What is the Transubstantiation of the Eucharist?

Is it a form of cannibalism?

There’s been a lot of debate surrounding the transubstantiation of the eucharist, and if Catholics really believe that they’re eating the flesh of Jesus Christ, and literally drinking his blood.

The whole point (at least in some Catholic circles) of transubstantiation is to magically alter the regular piece of bread into Jesus Christ’s flesh, and the drink into His blood. To partake in and consume in order to have the life and spirit of Jesus Christ within us.

Hm… it sounds an awful lot like cannibalism to me. But to be fair, let’s take an in depth look into what actual Catholics and scholars believe is the meaning of this verse:

53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
John 6:53-58

“So, what did Jesus mean when he spoke about eating his flesh and drinking his blood? He certainly wasn’t talking about cannibalism!

He was talking about true religion. What Jesus meant is that it’s got to be personal. Jesus was saying that you don’t receive eternal life by understand concepts or by believing the right things, but instead by a personal and intimate relationship with him. Jesus must be to us more important than our very food and drink, and closer to us than the nourishment that courses through our body that helps us to live.”
What Does It Mean to Eat Christ’s Flesh and To Drink His Blood?

So according to the site above, they believe that the eucharist is meant to be taken symbolically, and ‘of course it’s not literal!’

Another insight into the belief that the transubstantiation is symbolic can be found here, as well as many other researched sites.

But further study and insight into this mysterious tradition does indeed show that many Catholics and practitioners of this ritual truly do believe that they are literally eating the body of Christ and drinking His blood.

And on average, according to several consensus studies, about 1 in 3 Catholics fully believe in the eucharist doctrine that the host transforms into the actual body/flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, while the other 2/3 believe that it is a symbolic, spiritual essence.

Results from the Pew Research Center: Understanding US Catholics’ belief in the Eucharist

There are even scientific studies declaring some rather unusual characteristics of these consecrated hosts that have undergone a transubstantiation process:

The video above shows several scientists/doctors/researchers who have studied the host’s transformation, and even hypothesizes the tools that would be necessary to replicate such a miracle:

– Odoardo Linoli
– Fredrick Zugibe
– Franco Serafini
– Jason DeGregorio
– Eduardo Sanchez Lazo

And as you can see, the full belief and trust in this miracle is alive and well by not only the creator of the video, but also many of the viewers who have left their own comments. And again, I am not bashing anyone for their beliefs. This is an attempt for me to truly understand these miracles and what may be happening. While I am a believer of Christ, I am also somewhat of a skeptic, especially when it comes to a process that involves the literal consumption of someone’s flesh and blood.

Some of the interesting similarities between the wafers discussed in the video are:

– They were revealed to be AB blood type
– The material derived seemed to have come from the left ventricle of the heart – while it was still alive
– The heart suffered massive trauma

(I don’t know about you… but this literally makes my own heart hurt and I can’t even imagine the circumstances that were involved in order to duplicate this kind of organic tissue result…)

While it may seem that these miracles are indeed mysterious and of a divine nature (or a terribly horrific one), I have to bring up a theory that some of the “host” wafers are not merely flour and water, like most people believe. I won’t get into the gritty details, but I will mention the possibilities that can arise between a religion that may be inclined to convince the public that miracles exist, with the combination of science and the capabilities of the technological age that are quite advanced at creating fabulous “signs and wonders” that the layman may not have even dreamed possible.

(And the insane amount of effort and length that these deceivers would go to, to convince the public in order to maintain their status as the religious world leader…)

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:24

This is a very cautious warning for us believers, to be very discerning when it comes to anything deemed “miraculous”. I have to remind everyone that a favorite practice of satan (who is called a liar, the father of lies, and the deceiver – and who also disguises himself as an angel of light) is to invert everything good and holy into one of corruption and wickedness.

What does the Bible say about demonic/satanic miracles?

What better way to do this than to lead the followers astray by taking Jesus Christ’s spiritual/metaphorical words, and twisting them into the belief that one must literally consume His flesh and drink His blood? Which by today’s measure, could be deemed as a cannibalistic, ritualistic custom. After all, if we read outside of the Bible and take a peek into the Book of Enoch, it states that one of the reasons why the great flood happened at all is because the nephilim (offspring of the fallen angels) gave in to the consumption of human flesh and all sorts of wicked tendencies.

(referring to the giants/nephilim) 3. Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them,
4. the giants turned against them and devoured mankind.
5. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood.
6. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.
Book of Enoch 7:3-6

On August 18, 1996, a woman parishioner allegedly found a consecrated host on a candle holder and brought it to Fr. Alejandro Pezet. After a few days of leaving the host in the tabernacle to dissolve, found that it had been transformed into a bloody tissue that was much larger than the original host. It was then photographed and sent for scientific study by none other than our current Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio).

The Eucharistic Miracle Overseen by Archbishop Bergoglio (Now Pope Francis)

Just as an added bonus, here are some questionable quotes from Pope Francis himself:

Pope John Paul II was a saint, I am the devil.”
“having a personal relationship with Jesus is dangerous and very harmful.”

– Pope Francis Says: “I Am The Devil”

“Joking” or not, these are pretty serious statements coming from the head of the Roman Catholic Church…

Here’s another extremely controversial quote, from Pope Francis:

“‘Yes, I carry the cross to show that I am a Christian.’ ” And “It’s fine,” but “not just as a badge, as if it were a team, the badge of a team’; but [rather], said Francis, “as the memory of the man who made himself sin, who made himself the devil, the serpent, for us; he debased himself up to the point of totally annihilating himself.”

Pope Francis: Christ “Made Himself the Devil”

There are also some extremely disturbing and, quite frankly, terrifying, implications of the Vatican installing satan as the new head of the church and the shady practices they engage in… so take that for what it’s worth…

Satanic Black Masses at the Vatican

Follow that up with this additional perspective from Pope Francis, and it starts to paint an incredibly sordid and depraved picture…

Pope Francis compares abuse by priests to ‘satanic mass’

I have to admit, one of the reasons why it’s so hard for me to accept the Catholic teachings that the bread and wine literally become Jesus Christ in the flesh and blood, is because it sets a dangerous precedent on consuming the body and blood of the innocent, to maintain a “saving grace” to wipe away one’s own sins. While Jesus Christ Himself should be the ONLY one to turn to, there are certain religious sects that take His word to heart, even further, by following the same verse of John 6:53, but with a slightly different meaning that changes everything:

53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you
John 6:53

We see that “Son of Man” is capitalized, which presumes that it is a title given to Jesus Christ. However, if one were to take this verse literally and dissect its meaning, well, most of us would not consider Jesus Christ to be the “Son of Man”. Don’t we all consider Him the Son of God? So who is the Son of Man? Why would Jesus Christ be referring to Himself in this way? After all, if the biblical story of Jesus’s birth is any indication, He was not even born from a man but from a virgin woman and the holy spirit in the “Immaculate conception.” Of course, “man” is usually the term used to include all of humanity (mankind), so this could easily be explained away. And since Jesus is not one to boast about His heritage coming from God, He states also that He came from man.

But, as many confused or simply immoral groups will pursue, one can misconstrue any verse and twist its meaning to suit their own agenda. So now this “Son of Man” title can literally refer to ANYONE. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man (any human being) and drink His (in some translations, “His” is not capitalized) blood, you have no life in you.”

And while people may laugh and scoff at the idea, the history of vampirism is a very real ideology, and there are some that truly believe that in order to have a long and healthy life, one must consume another being’s flesh and drink their blood.

History of Vampires

Even if ‘vampires’ in the traditional sense don’t really exist, there are still many people that believe that consuming other human being’s flesh/blood will give them a longer lifespan and/or give them mystical powers. There are also pagans/witches/warlocks… even misguided souls that have reverted to using ‘blood magic’ to help them with their woes or any other number of transgressions or desires:

Practicing Witchcraft: What You Should Know About Blood Magic

While the author of the above article tries to present this practice in a benign way, even setting “rules” as to how one should use blood in their magic, they cannot speak for everyone that they will adhere to this. If we know anything about the human nature and the addictive quality that power (even an allusion of power) gives to anyone, once they get a taste for it, the measures taken goes to extremes and therefore steps outside of the boundaries that was once set upon them.

Although imho, this occultic practice should not even be attempted since it is quite possibly opening doors that should never be opened. It invites spirits/demons in and may be one of the reasons why people claim to be cursed/haunted/possessed, etc.

In closing, while I do agree that the wordings of the verses lean heavily into a physical consumption of the body and blood of Christ, I am also of the belief that translations and interpretations get confused, especially when trying to ascribe meaning and words to an ancient language. (And that’s if the translations are not skewed on purpose…)

After doing all of this research and myself being a believer of Christ, I have come to this understanding:

The ingestion of the bread/wafer that indicates Jesus’s flesh is a symbolic gesture for that person saying, “I come to you, Jesus Christ.” while the drinking of the “wine” is akin to saying, “I believe in you, Jesus Christ.” Not that Jesus was literally referring to Himself as a physical manifestation that people must eat and drink.

35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
John 6:35

It is my belief that Jesus was indeed speaking in metaphorical terms and talking from a spiritual standpoint. He knew that the hard-hearted, the unbelievers, the stubborn materialistic inclinations of some people would not understand His sayings no matter how He worded it. And that some people may be misled by this teaching. So He spoke with this type of parable to the people that could glean meaning and understanding that Jesus Christ is asking His followers to pursue a spiritual path – instead of the physical.

Of course, I have to admit, for Jesus to describe people’s manner of following Him in this way, does leave it open to different perceptions/interpretations. After all, if one were to read His verses in the literal sense, there is no other way to differentiate His meaning other than an actual consuming of His flesh and drinking of His blood. And it’s fascinating that even other Catholics cannot come to a resounding definitive answer as to the purpose of the eucharist/transubstantiation.

But perhaps to clarify, and put this whole situation to rest, Jesus also says this to his disciples after his very controversial, parabolic teaching:

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
John 6:63

Again, why Jesus Christ decided to tell His allegory in such a perplexing way, is perhaps the bigger mystery.

Was He testing His followers and other believers/non-believers alike? To see who would still follow Him and understand this spiritual/conscious teachings?

(And on the flip-side, to see who would take His words literal and continue seeking the physical fulfillment of a worldly life with material sustenance – instead of The Word and Life of the Spirit…)

Bottom line, God knows the motives of our heart. If we come to Him with a sincere and genuine faith and pure intentions, God knows this; and whether we believe in the literal transubstantiation of the eucharist or not, it should not be the key determinant in what kind of person you are or what kind of life you’re living.

After all, one can participate in the mass, yet not be a believer at all…

Personal disclaimer: These are my understandings and beliefs only. In no way am I claiming to know the absolute Truth. This is just what resonates with me and what I have come to realize during my quest to seek Jesus Christ and information I have gathered from the Bible and other sources.

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

Fair use disclaimer: Some of the links from this article are provided from different sources/sites to give the reader extra information and cite the sources, but does not necessarily mean that I endorse the contents of the site itself. Additionally, I have tried to provide links to the contents that I used from other sites as an educational and/or entertainment means only; if you feel that any information deserves further citation or request to be clarified, please let me know through the contact page.

Featured image by idenir from Pixabay

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Genesis 5: From Adam to Noah

Earnest Examination

To start, I’ve realized that I have never read the Bible front to back, and so would like to remedy that. On some of my posts, I quote from the Bible, which I feel is a little insincere if I’m not going to study the whole Bible. So this is my chance to get closer to the Word and really understand the book that I occasionally quote from. 

Originally, I was going to start with the New Testament as a friend has advised me to do, since when I started on the Old Testament I kept getting hung up on what I saw at the time were contradictions, and baseless wickedness and corruption. It repelled me from the Bible. She mentioned that that is exactly why Jesus Christ came. To do away with the “old” ways and bring about a new, better way of living. Which is to love and care about one another. The reason the Old Testament is so important is so that we know the conditions of how the world used to be, before Jesus Christ arrived to show us a more peaceful and loving way to be. 

Now that I feel I may have a better understanding of this, I am compelled to start from “The Beginning“, both literally and figuratively. After having attempted Matthew 3, I realize that I am constantly having the urge to go back through the Bible to check references and names, etc. Since my desire is to take this one step at a time and build upon the knowledge based upon the timeline laid out before us in the Bible, I have decided to revisit the time I tried to read the Bible front to back, and see if my old views still stand. 

Make no mistake, I will still have questions and ponderings about why God decided to do the things He’s done (and of course more questions on top of that), but I have learned not to condemn or judge such actions since I do feel some things are beyond our understandings and it is not my place to judge. I will try my best to look at it from an unbiased and simply curious, thoughtful mind. 

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

All verses used are from biblestudytools.com (NIV) Genesis 5

From Adam to Noah

1 This is the written account of Adam’s family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.
2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.
This verse is a little intriguing. It seems to allude that not only did God create Adam and Eve, but the wording seems to imply that God created other mankind too. Could it be possible that since the Bible is the story of Jesus, specifically, that we only see His timeline from when He was first created/born as Adam? Some people speculate that Jesus has been reincarnated through different incarnations since His first creation as Adam. If the Bible’s main focus is on Jesus, then it wouldn’t necessarily cover God’s other creations of mankind. Perhaps what we’re presented with in the Bible is only one story out of many.
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
There’s a popular saying: “You’re the spitting image of your father.”

FUNFACT:

The Phrase Finder suggests the phrase came into being as a morph from the original spit and image or, perhaps, spitten image. It notes that George Farquhar wrote the line, “Poor child! he’s as like his own dadda as if he were spit out of his mouth,” in his play “Love and a bottle” in 1689.

Charming, isn’t it?

But the Grammarist suggests a much older origin for the phrase spit and image, the predecessor of spitting image, pointing to the Biblical story of Adam’s creation, in which God created the first man from “spit and mud.”

Splitting Image or Spitting Image? Don’t Be Fooled!

Another theory:

Some of the folk etymologies have the spit (expectoration) and image (a doll) used in a black magic ceremony to clone you; others cite “spat” (the offspring of shellfish) as part of the origin. According to word sleuths William and Mary Morris, some linguistic experts think “spit” is derived from “spirit,” noting that the southern pronunciation of the letter r is sometimes indistinct. In other words, the original would have been, “She’s the very spirit and image of her mother.”

What’s the origin of “spitting image”?

It is interesting that this phrase has origins in spit and making a clone of you, since spit is a common way to obtain DNA from someone. And of course, there is research and science showing that cloning is possible.

4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.
This is the verse I was waiting for in the last chapter. I was questioning who was Cain’s wife since at that time, it was believed to only be Adam, Eve and Cain (since he killed his brother). But since we are presented with this verse, it becomes clear that his wife must have been a sister since there were presumably no other human beings around.
Which also brings me to the hypothesis from above that perhaps God did create more “mankind”, but we only learned of Adam and Eve’s conception.

5 Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.
6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh.
7 After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters.
8 Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.
9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan.
10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters.
11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.
12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel.
13 After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters.
14 Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.
15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared.
16 After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters.
17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.
18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch.
19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.
20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.
21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.

A timeline showing the genealogy of these names can be found here.

So if we are to assume that there were no other human beings other than Adam and Eve’s lineage, then it’s obvious that intermarriage and/or just coupling with one another’s family members was culturally acceptable and the only way to populate. Upon further investigation, we know that this practice later becomes unacceptable due to genetic complications and the Lord speaking of this in Leviticus 18. I won’t get into that just now, but just thought it would be nice to mention that chapter as a reference.
And now that I think about it, the time frame of Genesis itself is a little questionable when we take into account who allegedly wrote Genesis and how many years must have transpired during that time. Not to mention the very destructive force of the flood and who and what it must have wiped out during its duration. Which begs the question, if the flood did indeed wipe out the rest of humanity other than Noah’s lineage like the Bible indicates, then did they keep accurate records and representation of the history and genealogy up until that point? Did they pass this information down throughout the years so that their children’s children will know exactly how the creation started and the names and times involved? If they didn’t, then we have to wonder how Moses (if he is indeed the one who wrote Genesis like some scholars claim) knew about God, Adam, Eve, and everything else that happened during Genesis. Was he just combining writings and texts from everything known and available since then and compiling them together to make the book?
22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.
23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.
24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

I had to hone in on the term “walked faithfully”, which presumably means metaphorically walking; as in, following his footsteps in a spiritual manner. Not that he physically walked with him. (Although as we saw in Genesis 3, God was described as physically walking in the Garden, so perhaps it could be used in that sense as well.)

Now I want to address the interesting differentiation between the phrase “he died” which was added to every man on this list except Enoch, which instead stated “he was no more”. Which would obviously point out that this was a special circumstance. So what does this verse mean?

One theory proposed here is that since Enoch followed God’s law and pleased Him so much with his righteousness, God did not let Enoch “see” death and instead whisked him peacefully away to… Heaven, presumably?
And if one wanted to do a little further digging into what made Enoch so special, there is the Gnostic Text (not in the Bible for one reason or another…), the Book of Enoch, that one could check out if they were curious or would like to do some investigative research.

It speaks of very fascinating things concerning the “Watchers” (another term for fallen angels – since their original role was to simply watch humans, but fell due to their desire to mingle and ‘procreate?’ with the humans instead. In the Book of Enoch, we see how Enoch tries to intercede on behalf of the fallen angels since the fallen angels actually implored Enoch to speak for them since they knew about his close relationship with God.

And as we’ll see in the next chapter, the implication of “sons of God” (speculated to be referred to as angels) mating with human women to give birth to the Nephilim is addressed very briefly. The Book of Enoch aims to fill some interesting holes into this theory.
25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech.
26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters.
27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.
28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son.
29 He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed.”
30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters.
31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.
32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
It has to be noted that while every single one of these firstborns are named to each man of this genealogy, it does not expand anywhere (at least not in this chapter..) about the other sons and daughters that it also mentions for each one. If each generation had a set of, say, 2+ pairs of a male to female ratio that also had children of their own, in addition to the main genealogy mentioned here, then there could be literally thousands of people wandering the Earth leading up to the flood, depending on how many different pairings/offspring were alive and procreating at that point. (Add to that, if one is to take the theory of fallen angels also taking upon themselves women and creating more offspring from them, then there could be countless of people/nephilim inhabiting the land during that time. It is also worth noting that there are theories that the flood was delivered in order to wipe out the nephilim from the planet. We will dig into that theory more in the next chapter.)

The next chapter delves into the famous flood and the probable causes of what initiated it. Whether it is biblically accepted or not, the implications on why the flood happened have been debated and studied upon for centuries without a clear answer. So we’ll take a good, long look at that next.

And again I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

Fair use disclaimer: Some of the links from this article are provided from different sources/sites to give the reader extra information and cite the sources, but does not necessarily mean that I endorse the contents of the site itself. Additionally, I have tried to provide links to the contents that I used from other sites as an educational and/or entertainment means only; if you feel that any information deserves further citation or request to be clarified, please let me know through the contact page.