Jesus denied transubstantiation


#1

I realize this will be a controversial topic. But I hope it will be a fruitful one that will lead to a clearer interpretation of the truth.

To save forum space, I have written my arguments in article form and published them to my website…
You can view it here.

I am looking forward to kind, and charitable conversation.

John
www.gideonsword.net


#2

Bibleapologist,
I would suggest you read the following tract from CA. It explains the Catholic viewpoint very well:
http://www.catholic.com/library/Christ_in_the_Eucharist.asp

One interesting point, though - our belief in the Eucharist was taught by just about every early Church father and early Protestant reformer. How is it that this relatively new belief (or disbelief) in the Eucharist has consumed most of Protestantism in the last few centuries?


#3

What about the part on “for my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink”-John 55

I mean, Jesus went out of his way to say, this is NOT symbolic

A lone Raven


#4

Ditto that.

Besides, the Bread of Life discourse simply can’t explain why Jesus suddenly changes from “flesh” to “flesh and blood” at the end of John, unless the exegeticist admits that He’s foreshadowing the Eucharist, a transubstantial Eucharist.

Jeremy


#5

It sometimes makes me chuckle (or shiver, I don’t know) how many Protestants will argue that “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” must be interpreted hyper-literally in their argument against the Immaculate Conception, but “For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink” must be interpreted hyper-metaphorically in order to avoid transubstantiation.

I guess it’s just the traditional Protestant bias, rejecting anything that smells of Catholicism, no matter the cost.

Jeremy


#6

You’ll also have to explain why Jesus becomes more graphic with the term, “Eat My Flesh”.

Here is a breakdown of the verbs used in the discourse: -trogo = chew, gnaw, as and animal eats. –phago = to eat, consume food.
Verse 49
“Your fathers ate [ephagon] manna in the desert and they died”
Verse 50
“… that a person may eat [phage] it and not die”
Verse 51
“Anyone who eats [phagon] this bread will live for ever…”
Verse 52
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat [phagein]?”
Verse 53
“If you do not eat [phagethe] the flesh of the Son of man…”
Verse 54
“Anyone who does eat [trogon] my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life…”
Verse 56
“Whoever eats trogon]** my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me…”
Verse 57
“whoever eats trogon] me will also draw life from me…”
Verse 58
“…it is not like the bread our ancestors ate [ephagon]…”
“but anyone who eats trogon] this bread will live forever.”


#7

[quote=bibleapologist] John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.
[/quote]

Whose flesh profits nothing?


#8

I don’t see anywhere in the article where you even claim that Jesus denied transubstantiation. You give His words another meaning, but all you are actually refuting is the (rather silly) RC argument that Jesus’ words *must *be referring to transubstantiation.

And I find it ironic that your signature says “intellectualism is over-rated” when your theology is so radically intellectualist. You appear to define saving faith as a change in one’s thinking about justification (an intellectualized definition if I ever heard one), and you reduce the meaning of Jesus’ mystical language to simply hearing His words. No Christians I know of deny that this is one level of what it means to feed on Christ, so insofar as you’re making a valid point, the point is completely uncontroversial. But you don’t seem able to consider the possibility that actual physical reception of the Eucharist may also be intended in John 6. What is this but sheer intellectualism? For you Jesus is received by the mind only. For orthodox Christians Jesus is received by the whole person.

Edwin


#9

John 6:4,11-14 - on the eve of the Passover, Jesus performs the miracle of multiplying the loaves. This was prophesied in the Old Testament (e.g., 2 Kings4:43), and foreshadows the infinite heavenly bread which is Him.

Matt. 14:19, 15:36; Mark 6:41, 8:6; Luke 9:16 - these passages are additional accounts of the multiplication miracles. This points to the Eucharist.

Matt. 16:12 - in this verse, Jesus explains His metaphorical use of the term “bread.” In John 6, He eliminates any metaphorical possibilities.

John 6:4 - Jesus is in Capernaum on the eve of Passover, and the lambs are gathered to be slaughtered and eaten. Look what He says.

John 6:35,41,48,51 - Jesus says four times “I AM the bread from heaven.” It is He, Himself, the eternal bread from heaven.

John 6:27,31,49 - there is a parallel between the manna in the desert which was physically consumed, and this “new” bread which must be consumed.

John 6:51-52- then Jesus says that the bread He is referring to is His flesh. The Jews take Him literally and immediately question such a teaching. How can this man give us His flesh to eat?

John 6:53 - 58 - Jesus does not correct their literal interpretation. Instead, Jesus eliminates any metaphorical interpretations by swearing an oath and being even more literal about eating His flesh. In fact, Jesus says four times we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Catholics thus believe that Jesus makes present His body and blood in the sacrifice of the Mass. Protestants, if they are not going to become Catholic, can only argue that Jesus was somehow speaking symbolically.

John 6:23-53 - however, a symbolic interpretation is not plausible. Throughout these verses, the Greek text uses the word “phago” nine times. “Phago” literally means “to eat” or “physically consume.” Like the Protestants of our day, the disciples take issue with Jesus’ literal usage of “eat.” So Jesus does what?

John 6:54, 56, 57, 58 - He uses an even more literal verb, translated as “trogo,” which means to gnaw or chew or crunch. He increases the literalness and drives his message home. Jesus will literally give us His flesh and blood to eat. The word “trogo” is only used two other times in the New Testament (in Matt. 24:38 and John 13:18) and it always means to literally gnaw or chew meat. While “phago” might also have a spiritual application, “trogo” is never used metaphorically in Greek. So Protestants cannot find one verse in Scripture where “trogo” is used symbolically, and yet this must be their argument if they are going to deny the Catholic understanding of Jesus’ words. Moreover, the Jews already knew Jesus was speaking literally even before Jesus used the word “trogo” when they said “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” **(John 6:52). **

John 6:55 - to clarify further, Jesus says “For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed.” This phrase can only be understood as being responsive to those who do not believe that Jesus’ flesh is food indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. Further, Jesus uses the word which is translated as “sarx.” “Sarx” means flesh (not “soma” which means body). See, for example, **John 1:13,14; 3:6; 8:15; 17:2; Matt. 16:17; 19:5; 24:22; 26:41; Mark 10:8; 13:20; 14:38; and Luke 3:6; 24:39 **which provides other examples in Scripture where “sarx” means flesh. It is always literal.

John 6:55 - further, the phrases “real” food and “real” drink use the word “alethes.” “Alethes” means “really” or “truly,” and would only be used if there were doubts concerning the reality of Jesus’ flesh and blood as being food and drink. Thus, Jesus is emphasizing the miracle of His body and blood being actual food and drink.


#10

John 6:60 - as are many anti-Catholics today, Jesus’ disciples are scandalized by these words. They even ask, “Who can ‘listen’ to it (much less understand it)?” To the unillumined mind, it seems grotesque.

John 6:61-63 - Jesus acknowledges their disgust. Jesus’ use of the phrase “the spirit gives life” means the disciples need supernatural faith, not logic, to understand His words.

John 3:6 - Jesus often used the comparison of “spirit versus flesh” to teach about the necessity of possessing supernatural faith versus a natural understanding. In Mark 14:38 Jesus also uses the “spirit/flesh” comparison. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We must go beyond the natural to understand the supernatural. In 1 Cor. 2:14,3:3; Rom 8:5; and **Gal. 5:**17, Paul also uses the “spirit/flesh” comparison to teach that unspiritual people are not receiving the gift of faith. They are still “in the flesh.”

John 6:63 - Protestants often argue that Jesus’ use of the phrase “the spirit gives life” shows that Jesus was only speaking symbolically. However, Protestants must explain why there is not one place in Scripture where “spirit” means “symbolic.” As we have seen, the use of “spirit” relates to supernatural faith. What words are spirit and life? The words that we must eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood, or we have no life in us.

**John 6:66-67 **- many disciples leave Jesus, rejecting this literal interpretation that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. At this point, these disciples really thought Jesus had lost His mind. If they were wrong about the literal interpretation, why wouldn’t Jesus, the Great Teacher, have corrected them? Why didn’t Jesus say, “Hey, come back here, I was only speaking symbolically!”? Because they understood correctly.

**Mark 4:34 **- Jesus always explained to His disciples the real meanings of His teachings. He never would have let them go away with a false impression, most especially in regard to a question about eternal salvation.

**John 6:37 **- Jesus says He would not drive those away from Him. They understood Him correctly but would not believe.

John 3:5,11; Matt. 16:11-12 - here are some examples of Jesus correcting wrong impressions of His teaching. In the Eucharistic discourse, Jesus does not correct the scandalized disciples.

**John 6:64,70 **- Jesus ties the disbelief in the Real Presence of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist to Judas’ betrayal. Those who don’t believe in this miracle betray Him.

**Psalm 27:2; Isa. 9:20; 49:26; Mic. 3:3; 2 Sam. 23:17; Rev. 16:6; 17:6, 16 **- to further dispense with the Protestant claim that Jesus was only speaking symbolically, these verses demonstrate that symbolically eating body and blood is always used in a negative context of a physical assault. It always means “destroying an enemy,” not becoming intimately close with him. Thus, if Jesus were speaking symbolically in John 6:51-58, He would be saying to us, “He who reviles or assaults me has eternal life.” This, of course, is absurd.

John 10:7 - Protestants point out that Jesus did speak metaphorically about Himself in other places in Scripture. For example, here Jesus says, “I am the door.” But in this case, no one asked Jesus if He was literally made of wood. They understood him metaphorically.

John 15:1,5 - here is another example, where Jesus says, “I am the vine.” Again, no one asked Jesus if He was literally a vine. In John 6, Jesus’ disciples did ask about His literal speech (that this bread was His flesh which must be eaten). He confirmed that His flesh and blood were food and drink indeed. Many disciples understood Him and left Him.

**Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18 **– Jesus says He will not drink of the “fruit of the vine” until He drinks it new in the kingdom. Some Protestants try to use this verse (because Jesus said “fruit of the vine”) to prove the wine cannot be His blood. But the Greek word for fruit is “genneema” which literally means “that which is generated from the vine.” In John 15:1,5 Jesus says “I am the vine.” So “fruit of the vine” can also mean Jesus’ blood. In 1 Cor. 11:26-27, Paul also used “bread” and “the body of the Lord” interchangeably in the same sentence. Also, see Matt. 3:7;12:34;23:33 for examples were “genneema” means “birth” or “generation.”

Rom. 14:14-18; 1 Cor. 8:1-13; 1 Tim. 4:3 – Protestants often argue that drinking blood and eating certain sacrificed meats were prohibited in the New Testament, so Jesus would have never commanded us to consume His body and blood. But these verses prove them wrong, showing that Paul taught all foods, even meat offered to idols, strangled, or with blood, could be consumed by the Christian if it didn’t bother the brother’s conscience and were consumed with thanksgiving to God.


#11

More scriptural evidence to Transubstantiation

scripturecatholic.com/the_eucharist.html


#12

You GO Caesar!! :thumbsup:


#13

Elvisman,

One interesting point, though - our belief in the Eucharist was taught by just about every early Church father and early Protestant reformer. How is it that this relatively new belief (or disbelief) in the Eucharist has consumed most of Protestantism in the last few centuries?

If I am right about this interpretation of John 6, it would be illogical to believe that the early Church taught transubstantiation.

And although you can prove through recorded history that the CC has indeed taught transubstantiation since 1215ad, you cannot prove that it was a practice of the “true Church” at any point in history… neither would it matter if they did… it still would not negate the truth.

John
www.gideonsword.net


#14

Jemfinch,

I guess it’s just the traditional Protestant bias, rejecting anything that smells of Catholicism, no matter the cost.

Actually the Protestants (many of them) you are referring to do teach transubstantiation. They, by attempting to reform the Catholic Church, never really made it back to genuine Christianity. I am not a protestant, I have never been Catholic.

John
www.gideonsword.net


#15

What then is the “True Church”? When did it exist?

The belief of transubstantiation is in the writings of the Church Fathers even up to the time of the Apostolic Church. We see in scripture (see my above posts) that the writers of the Gospels, and the Apostles (including St. Paul) believed in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.


#16

Not Worthy,

You’ll also have to explain why Jesus becomes more graphic with the term, “Eat My Flesh”.

I did. And I was very clear on why Jesus became more graphic with them. He was implementing irrational logic. To teach them the way He did by becoming more graphic with them, He, without lying, gave them what the end result of their disbelief would eventually bring.

The same way a person would use reverse psychology with a child. “Well, I guess since you won’t clean your room you must not care about your toys”. The child will find that offensive, because they do like their toys. But, the parent knowing that help the child to reach the end final logic of their rebellious attitude.

John
www.gideonsword.net


#17

Can you please specify the logic you use to come to this conclusion? John 6 seems perfectly clear to me.


#18

Contarini,

I don’t see anywhere in the article where you even claim that Jesus denied transubstantiation. You give His words another meaning, but all you are actually refuting is the (rather silly) RC argument that Jesus’ words must be referring to transubstantiation.

I claim Jesus denied transubstantiation at the end of the article. Jesus, if you pay close attention to the way He contended with the Jews denied His flesh was related to the heavenly Manna that their fathers received in the wilderness. In fact He said it was not to be “eaten” as the manna…

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst

He said “cometh to me”, and “believeth on me”… He did not say “eateth me”.

John
www.gideonsword.net


#19

Key word: If.

I invite you to consider a different interpretation of John 6. Consider interpreting that passage literally. Don’t get hung up with words like “transubstantiation”; just look at what Jesus says.


#20

Ceasar,

You posted too much for me to reply to at this time… I do appreciate your zeal to defend you position. I will reply to one comment though that will hopefully give a comprehensive answer.

John 6:60 - as are many anti-Catholics today, Jesus’ disciples are scandalized by these words. They even ask, “Who can ‘listen’ to it (much less understand it)?” To the unillumined mind, it seems grotesque.

Of course, as well any human shoud be scandalized by these words… and who can hear such teaching. This is exactly why Jesus used such strong teaching.

Again, by using irrational logic, Jesus helped the Jews to be offended with their own position. First, they were murmuring that He was claiming to be “bread of life”, in a spiritual sense. So in order to convince the Jews, Jesus proved that thier position could not be held by them for it’s offensiveness.

John
www.gideonsword.net


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