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The Eucharist in John 6

PRESENTATION

In this paper I will discuss how John introduces the sacrament of Eucharist in his Gospel, especially in Chapter 6. First, I will discuss the Semitic implications of the use of the Words "flesh" and "blood" in Jn 6:51-58. I will look at the Greek words John used (savrx--sarx--flesh and ai|ma--aima--blood) and to also explain their Hebrew counterparts (rc;B;--basar--flesh and !D;--dam--blood). It will important to see the context in which John is writing this Gospel, because his audience are 1st century Jewish converts.

Secondly, I will look at the context in which the Hebrew people understood the meaning of flesh and blood in the Passover and Sinai Covenant ratification. This will be the key into unlocking the understanding of John’s Gospel in reference to the sacrament of Eucharist. I believe that John shows continuity between the Old Testament Passover and the New Testament Passover. John makes many parallelisms with the Old Testament Passover and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the true Lamb of God. John uses a lot of the Passover imagery to explain the mission of Jesus which I will bring up in the course of my discussion. I will also look at the Passion account in John 19, which occurs during the Passover, and shows it relationship to the Passover account in Jn 6. I will also discuss how John talks about the Bread of life in the context of the Passover as he mentions that it was the time of the Passover in John 6:4. There is no explicit Eucharistic institution in the Gospel of John. I believe that John uses the miracle of the loaves as a symbol and preparation for the sacrament of the Eucharistic in Jn 6, because he has Jesus performing many of the eucharistic actions that are observed in the institution of the Eucharist in the Synoptic Gospels.

At the end of the paper I will discuss why John uses the verb trwvgw to eat rather than ejjsqivw. John also emphasizes that Jesus is the true bread and that his flesh is real food and his blood is real drink. John wants to stress the reality of the Eucharist because he was dealing with problems of Docetism within his community.

I will limit my paper to the discussion of the sacrament of the Eucharist in John to these topics. I will touch on, but not fully discuss the implications of abiding or remaining in Christ, because another person in the seminar has decided to discuss this topic. I will discuss briefly Eucharist as Communion. I plan on using source material from my old class notes in Hebrew and Old Testament Studies, Nestle-Aland Greek-English New Testament, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, New Jerusalem Bible, as well as authors such as Scott Hahn, Raymond Brown, Joseph Grassi, and other various articles.

 

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