For Catholics, the Eucharist, the ceremony that celebrates the sacrifice of Jesus with bread and wine in imitation of the Last Supper where Jesus said, “This is my body” over bread and “This is my blood”, over wine and gave them to his friends to eat and drink, is the centre of Christian life. Protestants, though less strongly, lay great stress on its importance too.
The Eucharist or Holy Communion has great meaning for many for it represents Jesus giving himself for them and can spread and deepen the faith. It is an expression of the heart of the Christian faith. It symbolises unity and that attracts disciples and warms people inside.
This book is written in the hope that one day the only purpose of bread will be to be food and that the only purpose of wine will be drink. The book shows that Jesus Christ even if he did establish the rite of celebrating with bread and wine in his memory did not institute the Mass for the Mass is the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ into which bread and wine have been turned and though Protestants celebrate a Eucharist this is not the same as the Mass. If the Son of God did not establish or want the Mass then it follows that the spiritual benefits Catholics get from it come from themselves if they would only admit it. The Mass cannot unite with God if it is not of divine origin. This is a warning about how religious feeling can be presented as the work of God. It is not fair on us Atheists that people do that. The honesty we must have in ourselves is the honesty we also expect from others.
Nobody preparing for ordination to the priesthood, which is mainly for celebrating the Eucharist, should be without this book.
The infallible decrees of the Catholic Church come from the book, Salvation, The Bible and Roman Catholicism.
In Session Thirteen, Chapter 1, of the Council of Trent we read, “In the august sacrament of the holy Eucharist, after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is truly, really, and substantially contained under the species of those sensible things” (page 158).
Canon 2 of Session 13 curses anybody who “denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and the whole substance of the wine into the blood – the species only of the bread and wine remaining – which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation: let him be anathema” (page 160).
In Canon 3 of Session 22, anybody who says that “the sacrifice of the Mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propititionary sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities” is anathema (page 138).
The Council of Trent contradicted the words of Christ, “This is my blood given for the forgiveness of your sins”, when it brought out a decree condemning the Protestant doctrine that the Eucharist gave forgiveness of all sin as the main benefit (Session XIII, Canon 5). The Church held that you could have no mortal sin on your soul while taking communion for it was given only for venial sinners that they might be pardoned. But Jesus could and would have made the sacrament a means for the forgiveness of all sin. It makes sense that the sacrament should do that when the death of Christ was intended to remove sin.
Roman Catholicism struggles hard to defend transubstantiation, the notion that the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper are literally changed into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ when the priest says, “This is my body”, and “This is my blood.”
She has only seven infallibly interpreted Bible texts but the ones that allegedly testify to transubstantiation being true are not among them. It is not heresy to say that it is unbiblical but it is heresy to say that it is anti-biblical for if it is then it is not true even according to Catholic standards.
Catholics say, “It is wrong to argue that the words, “This is my body,” are not to be taken literally because, “I am the door”, is not to be taken as a declaration that Jesus had been transubstantiated into a door. It is more likely that Jesus would become food than a door so we know that if one is literal the other need not be. Moreover, Jesus made it clear in his context that he did not intend to become a door.” Jesus turning himself into bread is as useless as himself turning himself into a door or a statue for it is God that is needed. Grace is the presence of God guiding and helping you in your life not energy and it alone is necessary. And nothing in the Bible indicates Jesus wanted to become our food.
We will go through the Bible passages that allegedly prove her dogma of transubstantiation and discover that it was never given by Christ or known in the primitive Church.
* At Jesus’ trial proving his heresy to have him put to death was impossible (Matthew 26:59, 60). It wouldn’t have been had he advocated or vowed to advocate the worship of bread and wine that has allegedly been changed into him which is the capital crime of idolatry in Jewish Law (Deuteronomy 13). Judas would have told the Jews if Jesus had been claiming to make bread into his body.
* The Church believes that the bread and wine of communion become the New Passover Lamb Jesus for the Passover meal was decreed by God to picture that this would happen before it happened.
It was the lamb that would have pictured this best for the lamb was a sacrifice to save the household from destruction and also because it was flesh. The bread and wine were only to picture mourning and getting the strength to leave Egypt and its evil. Jesus then would have turned the lamb into his body. The bread and wine are to be taken in mourning and in haste for the journey out to the Garden when Jesus’ passion will start. This implies that if the rite is to be repeated after it is only a reminder. It was the bread of affliction and not the bread of joyfully eating the risen body of Jesus Christ though Catholics say it is the risen body that was made present at the first Mass said by Jesus and at every Mass since.
Jews always traditionally said of the bread, “This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in Egypt”. This parallels Jesus saying it was his body which will be afflicted. It shows that he changed from the old symbolism to the new. There is no risen body in it. It is not a thanksgiving celebration. Thanks might be given before it but the service itself is mourning. It is not about thanks at all. Catholic doctrine is wrong for saying that it is all about thanks. That is what they call it the Eucharist for.
* 1 Corinthians 11:26, 27, 29: This teaches that whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. That is the person who eats and does not discern or recognise the body of Christ receives punishment from God.
The unworthy way must refer to the fact that the Corinthians were overindulging in the bread and drink and being selfish which was terrible for they were meant to use these things to remember the body and blood of Jesus. Instead of eating them to honour and remember the body and blood of the Lord they were misusing them. That is why Paul says that he will not commend the people for their behaviour for Jesus took bread and said it was his body and to do this in his memory. So they are not remembering. Obviously, when they were allowed to take so much bread and drink with them it is clear that neither the apostles or themselves believed that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Then there would only be need for a small quantity and too much means there will be waste and you can’t make waste of the body or blood of the saviour or worse people getting drunk on the blood of Jesus.
Some say Paul may simply have had sinners in mind. The Bible teaches that the sinner does not know or recognise God (1 John 4:8). The sinner is a person who makes a declaration of independence from God and so ceases to recognise God as king. This however does not support the Catholic belief that serious sinners should stay away from the bread and wine. Paul said that nobody is worthy to have Jesus in their hearts and what matters is trying to get rid of sin. So if you are a sinner and examine yourself and find that you want rid of sin and even if you are too vile and weak to repent and want the bread to help you come to Jesus better and give him more power to heal your life you can still partake.
The sinner who receives communion but who does not recognise Christ’s crucified body as the payment for his sins eats damnation to himself.
There were people in Paul’s day who did not believe that Jesus was a flesh and blood person. They thought he was a spirit in disguise and accordingly they scoffed at the resurrection. In chapter 15, of this epistle, Paul attacks the popular view that thrived among the Corinthians that the resurrection of the body is nonsense. Paul is just condemning the hypocrisy of eating the symbolic body of Christ while believing this. The symbols are holy and are not to be treated insultingly just like it would be dishonouring one’s father to desecrate his photo. If they are not symbols, but reminders, the same holds true.
Paul does not mention what is in the cup. It is possible it was not wine but water or something. Paul did say in Romans that if a brother does not like the believers in Jesus drinking wine they should not do it so as to avoid giving offense to anybody, in particular, those who were weak in faith. He said that the gospel was nothing more than the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This rules out any interpretation of Paul or John 6 that suggests that Jesus' flesh really can be eaten in the form of bread. The Catholics admit that they did not understand transubstantiation for the doctrine had to be developed. The early believers would have had no answer if they were accused of cannibalism.
* Some think that Hebrews 6:4 mentions the Eucharist of the Catholics. It speaks of those who have received the heavenly gift. It is argued that since the bread and wine don’t come from Heaven the only food that can be this gift is the eucharistic flesh of Jesus. But the heavenly gift may be grace which is tasted by the soul. God is in Heaven and makes all things from there so we can say the world came from Heaven.
* In John Chapter 6 Jesus says he is the bread of life and he bread he will give is his flesh for the life of the world. The Jews murmur about how he can do that and he tells them that unless they eat him and drink his blood they will not have life in them. No Christian has ever taught that non-Christians need to do that to be saved. This is the key to the interpretation. The food is grace for nothing else can be spiritual food and Jesus’ body and blood are identified with grace because Jesus giving his body and blood for us in sacrifice on the cross is the fountain of grace for they alone earn salvation and grace for us. The body and blood are grace for us; they are food and drink for our souls.
Eating Jesus and drinking his blood is like the Jewish metaphor that to do somebody great injury is to eat them and drink their blood. Jesus is telling the Jews that they must put him to death and separate his blood from his body to be saved and that this body and blood is the food or grace of everlasting life.
Catholics might say that you will not have life if you are a Catholic and won’t go to communion but Jesus didn’t meant that by what he said to the Jews for none of them were going to become Catholics and it took the Church centuries to work out its ideas about communion. John 6 is not Eucharistic.
The Catholic view that Jesus answered the Jews who murmured about how he could give his flesh to eat when he said more strongly that they must eat his body and drink his blood proved he meant it literally is the crux of the arguments about the interpretation of John 6. But it is just a guess for you see people asking questions and Jesus seeming to answer them but away off on another topic in this gospel. For example, Jesus met a Samaritan woman at a well and Jesus told her he would leave her never having to visit a well again for he would give her magic water. The Samaritan woman asked him to give her this magic water thinking he meant literal water but he seems to humour her and say he will do it. We realise that he didn’t mean literal water in his “reply”. It was not really a reply at all. It only looked like one. And as for John 6 we have no reason to think Jesus paid any attention to or even heard what the Jews were asking unlike with the Samaritan woman. If there had been a tradition for magic water Jesus would have been taken literally. It is only because we exercise commonsense that we understand his reply. But nothing in the words proves us right.
The fact that the Bible calls the Eucharist bread and wine after its alleged changing and that John 6:63 may deny that Jesus’ sermon in John 6 teaches transubstantiation proves that transubstantiation cannot be proven from the Bible even if it is in it. The law of economy, bids us to take the simplest interpretation and that is that the Eucharist is symbolic or emblematic. Rome has wandered from the safe path.
John 6:29. "Jesus ... said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." Bare belief in Jesus is claimed to be enough. This denies that sacraments are needed for salvation. This verse is the key to unlocking the symbolism in John 6 about the eating of Jesus' body and the drinking of his blood.
The doctrine of transubstantiation is not in the Bible. Jesus was unlikely to have created the sacrament of the Eucharist which requires that a person be holy for he hated needless public displays of virtue and would not have created another device for making it happen. The Eucharistic sacrament is a later invention even if Jesus did give out bread and wine at the Last Supper.
At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “Do this in memory of me”, - that is do this little symbolic ritual or reminder in my memory. The Catholic Mass is not honouring this command because though it does commemorate Jesus it dishonours that memory and is not what Jesus wanted.


No Copyright