Catholic Verses - 95 Bibles Passages That Confound Protestants?


Pages 116-118: John 6:47-66. The Catholic interpretation of this passage may be described briefly as follows: with regard to John 6 and Jesus' repeatedly commanding the hearers to "eat my flesh and drink my blood," it is known that in the Jewish culture of that time, metaphors such as this were used to signify doing someone grievous injury (see, e.g., Job 19:22; Ps. 27:2; Eccles. 4:5; Isa. 9:20, 49:26; Mic. 3:1-3; Rev. 16:6) Therefore, it is not plausible to assert that Jesus was speaking metaphorically, according to the standard Protestant hermeneutic of interpreting Scripture in light of contemporary usages, customs, and idioms.

Note: Throughout the Gospels Jesus Christ speaks metaphorically and in parables.

Matthew 4:1-4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

Note: Thus, Christians will feast upon the word of God and Jesus Christ will be their spiritual food.


Page 118: As Luther points out below, when the words flesh and spirit are opposed to each other in the New Testament, it is always a figurative use, in the sense of sinful human nature (flesh) contrasted with humanity enriched by God's grace (spirit). This can be clearly seen in passages such as Matthew 26:41; Romans 7:5-6, 25, 8:1-14; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 3:3, 4:29, 5:13-26; and 1 Peter 3:18, 4:6. Many Protestants today assert that this passage has symbolic meaning only; metaphor is often used in Scripture, and this seems to be another instance of that.

Note: Thus, Christians will feast upon the word of God and Jesus Christ will be their spiritual food.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.


Page 119: Luther's eucharistic theology was not identical to Catholic theology, but it was far closer to it than to the symbolic view. Luther thought that Jesus' Body and Blood were present "alongside" the bread and wine after consecration. So Jesus was really there, but the bread and wine were there, too - a phenomenon called "consubstantiation" - whereas in the Catholic theology of transubstantiation, they cease to be bread and wine after consecration. Many Protestants argue that Jesus was not referring to the Eucharist at all in John 6, but merely to belief in Him, expressed in symbolic terms. The word Eucharist comes from the Greek words eucharistia, eucharisteo, and eucharistos. Together these occur fifty-four times in the New Testament, so obviously Eucharist is an eminently biblical word. Its meaning is "thanks," "thankfulness," or "thanksgiving."

Note: Thus, Christians will feast upon the word of God and Jesus Christ will be their spiritual food.

2 Corinthians 9:10-15 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!


Page 119: But how is that related to the Last Supper, or the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion? It's very simple: Matthew 26:27-28: "And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant'" (cf. Mark 14:23; Luke 22:17, 19).

Note: Christians will remember the death of Jesus Christ for their sins and give Him thanks.

Matthew 20:20-22 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”


Page 120: So we have already established a parallel between the Last Supper and the ritual initiated by Jesus there (which is the central essence of the Mass), and the miraculous feeding of the crowds with bread and fish. In John 6, the same miracle occurs, except that this time the biblical writer records that Jesus ties the two together explicitly.

Note: Good biblical interpretation will compare spiritual things with spiritual not natural things.

1 Corinthians 2:13-16 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.


Page 120: First, we have the narrative concerning the feeding: John 6:11: "Jesus then took loaves, and when he had given thanks (eucharisteo), he distributed them to those who were seated" (cf. 6:23). John 6:22 informs us that the rest of the story took place on the following day. But Jesus had a rebuke for the people who sought him out on this occasion: John 6:26-27: "'You seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you.'" In other words, Jesus is contrasting the utility of physical food with eucharistic, sacramental food (his own Body).

Note: In context, Christians will place their belief or faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life.

John 6:28-29 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”


Pages 120-121: He continues, getting more and more explicit as he goes along: John 6:35: "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger'" (cf. 6:33). John 6:51: "'I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh'" (cf. 6:48-49).

Note: In context, Christians will place their belief or faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life.

John 6:35-40 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”


Page 121: Does Jesus then say, "Look, guys, settle down; you misunderstood me! I was just talking symbolically. Don't be so literal"? No, not at all. Rather, he reiterates his point in the strongest, most literal language (John 6:53-58).

Note: Jesus Christ spoke of spiritual things not his natural body.

John 6:60-64 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him."


Page 121: When Jesus told parables, he always explained them, lest their meaning be lost on the hearers (and us readers of the Bible). When his hear did not understand what he was saying, he always explained it more fully.

Note: Jesus Christ spoke in parables so that only believers would know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 13:10-13 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."