Reasons Why The Catholic Doctrine Of
Transubstantiation Is False!
The Roman Catholic false doctrine of Transubstantiation is best defined by
their own publications. On page 273 of the Baltimore Catechism we find these
“The Holy Eucharist is a sacrament and a sacrifice. In the Holy Eucharist, under the appearances of bread and wine, the Lord Christ is contained, offered and receive. (a) The whole Christ is really, truly and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist. We use the words ‘really, truly, and substantially’ to describe Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist in order to distinguish Our Lord’s teaching from that of mere men who falsely teach that the Holy Eucharist is only a sign or figure of Christ, or that He is present only by His power.”
In a recent discussion with an erring brother who now believes, supports, and defends this false doctrine, he wrote in part:
“I reread what the Lord wrote in the Bible, and began to see that if the Scriptures are all truth, and if we are not to transgress or go beyond the Scriptures, my opinion must be wrong. How? Christ says that the bread and juice are his body and blood. He doesn't say it's a representation of his body and blood. To confirm this I asked a greek [sic] scholar. The language, it turns out, distinguishes between representational phrases and phrases speaking of an actuality. It turns out that the Greek does not support the argument that Christ was speaking metaphorically. In fact, it supports the opposite opinion. This truth made me rethink a lot of the principles on which the Church of Christ rests its doctrine.”
It is interesting to note that Bible scholars, such as Albert E. Barnes, William Hendrickson, Matthew Henry, J.W. McGarvey & Phillip Y. Pendleton, deny what this erring brother’s unidentified “scholar” claims. On page 658 of the Four Fold Gospel, by J.W. McGarvey & Phillip Y. Pendelton, we find:
“The Catholics and some few others take our Lord’s words literally when he says, ‘this is my body.’ On this they found the doctrine of Transubstantiation, i.e. that the bread and the wine become literal body and blood when blessed by the priest. There are many weighty arguments against such a doctrine, but the main one for it is found in these words of our Lord. But Jesus could not have meant them literally, for his body was untouched and his blood unshed on this occasion when he spoke them. Moreover, in the twenty-fifth verse of Mark chapter 14...Jesus calls the wine ‘the fruit of the vine,’ when according to the doctrine of transubstantiation, it had been turned into blood and hence not wine at all.”
On pages 738-741 of Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, by E. W. Bullinger, in commenting on Matthew 26:26, he writes:
“So in the very words that follow ‘this is (i.e. represents or signifies) my body,’ we have an undoubted Metaphor. ‘He took the cup...saying...this is my blood.’ Here, thus, we have a pair of metaphors.”
Let us now examine the Roman Catholic dogma of Transubstantiation in light of the scriptures. In so doing, we will see that this doctrine is utterly false for the following reasons:
First, this doctrine destroys the nature of the institution as set forth by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29! The Lord’s supper is a memorial — a “sign” of something signified. The false doctrine of Transubstantiation robs this memorial and the “sign.” Jesus had not yet been crucified when He instituted this memorial. Claiming that the bread becomes the literal body of the Lord and the fruit of the vine becomes the literal blood, “takes away the memorial and the sign and puts the object commemorated, or the thing signified, in its place” (Bulwarks of the Faith, by Foy E. Wallace, p-186).
Did Jesus take His own flesh and blood and give it to the apostles? Since He was present with His disciples, this is not plausible. His very presence makes this improbable and impossible. So, the elements of the memorial supper (the bread and fruit of the vine) are the same now as then.
Second, the false doctrine of Transubstantiation is contrary to Bible language! Remember, the supporters of this doctrine often argue - “He [Christ] doesn’t say it’s a representation of his body and blood.” So, we will now apply this faulty “reasoning” to other statements of Christ found in the scriptures and see how they weigh:
(1) When Jesus said, “I am the bread” (Jn. 6:41), was He literal bread? Remember, “He doesn’t say he is a representation of bread,” according to supporters of this doctrine.
(2) When Jesus said, “I am the vine” (Jn 15:5), was He a literal vine? “He doesn’t say He is a representation of a vine.” Therefore, if Christ was a literal vine, then His disciples had to be literal branches because He said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.”
(3) When Jesus said, “I am the door” (Jn 10:7, 9), was He a literal door? “He doesn’t say He is a representation of a door.”
(4) When Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd” (Jn. 10:11-12), was He a literal shepherd? “He doesn’t say He is a representation of a shepherd.” We might also ask, were the “sheep,” the “shepherd,” and the “wolf,” mentioned in these verses, literal or figurative?
(5) When Jesus taught in Matthew 5:13-14 that, “Ye are the light of the world,” were the disciples literal lights? If so, I wonder what kind — candles, lamps, torches, etc.? Remember, “He doesn’t say they were a representation of a light.”
(6) When Jesus said, “Ye are the salt of the earth,” did He mean they were table salt, rock salt, kosher salt or block salt? Which? Let them tell us! Remember, “He doesn’t say they were a representation of salt.”
By using their own “reasoning,” it is easy to show the foolishness and fallacy of such quibbles. In these passages just cited, Jesus uses figures of speech (metaphors) in His teachings, just as he did in His institution of the memorial supper.
Third, the false doctrine of Transubstantiation is contrary to science! If after a Catholic priest blessed the bread and the fruit of the vine and a qualified scientist analyzed the same, what would be the outcome? Would the bread and fruit of the vine be the literal human flesh and blood of Jesus? Or, would the test show it was bread and the fruit of the vine? Catholic theologians will talk about the “Real Presence,” but, the Lord Himself and the apostle Paul commanded brethren to partake of the bread and fruit of the vine “in remembrance of me” (Lk. 22:19; 1 Cor.11:24).
When Jesus took the cup and said to His disciples, “drink ye all of it,” was He referring to the literal cup or the contents of the cup (“the fruit of the vine”)? Remember, “He doesn’t say the cup is a representation of the fruit of the vine.” So, according to Catholic reasoning, Jesus meant for them to drink the literal cup! Now wouldn’t that be hard to swallow, literally?
In order to prove this doctrine false, it is not necessary to cite scholars, although I did. But, I did so to show that bringing up what some unidentified “scholar” says, carries no weight. All we have to do is go to the scriptures to see the true meaning. Notice in Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25 and Luke 22:18 that Jesus spoke of the “cup” as being the “fruit of the vine” or what the cup contained. In Matthew 26:29, Jesus said, “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” This shows that what He commanded His disciples to drink was not His literal blood, but the “fruit of the vine.” When Paul wrote the Corinthians concerning their abuse of the Lord’s supper, he said they were to “eat this bread, and drink this cup” (1 Cor. 11:26, cf. vs. 27, 28). According to Catholic false doctrine, Paul should have commanded them to “eat of His flesh and drink of His blood.”
Fourth, the Catholic false doctrine of Transubstantiation violates the scriptures by withholding the cup! In 1415, the Council of Constance decreed that only the bread should be administered to the people and that the priest should drink the wine for the people. This practice is contrary to divine scripture. Dear reader, read again 1 Cor. 11:23-29 and the gospel accounts. Paul commanded, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” No where is it implied that anyone was to feed the bread to them or drink the fruit of the vine for them! When Jesus instituted this supper, in memory of Him, He commanded them ALL to partake of it, saying, “drink ye all of it” (Matt. 26:26). Mark says that Jesus “gave it to them: and they all drank of it” (Mk. 14:22-23). Compare the Bible order in partaking of the Lord’s supper as revealed in the scriptures, with the abominable Catholic tradition — a priest takes a small cracker or wafer and puts it on the tongue of the recipient(s) (an unsanitary practice), then, drinks the fruit of the vine for those present. Is this a partaking of the memorial supper or being fed only the bread of the “supper?” The Bible teaches that disciples of the first century met on the “first day of the week” to “break bread,” implying all partook of both elements of the memorial supper (Acts 20:7; Acts 2:42; Matt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 10:16). This unscriptural Catholic tradition is a disgrace of the Divine memorial that Christ instituted!
Fifth, the Catholic false doctrine of Transubstantiation was not declared a Roman Catholic article of faith until 1215 A.D. by the Fourth Lateran Council! This is almost 1200 years AFTER the establishment of the Lord’s church. I wonder why all of the “infallible” popes (who claim to speak ex cathedra) during the time period before 1200 A.D. didn’t declare Transubstantiation an article of faith if they believed and practiced this doctrine?
Sixth, the Catholic false doctrine of Transubstantiation violates the commands of divine scripture found in Acts 15:6-30! The Gentile disciples were commanded to “abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication and from things strangled, and from blood” (Acts 15:20, 29). So, according to this false doctrine, they have Jesus commanding what His inspired apostles forbade, pitting scripture against scripture.
Finally, this false doctrine is of the “another gospel” category. Of the Galatians, the apostle Paul wrote, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9). No where in the scriptures do we find the words, “Transubstantiation,” the “Holy Eucharist,” or “Real Presence.” Therefore, the false doctrine of Transubstantiation is not of Heaven, but of men (Matt. 21:23-27)! When this doctrine is tried and tested by the scriptures, it fails the test! Teachers, of this false doctrine, “hath not God” and are “accursed” (2 Jn. 9; Gal. 6:9)! And, “he that biddeth him [them] God speed is partaker of his [their] evil deeds” (2 Jn. 10-11).