Good Example Of Bread Of Life Discourse Biblical Interpretation Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Jesus Christ, Blood, Bible, Flesh, Christians, People, God, Men

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2021/02/20

New WowEssays Premium Database!

Find the biggest directory of over
1 million paper examples!

Introduction

Interpreting the scriptures of the bible can be a tough job. This may be due to the fact that there are many ambiguous statements, or simply statements that are capable of having multiple meanings. In this case, the author of the paper will interpret a bible verse that is John 6:51-56 using personal thoughts and opinions and that of other authors by using secondary sources.

In John 6:51-56, from the New International Version (NIV) of the bible, it reads:

“51 I am the living bread that came down from the heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

“52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat”.”

53 Jesus said to them, “very truly I tell 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 them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats m flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.
This is where the entire discussion in this paper will focus on. Drawing from personal thoughts, opinions, and from secondary sources, the author will discuss the structure, genre and language, setting, intention and theology, of that part of the scripture. So far, issues that have already been identified as a result of reading the verse are cannibalism, the Mosaic Law that describes how drinking of blood is prohibited, and the ever important issue on religious studies on who really has the authority to save or offer salvation.

Structure

In the later part of the chapter, specifically in John 6:36-46, the apostle John discussed the effects of adopting the teachings of the Holy Spirit on men; how it makes men more willing and glad to come to the Kingdom of God and give up everything that would potentially hinder him from being saved or applying for salvation; that the Father’s will is for all of His son to be saved and not to reject or lose anyone; how the only thing that men must do to be saved is to come because no one who comes will ever be cast out as it was said in the scripture. It was also explained there how God draws men with his word and the Holy Spirit and how it remains men’s duty to hear the word and learn from it, and eventually, to be saved by means of it. And finally, this biblical discussion between Jesus and the people before him continued until the verse that is being discussed in this paper, John 6:51-56. It was in this series of verses where Jesus mentioned the only way how one can be offered with salvation.
Notice that based on the structure of the sentences in the series of verses one can easily interprets it literally. In Ashby’s paper about the body and blood in John 6:41-65, for example, he discussed the real intention of Jesus when He said the words that He said in those verses. According to Ashby (2002), this part of the Bible has provoked a lot of ideas and theories about what Jesus really meant when he said that, one of the most popular of which was the theory that what Jesus meant in that passage had something to do with cannibalism or eating the flesh and drinking the blood of an individual belonging to the same species. Ashby debunked this saying that what Jesus really meant was this: “you have to accept my coming death as that of the Passover lamb, to be offered for yourselves and for the whole world” . This was also the case when author of John Second Edition, George Murray (1999) interpreted the text from a biblical scholarship perspective. Although it is worth noting that Murray’s work was not entirely focused on the interpretation of John 6:51-56 because it was rather focused on interpreting different passages from the Bible.
Other works that are worth noting include that of Culpepper where he critically discussed the most commonly contested readings from the sixth chapter of the book of John. What makes Culpepper’s work so significant in this biblical scholarship or interpretation task is that it encompasses ten critical essays about the sixth chapter of the book of John alone. Some of the topics he covered in that work included the composition of the Gospel, the nature of the Johan community, the literary framework behind the gospel, its theology, all of which are about John 6. In another paper authored by Culpepper, he focused on exploring the Gospel of John. There he pointed out that what the readers should focus on was the sixth chapter where God said that He is the bread of life and that no one can come to Him unless it is granted by the Father. It is in that way that He explained how consuming the bread which symbolizes His flesh and drinking His blood which symbolizes His blood can symbolize belief in Him and in God, His Father, and how that belief is a foreordained gift from the heavens.
In John 6:51-56, the flesh and the blood of Jesus may be interpreted as the redeemer of the nature of man. Men are known and described frequently in the bible as a sinful creature and somebody’s got to pay for or redeem man for all his sins and in this case, that would be Jesus through his flesh and blood.
It may also be theorized that Jesus knew all along that His real purpose was to be the Messiah, to save the people and redeem them for whatever sins they have committed; that He would be crucified and persecuted later on as the primary means of redeeming man. In that case, Jesus may have just prophesized what would happen in the future; that soon after their meeting, He would be captured and persecuted as a blasphemous individual for falsely claiming to be the real Messiah, the son of God, the one who would offer salvation to man, and that through his flesh and blood during the crucifixion alone can man be redeemed of his sins and be given God’s grace.

Genre and Language

The genre and language used in John 6:51-56 can be debatable. Firstly, because a lot of theories have emerged that what Jesus was pertaining in that case was cannibalism when in fact if one is going to analyze the passage more closely, one can interpret it as nothing about cannibalism but rather about the only way how one’s spiritual needs can be satisfied by breaking down Jesus’ body and shedding his blood which would symbolize redemption for man’s sins.

Setting

The context of the scenario in John 6:51-56 was set when Jesus was on his way back to Galilee with the apostles. There, on their way back, they met a crowd of people looking for food and inspiration. Seeing that the people were dangerously hungry, Jesus decided to create a miracle. There were some 5,000 hungry people before Him, and what He had during that time was nothing. Miraculously, He managed to feed that large crowd of people with only five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish, something that without a miracle would be scientifically impossible. The people were amazed by how Jesus managed to do such feat. It was also in this chapter where Jesus walked across the water, surprising His disciplines. The day after that, people from all over the place came looking for Jesus after hearing of his miraculous deeds and this is where He explained to them about His miracles, His purpose, and everything that can be interpreted in John 6:51-56.

Intention/Theology

One way to analyze this part of the bible, specifically John 6:51-56 is to know the context of the larger text in which it may be a part of. That is, by reviewing how it is connected to the earlier and succeeding verses. Notice that it was in the same chapter but earlier verses where the context or the scenario that led to the speaker in John 6:51-56, who is Jesus, has started to form. In John 6:1-14, for example, the apostle John described Jesus’ miracle of feeding the multitude from practically nothing. The specific number of people who got miraculously fed was five thousand. The significant part to watch out for in this first series of verses in the chapter was the effect of the feeding miracle on the people and their reaction towards it. At that point, many were amazed by the Miracle that Jesus performed. However, they were still bound by the prior beliefs about the Messiah. The Jews, for example, even though they expected the Messiah to eventually come into the world, did not believe that it was Jesus. Another example would be the Pharisees who saw the Messiah as the end of the law. All the other people who got amazed by the miracle turned a deaf ear to Jesus and believed that He was just a prophet at best.
In the later part of the chapter, specifically in John 6:36-46, the apostle John discussed the effects of adopting the teachings of the Holy Spirit on men; how it makes men more willing and glad to come to the Kingdom of God and give up everything that would potentially hinder him from being saved or applying for salvation; that the Father’s will is for all of His son to be saved and not to reject or lose anyone; how the only thing that men must do to be saved is to come because no one who comes will ever be cast out as it was said in the scripture. It was also explained there how God draws men with his word and the Holy Spirit and how it remains men’s duty to hear the word and learn from it, and eventually, to be saved by means of it. And finally, this biblical discussion between Jesus and the people before him continued until the verse that is being discussed in this paper, John 6:51-56. It was in this series of verses where Jesus mentioned the only way how one can be offered with salvation.
In John 6:51-56, the flesh and the blood of Jesus may be interpreted as the redeemer of the nature of man. Man are known and described frequently in the bible as a sinful creature and somebody’s got to pay for or redeem man for all his sins and in this case, that would be Jesus through his flesh and blood.
Another way to interpret Jesus’ use of the terms flesh and blood would be by thinking of it as the food for an individual’s soul. In the field of behavioral science, for example, people’s needs are divided into several categories. There is physical need, and there is also a need for self-actualization, which apparently is the highest level of need that an individual can satisfy. Within the context of religious studies, there is also a need called spiritual need. In this case, the person’s physical body is not what is being satisfied but rather the soul. The soul, apparently, also takes in food and drink just like man’s physical body. And in this case, Jesus’ flesh and blood, or at least the process of breaking it down and shedding it (respectively) can be interpreted as a way of providing the meat and drink for men’s souls. But then again, these terms were never meant to be taken literally. Eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ simply means believing in Him and believing in Him can be pretty much the same as accepting Him. As mentioned earlier, by accepting Him, man becomes able to receive the precious benefits of redemption and in the same process obtain true holiness.

Conclusions

God has so far promised three things if man is to accept God and these three things are: the way to His throne, the throne of grace, the fulfillment of God’s covenant (i.e. promises) to man, and the gift of eternal life. These three things, collectively, based on the original text that is John 6, can be theologically referred to as the flesh and blood of Christ. This is where the people who suggest that John 6:51-56 was about cannibalism or the violation of the old testament Law of Moses that prohibits anyone from drinking any other living creature’s blood for the life of every creature is or at least can be found in its blood got it wrong. Jesus never literally meant His flesh to be eaten or His blood be drank by the Jewish people or by man in general. What He meant was that the only way in which man can show his acceptance of God is by breaking Jesus’ body and shedding his blood—something which one can presume to be pertaining to His crucifixion. Because His blood was shed and His flesh and body broken down right before the eyes of many on the cross, man became entitled to receive the precious benefits of being redeemed by Christ—the three things that were mentioned earlier.

References

Ashby, G. (2002). Body and Blood in John 6:41-65. Neotestamentica.
Beasley-Muray, G. (1999). John Second Edition. World Biblical Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Beauford, B. (1998). The College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin: College Press.
Culpepper, R. (1996). Exploring the Gospel of John. Louisville: Westminster John Knox.
Culpepper, R. (1997). Critical Readings of John 6. Brill.
DeSilva, D. (2004). An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods, and Ministry Formation. Downers Grove: Intervarsity.
Douglas, J. (1982). New Bible Dictionary Second Edition. Wheaton. Tyndale.
Dunn, J. (2009). New Testament Theology: An Introduction . Library of Biblical Theology.
Eiselen, F. (1929). The Abingdon Bible Commentary. Abingdon.
Evans, C. (2005). Ancient texts for New Testament Studies: A Gudie to the Background Literature. Hendrickson.
Feldman, L. (1996). Jewish Life and Though among Greeks and Romans: Primary Readings. Minneapolis: Fortress.
Ferguson, E. (2003). Backgrounds of Early Christianity: Third Edition. Grand Rapids. Eerdmans.
Freedman, D. (2000). Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Guthrie, D. (1970). New Bible Commentary Third Edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Harrill, J. (2008). Cannibalistic Language in the Fourth Gospel and Greco-Roman Plemics of Factionalism John 6:52-66. Journal of Biblical Literature, 133-158.
Krossan, J. (1980). A Structuralist Analysis of John 6 Pages . Pickwick Press.
Moody, S. (1995). The Theology of the Gospel of John. Cambridge University Press.
Phillips, G. (1983). This is a Hard Saying Who can be Listener to it? Creating a reader in John 6. Semeia, 23-56.
Ruland, V. (1964). Sign and Sacrament: John's Bread of Life Discourse. Interpretation.
Tasker, R. (1983). New Testament Commentaries. Eerdmans.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2021, February, 20) Good Example Of Bread Of Life Discourse Biblical Interpretation Research Paper. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-bread-of-life-discourse-biblical-interpretation-research-paper/
"Good Example Of Bread Of Life Discourse Biblical Interpretation Research Paper." WePapers, 20 Feb. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-bread-of-life-discourse-biblical-interpretation-research-paper/. Accessed 25 September 2021.
WePapers. 2021. Good Example Of Bread Of Life Discourse Biblical Interpretation Research Paper., viewed September 25 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-bread-of-life-discourse-biblical-interpretation-research-paper/>
WePapers. Good Example Of Bread Of Life Discourse Biblical Interpretation Research Paper. [Internet]. February 2021. [Accessed September 25, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-bread-of-life-discourse-biblical-interpretation-research-paper/
"Good Example Of Bread Of Life Discourse Biblical Interpretation Research Paper." WePapers, Feb 20, 2021. Accessed September 25, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-bread-of-life-discourse-biblical-interpretation-research-paper/
WePapers. 2021. "Good Example Of Bread Of Life Discourse Biblical Interpretation Research Paper." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved September 25, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-bread-of-life-discourse-biblical-interpretation-research-paper/).
"Good Example Of Bread Of Life Discourse Biblical Interpretation Research Paper," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 20-Feb-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-bread-of-life-discourse-biblical-interpretation-research-paper/. [Accessed: 25-Sep-2021].
Good Example Of Bread Of Life Discourse Biblical Interpretation Research Paper. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-bread-of-life-discourse-biblical-interpretation-research-paper/. Published Feb 20, 2021. Accessed September 25, 2021.
Copy

Share with friends using:

Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.

If you need an original paper created exclusively for you, hire one of our brilliant writers!

GET UNIQUE PAPER
Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now