Books on the Lord’s Supper

I have linked to some helpful books on baptism. It seems only fitting that I should do so also with books on the Lord’s Supper. For a book on the four views of Christ’s presence, you will best go here. Three small but helpful books are here, here, and here. However, the best treatment of the Lord’s Supper is undoubtedly Vermigli. It is a pity that WTS does not sell it. They used to sell Vermigli’s works, but now they do not, seemingly. At least, they are not on the website.



  1. tim prussic said,

    January 30, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    What about ol’ Mathison on Calvin (_Given for You_). That book is wonderful and earth-shattering for Zwinglians that think they’re Calvinists (with reference to the Supper).

  2. greenbaggins said,

    January 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Haven’t looked at it, so I cannot comment. Sing me a few bars besides the one you already have.

  3. David Gray said,

    January 30, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Mathison’s book is excellent as is much of his work on Modern Reformation.

  4. January 30, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I have Letham’s book, which I think is pretty good. The only thing I still can’t buy – although I come from a fairly high view of the Supper (the 3FU are particularly strong here)- I still just can’t see it in John 6. I have to part ways with Letham and many others on that one.

  5. Jon said,

    January 30, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I enjoyed Mathison’s book when I read it. It has been several years but as I recall he took up Nevin’s cause (against Hodge), did he not? I can’t check myself because I loaned the book to someone several years ago and never got it back, despite asking for it. I think I bought a couple of Nevin’s books, including Mystical Presence, after reading Mathison.

  6. rjs1 said,

    January 30, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Nicholas Ridley’s “Brief Declaration or Treatise against Transubstantiation”:

  7. January 30, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    I read most of Mathison’s book and it was a very good defense of the real presence, which is also one of those things that drove me to Nevin. I have found a wonderful home in Mercersburg.

  8. tim prussic said,

    January 30, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    That’s funny. Mathison certainly sided with Nevin against Hodge, but his book drove me to… well, Calvin. Calvin drove me to the Bible. The Bible drove me to the Table.

    David, how can John 6 NOT be, to one degree or another, eucharistic? It seems like a wonderful passage for the Word/Sacrament combo. What are your reasons for not seeing it? Or, maybe better, what do you see there?

  9. Gabe Martini said,

    January 30, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    The Mystical Presence is a defense of Calvin’s doctrine of the Supper, so it is only natural that Nevin would lead you to Calvin (and Scripture).

  10. January 30, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Amen Mr. Martini. I don’t mean to stir any unfortunate sand, but it was one of those writings that went to Calvin and consequently to Scripture and demontrated again American Presbyterian practice/ belief was not in accord, regardless of whether it was Hodge or not. If I remember right, Mercersburg was labeled heretical/ dangerous (“the slippery slope to Rome”) . . . and history makes Nevin one more cut of the reformed diamond.

  11. tim prussic said,

    January 30, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Say, do I detect and common tactic of defensive Reformed theologians? Methinks.

  12. Bennett B. Wethered said,

    January 30, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Another source for Cranmer’s work, “A Defence of the True and Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Our Savior Christ,” is Wipf and Stock Publishers (cheaper than Amazon at $22.40).

    Three other good books on this topic are “Grace and Gratitude – The Eucharistic Theology of John Calvin,” by B.A. Gerrish, “Treatises on the Sacraments,” by John Calvin, and “Calvin’s Doctrine of the Word and Sacrament,” by Ronlad S. Wallace. – All are still available.

  13. thomasgoodwin said,

    January 31, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Zwingli’s view is a little more complex than ‘bare memorial’. It’s rather confusing, and Brian Gerrish attempts to deal with it. Calvin has historically been accused of contradicting himself by some of our favorite forefathers (e.g. William Cunningham). While Luther was wrong, his view is pretty straightforward if you understand the communication of properties. But that basic presupposition is the problem behind the Lutheran view.

    Here’s a quote from Zwingli worth considering: “in the Lord’s Supper that natural and substantial body of Christ, in which he suffered here and in which he now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven, is not eaten naturally and in its essence, but spiritually only …. To eat the body of Christ sacramentally, when we wish to speak properly, is, when connected with the sacrament, to eat the body of Christ in mind and in spirit”.

    Now, that may refer to an intense psychological experience and not Calvin’s view exactly, but it’s certainly not bare memorial.

  14. Lee said,

    January 31, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I agree with ThomasGoodwin, Zwingli is not the Memorialism that is attributed to him today. This is also admitted in the Vermigli book mentioned. Which by the way is on sale much cheaper at Reformation Heritage books.
    Here is a link:

  15. greenbaggins said,

    January 31, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for the cheaper link, Lee. I am glad to see that they sell all of his works that are currently translated.

  16. Steven Carr said,

    January 31, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Has anyone read B. A. Gerrish’s book Grace and Gratitude: The Eucharistic Theology of John Calvin? If you haven’t, you should. I don’t agree with everything he says, but it is definitely worth the time.

  17. greenbaggins said,

    January 31, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I think Mark Jones has (thomasgoodwin).

  18. thomasgoodwin said,

    January 31, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I have an excellent article by Gerrish on the Lord’s Supper in the Reformation. If anyone wants a copy, contact me offline. mjns at

  19. Mike Brown said,

    January 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm


    I second the recommendation for Matthison’s Given For You. In my opinion, it is hands down the best book in print defending Calvin’s view of the Supper. As a pastor of a church that practices weekly communion, I recommend this book frequently to people who want to study the Calvinistic understanding of the Supper, as well as read its historical development since the 16th century. Matthison also has a very helpful chapter on many of the practical issues and debates (i.e. why wine instead of grape juice, why weekly observance, etc.). The only thing he is a little too soft on, in my opinion, is an exegetical argument against paedocommunion. But hey, Horton endorses the book and highly recommends it, so it must be good, right?

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