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I have read chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, regarding bread of life and eating of His flesh. Can you help me with what the proper interpretation should be?.

John 6:51 (ESV)

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

  • Welcome to BHSE! We're a little different here, take a minute and read the site directives here to understand what we are about. This question is on topic, but needs to reference a specific text. Also, there are numerous questions like this one that previously have been answered. Please take the time and examine our site directives before posting. Thank you! – Tau Nov 1 '14 at 10:19
  • Tony, welcome! I have added one of the verses from John 6 that makes these references, but feel free to change to a different verse or translation if you prefer. Also, in order for us to better understand your question, it might be helpful if you could explain what interpretation you have considered and what you're still confused about. See also this Q&A about interpretation of this discourse. – Susan Nov 1 '14 at 11:47
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The Jewish people expected that the Messiah would come with signs and wonders greater than any of the prophets before him. Within the context there is conversation about the manna that came from heaven during the 40 year wandering of the Israelites before they entered the promised land. In verse 41 we read:

41 The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, I am the bread which came down out of heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How doth he now say, I am come down out of heaven?

The comparison of Jesus to Moses is whats happening through out this section of verses. Jesus came down from heaven in the manor of manna. The thought is if Moses fed millions for 40 years and Jesus only fed 5000 for a day then Moses would be the greater prophet. But Jesus trumps Moses by saying that who ever partakes of the bread he has to offer shall not hunger again. He is being metaphorical about his body being bread. The idea is take and consume his teachings and his way of life.


J. W. McGarvey, The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels, (Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing Company, 1914)

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Gnostic Light

Reality does exist, Existence gives birth to Understanding. Therefore Understanding is the Son of Existence. Understanding is the King of Kings. Those that walk without understanding fall into error. Therefore, how to receive the understanding, is the only way to live without error. And error leads to death. The separation of you from reality. Since separation from reality has similar characteristics to that of death. The opposite, should then bring life. The focus on reality, and all mistakes separate a persons mind from Now, and it leads them all into their own little world and away from the Kingdom of Reality.

Jesus is Understanding
Let's do some substitutions to get the meaning from this:

"I am the understanding that came down from heaven. Whoever swallows this understanding will live forever. This understanding is my body**, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51 Decoded Version)

**I substituted the word body for flesh, the Greek word "Sarxs" can also mean body.

It also helps to understand the symbolization to the Eucharist

And He took understanding, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19)

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