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Is the Eucharist Truly Jesus' Body and Blood?
Catholic Answers ^ | June 30, 2013 | Tim Staples

Posted on 11/18/2013 3:07:47 PM PST by NYer

In my 2011 debate with Dr. Peter Barnes, a Presbyterian minister and apologist in Australia, the topic was the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and it centered on Jesus’ famous words in John 6:53: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” After about three hours of debate, I could sum up Barnes’s central objection in one sentence—a sentence which just happens to be found in the New Testament:

How can this man give us his flesh to eat? (John 6:53)

Dr. Barnes could not, and would not, deny the Lord said what he said in Scripture. His only recourse (as is the case with all who deny the real presence), ultimately, was to claim Jesus was speaking “metaphorically.” And after all, he had to be… right? I mean, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” In other words, his ultimate objection to the Catholic and biblical position is not so much rooted in the text as it is in a fundamental incredulity when it comes to the words of the text.

I argued in that debate, and I will again in this post, that if we examine the text carefully, not only is there nothing in it that indicates Jesus was speaking metaphorically, but the text itself actually points in the opposite direction.

Just the Facts

First, everyone listening to Jesus’ actual discourse 2,000 years ago believed him to have meant what he said. That is significant. This is in stark contrast to other places in the gospel where Jesus did, in fact, speak metaphorically. For example, when Jesus spoke of himself as a “door” in John 10, or a “vine” in John 15, we find no one to have asked, “How can this man be a door made out of wood?” Or, “How can this man claim to be a plant?”

Compare these to John 6. Jesus plainly says, in verse 51, “I am the bread come down from heaven and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (vs. 51). The Jews immediately respond, as I said above, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” They certainly understood him to mean what he said.

Moreover, when people misunderstand Jesus, he normally clears up the misunderstanding as we see in John 4:31-34 when the disciples urge our Lord to eat and our Lord responds, “I have food to eat which you do not know.” The disciples ask each other if anyone had brought any food because they thought our Lord was saying he had to bring his own food because they had forgotten to do so. They misunderstand him. But our Lord immediately clears things up saying, in verse 34, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.”

A Real Barnes Burner

In our debate, Dr. Barnes had a very interesting rejoinder to this point. He claimed, in essence, that in at least some cases when his listeners misunderstood our Lord, he purposely made no attempt to clear up the misunderstandings. And Dr. Barnes then cited three more examples claiming this to be a pattern in the gospels.

1. In John 3:3-4, Dr. Barnes claimed, Jesus left Nicodemus in the dark when after he declared to him, “… unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God," Nicodemus responded, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"

Response: Even a brief perusal of John 3 and John 6 shows a substantial difference between the two. In John 6:52-53, the Jews were “disputing among themselves and saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” That is the context in which Jesus then appears to confirm them in their thoughts and reiterates, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

No matter how one interprets Jesus’ response to Nicodemus beginning in John 3:5, he doesn't come close to saying anything like, “Amen, amen I say to you, unless you climb back into your mother’s womb a second time and be born anew, you cannot have eternal life.” He says you must be “born of water and spirit… the wind blows where it will, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit (vs. 5-8).” This seems to me to be clarification that he is not speaking about climbing back into a mother’s womb. Being “born anew” is a spiritual experience that transcends literal birth from a womb.

2. In John 4:7-15, Dr. Barnes claimed, Jesus left the famous “Samaritan woman at the well” in her misunderstanding when she thought Jesus was offering her literal, physical water. But is that really what we find in the text?

Response: When Jesus asked this Samaritan woman for a drink in verse seven, she was most likely not only shocked that a Rabbi would speak to a Samaritan woman in public, but that any Jew would ask an “unclean” Samaritan to draw water for him. But in verse 10, Jesus answered her,

If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.

The woman then responds, in verse 11, "Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water?” To which, Jesus responds, in verse 13-14,

Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

In verse 15, the woman then begs our Lord, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

There is no doubt the Samaritan woman has it wrong here. But far from leaving her in her error, our Lord responds most profoundly, beginning in verse 16, “Go, call your husband…” And when the woman responds, “I have no husband,” in verse 17, Jesus reads her soul and tells her, “You are right… for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband.”

He now has her attention, to say the least. And he then turns the conversation to what he was really speaking about in terms of the “living water” he came to give that would “well up to eternal life.” In verse 23, he declares,

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. [24] God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

When the woman then responds, in verse 25, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things," Jesus then tells her plainly, in verse 26, “I who speak to you am he.”

It seems clear that the woman then understood that Jesus’ words were metaphorical concerning the “living water,” because she immediately “left her water jar,” went back to her fellow countrymen and urged them to, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ” (verses 28-29)? And according to verse 39, “Many Samaritans… believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.” She came to realize Jesus was about much more than filling war jars.

3. Dr. Barnes also claimed that when Christ said “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” in Matthew 16:6, the apostles thought he was speaking literal, which is true. But Matthew 16:11-12 could hardly be plainer that Jesus did not leave them in their ignorance:

How is it that you fail to perceive that I did not speak about bread… Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Spirit vs. Flesh

There is much more about the text of John 6 and the greater context of the New Testament in general that make a “Catholic” understanding of John 6:53 unavoidable. In our debate, Dr. Barnes and I grapple with many of those texts.

But John 6:63 is probably the most important of all to deal with as a Catholic apologist. This is a verse that is set within a context where not only "the Jews" who were listening, but specifically “the disciples” themselves were struggling with what Jesus said about "eating his flesh" and "drinking his blood." “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it” (verse 60)? It is in this context that our Lord says to the disciples: “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

The Protestant apologist will almost invariably say of this text, “See? Christ is not giving us his flesh to eat because he says ‘the flesh is of no avail.’”

There are at least four points to consider in response:

1. If Jesus was clearing up the point here, he’s a lousy teacher because he didn’t get his point across. According to verse 66, “many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him” immediately after this statement. They obviously still believed his earlier words about "eating [his] flesh" to be literal because these "disciples" had already believed in and followed him for some time. If Jesus was here saying, “I only meant that you have to believe in me and follow me,” why would they be walking away?

2. Jesus did not say, “My flesh is of no avail.” He said, “The flesh is of no avail.” There is a big difference! He obviously would not have said my flesh avails nothing because he just spent a good portion of this same discourse telling us that his flesh would be “given for the life of the world” (John 6:51, cf. 50-58).

“The flesh” is a New Testament term often used to describe human nature apart from God’s grace (see Romans 8:1-14; I Cor. 2:14; 3:1; Mark 14:38).

3. That which is “spiritual,” or “spirit” used as an adjective as we see in John 6:63, does not necessarily refer to that which has no material substance. It often means that which is dominated or controlled by the Spirit. For example, when speaking of the resurrection of the body, St. Paul writes: “It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body” (I Cor. 15:44). Does this mean we will not have a physical body in the resurrection? Of course not! Jesus made that clear after his own resurrection in Luke 24:39:

See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.

The resurrected body is spiritual and indeed we can be called spiritual as Christians inasmuch as we are controlled by the Spirit of God. Spiritual in no way means void of the material. That would be a Gnostic understanding of things, not Christian.

4. In verses 61-62, Jesus had just said, “Do you take offence at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?”

Jesus wants to ensure the apostles do not fall into a sort of crass literalism that would see the truth of the Eucharist in terms of gnawing bones and sinew. It is the Holy Spirit that will accomplish the miracle of Christ being able to ascend into heaven bodily while also being able to distribute his body and blood in the Eucharist for the life of the world. A human body—even a perfect one—apart from the power of the Spirit could not accomplish this.

Thus, Jesus words, “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail” refers to the truth that it is only the Spirit that can accomplish the miracle of the Eucharist and it is only the Holy Spirit that can empower us to believe the miracle.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Mainline Protestant; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; communion; presbyterian
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1 posted on 11/18/2013 3:07:47 PM PST by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...
Thus, Jesus words, “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail” refers to the truth that it is only the Spirit that can accomplish the miracle of the Eucharist and it is only the Holy Spirit that can empower us to believe the miracle.

Ping!

2 posted on 11/18/2013 3:08:51 PM PST by NYer ("The wise man is the one who can save his soul. - St. Nimatullah Al-Hardini)
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To: NYer

yes!! it is ACTUAL blood and flesh you are eating!!

you can see it magically transform!

(add to the list of ignorant time-wasting religious conversations that will solve NOTHING but create arguments over nonsense that will never have a real answer- instead of feeding the poor or healing the sick)


3 posted on 11/18/2013 3:10:39 PM PST by Mr. K
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To: Mr. K
The sad thing is that the Protestants go to the worship, sing, pray, maybe relive the last supper, then they go home.

I feel sad that they don't realize what they are missing- to receive the living God.

4 posted on 11/18/2013 3:15:12 PM PST by BarbM (Portuguese Dog--Kenyan president)
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To: NYer

Yes, Next question!


5 posted on 11/18/2013 3:15:13 PM PST by verga (We used to be the land of the free. Now we’re just the land of the freebie.)
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To: BarbM

I feel sad that they don’t realize what they are missing- to receive the living God.
***
We Protestants have a different faith than you Catholics. One cannot simply decide to change his faith.


6 posted on 11/18/2013 3:18:41 PM PST by NCLaw441
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To: BarbM

It is truly ridiculous that you think that. I feel sad that you don’t realize how ignorant that sounded.


7 posted on 11/18/2013 3:20:24 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: NYer

When Jesus said “I am the vine...” does that mean he was green?


8 posted on 11/18/2013 3:21:26 PM PST by NCLaw441
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To: BarbM
"I feel sad that they don't realize what they are missing- to receive the living God."

Those who are among the elect have already received Him once for all time. So, don't be sad...try checking the Book a little more closely. It is we who invite those who feel they must do it over and over to swim the Tiber the other direction...into the light of Jesus, alone. His sacrifice is sufficient to save eternally.

9 posted on 11/18/2013 3:21:37 PM PST by Dutchboy88
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To: Mr. K

I wonder brand of wine they use, Jesus Brand Boxed Wine?, saving the hard stuff for the kids probably.


10 posted on 11/18/2013 3:21:48 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: NYer

Yes.


11 posted on 11/18/2013 3:22:15 PM PST by IbJensen (Liberals are like Slinkies, good for nothing, but you smile as you push them down the stairs.)
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To: NCLaw441

I hope he wasn’t too thorny


12 posted on 11/18/2013 3:22:31 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: NCLaw441

No... Jesus was a lamb, and he was no bah bah bah blacksheep either, but the whitest of lambs...

pass the lambchops, Jesus is for supper


13 posted on 11/18/2013 3:23:24 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: GeronL
do you believe that baptisms is just symbolic?

Id rather be laughed at and thought as ignorant, and a child of God.

go ahead and call me names, throw stones, spew hate, whatever you must do. I'll stand behind the living Christ.

14 posted on 11/18/2013 3:25:40 PM PST by BarbM (Portuguese Dog--Kenyan president)
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To: Mr. K

You’re right! That really is the only reason why these threads get posted over and over again. Some would be well advised to consider what God thinks about the one who “sows discord among brethren”. (Proverbs 6:19)


15 posted on 11/18/2013 3:25:53 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: Dutchboy88

BTTT


16 posted on 11/18/2013 3:26:29 PM PST by yellowdoghunter (Welcome to Obamastan!)
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To: BarbM
The sad thing is that the Protestants go to the worship, sing, pray, maybe relive the last supper, then they go home. I feel sad that they don't realize what they are missing- to receive the living God.

the mindless drones are already proving that it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation with protestants.

17 posted on 11/18/2013 3:26:55 PM PST by verga (We used to be the land of the free. Now we’re just the land of the freebie.)
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To: BarbM

You don’t understand Protestants and what we believe then, because you couldn’t be farther from the truth.


18 posted on 11/18/2013 3:26:58 PM PST by Lucky9teen (No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. ~ Albert Einstein)
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To: BarbM

You were the one calling names and spewing crap. Which I called ignorant.


19 posted on 11/18/2013 3:27:46 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: BarbM

Just an FYI - I think we agree on more than you realize:

Protestant Christians observe Communion because the Lord told us to. We are to obey His commands:
And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24 (NIV)

In observing Communion we are remembering Christ and all that He has done for us in his life, death and resurrection:
And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24 (NIV)

When observing Communion we take time to examine ourselves:
A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 1 Corinthians 11:28 (NIV)

In observing Communion we are proclaiming His death until He comes. It is, then, a statement of faith:
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26 (NIV)

When we observe Communion we show our participation in the body of Christ. His life becomes our life and we become members of each other:
Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (NIV)

Three main Christian views regarding the bread and the wine during the practice of Communion:

The bread and the wine become the actual body and blood of Christ. The Catholic term for this is Transubstantiation.
The bread and the wine are unchanged elements, but Christ’s presence by faith is made spiritually real in and through them.
The bread and the wine are unchanged elements, used as symbols, representing Christ’s body and blood, in remembrance of his enduring sacrifice.


20 posted on 11/18/2013 3:33:28 PM PST by Lucky9teen (No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. ~ Albert Einstein)
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To: NYer
What a wonderful magic trick:
Call down the creator of the universe and turn
him into a stale matzoh and Pesach wine.
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

21 posted on 11/18/2013 3:34:45 PM PST by Uriel-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: boatbums

Highlighting differences between Catholics and Protestants isn’t sowing discord among the brethren because we’re not all brethren. Catholics have a different Christ and they believe a different gospel. It is utterly biblical to share the faith once delivered unto the saints with those who believe another gospel.


22 posted on 11/18/2013 3:37:33 PM PST by .45 Long Colt
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To: Lucky9teen
don’t understand Protestants and what we believe then, because you couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Have you ever been a Catholic?

It seems to me making such an assertion is simple vanity unless you have the experience you say she doesn't.

23 posted on 11/18/2013 3:42:08 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: NCLaw441
When Jesus said “I am the vine...” does that mean he was green?

That point was already addressed in the original post, or didn't you read it?

24 posted on 11/18/2013 3:44:32 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: NYer

The answer is yes, and I have always thought that this Catholic point of faith should have been included in the Nicene Creed.

The entire life of the Catholic Church hinges on this conviction, then why not make it part of the Creed so that the people will remember this point every time they recite it at Sunday Mass.


25 posted on 11/18/2013 3:45:30 PM PST by 353FMG
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To: NCLaw441

Your profundity is impressive.

Do all vines have to be green?


26 posted on 11/18/2013 3:48:28 PM PST by 353FMG
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To: NYer

If we can eat bread and drink wine and turn it into our body and a mother can eat and drink and turn it into a baby’s body, Jesus said “This is my body”. I believe.


27 posted on 11/18/2013 3:48:59 PM PST by ex-snook (God is Love)
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To: GeronL
You were the one calling names and spewing crap. Which I called ignorant.

Please direct me to that post. I couldn't find it.

28 posted on 11/18/2013 3:50:50 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: GeronL; BarbM
It is truly ridiculous that you think that. I feel sad that you don’t realize how ignorant that sounded.

It might be helpful if, instead of a random statement, you might support your it and define why her statement was "ridiculous" and the how it was "ignorant".

29 posted on 11/18/2013 3:51:51 PM PST by NYer ("The wise man is the one who can save his soul. - St. Nimatullah Al-Hardini)
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To: Lucky9teen

Why can Catholics apply your same reasoning to the concept of “born again?”


30 posted on 11/18/2013 3:57:12 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: papertyger

excuse me, I meant “can’t”


31 posted on 11/18/2013 4:00:03 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: papertyger; NYer
POST #4 The sad thing is that the Protestants go to the worship, sing, pray, maybe relive the last supper, then they go home. I feel sad that they don't realize what they are missing- to receive the living God.

I feel so sad for people who don't think

32 posted on 11/18/2013 4:03:43 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: GeronL

So lying about a poster “calling names” is now “thinking?”


33 posted on 11/18/2013 4:07:28 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: NYer

“Moreover, when people misunderstand Jesus, he normally clears up the misunderstanding as we see in John 4:31-34 when the disciples urge our Lord to eat and our Lord responds”


A silly argument, since Christ declares in John 6, in response to their reaction, ‘The flesh profits nothing. It is the Spirit that quickens.” And not only that, but when he first was asked how they might ‘eat his flesh,” He replies “Believe on Him whom God has sent.”

Such is Augustine’s plain and obvious reading of the text as well:

On these verses:

Joh 6:27 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.
Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

“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)

“Response: When Jesus asked this Samaritan woman for a drink in verse seven, she was most likely not only shocked that a Rabbi would speak to a Samaritan woman in public, but that any Jew would ask an “unclean” Samaritan to draw water for him. But in verse 10, Jesus answered her,... There is no doubt the Samaritan woman has it wrong here. But far from leaving her in her error, our Lord responds most profoundly, beginning in verse 16, “Go, call your husband…” And when the woman responds, “I have no husband,” in verse 17, Jesus reads her soul and tells her, “You are right… for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband.” He now has her attention, to say the least. And he then turns the conversation to what he was really speaking about in terms of the “living water” he came to give that would “well up to eternal life.” In verse 23, he declares,”


A deceptive response since, as a matter of fact, the argument that there should be a literal understanding of John 4 is greater than in John 6. Christ does not correct her. His comments in verse 23 are in response to the woman changing the subject, who asked Him where it was proper to worship. It wasn’t an explanation at all of how one can drink the water that gives eternal life.

” If Jesus was clearing up the point here, he’s a lousy teacher because he didn’t get his point across. According to verse 66, “many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him” immediately after this statement. They obviously still believed his earlier words about “eating [his] flesh” to be literal because these “disciples” had already believed in and followed him for some time. If Jesus was here saying, “I only meant that you have to believe in me and follow me,” why would they be walking away?”


More sophistry on the part of the Catholic apologist. Christ declares that they would not believe, simply because it is impossible for them to believe unless it is given to them by the Father. They are blinded, and therefore cannot understand Him even when He is clear, since such is the nature of our depraved souls.

“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”
(Joh 6:64-65)

The Papists need to stop reading their theology into the text, and instead let the test speak for itself.


34 posted on 11/18/2013 4:08:45 PM PST by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
The Papists need to stop reading their theology into the text, and instead let the test speak for itself.

Like Protestants do with Matt 16:18?

35 posted on 11/18/2013 4:13:48 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: papertyger

I feel so sad for Catholics who have obtain a cult mentality


36 posted on 11/18/2013 4:14:34 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: GeronL

I smile when someone ignores the fact they’ve been confuted.


37 posted on 11/18/2013 4:17:09 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: BarbM

Well, we don’t eat our God. Our God is not on a cracker.

We are with our god 24-7


38 posted on 11/18/2013 4:18:49 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: papertyger

I laugh at those who think God is a cracker


39 posted on 11/18/2013 4:19:07 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: papertyger; Greetings_Puny_Humans
GPH>The Papists need to stop reading their theology
into the text, and instead let the test speak for itself.

Like Protestants do with Matt 16:18?

Moses named his successor's name to Yah'shua when he changed it from Hoshea.

Numbers 13:16 When Moses changed Hoshea(salvation) Name
to Yah'shua(Joshua = YHvH is my salvation) or Jesus in English.

I published this study on FreeRepublic about the "Rock" over ten years ago.

Do the writings of the "church fathers" trump or impugn the Holy Word of G-d ?

Matthew. 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my church,

One method of Hermeneutical understanding of Matthew 16:18
is to do a word study of all the scriptures which were then known
as the Holy Word of G-d when Yah'shua spoke these words.

This will allow one to understand that all of the Holy Word of G-d
was inspired by YHvH; the whole counsel of G-d.

The only conclusion that one can come to unless you are
predisposed to believe in man's tradition over the Holy Word of G-d
is that Yah'shua was speaking of himself as the "Rock "
e.g.



Genesis 49:24 But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed
[Or archers will attack...will shoot...will remain...will stay] supple,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

Deuteronomy 32:3 I will proclaim the name of YHvH. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock , his works are perfect, and all his ways are
just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

Deuteronomy 32:15 ..... He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Saviour.

Deuteronomy 32:30 How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten
thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless
YHvH had given them up?

Deuteronomy 32:31 For their rock is not like our Rock , as even our enemies concede

Deuteronomy 32:32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness.

1 Samuel 2:2 "There is no-one holy [Or no Holy One] like YHvH;
there is no-one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2 He said: "YHvH is my Rock , my fortress and my deliverer;

2 Samuel 22:3 my God is my Rock , in whom I take refuge, my shield and the
horn [Horn here symbolises strength.] of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my saviour — from violent men you save me.

2 Samuel 22:32 For who is God besides YHvH? And who is the Rock except our God?

2 Samuel 22:47 "YHvH lives! Praise be to my Rock ! Exalted be God, the Rock , my Saviour!

2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me:
'When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,

Psalm 18:31 For who is God besides YHvH? And who is the Rock except our God?

Psalm 18:46 YHvH lives! Praise be to my Rock ! Exalted be God my Saviour!

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 42:9 I say to God my Rock , "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"

Psalm 78:35 They remembered that God was their Rock , that God Most High was their Redeemer.

Psalm 89:26 He will call out to me, `You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Saviour.'

Psalm 92:15 ..... "YHvH is upright; he is my Rock , and there is no wickedness in him."

Psalm 95:1 Come, let us sing for joy to YHvH; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Psalm 144:1 Praise be to YHvH my Rock , who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.

Habakkuk 1:12 Oh YHvH, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy
One, we will not die. Oh YHvH, you have appointed them to
execute judgment; O Rock , you have ordained them to punish.

Peter himself refers to Yah'shua as the "rock" in
1 Peter 2:1-10
NAsbU 1 Peter 2:
1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,

2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

3 if you have tasted the kindness of YHvH.

4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,

5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

6 For this is contained in Scripture: "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,
AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."

7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,"

8 and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word,
and to this doom they were also appointed.

9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION,
so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY,
but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

It is patently clear from the Holy Word of G-d
that the NAME "Rock" is a NAME that describes YHvH,
the creator of the universe.

To assign YHvH's NAME to a mere mortal,
a created being, seeks to impugn and
deny the Holy Word of G-d.

It also grieves the Holy Spirit.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

40 posted on 11/18/2013 4:19:10 PM PST by Uriel-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: GeronL

And did I mention “borne false witness?”

No, I don’t think I did.....


41 posted on 11/18/2013 4:20:24 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
"More sophistry on the part of the Catholic apologist. Christ declares that they would not believe, simply because it is impossible for them to believe unless it is given to them by the Father. They are blinded, and therefore cannot understand Him even when He is clear, since such is the nature of our depraved souls."

So I think what your are trying to say here Puny is: that his disciples walked away even though Christ cleared it up that he was speaking metaphorically because they couldn't understand because God chose the ones that would understand and the ones that wouldn't, "are blinded" on purpose?

If I am right here, I don't think I like the kind of god you are proposing, he sounds kind of evil, blinding people and all. The Jesus I know heals the blind.

42 posted on 11/18/2013 4:22:01 PM PST by infool7 (The ugly truth is just a big lie.)
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To: papertyger

So it is okay to offend other people and make ridiculous lies about their faith like BarbM did?


43 posted on 11/18/2013 4:22:50 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: Uri’el-2012

Are you on the same level as Carson?

Please give us your bona fides!


44 posted on 11/18/2013 4:22:53 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: papertyger

Yep, BarbM did do that


45 posted on 11/18/2013 4:23:52 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: papertyger; Elsie; daniel1212

“Like Protestants do with Matt 16:18?”


Yes, since it’s plain from the text that the rock is Peter’s confession, and not on Peter himself, especially when you view it in the Greek, just as many of the ancients observed:

From a post I saw Elsie make, but Daniel might have made it first:

“Likewise I accept Sacred Scripture according to that sense which Holy mother Church held and holds, since it is her right to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy scriptures; nor will I ever receive and interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers”. — http://mb-soft.com/believe/txs/firstvc.htm

Yet as the Dominican cardinal and Catholic theologian Yves Congar O.P. states,

“Unanimous patristic consent as a reliable locus theologicus is classical in Catholic theology; it has often been declared such by the magisterium and its value in scriptural interpretation has been especially stressed. Application of the principle is difficult, at least at a certain level. In regard to individual texts of Scripture total patristic consensus is rare...One example: the interpretation of Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:16-18. Except at Rome, this passage was not applied by the Fathers to the papal primacy; they worked out an exegesis at the level of their own ecclesiological thought, more anthropological and spiritual than juridical. — Yves M.-J. Congar, O.P., p. 71

And Catholic archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick (1806-1896), while yet seeking to support Peter as the rock, stated that,

“If we are bound to follow the majority of the fathers in this thing, then we are bound to hold for certain that by the rock should be understood the faith professed by Peter, not Peter professing the faith.” — Speech of archbishop Kenkick, p. 109; An inside view of the vatican council, edited by Leonard Woolsey Bacon.

Your own CCC allows the interpretation that, “On the rock of this faith confessed by St Peter, Christ build his Church,” (pt. 1, sec. 2, cp. 2, para. 424), for some of the ancients (for what their opinion is worth) provided for this or other interpretations.

• Ambrosiaster [who elsewhere upholds Peter as being the chief apostle to whom the Lord had entrusted the care of the Church, but not superior to Paul as an apostle except in time], Eph. 2:20:

Wherefore the Lord says to Peter: ‘Upon this rock I shall build my Church,’ that is, upon this confession of the catholic faith I shall establish the faithful in life. — Ambrosiaster, Commentaries on Galatians—Philemon, Eph. 2:20; Gerald L. Bray, p. 42

• Augustine, sermon:

“Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter’s confession. What is Peter’s confession? ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ There’s the rock for you, there’s the foundation, there’s where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer. — John Rotelle, O.S.A., Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine , © 1993 New City Press, Sermons, Vol III/6, Sermon 229P.1, p. 327

Upon this rock, said the Lord, I will build my Church. Upon this confession, upon this that you said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not conquer her (Mt. 16:18). — John Rotelle, Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine (New Rochelle: New City, 1993) Sermons, Volume III/7, Sermon 236A.3, p. 48.

• Augustine, sermon:

For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra; just as Christ is not called so from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. For on this very account the Lord said, ‘On this rock will I build my Church,’ because Peter had said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (Petra) was Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself built. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus. The Church, therefore, which is founded in Christ received from Him the keys of the kingdom of heaven in the person of Peter, that is to say, the power of binding and loosing sins. For what the Church is essentially in Christ, such representatively is Peter in the rock (petra); and in this representation Christ is to be understood as the Rock, Peter as the Church. — Augustine Tractate CXXIV; Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: First Series, Volume VII Tractate CXXIV (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf107.iii.cxxv.html)

• Augustine, sermon:

And Peter, one speaking for the rest of them, one for all, said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mt 16:15-16)...And I tell you: you are Peter; because I am the rock, you are Rocky, Peter-I mean, rock doesn’t come from Rocky, but Rocky from rock, just as Christ doesn’t come from Christian, but Christian from Christ; and upon this rock I will build my Church (Mt 16:17-18); not upon Peter, or Rocky, which is what you are, but upon the rock which you have confessed. I will build my Church though; I will build you, because in this answer of yours you represent the Church. — John Rotelle, O.S.A. Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine (New Rochelle: New City Press, 1993), Sermons, Volume III/7, Sermon 270.2, p. 289

• Augustine, sermon:

Peter had already said to him, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ He had already heard, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the underworld shall not conquer her’ (Mt 16:16-18)...Christ himself was the rock, while Peter, Rocky, was only named from the rock. That’s why the rock rose again, to make Peter solid and strong; because Peter would have perished, if the rock hadn’t lived. — John Rotelle, Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine (New Rochelle: New City, 1993) Sermons, Volume III/7, Sermon 244.1, p. 95

• Augustine, sermon:

...because on this rock, he said, I will build my Church, and the gates of the underworld shall not overcome it (Mt. 16:18). Now the rock was Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). Was it Paul that was crucified for you? Hold on to these texts, love these texts, repeat them in a fraternal and peaceful manner. — John Rotelle, Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine (New Rochelle: New City Press, 1995), Sermons, Volume III/10, Sermon 358.5, p. 193

• Augustine, Psalm LXI:

Let us call to mind the Gospel: ‘Upon this Rock I will build My Church.’ Therefore She crieth from the ends of the earth, whom He hath willed to build upon a Rock. But in order that the Church might be builded upon the Rock, who was made the Rock? Hear Paul saying: ‘But the Rock was Christ.’ On Him therefore builded we have been. — Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956), Volume VIII, Saint Augustin, Exposition on the Book of Psalms, Psalm LXI.3, p. 249. (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf108.ii.LXI.html)

• Augustine, in “Retractions,”

In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: ‘On him as on a rock the Church was built.’...But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ For, ‘Thou art Peter’ and not ‘Thou art the rock’ was said to him. But ‘the rock was Christ,’ in confessing whom, as also the whole Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is the more probable. — The Fathers of the Church (Washington D.C., Catholic University, 1968), Saint Augustine, The Retractations Chapter 20.1:.

• Basil of Seleucia, Oratio 25:

‘You are Christ, Son of the living God.’...Now Christ called this confession a rock, and he named the one who confessed it ‘Peter,’ perceiving the appellation which was suitable to the author of this confession. For this is the solemn rock of religion, this the basis of salvation, this the wall of faith and the foundation of truth: ‘For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.’ To whom be glory and power forever. — Oratio XXV.4, M.P.G., Vol. 85, Col. 296-297.

• Bede, Matthaei Evangelium Expositio, 3:

You are Peter and on this rock from which you have taken your name, that is, on myself, I will build my Church, upon that perfection of faith which you confessed I will build my Church by whose society of confession should anyone deviate although in himself he seems to do great things he does not belong to the building of my Church...Metaphorically it is said to him on this rock, that is, the Saviour which you confessed, the Church is to be built, who granted participation to the faithful confessor of his name. — 80Homily 23, M.P.L., Vol. 94, Col. 260. Cited by Karlfried Froehlich, Formen, Footnote #204, p. 156 [unable to verify by me].

• Cassiodorus, Psalm 45.5:

‘It will not be moved’ is said about the Church to which alone that promise has been given: ‘You are Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.’ For the Church cannot be moved because it is known to have been founded on that most solid rock, namely, Christ the Lord. — Expositions in the Psalms, Volume 1; Volume 51, Psalm 45.5, p. 455

• Chrysostom (John) [who affirmed Peter was a rock, but here not the rock in Mt. 16:18]:

Therefore He added this, ‘And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; that is, on the faith of his confession. — Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily LIIl; Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.LII.html)

• Cyril of Alexandria:

When [Peter] wisely and blamelessly confessed his faith to Jesus saying, ‘You are Christ, Son of the living God,’ Jesus said to divine Peter: ‘You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ Now by the word ‘rock’, Jesus indicated, I think, the immoveable faith of the disciple.”. — Cyril Commentary on Isaiah 4.2.

• Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Book XII):

“For a rock is every disciple of Christ of whom those drank who drank of the spiritual rock which followed them, 1 Corinthians 10:4 and upon every such rock is built every word of the church, and the polity in accordance with it; for in each of the perfect, who have the combination of words and deeds and thoughts which fill up the blessedness, is the church built by God.’

“For all bear the surname ‘rock’ who are the imitators of Christ, that is, of the spiritual rock which followed those who are being saved, that they may drink from it the spiritual draught. But these bear the surname of rock just as Christ does. But also as members of Christ deriving their surname from Him they are called Christians, and from the rock, Peters.” — Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Book XII), sect. 10,11 ( http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/101612.htm)

• Hilary of Potier, On the Trinity (Book II): Thus our one immovable foundation, our one blissful rock of faith, is the confession from Peter’s mouth, Thou art the Son of the living God. On it we can base an answer to every objection with which perverted ingenuity or embittered treachery may assail the truth.”— (Hilary of Potier, On the Trinity (Book II), para 23; Philip Schaff, editor, The Nicene & Post Nicene Fathers Series 2, Vol 9.

(Taken from a post I saw Elsie make, but might have come from Daniel 1121


46 posted on 11/18/2013 4:24:55 PM PST by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: GeronL

Being incorrect is not lying.

Accusing someone of an act they didn’t commit, is.


47 posted on 11/18/2013 4:25:48 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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Comment #48 Removed by Moderator

To: infool7

“So I think what your are trying to say here Puny is: that his disciples walked away even though Christ cleared it up that he was speaking metaphorically because they couldn’t understand because God chose the ones that would understand and the ones that wouldn’t, “are blinded” on purpose?

If I am right here, I don’t think I like the kind of god you are proposing, he sounds kind of evil, blinding people and all. The Jesus I know heals the blind.”


More important than your blasphemous sentiments though is what the scripture says, and it is quite with me, even if you yourself cannot understand it.

1Co_2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


49 posted on 11/18/2013 4:29:32 PM PST by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: papertyger
Are you on the same level as Carson?

Please give us your bona fides!

I have no idea what you are talking about.

But I am a chosen son of the most high G-d
and I read His WORD under the illumination
of the Ru'ach HaKodesh. I do not use eisgesis.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
50 posted on 11/18/2013 4:29:47 PM PST by Uriel-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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