). By surrounding what was, in fact, an audaciously pagan ceremony with a web of scriptural allusions, Paul hoped to attach his cult of Jesus as a saviour-god to the Jewish background which he still cherished as a convert and in which he had aspired to reach great heights. In this way he could think of himself as a prophet, like Jeremiah. He had not broken from the Pharisees whom he had hoped to conquer through his gifts; instead, he had transcended them, and so conquered them in a different way. His abject failure had been turned into triumph. The Gamaliels and Hillels on whom his youthful admiration had been bestowed were now small fry: mere shadows of the prophets, among whom Paul took his place. If the Pharisees now wished to achieve any eminence, they could do so only by attaching themselves to him, and seeking salvation by the route which only he could show.
It remains to demonstrate that the Eucharist ceremony was not practised by Jesus' followers in Jerusalem, who were led by the disciples of Jesus himself, who would surely have known whether Jesus had given them this new foundation rite.
As the celebrated scholar Hans Lietzmann indicated long ago, the evidence of the book of Acts points to the conclusion that the Eucharist was not practised by the Jerusalem Nazarenes. Instead, a sense of community was instilled simply by having communal meals, as in the case of other Jewish fellowships. Thus, we find the following:
"They met constantly to hear the apostles teach, and to share the common life, to break bread, and to pray. . . . With one mind they kept up their daily attendance at the temple, and, breaking bread in private houses, shared their meals with unaffected joy, as they praised God and enjoyed the favor of the whole people" (Acts 2:42-46).
The expression "to break bread" (Hebrew betzo'a) simply means to initiate a meal in a ceremonious way; the host or some prominent guest makes a blessing over a loaf of bread and then breaks the loaf, giving a piece to each person present. This was done (and still is done) by Jews at all communal or celebratory meals, whether on a week day or a festival day, and nothing is said to suggest that the bread has any symbolic or mystical significance.
If these communal meals of Jesus' followers in Jerusalem had had a Eucharistic character (i.e. if they were sacraments with a mystical significance of eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus), something would surely have been included to indicate this: at the very least, the wine would have been mentioned, which it is not. It may be asked why Luke, who did not scruple to include in his Gospel a Eucharistic element in his account of the Last Supper, did not venture to give a Eucharistic coloring to his account of the communal meals in Acts. Luke himself must have been familiar with Eucharistic practice, since at the time of the writing of Acts (about AD 90), the Eucharist was an established rite of the Church. Yet he did not think of inserting into his account of the practices of the "Jerusalem Church" that they performed the Eucharist. This is merely an example of how difficult it is to rewrite history without leaving tell-tale traces of the original story. One alteration always implies others; but the redactor does not always think of the repercussions of an alteration he has inserted, and so leaves other parts of his work unaltered and inconsistent with his pattern of adaptation of the original.
A survey of the evidence thus confirms that Paul and no one else was the creator of the Eucharist.
He gave authority to this new institution, which he actually derived from mystery religion, by adducing a vision in which he had seen Jesus at the Last Supper, giving instructions to his disciples about performing the Eucharistic rite. This vision of Paul's was later incorporated as historical fact into the Gospels, in the Gentile written accounts given there of the Last Supper, and thus has been accepted as historical fact by the vast majority, but not all, of New Testament scholars. The followers of Jesus in Jerusalem, who were pious Jews and would have regarded the idea of eating Jesus' body and drinking his blood as repugnant, never practised this rite, but simply took communal meals prefaced by the breaking of bread, in the manner sanctioned by Jewish tradition for fellowships within the general community of Judaism.
There is no need to go on. I will leave you with a thought from a real Prophet of God and not a rejected Sadducee/Pharisee want to be:
Jer 10:2 2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (KJV)