The Sufficiency of Scripture

The sufficiency of Scripture, or sola Scriptura, is often a focal point of attack by Rome’s apologists, which is understandable, since the Bible alone is a big blow to Catholicism. Thus, there’s a need to be enlightened about this fundamental doctrine.

What is Sola Scriptura?

The term “sola Scriptura” is an oblative from Latin meaning “by Scripture alone.” The doctrine states that the Scriptures alone are sufficient to function as the rule of faith for the church. In essence, all that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source.

Consequently, the Scriptures are not in need of any supplement and its authority is as a result of its nature as God-breathed revelation. The Bible’s authority is not dependent upon man, church or council. Therefore, the Scriptures are self-interpreting, self-consistent and self-authenticating. This is a historic, orthodox principle of Bible Christianity.

Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox have this habit of misrepresenting sola Scriptura as “taking the Bible as the only authority” or “holding to the Bible alone as our guide.” That is solo Scriptura, not sola Scriptura.

Sola Scriptura means taking the Scriptures as the only infallible authority and the only infallible standard of truth and morals. It does not mean that one cannot appeal to history, tradition, councils or reason in arriving at truth, rather, the Scriptures alone carry the highest authority.

What Sola Scriptura is Not:

1. It is not a claim that the Bible contains all knowledge. “Jesus did many other things as well. If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books…” (Jn. 21:25)

The Bible is not exhaustive in every detail and it doesn’t have to be, in order to function as the sole rule of faith for the church. We don’t need to know details about all the miracles Christ worked, the apostles’ dress codes, or where they were buried.

The purpose of the Scripture is to record all that is necessary for us to be saved and which pertains to “life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).

2. Sola Scriptura is not a denial of the church’s authority to teach the truth. The church can have its creeds, councils or confession of faith, but these are subordinate to the God-inspired Scriptures, and are subject to correction.

Thus, the church is being refined and purged by Christ and since the church hears the voice of her Shepherd from the Scriptures alone, the church does not add revelation or rule over Scripture (Rev. 1:19).

3. Sola Scriptura is not a denial that God’s Word was at a time spoken orally before they were committed into writing. Not everything the prophets spoke was written down however, because, not everything they said was inspired. That which God wanted preserved was carefully recorded

During the writing of the NT, the apostles could still appeal to an authority outside the Bible because at that time, God was still giving normative (standard-setting) revelation for the faith and morals of Christians.

This revelation was first communicated orally to the Believers alive at the time, and finally committed to writing for the believers today. Sola Scriptura applies to the normative stage of the church which we are in.

4. Sola Scriptura is not a denial of the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding and enlightening the church. That one adheres to sola Scriptura doesn’t mean one has rejected revelation from the Holy Spirit. There is a relationship between the Word and the Spirit – a balance that must be maintained – as Abraham Friesen notes in his work, Wonders of the Word:

“The Word was not merely a ‘testimony’ or ‘witness’ to the experience of the Spirit. Any experience, even one of the Spirit could not be self-authenticating; it need always to be tested by the revealed Word of God. Not the experience but the Word was the final arbiter of God’s truth.”

Objection I: “Nowhere does the Bible teaches sola Scriptura.”

Now, whether one is Catholic, Protestant or Eastern Orthodox, the basic truth we all agree on is the divine inspiration of the Bible. It is on this basis that the Bible authenticates itself. God doesn’t need men’s authority to be Who He is. In other words, the supreme authority of the Bible rests on its inspiration.

Lutheran theologian, Francis Pieper pointed out that: “The divine authority of Scripture rests solely on its nature, on its theopneusty – that is, its character as ‘God breathed’.” It is a travesty of Christian theology when people attempt to subjugate God’s inspired Word, the Bible, to traditions or a church magisterium.

From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2Tim. 3:15)

The “sacred writings” being referred to are the written words of Scripture. This indicates that the words of God which we have in Scripture are all the words of God we need in order to be saved; these words are able to make us wise “for salvation.” There is no justification for limiting this statement to the OT as Catholic apologists do. It is inconsistent to claim that the OT is sufficient, while the NT is not.

That passage says that God gave Scripture in order that we may be “complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:17) The Bible is sufficient without traditions. The Greek adjective translated as “complete” is artios. Vine’s Expository Greek work defines artios as “fitted, complete.”

Louw and Nida Greek-English Lexicon defines it as “qualified.” Greek scholar, Richard Trench in Synonyms of the New Testament explains that artios implies that the man of God is “furnished and accompanied with all which is necessary for the carrying out of the work appointed.”

In other words, all that a believer needs to be complete, qualified and capable in the faith is in the Scriptures.

Ps. 119:1 says “Blessed are those whose walk is blameless who walk in the law of the LORD!”

This verse shows an equivalence between being blameless and walking in the law of the Lord. All that God requires of us to blameless before Him is recorded in His written word.

As mentioned earlier, sola Scriptura is a norm for the readers of Scripture, not its writers, so it would be anachronistic to expect that a NT writer would make a systematic appeal to the NT to advance a claim.

Notwithstanding, the sacred authors appealed to prior revelations, even though they could speak on their own authority. Jesus and His apostles for instance, appealed to the Hebrew Scriptures as the final court of appeal. The phrase “it is written” appears 90 times in the NT (e.g Mt 4:4, 7, 10, 5:22, 28; 31, 28:18 etc). By this, they emphasized the principle of sola Scriptura.

John 20:31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

This means that a person could take John’s gospel account, read it, believe it and receive eternal life just like that. The other gospel accounts have a similar purpose. They were written for us to read, believe and have eternal life. Since the Bible admits not to contain everything, it has said enough to us to believe and be saved (Heb 9:5, Col 4:7-9).

Objection 2: “There is no such thing as ‘Scripture only’ in the Bible

Let this be clear: sola Scriptura is a negative claim. It is saying that there is nothing else like Scripture. To equate a human tradition to the level of Scripture, you will first have to prove that it’s inspired like Scripture. “God forbid; yea let God be true but every man a liar.” (Rom 3:4).

Paul warned the church not to go beyond what is written – what is written? The Scriptures (1Cor. 4:6).

Objection 3: “How can the Bible be self-interpreting? Where does the Bible say this?”

This is based on the nature of Scripture itself. Since God has spoken through the whole of Scripture, one can understand what it says by taking one part in relation to the other. Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#102) agrees:

“Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, that one and same Word of God extends throughout Scripture and one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables…”

This is why the Old and New Testaments fit in perfect. Jesus and the apostles appealed to the Hebrew Scriptures to interpret what they taught and the New Testament frequently appealed to the Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled in Christ. Rome seeks to present the Bible as complicated or incomprehensible in order to hold people under her spiritual bondage.

Objection 4: “Sola Scriptura is bibliolatry nonetheless.”

Such an argument is self-refuting, because the very concept of idolatry has Biblical precedent. To accuse someone of it presupposes Biblical authority and Scriptural appeal. In the same vein, a person who looks up to an institution for salvation or as his final authority is guilty of idolatry.

Objection 5: “Sola Scriptura is a blueprint for anarchy. It has resulted in thousands of quarreling denominations with different interpretations.”

This argument has been addressed in another article refuting the 33,000 denomination harp from the Catholic echo chambers. It must be added however, that every denomination does not represent a different interpretation of Scripture and every difference doesn’t represent a disagreement.

Much of the denominational differences was due to nationalism or geographical distribution, particularly as monarchs and state churches arose. Liberalism is another reason. It is allowed (and necessary) for believers to split with a dying and liberal preexisting denomination overrun with heretics in order to serve God in truth.

In God’s plan, a variety of denomination works for His purposes. And it’s better to have a variety of young, growing leaves than a big, dead old rotten tree. Yes, there are false churches, but in this dispensation, we can’t weed out all the tares. They will continue to grow together with the wheat until the harvest (Matt. 13:24-30).

We don’t judge the condition of the field by the presence or even dominance of the tares. That some cults misuse the Bible doesn’t diminish its authority just as multiplication tables do not become wrong because a cashier uses it to defraud a bank.

If I write a book on Genetics, for instance, I won’t expect all my readers to arrive at the same degree of understanding. Some would read a little of my book and stop there. Some will read it and mix it with contents of another book by another author and some will memorise it without understanding. Will these diminish the credibility of my work? No. The same applies to Scripture.

The Catholic assumes his “church” is the standard by which all denominations are to be judged, so he glosses over the internal differences in Rome while he lauds the “scandal” of Protestant sectarianism and points his accusing knife at the Bible. This is hypocrisy.

Objection 6: “Sola Scriptura could not have been possible all through the centuries because most people were illiterate, and even if educated, couldn’t have had access to the Bible.”

This is a vapid line. From well-travelled 1st century Christians like Apollos, Paul, Philip, Aquilla and Priscilla, it’s clear that the early church had a good communicative network and the spread of the Bible couldn’t have been a problem.

On the other hand, how did the common people all through the centuries read or have access to the Papal bulls, Church missals or Council decrees? What was the express creed of the average Medieval peasant or village priest?

Folk religion and illiteracy were very common those times, so which core Catholic creed was mouthed by the masses? Or does the writings of Athanasius or Aquinas stand for the beliefs of the masses? Sola ecclesia entirely left out the laity and the lower clergy all through the centuries until the Reformation when Bible literacy and education were emphasized.

Respected theologian, Wayne Grudem, defines the sufficiency of Scripture as meaning that Scripture contained all the words of God He intended His people to have at each stage of redemptive history, and that it now contains everything we need God to tell us for salvation, for trusting and obeying Him perfectly. He explained:

(a) We can find all that God has said on particular topics and issues by searching the Bible alone. We do not need to search through all the writings of Christians throughout history, or through all the teachings of the church or the subjective feelings or impressions that come to us, in order to find what God requires of us. We find God’s requirement by “examining the Scriptures” (Acts 17:11).

(b) At each stage of redemptive history, God’s word has always been sufficient. God has not spoken to mankind any more words He requires us to believe or obey than that we have in the Bible. Man cannot add any more words to what God has already spoken to His people.

(c) There is a strong warning not to add to Scripture and consider no other writings of equal value to Scripture (Is. 8:20, Gal. 1:8). This principle is violated by almost all cults and curious sects. Catholicism adds tradition and the Magisterium to the Bible. Christian Science adds Science and Health to it and Mormonism also adds the Book of Mormon and other false books.

(d) No modern revelations are to be placed on the same level as Scripture. We are to test visions or revelations with Scripture. There is a danger when a spiritual gift is directly or indirectly given a status that challenges the authority of Scripture in the lives of Christians (Is. 8:20).

(e) We are warned not to add more sins or requirements to those named in Scripture. Unless a specific teaching or general principle of Scripture is shown to prohibit an acitivity, if it’s not forbidden explicitly or by implication by Scripture, its not sinful (Ps. 119:44-45) (Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine, Inter-Varsity Press, 1999, 58).

A Tiptoe Through the Quran

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The Quran is regarded as the word of God by Muslims. It’s a book having 114 chapters (called suras) and 6263 verses believed to be revealed to Muhammad from heaven.

Of its 114 chapters, 86 were revealed in Mecca while 28 were revealed in Medina. Muslims point at several proofs of the Quran’s divine origin, but they are desperate claws at reason.

To show why such efforts are self-refuting, I will be briefly responding to an online article penned by a Muslim. His words will appear in bold.

The word Quran means continuous recitation. It is so-called because of its inimitable origin which makes it a compelling daily reading throughout the world.

Yes, the Quran means “recitation.” Two things here. First, the Quran is not beyond imitation, because most of its contents are not original to start with. Many of its stories were borrowed from Jewish, Christian and pagan legends and beliefs. Even the pagans of Mecca accused Muhammad of plagiarism:

Tales of the ancients, which he has had written down; and they are dictated to him morning and evening” (Sura 25:5)

“…the Unbelievers say ‘these are nothing but tales of the ancient” (Sura 6:25).

Second, the Quran is a rather tedious book to read. It has been observed that most Muslims are more interested in memorising it than reading or understanding it.

Scottish scholar, Thomas Carlyle, wrote that the Quran is “a toilsome reading as I ever undertook, a wearisome, confused jumble, crude, incondite. Nothing but a sense of duty could carry an European through the Koran.”

German scholar, Salomon Reinach, explains why: “From the literary point of view, the Koran has little merit. Declamation, repetition, puerility, a lack of logic and coherence strike the unprepared reader at every turn” (Orpheus: A History of Religion, New York: Lovecraft, 1932, 176)

It [the Quran] is the unsurpassed word of Allah, not only in the grandeur of its diction and splendour of its rendition, substance and profundity.

This claim may mislead the naive Muslim at the foot of the minbar (pulpit), but not the informed. The rendition, diction and substance of the Quran rather heavily militate against its divine origin.

Islamic scholar, Abul A’ala Maududi admits that in the Quran “one topic follows the other without any apparent connection. Sometimes a new topic crops up in the middle of another without any apparent reason. The speaker and the addresses, and the direction of the address change without any notice” (The Holy Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary, Introduction, p. 5).

Ali Dashti said there are “more than one hundred Quor’anic aberrations from the normal rules and structure of Arabic [that] have been noted” (23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad, London, 1985, 50).

The question is: why would God be making grammatical blunders or write awkwardly? Besides, the diction or rendition of a book is subjective and can’t be a valid criterion of truth, if the Quran actually possessed these qualities, only the Arabs would be able to see them. So why God would require everyone in the world to become an Arab in order to know His word?

The revelation of this Book to mankind through an unlettered Arab, Muhammad.

Exactly. The fact that the Quran is majorly preoccupied with the personal and political affairs of an unlettered Arab man and his companions at a particular stage of history without having much value to any other generation after then, proves it’s not a message for mankind.

If the Quran is God’s revelation to man then what is its core message? To believe in one God, prophets, angels, jinn and the last day? Judaism, Zoroastrianism and even Christianity have believed and taught about these for centuries.

Every book has a message. The Bible is about salvation and it hinges on the Person of Christ. But where is the message of salvation in the Quran?

When some Muslims are asked this question, they quote verses about “guidance.” Guidance is not salvation. A person can be guided and still be unsaved. Actually, the word “salvation” appears only once in the Quran:

God will say: ‘This is a day on which the truthful will profit from their truth, theirs are gardens, with rivers flowing beneath- their eternal Home: God well-pleased with them, and they with God: That is the great salvation, (the fulfillment of all desires)” (5:119)

The Arabic word translated “salvation” is fauz which means “triumph” i.e. the fulfillment of all carnal desires. What a strange concept of salvation. If salvation is not Allah’s prerogative, then what is the essence of his revelation? Apparently he’s more interested in receiving worship and jihad than saving mankind from sin.

Although the Quran was revealed orally, its writing began almost immediately the revelations started … it was only much later after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), that these writings were rendered into a book form.

This statement was carefully worded to hide the ugly facts. The writer didn’t clue his readers in on exactly when the Quran was penned down or put into a book form. (See my debate with a Muslim on this).

The Quran was originally intended to be an oral recitation, not a written document. It was when Muslims who had memorised it were dying that attempts were made to collect it into writing.

“[O]ne of the wonders of recording the Quran is the classification of those revelations into chapters and verses by the Prophet himself despite his illiteracy

How could he have divided it into chapter and verses when the original materials on which his recitations were recorded were barks of wood, rocks and ribs of animals? Can you see how this point contradicts the previous one? If the Quran wasn’t in a book form until after Muhammad’s death, then there were no chapter and verse during his lifetime. Period.

The Quran wasn’t classified with any sense of logic. For example, sura 114, the last sura, has 6 verses. Sura 113 has 5 verses, sura 112 has 4, sura 110 has 3 while sura 109 has 6 verses. If the suras were arranged according to their lengths (as Muslims claim), sura 110 ought to be the last sura, but even the longest sura is sura 2.

This is not a “wonder,” it’s what you get when an illiterate arranges a book.

Its main appeal is to man’s intellect, feelings and imaginations

Actually, the Quran appeals more to human feelings and imaginations than to the intellect. For example:

You [Muslims] are the best nation brought out for Mankind commanding what is righteous…” (3:111). This is an appeal to false superiority and prejudice.

Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion…” (2:120). This is an appeal to a false martyr complex.

But if any turn away and reject Allah, Allah will punish him with a mighty punishment” (88:23-24). This is an appeal to fear.

“…And indeed there are rocks which fall down for fear of Allah” (2:74). This is an insult to the human intellect.

At length, when they came to the valley of ants, one of the ants said ‘O ye ants get into your habitation lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (underfoot) without knowing it” (27:18). This is a fairy tale for children.

Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye sacrifice a cow…They said pray for us unto thy Lord, that he make clear to us what colour she is. (Moses) answered. Lo! He saith: Verily she is a yellow cow. Bright is her colour, gladdening beholders” (2:67, 69). What golden cow? This is an Arabian night tale.

It does not only touch the anecdotes of Prophets of different ages and nations as well as the accounts of earlier revelations

The only “earlier revelation” that contains the accounts of the Jewish prophets is the Bible. The Quran not only distorts its stories, but also accuses its characters of sins they never committed. Few examples are in order:

1. Abraham – He is presented as an idolater who worshipped the sun, moon and stars, calling them “This is my Lord” (6:76-78). In another place, the Quran attributes the story of Gideon who destroyed his family idol to Abraham who had died centuries before (21:58-63).

2. Job – Allah told him: “And take in your hand a green branch and beat her with it and do not break your oath…” (38:41-44). The hadiths explained that the whipped woman was his wife.

3. Moses – There are 3 different versions of his call in the Quran. In the first, Allah says:

Moses, I, even I am your Lord, take off your shoes for Lo you are in the holy valley of Towa. There is no other god but Allah, so serve me, worship me regularly” (20:19)

In the second, Allah says “blessed is whoever is in the fire and whatever is around it” (27:7-10).

In the third, the narration and the geographical location changes:

We called him from the right side of the mountain; and we made him draw nigh unto us to commune with him” (19:52). The Quranic account of Moses is a big can of worms.

4. Solomon – In the Quran, his well-trained horses hindered his prayer to Allah “so he began to slash (their) legs and necks.” (38:33)

That’s not all, Solomon also had demons working for him: “And of the evil ones (subdued We unto him) some who dived (for pearls) for him and did other works, and We were warders unto them” (21:38).

Al-Quran also gives insight into some natural phenomena like sphericity and revolution of the earth (Q 39:5), the formation of rain (30:48), the fertilization of the wind (15:22); the revolution of the sun, moon and the planets in their fixed orbits (36:29-38), the aquatic origin of all creatures (21:30); the duality of the sex of plants and other creatures (30:35), the collective life of animals (6:38).

Let’s take them one by one

1. Sphericity of the earth

Q 39:5 “He created the heavens and the earth with Truth and folds up the day over the night and folds up the night over the day. He has subjected the sun and the moon, each is running its course until an appointed time

The sun and moon do not swim around! Nothing about sphericity of the earth here.

2. The formation of rain

Q 30:48 “Allah is He Who sendeth the winds so that they raise the clouds and spreadeth them along the sky…and causeth them to break and thou seest the rain drop down from within them. And when He maketh it to fall on…His bondmen, lo! They rejoice.”

This is a layman’s observation of rainfall and it adds nothing to human knowledge. Obviously, the author of the Quran was someone restricted to the harsh Arab desert where there’s rejoicing whenever it rains.

3. Fertilization of the wind

Q 15:22 “And We send the winds fertilising, and cause water to descend from the sky, and give it you to drink…”

We don’t need a prophet to know this.

4. Revolution of the sun and moon

Only vs. 38 is relevant to the heading. It says: “And the sun runneth unto a resting place for him…”

How absurd. The sun doesn’t revolve around the earth! Everyone ought to know this by now.

5. The aquatic origin of all creatures

Q 21:30 “And We have created every living thing from water. Will they still not believe?”

Man wasn’t created from water! Either Allah or the Muslims who use this verse don’t know this. Or both.

6. The duality of sexes

Q 30:35 “Glory to God, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things which they have no knowledge.”

Allah probably didn’t know that many plants reproduce asexually because they are not paired. He doesn’t know about the lizard Cnemidophoras which is asexual. All members of the kingdom Monera reproduce asexually. The same goes for single-celled organisms. An all-knowing Allah should have known this.

7. The collective life of animals

Q 6:38 “There is not an animal on the earth, nor a being that flies on two wings but forms communities like you.”

False. Spiders kill their partners after mating. An old lion is often chased off by a young new lion who takes over the lioness and kill his cubs. Bees throw out the male drones till they die. Dogs, lizards and several species of birds are territorial animals that fight off their kinds.

The Muslims’ desperate attempt to find science in the Quran is a hogwash. In conclusion, all the claims presented to extol the Quran as divine are like bombs strapped unto the Muslim arguments which go up in flames on closer examination.

“Mysteries” of the Mass

To a novice, the Catholic Mass is the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. That is not exactly true. Pope Paul VI sums up the Catholic belief:

“We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His Body and His Blood which were to be offered for us at the cross, so the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and We believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under the appearance of these elements which seem to our senses the same after as before the Consecration, is a true, real and substantial presence… This mysterious change is…called by the Church transubstantiation” (Official Church Teachings – Christ Our Lord, 1978, 411).

I. The belief that Jesus turned bread and wine into His body and blood at the Last Supper is supported with 3 Bible passages:

a) Matthew 26: 26-29

When Jesus “consecrated” the bread and wine, He was still literally there with the disciples. He didn’t vanish to appear as bread and wine. His statement “this is My body” there is symbolic. The Greek verb “is” (estin) used there also means “signify” and some versions render it that way.

He said: “I shall not drink of this fruit of the vine again, until I drink it with you, new wine, in the kingdom of my Father” (v. 29). Now, if the wine had changed to blood because He called it “My blood” as it’s argued, that means it also changed back into wine when He called it “fruit of the vine.”

The Lord simply blessed the bread and wine, He didn’t perform a miracle there. He “took the cup and gave thanks [Greek: Eucharistesas]” (Matt. 26:27) just as Godly people blessed and gave thanks for their meals (Deut. 8:10, Matt. 6:11; Rom. 14:6).

b) John 6:53-57

The statement latched onto is: “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” Catholics refuse to consider the context of this passage. Of course, some Jews were troubled at those words and walked away because they couldn’t understand what Jesus meant. It’s unwise to deduce from their action that Jesus was teaching transubstantiation.

It’s argued that the word “to chew” (Gr: trogo) in vs 54 proves we are to literally eat Christ’s flesh, but Jesus had not instituted the Lord’s Supper here. Bear in mind also that Jesus didn’t establish a mysterious rite of eating flesh or drinking blood for that would be a violation of the Law of Moses which He came to fulfill (Lev. 7:26-27; 17:10-12).

In John 6:25, He says “I am the bread of life“. If we take this literally as Catholics have taken verse 53, then Jesus is a loaf of bread. He said in John 10:9 “I am the door...” Does this also make Him a piece of wood? No.

Psalm 91:4 says: “He [God] shall cover you with His feathers, and under his wings shall you trust.” If we take this expression literally also, then God is a big bird. Here is the point: in Biblical interpretation, a word is taken as literal when it’s used literally and figurative when used figuratively or when its literal use violates Scripture or Logic.

Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes (Matt. 13:34) and this were His audience in John 6, so He used a figurative, spiritual rather than a literal or physical language. He consistently called men to believe in Him using different analogies – seed, sheep, water, new birth, bread – to illustrate it.

He told Nicodemus that those who believed in Him would receive a new birth. He wasn’t speaking of a physical birth but a spiritual birth (John 3:16).

He promised the woman at the well “living water” and “a well of water” springing up within her. He didn’t mean physical water but spiritual cleansing (John 4:10-14). When He said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness…” (Jn. 8:12), He wasn’t speaking of physical light, but spiritual light to all who receive Him.

The “hunger and thirst” Jesus referred to in John 6:35 was spiritual since the bread was not physical. Catholics claim they are physically eating Christ, but if that is the case, they shouldn’t hunger or thirst physically either – but they do.

If the “hungering and thirsting” are spiritual terms, so are the eating and drinking. The different metaphors Jesus used – eating, drinking, coming, believing – all stand for the same: receiving Him by faith (vv. 35, 36, 47, 48, 51).

c) 1 Cor. 11:25-29

That Jesus said “this cup is the new covenant in my blood” doesn’t change the cup into the new covenant, in the same vein, the elements do not change into flesh and blood because of the words “this is my body” in Latin.

Catholics are reading a dogma officially defined in the 13th century back into this Bible passage. That is an abuse of Scripture. Paul here speaks of the Lord’s Supper, a simple meal in which Christians proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes, not an ornate sacrament which “re-presents” the sufficient sacrifice of Calvary.

II. The Eucharistic liturgy gives priests a high footing:

“Thus the priest may, in a certain manner be called the creator of his Creator, since by saying the word of consecration, he creates as it were, Jesus in the sacrament” (Alphonsus Liguori, Duties and Dignities of the Priest, 27).

How blasphemous to believe priests have the power to pull Christ down to appear as bread to be handled and swallowed! How blasphemous to think some men can create Christ!

Now, if the bread was really being changed into the flesh of Christ, why does it breed mould after a period of time? That proves it’s not changed to Christ’s body because God wouldn’t let His body experience decay. “You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay” (Ps. 16:10).

III. The Mass is defined as: “A sacrifice in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated;  – A memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, who said ‘do this in memory of me.’ Luke 22:19” (Eucharistum Mysterium, May 25, 1967).

This is where a clear contrast between Roman Catholicism and the Bible is striking. Jesus declared at the cross: “It is finished!” (Jn. 19:30). He offered the perfect sacrifice to God paid the full penalty for the sins of mankind.

His sacrifice took place once for all on the cross and is never to be repeated (and doesn’t have to) like the OT sacrifices that couldn’t take away sins (Heb 7:27, 9:25-10:2; 10:12-18). The fact that the Catholic Mass has to be repeated proves its ineffectiveness because if once is not enough, even a billion would not.

Also, it’s an impossibility to “perpetuate” or “re-present” the sacrifice of Christ at the cross because it’s a specific event that has not only occurred, but has also achieved its full purpose. One can only remember or honour an historic event.

Christ is now at the right hand of God in an immortal, resurrected and glorious body which can never die again. “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! ” (Rev. 1:18). He’s not dying or shedding His blood in heaven because He already did that once at the cross. The “dying-rising” Jesus of Catholicism is not the Jesus of the Bible.

IV. Transubstantiation is said to be a “mystery” or “miracle.” If that is the case, where is the proof that any change occurs? The bread still looks and tastes as bread and the wine still tastes as wine after consecration.

If Cyanide is added to the wine before “consecration” what priest would be willing to drink it afterwards? A miracle functions within the bounds of reality and is verifiable, otherwise it’s not a miracle.

When Catholics are asked to present an evidence for this “mystery,” they bleat “we believe it changes…we accept in faith…that they change into flesh and blood under the appearance of bread and wine.” We are not interested in beliefs without proofs.

Examine all the miracles in the Bible. When Jesus turned water into wine, everyone saw and tasted that it had changed. The water didn’t change into wine “under the appearance” of water. When God parted the Red Sea, both the Israelites and the Egyptians saw it and walked on dry land. The sea didn’t part “under the appearance” of remaining closed.

Did Jesus raise the dead “under the appearance” of remaining dead or heal the blind “under the appearance” of being unable to see? Such a fantasy is not in the Bible yet Catholics are forced to believe it.

V. The wafer (“bread”) used in the Mass is called the host (from the Latin word for “victim” or “sacrifice”). Since it’s believed to have changed into the flesh of God, it is placed in a tabernacle and worshipped by Catholics as they enter the church. It is also borne in a monstrance on procession during the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Whatever Rome may assert, this is plain idolatry and it’s strictly forbidden by Scripture. This is the false Christ “of the inner chambers” that Jesus warned us against (Matt. 24:26)

Bread gods always come with problems. During the Middle Ages discussions erupted about what should be done if a person were to vomit after receiving the host or if a mouse were to by chance eat God’s body. At the Council of Constance, it was argued whether a man who spilled some of the blood of Christ should have his beard burned (This is why till date, in most cases, only the priests drink the wine).

The Jews in Deggendorf, Bavaria, were once slaughtered by Catholics in revenge for allegedly stealing and “torturing” a consecrated host. When you believe in absurdities, you will commit atrocities.

I once saw a funny video footage of a priest trying to serve the host to a bride, it mistakenly dropped onto her chest and slid into her gown. The priest quickly dipped his two fingers into her breasts to rescue his wafer god from in there. The lady had to involuntarily hold his fingers.

I have had some Catholics tell me that Satanists break into their churches to steal their wafer Jesus so as to “torture” him in their covens! Such narratives are humourous and of course, sad. The Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven, in power and glory. He’s not being “stolen” or “tortured” as a wafer in some foul coven. Any god that has to be carried about by men cannot save in the day of trouble.

VI. Christ said: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). He is spiritually present with believers, He doesn’t have to become a bread to do so. It defies the bound of rational (and Biblical) thought to claim Jesus is physically present in the midst of millions of different groups of believers around the world.

He said: “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me [physically]” (Jn. 12:8). To suggest that millions of wafers on Catholic altars is the physical body, “whole and entire” of Christ is a hallowed lie.

VII. The complicated ritualism associated with the Catholic Mass tells a lot. An author observed that it is “a spectacle of gorgeous magnificence – lights, colors, vestments, music, incense… [with] spectators, not participants, spectators like those who were present at a performance of the ancient mystery cults” (Scott Anderson, Romanism and the Gospel, 1937, 93).

During the Mass, as a work notes, the priest makes the sign of the cross 16 times, turns towards the congregation 6 times, kisses the altar 8 times, bows his head 21 times, genuflects 8 times, strikes his breasts 10 times, blesses the altar with the sign of the cross 30 times and lifts his eyes towards heaven 11 times.

Compare this to the simple meal Christ instituted and tell me if there isn’t a wide contrast.

VIII. At the memorial supper, Jesus simply took bread and broke it. The unleavened bread symbolized His sinless body and the wine His shed blood. He and the apostles didn’t use the round wafer Rome uses. After all bread doesn’t break into round pieces.

The round, disk-shaped symbolism has links with ancient pagan rites in which initiates received a small round cake or wafer of unleavened bread – symbolizing the solar disk. In the ancient Egyptian cult, different shapes of cakes were used to symbolize their deities and the most commonly used was the round wafer symbolizing the sun god.

The “god-eating” rite was a crucial part of several ancient pagan religions. The Catholic Encyclopedia (10:404) notes: “Mithraism had a Eucharist, but the idea of a sacred banquet is as old as the human race and existed at all ages and amongst all peoples.” These same rites were also known among the the pre-colonial Central and South Americans.

The concept of transubstantiation came from paganism. It was only mixed with some New Testament principles to disguise it. As a result, many Catholics, instead of receiving Christ into their hearts by faith have been deceived to believe they receive Christ by physically eating him at Mass.