Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Burnett on the real presence

I'm about half way through Burnett's treatment of the Protestant objections to Transubstantiation. Starting with John 6, he makes the following observations:

1. If Jesus did not mean literally to eat his flesh and drink his blood, what is the metaphorical meaning which the Jews of his time would have understood? There are 4 occurances in the OT, and two in the NT. Metaphorically it is always ill will wished upon a person; Ill will to Jesus earns eternal life? The metaphorical meaning is out of the question.

2. When Jesus is missunderstood in other passages, He always corrects, or the apostolic author provides correction. No speaker delivering something important leaves His audience in error, otherwise he does an idle thing.

3. When the liseners understand and object, Jesus always repeats himself more emphatically (for example, Peter's response to the foot washing), as he does repeatedly here.

4. Jesus says those who object do so for their lack of faith. How can you be condemned for not believing something that is not what you are meant to believe?

5. The apostles clearly understood Jesus' words in a literal fashion, even if they did not comprehend. Since at this point they clearly understand it literally (you must eat my flesh and drink my blood), the protestant is constrained to show where scripture clearly says they changed their belief, otherwise he has no justification to offer a different understanding as the apostolic understanding. Search in vain...

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