The Lord's Supper: solemn symbolism or corporeal flesh and blood? And other subjects

(Note: allow scripts for pop up Bible verses

Table of Contents

Official RC statements on the Eucharist

The Lord's supper in the synoptic gospels

Exegesis

John 6

1 Corinthians 10

1 Corinthians 11

Maryolatry

Purgatory

Interpretive foundation

 

Preface: This is an extensive examination of the Roman Catholic sacrament of Eucharist (which means thanksgiving) as regards the doctrine of the “Real Presence.” This deals with the question as to whether Scripture teaches that Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine by transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine. And by which believers thereby receive life in themselves.

Or whether, consistent with other examples of figurative language and teaching, the elements are representations of Christ, and that eating and drinking Christ in John 6 refers to receiving and obeying Christ, by which souls receive spiritual life and live by Him.

Some supplemental material related to Roman Catholicism is includes later.

Official statements on the Eucharist:

Roman Catholicism holds that at the last supper, the Lord's words, “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Lk. 22:19b, 20), means that the Lord was literally giving them His body and blood, soul and Divinity, to eat(!).

It should also be said that it may be possible to hold that in some “mysterious manner” the Lord' is uniquely present in the commemoration of the Lord supper, and be over all sound in the faith, or even for some believers to continue in a belief in transubstantiation (at least for a time), but not make the eating of it a means of merited (by grace) salvation, as Rome's doctrine of it does, by such official statements as in CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATIONCHAPTER XVI:

... we must believe that nothing further is wanting to those justified [by baptism] to prevent them from being considered to have, by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life and to have truly merited eternal life, to be obtained in its [due] time, provided they depart [this life] in grace...”

That aspect is another subject, but here may we seek to be true worshipers, who worship God in Spirit and in Truth, for it is such that the Father seeks, (Jn. 4:23, 24: which i must seek more to be).

We should first begin with official statements of doctrine on the Eucharist in which i will make a few pertinent remarks.

In Her 1992 Catechism (from the Vatican Archives1), Chapter 3, Part 2, Article 3, “The sacrament of the Eucharist, and #1353, Rome describes what happens during her “Mass:”

..the Church asks the Father to send his Holy Spirit (or the power of his blessing178) on the bread and wine, so that by His power they may become the body and blood of Jesus Christ and so that those who take part in the Eucharist may be one body and one spirit... “ It continues, “In the institution narrative, the power of the words and the action of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, make sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine Christ's body and blood, His sacrifice offered on the cross once for all.

According to Rome, her sacrifice is not simply a holy memorial of the Lord's death, which signifies our fellowship with Him and each other, rather she claims it is the actual consumption of the Lord's literal body, and which actually has power to expiate, atone or make amends for sin:

#1365: “In the Eucharist Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."186 1374 (b): “In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."200

#1393 “Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is "given up for us," and the blood we drink 'shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins.' For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:”

#1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory [possessing power to atone for sins]."188

She also effectively teaches that to consume the flesh of Jesus is ingest the flesh of Mary:

Moreover, one must remember that the Blood of Christ shed for our sake and those members in which He offers to His Father the wounds He received, the price of our liberty, are no other than the flesh and blood of the virgin, since the flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Mary, and however much it was exalted in the glory of His resurrection, nevertheless the nature of His flesh derived from Mary remained and still remains the same (de Assumpt. B. V. M., c.v., among the Opera S. Aug).” — Fidentem Piumque Animum - On the Rosary; Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, September 20, 1896

Rome further asserts that her practice also can aid souls who exist in an unBiblical place called Purgatory:

#1371” “The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who "have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified,"191 so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ:”

#1405 There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth "in which righteousness dwells,"245 than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, "the work of our redemption is carried on" and we "break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ."246

#1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

#1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."204 (cf. 1413).

Rome also seeks to invoke Jn. 6:53 (Article 1384) to support their argument, which by implication would require receiving the Lord's supper to be regenerated. She also makes it one of her sacraments whereby souls are said to be able to increase their justified position before God (received at “baptismal” sprinkling, usually as infants), by doing works which are meritorious for salvation.

This requires the institution of a separate class of priests, by which to effect the substantiation she teaches.

# 1337: "...thereby He constituted them priests of the New Testament."162

#1410: “It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

And lest any assume that the transubstantiation of Rome supposes takes place also happens when those who are not of Rome (except her cousin, the Eastern churches. see 1399) celebrate the Lord's supper, #1369b states,

Let only that Eucharist be regarded as legitimate, which is celebrated under [the presidency of] the bishop or him to whom he has entrusted it.”189

#1411 Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

Finally, Rome makes mystical claims for her Eucharist, but which are not substantiated by empirical proof, which is relevant considering Her claims that in her Eucharist

#1324.. is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."

And that in partaking of her Eucharist, “Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'"133 (#1323). (www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a3.htm)

Regarding such claims of “supercharging” souls, which are often repeated, while our primary concern here is the issue of Scriptural warrant, formal study after study also reveal that, rather than Catholics having their “minds filled with grace,” they typically evidence far, far less fruits of regeneration, in both spiritual and temporal realms, than her evangelical counterparts, who believe “the gospel of grace,” and hold that the Lord's supper is a holy memorial, but not the literal consumption of the Lord''s body. ^

The Lord's supper in the synoptic gospels

In dealing with the meaning of the Lord's supper, we must first examine the narrative accounts of the Lord's supper in the gospels and in 1Corinthinas 11, and below are 2 charts, each comparing the 4 accounts, The 1st chart uses the King James Version (KJV), which is the more literal and faithful translation (Rome's Catechism in English uses the Revised Standard Version). The 2nd chart uses the official Bible of Rome for America, the New American Bible (NAB).Yet as one can see, there is no real difference that would affect interpretation, except that the NAB does not tell you which words were supplied, which the KJV does by way of italics.


King James Version

Matthew 26:26-29

Mark 14:22-25

Luke 22:19-20

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Comments

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

 

22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.

24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

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.

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.

26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.

The Lord took the unleavened (leaven representing sin in the O.T: Ex. 12:19; 34:25) bread which they used at the celebration of the Passover (Ex. 12:15-20; 23:15), which was made into thin cakes, and easily broken and distributed.

Blessed. Giving thanks for food is what is usually used (Lk. 9:16; Jn. 6:11; Acts 27:35; Rm. 14:6; 1Cor. 10:30), as it is in Luke 22:19 here.

Blessed it. But the blessing, or giving thanks, was not necessarily or at least primarily that of the food itself, (the word “it” is not in the Biblical manuscripts, but is added by translators as an aid to understanding – the best they see it – and so such supplied words are always in italics). The Biblical admonition is to bless (or give thanks to) the Lord “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good” (Ps. 103:1-5 cf. Dt. 8:10); “For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof” (1Cor. 10:26, 28), and which blessing is after Jewish custom. However, as 1Tim. 4:4 may indicate, we can certainly ask God to also bless what goes into our mouth, to our health, and to His glory.

Take eat, this is My body” is no more to be taken literally than “drink this cup,” or that the lamb itself in Exo. 12:11 is literally the Lord’s Passover, rather than representing the occasion of His passover in judgment, in which would pass over their houses.

The Lord's statement, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, indicates that the wine was still wine.

 


New American Bible — official Roman Catholic version for America

Matthew 26:26-29

Mark 14:22-25

Luke 22:19-20

1 Corinthians 11

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body."

27 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you,

28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.

29 I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father."

22 While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body."

23 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.

25 Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

9 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves;

18 for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

19 Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."

20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread,

24 and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. ^

    Exegesis

  1. Focusing first on the institution of the Lord's supper, “Take eat, this is My body” and “Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:19,20), Luke and Paul record the latter as “This cup is the new testament in my blood” (Lk. 22:20; 1Cor. 11:25) (Note: careful study of the the duplicate accounts of the words of Jesus on earth indicates that these were not always a verbatim record, yet they are nonetheless His words, as Jesus spoke by the Spirit and it was the Holy Spirit who inspired what was written in Scripture, and under Jesus direction. He can thus recast His words in duplicate accounts, as is also seen in Old Testament prophecies reiterated in the New Testament, to give a fuller but by no means contradictory meaning, and enable correct interpretation.) Grammatically, there is nothing unique about the word eat, which can be used for literal food as well as metaphorically for eating “spiritual manna” (Rev. 2:7,17) Likewise, the word “this” (G5124) in “this is my body” is normally used for literal things but is clearly used for the spiritual “cup” the LORD had to drink to make atonement for the sins of man, (Mt. 26:39) and for the cup which was the New Testament in His blood, (1Cor. 11:25) while the phrase “this is” (G5124, G2076) is used together for the spiritual “work” of believing on Jesus. (Jn. 6:29)

  2. Contextually, the LORD is speaking to Jews, not pagans, and the Jews (and Greeks, which influenced Jews during the time of Christ, and whose language was common) were well acquainted with the use of symbolic language, with the O.T. often speaking of eating in a figurative manner. When the fearful Israelites exclaimed that the Promised Land was “a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof;” or when Joshua exhorted the Israelites, “Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us” (Num. 13:32; 14:9), it is not to be supposed that the land or the Israelites would become cannibals. And when Jeremiah proclaims, Your words were found. and I ate them. and your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jer. 15:16), or Ezekiel is told, "eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel" (Ezek. 3:1), or (in a phrase most similar to the Lord's supper) John is commanded, "Take the scroll ... Take it and eat it" (Rev. 10:8-9 ), then it is not speaking of literal eating. And it is certain that cannibalism was not looked upon favorably in Israel, and is only portrayed negatively, even metaphorically, as David declared, "When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell." (Psa 27:2)

  3. Drinking blood is also be shown to be metaphorical in 2Sam. 23:15-17, wherein we read, “And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the LORD. And he said, Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.” Here, David equates the water obtained at the peril of the men's life (blood representing life: Lv. 17:11), with that of their lives themselves. In like use of metaphor, the Lord Jesus in the Lord's supper accounts is holding up bread and wine as a “picture”” of Himself, illustrating that just as such life physical giving substances could be broken and poured out, so would His body be “broken,” and His precious sinless blood be “poured out “ in offering a ransom for many (Mk. 10:45). Praise God for “so great salvation” (Heb. 2:3), at so great a price, which ought to constrain so great a response of consecration and faith in love (and i come short. May the Lord work in me to perfection, with mercy. Amen).

  4. Consistent with the strict literalism employed in assuming that since the Lord said “Take eat, this is My body” (Mt. 26:26), then it had to be His body, then one can also assert that when He said, “This cup is the new testament in my blood” (Lk. 22:20), then this would have Jesus commanding that the cup itself to be drunken, but which is non-sense. And just as the cup represented that which was in it, so the bread itself represented the Lord's body, rather than being transubstantiated into it, and which is manifestly consistent with Biblical Jewish as well as Greek allegorical usage (covered more under John 6).

  5. In the larger context of the Bible, we see that doctrinally, the Jews were strictly enjoined NEVER to eat blood, the penalty being to be cut off from God's people, “And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people” (Lv. 17:0). And one of the few basic Old Testament dietary laws that were enjoined upon converted Gentiles under the New Covenant was that which forbade eating blood. (Act 21:25) It is thus incongruous that the apostles, who were not above voicing concerns when troubled about things, even at the last supper, (it is I?), and especially Peter, would not protest a command to literally drink Jesus blood. Peter, the must vocal of all, was still following Kosher Law as far after the Lord's supper as Acts 10 (9-16), in which he protested “Not so, Lord” (an oxymoron). How much more he, or one of the apostles would have been aghast at the thought of actually ingesting the Lord's corporeal flesh and drinking His blood! Peter did not even (initially) want the Lord to wash his feet, (Jn. 13:6) and so protested it, and would surely be expected to do the same in response to being called to eat Jesus flesh

    Another argument might be that in Mt. 26:29 and Mk. 14:25, the Lord referred to what had been drank, not as His blood, but as the “this fruit of the vine”, which He would join His disciples in drinking in His Father's kingdom. (cf. Lk. 22:18,22,30) And it is not tenable that Jesus would be drinking His own blood then. However, the chronology of Luke 22:17-20 does place the saying beforehand.

  6. Directly related to the words of the Lord in the parallel account of the Lord's supper in Lk. 22:20, are Moses words in the institution of the Law of O.T. “And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words” (Ex. 24:8), and their reiteration in Heb 9:20, “Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.” Both covenants must be, and were, instituted by blood, but to be consistent with the idea that the participants in the New Covenant were actually drinking blood, would require that the participants in the Old Covenant did the same, which is clearly disallowed (see #1). Thus it is more reasonable that the bread and wine represented the Lord's body and blood, which were to be broken, and shed, respectively.

  7. Theologically, as major doctrines must have fairly abundant Scriptural substantiation, and this would surely be a major doctrine according to Rome, then we must expect to see some clear theology on the manner of transubstantiation, and provision for a separate Levitical class of priests, which would be empowered to effect this presumed supernatural exchange of substances. But no where do we truly see such, as the Lord's supper is not even explicitly mentioned once in all the 28 chapters of the life of the early churches and the apostles (the possible references in Acts, that of breaking bread together, is only mentioned 4 times, with not even a hint of priestly consecration and transubstantiation ala Rome). Meanwhile, the only places we see in the rest of the N.T. which deal with the Lord's supper do not provide a theology of transubstantiation.

  8. In addition, nowhere is there a separate ordained class of priests ruling over the “laity,” but under the New Covenant all believers makes up a general priesthood (1Pt. 2:9). The word for priest hiereus [G2409] is different than the word for Apostle [G652=ambassador], Elder [G4245=old, mature] or Bishop [G1985=overseer] or Pastor G4166=shepherd], as one or more of their primary functions is different. A priest was uniquely ordained to offer up literal sacrifices for sins (Lv. 3:1-5ff; Ezek. 43:27), and which Rome supposes they do in offering up the Mass, which is held to have the power to expiate sins, through an ongoing literal sacrifice in which they suppose they turn wine and bread into the Lord's corporeal flesh and blood to be consumed. However, the Lord is not turned into bread, nor is a separate class (from other believers) of sacerdotal priests ordained for such, as instead of clergy being called priests, what the Lord ordained to be overseers of His flock, besides the initial apostles, were Bishop/Elders (same office: Titus 1:5-7; cf. 1Pt. 5:1), which collectively are called Pastors (Eph. 4:11). The job of a Bishop/Elder or pastor is to be an overseer, and to feed the flock with the Word of God, (1Pet. 5:2) and which flock collectively is to offer the sacrifice of praise, (Heb. 13:15) and individually their bodies as living sacrifices for the LORD to use, as instruments of righteousness. (Rm. 12:1) More on this here.

  9. In addition, transubstantiation, in which the substance of bread and wine is said to be "really" changed, so that the bread and wine become the Lord's body and blood, though the sensory aspects of the earthly elements remain the same, is contrary to the miracles which the Lord and His followers did. The water actually became wine in John 2, and it tasted like it, and sick people who were supernaturally made well knew it, and it was apparent, (Acts 3) but such was not by transubstantiation as defined by Rome. Nor is this the case in regeneration, which creates a new heart. Even in the Lord's incarnation, it was Christ being made in the flesh (Jn. 1:14; Phil. 2:7), but not a transubstantiated way, or in any way that He was not literally flesh and blood, while being “God manifest in the flesh” (1Tim. 3:16). In addition, empirical evidence fails to manifest that Biblical fruits of regeneration are realized more by those who eat of the table of Rome versus those who dine at the table of the word in evangelical churches.

  10. A miracle which transubstantiation claims to be would also be contrary to the Lord's incarnation in a different way (nor Rome does see it as the same), in which He humbled Himself to take upon flesh, even of the “seed of Abraham” (Jn. 1:14; Heb. 2:16), and as such, He was restricted to being in one place at one time. No where in the Lord's multitudinous miracles do we see anything approaching Him being literally physically in two places at once. But according to the theory of transubstantiation, at the Lord's Supper the Lord Jesus was both sitting before them as well as being digested in their stomachs. Such a notion surpasses simple absurdity, and actually becomes blasphemous!

    Further selected commentary from men more learned me than i on the verses at subject is offered below, by the grace of God.

Barnes

Clarke

Gill

TSK

Mat 26:26-30 -

See also Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:15-20; 1Cor. 11:23-25.

Jesus took bread - That is, the unleavened bread which they used at the celebration of the Passover, made into thin cakes, easily broken and distributed.

And blessed it - Or sought a blessing on it; or “gave thanks” to God for it. The word rendered “blessed” not unfrequently means “to give thanks.” Compare Luke 9:16 and John 6:11. It is also to be remarked that some manuscripts have the word rendered “gave thanks,” instead of the one translated “blessed.” It appears from the writings of Philo and the Rabbis that the Jews were never accustomed to eat without giving thanks to God and seeking his blessing. This was especially the case in both the bread and the wine used at the Passover.

And brake it - This “breaking” of the bread represented the sufferings of Jesus about to take place - his body “broken” or wounded for sin. Hence, Paul 1Cor. 11:24 adds, “This is my body which is broken for you;” that is, which is about to be broken for you by death, or wounded, pierced, bruised, to make atonement for your sins.

This is my body - This represents my body. This broken bread shows the manner in which my body will be broken; or this will serve to recall my dying sufferings to your remembrance. It is not meant that his body would be literally “broken” as the bread was, but that the bread would be a significant emblem or symbol to recall to their recollection his sufferings. It is not improbable that our Lord pointed to the broken bread, or laid his hands on it, as if he had said, “Lo, my body!” or, “Behold my body! - that which “represents” my broken body to you.” This “could not” be intended to mean that that bread was literally his body. It was not. His body was then before them “living.” And there is no greater absurdity than to imagine his “living body” there changed at once to a “dead body,” and then the bread to be changed into that dead body, and that all the while the “living” body of Jesus was before them.

Yet this is the absurd and impossible doctrine of the Roman Catholics, holding that the “bread” and “wine” were literally changed into the “body and blood” of our Lord. The language employed by the Saviour was in accordance with a common mode of speaking among the Jews, and exactly similar to that used by Moses at the institution of the Passover Ex. 12:11; “It” - that is, the lamb - “is the Lord’s Passover.” That is, the lamb and the feast “represent” the Lord’s “passing over” the houses of the Israelites. It serves to remind you of it. It surely cannot be meant that that lamb was the literal “passing over” their houses - a palpable absurdity - but that it represented it. So Paul and Luke say of the bread, “This is my body broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” This expresses the whole design of the sacramental bread. It is to call to “remembrance,” in a vivid manner, the dying sufferings of our Lord. The sacred writers, moreover, often denote that one thing is represented by another by using the word is. See Mat. 13:37; “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man” - that is, represents the Son of man. Gen. 41:26; “the seven good kine are seven years” - that is, “represent” or signify seven years. See also John 15:1, John 15:5; Gen. 17:10. The meaning of this important passage may be thus expressed: “As I give this broken bread to you to eat, so will I deliver my body to be afflicted and slain for your sins.”

This is my body - Here it must be observed that Christ had nothing in his hands, at this time, but part of that unleavened bread which he and his disciples had been eating at supper, and therefore he could mean no more than this, viz. that the bread which he was now breaking represented his body, which, in the course of a few hours, was to be crucified for them. Common sense, unsophisticated with superstition and erroneous creeds, - and reason, unawed by the secular sword of sovereign authority, could not possibly take any other meaning than this plain, consistent, and rational one, out of these words. “But,” says a false and absurd creed, “Jesus meant, when he said, Hoc Est Corpus Meum, This is my body, and Hic Est Calix Sanguinis Mei, This is the chalice of my blood, that the bread and wine were substantially changed into his body, including flesh, blood, bones, yea, the whole Christ, in his immaculate humanity and adorable divinity!” And, for denying this, what rivers of righteous blood have been shed by state persecutions and by religious wars! Well it may be asked, “Can any man of sense believe, that, when Christ took up that bread and broke it, it was his own body which he held in his own hands, and which himself broke to pieces, and which he and his disciples ate?” He who can believe such a congeries of absurdities, cannot be said to be a volunteer in faith; for it is evident, the man can neither have faith nor reason, as to this subject.

Let it be observed, if any thing farther is necessary on this point, that the paschal lamb, is called the passover, because it represented the destroying angel’s passing over the children of Israel, while he slew the firstborn of the Egyptians; and our Lord and his disciples call this lamb the passover, several times in this chapter; by which it is demonstrably evident, that they could mean no more than that the lamb sacrificed on this occasion was a memorial of, and Represented, the means used for the preservation of the Israelites from the blast of the destroying angel. .....

But let it be observed that, in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Chaldeo-Syriac languages, as used in the Bible, there is no term which expresses to mean, signify, denote, though both the Greek and Latin abound with them: hence the Hebrews use a figure, and say, it is, for, it signifies . So Gen. 41:26, Gen. 41:27. The seven kine Are (i.e. represent) seven years.

Thus Christ took the bread and held it up, that his disciples might observe it: and blessed it; or asked a blessing over it, and upon it, or rather blessed and gave thanks to his Father or it, and for what was signified by it; and prayed that his disciples, whilst eating it, might be led to him, the bread of life, and feed upon him in a spiritual sense; whose body was going to be broken for them, as the bread was to be, in order to obtain eternal redemption for them: so it was common with the Jews, to ask a blessing on their bread: the form in which they did it was this (m):

"Blessed art thou, O Lord, our God, the king of the world, that produceth bread out of the earth.

What form our Lord used, is not certain; no doubt it was one of his composing, and every way suitable to the design of this ordinance. It was customary also when there were many at table, that lay down there, however, as Christ and his disciples now did, for one to ask a blessing for them all; for so runs the rule (n),

"if they sit to eat, everyone blesses for himself, but if they lie along, àçã îáøê ìëìí, "one blesses for them all".

Moreover, they always blessed, before they brake:

"Says Rabba (o), he blesses, and after that he breaks:

this rule Christ likewise carefully observes, for it follows, and brake it.

The rules concerning breaking of bread, are these (p),

"The master of the house recites and finishes the blessing, and after that he breaks:--no man that breaks, is allowed to break, till they have brought the salt, and what is to be eaten with the bread, before everyone--and he does not break neither a small piece, lest he should seem to be sparing; nor a large piece, bigger than an egg, lest he should be thought to be famished;--and on the sabbath day he breaks a large piece, and he does not break, but in the place where it is well baked: it is a principal command to break a whole loaf.

Christ broke the bread, as the symbol of his body, which was to be broken by blows, and scourges, thorns, nails, and spear, and to be separated from his soul, and die as a sacrifice for the sins of his people: and having so done, he

gave it to the disciples; which being a distinct act from breaking the bread, shows that the latter does not design the distribution of the bread, but an act preceding it, and a very significant one: and which ought not to be laid aside: according to the Jewish (q) usages,

"He that broke the bread, put a piece before everyone, and the other takes it in his hand; and he that breaks, does not give it into the hand of the eater, unless he is a mourner; and he that breaks, stretches out his hand first and eats, and they that sit, or lie at the table, are not allowed to taste, until he that blesses, has tasted; and he that breaks, is not allowed to taste, until the Amen is finished out of the mouth of the majority of those that sit at table.

Mat 26:26 -

as: Mk. 14:22; Luk. 22:19

Jesus: Luk. 24:30; 1Cor. 11:23-25

blessed it: “Many Greek copies have gave thanks.” Mark 6:41

and brake: Acts 2:46; Acts 20:7 1Cor. 10:16, 1Cor. 10:17

Take: John 6:33-35, John 6:47-58; 1Cor. 11:26-29

this Ezek. 5:4, Ezek 5:5; Luke 22:20; 1Cor. 10:4, 1Cor. 10:16; Gal. 4:24, Gal. 4:25

 

Barnes

Clarke

Gill

Robert-son's

Mat. 26:27:

And he took the cup - That is, the cup of wine which was used at the feast of the Passover, called the cup of “Hallel,” or praise, because they commenced then repeating the “Psalms” with which they closed the Passover.

See Mat. 26:30. This cup, Luke says, he took “after supper” - that is, after they had finished the ordinary celebration of “eating” the Passover. The “bread” was taken “while” they were eating, the cup after they had done eating.

And gave thanks - See the notes at Mat. 26:26.

Drink ye all of it - That is, “all of you, disciples, drink of it;” not, “drink all the wine.”

Mat. 26:28: For this is my blood - This “represents” my blood, as the bread does my body.

Luke and Paul vary the expression, adding what Matthew and Mark have omitted. “This cup is the new testament in my blood.” By this cup he meant the wine in the cup, and not the cup itself. Pointing to it, probably, he said, “This - ‘wine’ - represents my blood about to be, shed.” The phrase “new testament” should have been rendered “new covenant,” referring to the “covenant or compact” that God was about to make with people through a Redeemer. The “old” covenant was that which was made with the Jews by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices. See Ex. 24:8; “And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you,” etc. In allusion to that, Jesus says, this cup is the new “covenant” in my blood; that is, which is “ratified, sealed, or sanctioned by my blood.” In ancient times, covenants or contracts were ratified by slaying an animal; by the shedding of its blood, imprecating similar vengeance if either party failed in the compact. See the notes at Heb. 9:16. So Jesus says the covenant which God is about to form with people the new covenant, or the gospel economy is sealed or ratified with my blood.

Which is shed for many for the remission of sins - In order that sins may be remitted, or forgiven. That is, this is the appointed way by which God will pardon transgressions. That blood is efficacious for the pardon of sin:

1. Because it is “the life” of Jesus, the “blood” being used by the sacred writers as representing “life itself,” or as containing the elements of life, Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:14. It was forbidden, therefore, to eat blood, because it contained the life, or was the life, of the animal. When, therefore, Jesus says that his blood was shed for many, it is the same as saying that His life was given for many. See the notes at Rom. 3:25.


2. His life was given for sinners, or he died in the place of sinners as their substitute. By his death on the cross, the death or punishment due to them in hell may be removed and their souls be saved. He endured so much suffering, bore so much agony, that God was pleased to accept it in the place of the eternal torments of all the redeemed. The interests of justice, the honor and stability of his government, would be as secure in saving them in this manner as if the suffering were inflicted on them personally in hell. God, by giving his Son to die for sinners, has shown his infinite abhorrence of sin; since, according to his view, and therefore according to truth, nothing else would show its evil nature but the awful sufferings of his own Son. That he died “in the stead or place” of sinners is abundantly clear from the following passages of Scripture: John 1:29; Eph. 5:2; Heb. 7:27; 1Jn. 2:2; 1Jn. 4:10; Is. 53:10; Rom. 8:32; 2Co. 5:15. Mat. 26:29

' But I say unto you ... - That is, the observance of the Passover, and of the rites shadowing forth future things, here end.

I am about to die. The design of all these types and shadows is about to be accomplished. This is the last time that I shall partake of them with you. Hereafter, when my Father’s kingdom is established in heaven, we will partake together of the thing represented by these types and ceremonial observances - the blessings and triumphs of redemption.

This Is (represents) the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Dan. 7:24. The ten horns Are (i.e. signify) ten kings. They drank of the spiritual Rock which followed them, and the Rock Was (represented) Christ. 1Co. 10:4.

And following this Hebrew idiom, though the work is written in Greek, we find in Rev. 1:20, The seven stars Are (represent) the angels of the seven Churches: and the seven candlesticks Are (represent) the seven Churches.

The same form of speech is used in a variety of places in the New Testament, where this sense must necessarily be given to the word. Mat. 13:38, Mat. 13:39. The field IS (represents) the world: the good seed Are (represent or signify) the children of the kingdom: the tares Are (signify) the children of the wicked one. The enemy Is (signifies) the devil: the harvest Is (represents) the end of the world: the reapers Are (i.e. signify) the angels. Luke 8:9. What might this parable Be? Τις ΕΙΗ η παραβολη αυτη: - What does this parable Signify? Jn. 7:36. Τις ΕΣΤΙΝ αυτος ο λογος: What is the Signification of this saying? John 10:6. They understood not what things they Were, τινα ΗΝ, what was the Signification of the things he had spoken to them. Acts 10:17. Τι αν ΕΙΗ οραμα, what this vision Might Be; properly rendered by our translators, what this vision should Mean. Gal. 4:24. For these Are the two covenants, αυται γαρ ΕΙΣΙΝ αι δυο διαθηκαι, these Signify the two covenants. Luke 15:26. He asked, τι ΕΙΗ ταυτα, what these things Meant. See also Luke 8:36. After such unequivocal testimony from the Sacred writings, can any person doubt that, This bread is my body, has any other meaning than, This bread Represents my body?

Tertullian seems to have had a correct notion of those words of our Lord,

Acceptum panem et distributum discipulis, corpus illum suum fecit, Hoc Est Corpus Meum dicendo, id est, Figura corporis mei.

Advers. Marc. l. v. c. 40.

Having taken the bread, and distributed that body to his disciples, he made it his body by saying, This is my body, i.e. a Figure of my body.”


 

And said, take, eat, this is my body; in Luke it is added, "which is given for you", Luke 22:19; that is, unto death, as a sacrifice for sin; and by the Apostle Paul, 1Co. 11:24, "which is broken for you"; as that bread then was, and so expressive of his wounds, bruises, sufferings, and death, for them. Now when he says, "this is my body", he cannot mean, that that bread was his real body; or that it was changed and converted into the very substance of his body; but that it was an emblem and representation of his body, which was just ready to be offered up, once for all: in like manner, as the Jews in the eating of their passover used to say (r) of the unleavened bread,

äà ìçîà ãòðéà, this is "the bread of affliction", which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt.

Not that they thought that was the selfsame bread, but that it resembled it, and was a representation of the affliction and distress their fathers were in at that time: to which some think our Lord here alludes: though rather, the reference is to the passover lamb, which is frequently, in Jewish writings, called "the body" of the lamb: thus mention being made of the bringing of the herbs, the unleavened bread, and the sauce "Charoseth", with other things to the master of the house, it is added (s):

"and in the sanctuary (whilst that stood) they bring unto him, âåôå ùì ôñç, "the body of the lamb".

Again, elsewhere (t) it is said, "they bring a table furnished, and on it the bitter herbs and other greens, and the unleavened bread, and the sauce, åâåôå ùì ëáù äôñç "and the body of the paschal lamb".

And a little further (u), "he recites the blessing, blessed art thou O Lord, &c. for the eating of the passover, and he eats, îâåôå ùì ôñç, "of the body of the passover".


And now it is, as if Christ had said, you have had "the body" of the lamb set before you, and have eaten of it, in commemoration of the deliverance out of Egypt, and as a type of me the true passover, quickly to be sacrificed; and this rite of eating the body of the paschal lamb is now to cease; and I do here by this bread, in an emblematical way, set before you "my body", which is to be given to obtain spiritual deliverance, and eternal redemption for you; in remembrance of which, you, and all my followers in successive generations, are to take and eat of it, till I come. The words, "take, eat", show that Christ did not put the bread into the mouths of the disciples, but they took it in their hands, and ate it; expressive of taking and receiving Christ by the hand of faith, and feeding on him in a spiritual manner, ^

This is my body (touto estin to sōma mou).

The bread as a symbol represents the body of Jesus offered for us, “a beautifully simple, pathetic, and poetic symbol of his death” (Bruce). But some have made it “run into fetish worship” (Bruce). Jesus, of course, does not mean that the bread actually becomes his body and is to be worshipped. The purpose of the memorial is to remind us of his death for our sins.

John 6

John chapter 6 is invoked by Rome is attempting to find warrant for her doctrine of transubstantiation, but which again militates against her claim to be the infallible teacher of the church. The context of John 6 is that of men seeking physical food. Jesus had just fed them, as a manifestation of His grace, but when they returned for more, not out of need but because they wanted a (modern) Jesus who placed the priority on constant physical satisfaction, The LORD instead tells them, “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.” (John 6:27). Because they are “carnally minded,” who “mind the things of the flesh” (Rm. 8:5), and looking for the physical, then contrary to the women at the well in Jn. 4, when Jesus leads them to the higher spiritual using metaphorical language (living water: 4:10, 14 = Jesus, as living bread” in 6:51), their focus on a literal physical meaning restrains them from perceiving it’s spiritual counterpart. Therefore, rather than telling others about the Messiah (4:28, 29), they will walk away with darkened minds (v. 66). The parallel between Jn. 4 and Jn 6 is clear, except that in the former Jesus did not explicitly say that He was the living water, and if He had Roman Catholicism would be likely be teaching transubstantiation of water.

But as He did in Jn. 4, Jesus reveals the spiritual meaning of His metaphor, that as “I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me” (v. 6:57), which is by every word of God (Mt. 4:4), “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63). Peter rightly discern this, as he states, “thou hast the words of eternal life” which is entirely consistent with the testimony of Scripture elsewhere, especially in John, where the means of gaining eternal life is not be physical consumption of Christ, but by believing in the Son of the living God, (Jn 3:13,16,36; 5:24; 10:27; 11:25-27) for whom John gives many physical types.

In John 1:29, He is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

In John 3, Jesus is the likened to the serpent in the wilderness (Num. 21) who must “be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal” (vs. 14, 15).

In John 4, Jesus is the living water, that “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (v. 14).

In John 5, Jesus is the Divine Son of God “making himself equal with God”, and the prophesied Messiah (vs. 18, 39).

In John 6, Jesus is the bread of God “which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” “..that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (vs. 35,40). This bread is called His flesh, “which I will give for the life of the world” (v. 51). And as He is the “living bread,” and “the life of the flesh is in the blood,” so the soon to be crucified Christ is metaphorical bread and blood.

In John 10, Jesus is “the door of the sheep,”, and the good shepherd [who] giveth his life for the sheep”, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” vs. 7, 10, 11).

In John 12, He is the LORD who Isaiah saw high and lifted up in glory, when Isaiah uttered the prophecy which as given in it’s fulfilled sense in Jn. 6 (Is. 6:1-10; Jn. 12:34b-50). To God be the glory.

In John 15, Jesus is the true vine. Thus the use of metaphors in Jn. 6 to denote believing and living by the Word of God, and most essentially Christ, is consistent theologically, culturally and and grammatically, whereas eating something to gain eternal life is distinctively pagan. The Jewish passover did not impart life, and Jesus analogy in Jn. 6 was not to the passover, but the miraculous bread from Heaven, which gave physical life, which corresponds to spiritual life under the New Covenant.

If John 6 is what Rome says it means, then according to v. 53, in order to have "life in you", which comes by receiving the holy Spirit (Acts 10:43-47; 11:18; 15:7-9; Eph. 2:1, 5), and to receive the gift of eternal life, then we would see the apostles preaching to take part in the Lord supper in order to be born again, and be saved. Instead, they preached that we are believe on the Lord Jesus, which is what Jn. 6: 63 confirms is the meaning of v. 53. The apostles taught how one becomes born again, and so have “life in you” (Eph. 2:1, 5), is by believing the word of the gospel, that of Christ crucified and risen again (Eph. 1:13; Acts 10:43-47).

In addition, the Lord tell us we are to “live by every word which proceedeth forth from the mouth of God

(Mt. 4:4), and in Jn. 4 He tells us that do His Father's will was in essence His food (v.34). Then, in Jn. 6:57 the Lord gives us a clear interpretation of how we are to live by eating His flesh and drinking His blood, by giving us the example of how He lives, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. And as Jesus “lived” by every word of the Father, (Mt. 4:4) not by literally eating His flesh, and His “meat and drink” was to do His will, (Jn. 4:34), so are we to live by believing Him, which is shown in following. And that this is what Jn. 6 speaks of, and to which the rest of Scripture concurs, that by believing the gospel of the crucified and risen Christ, men receive His Spirit, and which enables a life of obedience. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63). So “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him” (Ps. 34:8. Praise ye the Lord!]

As the singular word "eat in jn. 6:53 is the common word for eatings, as an examination of the 97 occurrences of the word reveals, and it is used metaphorically to denote spiritual eating (Rv. 2:7,14,17,20; 17:16), the verb "eateth" (trōgō [G5176] of "eateth my flesh" in 6:54, 56-58 is focused upon by Roman Catholic apologists in asserting it means literal eating, as it appears to convey the idea of “corrosion or wear; or perhaps rather of a base of G5167 and G5149 through the idea of a crunching sound; to gnaw or chew, that is, (genitive case) to eat: - eat.” (Strong's) In any case, the clear clear usage of trōgō is to describe a continuous action of eating: "For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark." (Mt. 24:38; (cf. Jn. 13:18) And so rather than denoting that Jesus flesh was of a texture that requires tough chewing, trōgō easily corresponds to the word for believing in John and elsewhere, which can denote a present an ongoing state. (Mat. 21:22; Jn. 20:31; Acts. 16:34; 24:14; Rm. 15:13; 1Pet. 1:8) Thus, consistent with eating as a metaphor for believing, the believer continuously “chews” on Christ, the Word of God, as He lives by faith in Him. ^

1 Corinthians 10

In understanding 1 Cor. 10:16-21, we must first look at the context, which (flowing from the preceding chapter) is that of the need to exercise self-denial, avoid idolatry, and worship God in Spirit and in truth, to His glory. And in the beginning of this chapter Paul prefaces what he is about to teach by using illustrations from the Old Testament which are analogous to the Christian life. In so doing the spiritual nature of the physical illustrations used becomes readily apparent. Paul begins by stating (v. 1),

10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Under the cloud” refers to being under the leading and protective defense of the pillar of cloud, a symbol of the divine presence, the Holy Spirit (Ex. 3:21-22; Ps. 105:39; Num. 4:14; cf. Is. 4:5). Having also passed through the Red Sea, they were also in essence baptized unto, or in regards to Moses, so that they were to be dead to Egypt and live unto God by following the Law of Moses, who was a type of Christ.

Ex. 23:20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in Him. 22 But if thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. 23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

And the “spiritual meat” refers to the manna which only fed them physically (it is called spiritual because it was of supernatural origin). But while the miraculous foods and water gave them physical sustenance, only the Word of God could give them spiritual life:

Dt. 32:46, 47 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

And in fact, it was only by obedience to God's word that they even received their supernatural physical sustenance:

Dt. 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

This is the contrast which the Lord Jesus spoke of in John 6:49, + 50, when He stated, “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die”. And thus the promise of the life – giving Holy Spirit and eternal life is given to whosoever truly believes the gospel (Acts 2:38; 319, 20; 10:43-48).

Meanwhile, the spiritual drink spoken of in 10:4 is that miraculously given water which the Israelites received:

Ex. 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Num. 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also (cf. 21:19: The rabbis also had a legend that the water actually followed the Israelites through the water-bearing Rephidim rock for 40 years).

Here, just as in “spiritual meat,” which the Lord confirmed only gave physical life (Jn. 6:49, 5), the water is called “spiritual drink” because of it's supernatural creation, not because it was of spiritual substance under the appearance of normal water.

And we see that the actual source of the water was the Lord Jesus, the Rock of Israel, who followed them, as it was He who begat, formed, and led them (cf. Dt. 32:4, 18, 30, 31, 37; Ps. 78:35), and also led them in the form of the Angel of Yaweh (Ex. 14:19).

It is important to realize at this point that the general norm is that physical things in the Old Testament picture Christ and spiritual things under the New Covenant. For instance, the physically unblemished Lamb pictures Christ, the Lamb of God “which taketh away the sins of the world” (Jn. 1:29, praise the Lord),. And in 1Cor. 10 the physical manna and drink and the Rock, were not literally the Lord Jesus, but represented Him, and whom we are to receive in our hearts by faith in “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). .

But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”

Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (Jn. 1:12; 5:24).

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:12-14).

After this beginning preface, Paul reminds the Corinthians (v. 5ff) that even though these Israelites had been enlightened, and had tasted of the heavenly gift, and were guided by the Holy Ghost, And had “tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come” (such as Hebrews 6:5 speaks of), yet “with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness” (v. 5), because they received the grace of God in vain, and fell in unbelief and idolatry. Forsaking the first commandment, they then broke others, giving into the sensual lusts of the flesh (Num. 11:4; 31-34; Ps. 78:27-31; 106. 14, 15) . And being lustful, rebellious and discontented (they go together), they manifested fleshly murmurings, and irreverently challenged and mocked God and His Divinely established authority – to their own destruction. (Ex. 17:1-7; 23:20, 21; Dt. 1:34, 35; 2:16; Num. 14; 21:1 – 8; 25:1-9; Ps. 78:18, 32-34, 56: 106 :26; Heb. 3:17).

The Holy Spirit then exhorts them and us, ”Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (v.12). That we should not be complacent or self satisfied, but conscious of our desperate need for the power and grace of God, and motivated with a single desire to glorify Him, we should with “purpose of heart” “cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 15:23). and as a church, “be edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost” Acts 9:31). .

And that although “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22), .and though we may and will be sorely tried, yet we are to take courage because, as the next verses tell us (+ me), “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry (10:13, 14).

This shows us that the when we give into temptation we are giving into idolatry, for either the flesh will be Lord or Christ will be (to us), as well as the possibility of giving into a form of more formal idolatry. And it becomes more evident as we go along, that the Corinthians were not only experiencing temptation to give into their own fleshly desires (including self deliverance), but also to give into societal pressures that would be idolatrous. This sets the stage for the next section which deals with the Lord's supper, and it's application regarding idolatry.

Paul begins this section (v. 15) with a statement which indicates that what will follow requires discernment; “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say”, and it is here that we again will deal with the unwarranted interpretation of Roman Catholicism regarding 1Cor. 10), and (briefly) it's application, versus that which finds sound substantiation in the grammar and the immediate and larger context of Scripture.

Below are the Scriptures for section we will be examining most , and as such i have provided 2 other translations , besides the tried and true King James version,(KJV) for comparison; the New American Bible (NAB), and the 18th century Douay-Rheims Bible (DRB).

KJV

NAB

DRB

16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.

22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

15 I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying.

16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

17 Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

18 Look at Israel according to the flesh; are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?

19 So what am I saying? That meat sacrificed to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything?

20 No, I mean that what they sacrifice, (they sacrifice) to demons, 8 not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons.

21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.

22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than he

10:15} I speak as to wise men: judge ye yourselves what I say.

{10:16} The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?

{10:17} For we, being many, are one bread, one body: all that partake of one bread.

{10:18} Behold Israel according to the flesh. Are not they that eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

{10:19} What then? Do I say that what is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? Or that the idol is any thing?

{10:20} But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.

{10:21} You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord and of the table of devils.

{10:22} Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?


In v. 16, Paul begins by saying,

Co 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion2842 of the blood of Christ? The3588 bread which we break, is it not the communion2842 of the body of Christ 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

The first keyword here is communion, which means fellowship koino¯nia, (koy-nohn-ee'-ah), which comes from G2844; partnership, that is, (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction: - (to) communicate (-ation), communion, (contri-), distribution, fellowship. [Strongs].

And as fellowship it is translated , 12 times in the KJV: Acts 2:42, 1Cor. 1:9, 2Cor. 8:4, Eph. 3:9 (2), Phil. 1:5, 2:1, 3:10, 1Jn. 1:3, 1:6-7 and as communion, 4 times: 1Cor. 10:16 (2), 2Cor. 13:14 (2); and once each as communicate (or share): Heb. 13:16, communication: Phlm. 1:6, contribution: Rom. 15:26, and distribution: 2Cor. 9:13.

It here that many Catholics would have it read, “is it not the eating of the body of Christ?” But koino¯nia, does not mean eating, and it is never translated as that either in the KJV, DRB or the NAB, which renders it a “sharing. “

And it is a sharing, “the communion [or fellowship] of the of the body of Christ”, and the interpretation of this phrase is found in the next verse (17), For [or because] we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” Here it is plainly evident that the “body of Christ” being referred to is not the elements of the Lord's supper, but the corporate body of Christ. That is, it is a sharing or communion of the body of Christ in that the members are communally coming together to commemorate the Lord's death by the ordinance which He instituted, and by which they also declare their union with Him. See here for more on this.

And as he has been doing previously in this chapter, Paul again goes on to use O.T. examples to teach N.T. obedience.

18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers [G2844] of the altar?

The allusion to to Israel is pertinent, as it was a physical example of a N.T. spiritual reality, and the phrase “partakers of the altar” is a key one. And again the word “partaking” or fellowship is used, which is koino¯nos (G2844), which is from G2839 (shared by all), and which is likely from G4862 denoting union); and denotes “a sharer, that is, associate: - companion, X fellowship, partaker, partner” [Strongs].

But the depth of meaning in “partakers of the altar” and in what way they were, is best understood in the light of the comparison with the Gentilic sacrifices which follows.

19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship [G2844] with devils.

21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers [3348] of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.

[Again the word partaking or fellowship koino¯nos (G2844) is used in v. 20. Then a different word is used for partaking in v. 21 [3348], which is from G3326 and G2192, denoting to share or participate; and which can relate to the physical aspect of eating the sacrifices.]

Verse 19 rhetorically questions whether the idol itself is of any reality, and hearkens back to 1Cor. 8:4, while the 2nd question prepares them for 1Cor. 10:25, that they are to not superstitiously suppose that a thing that once was dedicated to idols is of any spiritual reality (and thus they may eat of it, but not as part of a pagan religious ritual).

But most notably, we see in v. 20 and 21, that the lost, pagan Gentiles, by sacrificing to devils and eating of the sacrifices as part of their worship, were having fellowship with the devil whom they sacrificed to. Likewise, Israel , in v. 18 and 21b, was having fellowship with the LORD (YHWH) as they sacrificed unto Him, and ate of the sacrifices made unto God.

What is made manifest in this is that in partaking of the Lord's supper, we are to commemorate the Lord's sacrificial death, and to do so hypocritically, such as effectively not recognizing others as members of Christ by uncaring selfishness, is to actually not commemorate the Lord's sacrificial death, and is the sin dealt with in 1Cor. 11:17-32. See here on this.

But what also is manifest, is that the partaking of the Lord's supper is not that of eating the Lord's physical body and blood. The Greek not only militates against rendering v. 16 to mean actually eating the Lord's physical body, but the context disallows it. V. 17 must be ignored, and (to be consistent) the partaking in the following verses would allow Jewish sacrifices to be the LORD's corporeal flesh, as well as that of the Gentiles to under go some sort of demonic transubstantiation. Rather than some unBiblical ingesting of the Lord's body, the Lord's supper is a spiritual communion with each other and with the Lord, by commemorating His supremely unselfish death for us, and in a way consistent with that death, as a community of people dead to self and alive to Him, to serve God and each other.

As in baptism (by immersion, which is what baptizo means), our participation in the Lord's supper declares something that is a spiritual reality. In Baptism it is our individual union with Christ in His death and resurrection, and in the Lord's supper it is the communal worship of the Lord, as as a people bought by His blood, remembering His death via the elements He used to signify it. ^

1 Corinthians 11

1Corinthians 11: 26-30 we read (after reiterating part of Luke 22:19,20), "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."

It is the latter part, "not discerning the Lord's body" is used by Roman Catholic apologists who assert that their sin was not recognizing or reverencing they were consuming the corporal flesh and blood of Jesus. " transubstantiation". However, contextually, we see that the problem at hand was that certain Corinthians were not effectually recognizing their fellow believers as members of the Lord's body, which Paul elsewhere defines as the church. (Eph. 1:23,16; 4:4,12,16;. 5:23,30; Col. 1:18,22; 2:11,17,19; 3:15) The context is that some souls were commemorating the utterly selfless sacrifice of the Lord in an entirely selfish way, that of not waiting for the members and engaging in communal, shared eating of food at the "feast of charity" (Jude 1:12), but of some coming hungry and filling their face while others were hungry. By such independence and selfishness they were not showing the Lord's unselfish death as Paul reminded them they were commanded to do, but were denying coporate love and uinty. The church as the body of Christ has "many members," composed together by God in such a way (some more healthy, wealthy and wise than others) so that all "the members should have the same care one for another" (12:24,25). The Corinthian's sin of " not discerning the Lord's body" was their manifest failure to do just that - recognize each other as part of the the body for whom Christ died, and show that love to each other. The result was severe chastisement - even unto death. Such examination of self and repentance is needed today, as a great transformation in this area is needed. See here for more exegesis on this.^

Maryolatry

Rome seeks to deny that it fosters Maryolatry, yet it's own doctrine does, making her an Heavenly object of earthly devotion of prayer, while in the Bible only God is the heavenly object of such. It is common among Catholics to give mnore attention and praise to Mary than the Son of God, by whom she was created, and later was blessed to become His mother in His incarnation. However, to call her “Mother of God” is ontologically incorrect, while the multitude other titles Rome has allowed or given her seem more numerous than those which belong to Christ.

Holy Mary

Holy Mother of God;

Most honored of virgins;

Chosen daughter of the Father

Mother of Christ;

Glory of the Holy Spirit

Virgin daughter of Zion,

Virgin poor and humble,

Virgin gentle and obedient,

Handmaid of the Lord,

Mother of the Lord,

Helper of the Redeemed,

Full of grace,

Fountain of beauty,

Model of virtue,

Finest fruit of the redemption,

Perfect disciple of Christ,

Untarnished image of the Church,

Woman transformed,

Woman clothed with the sun,

Woman crowned with stars,

Gentile Lady,

Gracious Lady,

Our Lady,

Joy of Israel,

Splendor of the Church,

Pride of the human race,

Advocate of grace,

Minister of holiness,

Champion of God’s people,

Queen of love,

Queen of mercy,

Queen of peace,

Queen of angels,

Queen of patriarchs and prophets,

Queen of apostles and martyrs,

Queen of confessors and virgins,

Queen of all saints,

Queen conceived without original sin,

Queen assumed into heaven,

Queen of all earth,

Queen of heaven,

Queen of the universe

From the “Litany of Loreto”

Mother of the Church,

Mother of Divine grace,

Mother most pure;

Mother of chaste love;

Mother and virgin,

Sinless Mother,

Dearest of Mothers,

Model of motherhood,

Mother of good counsel;

Mother of our Creator;

Mother of our Savior;

Virgin most wise;

Virgin rightly praised;

Virgin rightly renowned;

Virgin most powerful;

Virgin gentle in mercy;

Faithful Virgin;

Mirror of justice;

Throne of wisdom;

Cause of our joy;

Shrine of the Spirit;

Glory of Israel,

Vessel of selfless devotion;

Mystical rose;

Tower of David;

Tower of ivory;

House of gold;

Ark of the covenant;

Gate of heaven;

Morning star;

Health of the sick;

Refuge of sinners;

Comfort of the troubled;

Help of Christians;

Queen of the rosary;

And Mother of God

The Mary of Rome not only provides special intercession as the Mother of the Son of God and Queen of Heaven, and is the dispenser of all grace, but is said to be immaculately conceived, and who gave birth while keeping a hymen intact, was married but had no sex ("leave" but not "cleave) and to have bodily rose to Heaven!

 Leo XIII, Jucunda Semper, 1894: "When Mary offered herself completely to God together with her Son in the temple, she was already sharing with him the painful atonement on behalf of the human race ... (at the foot of cross) she willingly offered him up to the divine justice, dying with him in her heart, pierced by the sword of sorrow."

Pius X, Ad Diem Illum, 1904: "Owing to the union of suffering and purpose existing between Christ and Mary, she merited to become most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world, and for this reason, the dispenser of ALL favors which Jesus acquired for us by his death . . .

Benedict XV, Inter Sodalicia, 1918: "To such extent did Mary suffer and almost die with her suffering and dying Son; to such extent did she surrender her maternal rights over her Son for man's salvation . . that we may rightly say she redeemed the human race together with Christ." [maternal rights? To her Creator? By such logic one might say Pilate provides the Savior of the world, since he provides the orders and cross by which Jesus died.]

Plus XI, 1935, in a prayer to close a jubilee, we find the first use of the word Coredemptrix by a pope: "O Mother of love and mercy who, when thy sweetest Son was consummating the Redemption of the human race on in the altar of the cross, didst stand next to him suffering with him as a Coredemptrix."

Plus XII, in a radio broadcast in 1946: "Mary, for having been associated with the King of Martyrs in the ineffable work of human Redemption as Mother and cooperatrix, she remains forever associated with him, WITH AN ALMOST UNLIMITED POWER, in the distribution of graces which flow from the Redemption."  http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/popemary.htm

More recently, at his general audience in St. Peter's Square on 4/9/97, Pope John Paul II said that Mary uniquely collaborated in the work of salvation. According to the 4/9/97 Vatican Information Service, the pope stated that "in union with Christ and yielding to Him, She collaborated to obtain the grace of salvation for all humanity." He also said: "Having created man 'male and female,' in the Redemption too, the Lord wanted to put the New Eve next to the New Adam. ... Mary, the New Eve, thus becomes the perfect icon of the Church.

With equal truth may it be also affirmed that, by the will of God, Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother....Mary is this glorious intermediary..." Pope Leo XIII, in Octobri Mense (On the Rosary), Encyclical promulgated on September 22, 1891, # 4. — http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13ro1.htm

Thus is confirmed that law of merciful meditation of which We have spoken, and which St. Bernardine of Siena thus expresses: 'Every grace granted to man has three degrees in order; for by God it is communicated to Christ, from Christ it passes to the Virgin, and from the Virgin it descends to us.'"Pope Leo XIII, in Iucunda Semper Expectatione (On the Rosary), Encyclical promulgated on September 8, 1894, #5. — http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13ro5.htm

'O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee; none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.'" Pope Leo XIII, in Adiutricem (On the Rosary), Encyclical promulgated on September 5, 1895, #9. — http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13adiut.htm

"The foundation of all Our confidence, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For, God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through Mary." Pope Pius IX, in Ubi Primum (On the Immaculate Conception), Encyclical promulgated on February 2, 1849, #5. — http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ubipr2.htm

When therefore we read in the writings of Saint Bernard, Saint Bernardine, Saint Bonaventure, and others that all in heaven and on earth, even God himself, is subject to the Blessed Virgin, they mean that the authority which God was pleased to give her is so great that she seems to have the same power as God. Her prayers and requests are so powerful with him that he accepts them as commands in the sense that he never resists his dear mother's prayer because it is always humble and conformed to his will.... St. Louis de Montfort, in Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, #27, 246. http://www.ewtn.com/library/Montfort/TRUEDEVO.HTM

"The power thus put into her (Mary's) hands is all but unlimited. How unerringly right, then, are Christian souls when they turn to Mary for help...How rightly, too, has every nation and every liturgy without exception acclaimed her great renown, which has grown greater with the voice of each succeeding century. Among her many other titles we find her hailed as 'our Lady, our Mediatrix,' (St. Bernard, Serm.II in Adv. 4) 'the Reparatrix of the whole world,' (St. Tharasius, Orat. in Praesentatione) 'the Dispenser of all heavenly gifts.' (On Off. Graec., 8 Dec.)." Pope Leo XIII, in Adiutricem (On the Rosary), Encyclical promulgated on September 5, 1895, #8. — http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13adiut.htm

"Pope Pius XII explains in an address on the Queenship of Mary, 'when the glorious Virgin Mary entered triumphantly into heaven and was elevated above the choirs of angels to the throne of the Most Holy Trinity.' And then Christ 'placed a triple crown of glory on her head, presented her to the heavenly court, seated her at his right hand and pronounced her Queen of the Universe.'...Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, Formation Letter, "Mary - 'Regina Angelorum'", April, 2000. — http://www.opusangelorum.org/Formation/Maryregina.html

"In conclusion: we may say that, in virtue of the divine salvific counsels ordaining a most perfect redemption, our Lady as Coredemptrix is included with Christ, the One Mediator." Rev. Fr. Peter Damian M. Fehlner, F.F.I., professor of Catholic Theology, in Immaculata Mediatrix -- Toward a Dogmatic Definition of the Coredemption. — http://www.voxpopuli.org/book_2_10.php

(Jer 44:17) "But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her.."

It is indeed grievous what a autocratic authority can do in extrapolating out of Scripture a Queen of Heaven and while the Bible rightly honors her it does not present her as a demi-godess, nor any created being now in Heaven as an object of prayer. To Christ the Holy Spirit directs us in this regard, as the only One who "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16).

What need have we of other Heavenly intercessors? The Bible offers NONE, and to pray to another is an insult to Christ.

(Heb 7:25) "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

Nowhere in any of the multitudes of prayers in the Bible does any believer in its God pray to anyone in Heaven but the God of Heaven.

On the promulgated perpetual virginity of Mary:

The idea of two becoming married and yet never actually consummating this physically even once is without any precedence in Scripture, and is contrary to God's own description of marriage, which the Lord Jesus affirmed:

(Gen 2:24; cf. mt. 19:5) "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." God did not have simply hugs in mind. In 1Cor. 7:2 God commands regular conjugal relations, except for a short time of fasting and prayer.

Nor is there any Scriptural evidence that Mary remained a virgin, rather the evidence all points to Mary having normal relations, as God commands and a Torah observant Jews would, and which fulfilled prophecy:

(Psa 69:8) "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children."

"[Joseph] knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS" Mat 1:25), the only warranted understanding is that of the most natural conveyance of the text, as well as others which refer to Jesus brethren and sisters (Mt. 12; 37; 13:55), and which conform to the prophecy of Ps. 69:8

Why then does Rome insist it's Queen be a perpetual virgin? It is not because the Bible warrants it, but it is more appealing to paganism. Autocracies may engages in teaching for doctrines the commands of men, but we all must answer to the only true holy and Almighty autocrat.

See here on attempts to support the Mariology of Rome by Scripture. ^

Purgatory

The Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory teaches that “sins bring punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated [atoned, be compensated] either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death, or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or 'purifying' punishments.” (Indulgentiarum Doctrina; cp. 1. 1967)

This is a tradition of men, yet which even Orthodox Catholicism overall rejects, and is not taught by Scripture, but which Roman Catholic apologists compel to support by use of ambiguous texts or which refer to lost souls. Or in the case of 1 Cor. 3, the suffering of loss of rewards (and the Lord's grievous disapproval) due to the nature of the material by which they built the church. But which a soul is saved in spite of, not because of. And which is the only postmortem suffering manifestly taught for believers, and yet which does not occur until the Lord's return. See more here in special section on 1 Cor. 3.

The Roman doctrine of Purgatory is part of Rome's soteriology, in which salvation typically begins with a morally incognizant infant, who cannot fulfill the stated requirements for baptism — that of repentance and wholehearted faith (Acts 2:38; 8:36,37) — are formally justified due to interior holiness through sprinkling of water in recognition of proxy faith.

In contrast, Scripture teaches that one is justified in conversion by faith/confidence in Christ and His death and resurrection, to save them on His expense and righteousness, not their own, and which faith is counted for righteousness. (Rm, 4:1-6ff)

This faith is one which is confessed, in word and deed, baptism being a confession that Jesus is Lord, as per Rm. 10:9,10, but in “body language.” Yet it is the faith which baptism requires and expresses that appropriates justification of heart.

Saving faith must be the kind that will effect the “obedience of Christ,” having “things which accompany salvation” (Heb. 6:9), including practical holiness and which Reformers taught, and includes repentance when one is convicted of not waling in obedience.

And which faith is rewarded (Heb. 10:35) in recognition of the works faith effects and by which faith is judged as being salvific. (Mt. 25:31-40; Rv. 3:4). This rewarding is due to God's faithfulness to His promises made under His covenant of grace, even though what the rewarded actually earned and deserve in pure justice is eternal torment in the Lake of Fire, while in contrast, eternal life is a gift merited for us by Christ (Rm. 6:23).

And as works done through the Holy Spirit are faith in action, then it is can be said that a man is justified by works, as James does, in arguing against inert intellectual faith. However, it is the faith that effects such works that actually appropriates justification of heart,

Going back to Rome's soteriology, as baptism makes one fit for entering Heaven, thus in ancient times many, such as the semi-pagan emperor Constantine, were not baptized till on their death bed.

However, since in Roman Catholicism one is held to be formally justified on the basis of interior holiness, then the problem remains that after baptism a souls sins and is not holy enough to be with God. This is where purgatory comes in, in which a soul, having begun his salvific journey by becoming good enough inside to enter Heaven, but who afterward is found imperfect, is made good enough to enter Heaven through an indeterminate time suffering in purgatory and atoning for sins.

 "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation, but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1030).

 "The truth has been divinely revealed that sins are followed by punishments. God's holiness and justice inflict them. Sins must be expiated. This may be done on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." (The Second Vatican Council, p. 63).

In contrast, in Scripture those who truly repent and believe on the Lord Jesus of salvation, abasing themselves  as unworthy sinners who are utterly destitute of any means of either escaping Hell fire or of meriting Heaven, but cast all their faith upon the Lord Jesus and His atoning blood to save them, and who die in the faith, are washed, sanctified, and “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1Cor. 6:11), and go immediately into the presence of the Lord at death, or when the rapture occurs:

(Luke 23:43)  "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

(2 Cor 5:8)  "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

(Philippians 1:23)For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:”

(1 Th 4:17)  "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

Moreover, while God does chastise believers as needed for sins, and works to perfect saints, this whole work is not done by postmortem suffering, or even just by suffering, but by facing the afflictions and temptation of this life. Thus the Lord Himself came down from Heaven to take on the nature of the seed of Abraham, and be made “perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10), that of being “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15)For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).

One either dies with saving faith, a faith which characteristically follows Christ by faith and reliance upon Him in the light of Scriptural truth, and repents when convicted of not doing so, or he does not. Based upon such characteristics, the Holy Spirit provides assurance that one presently has eternal life, (1Jn, 5:13) but does not provide assurance if we are straddling the fence or walking contrary to Scripture. And warns believers of departing from the living God in unbelief (Heb. 3:12), making Christ of no effect (Gal. 5:1-4), and of drawing back into perdition (Heb. 10:38) by walking away from the faith which appropriates justification. Thus God works to chasten believers unto repentance, lest they be condemned with the rest of the world. (1Cor. 11:32)

But one is not justified and able to enter Heaven by becoming good (else Abraham would have become born again when he was declared righteous), but by faith, a faith that is counted for righteousness, and places one positionally in Heaven, (Eph. 2:6; Phil. 3:21) and which works to makes one good in the practical sense.

In the case of the penitent criminal in Lk. 24, surely we are not to suppose that a few hours on the cross was what purified this man enough that he could go directly with God? Rather, his cry for salvation, out of a broken heart and a poor and contrite spirit (Ps. 34:18) brought him salvation, and the imputed righteousness of Christ (Rm. 4 ― 5:1). And if 1 Cor. 5:8 only refers to Paul and “canonized saints,” then surely he would have made a distinction between himself and other, less sanctified saints [all believers in the New Testament are “called saints,” Rm. 1:7; 1Cor. 1:2]. But he tells the Corinthians, who needed the most work, that if the rapture occurred then they would go to be the Lord as well (1Cor. 15; cf. 1Thes. 4:17).

Indulgences:

As error begets error, the doctrine of purgatory results in another doctrine, that of indulgences:

"An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishment due for their sins." The Church does this not just to aid Christians, "but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity" (CCC 1478).

One can receive only one plenary indulgence per day, and must renounce all sins, go to confession and communion within fifteen days before or after obtaining the indulgence, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

The idea is that even believers must suffer temporal punishment for their unconfessed sins, here or in the here after, and that indulgences will shorten that time. The way indulgence work is that the RCC supposes it has a treasury of merits stored up which it's adherents can withdraw by performing (usually perfunctorily) a prescribed practice, such as ,

Assisting with devotion at the procession of the holy Rosary (7 years and 7 quarantines of indulgence); Or "with faith, piety and love"  saying "My lord and my God" at the elevation of the host during Mass (7 years); Kissing the Pope's (300-day indulgence, but a bishop's gets only 50); Ascending the holy stairs in Rome on one's knees, "whilst meditating on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ" (9 years per step). Pope Paul IV even said one could even get an indulgence by watching a RC Mass on TV.  http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,834734,00.html

http://www.circleofprayer.com/secret34.html

This institutionalization of salvation is a result of a church exalting itself above Scripture and not requiring Scriptural substantiation to be the basis for its doctrines, but her own self-proclaimed assured veracity, and thereby making unScriptural oral traditions equal with Scripture.

In summation in contrast to purgatory:

1. We are forgiven of all sins when we become born again (Col. 2:13), and that for those who die in the faith there is no further punishment, except the loss of rewards.  The only postmortem suffering for saints is that they will suffer loss of rewards by their works being burned up, such as which were not done in dependence upon God or not in accordance with His word or led by His Spirit (1Cor. 3:8-15). But it is his works which are burnt by the fire, not the person being purified. And a soul is saved in spite of this loss, not because of it. And yet which does not occur until the Lord's return.

2. All the verses which clearly speak of a N.T. believer's postmortem condition (Luke 23:43; Acts 7:59; 1Cor. 15:52; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 1 Th 4:17; 1Jn. 3:2) show it is with the Lord, in whose presence there is fulness of joy (Ps. 16:11).

3. The Bible states that it is the chastening of the Lord in this life that works to make us holy (Heb. 12), and keep or bring us back to saving faith, that we be not "condemned with the world" (1Cor. 11:34), and thus judgment begins at the house of God (1Pt. 4:17).  And in such texts that deal with the issue of chastening, nothing is even intimated of a postmortem period of such for New Testament believers, though different degrees of  authority and glory (Mt. 13:43; 16:27; 19:28; Mk. 10:40; 1Cor. 15:41; Rv. 5:4; 20:4) seems evident, in accordance with every man being rewarded according to his own labor in the Lord (1Cor. 3:8).

 4. It is the flesh in which no good thing dwells (Rm. 7:18) and which cannot be made subject to the law of God (Rm. 8:7) that is the problem, but which is not going to be purified, but is to be crucified (Rm. 6). And it is those that long to be freed from this "bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God," that "hunger and thirst after righteousness," rather than to seeking to fufil their lusts, that constitute true believers.  And having resisted the world, the flesh and the devil, overcoming enough so that they died in the faith (as the Lord searches the hearts and the reins in this life: Rv. 2:23),  then once they are freed from their fleshly corruption, then even if they could sin (as did Lucifier) in the next life, they would not.

What this also means is that those who suppose they are believers, but who have not had a "day of salvation" when they know they were forgiven, and that the Holy Spirit made them alive upon personal repentance directly to God and faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21) and His blood (not confidence in their work or the power of a church), and who have no overall earnest desire to serve God in accordance with His word and by His Spirit, and to be holy in heart and deed, and to see others do so, and or who practice willful sin, have no part  in the Lord Jesus but "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8). In contrast, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Rev 20:6). ^

Apocrypha

More complete treatment here.

New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Canon, states,

"St. Jerome distinguished between canonical books and ecclesiastical books. The latter he judged were circulated by the Church as good spiritual reading but were not recognized as authoritative Scripture. The situation remained unclear in the ensuing centuries...For example, John of Damascus, Gregory the Great, Walafrid, Nicolas of Lyra and Tostado continued to doubt the canonicity of the deuterocanonical books. According to Catholic doctrine, the proximate criterion of the biblical canon is the infallible decision of the Church. This decision was not given until rather late in the history of the Church at the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent definitively settled the matter of the Old Testament Canon. That this had not been done previously is apparent from the uncertainty that persisted up to the time of Trent."

Jerome states,

"As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it also read these two volumes (Wisdom of Solomon and Eccesiasticus) for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church...I say this to show you how hard it is to master the book of Daniel, which in Hebrew contains neither the history of Susanna, nor the hymn of the three youths, nor the fables of Bel and the Dragon..."(Ibid., Volume VI, Jerome, Prefaces to Jerome's Works, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs; Daniel, pp. 492-493).

Cardinal Cajetan (an opponent of Luther) write this in 1532:

"Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the Bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith.

Though Jerome was later persuaded to include them, his prior exclusions show that such books were not part of the Jewish Scriptures, and that the canon was far from settled by Rome till Trent.

The best evidence therefore shows that the apocryphal book were not part of the Jewish canon, the Scriptures, as often invoked by Jesus and the disciples, with ancient authorities such as Philo, Josephus, Origin, Tertullian, Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nazianzus, Hilary of Poitiers, Epiphanius, Basil the Great, Jerome, Rufinus failing to validate them. In addition, a most ancient list of Old Testament books, that of Melito of Sardis (cf. A.D. 170) includes none of the apocryphal books (cf. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 4.26.14)., with the possible exception of the Book of Wisdom, which inclusion is disputed.

See http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/BooksOfTheBible.html#Apocrypha.

Also,

http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/canon.html,

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/alexander_a/canon.iii.iii.html,

http://www.apuritansmind.com/Apologetics/ApocryphaArticle3.htm

^

Interpretive foundation

In dealing with any Biblical subject, the interpretive foundation of opposing positions must be considered. One on side are those who hold to “Sola Scriptura” (see here for more on this), that only the Scriptures are the ultimate doctrinal authority on earth, these being the only tangible source for which we have assurance of 100% Divine inspiration. (2Tim. 3:16) They therefore are bound to evidence from that source that a doctrine is warranted. Sola Scriptura is often misconstrued (i think often for polemical purposes) as teaching that the Scriptures contain all that revelation that can be known, and is the only source one can consider in seeking or substantiating truth (“Solo Scriptura”), but this doctrine does not exclude that there can be revelation which is not written in the Scriptures,(Jn. 21:25) or that the Bible explicitly contains all there is to know from God. (Rv. 10:4) Evangelicals themselves often invite believers to “hear” God speaking to their hearts — especially at the time of the offering. But this, as well as other supernatural and historical evidences which may favor a teaching, cannot be contrary to what the Bible best evidences, nor can a doctrine be held as authoritative if it fails to have sufficient Scriptural warrant.

On the other side are those who hold to what is essentially “Sola Ecclesia,” that the church is ultimately the highest authority, as it is the sole ultimate authority in spiritual matters. While the Scriptures affirm that the church does have authority, in Roman Catholicism this position does not simply mean that the born again church has authority to teach, and to bind and loose, but that Rome is uniquely infallible in so officially doing, and so no interpretation can be correct if it differs with an infallible teaching of Rome. This doctrine of infallibility (which is not restricted to the Pope) is itself (primarily) based upon her infallible interpretation of Mt. 16. And by which she defines what constitutes infallible teaching, though there is no infallible list of all infallibly defined teachings. Thus Rome defines herself as infallible, and then infallibly defines what constitutes an infallible teaching, and by which she disallows herself from ever being wrong in such teaching. And as it is held by Roman Catholic apologists that one cannot know of a surety that a spiritual truth is correct apart from the teaching of Rome, an apriori assent that Rome is infallible would be required to know for sure that Rome is infallible. Appealing to the Scriptures as the highest authority previous to that would be condescending to Sola Scriptura in order to convert one to Sola Ecclesia.

Sola Scriptura rests upon the evidence that the Scriptures themselves testify that is the ultimate arbiter of revelation under God as to what is truth. While the Word of God encompasses more than what is written in Scripture, the latter is the only tangible class of revelation which is afforded explicit assurance of complete Divine inspiration, (2Tim. 3:16) and by which any additional revelation which also claims to be from God must be tested. (Is. 8:40; Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:11) Moreover, while holy men of old, moved by the Holy Ghost, added to what had been previously established as Scripture, (Jer. 45:1) the canon being evidentially closed, no one can add to it nor subtract from it. Therefore to hold another “stream” of revelation as equal in authority to Scripture, is to essentially add to the canon, and effectively negates a prime ability of the canon, that of separating “wheat” from “chaff,” and opens the door to a nebulous cloud of non-codified “church traditions.

Additionally, those who decree such traditions as equal also presume authority over both. Hence the term “sola ecclesia.” If the canon were not closed then such traditions might still be considered as candidates for the class of Scripture, if warranted by it. However, besides the evidences against them in that regard, here the problem is not only a closed canon, but Rome's presumption of declaring herself assuredly infallible, according to their infallibly-defined criteria, by which Rome affirms her doctrine of infallibility. Yet it is evident that even those who did inherit Moses position (Mt. 23:2) did not possess such assuredly infallibility. (Mk. 7:113; Rm. 10:3)

Papal infallibility also faces the problem that history manifests that some of Rome's popes were notably unholy men, including sexually active fornicators and murders. Rome's response is to invoke the Old Testament institution of physical decedents of Levi, by which a high priest could, by reason of his office, utter infallible Divine truth, even if such were wicked men such as Caiphas was. (Jn. 11:47-52) But under the New Testament we are not “to think of men above that which is written” (1 Cor. 4:6), and not only is the priesthood changed, but so is its means of attaining pastoral leadership, which qualifications disallows any idea that a man such as Caiphas or otherwise unregenerate or immoral man could be allowed or remain in a pastoral office. (1Cor. 5:11; 1 Tim. 3:1-7). None of the popes which even Rome is now ashamed of would remain in office in the Biblical church, yet Rome states, "It is error to believe that, if the Pope were a reprobate and an evil man and consequently a member of the devil, he has no power over the faithful."(Council of Constance; Constance: Condemnation of Errors, against Wycliffe: Session VIII, and Hus: Session XV; DNZ:621, 617, 588) “It is error to believe that, if the Pope were wicked and reprobate, then he is of the devil and is not head of the Church Militant since he would not be a member of it.” (Pope Martin V; . Martin V: "Inter Cunctas et in Eminentis," DNZ:646)Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom.” (St. Catherine of Siena, SCS p.201-202, cf. also p.222) Additionally problematic is the issue of an unbroken line of popes.

Yet this Et cathedra declaration states, “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII)

In addition, the New Testament church does not have a separate class of sacerdotal priests to offer up expiational sacrifices, but all believers are priests,(1Pt. 2:9) with Bishops/Elders, (same office: Titus 1:5-7) being ordained to oversee them.

As regards the canon, the reality is that official ecclesiastical decrees are not what makes a writing scripture, nor what ensure acceptance or establishes a selection of book (canon) as infallible. Rather, like men of God such as Moses and the apostles themselves, they are established by power, as befits the kingdom of God, (1Cor. 4:20) by their unique accompanying and enduring qualities and Divine attestation.

The Jews were given stewardship of Scripture, (Rm. 3:2; 9:4) and while they were not given an explicit command to collate all that was Scripture, yet by the time of Jesus they seemed to have had only a small degree of disagreement as to what it consisted of, as it is obvious that in New Testament times they had to have understood what it (largely, at least) consisted of. (Mt. 8:4; 19:7,8; 22:24; Mk. 1:44; 7:10; 9:4,5; 10:3,4; 12:10,19,26; 15:28; Lk. 4:21; 24:27,44; Jn. 2:22; 3:14; 7:19,22,,23;38,42; 10:35; 13:18; 17:12; 19:24,28,36,37; 20:9; Acts 1:6; 8:32; Rm. 4:3; 9:17; 10:11; 11:2; Gal. 3:8,22; 4:30; 1Tim. 5:18; 2Tim. 3:16; Ja. 2:8,23; 4:5; 1Pt. 2:6; 2Pt. 1:20, etc.) More here.

We see in Scripture that its writings came to be established as Scripture as the result of God directly revealing Himself and or His truth to chosen men of God, who then originally penned under the inspiration of God of what was revealed to them. (Ex. 17:14; 34:27; Dt. 17:18; 27:38; 31:19,24; 1Sam. 10:25; 2Chr. 26:22; 2Kg. 22:10,11; Is. 30:7,8; Jer. 30:2; 36:17,28; 51:60; Ezek. 43:11; Hab. 2:2; Jn. 20:31; 2Pet. 1:19-21; 3:15,16; Rv. 1:11; etc.) And which writings were affirmed to be Scripture by supernatural Divine attestation, (Ps. 78:4,5; Heb. 2:3,4) and by its consistency with previously established revelation, Acts 17:2; 2Pet. 3:16) and by men who themselves had such attestation, and by its accompanying and enduring power, (Ps. 19:7-11; 119; Heb. 4:12) especially among those that received it with the heart it requires, (Is. 66:2) And secondarily, by declarations of formal councils which largely affirmed what had become evident. But while ecclesiastical attempts were made (after the death of the last original apostle and his last work) to formally state all of what Scripture consisted of — and it was not until 1546 that the Roman Catholic church finally “infallibly” defined its canon — yet it is essentially due to the unique and enduring supernatural qualities of the 66 books of Scripture that they became established as wholly inspired by God, while the apocryphal books have largely remained in obscurity.

Presuming that we must examine the Scriptures for the warrant of interpretations also requires that we discern Biblical and self-evident rules necessary for proper exegesis. These include examination of the immediate and larger context of the passage at issue, as well as pertinent grammatical aspects, and its congruity with the area of substantiated theology to which it pertains. ^