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John 6:52-53

Context

6:52 Then the Jews who were hostile to Jesus 1  began to argue with one another, 2  “How can this man 3  give us his flesh to eat?” 6:53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the solemn truth, 4  unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, 5  you have no life 6  in yourselves.

1 tn Grk “Then the Jews began to argue.” Here the translation restricts the phrase to those Jews who were hostile to Jesus (cf. BDAG 479 s.v. ᾿Ιουδαῖος 2.e.β), since the “crowd” mentioned in 6:22-24 was almost all Jewish (as suggested by their addressing Jesus as “Rabbi” (6:25). See also the note on the phrase “the Jews who were hostile to Jesus” in v. 41.

2 tn Grk “with one another, saying.”

3 tn Grk “this one,” “this person.”

4 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”

5 sn Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood. These words are at the heart of the discourse on the Bread of Life, and have created great misunderstanding among interpreters. Anyone who is inclined toward a sacramental viewpoint will almost certainly want to take these words as a reference to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or the Eucharist, because of the reference to eating and drinking. But this does not automatically follow: By anyone’s definition there must be a symbolic element to the eating which Jesus speaks of in the discourse, and once this is admitted, it is better to understand it here, as in the previous references in the passage, to a personal receiving of (or appropriation of) Christ and his work.

6 tn That is, “no eternal life” (as opposed to physical life).



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