Skip to comments.Interpretation of John 6:25-69
Posted on 07/09/2014 2:46:02 PM PDT by ealgeone
Following the details of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes--biographical, Jesus walking on the sea--biographical, Jesus reacts to the crowds' need for signs. Jesus takes them from manna, bread from heaven, to "true bread from heaven (v. 32)" ... "I am the bread (v. 35)." "I am the bread that came down from heaven (v. 41)." This is God saying this: "I am the bread that came down from heaven." If He was not really the bread that came down from heaven, His omnipotent and creative Word would then have made it so.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicapologetics.org ...
Jn 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.
Jn 6:53 Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you." Jn 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
Jn 6:55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Jn 6:56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
The best way a person can make a clear literal point is repetition of the same message in different ways. Jesus did this. Those around him clearly understood what he was saying--cannibalism and the drinking of blood--both forbidden by Mosaic Law.
Jn 6:60,66 Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" ... As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.
They said therefore unto Him, What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? For He had said to them, Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto eternal life. What shall we do? they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent. This is then to eat the meat, not that which perisheth, but that which endureth unto eternal life. To what purpose dost thou make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already." (Augustine, Tractate 25)
I actually greatly recommend the study of Augustine's tractates on the Gospel of John, which you can get at either newadvent.org or other places online.
They have left out verses 61,62,63,64,and 65
60Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?
61But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, Does this cause you to stumble?
62What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?
63It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
64But there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
65And He was saying, For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.
66As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
67So Jesus said to the twelve, You do not want to go away also, do you?
68Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.
69We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
70Jesus answered them, Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?
71Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
The authors suggest many of the disciples left Him after verse 60. Yet, when read in context Jesus goes on to say some would not believe. It was after verse 65 when He said on one can come to Him unless it has been given granted him from the Father.
This is when many of the disciples withdrew from Him....not because He was talking about flesh and blood.
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." Jn 15:5
Jesus is using figurative language to describe His attributes. As an example.
I am the bread of life (Jn 6:48). Bread sustains us and gives us life. Hence, Jesus sustains us and gives us life.
“As a result of this” refers only to verse 65? Doubt it; context is your friend. It refers to the whole episode.
The sacrament of this thing, namely, of the unity of the body and blood of Christ, is prepared on the Lord's table in some places daily, in some places at certain intervals of days, and from the Lord's table it is taken, by some to life, by some to destruction: but the thing itself, of which it is the sacrament, is for every man to life, for no man to destruction, whosoever shall have been a partaker thereof.
18. In a word, He now explains how that which He speaks of comes to pass, and what it is to eat His body and to drink His blood. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. This it is, therefore, for a man to eat that meat and to drink that drink, to dwell in Christ, and to have Christ dwelling in him. Consequently, he that dwells not in Christ, and in whom Christ dwells not, doubtless neither eats His flesh [spiritually] nor drinks His blood [although he may press the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ carnally and visibly with his teeth], but rather does he eat and drink the sacrament of so great a thing to his own judgment, because he, being unclean, has presumed to come to the sacraments of Christ, which no man takes worthily except he that is pure: of such it is said, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Augustine clearly thinks that John 6 is a prophecy of the Holy Eucharist.
Was this literal, physical food? No, it was figurative. The metaphor continues thru Chapter Six.
If John 6 foreshadows the Lord's Table ... it is completely unreasonable that John would not mention it in John 13-17 during the Passover meal.
Jesus said "Do this in remembrance of Me" ... not ... "Do this as it is the means whereby I impart to you sanctifying grace ..."
The interpretation of John 6 by the RCC adheres not to sound exegetical principles (grammar, context, etc.) but rather is governed by sacred tradition.
Which assumes that biblical exegesis is the sole source of faith, authority or Divine Revelation. Which is clearly seen as a fallacy in light of the varying exegetical methods employed to arrive at the policy preferences of the post-modern protestant.
That is possible and would be a better understanding of the text than what the authors were trying to imply by selectively leaving out certain verses to prove their point.
But if we look at the flow of the text we see in verse 60 many of the disciples were saying "this is a difficult statement." What was "this" statement?
It was the prior conversation regarding the bread of life and the bread coming down from Heaven.
As we move on in the text we see a shift in the topic in verse 64 where Jesus says "there some who do not believe." He continues in v65 by saying that no one can come to Him unless it was granted by the Father. This was a direct accusation, albeit a true one, of Christ to some of the disciples.
I will amend my earlier statement as follows. The demonstrative pronoun "this" in v66 refers back to v64-65. The conjunction and links these two verses together. Why were many of the disciples not following Him any longer? It was what He said in v64-65.
Sometimes the fingers type to fast!
I can't even accuse you of cherrypicking, because even your text does not say anything that contradicts Augustine's statement that Christ is eaten by faith, without the use of teeth and stomach at all (an impossibility, if transubstantiation is true).
"...he that dwells not in Christ, and in whom Christ dwells not, doubtless neither eats His flesh [spiritually]nor drinks His blood [although he may press the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ carnally and visibly with his teeth],"
Augustine clearly differentiates between the visible eating of the Eucharist and the invisible one, received through faith. No such distinction is possible in Roman Catholicism, since they hold to transubstantiation.
More from tractate 26, reiterating the same thing from tractate 25:
"Wherefore, the Lord, about to give the Holy Spirit, said that Himself was the bread that came down from heaven, exhorting us to believe in Him. For to believe in Him is to eat the living bread. He that believes eats; he is sated invisibly, because invisibly is he born again. A babe within, a new man within. Where he is made new, there he is satisfied with food."(Augustine, Tractate 26)
What is received from the sacrament is not eternal life, as the sacrament is only the visible celebration of what has occured already through faith. It's aims are different, as Augustine explains:
>Which assumes that biblical exegesis is the sole source of faith, authority or Divine Revelation. Which is clearly seen as a fallacy in light of the varying exegetical methods employed to arrive at the policy preferences of the post-modern protestant.>
From the website: The Catholic Church teaches that the first principle of hermeneutics is the literal meaning of the text. The first sense then for understanding the Bible is the literal sense.
Definition: the literal sense of Scripture is the meaning which the human author directly intended and the author's words convey.
Unless, of course they define literal sense to mean something other than the way I would understand literal sense.
When you cut and past text to prove a point that is very poor Biblical exegesis and becomes eisogesis which the RCC is very adapt at doing.
Once you get away from the Bible as the source of authority you enter into man-made doctrines as evidenced by the concept of the bread and wine actually turning into flesh and blood.
This no more happens than Jesus is really a physical vine and we are a physical branch.
When the Eucharist is offered, it is ourselves who we receive. (Are we transubstantiated into the bread?) A spiritual lesson is to be received from it, which is the purpose of the sacrament.
How can bread be his body? And the cup, or what the cup contains, how can it be his blood? The reason these things, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments is that in them one thing is seen, another is to be understood. What can be seen has a bodily appearance, what is to be understood provides spiritual fruit. So if its you that are the body of Christ and its members, its the mystery meaning you that has been placed on the Lords table; what you receive is the mystery that means you. (Augustine, Sermon 272)
Same theme, different sermon:
I havent forgotten my promise. I had promised those of you who have just been baptized a sermon to explain the sacrament of the Lords table, which you can see right now, and which you shared in last night. You ought to know what you have received, what you are about to receive, what you ought to receive every day. That bread which you can see on the altar, sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That cup, or rather what the cup contains, sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ. It was by means of these things that the Lord Christ wished to present us with his body and blood, which he shed for our sake for the forgiveness of sins. If you receive them well, you are yourselves what you receive. You see, the apostle says, We, being many, are one loaf, one body (1 Cor 10:17). Thats how he explained the sacrament of the Lords table; one loaf, one body, is what we all are, many though we be. (Augustine, Sermon 227)
He goes on to deny that Christ and the church are literally eaten, but pleads for the reader to understand spiritually these things:
What you can see passes away, but the invisible reality signified does not pass away, but remains. Look, its received, its eaten, its consumed. Is the body of Christ consumed, is the Church of Christ consumed, are the members of Christ consumed? Perish the thought! Here they are being purified, there they will be crowned with the victors laurels. So what is signified will remain eternally, although the thing that signifies it seems to pass away. So receive the sacrament in such a way that you think about yourselves, that you retain unity in your hearts, that you always fix your hearts up above. Dont let your hope be placed on earth, but in heaven. Let your faith be firm in God, let it be acceptable to God. Because what you dont see now, but believe, you are going to see there, where you will have joy without end. (Augustine, Ser. 227)
Augustine also denies that any of us have ever held Christ by the hand, although this cannot be so if one receives the literal flesh and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper. Again, and always, the emphasis is spiritual, not carnal:
Let them come to the church and hear where Christ is, and take Him. They may hear it from us, they may hear it from the gospel. He was slain by their forefathers, He was buried, He rose again, He was recognized by the disciples, He ascended before their eyes into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of the Father; and He who was judged is yet to come as Judge of all: let them hear, and hold fast. Do they reply, How shall I take hold of the absent? how shall I stretch up my hand into heaven, and take hold of one who is sitting there? Stretch up thy faith, and thou hast got hold. Thy forefathers held by the flesh, hold thou with the heart; for the absent Christ is also present. But for His presence, we ourselves were unable to hold Him. (Augustine, Tractate 50)
Jesus was the manna that fed Israel for 38 years in the desert, falling in the morning after the dew, that faith action of believing God and relying on him daily for their lives, just as he was the Rock that provided them water,
Just as he can provide dreams or visions or insights in the morning when we wake up, this is the hidden manna spoken of in Revelation,
He was being thronged by the growing crowds of who many were there only because of his physical miracles, because of the food and the power he displayed, not hearing his message of life, of his life and his mission and his destiny (before) but still knowing they would reject him in the flesh, they required the spirit to bring them in, and yet the flesh is all they could see,
Jesus said these things so that only those seeing in the spirit would still be left standing when he was done speaking,
“will you leave also?” and they said, we have nowhere else to go,
Even they had difficultly understanding in the flesh, but their spirits were willing and in the spirit they did see and they remained standing, he chose his apostles well,
The Church: A Biblical Portrait - A New Testament Apologetic
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Church: A Biblical Portrait - A New Testament Apologetic: Jesus Christ preached a Reign or Kingdom, the Kingdom of God (or of heaven).
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Jesus preached an end-times kingdom but one already existing on earth
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Jesus preached that the kingdom was primarily spiritual and internal but also visible and external.
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Christ called and founded an exclusive, inner core group of twelve men called the "apostles."
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Christ committed His very mission to this twelve man inner core group, his Apostles, alone.
Christ gave to the Twelve, the Apostles, the power of ruling, teaching and sanctifying.
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: This same church Christ willed to endure until the end of the world.
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Christ instituted only one church, and that society was both formally and specifically a visible one.
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Marks of the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Labels Among Christians
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Genealogy of Christian Faith Communities, Roman Catholicism
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: American Christian Branches Among European Founded Churches
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Modes of Transmitting Authoritative Doctrine
Divine Revelation "By Letter" (2 Thes 2:15) The Bible
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Divine Revelation "By Letter" (2 Thess 2:15): The Bible
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Divine Revelation
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Bible: Written Revelation
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Hebrew Scriptures: Books of the Old Testament
Historical and Geographical Background for the Development of the Two Old Testament Canons
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Background Chart: Development of the Old Testament Canons
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Chronology of the Apostolic Age and the Development of the New Testament Canon
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Comparison of Terms for Disputed Books
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Inspiration of the Bible
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Hermeneutics: Understanding Revelation
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Hermeneutics: Understanding Revelation: Literal Sense
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Hermeneutics: Literary Form and History of John 6:25-69
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Hermeneutics: Interpretation of John 6:25-69
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Hermeneutics: Fuller Sense (of Scripture)
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Hermeneutics: Typical Sense (of Scripture)
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Major Church Pronouncements on the Bible
Divine Revelation "By Word of Mouth" (2 Thess 2:15): Handing On
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Divine Revelation "By Word of Mouth" (2 Thess 2:15): Handing On
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Paradosis: Handing On Divine Revelation (Orally)
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Biblical Model for Handing On Truth and Refuting Error: Acts 15, The Council of Jerusalem
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Acts 15 Model: General or Ecumenical Councils of the Church Universal
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: General Councils of the Church, 49-870
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: General Councils of the Church, 1123-1545
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: General Councils of the Church, 1870-1962
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Apostolic Fathers of the Church
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Post-Apostolic Fathers of the Church
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Doctors of the Church
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Handing On Divine Revelation: Vatican Council II
Truth Handling and Teaching Authority
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Truth Handling and Teaching Authority
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Peter: A Biblical Portrait
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Matthew Chapter 16, Verse 18: The Primacy of Peter
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Charism of Truth Handling: Infallibility
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishop of Rome
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, First and Second Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Third and Fourth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Third and Fourth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Seventh and Eighth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Ninth and Tenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Bishops of Rome: Popes, Nineteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Charism of Infallibility: The Magisterium, Vatican Council II, The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 25
The Sacraments: The Life of The Christian
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Sacraments: The Life of The Christian
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Sacraments: Opportunities of Grace
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Baptism: Initiation and Regeneration
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Sacraments: Opportunities of Grace: Reconciliation
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: Confirmation
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: The Eucharist: The Lord's Supper
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: Healing/Anointing of the Sick
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: Matrimony
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: [Holy] Orders
The Communion of Saints
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Communion of Saints
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Communion of Saints: A Biblical Portrait of Saint
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Communion of Saints: The Canon of Holiness
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Communion of Saints: The Role of the Saints
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Communion of Saints: The Intercession of the Saints: How Do Saints Hear Us
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Canonization of Saints: Current Canonization Process, Biblical Description of Miracles
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Images and Relics of the Saints. The Incorruptibles
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Communion of Saints: Praying to the Saints/Praying for the Dead
Mary the Mother of Jesus: Saint
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Mary the Mother of Jesus: Saint
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Mary: An Introduction
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: A Biblical Portrait of Mary
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Mary: Virgin and Ever Virgin
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Assumption of Mary
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Private Devotions to Mary: The Rosary
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Apparitions of Mary
Eschatology: The Last Things
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Eschatology: The Last Things
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Eschatology: The Last Things: Death
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Eschatology: The Last Things: Heaven
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Eschatology: The Last Things: Hell: Reprobation
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Eschatology: The Last Things: Purgatory/Limbo
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Eschatology: The Last Things: The Parousia: Christ's Second Coming
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Eschatology: The Last Things: Resurrection of the Dead
The example I've given in this thread is just one of many.
They omitted several key passages to make it look like many of the disciples left Him after He was talking about the flesh and blood and bread and wine. But that is not when they left. It was after the exchange when He said some do not believe and that none come to Him unless it has been granted him from the Father.
That is when many left Him.
Keeping the context of the chapter is the key to understanding the Bible. This is exegesis.
If not, you're reading into the verse an improper meaning.
Another point on context.
The Roman Catholic Church from Apostolic times has literally followed the Bible in the establishment of good order in the Church. According to Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus there are three orders to the organization and leadership of the Church (sometimes known as ecclesiastical order or hierarchy): episcopos or bishops, presbyteros or elders, commonly translated priests, and diaconos or deacons.
The title of priest is never translated that way in the greek. Bishops, overseers and deacons are usually the way the word is translated.
There is no Biblical support for the current leadership structure of the RCC as it exists today with the pope, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, etc.
Naw...When Augustine let that 'spiritually' slip out of the bag, he confirmed that eating and drinking the flesh and blood was a spiritual operation, not a literal, physical one...
You'll notice Augustine does not say, press the body and blood of Jesus with his teeth, he say pressing the 'sacrament' of the body and blood...Augustine knew no one was eating Jesus...
*8taking a verse or verses out of context to prove their point. **
Non Catholics do that all the time.
What’s so terrible about their apologetics then?
It is for the bible believing, bible 'alone' Christians
Your religion can have all the faith in itself it wants...Your religion can create its own authority which it did...And, your religion can claim divine revelation all it wants even tho there's not a lick of evidence that there ever was any divine revelation in your religion...
We know that every thing we need to know about our church and our salvation is written within the books of the scriptures...
I am just happy as could be knowing that your religion chose an unbiblical name for itself...It could have stolen the name of Holy Christian Church but more than likely God wouldn't let that happen...
Yours clearly is not the church described within the scriptures...While some Protestant denominations vary in their interpretations of the scriptures, they still try to follow the scriptures, ONLY...That puts the worse Protestant church out there well ahead of the Catholic religion...
Anyone who takes a verse out of context, be it catholic or not, is wrong.
Glad to hear you acknowledge catholics take verses out of context though.