MERGED: Questions for Catholics on how we got our Bible

I recently had an discussion with a Catholic Priest in Gate City Va. He was very graciouse and kind to me, and I have a Great Deal of respect for him for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak to a non-Catholic on some very deep questions on some of the dotrcines of the Catholic Faith. That being said one of the questions i asked him was about Transubstantiation. He gave me some very good information on it. I wanted some clarification on How the bread and wine are turned into the actual and literal body and blood of Jesus Christ: and how it MAY contradict with scripture.

So the first thing i would like calification on is “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:53-54 Now if one were to take just that one verse it would almost seem that is teaching cannabilsm but if you read the versus before that i believe it clarifies it. …now i say that very humbley becuase i am quite ignorant when it come to Catholic Doctrine. I’d appreciate any repsonse on the following verses on cannabilsm.

“But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” Genesis 9:4

“… No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.” Leviticus 17:12

Would God ever command His children to do something He had already forbidden?

One other thing. The priest told me about the verse in John 6. where it states that it is his body and blood. Are we to take it litterly? What about when He said He was the door in John 10:7 “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” Does that mean that Jesus is Litery a door made of wood?(or other material?) or could it possibly be symbolic stating that He(Jesus) is the only way into Heaven? I would appreciate any clarification on it!
Thank you in advance :thumbsup:

If you will read about when Jesus told his disciples to eat his body and blood, many of them turned and walked away. Jesus did not say “Wait a minute, I simply mean symbolically!” No he reaffirmed in it. In the language of the time he used the word for gnaw, or to eat like an animal. Not only did he reaffirm it, he said “Truly, Truly I say to you unless you ‘really gnaw like an animal on raw meat’ you cannot have life.”

If Jesus meant it symbolically do you think thousands would have walked away from him? Or that he would have simply turned to his disciples and said, they didn’t understand me? No he said, “Are you going to leave me too?”

Jesus knew what he was saying, and he didn’t hesitate to reaffirm it. Now we believe that Jesus is God, that He is the Word… and that Word is the same Word that spoke creation into existence. We believe that when God spoke, the Word came forth and the universe was formed… Yet, many of us balk when the same God spoke and said “This is my body”, and we say oh, now that must be symbolic.

Now you must take that verse in Genesis which forbids eating blood… and look at it in light of:

[bibledrb] Leviticus 17:11 [/bibledrb]

You see the blood that is on the altar is the blood of atonement, the blood of life. The only blood that contains eternal life is that of God himself… that is why we must consume it, through the Eucharist, to obtain eternal life.

John chapter 6 holds the answers of many of your questions. Also I might suggest reading The Early Church Father’s on the Eucharist.

BTW, good to see there is a good priest in Gate City, VA. I used to work there some when I lived near there.

The “cannibalism” claims assume that what we do originates with man. It is plain from scripture, that the concept originated with God and was presented to man. As well, it is not man eating man, but God giving of Himself to man, so that man might have eternal life - which comes only from God.

As well one cannot separate what Jesus said in John 6 from that which He said in Matthew 26, or Mark 14, or Luke 22, or from what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10 and 11. Neither can one separate those verses from the uninterrupted practice of both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches from day 1. Scripture was written with no verses or numbers in it. Man broke it up into segments, for organizational purposes, but this has lead to the rending of the seamless garment of scripture.

A compact book, This is My Body, written by Mark Shea, might assist you, as it details how Christ’s presence was made manifest to him on his journey from evangelicalism to Catholicism.

Notice that it is self-evident to all men that their bodily life ceases without bodily nourishment. Just as bodily life ceases without nourishment, so does spiritual life; and the soul is more important than the body.

Notice that the old testament spoke of the blood being the life (of an animal); however, this is only true for creatures: if creatures lose their blood, they also lose their life; God’s life, however, is not in His Blood or Flesh, but supremely in Himself.

Further, notice how the old testament speaks of “no soul” being permitted to eat the blood of animals. This is very interesting because it is the body chiefly (and not the soul) that requires bodily nourishment. It is almost as if God is already teaching us that the life of the soul is not sustained by purely material things, and that it is forbidden to confound the life of one’s soul with bodily nourishment or the life of the body: i.e., that we are not to assume that we are but like the irrational animals that must needs eat food, and that this is either the source or summit, or both, of our existence - as is only largely the case for the irrational animals who have but mortal (irrational) souls.

Bodily nourishment, however, is neither the source of our existence (God is, especially since it is He Who makes every human soul) nor certainly the summit of our existence (as in the “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” attitude). Therefore, what we see here is a command against the errors of carnalism or materialism reinforced by a dietary law and practise.

Consider also the error of Esau who sold his birthright but for a bit of pourage.

Wow canibalism? Not really it doesnt even look or taste like meat but it remains the whole christ whole and entire, the ‘life given spirit’ he is there to give us life ’ he who doesnt eat and drink my flesh nd blood has no life’. Wow he certainly was emphasizing this thing in literal and non symbolic term, paul did the same and all christains after him agree atleast for about 1500yrs. With such great evidence my dear i cant really see this sybolism. Just listen to him talk about his body and blood in the last supper.

Jesus says that unless we eat His Body and drink His Blood, we have no life in us. The devil, who opposes all of this, is in perfect agreement with the “cannibalism” argument. Correct faith would be much easier if the devil was visible.

I’m a proud cannibal. Since the early Christans were accused of the crime by the Pagan Romans, I too claim it to be so.

Jesus is God, and by that fact He has the ability to create anything out of nothing, and to take what is already created and transform it to something else. Since all of the Sacraments come to us from Christ Jesus, and it is He who acts in and through them, it is Jesus Himself who changes the elements of bread and wine into His own flesh and blood. The manner He chose to do so was given to the Apostles and those they chose, as Jesus chose them, and gave authority to do what Jesus commanded them to do at the Last Supper. Jesus, the God-Man who said things that many could not, or would not believe, because it was too hard for them to accept, gave us a way to do what He told us we needed to do. We call the manner He gave us to accomplish this Transubstantiation. And by Faith we accept that through His priesthood, which He shares with His Church, He makes Himself present, body and soul, humanity and divinity. He said it, I believe,I believe… I believe…

First i want to appologize to everyone i did not mean to offend anyone! The word cannabilism was the only term i could thank of, so please forgive my lack forsight as to how someone could persieve my intentions!

That being said. Thank you all for you post. I will reply shortly to some of the Great replys i have recieved when i have a little more time to gather my thoughts and give a humble response
Thank you all

No offense taken! It was clear to me from the context in which you used it that you meant no offense. The cannibalism claim arose long ago from ignorance of the faith. Yet, ignorance is only temporary if you are seeking the truth. We all possess some degree of it.

I didn’t take any offense, and it’s a charge that we Catholics have to be ready to answer. Luckily, it’s an easy charge to answer. Just ask yourself, what is bad about cannibalism, what harm comes of it? And then ask yourself, does that harm come to Jesus in the Eucharist? The answer is very clearly, no. It is more near the truth to liken the Eucharist to a mother breast-feeding her baby. The food is quite literally from the mother’s body, but no harm befalls the mother in giving a part of her body to feed her baby.

Regarding the command not to eat blood, what reason does God give for that command? The reason he gives is that the life is in the blood, and we should not seek to take into ourselves the life of other, lower creatures. It was a pagan thing. And yet what is Christianity but God’s offer to let us partake of his divine life? That is exactly the goal for Christians, so it makes perfect sense that God would connect a prohibition against seeking to partake of the life of lower creatures, with an invitation to partake of his own divine life.

Cannibalism begins with death. The partaking of Christ’s Body begins with life. Some reflective thought into the source and direction of the two opposite practices should erase most concerns.

Luther had the same problem with Zwingli and others. Zwingli did not believe in the Real Presence.
I say that I would much rather let myself be torn apart a hundred times or let myself be burned before I would be of one mind or will with Stenckefeld, Zwingli, Karlstadt, Oecolampadius, and whoever else they might be, these loathsome fanatics, or before I would acknowledge their teaching.
For I can well remember, and it is also recorded in their books, how altogether scandalously they blasphemed us along with our dear Lord and Savior; they called him a baked God, a God made of bread, a God made of wine, a roasted God, etc. They called us cannibals, blood-drinkers, man-eaters, Capernaites, Thyesteans,13 etc. Yet they knew that they were doing an injustice to the Lord and us intentionally and in an exceedingly blasphemous way and that they were inventing scandalous lies about us. This was a sure sign that there was no benevolent spirit dwelling in them. Still, we allowed all this to take place and to happen to us at Marburg in the hope that they would make a complete change for the better.
For they knew very well that we had never taught or believed this, although they would like to have spread this view among the populace to their glory and our shame to make it look as if we were such mad, senseless, raving people who held that Christ was locally [localiter] in the sacrament and was eaten up piecemeal as a wolf devours a sheep, and that we were drinking blood as a cow drinks water. They knew (I say) when they called us cannibals and blood-drinkers at the instigation of the devil that they were resorting to manifest, impudent lies.
Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ; Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther’s Works, Vol. 38 : Word and Sacrament IV. Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1999, c1971 (Luther’s Works 38), S. 38:291-292

No worries, I don’t think anyone here was actually offended. It seems quite clear from your posts that you’re just looking to learn what Catholics believe in light of Scripture. I commend your goal!

You have some good responses here to most parts of your post, but I haven’t seen anyone address your comment about why Catholics believe that John 6 is literal when Jesus makes claims other places in John’s gospel that are clearly symbolic (i.e. being a door). If you’ll note in John 10, John mentions that the story is a proverb (or parable, or figure of speech, depending on what translation you use). As you know, proverbs are stories that are used to teach lessons. The characters and objects in the stories symbolize some truth that God is trying to convey. In John 6, we don’t see any of this language, and therefore there’s no justification for taking it symbolically. Some people make the claim that we must use the greater context of John, which they claim is symbolic. However, if we used that premise to read the Bread of Life discourse in John 6, we would be forced to ignore the immediate context. Therefore, we can know that we should not interpret Jesus figuratively when he tells us that we are to eat of his flesh.

Here are a few strong indications that Jesus was speaking literally:

In verse 52, the Jews question among themselves how Jesus can give his flesh for them to eat. In the places where Jesus was speaking figuratively, he corrected his disciples. However, Jesus strengthens his language as being literal: “Amen, amen, I say unto you: unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”

If this were not enough for us to know Jesus was speaking literally, we see that he allows many disciples to walk away from him, and even questions if the apostles if they too will leave. Jesus wouldn’t allow a miscommunication to dwindle his sheep like this.

God bless you and your quest for the Truth!

Another thing that distinguishes John 6 from various parables is that the parables say things about us that we know are not literally true. We are not literally branches, or sheep, and we do not literally have springs of water within us. But in John 6 there is no such “not literally true” statement about us. All Jesus says is that we must eat, and it is a plain fact that humans do in fact eat.

=Makko52;9257529]I recently had an discussion with a Catholic Priest in Gate City Va.

So the first thing i would like calification on is “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:53-54 Now if one were to take just that one verse it would almost seem that is teaching cannabilsm but if you read the versus before that i believe it clarifies it. …now i say that very humbley becuase i am quite ignorant when it come to Catholic Doctrine. I’d appreciate any repsonse on the following verses on cannabilsm.

One other thing. The priest told me about the verse in John 6. where it states that it is his body and blood. Are we to take it litterly? What about when He said He was the door in John 10:7 "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep


Christianity has two incomprehensibly profound Mysteries. The Blessed Trinity and the Most Holy Eucharist, Catholic Holy Communion, where Christ Himself is made “Truly, Really and Substanually Present; Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity… The COMPLETE Christ. The Theological term describing this act is “transubstanuation.”

This is PURELY and Solely a Godly Miracle.

From God the Father
Of God the Son
By God the Holy Spirit through by God’s choice, the hands of His Catholic priest. “Do this in memory of Me.”

What is often not understood in the “error of the deserters” John 6: verses 28,30,41-42, and 61. They assume in ERROR that Jesus was speaking of His Cardinal body. NO! Jesus speaks here of His Glorified, Risen and now Perfect Body. A body very real but at the same time Devine; able to pass through walls and locked doors.

As a FYI: this was clearly understood by Peter and the Apostles, who when Asked by Christ: ‘Do you wish to call me a liar and desert Me too” replied: John 6: 68-70 “[68] Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? [69] And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. [70] And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.”

This belief is born out in Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14: 22-24; Luke 22:19-21 and Paul in 1st. Cor. 11: 23-29.

So we have the testimony of God Himself and FIVE authors of the Bible. Amen!

As to your references about “eating blood”. That goes back to GenesisGenesis 1:29 where it was God ORIGINAL plan for humanity to not eat meat. *This is changed by God after the Flood and the Burnt Offering Noah made to God of all “clean living animals”: ***Gen.9: 1-4 **“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, ***I give you everything. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” ***

The Probiation is precisely what it says: DON"T DRINK BLOOD [which soem had done].

It may have also included eating raw-uncooked meat?

Your final question points out why Our Perfect God always, everytime; everywhre COMMANDS, taught, insist upon and instituted:
One God
Only One set of Faith beliefs
Only One Church and ONE Guided, guarded, and protected by God [Jn. 14:16-17=Jn.17: 15-19] Teacher of His Faith, so that all would get it right. [Mt. 28: 16, 18-19, and John20 :21-22].

Eph. 4: 1-7 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith,[MEANS ONLY ONE SET OF BELIEFS] one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

John.10: 16 “And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. ***So there shall be one flock, one shepherd” ***

Eph. 2:19-20 “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,[SINGULAR] built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

**Eph. 3: 9-10 ** “And to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church [singular] the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,

The Eucharist is a UNBLODY Sacrifice as Jesus as Incarnate man can too ONLY die One time which He did on the Cross. The Eucharist is a “RE-PRESENATION” of that One same and identical Sacrifice made present as only God can do; time and time again. Like the Trinity is is by God’s intent NOT to be understood yet to be held in Firm belief. Amen.
God Bless you,
Pat /PJM

Think from this perspective - Why did God command his children to not eat blood? What is the reasoning behind it? The answer is in one of the verses after that-

“For the life of every creature is the blood of it; therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.” (Lev 17:14)

So we shouldn’t eat any animal’s blood, because we do not want the life of an animal to be inside us. However, we do want Jesus’ life to be inside of us! It is precisely why he would want us to drink his blood! :slight_smile:

In this connection, I would also recommend reading The True Bread From Heaven

Yes, it is literally body and blood and it is literally door also!! :slight_smile:

Door refers to the “substance” - what it is, not what it looks like. So yes, Jesus is the door, he just doesn’t look like a door! See my point? The Lord is a rock. He doesn’t look like a rock. The Lord is a shield. He doesn’t look like a shield. The Lord wants us to eat his flesh and drink his blood. It doesn’t look like flesh and blood. It looks like bread and wine.

In this context, I highly recommend reading Transubstantiation, to understand “substance” in more detail.

Transubstantiation is the only thing ever happening, everywhere…All that is is being forever formed and transformed into the mystical body of Christ.

Jesus was given a second chance to clarify what he said when talking about the Eucharist. He said “Amen, amen I say to you unless you eat of the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood you shall not have life within you”. This freaked the disciples out so we can obviously know and understand he was being very literal. He did not go back and say oh well not really it’s just a symbol, oh no he reinforced it.

Exactly. What most people fail to see is that Christ was talking about his glorified, resurrected body which would never taste of death again. This is what we were to receive in the Eucharist. We receive living flesh and blood, not flesh and blood that comes from death.

Beautiful. :signofcross:

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