Answering the alleged “95 Catholic Verses” – #s 71 and 72: Transubstantiation? – Part 2

Today, we will continue with our response to Dave Armstrong and his book, “The Catholic Verses,” in which the Catholic apologist presents ninety-five Bible verses or passages that allegedly validate Catholicism and are claimed to “confound” Protestants.

We continue in the same chapter that we examined last week in which Armstrong argued for the Catholic claim that its priests transform bread wafers and wine into the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Armstrong presents the following two passages as further proof:

#71) 1 Corinthians 10:16: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”

#72) 1 Corinthians 11:27-30: “27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.”

Beneath the second passage, Armstrong writes, “St. Paul hints at the sacredness of the Eucharist when he warns (using extremely strong language) of the consequences of receiving it without reverence and discernment. The implication is quite clear: something more than mere bread and wine, more than a pleasant “memorial meal,” is going on here.” – p. 124.

It certainly should be a sobering moment for born-again Christians to contemplate how the Lord Jesus Christ presented His broken body as a sacrifice for their sins when they receive communion. The Lord’s Supper is not to be taken casually. But it is quite another thing to extrapolate from those two passages that Catholic priests actually change bread wafers and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ! However, it is entirely understandable why the emerging clergy class of the early church would desire to elevate communion to a salvific exercise which they alone controlled. Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of what He had done for each person who trusts in Him as Savior by faith alone, not as a means to salvation through “transubstantiated” bread and wine.

“23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took 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.” – 1 Corinthians 11:23-25.

For more information on the Lord’s Supper and 1 Corinthians 11:27-30, see the article below:

Transubstantiation and 1 Corinthians 11:27-29
https://carm.org/transubstantiation-and-1-corinthians-11-27-29

16 thoughts on “Answering the alleged “95 Catholic Verses” – #s 71 and 72: Transubstantiation? – Part 2

  1. Spoken like a good Baptist, Tom. Of course, I agree with this. Having said that…I have to say this. I do believe that, in our efforts to distance ourselves from the sacraments of the Catholic church, that some in Baptist circles ehave gone the other direction and consider the two church ordinances as just not that important. One would think that the entire church membership would turn out for The Lord’s Supper, but they do not. More times than I can count, I see people make a profession of faith and never get Baptized. This is a huge shame and an affront to our Lord in my opinion. We actually practice close communion in our work, so we consider it to be reserved for church members. I am pretty sure I have mentioned this, but maybe not. We actually had The Lord’s Supper the same day I was Baptized, so I got Baptized, then took the Lord’s Supper for the first time. That was seriously cool.

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    1. Thanks for the good comments, Wally. Yes, there are believers who view the two ordinances – baptism and the Lord’s Supper – far too casually. The Lord commanded both and as a believer, it is a wonderful privilege to participate in both, baptism once and then the Lord’s Supper in fellowship with other believers. Our church offers communion only to those who profess Christ and asks that others abstain, but I can certainly understand why your work would choose to reserve communion for members only.

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      1. I surely do appreciate feedback from brethren who don’t see the Lord’s Supper in exactly the same way I do. The difference between Luther’s view on communion and Zwingli’s view is a secondary issue and does not affect the primary issue which is the Gospel of grace. When people start bowing down to “consecrated” wafers and claim that consuming them is a part of salvation, then we have a primary, Gospel issue.

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      2. Well that’s the real issue with the teaching that they actually become the blood and body. It amounts to a never ending resacrifice. Same reason you won’t see a crucifix in out place. That work is finished, not ongoing

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      3. You bring up a good point, Wally. The whole reason Catholic priests claim to change bread wafers and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ is so they can sacrifice (h)im over and over again, perpetually, for the forgiveness of sins.

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  2. Thanks for the insight about the Catholic Church beliefs. I certainly agree it isn’t the priest who changes the wine into the body and blood of King Jesus.

    But, as Wally points out, it does raise some thorny questions. I tend to take Jesus at His word and leave the “how that happens” to others to debate. There are a number of great mysteries, I hope to learn more about, when I meet Jesus.

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    1. Thanks, Michael. I understand that some movements within evangelical Protestantism teach the real presence of the Lord within the communion elements as Martin Luther did. I believe as Zwingli did that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial ordinance. Well, there was bitter acrimony between Luther and Zwingli because of that disagreement, which was unfortunate. Yes, we will learn more about it in Heaven. In the mean time, I can embrace all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who repented of sin and are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone!

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    1. Thanks very much, Lisa Beth! I appreciate the encouragement and I pray the Lord bless you and yours in the new year as you continue to serve Him. What a privilege it is to serve the King of kings!

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  3. “But it is quite another thing to extrapolate from those two passages that Catholic priests actually change bread wafers and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ! ”
    You are right. I think your response in your last post is quite informative for these verses here too. Good point about communion being for rememberance of Christ work.

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    1. Thank you! Imagine the amazing transformation that occurred as the early church became increasingly institutionalized. Believers used to gather in homes, breaking off chunks from large rounds of bread with crumbs flying everywhere as they commemorated the Lord’s Supper. But as the ascendant clergy class began teaching they were able to physically change the bread into Jesus, a new manufacturing process needed to be developed in order to minimize Jesus crumbs.

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