- John 6:53
- "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in
- The Roman Church uses this passage to support the declaration of the Council of Trent
that "by the consecration of the bread and wine, a conversion is made of the whole
substance of the bread into the substance of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance
of the wine into the whole substance of His blood; which conversion is, by the holy
Catholic Church, suitably and properly called Transubstantiation." 1
- The R.C. interpretation of this passage involves the impossible -- to believe that the
whole substance of his body and blood can be in every particle of the
"consecrated" bread and wine on thousands of altars while his literal body is in
heaven at the same time.
- The R.C.s (as did the Jews) misunderstand the teaching of Jesus in this passage. The
question of the Jews was: "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (vs. 52).
Jesus did not reply by telling them that there would be a transubstantiation, i.e., that
the literal bread would become his literal flesh throughout the ages; or that the literal
wine (of which, however, the common people were not to partake) should similarly become
his literal blood in quantities enough for thousands of mortals. Jesus suggest the
explanation to his "hard saying" when he questioned: "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." (vs. 62, 63).
- Even if one could eat the literal flesh of Jesus and drink his
literal blood, he would be no nearer the kingdom, unless he masticated 2 and assimilated the words which Christ
spoke. Judas ate the passover but he was still a "son of perdition". (John
17:12). One can eat damnation to himself if he does not discern the Lord's body. (1 Cor.
- The words, "except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood ye have
no life in you" are metaphorical for the words which Jesus Christ spoke.
Consider the following:
- "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
- Notice the relevance of Peter's comment "to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words
of eternal life." (John 6:68).
- "Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." (John
- "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and
Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3).
- "Sanctify them through thy truth. Thy word is truth." (John 17:17).
- The position of the Roman Church on transubstantiation casts serious doubt on its claim
to authority. It was not until A.D. 1215 that transubstantiation was made an article of
faith in the Roman Church. A doctrine which might be rejected with impunity prior to that
date must now be accepted in peril of eternal damnation.
- There is further reason for denying the doctrine of transubstantiation. The bread not
eaten by R.C.s at masses becomes mouldy like any other bread, but the literal body of
Jesus was preserved from corruption at death (Acts 2:31, cf. Psa. 16:10), and is not now
corruptible. Therefore the interpretation placed upon this passage in John by R.C.s cannot
be the one intended by Jesus.
- There has not been any validated evidence that bread "consecrated" by a R.C.
priest, when eaten by R.C.s becomes anything other than what it is - natural bread
assimilated by the body. This amounts to a complete denial of the claim that the literal
bread ever becomes the literal body of the Lord.
- Session XIII, On the Eucharist, chpt. 4. Waterworth's translation. Return
- The Greek word "trogo", (John 6:57) - "So he that
eateth me, even he shall live by me," means to gnaw, chew,
devour" - Robert Young, Analytical Concordance To the Holy Bible, (London:
Lutterworth Press, 1965). Return