Looks like John was quoting Jesus so your confusion should be with his words and not the one who wrote down his words.
My point, and I believe Metmom's as well, is that Jesus used many metaphors to express his teachings. He refers to himself as a door of the sheepfold and the shepherd of the sheep. He is the way, the truth and the life and one who will make others "fishers of men". He's the Son of Man and the Son of God. He asks for all to come to him and says his "yoke" is easy and his "burden" is light. He says if we want to follow him, we should "take up our crosses". He is the "capstone" that the builders rejected. He is the Great Physician and the bridegroom. He is "Lord of the Sabbath" and "Lord of the harvest", the foundation of stone, not shifting sand. He is master and servant.
So, when Jesus speaks about being the "bread of life", the "water of life" and his blood the "New Covenant", why is he suddenly speaking of literally drinking him or eating him? He obviously, to me, is speaking metaphorically and when we believe in him, receive him, trust in him, have faith in him, we are partaking of him and in return we have eternal life.
Works for me
The problem comes when people have an agenda to prove. Then they HAVE to selectively and inconsistently interpret Scripture, literally some times and figuratively others, even within the same passages, to support their agenda.
The Catholic church has real control issues. They manipulate definitions, selectively interpret Scripture, label and pigeonhole people and doctrines, and generally make connecting with God so stinking complicated, that nobody can manage it to their satisfaction.
They are sooooo much like the Pharisees of old.
The words are self-cotradictory. How do you know old "John" wasn't writing from faulty memory, 50-60 years later?
So, when Jesus speaks about being the "bread of life", the "water of life" and his blood the "New Covenant", why is he suddenly speaking of literally drinking him or eating him?
Because he says "For My flesh is true(ly) food, and My blood is true(ly) drink". [Jn. 6:55]
He obviously, to me, is speaking metaphorically and when we believe in him, receive him, trust in him, have faith in him, we are partaking of him and in return we have eternal life
Assuming that's what he said, he is not speaking metaphorically when he says "true(ly)." There is nothing metaphorical about ἀληθῶς whatsoever, bb.
True, but that fact is no license to take anything Jesus said and because for some reason you don't like it say, "gotta be metaphor". The "drinking" part in John 4 is a take off from the fact that He was given water to drink; but the life giving water is of course Baptism because He did give us that, and life-giving it is. Gate and vine metaphors are self-evidently metaphors because they come in the course of the same passage. There is no commandment to drink water and there is no commandment to do anything about gates and vines. As to body and blood, the metaphorical interpretation flies int he face of the text itself, and indeed thare its a commandment to "do this" and a discourse that it is "food indeed".
No one says that all of the gospel is literal, but all of the gospel is inerrant as written. When a metaphore is offered, the inspired author made sure no sect in 16c could come alone and credibly pretend that they obey the scripture.