Eucharist, wine in the
: Controversy

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Rites intended for unity tend paradoxically to be the focus of disunity, and the Eucharist is no exception. The eucharistic wine challenges the Old Testament tradition from which it originates. For the Jews, blood shed in animal sacrifice reconciled God and humans—it made atonement, literally, putting man and God ‘at one’. Christ puts his own death in the place of that of the sacrificial animal. The Christian doctrine of drinking wine that has (sacramentally) become blood, even the blood of Christ the son of God, would be rejected as scandalous by Jews. Conversely, the Christian sacrifice of bread and wine in the Eucharist is a rejection of the shedding of blood in animal sacrifice.