John Chapter 6, What Does It Really Say?

“And behold, thou shalt be dumb and unable to speak until the day when these things come to pass, BECAUSE THOU HAST NOT BELIEVED MY WORDS, WHICH WILL BE FULFILLED IN THEIR PROPER TIME.” Luke 1:20.

St. John, New Testament, Chapter 6…

This chapter is so important in explaining the “true presence” of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. . If you will read the whole chapter, you will not find any verse to indicate Jesus was speaking figuratively, or in parables. He was speaking literally as the context of the chapter plainly shows.
One of the basic rules of Bible interpretation is, if something is said only once in Scripture, it might be taken figuratively, but if it is repeated three times, it is to be taken literally. Jesus repeated His message in John Chapter 6, nine different ways, or nine times.
READ THEM AND LEARN

Read them and learn what? The bible was written thousands of years ago by people trying to interpret their Universe. Lets face it, if God wanted us to truly understand what He wants from us (worship, adoration, forsaking all other Gods as He seems a bit of the Jealous, angry type), he would write the Bible II, update the ten commandments to include one about not sexually abusing children and give women and gays a better storyline.

Literal meaning in the Bible? Are you serious?

It is often said that Jesus said ‘I am the vine you are the branches’ but He was not saying He was a plant. But of course the arguement against this and His intent about the REAL Presence was that [as you rightly say] He said 'I tell you in truth, in very truth…unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood…! I mean, how much plainer could He have put it.

'I tell you in truth…in VERY TRUTH!! He clearly isn’t talking metaphorically since how can ‘in truth, in very truth’ possibly be taken to be a metaphore!!!

For me, the ‘walking away’ of those who could not follow this teaching and His refusal to say ‘hey come on guys, I didn’t mean you to take it literally’, no, He let them walk away!!
Here was Christ on His Sacred Mission and He let them walk away. That can only mean He meant what He said.

But of course we know that don’t we. From the many conversions and re-conversions I have had at that solemn sacred moment just before receiving.

Recently while doubting my own worthiness, presented with folded arms, felt a very powerful call from the Holy Spirit at that moment. Boy was it powerful. I have seldom felt anything SO powerful. It was incredible. Language fails. Why would it, if it was mere bread.

If it was mere bread, why was the Holy Spirit in it which I felt tangibly. Boy was that humbling. That Almighty God should through the Power of the Holy Spirit reach out to me.

Sorry, I digress, should have put this in private message

Blessings and peace.

please tell me what is a yoism

Just to play Devil’s Advocate here, most Protestants who do not believe in Transubstantiation would cite what Jesus says after the Bread of Life discourse. "It is the spirit that gives life while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Martin Luther, who believed in the Real Presence, believed that John 6 is metaphorical and spiritually significant, but not a good argument for the Real Presence. He cited the actual Last Supper itself and Paul’s points about the Eucharist in Corinthians.

It seems quite clear to me that Jesus cannot be speaking entirely literally in this chapter. I will deal with just one verse that shows this most strongly.

“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
(John 6:51 NASB)

Or as the Douhay-Rheims puts it.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
(John 6:51-52 DRB)

My understanding of transubstantiation is that it holds the elements are objectively changed into the body and blood of Christ. Whoever or whatever eats the elements receives that body and blood of Christ. A recent reply on Ask an Apologist said that is true even if it is eaten by a bird.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=350059&highlight=animal

If this is the case then a pagan who goes to a Catholic Church and illicitly receives the Eucharist has eaten the body and blood of Christ. If He is speaking literally, Jesus clearly says that if anyone does this, that person will live forever, so the pagan would live forever. Unless the Catholic Church agrees with this outcome Jesus is not speaking entirely literally.

John 6 is not so clear as you may think. Augustine, a doctor and saint of the Church said:

If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man," says Christ, “and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us.
(On Christian Doctrine, Book 3, Chapter 16, Paragraph 24)

newadvent.org/fathers/12023.htm

Whatever he may have thought with respect to the Real Presence, Augustine apparently did not take all of John 6 literally.

Where does it mention in the Bible 'trying to interpret the universe???:stuck_out_tongue:

The Bible was compiled from the Jewish Scriptures to include eye-witness testimonies of those who met/walked/followed Christ. :thumbsup:

We KNOW who wrote some scriptures such as John the Evangelist in his latter age when he had time to reflect on what he wanted to write, hence his almost philosophical style. Compare with Mark who wrote very much in a hurry, short and to the point. Luke who was a Doctor, Paul who wrote just a few years after Christ and Clement the disciple of St Peter, who scribed for Peter in 1Peter and authored 2 Peter after the Apostles death by martyrdom.

You seem to presume an aweful lot about what Almighty God should or should not do. Have you met Him?

Did He tell you this or is it just your fanciful imaginations and machinations? :wink:

Have you ever felt the power of the Holy Spirit?

Has the Holy Spirit ever spoken to you personally as He has millions around the world over two millenia?

Have you ever felt the Power of the Holy Spirit? Obviously not from the arrogance of your message. I am not criticizing you, but the transparancy in your lack of experience from what you write, does rather reveal your own personal experience…or rather lack of it!!! :rolleyes:

You are unwittingly correct in that Yes, Almighty God is a jealous God. He has infact Himself said so! To Moses on mount Sinai.

God has every right to be. He has created the entire universe for humanity. He has made us little less than gods ourselves, given us power over all creation Psalm 8.

Almighty God we know is pure Spirit and cannot be seen, but Christ is God manifested in human form whom we can see, relate to, speak to and who speaks to us. For in Him all things were made, visible and invisible Col1:12:20.

he would write the Bible II, update the ten commandments to include one about not sexually abusing children and give women and gays a better storyline.

Now that’s an interesting thing. If God were God, surely He would get it right first time so that there would be no need for a Bible 2.

Sexual abuse of children is abhorent. Every day millions of children are seriously malnourished due to the unChristian nature of world economics. Catholic Priests have had a bad press but it is a fact that the greatest causes of child abuse occur outside from Christendom. All are weak! Non -Christians statistically are weaker and greater abusers!! That is to say ‘your population are worse offenders than mine!’

Women ARE given a good press. A woman was the first witness to the Resurrection of Christ. Two of his closest friends [Mary and Martha] were women. Women have a role to play that men cannot, but theirs is not in the Man’s role.

Gays God bless them are like the rest of us: I am a sinner no better than any gay. But at least I DO seek healing from my human weakness. I have a human weakness: I use my mobile phone when I am driving. This is illegal therefore a sin. I am therefore no better than any other sinner. But I do not deny that it is a sin. That is the difference!!

God be with you, I will pray for you

Blessings and peace.

THIS IS MY BODY,THIS IS MY BLOOD OR YOU CAN JUST READ 1Cor10; 24-25, Mt 26 ; 26-27 Lk 22;19-20

I am not disputing the Real Presence although I accept it in a receptionist sense rather than the Catholic view. There is a Real Presence for those who receive the sacrament with faith. How it is there is a mystery. I would note that this is consistent with some writings of the early church fathers.

And thus He would have this meat and drink to be understood as meaning the fellowship of His own body and members, which is the holy Church in his predestinated, and called, and justified, and glorified saints and believers…For my flesh, says He, is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. For while by meat and drink men seek to attain to this, neither to hunger nor thirst, there is nothing that truly affords this, except this meat and drink, which does render them by whom it is taken immortal and incorruptible; that is, the very fellowship of the saints, where will be peace and unity, full and perfect… In a word, He now explains how that which He speaks of comes to pass, and what it is to eat His body and to drink His blood. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. This it is, therefore, for a man to eat that meat and to drink that drink, to dwell in Christ, and to have Christ dwelling in him. Consequently, he that dwells not in Christ, and in whom Christ dwells not, doubtless neither eats His flesh [spiritually] nor drinks His blood [although he may press the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ carnally and visibly with his teeth], but rather does he eat and drink the sacrament of so great a thing to his own judgment, because he, being unclean, has presumed to come to the sacraments of Christ, which no man takes worthily except he that is pure: of such it is said, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Augustine (Tractates on the Gospel of John. Tractate 26, Paragraphs 15, 17, &18)
newadvent.org/fathers/1701026.htm

There remained yet another act that would abolish the Passover and would become the Passover of the Gentiles, a source of life to the end. Our Lord Jesus took bread in his hands, plain bread at the beginning, and blessed it, made the sign of the cross over it and sanctified it in the name of the Father and in the name of the Spirit, and he broke and distributed it in morsels to his disciples in his kindness. He called the bread his living body, and he filled it with himself and with his Spirit. He stretched forth his hand and gave them the bread that his right hand had sanctified. Do not regard as bread what I have given you now…eat it, and do not disdain its crumbs. For this bread that I have sanctified is my body. Its least crumb sanctifies thousands of thousands, and it is capable of giving life to all who eat it. Take, eat in faith, doubting not at all that this is my body. And he who eats it in faith eats it in fire and the Spirit. If anyone doubts and eats it, it is plain bread to him. He who believes and eats the bread sanctified in my name, if he is pure; if he is a sinner, he will be forgiven. He, however, who despises it or spurns it, he may be sure that he is insulting the Son, who has called the bread his body and truly made it so. Receive of it, eat of it, all of you, and eat in it the Holy Spirit, for it is truly my body, and he who eats it will live forever. This is the heavenly bread that has come down from on high onto the earth. This is the bread that the Israelites ate in the wilderness and did not esteem. The manna that they gathered, which came down to them, was a figure of this spiritual bread that you have now received. Take and eat of it, all of you. In this bread are eating my body. It is the true source of forgiveness.

Ephrem the Syrian (Memra for the Fifth Day of the Great Week (Holy Thursday), Sermon 4) Joel C. Elowsky, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament IVa John 1-10, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006), p. 236.)

Why is that ? Something does not cease to be figurative by being repeated

Jesus repeated His message in John Chapter 6, nine different ways, or nine times.

READ THEM AND LEARN

To answer the question in the title - it is about:

[LIST]
*]recognition of Jesus
*]His Kingship
*]following Him
*]finding what He says too much to stomach
*]enmity to Him ending in His death
[/LIST]- among other things.

That Jesus was speaking literally, does not by itself solve anything: the literal sense of a text can perfectly well be a figurative sense, pointing to some other meaning than the definition of the words employed might suggest. The Parable of the Good Samaritan has the form of a story about a Samaritan - but it is not about the Samaritan; it is an (oblique) answer to the question, “Who is my neighbour ?”

The literal sense of texts is thus a bit more complex than may at first appear.

So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56* He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

What is the figurative meaning of eating someone’s flesh?

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh the stumbled and fell.

Psalm 27:2

1 And I said: Hear, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice?-- 2 you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people, and their flesh from off their bones; 3 who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces, and chop them up like meat* in a kettle, like flesh in a caldron.

Micah 3:1-3
What is the figurative meaning of drinking someones blood?
Where does the Bible use eat flesh and drink blood in a figurative sense? Does it indicate love for the one devoured figuratively?

So what is 1Cor 10=2325, Mt 26:26:27 and Lk :22;19=20 saying

I think that Jesus made this a huge test of rationality. he is going to cast away millions on this one.

He was simply saying that his body is bread and his blood is wine. He wasn’t really trying to convince them of the opposite. Bread is not flesh and wine is not blood.

And he said whenever you drink wine and eat bread, remember him.

Pursuing them to their deaths. As the crowd had wanted to make Jesus a king (see 18.36 & parallels), His words would have been pretty shocking. Even without the Eucharistic meaning - which is also present (Baptism & the Eucharist are very prominent in this gospel).

Where does the Bible use eat flesh and drink blood in a figurative sense? Does it indicate love for the one devoured figuratively?

Here’s the full list, AFAIK:

[LIST]
*]Psa 14.4 // Psa. 53
*]Psa 27:2 When the wicked, [even] mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
*]Eze 36:13 Thus says the Lord GOD: Because men say to you, ‘You devour men, and you bereave your nation of children,’
*]**Mic 3:3 Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. **
*]John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
[/LIST]**Compare ****Galatians 5.15: **
[LIST]
*][size=2]**But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. **[/size]
[/LIST][size=2]There is also:[/size]
[LIST]
*][size=2]**Ezekiel 39:17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, [even] a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. **[/size]
[/LIST][size=2]**which is repeated in Revelation; as well as the “hidden manna” of chapter two. **
[/size]

Not to us Westerners, those things, are not those other things - but to a Jew, symbol & symbolised functioned as the same thing. No Jew would would have understood what was meant by a “bare symbol”. They did not separate vehicle and meaning - so they would not have needed to bother with transubstantiation either; it answers questions they would not have asked. “A Study of Hebrew Thought”, if you can find it, is the book to read - it’s by this chap:

[LIST]
*]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Tresmontant
[/LIST]

Jesus is not bound by figures as used elsewhere.

Jesus starts the whole theme of the Bread of Life discourse using an analogy between believing and eating.

Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
(John 6:26-27 NASB)

Having the previous day provided the crowd with the food that perishes, Jesus now starts about the food that leads to eternal life.

Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
(John 6:28-29 NASB)

Asked how they get this food Jesus tells them by believing in Him. On this section Augustine says:

“They said therefore unto Him, What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” For He had said to them, “Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that which endures unto eternal life.” “What shall we do?” they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” This is then to eat the meat, not that which perishes, but that which endures unto eternal life. To what purpose do you make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and you have eaten already.

(Tractates on the Gospel of John, Tractate 25, Paragraph 12)
newadvent.org/fathers/1701025.htm

A little further on Jesus says:

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
(John 6:35 NASB)

Coming to Jesus means we will not hunger. What relieves hunger normally? Eating. By believing we will not thirst. What satisfies thirst otherwise? Drinking. So Jesus equates coming to Him with eating and believing with drinking.

A bit later He says:

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
(John 6:40 NASB)

Beholding and believing in Jesus results in eternal life. Note that He puts no other requirements on attaining life. This verse is paralleled a little further on when Jesus says:

"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
(John 6:54 NASB)

The parallel language reinforce that beholding and believing equate with eating His flesh and drinking His blood.

Jesus again assures us that believing in Him results in eternal life.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
(John 6:47 NASB)

Again Augustine comments:

Wherefore, the Lord, about to give the Holy Spirit, said that Himself was the bread that came down from heaven, exhorting us to believe in Him. For to believe in Him is to eat the living bread. He that believes eats; he is sated invisibly, because invisibly is he born again.

(Tractates on the Gospel of John. Tractate 26, Paragraph 1)
newadvent.org/fathers/1701026.htm

Jesus goes on to say:

“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
(John 6:51-55 NASB)

If these verses are taken literally it would basically amount to salvation by the Eucharist alone. Anyone, whether a believer or not, would have salvation by going to a Catholic church and receiving the Eucharist. And it would be impossible to be saved without receiving the Eucharist. If this part is taken literally Jesus would be contradicting what He said earlier about believers having eternal life. He placed no condition on those statements but here He says you must also eat His flesh and drink His blood. This difficulty disappears if the previous equivalence between believing and eating and drinking is recognized.

(to be continued)

(continued)

When His comments result in grumbling Jesus says:

But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble? "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
(John 6:61-63 NASB)

Augustine comments on how this answers the problem seen.

“But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples murmured at it,”…answered and said, “This offends you;” because I said, I give you my flesh to eat, and my blood to drink, this forsooth offends you. “Then what if you shall see the Son of man ascending where He was before?” What is this? Did He hereby solve the question that perplexed them? Did He hereby uncover the source of their offense? He did clearly, if only they understood. For they supposed that He was going to deal out His body to them; but He said that He was to ascend into heaven, of course, whole: “When you shall see the Son of man ascending where He was before;” certainly then, at least, you will see that not in the manner you suppose does He dispense His body; certainly then, at least, you will understand that His grace is not consumed by tooth-biting.

(Tractates on the Gospel of John, Tractate 27, Paragraph 3)
newadvent.org/fathers/1701027.htm

It must be remembered that this thread was started specifically about John 6 and not the Real Presence, although that was probably the original poster’s intent. I have already indicated how I understand the Real Presence and it doesn’t result in a conclusion that you are saved just by receiving the Eucharist, which a completely literal interpretation would require.

I read your post and read the link, but I do not understand what your are trying to say.

Jesus said repeatedly “I am the bread that came down from heaven”. And said, “eat this bread”. Further he told his disciples:

“Doth this offend you?
What if you should see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you are spirit, and they are life. …”

So here we have the whole summation, everything that he said about bread was pointing to himself ascending and descending from heaven, in a figure of the manna from heaven.

He reveals that they have not seen his ascension, which suggests that they do not know what he means by his descent from heaven.

It is not until he appears before Thomas that he tells Thomas that now Thomas has seen, what he had meant all along. He descended into the room, sent by God the father, his God and our God.

If you do not know what Jesus means, by being sent by God our father, there is very little of the Gospel of John that you could understand. Its all about that.

o so that is why we have cocktail pratys LOL

Well, he may have meant only at times of passover, and a passover dinner is more like a cocktail party than a roman catholic mass…

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