John 6 Debate
Dr. Jim Guinee v. Mr. Scott Windsor
Second Rebuttal of Mr. Windsor to Dr. Guinee
To make things clear, Dr. Guinee's "First Rebuttal" has been
put in boxes with green background and my words are outside those
I guess it is now my task to rebut what Scott has presented. I will
try my best J
Scott is to be commended for presenting his beliefs clearly and
forcefully (I mean that in a good way). He does not waver or
wiggle, and that is commendable.
What is disappointing however is how little use of scripture Scott
used to make his case. I pretty much knew what he would use and how
he would use it. That's not to say it's a bad thing, but I kind of
hoped he might have a few aces up his sleeve.
One doesn't need aces up their sleeve when they stand upon
the Truth. I must pause a moment to thank Dr. Guinee for
opening that door for me!
What is also not surprising to me is how quickly I felt he jumped
from scripture to pulling out church fathers to support his
position. I think this is a clear case of the fact that scripture
simply isn't on his side. He must ask for help outside of scripture.
Yet, if one takes a look at even just the scroll bar on the right side
of your browser window, you will find that you get more than halfway
through my Opening statement and more than three forths of the way
through Dr. Guinee's First Rebuttal before extra scriptura support is
used. I would not call that a "quick jump" from Scripture!
The fact that one SHOULD find "disappointing" is that it
seems Dr. Guinee did not see the connection between what St.
John the Apostle wrote and then what St. John's disciple,
St. Ignatius, wrote - and that same teaching/belief is what is
taught in the Catholic Church to this day. The point in bringing
in the extra scriptura (beyond Scripture) sources is to show the
continuity of this teaching beginning with John, his disciple and
throughout the early Church.
And worse, I will show that the church fathers do not speak with the
clarity and unanimity that Scott would have us believe.
Straw man, Dr. Guinee. I never stated there was absolute
unanimity nor clarity among Early Church Fathers. Some
spoke with ambiguity, others didn't mention the subject at
all. I respectfully request of Dr. Guinee to stick with what I
HAVE SAID and to stop inventing straw men that
he can easily knock down.
Section I: The analysis of Scott's use of scripture
Scott begins by taking us to an earlier section of John 6, where
Jesus performs a miracle. A good miracle. Too good -- because as
we all know in feeding the bellies of His people they seek to make
Him king. Once again they are looking at Jesus from a physical
perspective, and this proves to be their downfall.
There are several points to the timing of that miracle of the feeding,
not the least of which would be the fact that there was enough
bread and fishes to feed all 5000 of them, showing the ability of
the Lord to provide.
Odd then that Scott would produce a scene that is supposed to
prefigure a truly astounding miracle (i.e., transubstantiation). I
say that because when Jesus' audience heard "eat my flesh" Scott
would have us believe:
a) they knew He was being literal
b) they rejected Him because they could not accept this literal
The feeding of the 5000 is a prefiguring of the Eucharist, it is not
THE Eucharist. That being said, yes, it is my position that they
took Him literally and that they could not accept this literal saying,
and in fact commented, "Who can hear this?"
However, as I demonstrated in my opening remarks, there is a
consistent pattern in John's gospel where Jesus audience gets
confused BECAUSE THEY TAKE HIM LITERALLY, because they focus on the
They don't seem to have any trouble believing Jesus did miraculously
feed them. So what do they do? Take the next step and want to make
Him king. A physical king, an earthly ruler.
Which prompts Jesus' departure.
Dr. Guinee, with all due respect, appears to be missing the point of
the Feeding of the 5000, and though he disagrees with the Catholic
position here - he does not offer an alternative meaning for this feeing,
other than it was cause for confusion by those who were following
Jesus. Now, is my opponent really trying to say that God is the author
of confusion here? That seems to be the only valid tenant upon which
Dr. Guinee can build an argument. For the true Christian who believes
God is NOT the author of confusion, then we see that they
saw the literal miracle of the feeding, and then when Jesus spoke to
them about eating His Flesh - they took that literally as well and with
THAT TEACHING many of His own disciples "turned and
walked with Him no more."
Another problem with Scott setting up the disputed John 6 section
with this feeding is an obvious one…why we should find any help in
this miracle to connect it to a literal interpretation of "eat my
flesh" and "drink my blood" when Jesus does NOT provide a single
drop of wine to anyone? Can Scott explain this? Are we supposed to
simply ignore this? It's a rather startling omission.
As I have already stated in my earlier comments, the Eucharist is
provided LATER, and in John 6:27 and 6:51 Jesus even states that He WILL
GIVE (meaning it will happen sometime in the future) not
that at that very moment in John 6 was He providing them with what
He was commanding them to partake of. Again, when we read ALL
of the Gospels - there is no "startling omission" here. I (again) urge
Dr. Guinee to not remove portions of Scripture from the bigger
context of all Scripture. Jesus promises that he WILL GIVE them this
Bread of Life, and later He does!
I hope that Scott will not try to argue ala Trent that the flesh and
the blood both contain Jesus and therefore either suffice. Let him
go ahead, and I will skewer him on the point that Jesus very clearly
commands one to eat His flesh AND drink His blood. He doesn't give
you a choice! You are to do BOTH!
No Dr. Guinee, that will not be part of my argument here, for it is not
the point of this argument. Please, again I urge, let's stay focused
on our subject of debate here - that being that are we to take Him
literally when He commands us to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood
or we have no life in us - THAT IS THE POINT.
And yet sadly through the years the Roman Catholic Church has
obviated this double-command by revising communion to restrict the
laity from having the wine ("blood").
What is truly sad here is that Dr. Guinee has been corrected on this
many times before. I understand that some reading this debate have
not had the oportunity to read our previous encounters from the
ACTS group and/or the Catholic Debate Forum. I would encourage
anyone interested to go to these forums and search the archives to
see how this truly has been addressed to Dr. Guinee directly. I am
just astounded that he continues to raise this topic, as if it had ANY
valid connection to THIS debate.
Pope Gelasius I (492-496), in a letter addressed to some bishops
said: "We have ascertained that certain persons having received a
portion of the sacred body alone abstain from partaking of the
chalice of the sacred blood. Let such persons...either receive the
sacrament in its entirety, or be repelled from the entire sacrament,
because a division of one and the same mystery cannot take place
without great sacrilege." Further, the decrees of pope Urban II,
in 1095, and pope Paschal II in 1118, also condemned the practice of
giving the bread only in the sacrament
Read early documents like the Didache and you won't find obviating
eat this bread AND drink this cup.
I will reassert to Dr. Guinee and to all reading this exchange, that this is
NOT the teaching of the Catholic Church. The Chalice of His Blood is
NOT withheld from the faithful - and Dr. Guinee has been REPEATEDLY
Back to Christ…Scott then goes on to talk about the miracle of Jesus
walking on water. I fail to see the importance of this miracle in
relation to his argument.
The importance of this miracle further demonstrates that He is God
and He has authority over the elements. He demonstrates that
even though water should not hold up a human, by His authority
it does. Dr. Guinee's failure to see the importance and
relationship of this miracle speaks volumes
Where is the miracle that Jesus performs in "eat my flesh"
and "drink my blood"?
If Jesus has performed TWO miracles in order to prepare their hearts
and minds for a truly significant miracle, why doesn't He do it
Why doesn't He give them His flesh and blood?
Can Scott explain this?
As I have already stated, He promised this is something He WILL
GIVE not something which he has given. He DOES give us
His Body and His Blood when He celebrates the First Eucharist.
I'm also surprised that Scott in setting the table for John 6
reiterates Jesus' statement that the work we must do is to believe
in the Son who the Father has sent. When the Jews ask what work
they must do, Jesus does not tell them "eat my flesh" and "drink my
blood." No, He tells the work they must do is to believe in Him.
Yes, that is the theme of John's gospel.
To state that is the ONLY THEME of St. John's Gospel
is incredibly myopic. Certainly believing in Him is A THEME
but it is not the ONLY THEME. I just ask Dr. Guinee the
same question I've already asked of him - how does one truly
demonstrate "belief" in Someone if they are not willing to "obey"
that Person in a direct command?
Believe in the Son of God who the Father has sent. And "eat my
flesh" or "I am the door" are a myriad of ways Jesus speaks to us to
reiterate this salvifically imperative response.
And Dr. Guinee has successfully defeated his own argument. Is
there this ONE THEME to St. John's Gospel, or is this
Gospel mult-faceted, or in Dr. Guinee's own wording, "a myriad
Jesus does not say:|
a. "Believe that I can turn bread into my flesh"
b. "He who believes this bread is my flesh and eats it will live
Can Scott explain why Jesus does not call us to believe?
Again, we need to just point Dr. Guinee to the larger context
here to find his answer. From the same writer we find the
well-known teaching of John 3:16. That IS a call
from Jesus Himself to believe in Him.
"Eat my flesh" is simply a call for a behavioral response. One
could take Jesus literally, and go to Mass and eat the flesh of
Christ. Would this suffice? Of course Scott will say "no." Why
not? There is no call to believe anything, just do what He says.
He doesn't say you HAVE to believe it is His flesh, DOES HE?
No, He does not. I am curious what Scott would say about someone
who went to Mass and partook of communion and did not believe or
understand what he was doing.
I believe Dr. Guinee has already asked that question and I have
already answered it, but I will do so again. To partake of the
Eucharist unworthily is to eat and drink judgment unto one's self.
As Scott continues in his analysis, he gets us farther into John 6.
Eventually we come to verse 35, where Jesus affirms He is the bread
of life. Does Scott believe that Jesus is literally a load of bread
I believe Dr. Guinee means "loaf" of bread here, but that being said,
Jesus doesn't call Himself a loaf of bread - only that He truly IS the
Bread of Life, and He requires us to eat of this Bread to have "life"
Further, when Jesus says He is the bread that came down from heaven
(in comparison/contrast to the manna), does Scott believe Jesus
descended in the form of bread?
Jesus doesn't say "form of bread," now does He? Dr. Guinee seems to
be trying to use a simple, even uneducated sort of argument here and
that is truly disappointing to me, to say the least - and I imagine it is just
as disappointing to those reading along and hoping for a decent level
of debate to ensue. To directly answer Dr. Guinee's non-argument, no,
I do not believe Jesus descended in the form of bread - but that does
not change the FACT that He IS the Bread which came
down from Heaven AND that we are commanded to eat of it.
I will try to make this more clear. Jesus uses a figurative allusion to
bread - declaring His Flesh IS the Bread of Life. No one is denying
there is some use of figurative language here - but that is not the
point of this debate! The point of this debate is to answer the
question regarding Jesus' COMMAND to Eat His Flesh. Just because
His Flesh at this point in time is not bread; this does not detract from
the FACT that He has COMMANDED us to eat His Flesh. THAT
COMMAND is a LITERAL COMMAND, and THAT is what we are
I doubt it. And assuming I am correct, we can see from the very
beginning of this discourse that Jesus is using figurative language
to describe whom He is and what He came to do.
And back to one of my original arguments against Dr. Guinee's position
that we're supposed to believe somehow that figurative means it is not
true. The fact is there IS truth in figurative statements. What Dr.
Guinee has FAILED TO PROVE is that Jesus is indeed speaking
figuratively when He commanded them to eat His Flesh. We see him
dancing all around that topic and inserting side-tracking arguments to
detract the reader from the REAL POINT here, and it seems my greater
task in this debate has not been to prove my point, which I believe I have,
but to keep Dr. Guinee on task.
But Scott would have Jesus suddenly and inexplicably go from
figurative to literal – Jesus didn't come down as a piece of bread,
He isn't standing there as a piece of bread – but suddenly without
any context or warning, and in DIRECT violation of the scriptures
(i.e., consumption of blood was forbidden) – Jesus is now being
literal. He is bread to be literally consumed!
And Dr. Guinee, that is EXACTLY the types of grumblings
the Jews made when Jesus commanded them to eat His Flesh! Am
I the only one seeing the irony of Dr. Guinee's argumentation here?
That being said, let's take Dr. Guinee's argument to it's logical
conclusion - is Jesus telling them to figuratively or symbolically
drink His Blood? When I showed this argument to someone else,
they asked, "Is it okay to symbolically commit adultery as
long as you don't literally do it?"
Moving onto verses 52-53, Scott argues that Jesus does not
say "Figuratively, figuratively, I say unto you… but "Truly,
truly." This is a most bizarre and clumsy defense. First of all,
Jesus does not often affirm explicitly He is speaking figuratively,
so that doesn't prove anything. When Jesus says He is the door or
the light of the world, are we to assume that He changes into these
things because He didn't point out He was being figurative?
Further, Scott needs to do some homework on the use of the
phrase "Truly, truly." It doesn't mean "literally, literally" as
opposed to figuratively figuratively. So if he is trying to argue
that, he simply doesn't know what he is talking about.
Jesus' use of "Truly truly" is emphatic, but moreso because He can
say this ON HIS OWN. Please note that NONE of the prophets ever
said "Truly truly" or words to that effect. No, they said or
wrote "Thus sayeth the Lord" or something akin to that. They did
not speak on their own behalf, they spoke FOR the Lord. They did
not have the authority to speak on their own.
Jesus CAN speak on His own because though He does speak on behalf of
the Father He is nonetheless also God.
This is simply another example in John's gospel of the clear
message: Jesus is God incarnate.
Therefore, I challenge Scott to prove his use of "truly truly" by
showing us some scripture examples where "truly truly" is supposed
to mean "I am speaking literally." Again, the point is that Jesus
affirms that HE SPEAKS TRUTH, whether it is figurative, literal, or
First off, we must note the change in Dr. Guinee's argument. NOW Dr.
Guinee is affirming a figurative statement can be a literal truth. We'll
take that as at least a partial concession to one of my points against
Mat 5:18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Now, just doing an electronic search through the Gospels (using e-Sword,
NASB version) for the word "truly" we have 83 verses with 108 hits, and I
would state that every single one of them speak to a literal point, especially
where we find Jesus saying "truly, truly..." Frankly, I can't believe that
Dr. Guinee has challenged this point - it is so blatently obvious to anyone
who has made even a casual study of this. Above there's an exhaustive
list of the Gospel usage of the word "truly," and without a doubt, it is
clear that the word is used to express and/or drive home a literal truth.
Mat 5:26 "Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
Mat 6:2 "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Mat 6:5 "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Mat 6:16 "Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Mat 8:10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.
Mat 10:15 "Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.
Mat 10:23 "But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.
Mat 10:42 "And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
Mat 11:11 "Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Mat 13:17 "For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Mat 16:28 "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
Mat 17:20 And He *said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
Mat 18:3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:13 "If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.
Mat 18:18 "Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.
Mat 19:23 And Jesus said to His disciples, "Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 19:28 And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Mat 21:21 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen.
Mat 21:31 "Which of the two did the will of his father?" They *said, "The first." Jesus *said to them, "Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.
Mat 23:36 "Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
Mat 24:2 And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down."
Mat 24:34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
Mat 24:47 "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Mat 25:12 "But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.'
Mat 25:40 "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
Mat 25:45 "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
Mat 26:13 "Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."
Mat 26:21 As they were eating, He said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me."
Mat 26:34 Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
Mat 27:54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"
Mar 3:28 "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;
Mar 8:12 Sighing deeply in His spirit, He *said, "Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
Mar 9:1 And Jesus was saying to them, "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power."
Mar 9:41 "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
Mar 10:15 "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
Mar 10:29 Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake,
Mar 11:23 "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.
Mar 12:32 The scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM;
Mar 12:43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;
Mar 13:30 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
Mar 14:9 "Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."
Mar 14:18 As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me--one who is eating with Me."
Mar 14:25 "Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Mar 14:30 And Jesus *said to him, "Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times."
Mar 15:39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
Luk 4:24 And He said, "Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.
Luk 12:37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
Luk 12:44 "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Luk 18:17 "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
Luk 18:29 And He said to them, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
Luk 21:3 And He said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them;
Luk 21:32 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.
Luk 23:43 And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."
Joh 1:51 And He *said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:11 "Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.
Joh 4:18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly."
Joh 5:19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
Joh 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
Joh 5:25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
Joh 6:14 Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."
Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
Joh 6:32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.
Joh 6:47 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
Joh 6:53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
Joh 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
Joh 8:51 "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death."
Joh 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."
Joh 10:1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:7 So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep."
Joh 12:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Joh 13:16 "Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.
Joh 13:20 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."
Joh 13:21 When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me."
Joh 13:38 Jesus *answered, "Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.
Joh 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
Joh 16:20 "Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.
Joh 16:23 "In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
Joh 17:8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.
Joh 21:18 "Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go."
The use of a figurative allusion does not negate the literal truth being
stated. For example, in John 10:7 we find Jesus saying, ""Truly, truly, I
say to you, I am the door of the sheep." The figurativeness of "door" and
"sheep" does not change the literal FACT that Jesus IS "the Way, the
Truth and the Life, and NO MAN gets to the Father except through Him"
(John 14:6). Whereas Jesus is not a large wooden object which blocks
the entrance to something, it is still through Him - like a door - that we
(not literal sheep) get to the Father.
Now Dr. Guinee argues that Jesus did not come in the form of a loaf
of bread, therefore He was speaking figuratively here. The problem he
has with that position is that Jesus still commands us to eat His Flesh,
and whether or not Dr. Guinee wants to divert through semantics, he's
still stuck with a literal command here. We MUST eat His Flesh or we
have "no life" in us. The literalness of actually partaking in His Flesh
and Blood is driven home in John 6:55 "For My flesh is true food, and
My blood is true drink." We must ask Dr. Guinee, "Are you in denial
of the statement of John 6:55?"
Moving onto verse 54 and beyond, we find more problems as we
continue to take Jesus literally.
Note that Jesus says some interesting things in the subsequent
1. "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of
Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." (v53)
SO unless you do what Jesus says, you are not born again. We know
from scripture that sinners are spiritually dead and must be
reconciled to God, must have the Spirit of God inside of them to
belong to him (cf. Romans 8:8-9).
The conclusion here is that anyone who doesn't take part in the
Roman view of communion is not born again. Cannot belong to Christ.
This is not consonant with Vatican II's understanding of non-Catholic
Christians and the promise of redemption and eternal life.
After all, Jesus doesn't offer wiggle room here. Scott on the other
hand will wiggle.
1) It is not wise to predict what your opponent will do.|
2) The discussion of being "born again" is a completely different context and theological thought.
3) Dr. Guinee states we have "more problems" but he doesn't really state any! Rather, he states
the obvious. The Catholic view (I object to the use of the "Roman view" - for the "Catholic" view
is truly universal among non-Protestant Christians) IS the literal view, and though he mentions some
sort of alleged conflict with Vatican II, he doesn't document this conflict. The FACT is
there is no such "promise" to non-Catholic Christians in Vatican II, and I would challenge
Dr. Guinee to show otherwise.
2. "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and
I will raise him up at the last day." (v54)
Here is another interesting conclusion from taking Jesus literally.
Does Scott believe that anyone who partakes in Mass and communion
will have eternal life with Christ? I am sure he does not.
So once again, taking Jesus literally contradicts other aspects of
Catholic theology, doesn't it?
The literal statement in question here is that Jesus states those who do NOT partake
in His Body and Blood will have no life in them. As has already been pointed out, we don't
read this passage apart from the context of ALL of Scripture. Thus, when we read
the teaching of St. Paul to the Corinthians, we know that those who partake in the Eucharist
unworthily are actually eating and drinking judgment to themselves! And reading further in
that context we see that they are deemed "unworthy" because they have not rightly
recognized the Body of Christ! I remind the reader that this is the very reason many of
Jesus' own disciples turned and walked with Him no more - for this was a "hard saying"
and "how can He give us His own Flesh to eat?" These disciples took Him literally and
walked with Him no more, for they could not accept the teaching Jesus just gave them!
3. "For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever
eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him." (v55)
If Jesus is speaking literally, then we should be able to believe
that Jesus wants us to believe that when He eat His flesh an drink
His blood, He will physically remain inside of us. Does any
Catholic here believe that? No, instead we will be given some vague
contradictory explanation of why despite Jesus' insistence on
REMAINING there is no real remaining. Go to Mass, take communion,
and an hour later ask yourself if Jesus is still physically living
inside of you.
In Father George Searle's "How To Become A Catholic" he tells
us: "This Real Presence only remains while the Blessed Sacrament
still continues undestroyed, which will only be for a few minutes at
most, for it will usually be acted on more quickly by the stomach
than by the mouth…"
This is what Jesus meant by "I will remain in you"? For a few
He remains "in us" so long as we remain in the "state of grace." But,
Dr. Guinee, that's truly an entirely different debate. We're not here to
discuss "how long" the "Real Presence" remains - for we cannot even
discuss that until we've reached a premise that there even IS
a "Real Presence!" Please remain focused on THIS DEBATE
and we'll save that discussion for another one. Let us not be
distracted by the temptation to jump into side-topics which will divert us
from the REAL TOPIC of THIS DEBATE.
Further, note that Jesus didn't just say He will remain in US, but
we will remain in HIM. Are we supposed to believe that Jesus will
remain in us physically, but we remain in Him spiritually?
Why the difference? Where in Jesus' words can we see that He meant
PHYSICALLY for Him and SPIRITUALLY for us.
If He didn't mean physically, then this entire debate is over.
Not to mention, in scripture, we are never told anywhere else that
we have a PHYSICAL presence inside of us. It's a spiritual one.
Therefore, with each of these verses, I have shown that by following
Scott's belief, we run into a theological wall every time – not just
in general, but in Catholicism itself!
First off, I need to reiterate that "spiritual" does not equate to "not literal."
God Himself is spiritual, is He not literally true?
This is another attempt to derail the argument on a false premise.
THIS DEBATE is over whether or not we are to take Jesus'
command literally or not. Do we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood?
In the longrun, Dr. Guinee MIGHT have had a point IF
Jesus hadn't declared at the First Mass that bread had become and
now "IS" His Body, and that wine had become and "IS" His Blood.
Next, Scott moves us to verse 58 where Jesus said, "This is the
Bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and
died; he who eats This Bread will live forever."
Now, Scott wants us to believe that Jesus is being literal, that we
are to eat HIS FLESH that is the bread which will enable us to live
The key word here is "enable." Again, when we read this verse
in the context of ALL of Scripture, then we also see the repeated
teaching of the necessity to "persevere."
But again, when Jesus says this is the bread that came from heaven,
is Jesus also being literal here?
Does Scott believe Jesus came down as a loaf of bread?
If not, on what basis in the middle of a verse does Jesus suddenly
switch from being figurative to literal?
The statement is literal - and Jesus didn't use "loaf" - only that He IS
the Bread of Life. He didn't say He was a loaf of bread, but that He IS
the Bread of Life and further calls us to eat of THIS BREAD. The
point is not whether or not Jesus used metaphorical language in calling
Himself the "Bread of Life" - rather it is that we are to eat THIS BREAD.
Regardless of appearance, the command is that we are to eat His Flesh,
the Flesh of the Sacrifice - just as the Hebrews ate the flesh of the
sacrificial lamb on Passover.
Moving on to the end of the discourse, Scott tries to argue that the
listeners must have known Jesus was being literal because if they
really believed He was the Son of God but couldn't go the extra
distance in believing bread turns into His flesh…then Jesus commits
a curious response by failing to explain "Look, I'm being figurative…
I haven't merely "tried" to argue this, I, in fact, HAVE argued this!
First of all, this assumes that Scott has demonstrated cogently
Jesus was speaking literally. By this point, I have dismantled that
view verse by verse.
No, Dr. Guinee has not dismantled the FACT that Jesus didn't call them back
at all! The FACT is that He didn't call them back after they grumbled and
then "turned and walked with Him no more." Dr. Guinee has not PROVEN
that Jesus was speaking figuratively here, all he's done is assert so much.
This is a debate based in logical/valid argumentation - and mere assertion
does not cut it in logical debate.
What I have done is demonstrate (cogently) that Jesus did indeed say
those words - and His disciples could not handle the teaching, so they
turned and walked away from Him. If, as Dr. Guinee asserts, this was only
a figurative statement - AND - these disciples understood it in a figurative
way - then why would they have felt so strong as to walk away from Him?
Clearly THEY took Him literally, and for THAT REASON they walked away
from Him - thus my point. Since Jesus KNEW WHY they grumbled and
KNEW WHY they walked away, why did He not correct this alleged
misunderstanding, which Dr. Guinee would have us believe it was? Why
did Jesus just let them walk away and then challenge the Apostles, "Will
you also leave?" Not ONCE did He stop to explain this as a figurative
statement, rather, SEVERAL TIMES He affirmed that we MUST eat His
Flesh and drink His Blood - and the consequence of NOT doing this is to
have "no life in us." Dr. Guinee is attempting to belittle and scoff at this
point - and in reality, what he is doing is NO DIFFERENT than what those
disciples did, who "turned and walk with Him no more."
Second of all, this assumes that Judas did believe Jesus was the Son
of God and could turn bread into His flesh, and that Jesus knew this
as well. Yet today in Catholic theology a man of Judas' spiritual
corruption is to DENY himself the species. Does this mean Christ is
more forgiving than the Catholic church today?
Please Dr. Guinee, explain for us how this assumes anything about Judas,
beyond the fact that he stayed with the other eleven. Of The Twelve,
only Simon/Peter spoke - beyond that all you do have is assumption,
and as such - it would be invalid, especially for THIS debate. The
question Dr. Guinee asks about the Catholic Church today and its
position on Judas and/or someone in Judas' spiritual state is totally
off-topic for this debate.
Third, we are told in the beginning of John's gospel that Jesus knew
the hearts of ALL men. And further I have established the pattern
of listeners taking Jesus literally because they are not interested
in a spiritual meaning. Are we to believe that these rejectors were
willing to accept Christ as the Son of God?
Hardly. If so, why does Jesus ask them "Does this cause you to
stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He
was before?" Why doesn't Jesus relate the stumbling to a literal
view of communion?
I'll tell you why – because that ISN'T the point of this passage at
Jesus acknowledges that what He just said, the literal view of eating
His Flesh, is what caused them to stumble - and THEN relates to
the Son of Man ascending into Heaven. If they would not believe
what He said about eating His Flesh, then would they believe if
they saw Him ascending? THAT is the question! The POINT of
this passage is they, the grumbling ones, do not believe Him and
cannot accept this teaching - so they walk away, understanding
Him perfectly - but in disbelief of Him.
Here is further evidence. Note that Scott examines the "grumbling"
of the Jews in response to Jesus' message.
There are two important points here:
a. The gospel of John from the very beginning establishes the true
identity of Christ. He is God. He has always existed (John 1:1).
His origin is heavenly, not earthly.
b. The "grumbling" from the Jews hearkens us back to the Old
Testament, which is also in the context of providing manna -- where
we see a similar interchange.
Now watch the hearkening back to the Old Testament, already alluded
to by the God's provision of manna to the Jews in the desert. Watch
who THEY grumbled at:
"You are not GRUMBLING against us, but AGAINST THE LORD." [Exodus
"Then Moses told Aaron, "Say to the entire Israelite
community, `Come BEFORE THE LORD, for he has heard your
GRUMBLING.' " [Exodus 16:9]
And since a 3-time statement is the most compelling, let's see it
one more time:
"I have heard the GRUMBLING of the Israelites. Tell them, `At
twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled
with bread. Then you will know that I AM THE LORD YOUR
GOD.' "[Exodus 16:12]
What is the point made in Exodus? That God will provide what He
provides because He is the Lord your God.
What is the point made in John? Same thing. That Jesus is the Lord
And THAT is the stumbling point here, the rock of offense. Not
anything about communion and bread.
But WHERE Jesus came from and WHO HE IS.
Note that when Jesus initially makes His identity claim, what do the
Jews say about Him: "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose
father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from
I respect what Dr. Guinee is saying here - tying in Exodus and
the giving of bread which fills their bellies and since God has
done this, they were to know that He is their God. Jesus, in
John 6, has also just performed a miracle of bread - in feeding
5000 from 2 barley loaves and a few fish. The point being that
He was AGAIN proving He is God in filling their bellies! THEN
we get to the point of comparing that bread with THE Bread from
Heaven, and JESUS IS THAT BREAD FROM HEAVEN! Jesus LITERALLY
IS THAT BREAD! No, Jesus is NOT a barley loaf - but He's a
different type of Bread. THIS Bread, if they fail to eat of
it, they will have no life in them.
Finally, with respect to scripture, Scott takes us to the gospel of
Matthew, hoping to connect the Last Supper in Matthew to Jesus'
discourse in John 6. It doesn't work for a number of reasons. If
Scott cannot adequately explain John 6, then he cannot run to the
synoptic gospels for reinforcement. Nor can he claim that since
Jesus held up a piece of bread and said, "This is my body" that this
proves the bread was His body when he said it.
Consistency check time! Just previous to this, Dr. Guinee has "run"
to the book of Exodus to explain the use of the word "grumble," and
yet he objects when I go to another Apostle's writing, that of St.
Matthew, to support what I'm saying from St. John the Apostle?
Not once do any of the synoptic writers affirm this happened. An
Again Dr. Guinee asserts there is "an astonishing omission," yet
I cannot see this alleged omission, for I see 3 of the 4 synoptic
Gospels plus St. Paul all recording the words of Consecration
that we use to this day! And, to this day, we take bread and
after the priest blesses it, he raises it up and declares that
it IS the Body of Christ! The REAL point in referring to the
synoptic writers here is that we, Catholics, do not argue
against the plain words as recorded. It is recorded that the
bread now IS His Body, and we believe it! We don't know HOW
this "Mystery of Faith" happens, but then again, if we KNOW
how it happens - then it would no longer be a matter of Faith!
Not to mention there are a number of exegetical problems with
The Last Supper takes place BEFORE Christ is crucified. Therefore,
there can be no atoning power in the bread and the wine, given that
Christ has not yet become sin on our behalf, and gone to the cross
with our sins.
Jesus, being God, is eternal. He always is, was and will be.
He is not constrained to OUR perception of time. The point
is that Jesus' Sacrifice atones for our sins. His whole life,
death and resurrection is the miracle and Mystery of the
Incarnation. The Incarnation is NOT merely the moment that
He was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, but it
IS Jesus. It IS Him, and in BEING Him - it IS the Sacrifice
Also note the words of the Conecration, especially of the
wine into His Blood - that it IS His Blood which WILL BE
SHED, unto the forgiveness of sins.
In scripture Matthew (26:27-28) tells us that "And when He had taken
a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, `Drink from it,
all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured
out for many for forgiveness of sins.' "
Dr. Guinee quotes these words, but is he READING them? "For this
IS My blood..." This blood "IS poured out for many for the
forgiveness of sins."
Please note that despite the Council of Trent affirming the blood is
in the wine and bread Christ only refers to the wine representing
the blood shed for our sins! BUT we know that Christ has not gone to
the cross yet so there would be no reason for Him to pour His blood
out here. There is no crucifixion yet, no resurrection, and no
saving work of the Holy Spirit.
So there is no reason Christ would have been present in the bread
and the wine!
Regardless of Dr. Guinee's rationalizations, Jesus has declared
that this IS His Body and IS His Blood. All "grumbling" aside,
these ARE Jesus' words! Regardless of the fact that Jesus had
not yet gone to the Cross - HE DECLARES that it IS His Blood
which IS poured out. Dr. Guinee is really arguing against
Jesus here - I just stand on what Jesus said, and I believe
what Jesus said - and I have faith that Jesus is capable to
provide what He has affirmed.
Further, Jesus tells the disciples when breaking the bread "Do this
in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). How can the Catholic communion
remember Christ when He is supposedly physically present on the
altar? You remember someone when they have departed, not when they
Noting again, this is NOT the subject of THIS DEBATE! Dr. Guinee is sure
seems to be attempting to distract us from the REAL TOPIC. How we can
remember someone when they are present is NOT the issue we are to be
debating here. I will, however, answer Dr. Guinee - we are remembering
Him for what He DID for us, nearly 2000 years ago. On my anniversary
this year we're going to have a big party to "remember" the event that my
wife and I participated in 25 years ago - and both of us WILL BE present
at this party.
Section II: The analysis of Scott's use of church fathers
First of all, Scott in appealing to the early church looks at 1 Cor
and St Paul, because he knows this is the only reference outside of
the gospels to anything even close to his belief. Again, isn't it
amazing that Scott wants us to believe it isn't enough to believe in
the Son of God, but that we must also consistently and purely eat
His flesh and drink His blood?
And yet outside of this unclear reference to communion, nowhere else
in scripture written by Paul, Peter, John, etc are we admonished to
believe AND EAT the flesh of Jesus.
Doesn't that seem just a little strange that the Holy Spirit
wouldn't consistently emphasize this teaching?
1) It's amazing that Dr. Guinee seems to be affirming that one
can believe in Jesus without adhering to what He commands us to do!
2) And just what is "unclear" about this reference? St. Paul
quotes the exact formula for the Consecration and then quite
clearly states that those who do not recognize the Body of
Christ and partake in it, eat and drink judgment unto themselves!
There is nothing "unclear" about this reference to Holy
3) We have the repeated words of Christ Himself commanding that
we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood in John 6. We also have
Jesus emphatically driving the point home with His use of
"truly, truly..." We have St. Paul's words echoing the words
of Consecration which Jesus used at the First Mass (also known
as "The Last Supper"). One has to ask, how much more do we
NEED the Holy Spirit to emphasize this?!
Now, with respect to Paul, this issue has been discussed by Scott
and I for some time. Let me just stand on my argument – that Paul
speaks of eating AND drinking, and refers to both bread and cup. He
does not affirm that we can simply take the bread and that will
Both Jesus and Paul admonished us to partake in BOTH.
The early church did this as well.
But sadly since then the Roman Church has often altered a very clear
instruction from scripture.
Again, I must admonish Dr. Guinee for straying from the topic
of THIS DEBATE! We are not here to criticize the practices
of the Catholic Church which are only tangentially related to
the REAL TOPIC here. The REAL TOPIC here is to discuss and
debate whether or not Jesus was speaking literally in John 6
when He commanded we eat His Body and drink His Blood.
If he wishes to discuss this in
the Catholic Debate Forum (and we have) then fine, but to
bring THAT topic into THIS debate is truly nothing more than
Next, Scott predictably pulls out the same passages from church
fathers, hoping this will buttress his presented arguments. This
isn't meant to sound insulting, it's just interesting that after you
spend time doing apologetics you see (and myself included) some
occasionally shabby scholarship.
What I mean is that Scott only grabs from a site without
a) providing the entire context of the church father's statement
b) taking us through the writing to show why the church father is
clearly saying what Scott believes they say.
Well, since I have included my sources - and, as Dr. Guinee
has conceded - these sources are not unknown and are
readily available. Now, IF I have been guilty of
misrepresenting the context from which I cited, then
Dr. Guinee should present how I have done so. The context
I provided and the source I cited should suffice. Now
what we really have here is nothing more than some thinly
veiled ad hominem.
If Scott hasn't been able to use scripture to defend his point of
view (which I don't believe he has), then appealing to church
fathers is just a case of the tail wagging the dog.
The Scriptures I have used are clear. The Church Fathers I
have quoted are equally clear. Dr. Guinee is certainly
entitled to his opinion - but he hasn't PROVEN that opinion
to be true, so we're just left with his assertion of what
he believes. In other words, another non-argument.
Second of all, Scott himself knows that the early church fathers
were not infallible, therefore unlike the scriptures they are
suspect. So let's examine our suspects.
If nothing else, I believe I can demonstrate that a wider context of
many of these writers shows that their view on communion isn't so
clear-cut as Scott would have us believe. Therefore, if their views
are vague in a wider context, we must revert to trusting in
scripture as the ultimate word on the matter.
Further, Scott curiously fails to note that there are early writings
that fail to affirm his position.
For example, Clement of Rome in his Letter to the Corinthians (chs.
1 & 40) wrote that "it behooves us to do all things in order, which
the Lord has commanded us at stated times. He has enjoined gifts and
services to be performed...at the appointed times and hours." There
is no mention of the Lord's Supper, and still less of
Further, in the Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles), we
are told in chapter 14 "On the Lord's [Day], gather yourself
together and break bread [but not 'Physically eat the flesh of
Christ'], and give thanks!... For this is that which was spoken by
the Lord: 'In every place and time, present to Me a pure offering!'
[Malachi 1:11]. Again, there is no mention of John 6:32-63; and
still less of Transubstantiation.
As interesting as Pope Clement I and the Didache may be, I did
not cite these in my argument - so it appears that Dr. Guinee
is (yet again) building up a straw man so that he can easily
knock it down. It's one thing to challenge what I have
presented, but it is irrelevant to point out other writings
which have not quoted/cited and do not explicitly support my
argument. I am certain one could dig up TONS of writings
which don't speak to this point - but just because one can
find OTHER works which do not explicitly support what I've
said - that doesn't detract one iota from the sources I
have cited. I respectfully (again) ask that Dr. Guinee stick
to the topic of this debate and when he's rebutting ME that
he sticks to what *I* have said - for that is what a
"rebuttal" is all about.
Another problem the objective reader will have in reading this
argument from Dr. Guinee is the fact that Dr. Guinee is making
an argument from silence. Neither Pope St. Clement I or the
Didache speak against the Catholic teaching on the
Eucharist, so since THIS ARGUMENT is not mentioned,
Dr. Guinee seems to think he has raised a valid point - well,
in pure logic an argument from silence is counted among the
common fallacies (argumentum a silentio). In short, Dr. Guinee
has no argument here for he's supposed to be rebutting what I
have said, and since I did not bring up Pope St. Clement nor
the Didache, he is left with nothing but a straw man.
Scott's first quotation is from the much-used Ignatius letter to the
Romans (and please note I am being charitable in assuming all of his
citations are not spurious, even though the Catholic church has a
history of spurious documentation):
Regardless of what Dr. Guinee has experienced previously, he
is making no points making reference to arguments NOT MADE IN
THIS DEBATE! In short, his parenthetical statement is nothing
more than a distraction and is quite a disappointment. Are
SOME documents attributed to St. Ignatius considered spurious?
YES! SOME are! However, NOT the Letter to the Romans nor the
Letter to the Smyrnaeans - let's stick to what has been
presented here, please - Dr. Guinee.
"I have no taste for
corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the
bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the
seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love
incorruptible" (Letter to the Romans 7:3 [A.D. 110]).
Taken on the surface, this sounds like what Scott has been arguing.
But is it? What is the context? Even by looking at the text,
Ignatius says he has no taste for corruptible food. Is this
literal? So Ignatius means he is not hungry for eating regular food
but for communion? Didn't St Paul admonish the church at Corinth
for eating communion as a common meal?
Perhaps what Ignatius really means comes to light when (we) examine
another letter. In his Epistle to the Trallians (ch. 8), Ignatius
declares: "Be renewed in faith; that is the flesh of the Lord -- and
in love; that is the blood of Jesus Christ."
Dr. Guinee cannot make his point from the context of the letter
which I quoted and cited. I challenge Dr. Guinee to do so or
to respectfully withdraw these unnecessary comments. I provide
him with a link here:|
Ignatius to the Romans
Further, not once in Ignatius' letters does he ever mention John
6:32-63 or Transubstantiation. Indeed, none of the extant writings
of the Apostolic Fathers -- those authorities who knew the Apostles
personally -- even once quote from John chapter six to prove
anything at all.
An argument from silence is considered to be among the common
fallacies in debate. That being said, Dr. Guinee is being a
bit anachronistic here in attempting to have me defend the
fact that St. Ignatius didn't use the word "transubstantiation."
That word would be coined much later, but the FACT is that the
concept that the bread and wine are no longer mere bread and
wine, but become the Body and Blood of Christ is clearly
referenced throughout the Early Church Fathers, including
The fact that he doesn't quote chapter and verse from John 6 is
also a bit anachronistic - chapters and verses would also be
added much later. However, we see St. Ignatius explicitly
making reference to the fact that Holy Communion truly IS the
Body and Blood of Christ - fulfilling what is recorded by
St. John in John 6.
Again, I challenge Dr. Guinee to make his argument from the
context of what is presented - and/or go to the context
which has been cited - but make an argument from substance,
not an argument from silence.
Next, Scott appeals to Justin Martyr: "We call this food Eucharist,
and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who
believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the
washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration
[i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ
enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive
these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the
word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too,
as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the
Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the
change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh
and the blood of that incarnated Jesus" (First Apology 66 [A.D.
Most of this letter doesn't sound any different than what any
Protestant can and should believe – that communion is no ordinary
meal, that the bread and drink are in no way common.
But is he really advocating for a Catholic view of John 6 (note
Justin also never quotes from that passage!)?
Again, Dr. Guinee attempts to bolster his position with an
argument from silence. That just doesn't cut it, Dr. Guinee!
He askes if St. Justin is advocating for the Catholic view of
John 6? I must answer with an emphatic YES! Let's just look
at the last part Dr. Guinee quoted, "...and by the CHANGE OF
WHICH our blood and flesh is nutured, IS BOTH THE FLESH AND
BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS!" That is precisely the
Let's look at the preceding chapter from Justin Martyr to get a
wider view of what he may mean: "…bread and a cup of water and wine
are brought to the presiding brother. He receives them and presents
praise and glory to the Father of all things through the Name of His
Son and of the Holy Ghost,... And when he has concluded the prayers
and thanksgivings, all the people express their assent. And when the
one presiding has given thanks and all the people have assented,
they whom we call deacons give to each of those who are present a
portion of the bread and wine mixed with water." Here Justin is
speaking about what happens DURING communion and there is NOTHING
about transubstantiation, nothing that affirms the bread and wine
are now FLESH AND BLOOD. He still calls them bread and wine!
Sure, he still "calls them bread and wine," but when he states
what they "ARE" they "ARE" the "Flesh and Blood of that
Incarnated Jesus!" The Catholic argument is all about what
they ARE, and not what they are called. Dr. Guinee does not
assail the Catholic view in the least here.
Further, in chapter 70 of the same work Martyr defends Christians
against the false charge of their enemies that God's people were
cannibals and drinkers of human blood. He does so, by saying that
Isaiah 33:13-19 alludes "to the bread which our Christ gave us to
eat in remembrance of His being made flesh for the sake of His
believers." Indeed, in ch. 117 Justin tells the Jew Trypho
that "God, anticipating all the gifts which we bring through this
Name and which Jesus the Christ enjoined us to present, i.e. the
bread and the cup in the Eucharist, and which are presented by
Christians in all places throughout the world, bears witness that
they are well-pleasing to Him." This is a rather strange defense
from Martyr considering Catholics are doing what he says they are
First off we must correct Dr. Guinee's scholarship. |
1) There aren't 70 chapters in St. Justin Martyr's First Apology!
In fact, the "Conclusion" is Chapter 68.
2) The actual document which Dr. Guinee is refering to is his
Dialogue with Trypho.
3) St. Justin's objection is that the Mithras have counterfeited
the their teachings by distorting the prophecies of Daniel and
Isaiah. In that same chapter (70) he points out several other
4) Chapter 117 (from the Dialogue with Trypho, again, not possible
to be from the First Apology) St. Justin is speaking how the
Christian Eucharist is pleasing to God, whereas the celebration
of the Jews in dispersion is not.
So, aside from citing the wrong document, it appears that Dr. Guinee
needs to read a little more context from the document he quoted
from. He has gotten these points totally wrong.
How does Scott also explain Theophilus who in his Letters to
Autolycus (III:4) rebukes the "godless lips [which] falsely accuse
us who are worshippers of God and are called Christians...that we
eat human flesh."
Isn't that what Scott says we must do? Eat human flesh? Jesus is
human still, correct?
Again, Dr. Guinee - this is supposed to be a "rebuttal phase" of
this debate. Introducing points I have not raised and then
challenging me on them is not valid for this debate.
Now, so that I am not accused of "dodging," Theophilus is
answering those who accuse Christians of cannibalism. Now,
Dr. Guinee, let me ask you this - if there was no such teaching
that we eat the Flesh of Jesus, then where are these
(misunderstood) claims of cannibalism coming from? The fact
that Theophilus is responding to these claims is proof that
the teaching, however it was understood, existed that Christians
eat the Flesh of Jesus.
Next, we have writings from Irenaeus, another example of someone who
doesn't quote from John 6 or affirm transubstantiation. Isn't it
odd that Scott relies so heavily on church fathers to defend his
view of John 6 who|
a) are not so clear on the issue?
b) never quote from the passage he is using them in his defense
Isn't it odd that in this "rebuttal phase" that Dr. Guinee isn't
doing much "rebutting?" Most of what we've seen is arguments
from silence and anachronistic comparisons. I quoted St. Irenaeus,
and Dr. Guinee has not dealt with those quotes AT ALL! Allow me
to present those quotes again:|
"If the Lord were from
other than the Father, how could he rightly take bread, which is
of the same creation as our own, and confess it to be his body
and affirm that the mixture in the cup is his blood?"
Book 4, Chapter XVII [A.D. 189]).
Now why did Dr. Guinee just
skip over these quotes? Perhaps because these quotes state
explicitly the Catholic view of the Eucharist?
"He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own
blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread,
a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from
which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the
mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the
Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ,
and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and
supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable
of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life-flesh
which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and
is in fact a member of him?" (ibid., Book 5, Chapter II:2-3.). (Citations adjusted to match the source
linked in this rebuttal).
I will certainly concede that LATER writers do at times begin to
sound more "Catholic" in their view of communion, but if the
earliest writers do not, it isn't helpful to appeal to later ones.
In the end, the debate about transubstantiation can be seen
occurring much later in church history, additional proof that Scott
cannot show that the early church fathers all happily viewed
communion in the same way Catholics do today.
The facts say otherwise.
With all due respect, the facts say exactly the opposite of
what Dr. Guinee is saying. The Early Church Fathers do not
use the medieval terminology of "transubstantiation," but
they most certainly do represent the fact that the bread and
wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. The
Early Church Fathers quite clearly present the view of
the Eucharist that Catholics maintain to this day, and the
facts most certainly bare this out.
The teaching on t(r)ansubstantiation was not adopted until the 11th
century! Stranglely it took a millennium for the church to clarify
The position was quite clear LONG before the 11th century. The
quotes I have presented come from some of the earliest of the
Early Church Fathers - and as Dr. Guinee concedes, the later we
get in history, the more scholastic the terminology becomes.
It is known that Paschasius Radbertus (800-865 AD) was the first to
clearly and unequivocally expound transubstantiation in his
book "On the Body and Blood of the Lord" where he clearly taught
that "the substance of bread and wine is effectually changed into
the flesh and blood of Christ " while "the figure of bread and wine
remain". Radbertus supported his doctrine by the word of
institution interpreted in a literal sense and appealed to
marvellous instances of the supposed appearances of the body and
blood of Christ.
A moment ago Dr. Guinee states we don't have this teaching until the
11th century - but in his very next statement he emphatically states
that it is "clearly and unequivocally" taught in the the 9th century!
Not to mention the quotes he skipped over (above) which also relate
Speaking of skipped over quotes, Dr. Guinee did not even mention
the early 3rd century reference to Hippolytus nor the mid 3rd
century teaching of Cyprian of Carthage, the late 4th century
writing of Ambrose of Milan, the early 5th century quote from
Theodore of Mopsuestia and not the early 5th century quotes from
the great St. Augustine! These quotes utterly destroy Dr. Guinee's
premise - and he posits no answer to them.
On the other hand. Ratramnus opposed the views of Radbertus, and,
in a tract which he wrote, concluded that the elements remain in
reality what they were before consecration and that only in a
spiritual sense to the faith of believers are they the body and
blood of Christ. "Bread and wine, produce, after consecration, an
effect on the souls of believers which they cannot produce by their
natural qualities". Unbelievers, on the other hand, cannot receive
Christ as they lack the spiritually renewed heart to do so. Hence
Ratramnus regarded the Mass only as a commemorative celebration of
Christ's sacrifice whereby Christians are assured of their
redemption. "How then", asks Ratramnus, "shall that be called
Christ's body and blood in which no change is recognised to have
taken place? But since they confess that they are Christ's body
and blood....and this change did not take place in a corporeal sense
but in a spiitual, it must now be said that this was done
figuratively." Radbertus then quotes Augustine and
continues, "...we see then that the doctor says that the mysteries
of Christ's body and blood are celebrated in a figurative sense by
Alcuin, Rabanus Maurus, John Scotus Erigene and Florus Magister
supported this view!
How could this be if the church universal was so universal on the
proper understanding of communion?
If Scott wishes to score any more points from church history, he
will have to explain this medieval controversy!
I have no problem acknowledging that dissenting opinions can be
found, especially as we progress through history. Again I must
remind Dr. Guinee that this is the "rebuttal phase" of this
debate. Introducing arguments I did not make and then challenging
me to answer them is NOT what this phase is all about! THIS
debate is about whether or not Jesus spoke literally when He
commanded we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. I founded my
argument in Scripture and then I showed how the earliest of the
Early Church Fathers continued this teaching - which continues
to this day in the Catholic Church.
It is my belief that I have ably dismantled Scott's initial
treatise, but if he says otherwise ( and we expect him to do just
that), then I will look forward to pulling out and producing more
scriptural arguments and more examples from church history to
demonstrate that Scott's position is nowhere near as clear as he
wants us to believe.
Dr. Guinee has not even come close to dismantling my initial
treatise - and in fact skipped over several portions of it. Let's
take a look at the original point again. Was Jesus speaking
literally when He commanded we eat His Flesh and drink His
Blood - or we have no life in us? Was that a literal command
or just a figure of speech? The case presented against Dr. Guinee
has been unassailed. In a nutshell, let's look at some of the
What was the answers to these points?
- Jesus declares that He is the Bread of Life which comes from
down from Heaven.
- Jesus' own words state we MUST eat His Flesh and drink His
Blood (and repeated several times) in John 6.
- At the celebration of the first Eucharist, Jesus takes bread
and declares "This IS My Body." With wine He takes it and
declares "This IS My Blood."
- We're primarily dealing with St. John the Apostle, and when
we look to what one of his disciples taught we found a very
literal representation of the Eucharist as being the Body and
Blood of Christ.
- Dr. Guinee pokes fun at Jesus' words, and challenges
"Did He come down as a loaf of bread?" Rather than
discuss what Jesus meant by that statement, Dr. Guinee
merely attempts to dismiss it with sarcasm.
- Dr. Guinee has no real answer here. He asserts that
this is a figurative statement, but all we have is his assertion.
- Dr. Guinee's answer here is "Nor can he (refering to me) claim that since
Jesus held up a piece of bread and said, "This is my body" that this
proves the bread was His body when he said it." In other words,
Dr. Guinee does not believe Jesus' own words here! Jesus
declared, "This IS My Body" and Dr. Guinee questions this.
I don't need to "prove" anything here, I just need to trust the
words of my Lord and Savior.
- With regard to quoting from St. Ignatius, a disciple of
St. John the Apostle, again Dr. Guinee doesn't really deal with
St. Ignatius and tries to divert us into reading other Church
I will say this much, though at times I found Dr. Guinee's
responses disappointing (even periodically non-existent), some
of the points were challenging, and the amount of
energy required to fully respond to his First Rebuttal was
a bit more than I anticipated. I also cannot say I have
not learned even more about my faith in going through this
rebuttal - and for that I am quite thankful.
Your humble servant in the Lord Jesus Christ,