Is Jesus Speaking About Belief Only or also about the Eucharist in John 6? Matt1618

A Response to an assertion that Jesus is only speaking of the need to believe in Jesus in John 6. Matt1618

I wrote an article which responded to the idea that John 6 is only metaphorical. Here is my writing on the issue: My response on John 6. I received an email that took issue with my response which showed why John 6 48-58 plus, could not be taken metaphorically. So, I will issue a response to the whole email, not leaving a word out. Now, the bulk of what I wrote was unresponded to, but understanding in writing a response, there is only so much that one can respond to. I know when I have given rebuttals of stuff, I have not touched on everything. Here though, I will respond in total to the ‘refutation’ of me. I will again point out things that were ignored in this ‘refutation’ of me. In my response, I will not leave anything unaddressed. The email that I am responding to basically makes a common argument, that when Jesus is talking in John 6, from the beginning of his teaching, to the end, (John 6:25-71), he is talking about belief only. In John 6:48-58, he’s just talking in a different way about the same thing. He uses a few other arguments, so that is why I wanted to address them. Jesus is only speaking figuratively, supposedly. I assert that when Jesus makes his assertion about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, (John 6:48-58), he was talking about giving his followers his true flesh and blood in the Eucharist. The words of the email writer will be in green, and my response is in blue. Biblical quotations will be in black. I will refer to the author of the email as ‘the author’.

The Matt 16:18 article sang that same old song about Jesus telling them 4 times to eat his flesh and leaves it at that. But in typical RC fashion, he refuses to even admit the possibility that this was becauuuuuse Jesus had told them 4 times to believe in him! He is simply saying the same thing in a different way. When we compare Scripture with Scripture (1 Cor 2:13), we see that "eating and drinking" are synonymous with "believing in Christ" because they both produce the same result: eternal life!

Stated in plain language: "...everyone who sees the Son and believes on Him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day (John 6:40) Stated in figurative language: "whoso eateth my flesh and drinks my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:54).

He belittles my statement by saying I am just repeating about eating flesh and drinking blood, and leaves it at that. I just noted again, that eating flesh and drinking blood, in Scripture, never is used in biblical times, anywhere, figuratively, in a positive way. So again, the author is demanding a usage, unheard of biblically and even outside of Scripture, in this way. In addition, the word, trogo, chew, gnaw, historically is used in a real, literal sense. Because of that fact, Catholics say Jesus is talking about giving his true flesh as true food. That is fulfilled in the Eucharist, the True Presence of Christ. The only other times used in the New Testament, the verb for eating flesh and drinking blood, trogo, (outside its usage in v. 54, 56, 57, 58) that word is used, in a literal sense. There was no time in Scripture, or even outside Scripture, where it was used figuratively. Two times in Scripture, outside of John 6, trogo is used in the New Testament. In John 13:18 it is used to tell us that Judas ate a meal with the others. He literally ate his meal, he didn’t figuratively eat it. In Matthew 24:38, the other time, it speaks of how before Noah’s flood, the people were ‘eating’ and drinking, giving in marriage, and so forth. People were literally eating food and drinking, not figuratively. So, the two other instances where trogo is used, are actually the eating of food.

I correctly noted when the term, eating flesh, was used ‘figuratively’ it always had a bad meaning. Here is an example of eating flesh, figuratively in Micah, 3:2-4:

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. 4: Then they will cry to the LORD, but he will not answer them; he will hide his face from them at that time, because they have made their deeds evil.
David is complaining about those people who tear skins off of my people. Eating flesh figuratively are people who hate good and love evil. Other usages eating flesh in a figurative sense is opposing the person. Now, so the precedence in Scripture, figuratively eating flesh, is negative. So, the way that the language Jesus is using, is to oppose him, to hate good and love evil? Can Jesus possibly be using this language, in order to follow him, you must hate good and love evil? It is ridiculous to put that as a position, to try to filter that into ‘believing in Jesus’. But the author is forced into that assertion. For example, other usages include Psalm 27:2, and Isaiah 9:18-20. But that just gets ignored. The author’s comparing of Scriptures destroys his argument.

The author claims that because Jesus says to believe four times prior to John 6:48-58, he is just repeating it supposedly figuratively. Let us examine that claim. I will highlight the four times, that I think he is writing of, John 6:29, 35-47, then compare it to vv. 48-72, I will split this into two paragraphs:

29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." (1) 35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. (2) 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; 39 and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; (3) and I will raise him up at the last day." 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." 42 They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" 43 Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has(4) eternal life.

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." 52The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 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(1) 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. (2) 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. (3) 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread (4) will live for ever." 59 This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper'na-um. 60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." 66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God." 70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him.

I broke this up into two paragraphs. I will grant in the first paragraph, Jesus does indeed use figurative language. Jesus says, I am the bread of life. He tells them of the necessity of believing him as the bread of life. He has the power over life and death, and will raise believers in him. If one believes in him one will get eternal life. Notice he nowhere talks there about eating this bread of life. There is an objection that how can he do this, since he’s from around that area (they think). Jesus points to his Father. However, Jesus teaches more in the second paragraph, from verses 48 to the end of the chapter. You will note that in this section a lot of different things are pointed to. First, after speaking metaphorically, he goes on to much more. He teaches that he is giving his life as a sacrifice. Jesus is laying down his life on your behalf. He first transitions out of the metaphorical, to the physical, when he refers to the Old Testament manna, physical manna, he is now about to compare himself to. He says ‘the bread that I will give is my flesh’ in v. 51. The transition in v. 48 comes real in v. 51. You will note that there are objections that are raised in the second paragraph that are not raised in the first, which shows that the hearers are understanding a shift, from the figurative to the literal. Now, the Jews then understood him literally, as seen in v. 52. How can he give us his flesh? Jesus transition is made more apparent when he transitions to ‘trogo’ starting in v. 54, when after even the disciples then object. The reason why Catholics bring up the word trogo is because the usage of the word eat in v. 51, phago, actually can be used in either physical or non physical ways. The Jews understood his usage in a physical way. Then when he goes to trogo in vs. 54-58, his point is now unquestionable. The use of eating flesh is real, he parallels that to the fathers who ate manna in the desert. The fathers literally ate the manna. But says this food is superior. Jesus did not back down. This then proceeds to upset his own disciples. Now the argument that somehow the disciples leave him because he told them to believe in him, is not a serious objection. ‘Who can listen to it’, the disciples said. They did not object when he was speaking figuratively about believing in him earlier. Then Jesus challenges the disciples, ‘will you leave’? At the same time, he brings up his resurrection and ascension. This shows how the Eucharist is linked to a risen and glorified Christ. If the disciples are leaving only because Jesus told them to believe in him, why did the disciples not leave him in v. 41 for example when the Jews murmured?

Besides that, Jesus talks about believing all throughout the gospel, not only did he mention that in the first part of this John 6 narrative. If that is the reason why they left, why did the disciples not leave before even John 6? Jesus said for example, in John 5:24-29:

24 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, 27 and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
So, Jesus said this exact same thing in John 5. Of course, even before this in v. 23 he said that they must honor Jesus the same way that they must honor the Father. He thus speaks of his divinity. In v. 24, he says that one must believe in him to get eternal life. Then he couples belief, with doing good to get to the resurrection of life in v.29. Now, you will not see the disciples leaving him when he said to believe him. Why not? Jesus spoke about the necessity of believing him all throughout the gospel. The disciples ‘believed’ him when he turned water in to wine, (Jn 2:11). John said to the disciples ‘he who believes’ him and obeys him has eternal life (Jn. 3:36). The disciples heard, and did not leave him, why not? We already looked in John 5:24-29. Belief is reiterated all throughout John 6. John 7:37-39, he says if you believe in him you will get the Holy Spirit. John 8:47-48, he tells his opponents they must believe in him and also that he is ‘I am’ in v. 58. The whole gospel is about Jesus telling all people that they must believe in him. But why did the disciples not leave him on all the other occasions? It is silly to say that the disciple left him because he said believe in John 6, something he said through the whole gospel. They knew that he was speaking about the necessity of believing him all along. This specific objection from the disciples, only came when he said one must his eat flesh and drink his blood.

What Jesus states literally in vs. 40, He states metaphorically in vs. 54. Hence, these are merely two ways of saying the same thing, as in another example, "Lazarus sleepeth, but I go to awake him out of sleep". The disciples said not to bother, let him enjoy his rest. Jesus then said, "Lazarus is dead" (John 11:11).

The evidence shows that having only one thought in mind, and expressing it in two ways, cannot be denied. Lazarus was either asleep or he was dead, not both. Jesus wants us to either have "faith in blood" per Romans 3:25, or to drink it. Not both. Jesus wants us to either eat His flesh or to believe in Him, not both.

Notice there is a huge difference between what Jesus said and did in John 6, and what he did in John 11. In John 6, he first says that he will give his flesh and blood, and one must eat that in order to have eternal life. Notice no correction to his objectors in John 6, to either the Jews or his disciples. However, in John 11, the disciples thought he was only sleeping. In John 6, the Jews and the disciples understood him talking about him literally giving flesh and blood to eat, and he let them go!! They don’t accept that teaching, they don’t accept Jesus. In John 11 he instantly made the correction. The very example the author cites, destroys his argument.

In John 6, Jesus not only does not retract it, he challenged his followers, ‘will you go too’? Peter responds, ‘Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’ Peter knows Jesus has the words of eternal life, he knows what he heard, he doesn’t quite understand it, but he knows Jesus’ words are somehow going to be true. It takes a supernatural faith, Peter and the disciples, those that stayed with Jesus, got a supernatural faith. He understood what Jesus said clearly, somehow, he’s going to give me flesh and blood, I believe!! But going back, Jesus explains in v. 60-62 when he refers to his divine identity and refers to his bodily resurrection and ascension. His resurrection and ascension are real, not figurative. So neither is his Body and Blood, figurative..

Going back to that verse, that exactly shows why it is not cannibalistic. The fact is that his flesh and blood comes to us in the form of bread and wine. He says that he will ascend into heaven. He resurrected, not symbolically but actually. So, the flesh and blood that he gives, is his resurrected body and blood, in the form of bread and wine. It is a glorified body of Jesus that he provides, not a cannibalistic one. Of course, it is the Holy Spirit who makes bread and wine become the body and blood (v. 63). But if Jesus is talking figuratively, then the ascension is figurative. Of course, that is false.

One more thing to note, referred to but one more focus about Jesus saying he is pointing to the miraculous manna, that God provided from heaven. This was miraculous food. But as Jesus himself noted, your fathers ate it, and they died. He contrasts that manna that the Israelites ate, to his true flesh and blood. The New Covenant of course is greater than the Old Covenant. If it is mere bread and wine, the Old Covenant is greater than the new. Of course, Jesus’ gift to his followers far surpasses the manna that people ate and died. This gift of himself in the new covenantal meal, can only be superior, if there is a miracle in the New Covenant, that surpasses the supernatural manna of the Old Covenant.

Then the author writes we have faith in Jesus or his flesh, not both. It is both and, exactly because Jesus said so. He reiterated this not only explicitly in John 6, but in all the other gospel accounts, where Jesus said ‘This is my Body’, ‘This is my Blood’, and in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Eat his body, eat his blood, and also believe in him. (Mt. 26, Luke 22, Mark 14, 1 Cor. 10, 11). Both/and, not either/or.

Another major flaw of the article was where the author said,
"John is the only gospel writer who does not record the institution of the sacrament of giving his flesh and blood. Why not? Because John knew that the explication on the Eucharist has already been given in John 6."

Answer: This reading of the writer's mind is categorically false! First of all, there is no "explication" of the Eucharist AT ALL in the New Testament! If Transubstantiation were true, the Holy Spirit would have left us some in-depth explication on the how and why. As it stands, we read more about the meaning and significance of WOMEN'S HATS, than we do about the Eucharist! (1 Cor 11:2-15). We may reasonably deduce then that the subject has been given just the right amount of space the Holy Spirit intended. This LACK of explication speaks loudly for the simplicity of the Protestant view, confirming the metaphorical speech of Jesus in said passages by leaving us no other choice than to take the emblems of bread and wine as a memorial, exactly as he said.

He explicates it pretty clearly about the flesh and blood on what it does in John 6. Now, if you are talking about explication being an in-depth explanations of the teaching of something, and if you say ‘explication’ must give an in-depth explanation about a doctrine, then you will find the Bible does not give explication on much. It is not meant to be a catechism. It definitely proclaims eternal truths, but the letters are addressing various issues, specific gospels focus on certain things. Epistles for sure spell out some doctrine, the purpose is to no doubt preach truths, but it does not put it in a catechetical formula. It only lays out truths, it does not give in-depth explanation of all its doctrines that are true. Jesus in his teachings does not give an in-depth explication on anything, but he does preach truth so that we can understand it. The Bible for example, points us to the virgin birth of Jesus. It is only briefly mentioned in one location, Luke 1:26-35, in passing mentioned in Matthew 1. That is a doctrine that is true, neither John nor Mark mentioned it. Neither the Pauline and non-Pauline epistles mention the virgin birth. That doesn’t make the virgin birth untrue. There is no in-depth explanation, or explication, on the incarnation. But we are definitely supposed to believe it. John just says ‘the word was made flesh and dwelt among us’. No explication at all. There is much more mention of the Eucharist than that.

Amazingly the author points to 1 Cor. 11:2-15 about women wearing hats, in between two huge passages, that Paul explicitly teaches that it is a sacrifice, and the bread and wine, become the Body and Blood of My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The mention of the Eucharist is referred to in the epistles, sometimes explicit, in many cases, not so, but definitely implied. There are passages in Hebrews for example that can only be explained by the Eucharist. However, that does take us away from the purpose of this response.

I will look at Jesus words. Including Jesus’ use of the word ‘memorial’, in the Corinthians section the author refers to. But I will respond down below to this in depth:

The RC scenario which envisions a eucharistic sacrifice being offered to God for the sins of the living and the dead under the metamorphosis of bread and wine, is beyond ridiculous. It not only pumps up the words of Christ like a hot air balloon, but then POPS when we recall that his physical body was "GOING AWAY", mentioned no less than 10 times. Another RC balloon pops when we are told to "BELIEVE IT NOT" when any future claims of his physical presence are made (Matt 24:26; Mk 13:21), which of course would include any notion of he being present somewhere in the form of his "body, blood, soul and divinity". Stubbornly, Catholics simply ignore the elementary fact that a memorial (which Jesus commanded) is for those who have DEPARTED, not for those who are present! Hence, it is completely illogical that Christ would promise his "real presence" after strictly telling them his physical presence was not to be hoped for until kingdom come! It is therefore not surprising there's no sermon about the RC Eucharist in Holy Writ. Reason? It simply isn't true.

Catholics are obviously upset with the dearth of evidence in the biblical record, so they must resort to far-fetched and novel explanations such as relate to "trogo". We say that If the Holy Spirit is going to tell us more about a LESS important topic like women's hats, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to believe he would remain mum and hide the truth about the church's most IMPORTANT doctrine under the rug of an argument concerning "trogo"!

The beginning of this paragraph shows no understanding of Jesus’ own words. He says that Catholics pump up his own words to a hot air balloon? No, Catholics take his words seriously, unlike the author. My flesh is true food, we merely take him at his word. He says “This is my Body”, a Catholic says he means it. Not pumping up words to a hot air balloon, but relaying exactly what he says. The author says he means ‘This is not my Body.’ Exactly the opposite of Jesus words. The author has to go through hoops to use language in John 6 metaphorically, absolutely never used in scripture or even historically outside scripture, and leaves it at that. Then the author says about Jesus going away contradicts the Eucharist. Jesus coming to us in the form of bread and wine has absolutely nothing to do with him ascending to heaven, and him not coming back in that form, outside his second coming. That is Jesus’ claim. He said ‘Do this’, not, ‘do not do this.’ Us doing that doesn’t negate that there are false prophets or people making false claims of Jesus coming back, exclusively in human form. In Acts 2 and 20, they break bread, and what is it, but his Body and Blood, as Paul himself notes, as we’ll see. Paul writes this well after Jesus ascended into heaven. Paul and the other apostles have no problem with that, why should Catholics? After all, Jesus is an eternal priest, according to the order of Melchizedek, referred to in Psalm 110:4, noted in Hebrews, 4, 5, and 7. He is not a ‘Priest’ until he ascended into heaven. He is an eternal priest. An eternal priest must have something to offer, eternally, and that is his body and blood, through the ministry that he established on earth, when he said ‘Do this.’

About the Eucharist sacrifice, there are tons of scriptural data pointing to the Eucharist as a sacrifice. It is obvious to those who do not have the anti-sacramental bias of the author I am responding to. I have written a large piece, which documents the many biblical passages which point to the Eucharist sacrifice. I invite the author to read this article here. Unbelievably the author points to a passage, the beginning of 1 Cor. 11. Just before this passage indeed Paul indeed directly explicates that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, and is truly the body and blood of Christ. Also, right after this referral to women wearing hats, is indeed not only confirming yet again that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, but that the bread and wine becomes the body and blood of Christ. Now this may seem like a diversion, but this is what the author took me to in this diversion. These passages explicitly refer to the Eucharist, an examination of these passages, unambiguously will help to elucidate how scriptural the Eucharist is.

Paul writes in 1 Cor. 10:14-22, just before the very citation, about the reality of the sacrifice of the Eucharist, and the true presence of that food.

Before he goes there though, Paul points to the supernatural. He speaks about the miraculous things that had happened in the Old Covenant. Of course, this precedes something happening supernaturally in the New Covenant. So, before he gets to the Eucharistic Sacrifice in 1 Cor. 10:14-22, he refers to the supernatural events of the Old Covenant, 1 Cor. 10:1-4:

1 I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same supernatural food 4 and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
Here it ends up not being a diversion from John 6, but beginning here Paul points to the same thing that Jesus himself had referred to in John 6:48-58, where he compared him giving his true flesh and true blood to the manna, that came down from heaven which he gave the Israelites. This is almost like a commentary on John 6. Before he gets to the supernatural truth of followers of Christ partaking of his Body and Blood, Paul is writing to believers of the supernatural happenings in the Old Covenant, which is of course, inferior to the new covenant. Now Jesus of course compared his Body and Blood as much superior to the old covenant manna. People who ate that food died. Nonetheless, any reading of Exodus will see that manna coming down from heaven, was still a supernatural drink. Remember, Jesus still noted that this miraculous food paled in comparison to his flesh and blood (John 6:49, 58). Notice he is also comparing giving his flesh and blood, literally, to the miraculous manna that God rained down on the Israelites to partake of. Again, God did not metaphorically give them food to think about and believe, but gave them actual manna. So just as Jesus makes a comparison to an actual physical food as compared to him physically giving believers flesh and blood, Paul does the same thing right here. But Paul still notes that this is a supernatural drink, and that drink was Christ. Then he warns people not to fall away, as that manna that they ate did not stop the Israelites from sinning. Paul gave a warning that even with the graces in the New Covenant, we can still fall away.

Notice that the manna is supernatural drink, and supernatural Rock who is Christ. But this is a supernatural food, just as Jesus noted in John 6. But just as Jesus says that this was miraculous food, they still ate and died. In the Old Covenant, most fell away, Paul warns. This is a warning to us. Even for believers it is possible to fall away. Paul gives us a mention of a supernatural act, in the Old, which we know, is much inferior. However, the author writes it is only a symbol. Let us ‘symbolically’ drink it. That is absolutely no miracle. The authors concept then is that the old manna, which is miraculous, is superior to the New Covenantal meal, which is only a symbol. That is why sometimes they have it once a month, or once every three months, some even once a year. Since it has so little significance to them, why practice it at all? No grace, no real Body and Blood. Many Protestants (not speaking of Lutherans and Anglicans, who have a different view) ‘memorial’ belittle Christ sacrifice, which he made once and for all-time. In actuality, what he offered on our behalf, is meant for us now, and this supernatural drink, which Paul is pointing to now, is much superior to the old manna, and Jesus said, is superior, as Jesus notes in John 6. That is why the Protestant worship, which does not have you ‘participate’ in Christ’s Body and Blood, as Paul will point to in a few verses, is missing such a huge grace that Jesus offers to believers. The Protestant worship in reference to communion, is merely symbolic, has no actual power, and is awfully short of what God is offering through his Son, Jesus Christ, which Paul will point us to in a few verses.

As an aside, there is no sermon on the Eucharist? Hmm, Paul gives a good description of it in the midst of the very passage the author pointed us to. There are many more mentions to the Eucharist, rather than man-made tradition of ‘the Bible Alone.’ Why is there no sermon on how the Eucharist is a symbol? Why is there no sermon on Sola Scriptura, to go by the Bible Alone, or what is the content of Scripture? Paul writes that it is the church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim. 3:15), and to hold fast to traditions (2 Thes. 2:15). If the Bible alone was true, surely we’d get instructions on not only what the Scripture consists of, but how is the right way to interpret it. Scripture surely should show exactly how the rubrics of worship exist in the New Testament. Why not? The author demands of Catholics Scriptural confirmation while there is no sermon on a foundational belief of Protestantism. Is there a sermon on when Jesus says ‘This is my Body’, he actually means ‘This is not my Body?’ The Catholic is not bound to the idea that everything must come from Scripture, since we go by Scripture and Tradition. We care about what the first Christians believed, that is why we care about St. Ignatius, a disciple of the apostle John, who went to his death. We care that he declared the Eucharist as the true flesh and blood of Christ, exactly as Catholics teach. That is why we care about the first century Didache showing that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, that one can partake of, after one confess their sins (as noted in John 20:22-23).

After warning how not to fall away, and through Christ will not let be you tempted beyond what you are able (1 Cor. 10:1-13), and he will give you strength to overcome any temptation that is common to man, Paul then points to something that will help serve that purpose. 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 points his readers, the Corinthians community, not to fall into a particular type of sin of idolatry, because they have something so much more valuable:

14 Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols. 15 I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
Now, the Corinthian believers had come out of idolatry, and apparently some of them, while accepting Christ, came to mix in idolatry as well unfortunately. In the midst of warning them not to do so, Paul tells us what the Eucharist is. First, he tells us to shun the worship of idols. Then he goes on, who we do worship?: Jesus Christ. How Christians are to partake of the cup of blessing, the bread, and wine. The cup of blessing, which of course denotes sacrifice, is a participation in the blood of Christ. But what is this bread? It is no longer bread, but it is a participation in the body of Christ. You are in communion with Christ himself. Wow, the grace of participating with Christ himself, the body!! But as Paul notes, what was bread and wine, becomes his Body and blood. Not in the human form that Jesus warned believers not to believe in that the author referred to. What Paul teaches is exactly why the church teaches we partake of the body, blood, soul and divinity. It doesn’t symbolize, is not figurative, but it is the body of Christ. What about the wine? Does it symbolize the blood? No, when one partakes of that cup, they are not partaking of wine, but instead, the blood of Christ. So, the author says no transfiguration? John 6, he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, is lived out right here. He gave his flesh for the life of the world John, 6:51. That itself points to the sacrificial nature of he himself, but as he gives his life in the sacrament of his flesh and blood, his meal is a sacrifice. Now that Paul has established transfiguration right here, he moves on to contrasting the Eucharistic communion with the pagan communion.

After making the distinction on the holiness of the Body and Blood of Christ (the stress on the true presence), as opposed to the worthlessness of the idols, Paul next moves to compare the sacrifice of demons to the sacrifice of the Eucharist. He calls in v. 18 and 19 the eating of the meals as sacrifices offered to various things. First, in v. 18 Paul says that one partakes of the sacrificial altar of Israel (which was a sacrifice done in Israel) which was the way to worship in the Old Covenant. One through the sacrifice became partners with God’s altar. Paul points out that this was a sacrifice that put one in communion with God’s altar. If one eats this sacrifice it was a good thing. It is to be remembered that here in v. 18, Paul is speaking about eating a sacrifice, which has an altar, with Old Covenant roots.

Next, Paul brings idolatry into the equation. However, just as he stressed in v. 18 the Old Testament sacrifices that Israel had that people partook of that was good, in v. 19 and 20 we see Paul writes specifically about sacrifices that were offered to idols, which were no good. How did the people partake of this sacrifice? People partook of this idolatrous sacrifice by eating a meal. Paul writes that to partake of this sacrifice that is in effect offered to the devil is horrible, as the sacrifice is really offered to demons. However, note that in v. 20, here Paul writes that the Table of the idol is where the sacrifice is consumed. If one eats of this sacrifice that is offered to idols one is worshipping a demon. Then in the latter half of verse 20, Paul makes a direct contrast from the partaking of the demon worship in sacrifice as opposed to the drinking of the Cup of the Lord.

With these two verses in hand giving us a background of eating sacrifice (one good, v. 18, one bad, vv. 19-20), Paul then writes of the comparison of the Table of the Lord to the Table to Idolatry. Paul warns Christians that they can not do both. One can not worship the Lord and partake of idolatrous sacrificial meals at the same time. They will fall under condemnation if they do so. In vv. 19 and 20, the cup of the Lord is directly contrasted to the cup of devils, where the context is that of sacrifice. Just v. 20 says that both cups are sacrificial in context. However, Paul goes on to drive home the point in v. 21, where he specifically says that one cannot partake of the Table of the Lord and the Table of demons at the same time. Now, we see that the Table of demons has just been termed sacrificial by Paul. We see in v. 20, the word cup meant a sacrifice because it was talked of as a sacrifice. Since v. 14, there has been a contrast of the great meal of Christians to the idolatrous meals. Especially since v. 18, there has been a contrast of different sacrifices (The Jewish sacrifices and the idolatrous sacrifices) to the Eucharist. If he did not want to call the Eucharist a sacrifice, why are the only things that he compares it to sacrifices? It can only possibly mean that the Eucharist is a sacrifice.

So, Paul explicitly writes in the passage before the author’s reference to hats, an explicit teaching on both sacrifice and the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Next, he takes up the issue of its institution, and explicates it even more clearly.

1 Cor. 11:23-29:

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.
There are many part of this section that explicate that this is both his flesh and blood, as Jesus said in John 6:48-58, as well as it is his sacrifice. Notice he says ‘This is my Body.’ Not symbolizes his body, or represents my body. There are ways to say ‘symbolize, represents’ right here. Paul does not record him saying that. It is my body, and is my blood. Then he refers to the Cup which Paul did identify in the previous chapter, as his blood. It is the new covenant in my blood. Covenant, what does that take us back to? I borrow from my paper on the sacrifice on the Eucharist:

Paul shows Jesus using the language of blood of the covenant. Jesus specifically uses languages that reminds us of the institution of the Old Covenant with Moses and the people of Israel. At the institution of the Old Covenant there was a sacrifice of real blood, of real ox, and the blood was the means of the uniting of the people of Israel to the people of God, where there was a real altar of sacrifice (Exodus 24:3-10). Then, the people were holy enough to eat the meal (Ex. 24:11). I will show exactly what Jesus is making the apostles think about when he uses that term blood of the covenant:

4: And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5: And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD. 6: And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7: Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient." 8: And Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."
Jesus uses the exact same words blood of the covenant. He’s borrowing Moses’ words, which as noted above, are ‘the words of the Lord.’ You can see this language is surrounded by sacrifice. Altar, burnt and peace offerings of oxen. He in this meal specifically uses sacrificial language of Moses.

In the New Covenant, the same thing occurs. Instead of getting blood of animals however, Jesus points us to his real blood in terms of covenant. Now, as Peter says: (1 Peter 1:18) You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. His blood accomplishes much more. The point I bring up here is not so much the fact that he is giving to the apostles his own real blood (which he is). It is that in establishing the New Covenant in his blood he is using language that especially in the mind of the Jewish disciples, brings to mind an institution of a sacrifice. 20 centuries later, in the mind of such as the author, he totally ignores that, but that fact is not lost on the disciples. By using the words of Moses, what he is giving them right now is a sacrifice. The author ignores the sacrificial language used by Jesus of the blood that he is giving his disciples, because it does not fit his category of thought. That ignores Jesus’ own words, and is not an honest study of Jesus’ words, about the new covenant.

He uses the words ‘new covenant in my blood’ to especially highlight the importance of this new covenantal institution. Jesus’ institution uses those words in v. 25. Since he referred to the New Covenant, this brings us to the point that this covenantal meal is also a fulfillment of Jeremiah 31.

I want to next focus on when Paul uses the word remembrance, which is anamnesis, in the Greek, in both verses 24 and 25. Matthew, Mark and Luke also use the word anamnesis, in his recording of the institution, Lk. 22:20. Protestants, like the author, say that remembrance has absolutely nothing to do with sacrifice, other than to say that here we remember that in the past Jesus was sacrificed for us.

Is the Eucharist merely a memorial supper? Are we only supposed to think back about what Jesus did in the past or does it point to a sacrifice? We need to look at the word translated as 'remembrance' which in the Greek is the word anamnesis.

Stephen Ray in his book Crossing the Tiber notes some Protestant Dictionaries and commentaries on the meaning of the word anamnesis.

Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. and trans. Geoffrey W. Bromily (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1983), speaks of “re-presentation” and “the making present by the later community of the Lord who instituted the Supper” (1:348-49). Protestant writer Max Thurian wrote, “This memorial is not a simple subjective act of recollection, it is a liturgical action. . . which makes the Lord present. . . which recalls as a memorial before the Father the unique sacrifice of the Son, and this makes Him present in His memorial” The Eucharistic Memorial, II, The New Testament, Ecumenical Studies in Worship as quoted in Colin Brown, ed., Dictionary of New Testament Theology [Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1979], 3:244). Quotation from Ray, Crossing the Tiber, p. 210, footnote 30.
Therefore, we have other Protestants who recognize the Catholic meaning of the word anamnesis. Nevertheless, a further indication of the meaning of that word, is to use a principle that Protestants (and the author) say they utilize in interpreting Scripture: Have Scripture interpret Scripture. If Scripture uses a word in one way throughout Scripture, it is best to interpret that specific way in which it is used, when the issue is in dispute. (Of course, totally ignored in the way ‘trogo’ is used biblically and historically). In which way is the word anamnesis used throughout Scripture? Merely remembering something, like the author asserts, or is it a memorial offering in sacrifice in Scripture? For arguments sake for the moment, let us leave aside the way it is used in the context of the Lord's institution of the Eucharist, since that is in dispute. Let us see how the word anamnesis is used. Now, in the Greek Old Testament, (Septuagint), the word zakar is translated as anamnesis five times. In the New Testament, outside of the Eucharist's institution it is used one time. I’ll give one example, my larger study of the word is available at my study on sacrifice, takes a look at all of them. I will focus on one passage, Leviticus 24:7-9:
7 And you shall put pure frankincense with each row, that it may go with the bread as a memorial (anamnesis) portion to be offered by fire to the LORD. 8 Every Sabbath day Aaron shall set it in order before the LORD continually on behalf of the people of Israel as a covenant for ever. 9 And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, since it is for him a most holy portion out of the offerings by fire to the LORD, a perpetual due.
First, we see a sacrifice of bread that is offered to God in sacrifice with incense. The very word anamnesis is used in this sacrificial offering. We see that this bread is offered continually by Aaron. It is a holy offering to the Lord in sacrifice that Aaron and his sons are to eat in what is called a holy place. This is part of a lasting, covenantal meal. Thus, this sacrificial offering to God is a holy meal. That is the way anamnesis is used in this Old Testament passage. It is a sacrifice. The parallels of this sacrifice to the New Covenant meal is striking. In the Catholic Church the Body and Blood of Christ are of course much more holy, but the fact that the holiness is stressed in even this sacrificial Old Testament meal, is striking. The offering in the New Covenant of course far surpasses that of the Old Covenant. We also see that on every Sabbath this bread that is a sacrificial offering is a covenantal offering to God. In the New Covenant, the Eucharist is a covenantal offering to God. This covenantal offering to God is celebrated every Sunday in the New Covenant: Acts 20:7: ‘On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight.’ Besides all these similarities, a major point is that the word anamnesis that is used in the New Covenant institution is undoubtedly used of a sacrificial offering here in the Old Covenant. It is not merely about remembering something. The four other anamnesis passages are used in Numbers 10:9-10, Levitical 24:7, Psalm 38 & 70 introduction. All four passages anamnesis is used in a sacrificial context. These passages are shown in my study in this article here. For analysis, you can go to that section, go down a little bit, and look for anamnesis, and it will take you to a dissection of those Old Testament passages. You can go there for context. In sum, in 5 Old Testament passages, in each of the instances that anamnesis is used, it is used in the context of sacrifice. Yes it recalls but does more than recalls. It is a sacrifice that serves as a memorial to God.

The only use in the New Testament of the word anamnesis, outside the institution of the Eucharistic passage in the New Testament is Hebrews 10:3. What about its usage in this other passage, since the Institution narrative is in dispute? So here it is in Hebrews 10:3:

But in these sacrifices there is a reminder (anamnesis) of sin year after year.
Hebrews refers here to the Old Testament reminders of sin in the sacrifices. Of course, after this passage he goes on to mention the superiority of the New Testament sacrifice of Jesus to that of the Old Testament sacrifices. The Catholic Church also teaches the superiority of Jesus’ sacrifice to that of the old sacrifices. But, nonetheless, the only other time anamnesis is used in the New Testament, it indeed talks about sacrifice. Of course, the Old Testament offerings did not wipe out sin as the New Covenant offering does. Jesus gives us an anamnesis of his death which wipes out sins. One way is through the blood of the Eucharist that is given to forgive sins, as so stated in Matthew 26:28. Notice that in each mention in the Old Testament, and in the one other New Testament citation of the word, anamnesis refers to a sacrificial offering to God. It is not about merely remembering something. Every single time anamnesis is used, the sacrificial implications are apparent to see.

Jesus could have used other words to say let us ‘remember’ him. Robert Sungenis, in his Book, Not By Bread Alone points out that there are eight other words that Jesus could have used if only he wanted to say “Remember”. He writes:

The connection between sacrifice and anamnesis is made even stronger by taking into account that neither Matthew, Mark, nor Luke (nor Paul actually) use any of the Greek words at the Last Supper which refer to some type of remembrance, but only the one with an exclusively sacrificial connotation is used at the Last Supper, that is anamnesis. Robert Sungenis, Not By Bread Alone: The Biblical and Historical evidence for the Eucharistic Sacrifice, Queenship Publishing, 1980, p. 123.

Sungenis then spells out the words that Jesus could have used to say in the Eucharist, to “remember”, where it does not mean sacrifice. Sungenis points out verses which shows the use of these other words that could have been used instead of anamnesis. In my study I refer to all those other words for remembering. Briefly some relevant passages, Mark 11:21, Hebrews 13:3, Luke 23:42, Luke 17:32, Luke 22:61, 2 Peter 1:15, 2 Timothy 1:5, Mark 14:9, and many other times, where the words remember are used in a non-sacrificial context.

We see 8 other words that Jesus could have used if he only wanted the Apostles to recall his death when they celebrated that Last Supper. These other non-sacrificial words that spoke of remembering were readily available to the authors of the Bible including those who heard Jesus’ words in Aramaic. The Biblical authors went out of their way when they made their translation of Jesus' Aramaic words into the Greek to avoid the non-sacrificial term of remembrance, and instead used the word anamnesis, inextricably tied in with sacrifice. The use of this word instead of all the possible non-sacrificial words is a powerful testimony to the Eucharist being a sacrifice. The Protestant exegesis of this passage demands the use of one of these words, but Jesus’ use of the word anamnesis points to this memorial is a sacrificial offering. For a look at all the words Jesus could have used, and the specific passages I mentioned, that is available at that article.

Now, that we have shown anamnesis points to the Sacrifice of the Eucharist, let us move on to Paul’s words in verses, 26-29. We’ve already looked at Jesus’ words, which shows it is his Body and Blood, and the institution of a new covenant in his Blood. Since I went into a detailed explanation of anamnesis, let’s focus back on Paul’s analysis of the Institution narrative: 1 Cor. 11;26-29:

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.
He proclaims that when one eats this bread and cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death. Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you do so. Clearly sacrificial language. This once and for all sacrifice we can proclaim now, which is ever present. Every time you partake of it, until he comes again, when the Sacrament will no longer be necessary. Paul next in v. 27 shows transubstantiation is true. He says one must examine himself, because if you take this food in an unworthy manner, (in a state of mortal sin), one will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. You can’t ‘profane’ a symbol. The King James translation is ‘guilty’ of the Body and Blood. How can you be ‘guilty’ of the Body and Blood, unless it really is? Now, earlier in his letter he had warned people to not think that they can get into the kingdom of heaven if on their soul were sins of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, drunkenness, thievery, 1 Cor. 6. He had warned people that they had to flee those sins, and get those sins washed away. If one comes to partake of his Body and Blood, one must be in a state of grace, or else, one is committing a blasphemous sin, because one is guilty/profaning the Body and Blood of Christ. This makes absolutely no sense if it is symbolic. This meal is meant to be a grace, and one is only further damning themselves if they partake of this holy meal unworthily. One must realize that this is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, and be right with God, or else it not only is of no benefit, but brings judgment to oneself.

The Catholic teaching is that when one partakes of the Sacrament, either in the appearance of bread, or the appearance of wine, that one partakes of the Body and the Blood of the Eucharist. In either form, one consumes Jesus fully in His Body and Blood. Paul exactly reiterates that teaching when he says when one partakes of the bread or the cup, one partakes of the Body and Blood of Christ. Paul surely in this passage, when combined with the sacramental institution by Jesus himself, and combined with his detailing of what the Eucharistic sacrifice is, in both Chapters 10 and 11, affirms the true presence of Jesus Christ, who is offered in this once and for all time sacrifice. This is a living out of Jesus affirmation of giving his true flesh and blood in John 6:48-58.

Now, the Matt 16:18 writer correctly points out that John's gospel does not include the Last Supper account, but does not realize that this very reason REFUTES TRANSUBSTANTIATION. You wonder how?

John’s gospel is the only book which claims to STAND ALONE, in that the author thought the content BY ITSELF was sufficient to grasp the message of salvation: "these are written so that by believing you might have life in His name” (20:31). This is detrimental to the Catholic position because Rome claims that the episode in John 6 was

1) a "preparation" for the institution of the Eucharist (CCC 1338). But nowhere was this institution mentioned, and
2) an “extended promise of what would be instituted at the Last Supper” (Catholicism & Fundamentalism", p. 234), again, nowhere mentioned in this gospel.
Well, if what Christ said was a "preparation" for the Eucharist to come, how would his audience have been able to "eat his flesh" right there on the spot? Catholics have no answer for this. Contextually, the discussion centers on salvation by believing in Jesus, not on the Lord’s Supper which was chronologically in the distant future. That being the case, if the Catholic opinion above were true, the Holy Spirit would have INCLUDED the Last Supper account (as he did Peter's denial in all 4 gospels) to ensure the "preparation" and "promise" was fulfilled and its connection with chapter 6 firmly established as Catholicism contends. Yet this did not happen! Ergo, the Holy Spirit is against RC explanations pertaining to "preparation" and "promise", let alone the Eucharist being a sacrifice, nowhere even hinted at in ANY of the gospels.

As a result of John's silence, anyone reading his gospel by itself and WITHOUT the institution of the Eucharist being mentioned, could not POSSIBLY imagine the concept of Transubstantiation as the "preparation" and "extended promise" of chapter 6, nor as a necessity for eternal life as is claimed. For, “Only by aligning chapter 6 with their interpretation of the passages with the Last Supper elsewhere, can the RCC arrive at its teaching on Transubstantiation” (“Salvation, the Bible & Roman Catholicism”, by Webster, p. 66).

The first thing is that Jesus explains it right here in John 6, John doesn’t see the need to show it, because he shows it right here. The general consensus is that John wrote this in the 90s or so, well after the other apostles had died. He knows the gospels already gave an account of the Eucharist, and his readers, in the first century, are aware of this. Now, at the end of John, there is no mention of the Ascension. The ascension is an important belief, that no Protestant or Catholic, who calls themselves any kind of believer, will not believe in. However, after Jesus arose, there is no account anywhere of Jesus ascending anywhere to heaven, in John. Jesus restores Peter to leadership in his affirmation of him in John 21, John 21:15-17. Peter had denied Jesus 3 times as the author notates, Jesus makes Peter confirm his belief in him, and restores him three times. But that is the last shown event in the gospel. Now, Jesus when he explained the reality of the Eucharist, talks about how he will ascend to heaven, (v. 62). Does the author say that belief in the ascension is not essential? If one goes by that, Jesus, though resurrected, should still be roaming the earth, since the last time he is mentioned on earth, all he had done was restore Peter on earth as leader of the Church. Why would he do so, if he was still on earth? That is the silliness of the author’s position. Of course. Jesus tied in him giving his flesh and blood in John 6, to how he will ascend to heaven. Just as John did not spell out the ascension, and Jesus mentions it in the Eucharistic discourse, he did not give us the ascension account, exactly because he gave it here in John 6. Again, the believers who believe in Christ, are aware of the ascension accounts of the synoptic gospels, or at least that teaching of the Christians. In John 6, Jesus gives us both the fact that he will give believers his flesh and blood, and that he will ascend into heaven. Us believers are partaking of the resurrected and ascended into heaven Jesus, in the Eucharist, even if John did not give an account of either when they actually happened.

With that said, I do want to look at a little bit of the background in John 6. Let’s go back to the setting in John 6. The background here is another reason why this teaching in John 6:48-71, is for sure referring to the Eucharist. I’ve written about that in this one: New Moses, Manna, and the Reality of the Eucharist in John 6. Here is the passage in the beginning of John 6:1-14:

1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tibe′ri-as. 2 And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased. 3 Jesus went up into the hills, and there sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”6 This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii[a] would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!”
The first thing that should be noted that this miracles’ setting is Passover, v.4. The Passover is a sacrificial meal. We see that he went up the mountain, echoing Moses going to Sinai. Jesus later says he would look forward to eating the new Passover meal (Lk 22:15). So here Jesus feeds the multitude. Now he multiplied normal bread and fish so that the multitude can be fed. But it is in a Passover setting. In a coming Passover he will institute the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In verse 11 we see that Jesus gives thanks, or ‘eucharistesas’ in the Greek. Now here, it is natural food, he multiplies fishes and bread, but it is a supernatural act, even if the food itself is just regular bread and fish. So, the people saw him being a prophet. We see food gathered up and distributed. Notice also that there are 12 baskets of bread, representing the 12 apostles, who would at a later time be at the Eucharistic institution. Now the important term I want to focus on is ‘giving thanks.’ This is noted in the Jerome Biblical Commentary:
In John there are liturgical allusions lacking in the Syn versions and vice versa. The Syn have the detail of the breaking of the bread (cf. Acts 2:42) a detail that John may have avoided because of 19:33. On the other hand, “he gave thanks” in Jn (eucharistesas) is more allusive to the Eucharist than the Syn (eulogesen). Mk. 8:6, and Mt. 15:36, use (eucharistesas) in their second account of the multiplication of loaves: so also 1 Cor. 11:23. The Syn tradition has the disciples rather than Jesus himself distribute the bread---in view of the size of the crowd, this seems plausible---but in Jn’s bypassing of this detail we are reminded of the circumstances of the Last Supper. In Jn alone the gathering up (synagein) of the fragments is given as a command of Christ in the Didache (9:4) the same word is used for the gathering of the Eucharistic bread, in turn a symbol of the gathering of the Church, whence comes the ancient word synaxis for the first part of the Mass. In the same passage of the Didache the word klasma used of the morsels of bread in Jn and the Sun, is applied to the broken portions of Eucharistic bread. Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer, The Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1967, Bruce Vawter, The Gospel According to John, p. 435-436.
So, a miracle happens right here when he multiplies loaves and fishes, is the setting. John uses the term ‘Eucharist’ right here. So, we know that he gives even more allusions to it. He gives a miracle at the beginning, as the setting for his John 6 discourse. The link to the Eucharist is unmistakable and the only people who can not see that the miracle at the beginning of the chapter has Eucharistic implications, are those with an anti-Sacramental mindset.

The other thing that happened in John 6, prior to his discourse is when there was a dangerous wind that rocked the boat, they were scared. Jesus calmed the sea, and he came out and walked to the boat. He then leads the boat back to the land, he in effect saves them. This is shown in John 6:16-24. So again, prior to the disputed John 6 narrative by Jesus is another miracle. You can not ignore this miraculous setting when he gives his discourse. He next points to what will be a future miracle of him providing his flesh and blood, which makes the miraculous feeding of fish and loaves of the thousands, and the saving of the apostles from drowning, almost pale into comparison. The author ignores that setting.

So to summarize: because the Holy Spirit decided not to sprinkle the salt and pepper of the Last Supper account into the gospel of John, the doctrine of Transubstantiation simply cannot be true because God says it is a book that is sufficient in and of itself when it comes to seeking salvation. But with no Last Supper account to see where the RCC gets their teaching on Transubstantiation from, how can a seeker find salvation in the Eucharist via John's gospel alone? Answer? They can't. Thus, the tie which Catholics think binds chapter 6 to the upper room event, is BROKEN, because there is no upper room event. And if the "preparation" and "extended promise" of the Eucharist is not fulfilled with an account of its institution in the upper room, the cannibalistic claim that the Eucharist is necessary for salvation must be abandoned.

That being so, the only way to understand Jesus in chapter 6 is metaphorically. From that point of view, salvation becomes instantly attainable when someone simply comes to BELIEVE in the Messiah, period, end of story. This is proven twice over when we consider that the episode of John 6 took place before Jesus's "hour to speak plainly" (John 16:25) which is the very explanation Catholics are looking for when it comes to understanding his speech in chapter 6, (but typically ignore it). Like it or not, Catholics have been warned to EXPECT he would more often be speaking figuratively, at least up to chapter 16, and are therefore, without excuse. Ergo, this leaves the Lord strictly using metaphor as the best explanation for the vivid imagery coming out of his mouth in chapter 6 and thus, salvation may indeed be freely found in John's gospel alone as the writer says it can.

It is not true that if those in John 6 believed Jesus that is the end of the story. The only way anybody is saved, is by what he did, when he sacrificed himself, was killed, buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. In John 6, it all is pointing forward to those occasions. So, there is no ‘belief, end of story.’ It all points forward to what is to happen in the future. Just as the Eucharist points to what will happen in the future. If anybody believed in what Jesus said, those who believe had to believe it pointed to the future. Belief without pointing to that future crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension, is no different from the Eucharist pointing to the future crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension. The redemption had not happened yet so there is no ‘belief, end of story’. The story had not ended. Push had not yet come to shove. Many who ‘believed’ based on miracles, faded away. A crowd of people who claimed to be believers said ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel’, John 12:13. When push came to shove, when he was arrested, and a choice was to be the Messiah or the robber, this ‘believing’ crowd was nowhere to be found, or were among the people calling for the robber over the Messiah.

There were some believers because of the miracles that Jesus had performed. That was insufficient. Jesus spoke about himself dying and coming back to life in this discourse, but few understood. Jesus from the beginning to the end spoke about his death and resurrection to the disciples, including apostles, but even they did not get it. Only John the apostle stood by Jesus’ side. The apostles’ belief was insufficient, according to the gospel of John. In John 20:8-9, when Peter and John had arrived at the tomb, they believed insufficiently:

8: Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9: for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Even for those closest, had hung around Jesus the most, they were utterly deficient in belief. Even though Jesus constantly spoke about it, they didn’t even know that he must rise from the dead, and these were the people closest to him!! It was really only post resurrection faith that was the kind that saved them. That fits what Paul writes when he wrote in Romans 4:25, that Jesus ‘was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.’ Justification was not accomplished in John 6 by belief only. Justification only happened when he was resurrected. The Eucharist preceded that.

Now, the author is saying Jesus is speaking figuratively in all of John until John 16? Sure, sometimes he wasn’t clear, but Jesus still on many occasions throughout the gospel taught things quite clearly. As noted, he said throughout the gospel the importance of belief. It was not about figuratively believing in him, it is about really believing in him all throughout John 3. Jesus said one must be born of water and spirit, John 3:5. Nothing figurative there. Believers from the time of the gospels, believed he that spoke of baptism, with the background of him and his disciples baptizing (3:22-23, 4:1-2). He spoke the truth to the Samaritan woman, he told them he was the Savior of the world, he was not ‘figuratively’ the Savior of the World.

In John 5:24, 29, he said those who believe in him, and do good, will attain everlasting life. He was speaking truth, he claimed that he was equal to the Father, when he said all judgment was given to the Son. He was not figurative in proclaiming one must believe him, and he will be the source of salvation for those who attain everlasting life. He pointed out clearly that the Scriptures bear witness to him, but they rejected him (5:39). Again, this is clear, not metaphorical.

Jesus in John 8:24, said he will be lifted up, which refers to his death, again, and that ‘I am he’. This points to himself as God the Son, which confirms Jesus’ statement that the Word was made flesh. Jesus then said in John 8:31-32 that he will make you free from the bondage of sin. What Jesus said he meant. Jesus said in John 8:58, Before Abraham was, I am. He is proclaiming himself as God, God the Son, and God himself. In fact, I know many Baptists, all Trinitarian Protestants refer to this, because Jesus is so clear on this teaching that Jesus is God. The passages in John 8 are rightly used against Jehovah Witnesses by Protestants to show that Jesus is clear in speaking of his divinity.

Now, there are sometimes indeed where he uses figures, but they are clearly figures. He does say in John 10:9, I am the door of the sheep. That passage is used sometimes against the Eucharist because he uses figurative language. However, the problem with that is those who listened to him here understood he is using figurative language. In John 6, he said my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink, the opponents said ‘How can he give us his flesh to eat’, and ‘this is a hard saying, who can listen to it.’ On the other hand, no one said in John 10 ‘how can you be a door’, because they understood his figurative language. Jesus explains clearly in John 10:28 that he is the one who gives eternal life. That is not metaphorical. He again asserts his divinity, ‘I and the Father are one.’ (Jn 10:30). He says in John 12:31-32, that when he is lifted up, he will draw all men to himself (Jn 12:32). Jesus declared how he was going to die. He is talking clearly that he has judgment. Then in John 12:48 he says:

He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.
He will make a judgement on his word and if you reject him, you will be condemned. Jesus is clear, not figurative. Jesus also declares that he is the way, the truth, and life. No one comes to the Father but by him (Jn 14:6). That is not figurative language, many Protestants will understand that as clear teaching.

Jesus also teaches the necessity of keeping the commandments (Jn 14:15, 15:10). This is all prior to John 16. So, the argument that the author is making that Jesus only speaks in figures does not match Jesus teaching. Jesus taught in these passages clearly. Even when he spoke in figures, he made it so the apostles would understand it.

In John 4 Jesus explains to the disciples even on a thing of bread. Look at this passage, John 4:32-34:

32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." 33 So the disciples said to one another, "Has any one brought him food?" 34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.
Jesus speaks figuratively but explains it. His food is to do the will of him who sent him. They wanted to give him physical food. Jesus explained to them he had some food, they took him literally that he had some physical food. Jesus explained his food is to do the will of the Father. He was understood by the disciples when they thought he was speaking literally, he did explain his figurative language. We saw earlier the mention of how Jesus corrected the disciples about Lazaraus being asleep, when told them them he had died.

This fits what Mark writes about Jesus communication with his disciples, Mark:4:33-34:

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
So, the argument of the author falls down violently. It is true that Jesus did not explain to the opponents of him, because those people were blinded from the faith. However, when he spoke to disciples, especially about important truths, he always explained it. So, we know in John 6 the disciples left him. This was more important, as salvation is foundational in John 6, than even explaining his food was doing the will of the Father, mentioned in John 4. Those disciples left him over a doctrine of faith in John 6. Jesus indeed ties eating his flesh and blood to eternal life. He even challenged the apostles. Peter, though not fully grasping what he means by eating his flesh and blood, responds with an assertion of faith.

Then one last thing the author has the nerve to call the Eucharist, cannibalistic. The author is joining the Pagan accusers, in the second century:

CAECILIUS THE PAGAN: You Christians are the worst breed ever to affect the world. You deserve every punishment you can get! Nobody likes you. It would be better if you and your Jesus had never been born. We hear that you are all cannibals--you eat the flesh of your children in your sacred meetings.

OCTAVIUS The Christian: That story is probably based on reports that we share together a meal of the body and blood of Christ. That we do. But it is not human flesh we eat. It is bread and wine we consecrate to commemorate our Lord's death. This is from Why early Christians were despised, on

Notice the word consecration, what is consecrated is bread and wine. There is no such thing as ‘consecration’ for Protestants. What it becomes is the body and blood of Christ. Remember, the author said either believe the body and blood or Christ. Early Christians say to pagans and the author: Both/and, not either/or. It was the pagans who charged Christians with cannibalism. This is partaking of the meal of his Body and Blood of Christ. It was the unbelieving pagans who charged Christians with cannibalism.


In sum, the author gave a vigorous defense in his belief that Jesus is only figuratively speaking in John 6. He attacked my assertion that Jesus really meant that, one must eat his flesh and drink his blood for eternal life. He downplays Jesus use of the word trogo. Just because we study and show that trogo is only used literally, because Catholics can show trogo both in and out of the Bible points to that, is somehow ‘desperate.’ I am sure if it came the other way, he would be happy to point it out, but Jesus’ words only hurt his assessment, so it is ignored. In fact, though he says he wants to compare Scripture, he totally ignores that the way eating flesh, is used figuratively throughout the Old Testament is always used in a negative manner, as I highlighted. So that argument falls. As an aside, Catholics do not need John 6 to refer to the Eucharist because we have the other gospels, Pauline accounts, and tradition, the early church, and martyrs, showing the Eucharist as true Body and Blood. John 6 only further confirms Jesus’ teaching.

Because Jesus in John 6:25-71, talks about belief in the first part of the discourse, the author argues that is all he is talking about. Supposedly because Jesus said they must believe in Jesus, that is why the disciples left him, and Jesus let them go. However, that argument again falls by the wayside because Jesus taught all throughout the gospel that they must believe in him. I showed Jesus proclaiming the necessity of believing in him all throughout the gospel. We see when Jesus repeats what he proclaimed about the necessity of believing in him in the first part of John 6 through verse 47, the disciples did not leave. The author gives us no explanation why they did not leave in John 3, John 5, or in John 6:29-47, or in the many other passages after John 6, when Jesus said one had to believe in him to have eternal life. They put up with him saying the necessity of belief on all those other occasions, but all of a sudden, they got upset about being told to believe in him in John 6:48-58? Notice, the disciples left only when he said that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. When the Jews challenged Jesus saying about giving believers his flesh and blood, Jesus repeats it in only more literal language. He then changes his language from phago, where eating can be literal or nonliteral, and transfers over to the term trogo, which can only be interpreted literally, in vs. 54-58. Or the authors’ other argument is that it is fine that Jesus let his disciples leave because they misconstrued about him talking about really eating his flesh and drinking blood, when he actually only meant this is the 3000th time (my exaggeration) he said they must believe in him. It is a mere coincidence that it happens to be when Jesus said one must eat his flesh and drink his blood?

The next thing the author argues that he sometimes talked metaphorically and even pointed to Jesus clarifying about Lazaras fell asleep meant he was actually dead. Which is exactly the point against the author, Jesus explained to them he was dead. But he argues that is fine that Jesus let them walk away in John 6. I noted there is absolutely no precedence in Scripture that Jesus let disciples walk away over misunderstanding doctrine.

Then he disputed my assertion that John didn’t put in the institution narrative because he spelled out giving his disciples his flesh and blood, even though it only pointed to the future. John wrote this with the teaching of the synoptic gospels available to those who partook of the meal in the Eucharist, as the believers partook of, in Acts 2:41-42, 20:7. It is assumed, and John indeed spelled out this Eucharistic teaching, as a replacement for that narrative.

I also showed that Catholics do not blow up Jesus words other than to note that we believe what he said, the author’s understanding, denies and changes God’s word. Then the author pointed to Jesus not appearing in the future somehow does away with the Eucharist, of course when he comes in the form of bread and wine, then that whole argument falls away. Then he unbelievably points to a passage in 1 Cor. 11 where he says womens’ hats are more talked about than the Eucharist, when indeed both before and after that passage, there is both a clear explication indeed of both the Sacrifice and True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, in 1 Corinthian 10 and 11, as spelled and explicated in detail by Paul. John 6 was applied in both 1 Corinthians 10 and 11. Included was a detailed explanation of the ‘memorial’ where the term anamanesis was used, which I showed in Scripture only has the meaning of a sacrificial offering, not merely remembering about something in the past. The teaching on the Eucharist is clear in the four institutional narratives even without analysis of trogo. But that Greek word trogo is consonant with the institutional passages, even if there is no institutional passage in John itself.

The author then argued that because John wrote this so we know all the essentials to get eternal life, since the institution was left out, transubstantiation is not true. Then I wrote by that logic the ascension is not true either, and that is not essential for our salvation because that actual happening is not mentioned in the gospel of John either. Of course, the ascension is vital for our salvation as well, Jesus referred to that in the John 6 passage as well, which indeed showed that the flesh and blood that he gives his followers is the ascended into heaven Jesus. Jesus accounts for both in his assessment of both in John 6. Believers partake of the live, resurrected, and ascended Jesus, exactly as Jesus teaches in John 6.

Then he said it was only about belief, end of story. I show even coming from that perspective it is biblically illiterate to say that. Belief only pointed to his future death and resurrection exactly as the Eucharist does. The superficial belief by many as of that time, was not a saving faith, and belief was only effective when the redemption was accomplished by his death and resurrection, as I detailed through a look at John. So, in essence, all the anti-Eucharistic teachings by the author falls by the wayside. I also showed that the author joins the pagans who thought that Christians were Cannibals. Christians knew that what they partook of was truly the body and blood of Christ, in the form of bread and wine which as the 2nd century Christian explained, was ‘consecrated.’ There were no Protestants, as to them there is no such thing as ‘consecration.’ It is interesting to note the end of John 6, where after Peter makes his proclamation of faith in him, Jesus finishes this section by saying in John 6:70-71:

70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him.
Why did John have Jesus specifically bring up Judas, as of this point? It is obvious that here is where Judas is noted as the one to betray him. Obviously, he was one of the disciples who refused to accept the teaching of his Body and Blood. He was to betray him, and the first time he’s mentioned is right at the time where disciples refused to accept the teaching of Jesus giving his Body and Blood. That speaks volumes. Will we follow the direction of Peter who says, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’, or follow the unbelieving Jews, Judas, and the pagans of the second century, into unbelief. Catholics choose Peter’s lead.

To all visitors Grace of Christ to you!

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Is Jesus Speaking About Belief Only or also about the Eucharist in John 6? Matt1618 ... This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.

Work completed on Sunday, February 18, 2018