How to resolve differing Bible interpretations Part 5


The Text:

1Co 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1Co 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

1Co 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

The Challenge:

  1. 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 (Catholicism vs. Lutheranism): “This is my body… This cup is the new covenant in my blood…” Catholics believe in transubstantiation, where the bread and wine become Christ’s body and blood. Lutherans believe in consubstantiation, where Christ is present “in, with, and under” the elements but they do not change their substance.

My Comment:

We are never to do something, say something, or believe something in error (such as mistaken doctrines of false cults or mainline churches). We know a belief is in error when it contradicts the explicit teaching of Scripture.

A very touchy and sensitive application of this principle pertains to the Bible doctrines we choose to believe. Of course, if the doctrines are truly taught by the Bible, we certainly ought to believe them! But some widely believed doctrines are not taught by the Bible itself, but are mistaken understandings of what the Bible actually teaches.

In online discussions with one Jewish person in particular, I learned that the doctrine of Transubstantiation is a very serious stumbling block (1 Corinthians 8:9) that makes it most difficult for those who are Jews today and even in the past to possibly consider that Jesus Christ could be the Messiah or that Christianity is true because such a doctrine clearly contradicts what is written in the Hebrew Scriptures so it cannot possibly be true. And the Jews are right.

Jews consider the drinking of the wine, taught in some Christian churches to be the very blood of Jesus Christ, and the eating of the bread, taught in some Christian churches to be the very flesh of Jesus Christ, as nothing short of cannibalism. Jewish Scriptures (our Old Testament) clearly forbid such a practice as drinking blood (Leviticus 17:1112) and eating human flesh.

Christian churches that teach Transubstantiation and Consubstantiation–the “actual” or the “real” presence of Christ in the elements of the Lord’s Supper, Communion, or the Eucharist–are guilty of teaching and believing false doctrine, doctrine that serves as a stumbling block to bringing Jews to faith in the true Messiah, Jesus Christ. Belief in such false doctrine stems from the failure to understand some very frequently used figures of speech in the Bible, particularly the figure Metaphor. Jesus frequently employed the figure metaphor, as when He said “I am the door” (John 10:9). Does such a statement mean he has hinges and a door knob? Of course not.

So, when Jesus took bread and said, “Take, eat: this is my body” (Matthew 26:26), the is is metaphor, and means “this represents my body.” The proof is in the very context: they were not eating His actual flesh, for He was standing very much alive right before them; rather, they were eating bread, which symbolized His body.

So, when Jesus took the cup, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of it” (Matthew 26:27), adding “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28), once again we have the figure metaphor, signaled by the “is,” which therefore means “this represents my blood.” All the blood in the literal body of Jesus remained at that point as literal blood coursing through His veins; none of those present ever drank the actual blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and neither has anyone else done so since.

The claim of some churches to miraculously transform the physical elements of bread and wine during the Eucharist or Communion or Lord’s Supper into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ is a falsehood. This falsehood is a stumbling block, and you may be very sure that Christ did not intend anything He instituted or authorized to be a stumbling block to His own people, the Jews.

This entry was posted in Apologetics Issues--Other Faiths, Doctrinal Discussions, False Religions, How to Interpret the Bible Correctly and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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