Erroneous Use of Unleavened Bread
(azymes or matzah) in the Eucharist

The Lord's supper was not the Passover meal!!

The main reason that the Latins give for using unleavened bread in the Eucharist is the totally false assumption that Joshua used unleavened bread at the Last Supper.

The Last Supper was held on the night of Tuesday/Wednesday—the day before the Passover—and before the Feast of Unleavened Bread . . . which began on the following day.

The Roman method of reckoning time (which we use today) began from midnight to midnight; and the Jewish 24 hour day actually began in the evening at 6:00 p.m:

And Elohim saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:6).

In the famous painting entitled The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci we see bread and wine.... It looks like ordinary bread which Joshua took and blessed but it is impossible to tell from the painting:

And he took bread (Gk. artos), and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. (Luke 22:19).

The word that Joshua used for bread (artos) occurs about 65 times in the New Covenant, and it always refers to regular bread made with yeast or leaven.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.
Joshua had a leisurely Last Supper of bread and wine with his disciples and washed their feet.
Jesus washing the disciples' feet.
Joshua washing the disciples' feet.

The Last Supper had nothing in common with the Passover.

In this painting, we do not see any roast lamb on the table, which was a requirement for the Passover supper.

Joshua had a leisurely meal with his disciples, which lasted for several hours, as He gave them final instructions before His death....He was reclining at table which was absolutely forbidden for the Passover meal:

Depiction of Passover by French artist James Tissot.
Depiction of Passover by French artist James Tissot.

"And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover." (Exodus 12:11).

The Khazars celebrate "Passover" with a meal like the Last Supper, but it has nothing in common with the annual Jewish Passover celebration as commanded by JEHOVAH in the Torah.

Artistic depiction of the Passover celebration.
Artistic depiction of the Passover celebration.

The Passover meal was eaten STANDING and in haste to signify the quick flight from Egypt. The only items on the menu were roast lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs with no wine mentioned.

Unleavened bread was used by the Latins for the first 1000 years!!

Leavened or common bread made with yeast or leaven was used by the Latin church for the first 1000 years of Christianity.

The Latins changed the form while the Orthodox still follow the Apostolic pattern.

Here is a quote from a Latin priest and professor of theology at the university of Vienna named Johannes H. Emminghaus:

In the Latin Rite, the bread for the Eucharist has been unleavened since the eighth century; that is, it is baked of flour and water without yeast. At the Last Supper, Christ probably took this kind of bread (mazzah), which was interpreted in the Passover memorial as a "bread of affliction," the bread of nomadic shepherds who had no homeland of their own. During the first millennium of Church history, however, it was the general custom in both East and West to use normal "daily bread," that is, leavened bread, for the Eucharist; the Eastern Churches still use it and usually have strict prohibitions against the use of unleavened bread (or "azymes"). The Latin Church, for its part, regards the question as of little importance, since at the Council of Florence, which sought to reunite East and West (1439), the difference in custom was simply acknowledged and accepted. (Rev. Johannes H. Emminghaus, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration, p. 161).

Here is a quote from a Jesuit priest and professor of Theology at the University of Innsbruck:

In the West, various ordinances appeared from the ninth century on, all demanding the exclusive use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist. A growing solicitude for the Blessed Sacrament and a desire to employonly the best and whitest bread, along with various scriptural considerations—all favored this development. Still, the new custom did not come into exclusive vogue until the middle of the eleventh century. Particularly in Rome it was not universally accepted till after the general infiltration of various usages from the North. In the Orient there were few objections to this usage during olden times. Not till the discussions that led to the schism of 1054 did it become one of the chief objections against the Latins. At the Council of Florence (1439), however, it was definitely established that the Sacrament could be confected in azymo sive fermentato pane. Therefore, as we well know, the various groups of Orientals who are united with Rome continue to use the type of bread traditional among them. (Rev. Joseph A. Jungmann, SJ., The Mass of the Roman Rite, vol. II, p. 34).

In other words, the use of unleavened bread with the round host came from the forests of Germany.

Eucharistic bread stamp.
Eucharistic bread stamp.

Eucharistic bread stamps were found in Germany dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries after Christ.

These stamps were used in baking ordinary every day leavened bread that was used for the Eucharist.


Regular bread used in the Eucharist.
Regular bread used in the Eucharist.

Here is a quote from the book Bread and Liturgy by George Galavaris:

The same baking method and ovens were used by the Christians for both their daily bread and that which was to be used in worship. It must be made clear that (contrary to practices today in the West) in the Early Christian centuries and in all eastern rites through the ages, except in the Armenian church, the bread used for the Church did not differ from ordinary bread in substance. From the beginning leavened bread was used. Even the Armenians before the seventh century and the Maronites before their union with Rome in the twelfth century used leavened bread. The practice of using unleavened bread for the Eucharist was introduced to the West much later. Among the earliest written accounts is that given by Alcuin (A.D. 798) and his disciple Rabanus Maurus. After this the altar bread took the light, wafer like form, achieved with pressing irons, so common today. (Galavaris, Bread and Liturgy, p. 54).

The Latin Vulgate and unleavened bread prepared the way for the mass or transubstantiation.
The Vulgate prepared the way for TRANSUBSTANTIATION!!

Here is the dictionary definition of TRANSUBSTANTIATION:

1. Conversion of one substance into another.
2. Theology. The doctrine holding that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus, although their appearances remain the same.

The Latin Vulgate and unleavened bread prepared the way for the monstrous doctrine of TRANSUBSTANTIATION. In the Sermon on the Mount, Joshua told his disciples to pray for their daily bread:

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11).

On the other hand, the Latin Vulgate tells us to pray for our supersubstantial bread:

Give us this day our supersubstantial (Lat.supersubstantialem) bread. (Latin Vulgate Version).

This doctrine teaches that the communion bread actually becomes the body and blood of Christ . . . and is to be worshipped as God.

Ordinary bread would not do for this stupendous "miracle" so special bread was required. The bread which was formally baked by the laity now required special preparation by the monks or priests.

This teaching was first promulgated in 831 by a French monk named Paschasius Radbertus (785-865) who wrote a book entitled De Corpore et Sanguine Domini. Naturally, it caused a firestorm of opposition and one of its main opponents was an Hibernian (Irish) missionary named John Scotus Erigena:

The year 831 is a memorable one in the annals of ecclesiological development. In that year an enormity, which four hundred years after came to bear the barbarous name of transubstantiation, had its first conception in the human mind. In 831 it appeared in the book of Paschasius Radbertus, a French monk, in which for the first time it was propounded to the world that the body of Christ in the sacrament is the very same which was born of the Virgin, and was nailed to the cross. The whole Western Church was astounded. The greatest theologians of the age declared the notion to be absolutely new, and offered it their most strenuous opposition. Nowhere was the repudiation of this stupendous novelty more emphatic than in the Scottish Church and her allied branches. In the front rank of its opponents were the Scoto-Irish divines, among whom was Johannis Scotus, Erigena, the founder of the University of Paris. Scotus was then residing at the Court of Charles the Bald of France, and that monarch called upon him to enter the lists against Paschasius. The great Culdee scholar responded to the royal call, and wrote a book in condemnation of the revolting dogma, for so did the French Church of that age regard it. Another distinguished divine, Bertram by name, took part with Scotus in his war against the new and monstrous proposition. The book of Bertram, written in refutation of Paschasius, is still extant, and occupies a distinguished place with the Bible in the Index Expurgatorius of Rome. The work of Johannis Scotus had ultimately a different though a not less honourable fate. About two hundred years after, when the doctrine of transubstantiation, strengthening as the darkness deepened, began to make way in Germany and France, Berengarius stood forth as its uncompromising opponent. To maintain himself in the storm of persecution which is bold defence of the truth drew upon him, he appealed to the work of Scotus, as showing that his own views of the sacrament were those of the Church of the ninth century. This drew the tempest upon the book of Scotus without diverting it from Berengarius. The work of our countryman had the honour of being committed to the flames by order of Pope Leo IX., A.D. 1050. But this title has been preserved in the records of the age, and remains to this day to witness to the orthodoxy of the Scoto-Irish Church, and of the Church universal, on the head of the sacrament, till towards the opening of the tenth century. That title runs thus: "The Sacraments of the Altar are not the real Body and Blood of Christ, but only the commemoration of his Body and Blood." (Wylie, History of the Scottish Nation, vol. III, ch. 7, p. 96).

The Hibernians had copies of the Vetus Latina (Old Latin) Version of the Holy Bible, and they knew nothing about a miraculous change in the bread and wine of communion.

Pope Benedict adores the unleavened bread host.
Pope Benedict adores the unleavened bread host.

TRANSUBSTANTIATION teaches that the round unleavened host is really truly and substantially the body and blood of Christ and must be worshipped as God.

The host is placed in a monstrance for perpetual adoration.

Host in the monstrance for perpetual adoration.
Host in the monstrance for perpetual adoration.

According to the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, anybody who does not believe in transubstantiation is a heretic and dammed to hell:

CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema. (13th Session, Canon I ).

CANON VI.-If any one saith, that, in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship, even external of latria; and is, consequently, neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in processions, according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of holy church; or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be adored, and that the adorers thereof are idolators; let him be anathema. (13th Session, Canon VI).

After the Council of Trent, hundreds of thousands of Protestant Christians were martyred because they refused to believe in transubstantiation and acknowledge that the DEAD BREAD was the God of the universe.

The unleavened bread host cannot be JEHOVAH because the Scriptures emphatically state that the Most High Elohim does not live in man-made objects:

Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? (Acts 7:48-50).

The Orthodox Church still refers to unleavened bread as dead bread!!
The Orthodox call unleavened bread DEAD BREAD!!

The Eastern Orthodox Church continues the ancient practice of using leavened bread in the Eucharist. Thus, the sacramental bread symbolizes the Resurrected Christ. The sacramental bread, known as prospora, may be made out of only four ingredients:

  • the finest (white) wheat flour
  • pure water
  • yeast
  • salt

    They refer to unleavened bread as DEAD BREAD:

    For the body without breath is dead. And matzo only—which does not have leaven—is dead, and not a living loaf. For the leaven gives life and oneness to the dough, just as the spirit does to the body and salt to the mind. And due to this we celebrate the sacrament through the perfect loaf. In accordance with this, the four evangelists say that in the holy mysteries the Lord handed over a perfect loaf—and not matzo—so that they might believe him to have a perfect body from the holy virgin. Now by perfect I mean one that was with soul and mind, and not—as the heretic Apollinaris said—that he took only a body. (Mahlon, And Taking Bread: Cerularius and the Azyme Controversy of 1054, p. 137).

    The controversy between leavened and unleavened bread raged for centuries.

    Unleavened Orthodox communion bread called a prosphoron.
    Leavened Orthodox communion bread called a prosphoron.

    The Orthodox refer to unleavened bread as DEAD BREAD!!

    Nothing magical happens during their communion and the host is not worshipped as God.

    Orthodox leavened bread for the members of the congregation.
    Orthodox leavened bread for the members of the congregation.

    Chronology of the last 3 days in the life of Joshua

    The last 3 days of the earthly life of Joshua were momentous days in the history of Israel. Joshua came to abolish the Old Covenant by fulfilling it and replacing it with the New Covenant. The Temple rituals with the animal sacrifices, Aaronic priesthood, and circumcision were all abolished forever.

    The Passover celebration was changed into the Lord's Supper and the time of the celebration was moved one day backward.

    The Sabbath was also changed from the 7th day to the First day of the Jewish week in commemoration of the Resurrection.

    JEHOVAH alone has power to change the times and seasons:

    And he changeth the times and the seasons. (Daniel 2:21).

    The Jewish days overlap our days because their days began in the evening.

    Tuesday/Wednesday Nisan 14.

    6 p.m.
    Joshua meets in the upper room with his disciples. Institution of the Last Supper. He washes the disciples' feet and has a leisurely supper of bread and wine with his disciples. Gives final instructions to the disciples.
    12 p.m.
    Joshua is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.
    6 a.m.
    Joshua's trial before Pilate begins.
    10 a.m.
    Joshua is nailed to a tree on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple.
    12 p.m.
    Darkness over the whole land until 3 p.m.
    3 p.m.
    Joshua dies on the tree and goes to Paradise with the repentant thief. Passover lambs are killed in the Temple.
    6 p.m.
    Joshua is buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea on the Mount of Olives. Jewish Passover begins.

    Wednesday/Thursday Nisan 15

    6 p.m.
    Passover meal eaten hastily with roast lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs.
    6 a.m.
    No work was allowed on this day as it was the Day of Preparation also called a High Day or the Passover Sabbath.
    6 p.m. Passover Sabbath ends. Joshua is now in the tomb 24 hours.

    Thursday/Friday Nisan 16

    6 p.m.
    This is the beginning of the day after the Passover Sabbath.
    6 a.m.
    This is an ordinary working day. Pharisees go to Pilate for a guard to watch His tomb in case the disciples steal his body and fake a resurrection!!
    9 a.m. Women disciples buy sweet spices to embalm the body of Joshua . They find the tomb guarded by soldiers so they have to wait.
    6 p.m. Weekly Jewish Sabbath begins. Joshua is now in the tomb 48 hours. Weekly Jewish Sabbath begins.

    Friday/Saturday Nisan 17

    6 p.m.
    Beginning of the weekly Jewish Sabbath.
    6 a.m.
    No work is allowed on this day because it is the regular weekly Sabbath.
    6 p.m.
    End of the weekly Jewish Sabbath. Joshua is now in the tomb 3 days and 3 nights for a total of 72 hours.

    Saturday/Sunday Nisan 18

    6 p.m.
    End of the weekly Jewish Sabbath. Beginning of the first day of the Jewish week.
    3. a.m.
    A great earthquake occurs as an angel of the Lord descends from Heaven and rolls back the stone to the sepulcher on the Mount of Olives. The soldiers are paralyzed with fear, and when they recover, they report the incident to the chief priests who offer them money to say that the disciples stole the body while they slept!!
    6 a.m. Miriam Magdalene visits the tomb and finds the stone rolled away and an angel announces that Joshua is risen.
    7 p.m.
    Peter and John run to the tomb and find that it is empty.
    9 p.m. Joshua walks with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and after proving that He is alive, vanishes out of their sight.
    6 p.m. Joshua appears to the doubting frightened disciples and assures them that He is indeed alive.

    Obviously, according to this Scriptural chronology, GOOD FRIDAY is a MYTH...That there were 2 Sabbaths that week is proven by this verse:

    In the end of the sabbaths, as it began to dawn toward the first of the sabbaths, came MIriam Magdalene and the other Miriam to see the sepulchre. (Matthew 28:1).

    What this verse is teaching is that the old Jewish Sabbath was completely fulfilled when Joshua rested for 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb. The new Sabbaths are the Resurrection Sabbaths or the Lord's day.


    Emminghaus, Rev. Johannes H. The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration. The Liturgical Press. Collegeville, Minnesota. 1978.

    George Galavaris. Bread and the Liturgy. The Symbolism of Early Christian and Byzantine Bread Stamps. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1970.

    Jungmann, Rev. Joseph A. The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origin and Development. (In 2 Volumes). Christian Classics, Allen, Texas, 1986.

    Smith, Mahlon H. And Taking Bread: Cerularius and the Azyme Controversy of 1054. Théologie Historique, Éditions Beauchesne, Paris, 1978.

    Copyright © 2013 by Patrick Scrivener

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