My thanks to Scott Windsor for offering me the
opportunity to debate, and for pointing out that we can all learn
from this.

Please read what I write carefully (and pray that I will read
carefully what SCOTT writes), with an open mind and open heart. I
am not here to attack anyone, but to plow through the scriptures to
ensure that we can more adequately understand what we must believe
and do as Christians.

Ready? Have you opened your heart and mind? Okay...

So...the debate at hand centers on John 6 (although not
exclusively), with respect to Jesus' command for us to eat His flesh
and to drink His blood. What does He mean?

Is he speaking literally? figuratively?

My worthy opponent will probably argue BOTH :)

But we will let him speak for himelf.

I seek to show you that we cannot and even should not take Jesus
literally...that when we do, we are suddenly beset with a number of
scriptural problems and contradictions. And since God is not the
author of confusion, by showing that Jesus is only being figurative
in John 6 can we prohibit distorting the scriptures.

For the time being, I will rely only on scripture. Scripture is God-
breathed (2 Tim 3:16), scripture makes us wise for salvation (2
Timothy 3:15). Therefore, scripture should certainly allow us to
clearly build a case, one way or the other.

My case again is taking the negative -- Jesus' commands to eat His
flesh and drink His blood are figurative.

Here are ten specific reasons that will reinforce my view:

1. Jesus' discourse on "eat my flesh, drink my blood" occurs
approximately two years BEFORE the Last Supper. Therefore, it is
highly unlikely He is talking about communion, given the enormous
gap (relative to His ministry) between these two events.

The entire theme of the gospel of John is not "eat my flesh," but
that Jesus is the Son of God, and by believing in the Son of God, we
can have life in His name (John 20:31). This theme is reiterated
OVER and OVER in the gospel.

We must ask ourselves if we HAVE to consume the flesh of Jesus, and
to do so to have eternal life, why this command to eat His flesh and
drink His blood is never repeated in the gospel.

In fact, nowhere in the synoptic gospels are we EVER told that we
must eat His flesh and drink His blood for the purpose of having
eternal life.

In fact, nowhere in the rest of the New Testament are we EVER told
that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have eternal life.

This is an amazing omission on the part of the Holy Spirit!

Are we really expected to take on isolated set of statements from
Christ, thematically and chronologically removed from the Last
Supper, and force a meaning on them that causes us to wonder why if
it is so salvifically imperative it isn't RESTATED in the rest of
the New Testament?

Now, lest my opponent think that I am arguing there is a set number
of times Christ must say something for us to believe it, I have many
more arguments that will buttress the notion that the absence
of "eat His flesh" (and the corresponding "drink His blood") is a
clear indication that it is NOT literal. It is a figurative
statement from Christ, one of His many figurative statements that
taken figuratively lead us to the real truth -- that we must come to
Him and believe in Him for eternal life.

That is the way of salvation.

Jesus Himself in John 6 clarifies this for us:

John 6:35 "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not
hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst."

2. Jesus' statement "I am the bread of life" is not a literal one
but one of the seven (seven being the perfect number in scripture,
for it represents God) "I AM" statements in the Gospel of John that
utilize metaphorical statements:

a. "I am the bread of life" (6:35, 41, 48, 51)
b. "I am the light of the world" (8:12)
c. "I am the door of the sheep" (10:7, 9)
d. "I am the Good Shepherd" (10:11, 14)
e. "I am the Resurrection and the Life" (11:25)
f. "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (14:6)
g. "I am the true vine" (15:1,5)

All of these metaphors are used by John to reiterate the message of
his gospel writing: Jesus is God who came to save the world, and
belief in Him is the way to salvation.

Please note that in the other figurative statements, nowhere are we
required to take those statements literally, forcing us to conclude
that we must commit some act with our flesh in order to validate the
literal interpretation.

We aren't called to walk through a literal door that Jesus becomes,
we aren't called to drink from an actual vine that Jesus turns into.

Why then should we expect to take Jesus' "eat" and "drink" literally
when it is disconcordant to do so in light of these other great "I
am" statements?

3. Jesus' consistent use of "veiled" teachings - non-literal
statements - are consistent throughout the gospel of John, and
always reveal the inability of the Jews to see the spiritual message
in Christ. They always take him literally, and miss His truths:

a. "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up"
(2:19b) referring to the crucifixion and resurrection of His body;
the Jews mock him thinking it is the temple that took 46 years to

b. "You must be born again" (3:7b) referring to Jesus' encounter
with Nicodemus; Nicodemus takes Jesus literally and asks how a man
can enter his mother's womb a second time

c. "The water of everlasting life" (4:14b) the Samaritan woman at
the well, who believes it is actual
water that will never need to be replenished

d. "Food to eat of which you do not know" (4:32b) the disciples
cannot understand how Christ consumed food when there has been no
meal for quite some time; Jesus later adds that His "food" is to do
the will of the Father

e. "Jesus feeds the multitudes" (chapter 6) Jesus then retreats, for
the Jews want to take Him as their "king"; Jesus having no intention
of setting up an earthly kingdom retreats to solitude

There are more of these figurative statements that come AFTER
chapter six; the aforementioned are listed here to set the theme of
Jesus' teachings. The entire gospel is replete with examples of
Jesus speaking of spiritual things, and the listeners
misunderstanding Him because they keep taking Him LITERALLY.

Therefore we can conclude that Jesus does NOT wish for us to take
Him literally, lest we miss His spiritual truth!

4. Another note on the literal and figurative language in the
gospel of John: note how the pattern of going from literal to
figurative in order for Christ to make a teaching point is broken
when the Catholic insists on a literal interpretation of "Eat my

We keep going from a literal point so that Jesus can use it to make
a spiritual one.

So, let's go back to the bread of life!

When Jesus and the Jews begin discussing the bread of life, we DO
start with literal bread, because the Manna from heaven WAS literal
bread from heaven.

But now in order for Jesus to be literal when He says "Eat my flesh"
I think we have broken our pattern

We had literal turning into figurative to make a teaching point:

Drinking water -- living water
Born of water -- born of Spirit
Bread of life -- belief in Christ

But when the Catholic takes Christ back into the literal, the
pattern is broken.

5. The drinking of blood was forbidden in the Old Testament,
particularly from a living creature. In fact, before the levitical
law was established God instructed Noah: "Everything that lives and
moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I
now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its
lifeblood still in it." [Genesis 9:4-5]

And in the levitical law it CLEARLY states:

"...therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the
blood of NO MANNER OF FLESH: for the life of all flesh is the blood
thereof: whosoever eatheth it shall be cut off" [Leviticus

Please note the Hebrew word is "basar," which refers to the flesh of
MEN and ANIMALS. So how can Jesus command the Jews, disciples, and
apostles to break the Written law of God???

"Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets: I came
not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you (that) until
heaven and earth shall pass away not one iota or tittle shall in any
way pass from the law until all comes to pass. Whoever then shall
break one of the least commandments and shall teach people so, shall
be called least in the kingdom of heaven." [Matthew 5:17-19]

When Jesus is crucified, the law is lifted, and yet in Acts 10, it
appears the apostles are still abiding by the dietary restrictions:

"He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal
was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and
something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four
corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as
reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told
him, `Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.' `Surely not, Lord!' Peter
replied. `I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.' " [v. 10-

Certainly Peter could not have claimed to have NEVER eaten anything
unclean if the restrictions have been removed.

Moreover, when the early church begins to understand that the
dietary restrictions of the levitical law are lifted, blood is still

"But that we write unto them, that they ABSTAIN from pollutions of
idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and FROM
BLOOD." (Acts 15:20; see also Acts 15:29)

Even if Jesus changed the Law concerning eating and drinking blood,
He had not done so yet, because his reference to clean and unclean
foods came chronologically later than when Jesus spoke in Capernaum
in John 6.

Thus another reason why we cannot and should not take John 6

6. In John 6, after Jesus has repeatedly affirmed that He gives His
flesh and blood for the world, the Jews and many of His disciples
are scandalized. By eating the flesh, and drinking the blood? No,
the scandal is His claim to be divine:

"Many therefore of the disciples, when they had heard this,
said, `This is a hard saying, who can understand it?' Then Jesus
knew IN HIMSELF (implies they quibbled out of listening range) that
His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, `Does this offend
you?' " [John 6:60-61]

Is eating the flesh the scandal? Jesus' response suggests otherwise:

"What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was
before?" [v. 62]

Remember this whole discourse starts with Jesus claiming to be the
true bread FROM HEAVEN and that "No man hath seen the Father, save
He which is of God, He hath seen the Father."

The assertion of divine sovereignty, v 64, referring back to v 37ff
and v 44ff, was a stumbling block and an offense. The Jews thought
they had free will to come to God on their own, and Jesus told them
they couldn't, but that only those whom the Father gave to the Son
could come, and only those drawn by the Father to the Son could come
and be saved.

7. Much has been made of Jesus' "eat my flesh" and "drink my blood."
Catholic apologists will quickly note that the word for eat here
is "trogos," which means to "gnaw" or "crunch." And as Karl Keating
suggests, "This is not the language of metaphor." However, one has
to discern literal and figurative usage not on the choice of words
themselves but the context in which they are used.

Jesus did not say touto gignetai ("this has become" or "is turned
into"), but touto esti ("this signifies, represents" or "stands

And Jesus is not the first in the Bible to claim figuratively that a
glass of liquid was really "blood": One time, David's friends heard
him express a strong desire for water from the well of Bethlehem. In
spite of extreme danger, these men broke through the enemy lines of
the Philistines and brought the water to him. When David found out
that these men had risked their lives in this way, he refused to
drink the water, exclaiming, "Is not this the blood of the men who
went in jeopardy of their lives?" [II Sam. 23:17]

Interestingly, when Jesus presides over the Last Supper, all three
synoptic gospels use the word "phagos" when Jesus says "Take, eat,
this is my body" [Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22] and "eat this passover"
[Luke 22:15]. Further, when Paul speaks about communion in 1 Cor 11,
he does not use "trogas" but "phagos."

As stated, Jesus spoke in Aramaic, so John's Greek language may
suggest part of John's stylistic writing. John might have
used "trogos" instead of "phagos" for several reasons:

a. Think of how similar "crunch" is to "crush." Remember Isaiah says
He was CRUSHED for our iniquities -- His body was crushed on our

b. According to biblical scholars John's Gospel was written partly
to defend against the heresy of docetism, the false belief that
Jesus was not really a human being, He only seemed to be a human
being. they took this heresy to the point of arguing Christ only
SEEMED to suffer. With John using "flesh" instead of "body," as well
as "crunch" instead of "eat" -- THE FLESH (has to be real then) WAS
CRUSHED. Blows a hole in their silly theory, doesn't it?

This hearkens us back to John 1:14 "And the Word was made FLESH, and
dwelt among us"

8. Romans 8:9-11 says, "it is by the Spirit and only by the Spirit
that Christ dwells within us."

ONLY by the Spirit? This would contradict taking in his literal

Further, Paul refers to the Israelites being spiritually nourished
in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10), partaking the SAME Christ we do.

We must ask ourselves -- did the Israelites eat the flesh of Jesus
Christ and drink His blood?

NO. They did not.

Mr. Windsor will surely not argue that prior to the incarnation of
our Lord Jesus Christ that He availed His flesh and blood to the
Israelites, will he?

No. Since they obviously did not receive Christ's literal body and
blood, Paul must be speaking of "eating" as "believing."

9. Christ accomplished an enormous amount of miracles, so many that
we have only a truncated version (John 21:25), and while the Gospel
accounts of the miracles we know He performed are never sufficiently
detailed, we are given enough to know that a miracle DID OCCUR.
Lazarus rose from the dead, the water turned into wine, demons were
exorcised, lame walked, blind saw. There is always enough
description of the miracle to not only know it occurred but the
astounding reactions of the witnesses.

Yet there is not one detail in any of the Four Gospels that Jesus
turned bread into flesh, and wine into blood, and certainly no
astonishment recorded on the part of the Apostles.

No where in the Bible do we ever see a miracle performed where the
evidence indicated no miracle had taken place. Yet, after the priest
performs his super natural act of transubstantiation, the wafer and
wine look, taste, smell and feel the same. It has the appearance of
a counterfeit miracle because no noticeable change has occurred.
When Jesus changed water into wine, all the elements of water
changed into the actual elements of wine.

"Then he told them, `Now draw some out and take it to the master of
the banquet.' They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the
water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it
had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.
Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, `Everyone brings out
the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests
have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.'
[John 2:8-11] This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus
performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his
disciples put their faith in him.

10. The belief that Christ is literally present in the elements is
not supported by scripture, due to the verses that suggest Christ
will have a second coming, when He will be physically present,
returning to earth. Until then he is at the right hand of the
Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3), and will return to us "in the same
way you have watched Him to go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).

It is true his presence remains with us, but not in bodily and
perceptible mode in which it will be again at the last day (Acts
1:11). Much like the sun hangs in the heavens, and yet brings its
light to earth, we have Christ seated by His father's side and yet
shining his light down to earth.

On a somewhat related note, in 1 Corinthians Paul says "For whenever
you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death
until he comes." [1 Cor 11:26]

Why is the Lord's death proclaimed "until He comes" if the wine and
bread have already been transubstantiated? There is no mention here
of any physical presence, but the communion is spoken of as a

In conclusion, I believe I have laid out for you my general and
specific arguments for a figurative interpretation of the debated
discourse in John 6, the only interpretation that makes biblical

I will now sit and allow Mr. Scott Windsor to present his initial

I will expect him to deal with the arguments I have presented, at a
certain point in the debate.

Further, I will expect him to answer a number of questions, the
first of which I will leave for him and other Catholics to ponder.

Romans 8:5-8 says "For those who are according to the flesh set
their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according
to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the
flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does
not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do
so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

So if Jesus really does command us to literally eat His flesh, a non-
Christian, a lost sinner, reads John 6 and believes Jesus to be
speaking literally.

What would prevent this lost sinner from going to Mass on Sunday and
immediately consuming the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ in order to
be saved?

Would it not be pleasing to God for him to do so?

If not, why not?

Dr. Jim Guinee