⚠️ I realize not everyone enjoys the nitty-gritty, back-and-forth exchanges of theological debates, but I strongly encourage you to read this installment.
Thanks for joining us today as we continue to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard continues his first of two chapters defending transubstantiation and the eucharist using John 6:48-67 as his lengthy proof-text. For brevity’s sake, find that passage here.
Protestant response #33: “Jesus can’t intend us to literally drink his blood because the Bible prohibits the partaking of blood in Leviticus 17:10-12.”
Leviticus 17:10-12 referred to above reads as follows: 10 “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. 12 Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.”
Writes Broussard, “The late (evangelical) American theologian Loraine Boettner (d. 1990) appealed to this verse in his book Roman Catholicism and argued that the Catholic understanding of John 6 violates this prohibition of drinking blood. Protestant apologist Matt Slick follows suit, concluding, ‘It would certainly appear that the Roman Catholic view is in contradiction to the Old Testament Scripture since it advocates the eating of the blood of Christ.'”
Responds Broussard, “The dietary laws of the Old Law, to which the prohibition of drinking blood belonged, passed away with the advent of Christ. The prohibition of consuming blood was not a precept rooted in the natural moral law, which is forever binding (Rom. 2:14-15). Rather, it was one of many dietary regulations that involved the ritual purity of Jews – disciplinary in nature, not moral, and thus subject to change.” Concludes Broussard, “If the dietary laws of the Old Law are no longer binding for Christians, and the prohibition of consuming blood was a part of those dietary laws, it follows that the prohibition of consuming blood is no longer binding for Christians. This challenge from Leviticus 17:10, therefore, doesn’t undermine the argument that Jesus meant for us to literally eat his flesh and drink his blood.”
When Jesus Christ offered His body and blood as the perfect sacrifice for sin on Calvary, and not before, the Mosaic covenant, including the dietary restrictions, was done away with and was superseded by the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:13 and 9:12 and 9:15-18). Jesus Christ fulfilled the Mosaic Law perfectly, the only Israelite/Jew to do so. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” – Matthew 5:17. Because Jesus Christ followed the Mosaic Law perfectly as an observant Jew, He certainly would not have required His observant Jewish apostles to drink His actual blood at the Last Supper Passover meal.
⚠️ Here’s a difficult question for Mr. Broussard and other Catholic advocates of transubstantiation: If the apostle Peter understood from the words of Christ recorded in John 6 and the gospel accounts (Matthew 26:17–29; Mark 14:12–25; Luke 22:7–38) that he was eating Jesus’ actual body and blood at the Last Supper, which Catholics insist was the case, why did Peter recoil in revulsion when the Lord later instructed him to eat ceremonially unclean food in Acts 10:9-16? Peter replied to God’s command by emphatically stating, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean” – Acts 10:14. If Peter had consumed Jesus’ actual blood at the Last Supper and at hundreds of alleged masses afterwards, as Catholics insist was the case, he would not have protested that he had never eaten any ceremonially unclean food as he declared in Acts 10, which records events that occured seven years after the Lord’s Supper! Scripture interprets Scripture and in this case Scripture clearly refutes the Catholic view. Acts 10:14 is incontrovertible evidence that the Catholic literalist interpretations of John 6 and the Last Supper gospel accounts are perilously incorrect.
Catholic friends, please take note. Jesus was speaking metaphorically in John 6. Believe (Greek: pisteúō: to believe in, to put one’s faith in, to trust in) is used nine times in John 6. Trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone is the key to salvation, not physically eating Jesus.
For further clarification on the question of whether it’s permissible for a Christian to consume blood, see the article below:
Got Questions – What does the Bible say about eating/drinking blood?
Next week: Protestant response #34: “Jesus meant his words figuratively, as he did in John 10:9, when he spoke of himself as a ‘door,’ and in John 15:5, when he spoke of himself as ‘the vine.'”