The Lord's Supper: metaphorical commemoration or the consumption of the metaphysical "real" body and blood of the Lord Jesus?

(Note: allow scripts for pop up Bible verses

Table of Contents


1. Catholic teaching on the Eucharist

2. Metaphorical versus literal language

3. Supper accounts and John 6: Conformity to Scripture, and consequences of the literalistic interpretation.

4. 1Cor. 10,11

5. The Lord's Supper in the record and descriptions of the New Testament church

6. Purely literal versus the contrived Catholic interpretation

7. The nature of the Catholic metaphysical explanation

8. The Lord's Supper is not a sacrifice for sins

9. Absence of the sacerdotal Eucharistic priesthood

10. Metaphorical view of Jn. 6 is not new.

11. Endocannibalism

12. Conclusion

Older, more lengthy examination:

The Lord's supper in the synoptic gospels


John 6

1 Corinthians 10

1 Corinthians 11



Interpretive foundation

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This is a rather extensive examination which deals with the issue as to whether Scripture teaches that through the ministry of sacerdotal Catholic priests the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper becomes (via "transubstantiation") Jesus Christ, being really present whole and entire, body and blood, soul and Divinity, though the appearance and testable properties of bread and wine remain the same;

And which is offered as a atoning sacrifice by said priests, and is consumed by Catholics in order to obtain spiritual and eternal life.

Or to the contrary, consistent with other examples of figurative language and teaching in Scripture, the elements of bread and wine are representations of Christ who was broken for our sins, pouring out His souls to death. (Is. 53:10,13) And that in the Lord's Supper His death for the body is remembered and is therefore proclaimed by showing love toward each other as being blood-bought members of the body of Christ, showing communion with Him and each other.

And that eating and drinking Christ in John 6 refers to receiving Christ by effectually receiving His words, by which souls receive spiritual life and live by Him, as Christ lived by the Father, (Jn. 6:57) and thus with the preaching of the Word being the primary function of New Testament pastors (presbuteros/episkopos, not priests).

This document consists of two works, a newer examination followed by an extensive work done some years ago. Some supplemental material related to Roman Catholicism is included at the end. ^

Catholic teaching on the Eucharist

The Catholic doctrine of the "Real Presence" (though apparently originally an Anglican term, and which does not share the same Eucharistic theology as Catholics) refers to her foundational sacramental cornerstone, that such words as “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me,” (Lk. 22:19; cf. Mt. 26:26; Mk.14:22;1Co. 11:24) means the consumption of the body and blood of Christ, that at consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood,thus becoming the “true Body of Christ and his true Blood,” (CCC 1376; 1381) having been “substantially changed into the true and proper and lifegiving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord,” being corporeally present whole and entire in His physical "reality.” (Mysterium Fidei, Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, 1965) "the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,"(CCC 1365) with His human body and human soul, with His bodily organs and limbs and with His human mind, will and feelings. (John A. Hardon, S.J., Part I: Eucharistic Doctrine on the Real Presence) Thus the statement, "Consequently, eating and drinking are to be understood of the actual partaking of Christ in person, hence literally.” (Catholic Encyclopedia>The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist) Yet not as a body "sensible, visible, tangible, or extended, although it is such in heaven," but under a "new mode of being,"(John A. Hardon, S.J., Doctrine of the Real Presence in the Encyclical "Mediator Dei") so that the Eucharist being "the true and proper and lifegiving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ," "the very body which he gave up for us on the cross," etc. does not mean the bread and wine are literally transformed into actual literal human flesh, thus "If you took the consecrated host to a laboratory it would be chemically shown to be bread, not human flesh." (Dwight Longenecker, "Explaining Transubstantiation")

It is more technically explained that at consecration the substance of the bread and wine is changed during the Eucharistic consecration into the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine, while His body in its spatial existence in Heaven remains, with the "accidents" [a philosophical term referring to appearance] of the bread and wine replacing the accidents of Christ’s body: his tissues, bones, and cells. Thus "While Christ’s body is in heaven according to his natural mode of existence, it can simultaneously be present in the Eucharist according to a supernatural mode of existence." ( Hardon additionally specifies, "It does not merely mean that the substance of bread and wine becomes the substance of Christ. The Real Presence is not only the substance of Christ, but the whole of Christ - His substance plus all the human properties of His humanity." (John A. Hardon, S.J., Part I: Eucharistic Doctrine on the Real Presence) Meaning that in the Catholic Eucharistic ceremony, the incarnated body of Christ which hung on the cross, whose manifest physicality John warns against denying, becomes literally present, invisibly under the form of bread and wine which scientifically only test as the same, but He is not locally present as He was on earth. And it is believed thus that "Christ is really present and is received whole and entire, body and blood, soul and Divinity, under either species alone," (Catholic Encyclopedia>Communion under Both Kinds) "in each particle [even the most minute] and in each drop," of blood.

Futhermore it is imagined that that at the moment of the completion of the words of consecration by the priest (and only by ordained priests) then the bread and wine no longer exist, while the "Real Presence" of Christ's body that these elements are changed into (which change is said to be occur outside of time) only exists until the bread or wine - which again, are held to no longer exist - begin to decompose, as Aquinas affirms (Summa theologiae, III, q. 77, a. 6) as well as others: "The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ." (CCC 1377; Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1641) "...that is, until the Eucharist is digested, physically destroyed, or decays by some natural process." (The Holy Eucharist BY Bernard Mulcahy, O.P., p. 32) Thus persons with celiac disease can suffer adverse effects to the non-existent gluten in the Eucharistic host) and wine (which one could get drunk on in sufficient quantity) takes place (as with mold, digestion, etc.), in which case "Christ has discontinued His Presence therein." (Catholic Encyclopedia>The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist)

In addition, Catholic teaching contrives the offering of her Eucharist to be a propitiatory sacrifice for sins. "The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice...And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory." 190 [citing Council of Trent] CCC 1367 ( CCC 1414; “As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.” "One of the ends for which it is offered [the Mass] is the propitiation of God's wrath." (Catholic Encyclopedia>Reparation; "Uniquely among the sacraments, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice, the sacrifice of Christ himself. Sacrifices offer something up to God to honour him, to thank him, to gain communion with him and to make expiation for sin. The Eucharistic sacrifice of Christ achieves all of these perfectly." ( "...the Sacrifice of the Eucharist is offered to God for the expiation of our sins. Because the Sacrifice on Calvary is the same Sacrifice that Christ himself offers in the Mass, the priest offers it to God as the complete satisfaction for man’s sins." (

For it is imagined that the priest “offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary.” (John A. O'Brien, Ph.D., LL.D., The Faith of Millions, p. 256; Nihtt obstat, Imprimatur) Being "crucified anew" yet not again in the historical sense: "Christ was offered once, and is offered daily, but in one manner then, in another now." (Peter Lombard, Sentences, Lib. IV, Dist. 12) Since that Blood offering, every priest who now offers the Holy Mass does so acting in the Person and Priesthood of Christ and offers the Sacrifice anew in an unbloody manner.. ("father". John Echert;⟨uage=en) Who “in an unbloody way offers himself a most acceptable Victim to the eternal Father, as he did upon the Cross. (The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism by John Hardon S.J.) "For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different." (Council of Trent, The Twenty-Second Session)

And as Jn. 6:53 is taken literally, then it is believed that by this consumption of “lifegiving flesh and blood” believers thereby obtain life in themselves, thus the priests themselves "are to nourish their spiritual life from the two-fold table of sacred scripture and the Eucharist." (Canon law Can. 275 §2). And,

And ...when the minister says, "The Body of Christ" or "The Blood of Christ," the communicant's "Amen" is a profession in the presence of the saving Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, who now gives life to the believer. ...The bread and wine of the Lord's Supper his Body and Blood as broken and poured out constitute the irreplaceable food for the journey of the "pilgrim church on earth." (USCCP: "Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion," paragraphs. 4,14)

This “sacrament” is taught as being "the heart and summit of the Christian this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church." (CCC 1407) “the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ," (CCC 1415) “a kind of consummation of the spiritual life, and in a sense the goal of all the sacraments," (Mysterium Fidei, Encyclical of Pope Paul VI, 1965) through which “the work of our redemption is carried out,” (CCC 1364) and by which “we are joined to Christ's sacrifice and receive its inexhaustible benefits." (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist") with the offering of which being the primary active function of her clergy, and around which all else in Catholicism essentially revolves. "For the most holy Eucharist contains the Church's entire spiritual which she discovers the full manifestation of his [Christ's] boundless love." (Pope John Paul 2: Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003) The Eastern Orthodox likewise state that "the very center of our spiritual lives is the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist. ( And which leads to this unScriptural ststement, "You are what you eat and the Church becomes the Body of Christ by partaking of the Body of Christ—this is how we come to know Christ, who is Truth." (

Therefore for us to be as truth-loving noble Bereans who thus search the Scriptures to see if faith claims are true, (Acts 17:11) then even more than for lesser practices we must expect and require that such a preeminent and essential practice and cardinal doctrine be a practice which is often manifestly seen in the life of the church and its pastoral epistles, and its doctrine at least basically expounded therein. Including as being the primary function of its pastors.

And it also requires that this and the alternative metaphorical interpretation be examined for conformity in the light of the immediate, broader and entire context of all of Scripture, especially since at face value it would be requiring kosher Jews to disobey the strict injunction against eating blood, which was required of Gentile converts as well. (Lv. 17:10.11; Acts 15:20; 21:25) ^

Metaphorical versus literal speech

Metaphorical speech is a one of the many forms of figurative speech (euphemism, hyperbole, metonymy, simile, synecdoche, etc.) which form "an integral part of language," and which is "any intentional deviation from literal statement or common usage that emphasizes, clarifies, or embellishes both written and spoken language....Thus metaphors (implied resemblances) derived from human physiology are commonly extended to nature or inanimate objects as in the expressions the mouth of a river, the snout of a glacier, the bowels of the earth, or the eye of a needle." "In European languages figures of speech are generally classified in five major categories: (1) figures of resemblance or relationship (e.g., simile, metaphor, kenning, conceit, parallelism, personification, metonymy, synecdoche, and euphemism)... (

Most people hear, understand and use forms of figurative speech all the time without thinking about it (especially in sports), usually being discernable by experience in cultural use of such and context. And which abounds in Scripture as well. Here we are dealing with the use of metaphor, which is a type of analogy by which something that is not alike in one or more ways can be used due to its comparative similarity in another way. "A conceptual metaphor consists of two conceptual domains, in which one domain is understood in terms of another." (Zoltán Kövecses. (2002) Metaphor: a practical introduction. Oxford University Press)

A good example of which from Wikipedia is, " Food for thought: we devour a book of raw facts, try to digest them, stew over them, let them simmer on the back-burner, regurgitate them in discussions, cook up explanations, hoping they do not seem half-baked. Theories as buildings: we establish a foundation for them, a framework, support them with strong arguments, buttressing them with facts, hoping they will stand. Life as journey: some of us travel hopefully, others seem to have no direction, many lose their way." (

And among the abundant examples of figurative speech with its metaphors in Scripture, Isaiah 41:14 exhorts, "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." For Isaiah 64:8 states that "we are the clay, and thou [God] our potter," and God is their "shepherd" (Psalms 23:1) of true believers, who as in the past God promises, "I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel." (Ezekiel 34:14) for Israel "drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ." 1( Cor.10:4) Likewise the exhortation, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price," (Isaiah 55:1) for "The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes...More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." (Psalms 19:8,10 ) But of the disobedent Hosea says "Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies.." (Hosea 10:13) for "How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?" (Job 15:16) Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part." (Amos 7:4) More on figurative speech in Scripture can be read here by the grace of God.

And such use for eating or drinking is what the apostles would have been familiar with, to which the Lord's representative use of bread and wine for His body and bread is correspondent to, versus the foreign concept of requiring physical consuming human flesh for spiritual purposes. A few more examples from Scripture pertinent to this aspect are:

And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord. And he said, Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. (2 Samuel 23:16-17)

To be consistent with their plain-language hermeneutic Catholics insist a plain-language reading of such words requires in the gospels, then they should also insist this was literal. As well as when God clearly states that the Canaanites were “bread:

• “Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us” (Num. 14:9)

Other examples of the use of figurative language for eating and drinking include,

The Promised Land was “a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof.” (Num. 13:32)

David said that his enemies came to “eat up my flesh.” (Ps. 27:2)

And complained that workers of iniquity ”eat up my people as they eat bread , and call not upon the Lord.” (Psalms 14:4)

And the Lord also said, “I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord.” (Zephaniah 1:3)

While even arrows can drink: “I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh ; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.' (Deuteronomy 32:42)

But David says the word of God (the Law) was “sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalms 19:10)

Another psalmist also declared the word as “sweet:” How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalms 119:103)

Jeremiah likewise proclaimed, “Your words were found. and I ate them. and your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer. 15:16)

Ezekiel was told to eat the words, “open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee...” “eat that thou findest; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” (Ezek. 2:8; 3:1)

John is also commanded, “Take the scroll ... Take it and eat it.” (Rev. 10:8-9 )

And Scripture refers to Christ being spiritual food and drink which even OT believers consumed:

And did all eat the same spiritual meat; "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:3-4)

And Christ's word in Jn. 6, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst," (John 6:35) are correspondent to,

"Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." (Isaiah 55:2-3)

Moreover, like as bread is broken, Is. 53:10 states that "it pleased the Lord to bruise him," and the word for "bruise" (da^ka^') means to crumble, to break..., (Strong's). And like as wine is poured out, so Is. 53:12 also states of Christ, "he hath poured out his soul unto death," both of which are correspondent to the words of the Last Supper regarding bread and wine.

And which use of figurative language for Christ and spiritual things abounds in John, using the physical to refer to the spiritual:

In John 1:29, Jesus is called the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”but he does not have hoofs and literal physical wool.

In John 2:19 Jesus is the temple of God: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” but He is not made of literal stone.

In John 3:14,15, Jesus is the likened to the serpent in the wilderness (Num. 21) who must “be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal” (vs. 14, 15) — but He is not made of literal bronze.

In John 4:14, Jesus provides living water, that “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” but which was not literally consumed by mouth.

In John 7:37 Jesus is the One who promises “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”but believers were not water fountains, but He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.” (John 7:38)

In Jn. 9:5 Jesus is “the Light of the world”but who is not blocked by an umbrella.

I n John 10, Jesus is “the door of the sheep,” and “the good shepherd [who] giveth his life for the sheep”, that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” vs. 7, 10, 11)but who again, is not literally an animal with cloven hoofs.

In John 15, Jesus is the true vine — but who does not physically grow from the ground nor whose fruit is literally physically consumed.

Thus even a partial examination reveals that such use of figurative speech especially abounds in John, with over 35 instances of such even before the use of "meat" and drink" in chapter 6. And which gospel characteristically contrasts the physical with the spiritual, as is the case contextually in chapter 6, in which the Lord feeds multitudes physically and in response to the demand for more, tells the supplicants labor not for the meat which does perish, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, and which He then defines as believing on Him. (Jn. 6:27-29) And which is how He "lived by the Father," and said that we are to live by Him (Jn. 6:57) believing and thus doing His will, that being His "meat," (Jn. 4:34) and thus the Jn. 6 discourse ends with the Lord declaring that the flesh (as in consuming it) profits nothing, but His words they "are spirit and are life." (Jn. 6:63)

Thus in contrast to the "real" Christ of Catholicism in the form of bread and wine, in John and rest of the Scripture spiritual life is never obtained by literally physically eating anything, nor spiritual nourished by the same, but by believing the gospel and being strengthen in faith by the word of God, and thus living it out. Consistent with this, it is the word of God that is referred to as "milk" (1Cor. 3:2; 1Pt. 1:22) and "meat," (Heb. 5:12,14) and is said to nourish souls, (1Tim. 4:6) and build them up, (Acts 20:32) and thus the primary active function of pastors is to preach the word, (2Tim. 4:2) which is how they "feed the flock." (Acts 20:28; 1Pt. 5:2) ^

Lord's supper accounts and John 6: Conformity to Scripture, or consequences of literalism

For the question is, how do the accounts of the Lord's Supper and John 6:26ff conform to the rest of Scripture, and in the light of such figurative language for eating and drinking, and of such use by John in particular?

The gospel accounts of the Lord's Supper simply record that as part of a meal the Lord took “took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:19-20)

There is nothing here that teaches substance being transubstantiated so that the Lord could be in the stomach of the apostles (and His own) while He yet sat before them, or that defines it as being literal any more than David calling drinking water the blood of men, or the Canaanites bread for Israel, or as said of John the baptist, “if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” (Matthew 11:14)

John the baptist was not a transubstantiated Elias, but as a prophet “in the spirit and power of Elias,” (Lk. 1:17) but as a distinct person, John went before the Lord to prepare the people by preaching repentance.

Moreover, that the Lord was giving the disciples a new command to eat His actual body and blood would be very radical, as not only is the practice of eating human flesh something that is proscribed in principle, (Gn. 9:1-6) and only shown in a negative sense, (Lv. 26:29; Dt. 28:53; 2Ki. 6:28,29; Lam. 2:20; Jer. 19:9; Ezek. 5:10) but consumption of blood is clearly forbidden. (Lv. 3:17; 7:26; 17:10,11,14; Ezek. 33:25) And the theory of transubstantiation by which Catholicism works to justify this is not actually seen or taught in Scripture.

Note that it was not pagans whom the Lord was speaking to at the Last Supper but kosher Jews, as Peter showed he was in Acts 10. And as he showed there and in other places, he in particular was not one to to simply submit to something he found objectionable, and to suppose all the apostles would silently submit to a radical new requirement of eating human flesh and blood is absurd. That they were well familiar with the metaphorical use of eating and drinking and understood as thusly is far more reasonable.

In the light of the incongruous silence of the apostles at the Last Supper, Catholics must therefore presume that Jn. 6:26ff is about the Lord's Supper (though is not actually not mentioned at all there), and is to be taken literalistically, and which previously settled the matter for the apostles.

However, John 6 creates a larger problem as first, Jn. 6:53 is an absolute “verily verily” imperative, that one must consume the body and blood of Christ in order to obtain spiritual life.

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, 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)

And which, if literal, excludes all those who reject the literalistic interpretation as unScriptural from obtaining spiritual and eternal life (contrary to Lumen Gentium) Also if literal, then we must see the Lord's Supper being preached in Acts and other places in the life of the church as the means of regeneration, that of obtaining spiritual life. But instead it is be believing the gospels that souls are saved, (Acts 15:7-9; Eph. 1:13) and nourished (1Tim. 4:6) and built up (Acts 20:32) by the hearing of it. Thus the preaching of the word, which is called "milk" (1Cor. 3:2; 1Pt. 1:22) and "meat" (Heb. 5:12,14) to feed the flock (Acts 20:28) is the primary active function of pastors. (2Tim. 4:2)

Since modern Rome clearly affirms properly baptized Protestants as being children of God and (separated) brethren who have the Holy Spirit, then those Catholics who post Jn. 6:53,54 as the unequivocal imperative it is have a contradiction with their own church, unless they retreat into some equivocation to allow some way of salvation for those who reject transubstantiation. But which equivocation this absolute “verily verily” imperative does not allow (but only as referring to receiving and living by the words of Christ does this conflate with the rest of Scripture).

And which literal understanding is one which the apostles and NT church manifestly did not get, nor the rest of Scripture. For nowhere did the apostles preach the Lord's Supper as the, or a means to obtain spiritual life, as instead they preached that this is obtained by believing the gospel of grace.

Peter preached To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43) resulting in the Gentiles believing and being born again.

Referring to this, Peter stated, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:7-9)

And after which souls live by Christ by obeying His words. For His words are spirit, and are life. (Jn. 6:63)

And nowhere else in Scripture was literally eating anything physically the means of obtaining spiritual and eternal life. Therefore in addition to a novel miracle explained by a novel theory, we have a novel yet essential means of obtaining spiritual life, and which to be consistent) excludes all those who cannot believe this unScriptural teaching.

However, rather than souls in Jn 6 rightly understanding the Lord's words as literal but rejecting them, instead they represent another example of carnally minded souls who are presented in John (especially) who do not seek the meaning of the Lord's enigmatic words. For we see many examples of the Lord speaking in an apparently physical way in order to reveal the spiritual meaning to those who awaited the meaning, which, as elsewhere, the Lord revealed to true seekers.

In Jn. 2:19,20, the Lord spoke in a way that seems to refer to destroying the physical temple in which He had just drove out the money changers, and left the Jews to that misapprehension of His words, so that this was a charge during His trial and crucifixion by the carnally minded. (Mk. 14:58; 15:29) But the meaning was revealed to His disciples after the resurrection.

Likewise, in Jn. 3:3, the Lord spoke in such an apparently physical way that Nicodemus exclaimed, "How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" (John 3:4)

And in which, as is characteristic of John, and as seen in Jn. 6:63, the Lord goes on to distinguish btwn the flesh and the Spirit, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," (John 3:6) leaving Nicodemus to figure it out, requiring seeking, rather than making it clear. Which requires reading more than that chapter, as with Jn. 6, revealing being born spiritually in regeneration. (Acts 10:43-47; 15:7-9; Eph. 1:13; 2:5)

Likewise in Jn. 4, standing beside a well of physical water, the Lord spoke to a women coming for physical water of a water which would never leave the drinker to thirst again, which again was understood as being physical. But which was subtly inferred to be spiritual to the inquirer who stayed the course, but which is only made clear by reading more of Scriptural revelation.

And thus we see the same manner of revelation in Jn. 6, in which the Lord spoke to souls seeking physical sustenance of a food which would never leave the eater to hunger again. Which again was understood as being physical, but which was subtly inferred to be spiritual to the inquirers who stayed the course. But which is only made clear by reading more of Scriptural revelation.

In so doing the Lord makes living by this "bread" of flesh and blood as analogous to how He lived by the Father, "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." (John 6:57)

And the manner by which the Lord lived by the Father was as per Mt. 4:4: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

And therefore, once again using metaphor, the Lord stated to disciples who thought He was referring to physical bread, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." (John 4:34)

And likewise the Lord revealed that He would not even be with them physically in the future, but that His words are Spirit and life:

What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:62-63)

But as with those who imagined the Lord was referring to the physical Temple, the Lord left the protoCatholics to go their own way, who seemed to have yet imagined that the Lord was sanctioning a form of cannibalism, or otherwise had no heart for further seeking of the Lord who has "the words of eternal life" as Peter said, versus eating flesh, which profits nothing spiritually. ^

1Cor. 10,11

Rather than revealing Lord's supper as being and principal, prevalent and priestly Catholic Eucharist in the life the NT church (Acts onward, which shows how the church understood the gospels) it is only manifestly described in one epistle (besides the mention in of Jude 1:12 of the “feast of charity”), which is in 1Corithians 10 and 11. The simple statements in Acts of believers breaking bread may refer to the Lord's Supper, but do not manifestly describe it as such, nor do they support the Catholic theology of it.

Therefore, before demonstrating this absence in the next chapter, let us examine these two Roman Catholic apologists invoke 1Co. 10 as supporting transubstantiation by saying, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (1Co 10:16,17)

However, as examination of the next chapter will reveal, this communion refers to believers showing fellowship with Christ in His death through their communal sharing in that meal done in remembrance of Christ's death, not by eating His flesh. Therefore v. 17 states that we being many are one bread, since like Israel of old, they all eat of the same altar. And in further context the apostle teaches that this fellowship is analogous to the fellowship pagans have with their gods in their commemorative feasts, participation by believers in which the apostle is condemning:

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20,21)

And how would they have fellowship with devils? Not by consuming the transubstantiated flesh of devils, but by together taking part in a feast done in dedication to demons. For they which eat of the sacrifices are partakers of the altar, showing union with the object of this feast and each other, but not because the food has been transubstantiated into that of the entity it is offered to.

The overall context here is the church as the body of Christ, and that what one has liberty to eat or do is restricted by how it will affect others. Thus “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31-32)

And which is the context in the next chapter, in which Paul reproves Corinthian church for coming together to eat the Lord's supper, as he charges them with not actually doing so because they were eating what is supposed to be a communal meal, the “feast of charity,” (Jude 1:12) independently of each other, so that “in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken,” and thus what they were doing was to “shame them that have not.” (1Co. 11:20-22)

Therefore Paul proceeds to reiterates the words of Christ at the institution of the Lord's supper, ending with “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew [kataggellō=preach/declare] the Lord's death till he come.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

For while they were supposed to be showing/declaring the Lord's unselfish sacrificial death for the body by unselfishly sharing food with other members of the body of Christ, whom Christ purchased it with His own sinless shed blood, (Acts 20:28) instead they were both eating independently and selfishly. And thus were effectively treating other members as lepers, and as if the body was not a body, and as if others were not part of the body for whom Christ died. This lack of effectual recognition is what is being referred to as “not discerning the Lord's body,” that of the body in which the members are to treat each as blood-bought beloved brethren, as Christ did. Because they were presuming to show the Lord's death for the body while acting contrary to it, therefore they were eating this bread and drinking the cup of the Lord unworthily, hypocritically, and were chastised for it, some unto death. (1Co. 11:27-32)

Because this was the case and cause of condemnation — that of not recognizing the nature of the corporate body of Christ in independently selfishly eating — versus not recognizing the elements eaten as being the body of Christ — then the apostle's solution was, “Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.” (1 Corinthians 11:33-34)

And which leads into the next chapter in which Christ-like love is described. Paul himself was asked of the Lord, “why persecutest thou me” (Acts 9:4) as Paul was attacking the church, thus showing His identification with the church.

While silently consuming a piece of bread and a sip of wine as is done today may not be that of ignoring others and their needs, yet it hardly corresponds in form to the communal feast of charity referred to here, and misses how we are to show the Lord's death by this supper, and instead it often results in seeing the Lord's death as simply being for individuals and abstract from the corporate body.

And to “take communion” by yourself (unseen in Scripture) is a contradiction in terms to its manifest description of communion. And the Catholic focus upon the elements which are consumed, and in which service many Catholics see interaction with others as an intrusion, and or with many with hastening to leave the service afterward, misses the meaning even more.

While the superficial observance of this ordinance may not always result in manifest chastening (which judgment is relative to light given) unto death, yet “not discerning the Lord's body” as described does result in the corporate body being “weak and sickly” a compared to the NT church. And I must repent of being selfish sometimes myself. ^

The Lord's Supper in the record and descriptions of the New Testament church

Having shown the language used in the gospel accounts of the Lord's supper and John 6:29-66 (which does not mention the Lord's supper) is metaphorical, let us look at the evidence of how the Lord's supper was understood in the rest of the New Testament.

Considering the emphasis and doctrine of Catholicism on the Lord's supper, then this should be easy to find in the life of the NT church, from Acts to Revelation, and which teachings are interpretive of the gospels. For according to Catholicism (I speak more specifically of the Roman version which produces more material on it), the Lord's supper is:

"the source and summit of the Christian life," around which all else revolves, as all the "other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it;" (CCC 1324

"the cause of that communion in the divine life," (CCC 1325) and the work of our redemption is carried out;" (CCC 1364)

"through it Christ becomes present whole and entire, God and man;" (MYSTERIUM FIDEI, 39)

"the same sacrifice with that of the cross...a sacrifice of propitiation, by which God is appeased and rendered propitious;” (The Catechism of the Council of Trent)

that what it appeared to be bread was "truly His own body" has "ever been a firm belief in the Church of God.” (Thirteen Session, Chapter 4, The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent)

and that the active duty priest is "most of all to offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice;" (Pastoral Reflections on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Cardinal John J. O'Conner)

Canon law states that it is the duty of parents that children who have attained the age of reason "are nourished by this divine food as soon as possible" after their first sacramental confession.(Can. 914)

Canon law requires that Catholics receive holy communion at least once a year, (Can. 920) and the Council of Trent wished "that at each Mass the faithful who are present, should communicate." (Catholic Encyclopedia>Frequent Communion)

With this centrality and importance then surely the practice and doctrine of the Catholic Eucharist with its NT priests would be clearly and often described in the life of the NT church, especially in the light of the many descriptions, teachings and exhortations and commendations and criticisms and solutions for problems which are given it. But what does the record of Acts and the teaching of the rest of the NT tell us?

In the entire books of Acts we have no clearly manifest description of the Lord's supper, much less of the Catholic Eucharist, the sober formal ritual sacrifice administered by a sacerdotal class of clergy distinctively titled "priests." Instead, what is recorded is only that of the disciples breaking bread together which is mentioned 4 times, and that it was communual meal eaten with gladness and singleness of heart

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (Acts 2:46) , apostles or any other clergy church

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7)

When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. (Acts 20:11)

To reiterate, if all these refer to the Lord's supper then it only describes it as a communal meal, and not as a distinct ritualized centerpiece of church life. And nowhere are the apostles or other clergy - much less any being called "priests" - even mentioned as conducting this breaking of bread or otherwise even distinctly being involved in distributing food , much less described as ritually effecting a change in the elements as sacerdotal priests, all of which Catholics must read into such texts if they claim this describes the Catholic Eucharist.

Moreover, the apostles expressed that their ordained function was not serving food but to give themselves "continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." (Acts 6:4)

In addition, nowhere in the life of the church is the means of obtaining spiritual life and growing in grace said to be by literally physically consuming the Lord Jesus, but spiritual life is obtained by hearing the gospel and truly believing it. (Acts 2:38; 10:43-47; 15:7-9; Eph. 1:13)

And it is by preaching the word of grace that pastors foster growing in grace, by drinking "the sincere milk of the word," (1 Pt. 2:2) and ingesting its "meat," (1Co. 3:2; Heb. 5:12,13) being "nourished" (1Tim. 4:6) and built up by the word, (Acts 20:32) and with feeding the flock thereby being the primary active function of pastors. (Acts 20:32)

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Peter 2:2)

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (1 Corinthians 3:2)

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. (1 Timothy 4:6)

Nowhere does any apostle charge pastors with feeding the church via the Lord's supper. That the Lord was charging the apostles with doing so in the gospel accounts is what Catholicism presumes, but which is the very thing that needs to be established in the life of the NT church, but which simply is not manifest.

Moving on from Acts we come to one of the most doctrinal books of the New Testament, the book of Romans, with 11 chapters of doctrine and 5 of exhortation, which the apostle Paul provides for the "obedience of faith," and prays that God would grant them to be "likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus." (Romans 15:5)

However, any mention of the Lord's supper is utterly absent in any of its 16 chapters, despite teaching such things as justification by grace, (Rm. 1-5) baptism, (Rm. 6) overcoming sin, (Rm. 7-8) the predestination and glorification of true believers, (Rm. 9-11) and their duty of sacrifice (their own bodies as living instruments of service), and the complimentary cohesive nature of the body of Christ, the church, and the operations of gifts regarding that, exhortations to holiness, service and love in the faith, as well as obedience to authority, (Rm. 12; 13) and not to abuse personal liberty to the hurt of the church body, including in eating, (Rm. 14, 15) and greetings and benediction to the church. (Rm. 16).

But while preaching and spiritual gifts are set forth a instrumental means of conveying grace, yet there is nothing at all about the Lord's supper, of the importance of the Eucharist, even about it being a source of grace, nor of pastors having a special function or gift regarding that.

Moving on to the next book, herein we have the only manifest descriptions of the Lord's supper in the life of the church, outside of the brief mention of it as the "feast of charity" in Jude 1:12 which communal gathering some unholy vessels were defiling. Here, besides the possible inference in 1 Corinthians 5:7,8,11 of the Lord's supper as the commemorative passover feast which excludes willfull impenitent persons (though the body is the church, out of which the old leaven is to be purged), we have 1 Corinthians 10:16-21, parts of which are invoked by Catholics as teaching the Catholic Eucharist, particularly vs. 16,17: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread." However,in context the Catholic interpretation this is simply not the case.

For instead, what is taught is that this manner of communion, which is described as spiritual union, is what pagans also signify and realize in communally taking part in their own dedicatory feast, and thus believers are warned against being part of it: But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20-21)

To either be partakers of the Lord's table or that of devils is to have fellowship with the entity to whom the feast is dedicated to, and with the other participants, partakers of the same altar. But it is certain that pagans were not having fellowship with devils by literally physical consuming the flesh and blood of devils.

In the next chapter the Lord's supper is once again addressed, (1Cor. 11:17-34) and once again Catholics suppose that this support their Eucharistic theology, especially vs. 28,29:

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (1 Corinthians 11:28-29)

However, once again this is not what is being contextually taught, for instead of "not discerning the Lord's body" referring to not discerning the nature of the elements that are consumed in the Lord's body, instead the sin of the Corinthians was that of not effectually discerning/recognizing the nature of the body of Christ, the church, because they were treating other members as if they were outcasts.

The reproof of the Corinthians here is that while they were physically coming together to eat the Lord's supper, they really not coming together to eat the Lord's supper (When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper), not because of some failure to perceive the nature of what they were eating, but because while they were supposed to be showing/declaring the Lord's death for the church (For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come), they were selfishly eating independently, even to the full (for in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken), while ignoring other blood-bought saints who thus went hungry, and which thus was to "shame them that have not." (1Cor. 11:20-22,26)

Therefore they were effectually not recognizing the church which Christ bought with His own sinless shed blood (Acts 20:28) as actually being the body of Christ (thus Paul was persecuting the Lord by persecuting His body, the church: Acts 9:4). And thus they were not remembering/showing the Lord's death (which command Paul uniquely provides as being the purpose: v. 26), by treating members of it as outcasts. Paul the pastor elsewhere reproves Christians for harming brethren, "for whom Christ died (Rm. 14:15; 1Cor. 8:11) Therefore the rank hypocrisy here of these Corinthians left them guilty of the body and blood of the Lord by which He bought the church, as they were acting utterly contrary to its purpose and what it did, and the love behind it. Therefore some were even chastened unto death.

And since the problem was that of selfishly eating independently, even to the full while ignoring other blood-bought saints, thus the given solution was not that of recognizing a supernatural nature of the elements consumed, which souls could do while eating independently (though contrary to the meaning of "communion"), but the solution was to effectually recognize each other as members of the corporate body, to "tarry one for another," and to eat at home so that they do not come to the Lord's supper and do as before due to lust for food. (Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. Vs. 33,34)

Consistent with this focus on the corporate nature of the body of Christ, the next chapter gives further exhortation and correction regarding this.

Next we come to Galatians, with its rebukes for following Judaizers, and theology on salvation, and mention of baptism, and exhortations to walk in the Spirit, and warnings about falling from grace and making Christ of no effect, but nothing about the Lord's supper, but with supporting those who preach the word being instructed.

Then we come to Ephesians, and which speaks of how souls received the Spirit by faith, and are accepted in the Beloved, and sit with Him in the heavens, and the teaching about the one new man, the church.

And in the light of such grace, it provides various exhortation to grow in grace. However, once again the Lord's supper is utterly absent, and the means of obtaining spiritual life and growing in grace is never said to be by physically consuming the Lord Jesus, nor is there any reminder to take part in this, but life and growth is by hearing and believing the word of grace.

Likewise in Colossians, though this is the most metaphysical type book, and which mentions baptism and much exhorts growth in grace, but with the only internal ingestion in so doing being that of the word of Christ dwelling richly in them. (Col. 3:16)

Moving on to the next books, we have 1+2 Thessalonians, an active and much commendable church, but for whom Paul provides much eschatological light for, and desires that "To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." (1 Thessalonians 3:13) But once again there is no mention of the Lord's supper or reminder of the importance of the Eucharist.

Then we have 1+2 Timothy and Titus, instructing and exhorting these pastors in carrying out the word of the ministry, including giving attention to reading and doctrine and to preach the word, which is what is said to "nourish" believers. (1Tim. 4:6) Yet once again there is no mention of the Lord's supper.

Neither — despite this being apostolic instructions and exhortations to pastors — is there any charge, exhortation or reminder to these pastor regarding carrying out that which in Catholicism is the centerpiece of her worship and sacramental system, and the primary activity of NT pastors.

And — despite instructions and requirements on choosing pastors (and which are normatively married: 1Tim. 3:1-7) — NT pastors are never called "priests" (distinctive from the general priesthood of all believers), despite the use of the exclusive words for priests or high pries (“hiereus” or “archiereus") being used over 280 times in the NT, and the words used for NT pastors, presbuteros (senior/elder) or episkopos (superintendent/overseer), being used approx 65 times for them, and whom Titus 1:5-7 (cf. Acts 20:17,28) shows as referring to those in the same office.

Nor are they described as having a unique sacerdotal Eucharistic function, or even conducting the Lord's Supper (presbyters would have, but not uniquely), but which Catholicism came to read into their office. As one author finds, "presbyters (including the bishops) are 'priests' (hiereus) in the sense that only they can offer the bloodless sacrifice on behalf of the people." (Laurent Cleenewerck, His Broken Body, p. 72) See is here for more substantiation on this issue, by God's grace.

Passing over the short letter to Philemon which also says nothing about the Lord's supper, we come the book of Hebrews, which like Romans, is another major doctrinal book. This book (by an anonymous God-inspired writer certainly not by Paul) is an exhortation to believers to continue in the faith, and warnings about falling away (Heb. 3,6,10) in the light of systematic eloquent exposition of the New Covenant vs. the Old, with the key word of this epistle being "better."

However, while expounding on the better hope, covenant, promises, sacrifices substance, dwelling, resurrection, and things of the New Covenant, once again nothing is manifestly said about the Lord's supper, nor is there any manifest theology on it, the only thing close to that being the warning not to forsake assembling together by falling into sin.

Yet even when describing the fundamentals of the faith then there is nothing said about Eucharistic theology, but,

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1-2)

As incongruous as the previous omissions about Eucharistic theology are if the NT church held to the place and belief of Catholic Eucharistic theology, it is most inconceivable here, as if any book should expound, however briefly, about Eucharistic theology it would seem to be here, with its emphasis upon the superior grace of the New Covenant, and priestly ministry. Yet the Catholic Eucharist is one of many things missing in the NT church.

Moving on, we come to James, with his exhortations to practical faith, and teaching on intercessor prayer by the pastors/elders (not distinctive priests), as well as all believers. (James 5:14-20)

Yet even here the Lords supper is not mentioned, while in Catholicism this is exhorted if a Catholic is sick and it is a duty given to her unScriptural priests to provide. (Can. 911) But instead the only action besides prayer is anointing with oil.

Due to time and energy needs i am going to skip James and the epistles of Peter and John, none of which describe the Lord's supper, much less Catholic Eucharistic theology, and go to Jude 1:12, this book being the only other letter to the churches which which manifestly mentions the Lord's supper besides 1Corintians.

And it does so here simply as a "feast of charity," which communal feast unholy souls were "crashing," which type of persons Jude is warning about. And which is consistent with the nature of the participants being the focus, not the elements that are consumed by them.

Finally we come to Revelation, which also does not mention the Lord's supper, and its absence in the Lord's critiques and counsel tot he representative churches in Rv. . 2+3, either as a commendation for keeping it, or censure for not, or exhortation as means of grace, is also incongruous, leaving extrapolative Catholics to one again resort to reading into it what they desire if they will use it to support their distinctive Eucharistic theology.

Thus neither the Catholic Eucharist is manifest in the New Testament church nor her distinctive sacerdotal priesthood which offer it.

Instead, Catholics must read their Eucharistic liturgy into these texts, or at least, as with other traditions, argue that since the text does not exclude the Eucharistic liturgy then it is justified in teaching this was what was taking place.

For in reality, the veracity of Catholic teaching does not rest upon the weight of Scriptural substantiation from the only substantive wholly inspired body of Truth, but it rests upon the novel unScriptural premise of ensured perpetual magisterial veracity. ^

Purely literal versus the necessitated, contrived Catholic interpretation

The Catholic claim is that they take the words of the Lord's Supper and the discourse on the bread of life in John 6 literally, and typically chide evangelicals for not being consistent with their tendency toward taking Scripture literally. However, taking such things as historical accounts literally as evangelicals are to do (but which accounts most modern RC scholarship actually relegates to being fables or folk tales), is not contrary to recognizing different literary genres, yet what is novel in Scripture is the Catholic "real" Jesus of transubstantiation.

The Catholic teaching of transubstantiation and the "Real Presence" holds that by virtue of the words of consecration uttered by a Catholic priest over ordinary bread and wine, the bread and wine are transformed into Christ's owm own Body and Blood via a unique substantial conversion, in which the substances (only) of the bread and wine are converted into the body and blood of Christ (thus also containing His soul and divinity), even though the accidents (appearances) of bread and wine continue existing by themselves, but without their substance, i.e. their properties which material things may be defined by.

It is thus held that "Christ is really present and is received whole and entire, body and blood, soul and Divinity, under either species alone." (Catholic Encyclopedia > Communion under Both Kinds) "with His bodily organs and limbs and with His human mind, will and feelings." (John A. Hardon, S.J., Part I: Eucharistic Doctrine on the Real Presence) "Christ in His entirety is present in each particle and in each drop" (even subatomic), and in multilocation, in numberless separate Hosts, yet once decay begins "Christ has discontinued His Presence therein." (Catholic Encyclopedia>The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist)

The defense of this unScriptural literalism even resulted in the graphic oath of 1059 which Berengar of Tours was compelled to affirm, that "the bread and wine which are laid on the altar are after consecration not only a sacrament but also the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and they are physically taken up and broken in the hands of the priest and crushed by the teeth of the faithful, not only sacramentally but in truth." ( Modified forms of this confession later appeared.

While the literalistic Catholic idea of the Lord's supper had developed somewhat early in the post-apostolic church (yet "Real Presence" beliefs that differ from Rome in much of any detail have been deemed heretical) but not without other theories, and in response to such came the extensive explanations of transubstantiation from Thomas Aquinas, who employed the metaphysical categories of substance and accident taught by the Greek philosopher Aristotle (in the fifth book of his Metaphysics). The challenge, as Stephen E. Lahe (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) states in his review of the book "Some later medieval theories of the eucharist..." (Adam),

"The key is to explain the ‘real presence’ of the incarnate God in the creatures of bread and wine sufficiently to take into account thorny philosophical problems. These include explaining how one being can be in several places at once, describing creation and annihilation using a physics to which both concepts are foreign..." (

Aquinas taught that (when the priest utters the words of consecration) the "substance" of the bread and wine are changed and thus replaced with the substance of the body and blood of Christ, even though the appearance (and all tangible, testable physical properties) of the bread and wine remain the same.

Meaning the bread and wine cease to exist versus what they appear to be and to what scientific definitions of physical reality would make them, and in their place are Christ's owm own Body and Blood, even though what is consumed does not look, taste, smell, or would scientifically test as real flesh and blood.

Thus Aquinas confessed, "The presence of Christ's true body and blood in this sacrament cannot be detected by sense, nor understanding, but by faith alone..." (Summa Theologica; The conference of American bishops states, "Christ's presence in the Eucharist challenges human understanding, logic, and ultimately reason. His presence cannot be known by the senses, but only through faith." ( And for the faithful Roman Catholic, "faith" means faith that what their church offically teaches is correct, versus a conclusion that rests upon the weight of Scriptural substantiation, which does not support the Catholic interpretation, nor the novel and unScriptural premise of ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility as per Rome (and basically in primary cults).

But the issue in this section is not whether God could perform this novel miracle, but besides technical problems such as the possibility of particles being airborne and thus God ending up in the carpet, etc.*, and of determining when the host no longer has the form of something which is said to no longer exist, the problem here is that the Catholic interpretation of the words of the Lord's Supper and the discourse on the bread of life in John 6 is contrary to both a plain literal interpretation of them, which Catholics often assert they hold to, and to how the body and blood which Christ refers to in the last supper was really "present" in His incarnation. And thus it is contrary to the evidential warrant God provides for faith in the Christ of Scripture.

For as John teaches, that "Christ is come in the flesh" is true in the light of His manifest physicality, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life," (1 John 1:1) "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth." (1 John 5:6) "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 John 4:2-3)

Which means that when Scripture speaks of "Christ come in the flesh" it is not speaking of Him merely appearing to be something He was not, whether simply appearing to be (incarnated as) human but whose was body was like a phantom (apparently like as a docetist Christ or within gnosticism), or simply appearing to be a bit of bread/wine but which He is not, and which bread/wine really does not exist, as in Catholicism. It was evidently in response to belief that Christ was not physically what He appeared to be that John condemns that and emphasizes His manifest physicality.

Moreover, the words said at the Last supper which Catholics claim to take literally say that this body was the body that would be "broken for you," (1Co. 11:24) "my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world," Jn. 6:51) and the blood that would be "shed for you." (Lk. 22:20) And which certainly looked, felt, smelled, and would taste like and scientifically test as literally being real flesh and blood (but unlike the Eucharistic species, would not decay). And which I think the body that Thomas was invited to touch as proof that Christ arose would also test as real flesh, (Jn. 20:27) though He can materialize at will.

Catholics attempt to deal with this problem by arguing that Christ is present in a supernatural mode, yet as such the Lord stated "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." (Luke 24:39)

While we are to believe on Christ by faith now, it is not one who was an inanimate object, but the Christ we believe on is one whose incarnated body was indeed manifest as being so — its appearance corresponded to its reality — and appeared bodily even in His resurrected state. In contrast, worshiping a Christ that looked like, felt like, smelled like, and would taste and scientifically test as (and decay as) an inanimate object — and in multiple locations, at the same time — would be worshiping a false Christ. Pagans can (wrongly) say that an inanimate object is God, but imagine the apostles trying to preach that a loaf of bread was really Christ!

Trent says, "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread [actually after breaking bread He said "this is my" body"]... by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood, (Trent, 1376) if not in any evidential, or provable way.

However, at the Last supper the Lord did not say "this bread has become my body," or "This wine has become my blood" but " Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you" (1 Corinthians 11:24)and " this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many" (Mt. 26:28). (In 1 Corinthians 11:26 the Holy Spirit adds the interpretive, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come," calling what was eaten "bread" not "body" or "flesh.") And if the words at issue here are to be taken plainly literal, which Catholics argue they do, then since the flesh and blood referred to was said to be that which was to be broken and shed, then Iif taken purely literal) the apostles would have believed that what they consumed at the Last supper was the same manifest physical bloody flesh and blood that would be on the cross. That would be 100% literal and easier than requiring belief in a novel miracle that preaches a bodily Christ that appears as inanimate objects, which themseves do not exist as such, and relies on Neoplatonic thought and Aristotelian metaphysics to rationalize.

The only problem is that Catholic priests cannot come up with the same manifestly incarnated body and blood that was crucified, (purported "Eucharistic miracles" are contrary to the doctrine of transubstantiation), thus instead we have the Catholic "real" body and blood of Christ" that does not correspond (in the ways Christ was manifestly incarnated) to the real incarnated Jesus which a literal reading of the texts at issue speak of.

While within Docetism and or Gnosticism it seems they had the belief that what Christ looked and behaved like, as manifestly being incarnated with a tangible real body of flesh and blood, was not real (Christ being a sort of phantom but looking human), in Catholicism you have the belief that (in transubstantiation) what Christ looks, feels, tastes and would test as (bread and wine), is not the reality (Christ's corporeal body and blood only looking like and otherwise materially evidencing themselves to be bread and wine). And conversely, that the bread and wine is no longer real but only looks, feels, tastes, etc. like the real thing. A Knights of Columbus article asserts (in its sophistry), "the Most Holy Eucharist not only looks like something it isn’t (that is, bread and wine), but also tastes, smells, feels, and in all ways appears to be what it isn’t." (The Holy Eucharist BY Bernard Mulcahy, O.P., p. 22) "Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery, in order to be in accord with Catholic faith, must firmly maintain that in objective reality, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the consecration, so that the adorable body and blood of the Lord Jesus from that moment on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine." - Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003 For the doctrine of transubstantiation holds that (after consecration by the Catholic priest) the visible elements no longer actually exist (due to transformation) despite their appearance and provable, testable properties ("the substance of the bread cannot remain after the consecration: "Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologić Article 2 -; "On the altar are the body and blood of Christ; the bread and wine no longer exist but have been totally changed into the body and blood of the Saviour... -, yet which non-existent but substantive visible element decays, such as in the form of mold or digestion. Or at least what does not exist "appears" to decay. At which point (they know not precisely when) the body and blood of Christ no longer exist in that form. (CCC 1377: "The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist." "...that is, until the Eucharist is digested, physically destroyed, or decays by some natural process." ibid, Mulcahy, p. 32) At which point Aquinas argued that the substance of the bread and wine (which no longer exists) cannot return, despite appearance. (Summa Theologiae, Question 77) (It is also of note that since Catholicism condemns "consubstantiation" - the belief , that the substance of the bread and wine coexists with the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist - Catholics argue that transubstantiation happens "outside time" in the conventional sense, based on the teaching of Aquinas.(Summa Theologiae, Third Par, Question 75, ‘Article 7) Which would mean that the cessation of Christ when the non-existent bread or wine decays is also out of time.)

Therefore Catholicism insists that what they consume is the "true body" of the crucified Christ, even though something that is said to not exist ends up decaying, which the actual Biblical body of the Lord body did not, and the Biblical Christ was never an inanimate object. For the convinced Catholic, neither these things nor the lack of manner of Biblical proofs of the incarnated real body and blood of Christ matter, even though the plainly literal meaning of "take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you" (1Co. 11:24) would refer to the manifestly incarnated body of Christ.

Catholicism also presents their Eucharistic as being same sacrifice as at Calvary, yet they deny that it is physical in the ways that proved Christ was incarnated, and by which being physical is defined. Catholics but try to explain this away asserting that this Eucharistic Christ does not physically belong to this universe as He did when He was crucified, but again, the bread and wine that was called Christ's body and blood at the last supper, and which the apostles consumed, was said to be that which would be broken and poured out. Thus whatever universe they want to say this belonged to, this body and blood looked, and would tasted and test as only real human flesh and blood, not bread and wine.

Anyone could say Christ was an inanimate object but this Catholic Christ is not what the apostles and NT church preached about. Instead, in preaching His life, death resurrection and reality they they invoked His manifest physicality. by whom "God was manifest in the flesh." (1Tim. 3:16) When invoking proofs for the resurrection, it was that Christ was actually seen by multitudes, not that He appeared as a piece of bread. Moreover, the Lord's supper is said to proclaim His death, (1Co. 11:26) not manifest Christ, while the church is called "one bread" and the body of Christ, and which the Corinthian believers were reproved for not discerning it as this (see here on 1 Co. 11 by God's grace). .

Yet in Catholicism believing that the bread and wine is the very body and blood of Christ is a required belief. Catholics must believe that the incarnated Christ who so identified with us that He manifestly became man and manifestly felt our pain now identifies Himself as a wafer of bread (but does not feel the pain of being eaten), and that what they see as a wafer of bread is "the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins," (CCC 1365)

And in addition (whether they realize it or not) consequently they also are to believe the bread and wine no longer exist after the priest utters his words of consecration, "since transubstantiation means the Real Presence of Christ, it also means the real absence of bread and wine. To believe this is to be a Roman Catholic." ( John A. Hardon, S.J., Part I: Eucharistic Doctrine on the Real Presence)

In contrast to both the contrived semi-literalism of Catholicism or the unadulterated literalism that would make what the apostles consumed at the last supper to be the actual bloody flesh that would be crucified, the language of "take eat, this is My body" easily conflates with the use of metaphorical language in Scripture, and endocannibalism and drinking blood is forbidden in Scripture, (Lv. 17:10) and that the bread that Christ broke at the Last supper represents the Lord's real body that was "bruised [dâkâ'=broken] for our iniquities" and the wine represents the shed blood of the Lord who "poured out his soul unto death." (Isaiah 53:5,10,12) Ps. 22:14 prophetically says, "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels."

And in John 6, this "eating" and "drinking" can only represent receiving the words of Christ as food, which is what the Lord said man is to live by, (Mt. 4:4) and conforms to the means of obtaining spiritual life elsewhere in Scripture, and to living by Christ as Christ lived by the Father, (Jn. 6:57) with doing His will therefore being His "meat." (Jn. 4:34)

In addition, Catholics do not take the Lord purely literally when He said to “drink this cup,” for you do not literally drink a cup (though if transubstantiation is allowed, so a means of ingesting a cup could be explained), but it is manifest that the cup represents what it contains, likewise the contents represent what would be visibly shed.

Moreover, in every other miracle which the Lord did that changed something material then there was an obvious tangible change — water really become wine which only existed in that location — versus a change of substance while the appearances remained the same, and so the body of Christ could be sitting at a table before them while being in the stomachs of the disciples.

Therefore, the Catholic understanding of the Lord's supper is both contrary to a purely literal reading of the words at issue, and contrary to how the incarnated and crucified and risen Christ was presented as really "present" body and blood, soul and Divinity" on earth. And preaching inanimate objects as "really" being the Lord Jesus body and blood is that of preaching "another Jesus," and preaching that the Lord's supper is how one obtains spiritual life is that of preaching "another gospel."

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4) ^

[*Christ is said to be bodily present in either species according to the metaphysical explanation of Catholicism even at the subatomic level, so that one who consumes the smallest bit of bread or wine is said to consume the whole body and blood of Christ, thus Christ could become airborne and end up in a air conditioner or elsewhere. And since this Eucharistic "christ" is said to no longer exist once the (non-existent) bread or wine begins to decay, it would normally not only mean that this Eucharistic "christ" could exist longer in cooler environmen than a warmer one, but since each species decays at different rates, then at some point and place this Eucharistic christ may be present under the appearance of one but not the other. Likewise, if the priest faints after consecration of bread, then the species of bread alone is "really" both the body and blood of Christ while the wine only remains wine, as Aquinas teaches. (Summa Theologiae, Third Part, Question 78, Article 6) Further still, if all matter is made of particles and almost all elementary particles known to us progressively decay, most of which quite rapidly, then the bread and wine that the priest is said to change into Christ is already in a state of decay when it is consecrated, even if not visible (and unleavened bread resists decay better than leavened bread), though it is the visible which Catholicism points as the state in which the Eucharistic christ is no longer present. Furthermore, while the First Law of Thermodynamics states that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be transferred from one form to another, yet this is via process of progressive decay, and at any transitional stage it would not test as something it was not. Finally, while it is argued that the soul is what makes a person, yet the only Christ of Scripture is the one who was manifestly incarnated, and since that time always bodily appeared, and felt etc. like one (and I believe His resurrected body would test as human), though with supernatural abilities.]

The nature of the Catholic metaphysical explanation

Due to the novel, unScriptural nature of her Eucharistic Jesus, then, as briefly described above, Roman Catholicism had to devise a metaphysical explanation to justify her bread and wine as being the real bodily Christ, despite the elements being really just bread and wine in the ways (sight, touch, etc.) that "real flesh" is found to be real, and Christ's incarnated body was manifested, and which explanation is described using concepts somewhat derived from Neoplatonic thought and Aristotelian metaphysics.

In Sacred Games: A History of Christian Worship, Bernhard Lang argues that, When in late antiquity the religious elite of the Roman Empire rethought religion and ritual, the choice was not one between Mithraism and Christianity (as Ernest Renan suggested in the 19th century) but between pagan Neoplatonism and Neoplatonic Christianity.”

In the third century CE, under the leadership of Plotinus, Plato’s philosophy enjoyed a renaissance that was to continue throughout late antiquity. This school of thought had much in common with Christianity: it believed in one God (the “One”), in the necessity of ritual, and in the saving contact with deities that were distinct from the ineffable One and stood closer to humanity. Like Judaism and Christianity, it also had its sacred books–the writings of Plato, and, in its later phase, also the Chaldean Oracles. In fact, major early Christian theologians–Origen, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysus–can at the same time be considered major representatives of the Neoplatonic school of thought.” - (

From a RC monk and defender:

Neoplatonic thought or at least conceptual terms are clearly interwoven with Christian theology long before the 13th century...

The doctrine of transubstantiation completely reverses the usual distinction between being and appearance, where being is held to be unchanging and appearance is constantly changing. Transubstantiation maintains instead that being or substance changes while appearance remains unchanged. Such reversals in the order of things are affronts to reason and require much, not little, to affirm philosophically. Moreover, transubstantiation seem to go far beyond the simple distinction between appearance and reality. It would be one thing if the body and blood of Christ simply appeared to be bread and wine. But I don’t think that is what is claimed with “transubstantiation.”

Aristotle picked up just such common-sense concepts as “what-it-is-to-be-X” and tried to explain rather complex philosophical problems with them. Thus, to take a “common-sense” concept like substance–even if one could maintain that it were somehow purified of Aristotelian provenance—and have it do paradoxical conceptual gymnastics in order to explain transubstantiation seems not to be not so anti-Aristotelian in spirit after all...

That the bread and wine are somehow really the body and blood of Christ is an ancient Christian belief—but using the concept of “substance” to talk about this necessarily involves Greek philosophy (Br. Dennis Beach, OSB, monk of St. John’s Abbey; doctorate in philosophy from Penn State;

Edwin Hatch: is among the Gnostics that there appears for the first time an attempt to realize the change of the elements to the material body and blood of Christ. The fact that they were so regarded is found in Justin Martyr. But at the same time, that the change was not vividly realized, is proved by the fact that, instead of being regarded as too awful for men to touch, the elements were taken by the communicants to their homes and carried about with them on their travels. (Hatch, Edwin, 1835-1889, "The influence of Greek ideas and usages upon the Christian church;" pp. 308-09 ^

A final note here is that Eucharistic theology is not wrong simply because it is hard to explain, and borrows from philosophic concepts of pagans in attempting to do so, which can also be the case with explaining the doctrine of the Trinity. But unlike the Trinity, which is primarily demanded by contextually clear statements and evidences of the manifest deity of Christ, and the lack of any other logical alternative in the light and the Father and Spirit, the language used in Lord's supper accounts and John 6 is easily shown to be metaphorical, being consistent with the metaphorical language of Scripture, and with the means of obtaining spiritual life, and the place of the Lord's supper in the life of the NT church. And which evidence simply does not support the Catholic doctrine of the Lord's supper and the position it gives it. ^

The Lord's Supper is not a sacrifice for sins

The RC the Mass (which actually means dismissal) is the name for the Catholic Eucharistic liturgy, and as such Roman Catholicism teaches that the Mass is a ongoing sin offering. As defined by the Council of Trent, “the Mass is one and the same sacrifice with that of the cross...a sacrifice of propitiation, by which God is appeased and rendered propitious.” (The Catechism of the Council of Trent, Published by Command of Pope Pius the Fifth (New York: Christian Press, 1905), p. 175)

"The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." (CCC 1367)

In the sacrifice of the Mass “Christ the high priest by an unbloody immolation offers himself a most acceptable victim to the eternal father, as he did on the less truly today than occurred on the cross.” (Catholic Catechism, 1981, by John Hardon S.J., p. 466)

1) "The Mass is the same as the sacrifice of Calvary. In it, God dies as He died on the first Good is identically the same sacrifice, and differs only from Calvary in appearance. In every Mass, the Blood of Jesus is shed for us again. St. Augustine: “In the Mass, the Blood of Christ flows anew for sinners." (The wonders of the Mass by Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, O.P.)

However, while believers offer themselves as a sacrifice for service to God, (Rm. 12:1) nowhere in the accounts of the Lord's Supper or elsewhere is it taught that this is a ongoing sacrifice for sins, but instead this belief is a result of the literalistic understanding of the Lord's Supper, thus error begetting error.

The actual cup of the New Testament in His blood which the Lord said to drink (Lk. 22:20) is itself not to be understood literally as ingesting a cup, as instead the cup represents what it contained. Likewise rather than telling Jews to ingest human blood, the wine that it contained represents the Lord's blood which was to be poured out, like as Ps. 22:14 prophetically says, "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels." And which metaphorical language the apostles would have been well familiar with.

Thus the Lord afterwards called what the cup contained the “fruit of the vine,” not blood which Catholics imagine it became by transubstantiation. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. (Matthew 26:29)

Moreover, while Roman Catholicism teaches that the Mass is the ongoing sacrifice for sin, with Catholics even arguing that the ongoing offering of Christ’s atoning sacrifice in the Mass cleanses the heavenly temple, making the reference to this in the notably interpretive Heb. 9:23 (and thus is used by the SDA) to mean multiple sacrifices, which it usually does not, while the context makes clear Christ only offered one atonement for sin. Which Scripture clearly and repetitively states,

And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:11-14)

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30)

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often , as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many ; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:24-28)

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:27-28)

Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin . (Hebrews 10:18)

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. (Romans 6:9-10)

The priest always stood to minister, (Dt. 18:5) but Christ having "offered one sacrifice for sins for ever," “sat down."

Thus by His sinless shed blood, His brethren have "boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," (Hebrews 10:19)

And now the Lord's priestly function is that of praying as the only Heavenly intercessor btwn God and man. (1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25)

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Thanks be to God.

Catholics must therefore again resort to the metaphysical, arguing that God is eternal and outside of time and that thus this supports the Mass as being a continuous sin offering. However, while God can speak “of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” (Revelation 13:8) in referring to the plan of God, the actual event happened once at a certain time in the realm in which God relates to us. To apply the logic used in justifying the the Mass as Calvary continued, in which the priest continues to offer Christ as a sacrifice for sins, then one can likewise hold that angels will ever be created, and the Lord will ever be returning, and souls will forever be judged and sent to Hell by holding memorials of such, and multitude other things which make a mockery of Divine revelation. ^

See also Prayer to departed saints

Absence of the sacerdotal Eucharistic priesthood.

Since Catholic Eucharistic doctrine holds "that the sacrifice of the Mass is one and the same sacrifice with that of the cross...a sacrifice of propitiation, by which God is appeased and rendered propitious," (Trent, 22nd Session, cp. 2) therefore she has created a separate class of believers distinctively titled "hiereus”="priests" who were to engage in this uniquely sacerdotal act as their primary ordained function.

One sanctioned Catholic work even states, “The supreme power of the priestly office is the power of consecrating...Indeed, it is equal to that of Jesus Christ...When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man...Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary [who is said to be all but almighty herself]...The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest's command.” - (John A. O'Brien, Ph.D., LL.D., The Faith of Millions, 255-256 , O'Brien. Nihtt obstat: Rev. Lawrence Gollner, Censor Librorum Imprimatur: Leo A. Pursley, Bishop of Fort Wayne,-South Bend, March 16, 1974

But which separate class of believers distinctively titled "hiereus” is utterly absent in the NT, as NT pastors (besides apostles) are only called presbuteros (senior/elder) or episkopos (superintendent/overseer) and which denotes the same office, (Titus 1:5-7) and nowhere does the Holy Spirit ever call any NT pastor “hiereus” (which etymologically became “priest” from old English "preost"), which is the distinctive word only used for priests, Jewish or pagan.

Instead, the only priesthood (hieráteuma) in the NT church is that of all believers, (1Pt. 2:5,9; Re 1:6; 5:10; 20:6) for all believers are called to sacrifice (Rm. 12:1; 15:16; Phil. 2:17; 4:18; Heb. 13:15,16; cf. 9:9) and NT pastors are never shown or described as offering up the elements of the Lord's Supper as a sacrifice for sin.

However, Catholicism has made NT pastors into a sacerdotal priesthood due to imposed functional equivalence, supposing NT presbyteros engaged in a unique sacrificial ministry as their primary function.

Catholic writer Greg Dues in "Catholic Customs & Traditions, a popular guide," states, "Priesthood as we know it in the Catholic church was unheard of during the first generation of Christianity, because at that time priesthood was still associated with animal sacrifices in both the Jewish and pagan religions."

"When the Eucharist came to be regarded as a sacrifice [after Rome's theology], the role of the bishop took on a priestly dimension. By the third century bishops were considered priests. Presbyters or elders sometimes substituted for the bishop at the Eucharist. By the end of the third century people all over were using the title 'priest' (hierus in Greek and sacerdos in Latin) for whoever presided at the Eucharist." (

And R. J. Grigaitis (O.F.S.) (while yet trying to defend the use of priest), reveals, "The Greek word for this office is ἱερεύς (hiereus), which can be literally translated into Latin as sacerdos. First century Christians [such as the inspired writers] felt that their special type of hiereus (sacerdos) was so removed from the original that they gave it a new name, presbuteros (presbyter). Unfortunately, sacerdos didn't evolve into an English word, but the word priest [from old English "preost"] took on its definition." (

Yet NT pastors are never even described as dispensing bread as part of their ordained function in the life of the church, and instead the primary work of NT pastors is that of prayer and preaching. (Acts 6:3,4) "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2) And which is what is said to "nourish" the souls of believers, and to build them up, and believing it is how the lost obtain life in themselves. (1 Timothy 4:6; Psalms 19:7;Acts 15:7-9; 20:32) ^

The metaphorical view of Jn. 6 is not new.

So-called "church fathers" are not fathers of the NT church, (Eph. 2:20) and while pious, the quality of their writings (from what I have read) stands in clear contrast to that of Scripture, as well as classic evangelical commentaries, and tend to perpetuate errors of tradition, and with even Jerome exampling an early example of compelling Scripture to support his unbalanced and wrong views (on marriage, shared by Augustine and others).

Nor are these ancients determinative for doctrine for a Bible Christian, or even for Rome (they do not always agree with themselves or Rome despite the often stated “unanimous consent of the fathers), yet certain ones are selectively invoked for support by RCs, although there is much we do not know of what they are estimated to have written.

Thus it is fitting to provide a few teachings from some in support of the metaphorical view of John 6 not being some new thing.

Clement of Alexandria wrote,

Further release from evils is the beginning of salvation. We then alone, who first have touched the confines of life, are already perfect; and we already live who are separated from death. Salvation, accordingly, is the following of Christ: For that which is in Him is life. John 1:4 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears My words, and believes in Him that sent Me, has eternal life, and comes not into condemnation, but has passed from death to life." John 5:24 Thus believing alone, and regeneration, is perfection in life; for God is never weak. For as His will is work, and this is named the world; so also His counsel is the salvation of men, and this has been called the church. He knows, therefore, whom He has called, and whom He has saved; and at one and the same time He called and saved them...

As nurses nourish new-born children on milk, so do I also by the Word, the milk of Christ, instilling into you spiritual nutriment..."Wherefore also I have given you milk to drink," he says; meaning, I have instilled into you the knowledge which, from instruction, nourishes up to life eternal. But the expression, "I have given you to drink" (ἐπότισα), is the symbol of perfect appropriation. For those who are full-grown are said to drink, babes to suck. "For my blood," says the Lord, "is true drink." John 6:55 In saying, therefore, "I have given you milk to drink," has he not indicated the knowledge of the truth, the perfect gladness in the Word, who is the milk?

And to this meaning we may secondly accommodate the expression, "I have given you milk to drink, and not given you food, for you are not yet able," regarding the meat not as something different from the milk, but the same in substance. For the very same Word is fluid and mild as milk, or solid and compact as meat. And entertaining this view, we may regard the proclamation of the Gospel, which is universally diffused, as milk; and as meat, faith, which from instruction is compacted into a foundation, which, being more substantial than hearing, is likened to meat, and assimilates to the soul itself nourishment of this kind.

Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: Eat my flesh, and drink my blood; John 6:34 describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both—of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle. And when hope expires, it is as if blood flowed forth; and the vitality of faith is destroyed. ” (Clement of Alexandria, The Paedagogus, Book I;


Now, because they thought His discourse was harsh and intolerable, supposing that He had really and literally enjoined on them to eat his flesh, He, with the view of ordering the state of salvation as a spiritual thing, set out with the principle, “It is the spirit that quickens;” and then added, “The flesh profits nothing,”— meaning, of course, to the giving of life. He also goes on to explain what He would have us to understand by spirit: “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” In a like sense He had previously said: “He that hears my words, and believes in Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but shall pass from death unto life.” John 5:24 Constituting, therefore, His word as the life-giving principle, because that word is spirit and life, He likewise called His flesh by the same appellation; because, too, the Word had become flesh, John 1:14 we ought therefore to desire Him in order that we may have life, and to devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith. (On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 37;

And Augustine on "Rule for Interpreting Commands and Prohibitions" states,

24. If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man," says Christ, "and drink His blood, you have no life in you." John 6:53 This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share [communicandem] in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory [in memoria] of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us. Augustine On Christian Doctrine (Book III, cp. 16) —

This web page here deals with possible non-Catholic understanding of certain "church fathers" on the Lord's supper. (As with all links, affirmation of all a site may contain cannot be assumed by such links.) ^


Supposing one gains spiritual life by literally eating human flesh and blood is akin to pagan endocannibalism, and is not Scriptural.

Alpers and Lindenbaum’s research conclusively demonstrated that kuru [neurological disorder] spread easily and rapidly in the Fore people due to their endocannibalistic funeral practices, in which relatives consumed the bodies of the deceased to return the “life force” of the deceased to the hamlet, a Fore societal subunit. -

The controversial "Golden Bough" by Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941) reports (regardless of some of his conclusions):

The custom of eating bread sacramentally as the body of a god was practised by the Aztecs before the discovery and conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards."

The May ceremony is thus described by the historian Acosta: “The Mexicans in the month of May made their principal feast to their god Vitzilipuztli, and two days before this feast, the virgins whereof I have spoken (the which were shut up and secluded in the same temple and were as it were religious women) did mingle a quantity of the seed of beets with roasted maize, and then they did mould it with honey, making an idol...all the virgins came out of their convent, bringing pieces of paste compounded of beets and roasted maize, which was of the same paste whereof their idol was made and compounded, and they were of the fashion of great bones. They delivered them to the young men, who carried them up and laid them at the idol’s feet, wherewith they filled the whole place that it could receive no more. They called these morsels of paste the flesh and bones of Vitzilipuztli.

...then putting themselves in order about those morsels and pieces of paste, they used certain ceremonies with singing and dancing. By means whereof they were blessed and consecrated for the flesh and bones of this idol. This ceremony and blessing (whereby they were taken for the flesh and bones of the idol) being ended, they honoured those pieces in the same sort as their god....then putting themselves in order about those morsels and pieces of paste, they used certain ceremonies with singing and dancing. By means whereof they were blessed and consecrated for the flesh and bones of this idol. This ceremony and blessing (whereby they were taken for the flesh and bones of the idol) being ended, they honoured those pieces in the same sort as their god...

And this should be eaten at the point of day, and they should drink no water nor any other thing till after noon: they held it for an ill sign, yea, for sacrilege to do the contrary:...and then they gave them to the people in manner of a communion, beginning with the greater, and continuing unto the rest, both men, women, and little children, who received it with such tears, fear, and reverence as it was an admirable thing, saying that they did eat the flesh and bones of God, where-with they were grieved. Such as had any sick folks demanded thereof for them, and carried it with great reverence and veneration.”

...They believed that by consecrating bread their priests could turn it into the very body of their god, so that all who thereupon partook of the consecrated bread entered into a mystic communion with the deity by receiving a portion of his divine substance into themselves.

The doctrine of transubstantiation, or the magical conversion of bread into flesh, was also familiar to the Aryans of ancient India long before the spread and even the rise of Christianity. The Brahmans taught that the rice-cakes offered in sacrifice were substitutes for human beings, and that they were actually converted into the real bodies of men by the manipulation of the priest.

...At the festival of the winter solstice in December the Aztecs killed their god Huitzilopochtli in effigy first and ate him afterwards. -

There are some differences, but these have more in common with the Catholic idea of the Eucharist than anything seen in Scripture interpretive of the words of the last supper. ^


As with Roman Catholicism as a whole, the Cath Eucharist is not, as shown by God's grace, that which the Holy Spirit reveals in the Scriptural testimony of of the NT church, but it is part of the progressive deformation of the NT church, thus requiring the specious art of "development of doctrine." as testified to before.

Robert J. Daly, S.J., argues that Jesus did indeed institute the Eucharist, though it took generations and centuries of guidance from the Holy Spirit for the Eucharist to reach its current form. "What Jesus did at the Last Supper is obviously at least the generative moment of the institution of the Eucharist. But Eucharist in the full sense we have just described? No, that was still to come." "The Eucharist that Christians now celebrate is what the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of the risen Jesus, and over the course of generations and centuries, learned to do as it celebrated table fellowship with its risen Lord." ( " (Daly, Robert J., S. J. [Emeritus Professor of Theology at Boston College], 'Eucharistic origins: from the new testament to the liturgies of the golden age." Theological Studies March, 2005)

Translated it means the Holy Spirit guided the church to develop what the Spirit never described as anything more than a simple joyful communal meal in Acts, and feast of charity, (Jude 1:12) and in its only other occurrence in the life of the church as being done in remembrance of the Lord's death, showing/declaring it by sharing food (as one bread and cup) with each other in recognition of the unity (with Christ and each other) of the one body which the Lord bought with His blood, so that failure to treat each other as such was to be not actually eating the Lord's Supper.

And with no pastor/priests even being mentioned as officiating at the Lord's supper, but which simple loving communal meal of effectual remembrance is transformed into a liturgical ritual "source and summit" centerpiece of the Christian life, with "priests" changing bread and wine into the "real" but unbloody, non-evidential body and blood of Christ, offered as a sacrifice for sins, being declared as the "same sacrifice with that of the cross," placing the Lord upon the "altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man," that "no less than on Calvary, Jesus really offers his life to his heavenly Father," "a most acceptable Victim to the eternal Father, as he did upon the Cross," for "the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice" "the manner alone of offering being different," "by which God is appeased and rendered propitious." Sources. ^

Older, more lengthy examination.

More Roman Catholic statements on the Eucharist. The below was originally written some years ago, but is rather verbose, and may need some corrections.

According to Rome, her sacrifice is not simply a holy memorial of the Lord's death, which signifies our fellowship with Him and each other, rather she claims it is the actual consumption of the Lord's body, and which actually has power to expiate, atone or make amends for sin:

#1365: “In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."186 1374 (b): “In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."200

#1393 “Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is "given up for us," and the blood we drink 'shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins.' For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:”

It is also effectively said that to consume the flesh of Jesus is ingest the flesh of Mary:

Moreover, one must remember that the Blood of Christ shed for our sake and those members in which He offers to His Father the wounds He received, the price of our liberty, are no other than the flesh and blood of the virgin, since the flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Mary, and however much it was exalted in the glory of His resurrection, nevertheless the nature of His flesh derived from Mary remained and still remains the same (de Assumpt. B. V. M., c.v., among the Opera S. Aug).” — Fidentem Piumque Animum - On the Rosary; Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, September 20, 1896

Rome further asserts that her practice also can aid souls who exist in an unBiblical place called Purgatory:

CCC #1371 “The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who "have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified,"191 so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ:”

#1405 There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth "in which righteousness dwells,"245 than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, "the work of our redemption is carried on" and we "break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ."246

#1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

#1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."204 (cf. 1413).

Rome also seeks to invoke Jn. 6:53 (Article 1384) to support their argument, which by implication would require receiving the Lord's supper to be regenerated. This requires the institution of a separate class of priests, by which to effect the substantiation she teaches.

# 1337: "...thereby He constituted them priests of the New Testament."162

#1410: “It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

The supreme power of the priestly office is the power of consecrating...Indeed, it is equal to that of Jesus Christ...When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man...Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary [who is said to be all but almighty herself]...The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest's command. (John A. O'Brien, Ph.D., LL.D., The Faith of Millions, 255-256 O'Brien. Nihtt obstat: Rev. Lawrence Gollner, Censor Librorum Imprimatur: Leo A. Pursley, Bishop of Fort Wayne,-South Bend, March 16, 1974

And lest any assume that the transubstantiation of Rome supposes takes place also happens when those who are not of Rome (except her cousin, the Eastern churches. see 1399) celebrate the Lord's supper, #1369b states,

Let only that Eucharist be regarded as legitimate, which is celebrated under [the presidency of] the bishop or him to whom he has entrusted it.”189

#1411 Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

Finally, Rome makes mystical claims for her Eucharist, but which are not substantiated by empirical proof, which is relevant considering Her claims that in her Eucharist

#1324.. is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."

And that in partaking of her Eucharist, “Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'"133 (#1323). (

Regarding such claims of “supercharging” souls, which are often repeated, while our primary concern here is the issue of Scriptural warrant, formal study after study also reveal that, rather than Catholics having their “minds filled with grace,” they typically evidence far, far less fruits of regeneration, in both spiritual and temporal realms, than her evangelical counterparts, who believe “the gospel of grace,” and hold that the Lord's supper is a holy memorial, but not the literal consumption of the Lord''s body. ^

The Lord's supper in the synoptic gospels

In dealing with the meaning of the Lord's supper, we must first examine the narrative accounts of the Lord's supper in the gospels and in 1Corinthinas 11, and below are 2 charts, each comparing the 4 accounts, The 1st chart uses the King James Version (KJV), which is the more literal and faithful translation (Rome's Catechism in English uses the Revised Standard Version). The 2nd chart uses the official Bible of Rome for America, the New American Bible (NAB).Yet as one can see, there is no real difference that would affect interpretation, except that the NAB does not tell you which words were supplied, which the KJV does by way of italics.

King James Version

Matthew 26:26-29

Mark 14:22-25

Luke 22:19-20

1 Corinthians 11:23-26


26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.


22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.

24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.

The Lord took the unleavened (leaven representing sin in the O.T: Ex. 12:19; 34:25) bread which they used at the celebration of the Passover (Ex. 12:15-20; 23:15), which was made into thin cakes, and easily broken and distributed.

Blessed. Giving thanks for food is what is usually used (Lk. 9:16; Jn. 6:11; Acts 27:35; Rm. 14:6; 1Cor. 10:30), as it is in Luke 22:19 here.

Blessed it. But the blessing, or giving thanks, was not necessarily or at least primarily that of the food itself, (the word “it” is not in the Biblical manuscripts, but is added by translators as an aid to understanding – the best they see it – and so such supplied words are always in italics). The Biblical admonition is to bless (or give thanks to) the Lord “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good” (Ps. 103:1-5 cf. Dt. 8:10); “For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof” (1Cor. 10:26, 28), and which blessing is after Jewish custom. However, as 1Tim. 4:4 may indicate, we can certainly ask God to also bless what goes into our mouth, to our health, and to His glory.

Take eat, this is My body” is no more to be taken literally than “drink this cup,” or that the lamb itself in Exo. 12:11 is literally the Lord’s Passover, rather than representing the occasion of His passover in judgment, in which would pass over their houses.

The Lord's statement, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, indicates that the wine was still wine.


New American Bible — official Roman Catholic version for America

Matthew 26:26-29

Mark 14:22-25

Luke 22:19-20

1 Corinthians 11

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body."

27 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you,

28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.

29 I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father."

22 While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body."

23 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.

25 Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

9 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves;

18 for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

19 Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."

20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread,

24 and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that 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 death of the Lord until he comes. ^


  1. Focusing first on the institution of the Lord's supper, “Take eat, this is My body” and “Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:19,20), Luke and Paul record the latter as “This cup is the new testament in my blood” (Lk. 22:20; 1Cor. 11:25) (Note: careful study of the the duplicate accounts of the words of Jesus on earth indicates that these were not always a verbatim record, yet they are nonetheless His words, as Jesus spoke by the Spirit and it was the Holy Spirit who inspired what was written in Scripture, and under Jesus direction. He can thus recast His words in duplicate accounts, as is also seen in Old Testament prophecies reiterated in the New Testament, to give a fuller but by no means contradictory meaning, and enable correct interpretation.) Grammatically, there is nothing unique about the word eat, which can be used for literal food as well as metaphorically for eating “spiritual manna” (Rev. 2:7,17) Likewise, the word “this” (G5124) in “this is my body” is normally used for literal things but is clearly used for the spiritual “cup” the LORD had to drink to make atonement for the sins of man, (Mt. 26:39) and for the cup which was the New Testament in His blood, (1Cor. 11:25) while the phrase “this is” (G5124, G2076) is used together for the spiritual “work” of believing on Jesus. (Jn. 6:29)

  2. Contextually, the LORD is speaking to Jews, not pagans, and the Jews (and Greeks, which influenced Jews during the time of Christ, and whose language was common) were well acquainted with the use of symbolic language, with the O.T. often speaking of eating in a figurative manner. When the fearful Israelites exclaimed that the Promised Land was “a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof;” or when Joshua exhorted the Israelites, “Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us” (Num. 13:32; 14:9), it is not to be supposed that the land or the Israelites would become cannibals. And when Jeremiah proclaims, Your words were found. and I ate them. and your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jer. 15:16), or Ezekiel is told, "eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel" (Ezek. 3:1), or (in a phrase most similar to the Lord's supper) John is commanded, "Take the scroll ... Take it and eat it" (Rev. 10:8-9 ), then it is not speaking of literal eating. And it is certain that cannibalism was not looked upon favorably in Israel, and is only portrayed negatively, even metaphorically, as David declared, "When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell." (Psa 27:2)

  3. Drinking blood is also be shown to be metaphorical in 2Sam. 23:15-17, wherein we read, “And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD. And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.” Here, David equates the water obtained at the peril of the men's life (blood representing life: Lv. 17:11), with that of their lives themselves. In like use of metaphor, the Lord Jesus in the Lord's supper accounts is holding up bread and wine as a “picture”” of Himself, illustrating that just as such life physical giving substances could be broken and poured out, so would His body be “broken,” and His precious sinless blood be “poured out “ in offering a ransom for many (Mk. 10:45). Praise God for “so great salvation” (Heb. 2:3), at so great a price, which ought to constrain so great a response of consecration and faith in love (and i come short. May the Lord work in me to perfection, with mercy. Amen).

  4. Consistent with the strict literalism employed in assuming that since the Lord said “Take eat, this is My body” (Mt. 26:26), then it had to be His body, then one can also assert that when He said, “This cup is the new testament in my blood” (Lk. 22:20), then this would have Jesus commanding that the cup itself to be drunken, but which is non-sense. And just as the cup represented that which was in it, so the bread itself represented the Lord's body, rather than being transubstantiated into it, and which is manifestly consistent with Biblical Jewish as well as Greek allegorical usage (covered more under John 6).

  5. In the larger context of the Bible, we see that doctrinally, the Jews were strictly enjoined NEVER to eat blood, the penalty being to be cut off from God's people, “And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people” (Lv. 17:0). And one of the few basic Old Testament dietary laws that were enjoined upon converted Gentiles under the New Covenant was that which forbade eating blood. (Act 21:25) It is thus incongruous that the apostles, who were not above voicing concerns when troubled about things, even at the last supper, (it is I?), and especially Peter, would not protest a command to literally drink Jesus blood. Peter, the must vocal of all, was still following Kosher Law as far after the Lord's supper as Acts 10 (9-16), in which he protested “Not so, Lord” (an oxymoron). How much more he, or one of the apostles would have been aghast at the thought of actually ingesting the Lord's flesh and drinking His blood! Peter did not even (initially) want the Lord to wash his feet, (Jn. 13:6) and so protested it, and would surely be expected to do the same in response to being called to eat Jesus flesh

    Another argument might be that in Mt. 26:29 and Mk. 14:25, the Lord referred to what had been drank, not as His blood, but as the “this fruit of the vine”, which He would join His disciples in drinking in His Father's kingdom. (cf. Lk. 22:18,22,30) And it is not tenable that Jesus would be drinking His own blood then. However, the chronology of Luke 22:17-20 does place the saying beforehand.

  6. Directly related to the words of the Lord in the parallel account of the Lord's supper in Lk. 22:20, are Moses words in the institution of the Law of O.T. “And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words” (Ex. 24:8), and their reiteration in Heb 9:20, “Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.” Both covenants must be, and were, instituted by blood, but to be consistent with the idea that the participants in the New Covenant were actually drinking blood, would require that the participants in the Old Covenant did the same, which is clearly disallowed (see #1). Thus it is more reasonable that the bread and wine represented the Lord's body and blood, which were to be broken, and shed, respectively.

  7. Theologically, as major doctrines must have fairly abundant Scriptural substantiation, and this would surely be a major doctrine according to Rome, then we must expect to see some clear theology on the manner of transubstantiation, and provision for a separate Levitical class of priests, which would be empowered to effect this presumed supernatural exchange of substances. But no where do we truly see such, as the Lord's supper is not even explicitly mentioned once in all the 28 chapters of the life of the early churches and the apostles (the possible references in Acts, that of breaking bread together, is only mentioned 4 times, with not even a hint of priestly consecration and transubstantiation ala Rome). Meanwhile, the only places we see in the rest of the N.T. which deal with the Lord's supper do not provide a theology of transubstantiation.

  8. In addition, nowhere is there a separate ordained class of priests ruling over the “laity,” but under the New Covenant all believers makes up a general priesthood (1Pt. 2:9). The word for priest hiereus [G2409] is different than the word for Apostle [G652=ambassador], Elder [G4245=old, mature] or Bishop [G1985=overseer] or Pastor G4166=shepherd], as one or more of their primary functions is different. A priest was uniquely ordained to offer up literal sacrifices for sins (Lv. 3:1-5ff; Ezek. 43:27), and which Rome supposes they do in offering up the Mass, which is held to have the power to expiate sins, through an ongoing literal sacrifice in which they suppose they turn wine and bread into the Lord's flesh and blood to be consumed. However, the Lord is not turned into bread, nor is a separate class (from other believers) of sacerdotal priests ordained for such, as instead of clergy being called priests, what the Lord ordained to be overseers of His flock, besides the initial apostles, were Bishop/Elders (same office: Titus 1:5-7; cf. 1Pt. 5:1), which collectively are called Pastors (Eph. 4:11). The job of a Bishop/Elder or pastor is to be an overseer, and to feed the flock with the Word of God, (1Pet. 5:2) and which flock collectively is to offer the sacrifice of praise, (Heb. 13:15) and individually their bodies as living sacrifices for the LORD to use, as instruments of righteousness. (Rm. 12:1) More on this here.

  9. In addition, transubstantiation, in which the substance of bread and wine is said to be "really" changed, so that the bread and wine become the Lord's body and blood, though the sensory aspects of the earthly elements remain the same, is contrary to the miracles which the Lord and His followers did. The water actually became wine in John 2, and it tasted like it, and sick people who were supernaturally made well knew it, and it was apparent, (Acts 3) but such was not by transubstantiation as defined by Rome. Nor is this the case in regeneration, which creates a new heart. Even in the Lord's incarnation, it was Christ being made in the flesh (Jn. 1:14; Phil. 2:7), but not a transubstantiated way, or in any way that He was not literally flesh and blood, while being “God manifest in the flesh” (1Tim. 3:16). In addition, empirical evidence fails to manifest that Biblical fruits of regeneration are realized more by those who eat of the table of Rome versus those who dine at the table of the word in evangelical churches.

  10. A miracle which transubstantiation claims to be would also be contrary to the Lord's incarnation in a different way (nor Rome does see it as the same), in which He humbled Himself to take upon flesh, even of the “seed of Abraham” (Jn. 1:14; Heb. 2:16), and as such, He was restricted to being in one place at one time. No where in the Lord's multitudinous miracles do we see anything approaching Him being literally physically in two places at once. But according to the theory of transubstantiation, at the Lord's Supper the Lord Jesus was both sitting before them as well as being digested in their stomachs. Such a notion surpasses simple absurdity, and actually becomes blasphemous!

    Further selected commentary from men more learned me than i on the verses at subject is offered below, by the grace of God.





Mat 26:26-30 -

See also Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:15-20; 1Cor. 11:23-25.

Jesus took bread - That is, the unleavened bread which they used at the celebration of the Passover, made into thin cakes, easily broken and distributed.

And blessed it - Or sought a blessing on it; or “gave thanks” to God for it. The word rendered “blessed” not unfrequently means “to give thanks.” Compare Luke 9:16 and John 6:11. It is also to be remarked that some manuscripts have the word rendered “gave thanks,” instead of the one translated “blessed.” It appears from the writings of Philo and the Rabbis that the Jews were never accustomed to eat without giving thanks to God and seeking his blessing. This was especially the case in both the bread and the wine used at the Passover.

And brake it - This “breaking” of the bread represented the sufferings of Jesus about to take place - his body “broken” or wounded for sin. Hence, Paul 1Cor. 11:24 adds, “This is my body which is broken for you;” that is, which is about to be broken for you by death, or wounded, pierced, bruised, to make atonement for your sins.

This is my body - This represents my body. This broken bread shows the manner in which my body will be broken; or this will serve to recall my dying sufferings to your remembrance. It is not meant that his body would be literally “broken” as the bread was, but that the bread would be a significant emblem or symbol to recall to their recollection his sufferings. It is not improbable that our Lord pointed to the broken bread, or laid his hands on it, as if he had said, “Lo, my body!” or, “Behold my body! - that which “represents” my broken body to you.” This “could not” be intended to mean that that bread was literally his body. It was not. His body was then before them “living.” And there is no greater absurdity than to imagine his “living body” there changed at once to a “dead body,” and then the bread to be changed into that dead body, and that all the while the “living” body of Jesus was before them.

Yet this is the absurd and impossible doctrine of the Roman Catholics, holding that the “bread” and “wine” were literally changed into the “body and blood” of our Lord. The language employed by the Saviour was in accordance with a common mode of speaking among the Jews, and exactly similar to that used by Moses at the institution of the Passover Ex. 12:11; “It” - that is, the lamb - “is the Lord’s Passover.” That is, the lamb and the feast “represent” the Lord’s “passing over” the houses of the Israelites. It serves to remind you of it. It surely cannot be meant that that lamb was the literal “passing over” their houses - a palpable absurdity - but that it represented it. So Paul and Luke say of the bread, “This is my body broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” This expresses the whole design of the sacramental bread. It is to call to “remembrance,” in a vivid manner, the dying sufferings of our Lord. The sacred writers, moreover, often denote that one thing is represented by another by using the word is. See Mat. 13:37; “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man” - that is, represents the Son of man. Gen. 41:26; “the seven good kine are seven years” - that is, “represent” or signify seven years. See also John 15:1, John 15:5; Gen. 17:10. The meaning of this important passage may be thus expressed: “As I give this broken bread to you to eat, so will I deliver my body to be afflicted and slain for your sins.”

This is my body - Here it must be observed that Christ had nothing in his hands, at this time, but part of that unleavened bread which he and his disciples had been eating at supper, and therefore he could mean no more than this, viz. that the bread which he was now breaking represented his body, which, in the course of a few hours, was to be crucified for them. Common sense, unsophisticated with superstition and erroneous creeds, - and reason, unawed by the secular sword of sovereign authority, could not possibly take any other meaning than this plain, consistent, and rational one, out of these words. “But,” says a false and absurd creed, “Jesus meant, when he said, Hoc Est Corpus Meum, This is my body, and Hic Est Calix Sanguinis Mei, This is the chalice of my blood, that the bread and wine were substantially changed into his body, including flesh, blood, bones, yea, the whole Christ, in his immaculate humanity and adorable divinity!” And, for denying this, what rivers of righteous blood have been shed by state persecutions and by religious wars! Well it may be asked, “Can any man of sense believe, that, when Christ took up that bread and broke it, it was his own body which he held in his own hands, and which himself broke to pieces, and which he and his disciples ate?” He who can believe such a congeries of absurdities, cannot be said to be a volunteer in faith; for it is evident, the man can neither have faith nor reason, as to this subject.

Let it be observed, if any thing farther is necessary on this point, that the paschal lamb, is called the passover, because it represented the destroying angel’s passing over the children of Israel, while he slew the firstborn of the Egyptians; and our Lord and his disciples call this lamb the passover, several times in this chapter; by which it is demonstrably evident, that they could mean no more than that the lamb sacrificed on this occasion was a memorial of, and Represented, the means used for the preservation of the Israelites from the blast of the destroying angel. .....

But let it be observed that, in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Chaldeo-Syriac languages, as used in the Bible, there is no term which expresses to mean, signify, denote, though both the Greek and Latin abound with them: hence the Hebrews use a figure, and say, it is, for, it signifies . So Gen. 41:26, Gen. 41:27. The seven kine Are (i.e. represent) seven years.

Thus Christ took the bread and held it up, that his disciples might observe it: and blessed it; or asked a blessing over it, and upon it, or rather blessed and gave thanks to his Father or it, and for what was signified by it; and prayed that his disciples, whilst eating it, might be led to him, the bread of life, and feed upon him in a spiritual sense; whose body was going to be broken for them, as the bread was to be, in order to obtain eternal redemption for them: so it was common with the Jews, to ask a blessing on their bread: the form in which they did it was this (m):

"Blessed art thou, O Lord, our God, the king of the world, that produceth bread out of the earth.

What form our Lord used, is not certain; no doubt it was one of his composing, and every way suitable to the design of this ordinance. It was customary also when there were many at table, that lay down there, however, as Christ and his disciples now did, for one to ask a blessing for them all; for so runs the rule (n),

"if they sit to eat, everyone blesses for himself, but if they lie along, àçã îáøê ìëìí, "one blesses for them all".

Moreover, they always blessed, before they brake:

"Says Rabba (o), he blesses, and after that he breaks:

this rule Christ likewise carefully observes, for it follows, and brake it.

The rules concerning breaking of bread, are these (p),

"The master of the house recites and finishes the blessing, and after that he breaks:--no man that breaks, is allowed to break, till they have brought the salt, and what is to be eaten with the bread, before everyone--and he does not break neither a small piece, lest he should seem to be sparing; nor a large piece, bigger than an egg, lest he should be thought to be famished;--and on the sabbath day he breaks a large piece, and he does not break, but in the place where it is well baked: it is a principal command to break a whole loaf.

Christ broke the bread, as the symbol of his body, which was to be broken by blows, and scourges, thorns, nails, and spear, and to be separated from his soul, and die as a sacrifice for the sins of his people: and having so done, he

gave it to the disciples; which being a distinct act from breaking the bread, shows that the latter does not design the distribution of the bread, but an act preceding it, and a very significant one: and which ought not to be laid aside: according to the Jewish (q) usages,

"He that broke the bread, put a piece before everyone, and the other takes it in his hand; and he that breaks, does not give it into the hand of the eater, unless he is a mourner; and he that breaks, stretches out his hand first and eats, and they that sit, or lie at the table, are not allowed to taste, until he that blesses, has tasted; and he that breaks, is not allowed to taste, until the Amen is finished out of the mouth of the majority of those that sit at table.

Mat 26:26 -

as: Mk. 14:22; Luk. 22:19

Jesus: Luk. 24:30; 1Cor. 11:23-25

blessed it: “Many Greek copies have gave thanks.” Mark 6:41

and brake: Acts 2:46; Acts 20:7 1Cor. 10:16, 1Cor. 10:17

Take: John 6:33-35, John 6:47-58; 1Cor. 11:26-29

this Ezek. 5:4, Ezek 5:5; Luke 22:20; 1Cor. 10:4, 1Cor. 10:16; Gal. 4:24, Gal. 4:25






Mat. 26:27:

And he took the cup - That is, the cup of wine which was used at the feast of the Passover, called the cup of “Hallel,” or praise, because they commenced then repeating the “Psalms” with which they closed the Passover.

See Mat. 26:30. This cup, Luke says, he took “after supper” - that is, after they had finished the ordinary celebration of “eating” the Passover. The “bread” was taken “while” they were eating, the cup after they had done eating.

And gave thanks - See the notes at Mat. 26:26.

Drink ye all of it - That is, “all of you, disciples, drink of it;” not, “drink all the wine.”

Mat. 26:28: For this is my blood - This “represents” my blood, as the bread does my body.

Luke and Paul vary the expression, adding what Matthew and Mark have omitted. “This cup is the new testament in my blood.” By this cup he meant the wine in the cup, and not the cup itself. Pointing to it, probably, he said, “This - ‘wine’ - represents my blood about to be, shed.” The phrase “new testament” should have been rendered “new covenant,” referring to the “covenant or compact” that God was about to make with people through a Redeemer. The “old” covenant was that which was made with the Jews by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices. See Ex. 24:8; “And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you,” etc. In allusion to that, Jesus says, this cup is the new “covenant” in my blood; that is, which is “ratified, sealed, or sanctioned by my blood.” In ancient times, covenants or contracts were ratified by slaying an animal; by the shedding of its blood, imprecating similar vengeance if either party failed in the compact. See the notes at Heb. 9:16. So Jesus says the covenant which God is about to form with people the new covenant, or the gospel economy is sealed or ratified with my blood.

Which is shed for many for the remission of sins - In order that sins may be remitted, or forgiven. That is, this is the appointed way by which God will pardon transgressions. That blood is efficacious for the pardon of sin:

1. Because it is “the life” of Jesus, the “blood” being used by the sacred writers as representing “life itself,” or as containing the elements of life, Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:14. It was forbidden, therefore, to eat blood, because it contained the life, or was the life, of the animal. When, therefore, Jesus says that his blood was shed for many, it is the same as saying that His life was given for many. See the notes at Rom. 3:25.

2. His life was given for sinners, or he died in the place of sinners as their substitute. By his death on the cross, the death or punishment due to them in hell may be removed and their souls be saved. He endured so much suffering, bore so much agony, that God was pleased to accept it in the place of the eternal torments of all the redeemed. The interests of justice, the honor and stability of his government, would be as secure in saving them in this manner as if the suffering were inflicted on them personally in hell. God, by giving his Son to die for sinners, has shown his infinite abhorrence of sin; since, according to his view, and therefore according to truth, nothing else would show its evil nature but the awful sufferings of his own Son. That he died “in the stead or place” of sinners is abundantly clear from the following passages of Scripture: John 1:29; Eph. 5:2; Heb. 7:27; 1Jn. 2:2; 1Jn. 4:10; Is. 53:10; Rom. 8:32; 2Co. 5:15. Mat. 26:29

' But I say unto you ... - That is, the observance of the Passover, and of the rites shadowing forth future things, here end.

I am about to die. The design of all these types and shadows is about to be accomplished. This is the last time that I shall partake of them with you. Hereafter, when my Father’s kingdom is established in heaven, we will partake together of the thing represented by these types and ceremonial observances - the blessings and triumphs of redemption.

This Is (represents) the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Dan. 7:24. The ten horns Are (i.e. signify) ten kings. They drank of the spiritual Rock which followed them, and the Rock Was (represented) Christ. 1Co. 10:4.

And following this Hebrew idiom, though the work is written in Greek, we find in Rev. 1:20, The seven stars Are (represent) the angels of the seven Churches: and the seven candlesticks Are (represent) the seven Churches.

The same form of speech is used in a variety of places in the New Testament, where this sense must necessarily be given to the word. Mat. 13:38, Mat. 13:39. The field IS (represents) the world: the good seed Are (represent or signify) the children of the kingdom: the tares Are (signify) the children of the wicked one. The enemy Is (signifies) the devil: the harvest Is (represents) the end of the world: the reapers Are (i.e. signify) the angels. Luke 8:9. What might this parable Be? Τις ΕΙΗ η παραβολη αυτη: - What does this parable Signify? Jn. 7:36. Τις ΕΣΤΙΝ αυτος ο λογος: What is the Signification of this saying? John 10:6. They understood not what things they Were, τινα ΗΝ, what was the Signification of the things he had spoken to them. Acts 10:17. Τι αν ΕΙΗ οραμα, what this vision Might Be; properly rendered by our translators, what this vision should Mean. Gal. 4:24. For these Are the two covenants, αυται γαρ ΕΙΣΙΝ αι δυο διαθηκαι, these Signify the two covenants. Luke 15:26. He asked, τι ΕΙΗ ταυτα, what these things Meant. See also Luke 8:36. After such unequivocal testimony from the Sacred writings, can any person doubt that, This bread is my body, has any other meaning than, This bread Represents my body?

Tertullian seems to have had a correct notion of those words of our Lord,

Acceptum panem et distributum discipulis, corpus illum suum fecit, Hoc Est Corpus Meum dicendo, id est, Figura corporis mei.

Advers. Marc. l. v. c. 40.

Having taken the bread, and distributed that body to his disciples, he made it his body by saying, This is my body, i.e. a Figure of my body.”


And said, take, eat, this is my body; in Luke it is added, "which is given for you", Luke 22:19; that is, unto death, as a sacrifice for sin; and by the Apostle Paul, 1Co. 11:24, "which is broken for you"; as that bread then was, and so expressive of his wounds, bruises, sufferings, and death, for them. Now when he says, "this is my body", he cannot mean, that that bread was his real body; or that it was changed and converted into the very substance of his body; but that it was an emblem and representation of his body, which was just ready to be offered up, once for all: in like manner, as the Jews in the eating of their passover used to say (r) of the unleavened bread,

äà ìçîà ãòðéà, this is "the bread of affliction", which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt.

Not that they thought that was the selfsame bread, but that it resembled it, and was a representation of the affliction and distress their fathers were in at that time: to which some think our Lord here alludes: though rather, the reference is to the passover lamb, which is frequently, in Jewish writings, called "the body" of the lamb: thus mention being made of the bringing of the herbs, the unleavened bread, and the sauce "Charoseth", with other things to the master of the house, it is added (s):

"and in the sanctuary (whilst that stood) they bring unto him, âåôå ùì ôñç, "the body of the lamb".

Again, elsewhere (t) it is said, "they bring a table furnished, and on it the bitter herbs and other greens, and the unleavened bread, and the sauce, åâåôå ùì ëáù äôñç "and the body of the paschal lamb".

And a little further (u), "he recites the blessing, blessed art thou O Lord, &c. for the eating of the passover, and he eats, îâåôå ùì ôñç, "of the body of the passover".

And now it is, as if Christ had said, you have had "the body" of the lamb set before you, and have eaten of it, in commemoration of the deliverance out of Egypt, and as a type of me the true passover, quickly to be sacrificed; and this rite of eating the body of the paschal lamb is now to cease; and I do here by this bread, in an emblematical way, set before you "my body", which is to be given to obtain spiritual deliverance, and eternal redemption for you; in remembrance of which, you, and all my followers in successive generations, are to take and eat of it, till I come. The words, "take, eat", show that Christ did not put the bread into the mouths of the disciples, but they took it in their hands, and ate it; expressive of taking and receiving Christ by the hand of faith, and feeding on him in a spiritual manner, ^

This is my body (touto estin to sōma mou).

The bread as a symbol represents the body of Jesus offered for us, “a beautifully simple, pathetic, and poetic symbol of his death” (Bruce). But some have made it “run into fetish worship” (Bruce). Jesus, of course, does not mean that the bread actually becomes his body and is to be worshipped. The purpose of the memorial is to remind us of his death for our sins.

John 6

John chapter 6 is invoked by Rome is attempting to find warrant for her doctrine of transubstantiation, but which again militates against her claim to be the infallible teacher of the church. The context of John 6 is that of men seeking physical food. Jesus had just fed them, as a manifestation of His grace, but when they returned for more, not out of need but because they wanted a (modern) Jesus who placed the priority on constant physical satisfaction, The LORD instead tells them, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” (John 6:27). Because they are “carnally minded,” who “mind the things of the flesh” (Rm. 8:5), and looking for the physical, then contrary to the women at the well in Jn. 4, when Jesus leads them to the higher spiritual using metaphorical language (living water: 4:10, 14 = Jesus, as living bread” in 6:51), their focus on a literal physical meaning restrains them from perceiving it’s spiritual counterpart. Therefore, rather than telling others about the Messiah (4:28, 29), they will walk away with darkened minds (v. 66). The parallel between Jn. 4 and Jn 6 is clear, except that in the former Jesus did not explicitly say that He was the living water, and if He had Roman Catholicism would be likely be teaching transubstantiation of water.

But as He did in Jn. 4, Jesus reveals the spiritual meaning of His metaphor, that as “I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me” (v. 6:57), which is by every word of God (Mt. 4:4), “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63). Peter rightly discern this, as he states, “thou hast the words of eternal life” which is entirely consistent with the testimony of Scripture elsewhere, especially in John, where the means of gaining eternal life is not be physical consumption of Christ, but by believing in the Son of the living God, (Jn 3:13,16,36; 5:24; 10:27; 11:25-27) for whom John gives many physical types.

In John 1:29, He is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

In John 3, Jesus is the likened to the serpent in the wilderness (Num. 21) who must “be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal” (vs. 14, 15).

In John 4, Jesus is the living water, that “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (v. 14).

In John 5, Jesus is the Divine Son of God “making himself equal with God”, and the prophesied Messiah (vs. 18, 39).

In John 6, Jesus is the bread of God “which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” “..that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (vs. 35,40). This bread is called His flesh, “which I will give for the life of the world” (v. 51). And as He is the “living bread,” and “the life of the flesh is in the blood,” so the soon to be crucified Christ is metaphorical bread and blood.

In John 10, Jesus is “the door of the sheep,”, and the good shepherd [who] giveth his life for the sheep”, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” vs. 7, 10, 11).

In John 12, He is the LORD who Isaiah saw high and lifted up in glory, when Isaiah uttered the prophecy which as given in it’s fulfilled sense in Jn. 6 (Is. 6:1-10; Jn. 12:34b-50). To God be the glory.

In John 15, Jesus is the true vine. Thus the use of metaphors in Jn. 6 to denote believing and living by the Word of God, and most essentially Christ, is consistent theologically, culturally and and grammatically, whereas eating something to gain eternal life is distinctively pagan. The Jewish passover did not impart life, and Jesus analogy in Jn. 6 was not to the passover, but the miraculous bread from Heaven, which gave physical life, which corresponds to spiritual life under the New Covenant.

If John 6 is what Rome says it means, then according to v. 53, in order to have "life in you", which comes by receiving the holy Spirit (Acts 10:43-47; 11:18; 15:7-9; Eph. 2:1, 5), and to receive the gift of eternal life, then we would see the apostles preaching to take part in the Lord supper in order to be born again, and be saved. Instead, they preached that we are believe on the Lord Jesus, which is what Jn. 6: 63 confirms is the meaning of v. 53. The apostles taught how one becomes born again, and so have “life in you” (Eph. 2:1, 5), is by believing the word of the gospel, that of Christ crucified and risen again (Eph. 1:13; Acts 10:43-47).

In addition, the Lord tell us we are to “live by every word which proceedeth forth from the mouth of God

(Mt. 4:4), and in Jn. 4 He tells us that do His Father's will was in essence His food (v.34). Then, in Jn. 6:57 the Lord gives us a clear interpretation of how we are to live by eating His flesh and drinking His blood, by giving us the example of how He lives, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. And as Jesus “lived” by every word of the Father, (Mt. 4:4) not by literally eating His flesh, and His “meat and drink” was to do His will, (Jn. 4:34), so are we to live by believing Him, which is shown in following. And that this is what Jn. 6 speaks of, and to which the rest of Scripture concurs, that by believing the gospel of the crucified and risen Christ, men receive His Spirit, and which enables a life of obedience. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63). So “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him” (Ps. 34:8. Praise ye the Lord!]

As the singular word "eat in jn. 6:53 is the common word for eatings, as an examination of the 97 occurrences of the word reveals, and it is used metaphorically to denote spiritual eating (Rv. 2:7,14,17,20; 17:16), the verb "eateth" (trōgō [G5176] of "eateth my flesh" in 6:54, 56-58 is focused upon by Roman Catholic apologists in asserting it means literal eating, as it appears to convey the idea of “corrosion or wear; or perhaps rather of a base of G5167 and G5149 through the idea of a crunching sound; to gnaw or chew, that is, (genitive case) to eat: - eat.” (Strong's) In any case, the clear clear usage of trōgō is to describe a continuous action of eating: "For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark." (Mt. 24:38; (cf. Jn. 13:18) And so rather than denoting that Jesus flesh was of a texture that requires tough chewing, trōgō easily corresponds to the word for believing in John and elsewhere, which can denote a present an ongoing state. (Mat. 21:22; Jn. 20:31; Acts. 16:34; 24:14; Rm. 15:13; 1Pet. 1:8) Thus, consistent with eating as a metaphor for believing, the believer continuously “chews” on Christ, the Word of God, as He lives by faith in Him. ^

1 Corinthians 10

In understanding 1 Cor. 10:16-21, we must first look at the context, which (flowing from the preceding chapter) is that of the need to exercise self-denial, avoid idolatry, and worship God in Spirit and in truth, to His glory. And in the beginning of this chapter Paul prefaces what he is about to teach by using illustrations from the Old Testament which are analogous to the Christian life. In so doing the spiritual nature of the physical illustrations used becomes readily apparent. Paul begins by stating (v. 1),

10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Under the cloud” refers to being under the leading and protective defense of the pillar of cloud, a symbol of the divine presence, the Holy Spirit (Ex. 3:21-22; Ps. 105:39; Num. 4:14; cf. Is. 4:5). Having also passed through the Red Sea, they were also in essence baptized unto, or in regards to Moses, so that they were to be dead to Egypt and live unto God by following the Law of Moses, who was a type of Christ.

Ex. 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in Him. 22 But if thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. 23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

And the “spiritual meat” refers to the manna which only fed them physically (it is called spiritual because it was of supernatural origin). But while the miraculous foods and water gave them physical sustenance, only the Word of God could give them spiritual life:

Dt. 32:46, 47 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

And in fact, it was only by obedience to God's word that they even received their supernatural physical sustenance:

Dt. 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

This is the contrast which the Lord Jesus spoke of in John 6:49, + 50, when He stated, “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die”. And thus the promise of the life – giving Holy Spirit and eternal life is given to whosoever truly believes the gospel (Acts 2:38; 319, 20; 10:43-48).

Meanwhile, the spiritual drink spoken of in 10:4 is that miraculously given water which the Israelites received:

Ex. 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Num. 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also (cf. 21:19: The rabbis also had a legend that the water actually followed the Israelites through the water-bearing Rephidim rock for 40 years).

Here, just as in “spiritual meat,” which the Lord confirmed only gave physical life (Jn. 6:49, 5), the water is called “spiritual drink” because of it's supernatural creation, not because it was of spiritual substance under the appearance of normal water.

And we see that the actual source of the water was the Lord Jesus, the Rock of Israel, who followed them, as it was He who begat, formed, and led them (cf. Dt. 32:4, 18, 30, 31, 37; Ps. 78:35), and also led them in the form of the Angel of Yaweh (Ex. 14:19).

It is important to realize at this point that the general norm is that physical things in the Old Testament picture Christ and spiritual things under the New Covenant. For instance, the physically unblemished Lamb pictures Christ, the Lamb of God “which taketh away the sins of the world” (Jn. 1:29, praise the Lord). And in 1Cor. 10 the physical manna and drink and the Rock, were not actually the Lord Jesus, but represented Him, and whom we are to receive in our hearts by faith in “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). .

But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”

Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (Jn. 1:12; 5:24).

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:12-14).

After this beginning preface, Paul reminds the Corinthians (v. 5ff) that even though these Israelites had been enlightened, and had tasted of the heavenly gift, and were guided by the Holy Ghost, And had “tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come” (such as Hebrews 6:5 speaks of), yet “with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness” (v. 5), because they received the grace of God in vain, and fell in unbelief and idolatry. Forsaking the first commandment, they then broke others, giving into the sensual lusts of the flesh (Num. 11:4; 31-34; Ps. 78:27-31; 106. 14, 15) . And being lustful, rebellious and discontented (they go together), they manifested fleshly murmurings, and irreverently challenged and mocked God and His Divinely established authority – to their own destruction. (Ex. 17:1-7; 23:20, 21; Dt. 1:34, 35; 2:16; Num. 14; 21:1 – 8; 25:1-9; Ps. 78:18, 32-34, 56: 106 :26; Heb. 3:17).

The Holy Spirit then exhorts them and us, ”Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (v.12). That we should not be complacent or self satisfied, but conscious of our desperate need for the power and grace of God, and motivated with a single desire to glorify Him, we should with “purpose of heart” “cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 15:23). and as a church, “be edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost” Acts 9:31). .

And that although “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22), .and though we may and will be sorely tried, yet we are to take courage because, as the next verses tell us (+ me), “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry (10:13, 14).

This shows us that the when we give into temptation we are giving into idolatry, for either the flesh will be Lord or Christ will be (to us), as well as the possibility of giving into a form of more formal idolatry. And it becomes more evident as we go along, that the Corinthians were not only experiencing temptation to give into their own fleshly desires (including self deliverance), but also to give into societal pressures that would be idolatrous. This sets the stage for the next section which deals with the Lord's supper, and it's application regarding idolatry.

Paul begins this section (v. 15) with a statement which indicates that what will follow requires discernment; “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say”, and it is here that we again will deal with the unwarranted interpretation of Roman Catholicism regarding 1Cor. 10), and (briefly) it's application, versus that which finds sound substantiation in the grammar and the immediate and larger context of Scripture.

Below are the Scriptures for section we will be examining most , and as such i have provided 2 other translations , besides the tried and true King James version,(KJV) for comparison; the New American Bible (NAB), and the 18th century Douay-Rheims Bible (DRB).




16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.

22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

15 I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying.

16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

17 Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

18 Look at Israel according to the flesh; are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?

19 So what am I saying? That meat sacrificed to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything?

20 No, I mean that what they sacrifice, (they sacrifice) to demons, 8 not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons.

21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.

22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than he

10:15} I speak as to wise men: judge ye yourselves what I say.

{10:16} The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?

{10:17} For we, being many, are one bread, one body: all that partake of one bread.

{10:18} Behold Israel according to the flesh. Are not they that eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

{10:19} What then? Do I say that what is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? Or that the idol is any thing?

{10:20} But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.

{10:21} You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord and of the table of devils.

{10:22} Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

In v. 16, Paul begins by saying,

Co 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion2842 of the blood of Christ? The3588 bread which we break, is it not the communion2842 of the body of Christ 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

The first keyword here is communion, which means fellowship koino¯nia, (koy-nohn-ee'-ah), which comes from G2844; partnership, that is, (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction: - (to) communicate (-ation), communion, (contri-), distribution, fellowship. [Strongs].

And as fellowship it is translated , 12 times in the KJV: Acts 2:42, 1Cor. 1:9, 2Cor. 8:4, Eph. 3:9 (2), Phil. 1:5, 2:1, 3:10, 1Jn. 1:3, 1:6-7 and as communion, 4 times: 1Cor. 10:16 (2), 2Cor. 13:14 (2); and once each as communicate (or share): Heb. 13:16, communication: Phlm. 1:6, contribution: Rom. 15:26, and distribution: 2Cor. 9:13.

It here that many Catholics would have it read, “is it not the eating of the body of Christ?” But koino¯nia, does not mean eating, and it is never translated as that either in the KJV, DRB or the NAB, which renders it a “sharing. “

And it is a sharing, “the communion [or fellowship] of the of the body of Christ”, and the interpretation of this phrase is found in the next verse (17), For [or because] we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” Here it is plainly evident that the “body of Christ” being referred to is not the elements of the Lord's supper, but the corporate body of Christ. That is, it is a sharing or communion of the body of Christ in that the members are communally coming together to commemorate the Lord's death by the ordinance which He instituted, and by which they also declare their union with Him. See here for more on this.

And as he has been doing previously in this chapter, Paul again goes on to use O.T. examples to teach N.T. obedience.

18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers [G2844] of the altar?

The allusion to to Israel is pertinent, as it was a physical example of a N.T. spiritual reality, and the phrase “partakers of the altar” is a key one. And again the word “partaking” or fellowship is used, which is koino¯nos (G2844), which is from G2839 (shared by all), and which is likely from G4862 denoting union); and denotes “a sharer, that is, associate: - companion, X fellowship, partaker, partner” [Strongs].

But the depth of meaning in “partakers of the altar” and in what way they were, is best understood in the light of the comparison with the Gentilic sacrifices which follows.

19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship [G2844] with devils.

21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers [3348] of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.

[Again the word partaking or fellowship koino¯nos (G2844) is used in v. 20. Then a different word is used for partaking in v. 21 [3348], which is from G3326 and G2192, denoting to share or participate; and which can relate to the physical aspect of eating the sacrifices.]

Verse 19 rhetorically questions whether the idol itself is of any reality, and hearkens back to 1Cor. 8:4, while the 2nd question prepares them for 1Cor. 10:25, that they are to not superstitiously suppose that a thing that once was dedicated to idols is of any spiritual reality (and thus they may eat of it, but not as part of a pagan religious ritual).

But most notably, we see in v. 20 and 21, that the lost, pagan Gentiles, by sacrificing to devils and eating of the sacrifices as part of their worship, were having fellowship with the devil whom they sacrificed to. Likewise, Israel , in v. 18 and 21b, was having fellowship with the LORD (YHWH) as they sacrificed unto Him, and ate of the sacrifices made unto God.

What is made manifest in this is that in partaking of the Lord's supper, we are to commemorate the Lord's sacrificial death, and to do so hypocritically, such as effectively not recognizing others as members of Christ by uncaring selfishness, is to actually not commemorate the Lord's sacrificial death, and is the sin dealt with in 1Cor. 11:17-32. See here on this.

But what also is manifest, is that the partaking of the Lord's supper is not that of eating the Lord's physical body and blood. The Greek not only militates against rendering v. 16 to mean actually eating the Lord's physical body, but the context disallows it. V. 17 must be ignored, and (to be consistent) the partaking in the following verses would allow Jewish sacrifices to be the LORD's flesh, as well as that of the Gentiles to under go some sort of demonic transubstantiation. Rather than some unBiblical ingesting of the Lord's body, the Lord's supper is a spiritual communion with each other and with the Lord, by commemorating His supremely unselfish death for us, and in a way consistent with that death, as a community of people dead to self and alive to Him, to serve God and each other.

As in baptism (by immersion, which is what baptizo means), our participation in the Lord's supper declares something that is a spiritual reality. In Baptism it is our individual union with Christ in His death and resurrection, and in the Lord's supper it is the communal worship of the Lord, as as a people bought by His blood, remembering His death via the elements He used to signify it. ^

1 Corinthians 11

1Corinthians 11: 26-30 we read (after reiterating part of Luke 22:19,20), "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."

It is the latter part, "not discerning the Lord's body" is used by Roman Catholic apologists who assert that their sin was not recognizing or reverencing they were consuming the corporal flesh and blood of Jesus. " transubstantiation". However, contextually, we see that the problem at hand was that certain Corinthians were not effectually recognizing their fellow believers as members of the Lord's body, which Paul elsewhere defines as the church. (Eph. 1:23,16; 4:4,12,16;. 5:23,30; Col. 1:18,22; 2:11,17,19; 3:15) The context is that some souls were commemorating the utterly selfless sacrifice of the Lord in an entirely selfish way, that of not waiting for the members and engaging in communal, shared eating of food at the "feast of charity" (Jude 1:12), but of some coming hungry and filling their face while others were hungry. By such independence and selfishness they were not showing the Lord's unselfish death as Paul reminded them they were commanded to do, but were denying coporate love and uinty. The church as the body of Christ has "many members," composed together by God in such a way (some more healthy, wealthy and wise than others) so that all "the members should have the same care one for another" (12:24,25). The Corinthian's sin of " not discerning the Lord's body" was their manifest failure to do just that - recognize each other as part of the the body for whom Christ died, and show that love to each other. The result was severe chastisement - even unto death. Such examination of self and repentance is needed today, as a great transformation in this area is needed. See here for more exegesis on this.^


Rome seeks to deny that it fosters Maryolatry, yet it's own doctrine does, making her an Heavenly object of earthly devotion of prayer, while in the Bible only God is the heavenly object of such. It is common among Catholics to give mnore attention and praise to Mary than the Son of God, by whom she was created, and later was blessed to become His mother in His incarnation. However, to call her “Mother of God” is ontologically incorrect, while the multitude other titles Rome has allowed or given her seem more numerous than those which belong to Christ.

Holy Mary

Holy Mother of God;

Most honored of virgins;

Chosen daughter of the Father

Mother of Christ;

Glory of the Holy Spirit

Virgin daughter of Zion,

Virgin poor and humble,

Virgin gentle and obedient,

Handmaid of the Lord,

Mother of the Lord,

Helper of the Redeemed,

Full of grace,

Fountain of beauty,

Model of virtue,

Finest fruit of the redemption,

Perfect disciple of Christ,

Untarnished image of the Church,

Woman transformed,

Woman clothed with the sun,

Woman crowned with stars,

Gentile Lady,

Gracious Lady,

Our Lady,

Joy of Israel,

Splendor of the Church,

Pride of the human race,

Advocate of grace,

Minister of holiness,

Champion of God’s people,

Queen of love,

Queen of mercy,

Queen of peace,

Queen of angels,

Queen of patriarchs and prophets,

Queen of apostles and martyrs,

Queen of confessors and virgins,

Queen of all saints,

Queen conceived without original sin,

Queen assumed into heaven,

Queen of all earth,

Queen of heaven,

Queen of the universe

From the “Litany of Loreto”

Mother of the Church,

Mother of Divine grace,

Mother most pure;

Mother of chaste love;

Mother and virgin,

Sinless Mother,

Dearest of Mothers,

Model of motherhood,

Mother of good counsel;

Mother of our Creator;

Mother of our Savior;

Virgin most wise;

Virgin rightly praised;

Virgin rightly renowned;

Virgin most powerful;

Virgin gentle in mercy;

Faithful Virgin;

Mirror of justice;

Throne of wisdom;

Cause of our joy;

Shrine of the Spirit;

Glory of Israel,

Vessel of selfless devotion;

Mystical rose;

Tower of David;

Tower of ivory;

House of gold;

Ark of the covenant;

Gate of heaven;

Morning star;

Health of the sick;

Refuge of sinners;

Comfort of the troubled;

Help of Christians;

Queen of the rosary;

And Mother of God

The Mary of Rome not only provides special intercession as the Mother of the Son of God and Queen of Heaven, and is the dispenser of all grace, but is said to be immaculately conceived, and who gave birth while keeping a hymen intact, was married but had no sex ("leave" but not "cleave) and to have bodily rose to Heaven!

 Leo XIII, Jucunda Semper, 1894: "When Mary offered herself completely to God together with her Son in the temple, she was already sharing with him the painful atonement on behalf of the human race ... (at the foot of cross) she willingly offered him up to the divine justice, dying with him in her heart, pierced by the sword of sorrow."

Pius X, Ad Diem Illum, 1904: "Owing to the union of suffering and purpose existing between Christ and Mary, she merited to become most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world, and for this reason, the dispenser of ALL favors which Jesus acquired for us by his death . . .

Benedict XV, Inter Sodalicia, 1918: "To such extent did Mary suffer and almost die with her suffering and dying Son; to such extent did she surrender her maternal rights over her Son for man's salvation . . that we may rightly say she redeemed the human race together with Christ." [maternal rights? To her Creator? By such logic one might say Pilate provides the Savior of the world, since he provides the orders and cross by which Jesus died.]

Plus XI, 1935, in a prayer to close a jubilee, we find the first use of the word Coredemptrix by a pope: "O Mother of love and mercy who, when thy sweetest Son was consummating the Redemption of the human race on in the altar of the cross, didst stand next to him suffering with him as a Coredemptrix."

Plus XII, in a radio broadcast in 1946: "Mary, for having been associated with the King of Martyrs in the ineffable work of human Redemption as Mother and cooperatrix, she remains forever associated with him, WITH AN ALMOST UNLIMITED POWER, in the distribution of graces which flow from the Redemption."

More recently, at his general audience in St. Peter's Square on 4/9/97, Pope John Paul II said that Mary uniquely collaborated in the work of salvation. According to the 4/9/97 Vatican Information Service, the pope stated that "in union with Christ and yielding to Him, She collaborated to obtain the grace of salvation for all humanity." He also said: "Having created man 'male and female,' in the Redemption too, the Lord wanted to put the New Eve next to the New Adam. ... Mary, the New Eve, thus becomes the perfect icon of the Church.

With equal truth may it be also affirmed that, by the will of God, Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother....Mary is this glorious intermediary..." Pope Leo XIII, in Octobri Mense (On the Rosary), Encyclical promulgated on September 22, 1891, # 4. —

Thus is confirmed that law of merciful meditation of which We have spoken, and which St. Bernardine of Siena thus expresses: 'Every grace granted to man has three degrees in order; for by God it is communicated to Christ, from Christ it passes to the Virgin, and from the Virgin it descends to us.'"Pope Leo XIII, in Iucunda Semper Expectatione (On the Rosary), Encyclical promulgated on September 8, 1894, #5. —

'O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.'" Pope Leo XIII, in Adiutricem (On the Rosary), Encyclical promulgated on September 5, 1895, #9. —

"The foundation of all Our confidence, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For, God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through Mary." Pope Pius IX, in Ubi Primum (On the Immaculate Conception), Encyclical promulgated on February 2, 1849, #5. —

When therefore we read in the writings of Saint Bernard, Saint Bernardine, Saint Bonaventure, and others that all in heaven and on earth, even God himself, is subject to the Blessed Virgin, they mean that the authority which God was pleased to give her is so great that she seems to have the same power as God. Her prayers and requests are so powerful with him that he accepts them as commands in the sense that he never resists his dear mother's prayer because it is always humble and conformed to his will.... St. Louis de Montfort, in Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, #27, 246.

"The power thus put into her (Mary's) hands is all but unlimited. How unerringly right, then, are Christian souls when they turn to Mary for help...How rightly, too, has every nation and every liturgy without exception acclaimed her great renown, which has grown greater with the voice of each succeeding century. Among her many other titles we find her hailed as 'our Lady, our Mediatrix,' (St. Bernard, Serm.II in Adv. 4) 'the Reparatrix of the whole world,' (St. Tharasius, Orat. in Praesentatione) 'the Dispenser of all heavenly gifts.' (On Off. Graec., 8 Dec.)." Pope Leo XIII, in Adiutricem (On the Rosary), Encyclical promulgated on September 5, 1895, #8. —

"Pope Pius XII explains in an address on the Queenship of Mary, 'when the glorious Virgin Mary entered triumphantly into heaven and was elevated above the choirs of angels to the throne of the Most Holy Trinity.' And then Christ 'placed a triple crown of glory on her head, presented her to the heavenly court, seated her at his right hand and pronounced her Queen of the Universe.'...Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, Formation Letter, "Mary - 'Regina Angelorum'", April, 2000. —

"In conclusion: we may say that, in virtue of the divine salvific counsels ordaining a most perfect redemption, our Lady as Coredemptrix is included with Christ, the One Mediator." Rev. Fr. Peter Damian M. Fehlner, F.F.I., professor of Catholic Theology, in Immaculata Mediatrix -- Toward a Dogmatic Definition of the Coredemption. —

(Jer 44:17) "But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her.."

It is indeed grievous what a autocratic authority can do in extrapolating out of Scripture a Queen of Heaven and while the Bible rightly honors her it does not present her as a demi-godess, nor any created being now in Heaven as an object of prayer. To Christ the Holy Spirit directs us in this regard, as the only One who "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16).

What need have we of other Heavenly intercessors? The Bible offers NONE, and to pray to another is an insult to Christ.

(Heb 7:25) "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

Nowhere in any of the multitudes of prayers in the Bible does any believer in its God pray to anyone in Heaven but the God of Heaven.

On the promulgated perpetual virginity of Mary:

The idea of two becoming married and yet never actually consummating this physically even once is without any precedence in Scripture, and is contrary to God's own description of marriage, which the Lord Jesus affirmed:

(Gen 2:24; cf. mt. 19:5) "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." God did not have simply hugs in mind. In 1Cor. 7:2 God commands regular conjugal relations, except for a short time of fasting and prayer.

Nor is there any Scriptural evidence that Mary remained a virgin, rather the evidence all points to Mary having normal relations, as God commands and a Torah observant Jews would, and which fulfilled prophecy:

(Psa 69:8) "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children."

"[Joseph] knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS" Mat 1:25), the only warranted understanding is that of the most natural conveyance of the text, as well as others which refer to Jesus brethren and sisters (Mt. 12; 37; 13:55), and which conform to the prophecy of Ps. 69:8

Why then does Rome insist it's Queen be a perpetual virgin? It is not because the Bible warrants it, but it is more appealing to paganism. Autocracies may engages in teaching for doctrines the commands of men, but we all must answer to the only true holy and Almighty autocrat.

See here on attempts to support the Mariology of Rome by Scripture. ^


The Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory teaches that “sins bring punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated [atoned, be compensated] either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death, or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or 'purifying' punishments.” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina; cp. 1. 1967)

This is a tradition of men, yet which even Orthodox Catholicism overall rejects, and is not taught by Scripture, but which Roman Catholic apologists compel to support by use of ambiguous texts or which refer to lost souls. Or in the case of 1 Cor. 3, the suffering of loss of rewards (and the Lord's grievous disapproval) due to the nature of the material by which they built the church. But which a soul is saved in spite of, not because of. And which is the only postmortem suffering manifestly taught for believers, and yet which does not occur until the Lord's return. See more here in special section on 1 Cor. 3.

The Roman doctrine of Purgatory is part of Rome's soteriology, in which salvation typically begins with a morally incognizant infant, who cannot fulfill the stated requirements for baptism — that of repentance and wholehearted faith (Acts 2:38; 8:36,37) — are formally justified due to interior holiness through sprinkling of water in recognition of proxy faith.

In contrast, Scripture teaches that one is justified in conversion by faith/confidence in Christ and His death and resurrection, to save them on His expense and righteousness, not their own, and which faith is counted for righteousness. (Rm, 4:1-6ff)

This faith is one which is confessed, in word and deed, baptism being a confession that Jesus is Lord, as per Rm. 10:9,10, but in “body language.” Yet it is the faith which baptism requires and expresses that appropriates justification of heart.

Saving faith must be the kind that will effect the “obedience of Christ,” having “things which accompany salvation” (Heb. 6:9), including practical holiness and which Reformers taught, and includes repentance when one is convicted of not waling in obedience.

And which faith is rewarded (Heb. 10:35) in recognition of the works faith effects and by which faith is judged as being salvific. (Mt. 25:31-40; Rv. 3:4). This rewarding is due to God's faithfulness to His promises made under His covenant of grace, even though what the rewarded actually earned and deserve in pure justice is eternal torment in the Lake of Fire, while in contrast, eternal life is a gift merited for us by Christ (Rm. 6:23).

And as works done through the Holy Spirit are faith in action, then it is can be said that a man is justified by works, as James does, in arguing against inert intellectual faith. However, it is the faith that effects such works that actually appropriates justification of heart,

Going back to Rome's soteriology, as baptism makes one fit for entering Heaven, thus in ancient times many, such as the semi-pagan emperor Constantine, were not baptized till on their death bed.

However, since in Roman Catholicism one is held to be formally justified on the basis of interior holiness, then the problem remains that after baptism a souls sins and is not holy enough to be with God. This is where purgatory comes in, in which a soul, having begun his salvific journey by becoming good enough inside to enter Heaven, but who afterward is found imperfect, is made good enough to enter Heaven through an indeterminate time suffering in purgatory and atoning for sins.

 "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1030).

 "The truth has been divinely revealed that sins are followed by punishments. God's holiness and justice inflict them. Sins must be expiated. This may be done on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." (The Second Vatican Council, p. 63).

In contrast, in Scripture those who truly repent and believe on the Lord Jesus of salvation, abasing themselves  as unworthy sinners who are utterly destitute of any means of either escaping Hell fire or of meriting Heaven, but cast all their faith upon the Lord Jesus and His atoning blood to save them, and who die in the faith, are washed, sanctified, and “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1Cor. 6:11), and go immediately into the presence of the Lord at death, or when the rapture occurs:

(Luke 23:43)  "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

(2 Cor 5:8)  "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

(Philippians 1:23)For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:”

(1 Th 4:17)  "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

Moreover, while God does chastise believers as needed for sins, and works to perfect saints, this whole work is not done by postmortem suffering, or even just by suffering, but by facing the afflictions and temptation of this life. Thus the Lord Himself came down from Heaven to take on the nature of the seed of Abraham, and be made “perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10), that of being “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15)For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).

One either dies with saving faith, a faith which characteristically follows Christ by faith and reliance upon Him in the light of Scriptural truth, and repents when convicted of not doing so, or he does not. Based upon such characteristics, the Holy Spirit provides assurance that one presently has eternal life, (1Jn, 5:13) but does not provide assurance if we are straddling the fence or walking contrary to Scripture. And warns believers of departing from the living God in unbelief (Heb. 3:12), making Christ of no effect (Gal. 5:1-4), and of drawing back into perdition (Heb. 10:38) by walking away from the faith which appropriates justification. Thus God works to chasten believers unto repentance, lest they be condemned with the rest of the world. (1Cor. 11:32)

But one is not justified and able to enter Heaven by becoming good (else Abraham would have become born again when he was declared righteous), but by faith, a faith that is counted for righteousness, and places one positionally in Heaven, (Eph. 2:6; Phil. 3:21) and which works to makes one good in the practical sense.

In the case of the penitent criminal in Lk. 24, surely we are not to suppose that a few hours on the cross was what purified this man enough that he could go directly with God? Rather, his cry for salvation, out of a broken heart and a poor and contrite spirit (Ps. 34:18) brought him salvation, and the imputed righteousness of Christ (Rm. 4 ― 5:1). And if 1 Cor. 5:8 only refers to Paul and “canonized saints,” then surely he would have made a distinction between himself and other, less sanctified saints [all believers in the New Testament are “called saints,” Rm. 1:7; 1Cor. 1:2]. But he tells the Corinthians, who needed the most work, that if the rapture occurred then they would go to be the Lord as well (1Cor. 15; cf. 1Thes. 4:17).


As error begets error, the doctrine of purgatory results in another doctrine, that of indulgences:

"An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishment due for their sins." The Church does this not just to aid Christians, "but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity" (CCC 1478).

One can receive only one plenary indulgence per day, and must renounce all sins, go to confession and communion within fifteen days before or after obtaining the indulgence, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

The idea is that even believers must suffer temporal punishment for their unconfessed sins, here or in the here after, and that indulgences will shorten that time. The way indulgence work is that the RCC supposes it has a treasury of merits stored up which it's adherents can withdraw by performing (usually perfunctorily) a prescribed practice, such as ,

Assisting with devotion at the procession of the holy Rosary (7 years and 7 quarantines of indulgence); Or "with faith, piety and love"  saying "My lord and my God" at the elevation of the host during Mass (7 years); Kissing the Pope's (300-day indulgence, but a bishop's gets only 50); Ascending the holy stairs in Rome on one's knees, "whilst meditating on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ" (9 years per step). Pope Paul IV even said one could even get an indulgence by watching a RC Mass on TV.,9171,834734,00.html

This institutionalization of salvation is a result of a church exalting itself above Scripture and not requiring Scriptural substantiation to be the basis for its doctrines, but her own self-proclaimed assured veracity, and thereby making unScriptural oral traditions equal with Scripture.

In summation in contrast to purgatory:

1. We are forgiven of all sins when we become born again (Col. 2:13), and that for those who die in the faith there is no further punishment, except the loss of rewards.  The only postmortem suffering for saints is that they will suffer loss of rewards by their works being burned up, such as which were not done in dependence upon God or not in accordance with His word or led by His Spirit (1Cor. 3:8-15). But it is his works which are burnt by the fire, not the person being purified. And a soul is saved in spite of this loss, not because of it. And yet which does not occur until the Lord's return.

2. All the verses which clearly speak of a N.T. believer's postmortem condition (Luke 23:43; Acts 7:59; 1Cor. 15:52; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 1 Th 4:17; 1Jn. 3:2) show it is with the Lord, in whose presence there is fulness of joy (Ps. 16:11).

3. The Bible states that it is the chastening of the Lord in this life that works to make us holy (Heb. 12), and keep or bring us back to saving faith, that we be not "condemned with the world" (1Cor. 11:34), and thus judgment begins at the house of God (1Pt. 4:17).  And in such texts that deal with the issue of chastening, nothing is even intimated of a postmortem period of such for New Testament believers, though different degrees of  authority and glory (Mt. 13:43; 16:27; 19:28; Mk. 10:40; 1Cor. 15:41; Rv. 5:4; 20:4) seems evident, in accordance with every man being rewarded according to his own labor in the Lord (1Cor. 3:8).

 4. It is the flesh in which no good thing dwells (Rm. 7:18) and which cannot be made subject to the law of God (Rm. 8:7) that is the problem, but which is not going to be purified, but is to be crucified (Rm. 6). And it is those that long to be freed from this "bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God," that "hunger and thirst after righteousness," rather than to seeking to fufil their lusts, that constitute true believers.  And having resisted the world, the flesh and the devil, overcoming enough so that they died in the faith (as the Lord searches the hearts and the reins in this life: Rv. 2:23),  then once they are freed from their fleshly corruption, then even if they could sin (as did Lucifier) in the next life, they would not.

What this also means is that those who suppose they are believers, but who have not had a "day of salvation" when they know they were forgiven, and that the Holy Spirit made them alive upon personal repentance directly to God and faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21) and His blood (not confidence in their work or the power of a church), and who have no overall earnest desire to serve God in accordance with His word and by His Spirit, and to be holy in heart and deed, and to see others do so, and or who practice willful sin, have no part  in the Lord Jesus but "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8). In contrast, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Rev 20:6). ^


More complete treatment here.

New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Canon, states,

"St. Jerome distinguished between canonical books and ecclesiastical books. The latter he judged were circulated by the Church as good spiritual reading but were not recognized as authoritative Scripture. The situation remained unclear in the ensuing centuries...For example, John of Damascus, Gregory the Great, Walafrid, Nicolas of Lyra and Tostado continued to doubt the canonicity of the deuterocanonical books. According to Catholic doctrine, the proximate criterion of the biblical canon is the infallible decision of the Church. This decision was not given until rather late in the history of the Church at the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent definitively settled the matter of the Old Testament Canon. That this had not been done previously is apparent from the uncertainty that persisted up to the time of Trent."

Jerome states,

"As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Eccesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church...I say this to show you how hard it is to master the book of Daniel, which in Hebrew contains neither the history of Susanna, nor the hymn of the three youths, nor the fables of Bel and the Dragon..."(Ibid., Volume VI, Jerome, Prefaces to Jerome's Works, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs; Daniel, pp. 492-493).

Cardinal Cajetan (an opponent of Luther) write this in 1532:

"Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the Bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith.

Though Jerome was later persuaded to include them, his prior exclusions show that such books were not part of the Jewish Scriptures, and that the canon was far from settled by Rome till Trent.

The best evidence therefore shows that the apocryphal book were not part of the Jewish canon, the Scriptures, as often invoked by Jesus and the disciples, with ancient authorities such as Philo, Josephus, Origin, Tertullian, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nazianzus, Hilary of Poitiers, Epiphanius, Basil the Great, Jerome, Rufinus failing to validate them. In addition, a most ancient list of Old Testament books, that of Melito of Sardis (cf. A.D. 170) includes none of the apocryphal books (cf. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 4.26.14)., with the possible exception of the Book of Wisdom, which inclusion is disputed.




Interpretive foundation

In dealing with any Biblical subject, the interpretive foundation of opposing positions must be considered. One on side are those who hold to “Sola Scriptura” (see here for more on this), that only the Scriptures are the ultimate doctrinal authority on earth, these being the only tangible source for which we have assurance of 100% Divine inspiration. (2Tim. 3:16) They therefore are bound to evidence from that source that a doctrine is warranted. Sola Scriptura is often misconstrued (i think often for polemical purposes) as teaching that the Scriptures contain all that revelation that can be known, and is the only source one can consider in seeking or substantiating truth (“Solo Scriptura”), but this doctrine does not exclude that there can be revelation which is not written in the Scriptures,(Jn. 21:25) or that the Bible explicitly contains all there is to know from God. (Rv. 10:4) Evangelicals themselves often invite believers to “hear” God speaking to their hearts — especially at the time of the offering. But this, as well as other supernatural and historical evidences which may favor a teaching, cannot be contrary to what the Bible best evidences, nor can a doctrine be held as authoritative if it fails to have sufficient Scriptural warrant.

On the other side are those who hold to what is essentially “Sola Ecclesia,” that the church is ultimately the highest authority, as it is the sole ultimate authority in spiritual matters. While the Scriptures affirm that the church does have authority, in Roman Catholicism this position does not simply mean that the born again church has authority to teach, and to bind and loose, but that Rome is uniquely infallible in so officially doing, and so no interpretation can be correct if it differs with an infallible teaching of Rome. This doctrine of infallibility (which is not restricted to the Pope) is itself (primarily) based upon her infallible interpretation of Mt. 16. And by which she defines what constitutes infallible teaching, though there is no infallible list of all infallibly defined teachings. Thus Rome defines herself as infallible, and then infallibly defines what constitutes an infallible teaching, and by which she disallows herself from ever being wrong in such teaching. And as it is held by Roman Catholic apologists that one cannot know of a surety that a spiritual truth is correct apart from the teaching of Rome, an apriori assent that Rome is infallible would be required to know for sure that Rome is infallible. Appealing to the Scriptures as the highest authority previous to that would be condescending to Sola Scriptura in order to convert one to Sola Ecclesia.

Sola Scriptura rests upon the evidence that the Scriptures themselves testify that is the ultimate arbiter of revelation under God as to what is truth. While the Word of God encompasses more than what is written in Scripture, the latter is the only tangible class of revelation which is afforded explicit assurance of complete Divine inspiration, (2Tim. 3:16) and by which any additional revelation which also claims to be from God must be tested. (Is. 8:40; Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:11) Moreover, while holy men of old, moved by the Holy Ghost, added to what had been previously established as Scripture, (Jer. 45:1) the canon being evidentially closed, no one can add to it nor subtract from it. Therefore to hold another “stream” of revelation as equal in authority to Scripture, is to essentially add to the canon, and effectively negates a prime ability of the canon, that of separating “wheat” from “chaff,” and opens the door to a nebulous cloud of non-codified “church traditions.

Additionally, those who decree such traditions as equal also presume authority over both. Hence the term “sola ecclesia.” If the canon were not closed then such traditions might still be considered as candidates for the class of Scripture, if warranted by it. However, besides the evidences against them in that regard, here the problem is not only a closed canon, but Rome's presumption of declaring herself assuredly infallible, according to their infallibly-defined criteria, by which Rome affirms her doctrine of infallibility. Yet it is evident that even those who did inherit Moses position (Mt. 23:2) did not possess such assuredly infallibility. (Mk. 7:113; Rm. 10:3)

Papal infallibility also faces the problem that history manifests that some of Rome's popes were notably unholy men, including sexually active fornicators and murders. Rome's response is to invoke the Old Testament institution of physical decedents of Levi, by which a high priest could, by reason of his office, utter infallible Divine truth, even if such were wicked men such as Caiphas was. (Jn. 11:47-52) But under the New Testament we are not “to think of men above that which is written” (1 Cor. 4:6), and not only is the priesthood changed, but so is its means of attaining pastoral leadership, which qualifications disallows any idea that a man such as Caiphas or otherwise unregenerate or immoral man could be allowed or remain in a pastoral office. (1Cor. 5:11; 1 Tim. 3:1-7). None of the popes which even Rome is now ashamed of would remain in office in the Biblical church, yet Rome states, "It is error to believe that, if the Pope were a reprobate and an evil man and consequently a member of the devil, he has no power over the faithful."(Council of Constance; Constance: Condemnation of Errors, against Wycliffe: Session VIII, and Hus: Session XV; DNZ:621, 617, 588) “It is error to believe that, if the Pope were wicked and reprobate, then he is of the devil and is not head of the Church Militant since he would not be a member of it.” (Pope Martin V; . Martin V: "Inter Cunctas et in Eminentis," DNZ:646)Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom.” (St. Catherine of Siena, SCS p.201-202, cf. also p.222) Additionally problematic is the issue of an unbroken line of popes.

Yet this Et cathedra declaration states, “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII)

In addition, the New Testament church does not have a separate class of sacerdotal priests to offer up expiational sacrifices, but all believers are priests,(1Pt. 2:9) with Bishops/Elders, (same office: Titus 1:5-7) being ordained to oversee them.

As regards the canon, the reality is that official ecclesiastical decrees are not what makes a writing scripture, nor what ensure acceptance or establishes a selection of book (canon) as infallible. Rather, like men of God such as Moses and the apostles themselves, they are established by power, as befits the kingdom of God, (1Cor. 4:20) by their unique accompanying and enduring qualities and Divine attestation.

The Jews were given stewardship of Scripture, (Rm. 3:2; 9:4) and while they were not given an explicit command to collate all that was Scripture, yet by the time of Jesus they seemed to have had only a small degree of disagreement as to what it consisted of, as it is obvious that in New Testament times they had to have understood what it (largely, at least) consisted of. (Mt. 8:4; 19:7,8; 22:24; Mk. 1:44; 7:10; 9:4,5; 10:3,4; 12:10,19,26; 15:28; Lk. 4:21; 24:27,44; Jn. 2:22; 3:14; 7:19,22,,23;38,42; 10:35; 13:18; 17:12; 19:24,28,36,37; 20:9; Acts 1:6; 8:32; Rm. 4:3; 9:17; 10:11; 11:2; Gal. 3:8,22; 4:30; 1Tim. 5:18; 2Tim. 3:16; Ja. 2:8,23; 4:5; 1Pt. 2:6; 2Pt. 1:20, etc.) More here.

We see in Scripture that its writings came to be established as Scripture as the result of God directly revealing Himself and or His truth to chosen men of God, who then originally penned under the inspiration of God of what was revealed to them. (Ex. 17:14; 34:27; Dt. 17:18; 27:38; 31:19,24; 1Sam. 10:25; 2Chr. 26:22; 2Kg. 22:10,11; Is. 30:7,8; Jer. 30:2; 36:17,28; 51:60; Ezek. 43:11; Hab. 2:2; Jn. 20:31; 2Pet. 1:19-21; 3:15,16; Rv. 1:11; etc.) And which writings were affirmed to be Scripture by supernatural Divine attestation, (Ps. 78:4,5; Heb. 2:3,4) and by its consistency with previously established revelation, Acts 17:2; 2Pet. 3:16) and by men who themselves had such attestation, and by its accompanying and enduring power, (Ps. 19:7-11; 119; Heb. 4:12) especially among those that received it with the heart it requires, (Is. 66:2) And secondarily, by declarations of formal councils which largely affirmed what had become evident. But while ecclesiastical attempts were made (after the death of the last original apostle and his last work) to formally state all of what Scripture consisted of — and it was not until 1546 that the Roman Catholic church finally “infallibly” defined its canon — yet it is essentially due to the unique and enduring supernatural qualities of the 66 books of Scripture that they became established as wholly inspired by God, while the apocryphal books have largely remained in obscurity.

Presuming that we must examine the Scriptures for the warrant of interpretations also requires that we discern Biblical and self-evident rules necessary for proper exegesis. These include examination of the immediate and larger context of the passage at issue, as well as pertinent grammatical aspects, and its congruity with the area of substantiated theology to which it pertains. ^