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Why is the Bible so confusing / hard to read?

Discussion in 'Bibliology & Hermeneutics' started by Alison Smith, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. Need answers

    Need answers Well-Known Member

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    David loved Gods words. He said they were sweeter than honey.
     
  2. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Do you like the way he goes through passages verse by verse? it's good for both private study and group reading and edification, like between husbands and wives at home, etc. I do like W. MacDonald.
     
  3. Lee Stuvmen

    Lee Stuvmen If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:

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    I am sure that by now you probably have 100 different answers for your questions, but perhaps I can shed some light on this for you. Please bear with me if you would.

    My daughter went to college to become a nurse. In college they taught her the language of medicine. Distal, anterior, radial, aspirate, etc. When she speaks her medical language to her peers, they all understand. When she speaks it to me, it goes right over my head because I don't know what the words represent.

    The language of the Bible is the same. It has it's own terminology. But what most don't realize is that the Bible interprets itself and supplies the CORRECT INTERPRETATION of the terminology used.

    An excellent example of Scripture interpreting itself is found in the Book of Daniel regarding the word "horn".

    Daniel 7
    7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

    8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

    CONSISTENT INTERPRETATION(Horn = King)
    23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

    24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

    Daniel 8
    5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

    6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.

    20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

    21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

    8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones(horns) toward the four winds of heaven.

    22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

    In prophecy where symbols are used to describe an entity, HORN ALWAYS = King

    The entire list of symbolic words and their Scriptural interpretations, plus the reference material and links to verify what is written is accurate in the First Post at this website;

    www.pontifexmaximuschristianity.blogspot.com

    In love and truth,
    Lee
     
  4. fwGod

    fwGod Well-Known Member

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    The men that translated the King James Bible were highly educated men.. (read their introductory preface sometime - not usually found in the KJV anymore) they didn't use a high school level easy to understand English... which is weird because they stated in the preface that they endeavored to make it easy for the common people to understand.

    The Bible uses several modes of expression to convey spiritual truths from the simple straight forward to the deeply complicated that requires meditation and prolonged study and research. For instance it has Hebrew idioms in it that need to be researched to understand.

    The many different versions of the Bible that translate a verse of scripture 5 different ways in 5 different Bibles can most likely be corroborated by any number of other Bible verses.. so for the most part each of the 5 versions are found to be correct in thought if not in word for word.

    What the different Bible versions are is translations from the original Greek or Hebrew.. that is entirely academic, not interpretations. The work of interpretations comes from divine revelation from God.. being inspired by the God breathed Word.
    The different ways that a verse is translated in different Bible versions has to do with someone making use of a thesaurus.

    There are some interpretations that Christians have come up with that are not divine revelations but of private interpretations that are the result of an attempt to convey a passage of scripture using one's own reasoning.. that is eisegesis.

    If you are not sure what a passage means then do some research of articles on the topic online, check on the original language to English Bible tools, and read up on how to correctly practice exegesis.

    The Bible is not meant to be a quick breeze through. But there are devotionals with commentary if you want that.
    The Bible is the teachers answer book but there are many times when the answers are hidden. However I enjoy tracking down a mystery until all is solved.
     
  5. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    William MacDonald's Commentary is good for preparation for a conversational Bible study; he doesn't avoid verses; and, whether one agrees with his line or not always, he is thorough.
     
  6. pescador

    pescador Newbie Supporter

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    So what? David loved Jonathan, a person (2nd Samuel 1:26) in a totally different way then he loved God's words.

    There are four kinds of love described in Koine Greek:
    • Storge – empathy bond.
    • Philios – friend bond.
    • Eros – romantic love.
    • Agape – unconditional "God" love.

    We are to love God -- a person -- with all our heart, soul, and mind and love our neighbor as ourselves.

    I love a good book or movie, but I also love my wife. There is a big difference.
     
  7. chad kincham

    chad kincham New Member

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    The scriptures tell you how you know you’re born again -
    Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
     
  8. Joyous Song

    Joyous Song Active Member

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    What you say is very true but sometimes those answers are close by, and other times in totally different chapters. We are posting on study on that passage from Is.28 right now. In this study which we just posted on the Scripture site, we use passages from Kings I and II to explain those first few verses. You need this.

    Yet for that passage:

    “Therefore the word of the L-rd will be them: precept, upon precept, precept, upon precept, measure upon measure, measure upon measure, here a little, there a little; that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, snared and taken.” 13


    There happened to be precepts for doing just this called PaRaDeS. Here we see people teaching the Pashat- "Plain meaning", praying which is also a precept Judah teaches in studying Scriptures.

    However we also need some measures and being humble as we approach His Words is a measures or teaching: water flows to lowly level therefore you should be humble when studying the Torah (Word of G-d).
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
  9. TexFire316

    TexFire316 Come as a child, with no agenda

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    Simple.
    First: The first five books tells you what God wants you to know.
    Second: Do your best to learn a little bit about Israel, and read it like they would read it.
    Third: Put everything that you heard from the church and religious leaders on the back burner.
    Last: Read the Bible as a child would read it. Believe everything it says.
     
  10. Joyous Song

    Joyous Song Active Member

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    TexFire wrote:

    Simple.
    First: The first five books tells you what God wants you to know. This is a precept we missed.

    Second: Do your best to learn a little bit about Israel, and read it like they would read it.

    Precept as well: this is getting into the authors perspective when he wrote it.

    Third: Put everything that you heard from the church and religious leaders on the back burner. This is this third part of PaRaDeS: Drashim: teaching of the Church Fathers but we include the rabbis as regards Jewish texts as well.

    Last: Read the Bible as a child would read it. Believe everything it says. This is Pahsat- plain meaning.

    Second, Remez- hint or hidden meaning such as when Christ told the disciples to "beware the leavening of the scribes and Pharisees." Clearly He was not talking ab0out bread but pride. The context often gives such hits.

    Lastly comes the Sod: secrete or mystical meaning. Jn1.1-5 and chapter 3 are such mystical passages. For these teaching one can ignore these harder to understand presages and leave it to the scholars and their local priest/shepherd.
     
  11. Micaiah-Imla

    Micaiah-Imla New Member

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    You have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnrished unto good works (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

    The scriptures are not difficult to understand in the things that pertain to instruction to holiness and salvation. It seems that the difficulty arises when some busy themselves too much in matters that do not pertain to what is pleasing to God, or when a doctrine is a shock to the current times we live in.

    Also there are men who are still in the flesh who claim the scriptures are hard to understand because they have not been born again into the Spirit; and they find a lot of scriptures nearly impossible to follow and obey. These are those who seek a worldly traditional interpretation view until they find the one that quells their particular concerns.
     
  12. Joyous Song

    Joyous Song Active Member

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    Micaiah-Imla: First you quoted Timothy: You have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto good works (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

    The scriptures are not difficult to understand in the things that pertain to instruction to holiness and salvation: we never implied otherwise, all scripture has a plan meaning.

    Micaiah-Imla:: It seems that the difficulty arises when some busy themselves too much in matters that do not pertain to what is pleasing to God, or when a doctrine is a shock to the current times we live in.

    If this were true then why are we not one as Christ called us to be? Why do Protestants and Catholics argue over John 6 and the Eucharist being His body and Blood, literally, or symbolically? This is just one controversial passage found in the Gospels where the plan meaning might lead one astray.

    Micaiah-Imla: Also there are men who are still in the flesh who claim the scriptures are hard to understand because they have not been born again into the Spirit; and they find a lot of scriptures nearly impossible to follow and obey. These are those who seek a worldly traditional interpretation view until they find the one that quells their particular concerns.

    There are also layers of meaning in scriptures and people called by the L-rd to help others see hard to understand meaning. So yes there can be false teachers, and early ficus when people are illuminating things not easy to see or hard to understand, like John 6. Christ told us He send His Ruach HaKodish, Holy Spirit to teach us. To believe all believers have the same level of spirituality and all scriptural teaching simple is too simplistic a view and if so there be no controversies as regards the word.
     
  13. Micaiah-Imla

    Micaiah-Imla New Member

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    John 6:53-55 is merely what is latter described in 1 Corinthians 11 as the Lord's supper.

    Believers get together and eat the bread and drink the wine that is a picture of Christ's sacrifice as a reminder.

    Protestants and Catholics argue because they will not walk away from their man made traditions.

    If we would just be Christian it would be a good start to unity.
     
  14. Joyous Song

    Joyous Song Active Member

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    Micaiah-Imla: John 6:53-55 is merely what is latter described in 1 Corinthians 11 as the Lord's supper.

    We believe John meant far more from Paul's brief discourse. Here a part of our study of John 6:

    Jesus met the crowd on the way to Caper'na-um, and here they asked Him "Rabbi, when did you come here?" because they knew there was but one boat that the disciples used and He was not in it and He did not enter any boat in the morning along with them. This is why we believe they asked Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?"

    Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves."

    What does Jesus mean they sought Him because they "ate their fill of the loaves"? Clearly their question was about how He managed to get across the Sea of Galilee without them noticing Him. The answer we feel is that their focus was on the miracles they had seen and on the one presently before them now, yet they had no other depth. As a result Jesus was to take them in deeper than many would want to go:

    "Do not labor for the food which parishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give you; for on Him has G-d the Father set His seal."

    In other words, it is by-faith; Faith in the Messiah that G-d had promised them and Faith in the Father that sent Him:

    "Then they said to Him, 'What must we do, to be doing the works of G-d?' Jesus answered them, "This is the work of G-d, that you believe in him Whom He has sent."

    Faith isn't works, Jesus chided them, and faith means to have faith in Him:

    "For G-d sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of G-d." Jn.3.17-18

    This is greater than they even suspected. All other signs pale against this claim: that He is the Son of the G-d Most High. This is why they say:

    "Then what sign do You do, that we may see, and believe You? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"

    It is written:

    "Therefore, when the L-rd heard, He was full of wrath . . . because they had no faith in G-d and did not trust His saving power . . . Yet He commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven; and He rained down upon them to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven. Man ate of the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance." Ps.78.21, 24-25

    Clearly this shows that G-d gave them this bread, so why did Jesus say:

    "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; My Father gives you the true bread from heaven."

    This was we feel because Moses brought the Law and Jesus is stating that He (Jesus) is greater than the Law. Also notice that the Psalmist clearly states that manna came from heaven, as does Jesus. We state this only to establish that heavenly bread can only come forth from the hand of G-d. The entire quote:

    "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of G-d is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world."

    "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; He who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of G-d rests upon him." Jn.3.36.

    Therefore this bread is Jesus Himself, but do they understand this?

    "They said to him, 'L-rd give us this bread always."

    Obviously they see literal bread and no symbolism or metaphor therefore Jesus makes Himself clearer:

    "He said to them, 'I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall not thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me; and him who comes to Me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me; and this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of My Father that every one who sees the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

    "He who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall not thirst."

    These words are common words that Jesus uses to define Himself as The Messiah. He spoke them to the woman at the well (Jn.4.13); on the last day of Succos ( Jn.7.37-39); and of course, in the Beatitudes ( Matt.5.6 and Lk.6.21); which they're in reference to righteousness. Why does He say "But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe"? we feel this is because He knew the words that would follow these would breed doubt in those that followed Him up until now. It is He that is the Bread of Life, He that comes down from above. He that existed before He was born, for as John also states:

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d . . . and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. . ." Jn.1.1, 14

    What is puzzling to us however are the words that follow: ". For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me; and this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up at the last day." If Jesus was not to lose "nothing of all He has given Me" then why did He talk of drinking blood and not correcting their understanding, especially when His words turned people away (drink blood is highly unkosher)? (see Jn.6.66). The people are incredulous at His words:

    "The Jews murmured at Him because He said, 'I am the Bread which came down from heaven.' They said, 'Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, "I have come down from heaven"?'

    How quickly they return to their human understanding. If this is Joseph's son, how can He be G-d's? He was born of flesh, how could He have come forth from heaven?

    "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by G-d.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me."

    Where does it say: "and they shall be taught by G-d"? It's a Messianic passage found in Is.54.13: "All your Sons shall be taught by the L-rd". Just before this passage is a prophecy of the New Jerusalem. Is this why Jesus speaks this prophecy just after "I will raise him up on the last day"? We will be resurrected at His second coming; therefore we believe He is saying that not only is He Messiah Son of Joseph (Suffering Messiah) but also Messiah Son of David (the conquering Messiah). He also states that faith goes both ways. If you believe in Him He will lead you to the Father and if you have "heard and learned from the Father" then you shall go to the Son.

    "I am the Bread of Life. Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the Bread of Life, which comes down from heaven that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this Bread, he will live forever; and the Bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My Flesh."

    Clearly He is tying this Bread, this heavenly Bread, to the cross; for Jesus gave His very flesh upon Mount Calvary. Therefore, this bread is not only The Messiah but also His flesh that He gave to us for our sins. The people, who knew nothing of the cross, took His words literally and immediately were offended by them:

    "The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, 'How can this man give His Flesh to eat?'"

    Obviously, these folks misunderstood him, so now Jesus really has a chance to clarify Himself and so He says:

    "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My Flesh is food indeed. And My Blood is drink indeed. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in Him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me will live because of Me. This is the Bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."

    Jesus spoke these words on Passover, the eve of the Feast of Unleavened Bread , in the synagogue.

    This is a bread that if we eat of it, in faith, we shall not die, but shall live forever. This is no common Bread, it is a necessary bread, as is all Laws this helps us abide It is a Bread that will bring forth eternal life. What else could this bread be, other than Jesus Himself (see the previous section) and yet He states, "My Flesh is food indeed. And My Blood is drink indeed. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so He who eats Me will live because of Me." Again, why would He say that this is food, without a doubt, if He was just talking about His physical being? How can He call Himself "food"? Is there another example that uses such similar language? We searched the Gospels for wording such as this and this is what we found:

    Nowhere else in the Gospels could we find an example of Jesus alluding to Himself as His Flesh, although He does allude to "flesh and blood" for a human being (see Matt.16.17). Since we could not find an example for flesh, we looked instead for such examples of the word "bread". There are many times Jesus talks of bread. For example, we are to ask G-d for our daily bread (the "Our Father"- Matt.6.11 and Lk.11.3) and beware of the leavening of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt.16.5-12, Mk.8.14-21, & Lk.12.1). But the only place we could find Him alluding to Himself as the bread is at the Last Supper where Jesus "took bread, and blessed, and broke it and gave it to the disciples and said. 'Take, eat; this is My Body." Matt.26.26, Mk.14.22, Lk.22.15. This is the closest match because Jesus likens the bread to His "body", which in other places has corresponded to the "flesh".

    And so we find Him stating again that we are to "drink His blood" (Mk.14.24, Lk.22.20) in almost the exact same language as found in John 6. Coincidence? Before we can be sure we need to check the word "blood" for similar contexts as we did with the word "bread". Jesus talks of blood literally as in the shedding of "innocent blood" (Matt.23.30, 35, Lk.50-51) and John uses it to denote the birthing process (Jn.1.13). But nowhere else does Jesus, or even one of His disciples use these words in the same manner as John 6, except at the Last Supper. Clearly to us this is no coincidence.

    So from this understanding we believe the Flesh and Blood correspond directly to the bread and wine at Jesus' Last Supper, which we are to do in remembrance of Him. This explains for us why He said they were literal bread and literal wine, that is His body and blood. True, they do represent the sacrifice of the cross, but why did He (in John 6) tell us that it was "food indeed" and later give a literal food- indeed! Sadly, most of those listening misunderstood Him as many do in our present day and Jesus was forced to try to explain this again for the third time. First they said:

    "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where He was before? It is the Spirit that gives life, the Flesh is of no avail; the words that I spoke to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you that do not believe."

    This is a fascinating passage. Jesus spoke it because He knew those present did not understand Him at all. First, He points to His coming resurrection into Glory, "Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where He was before"; then He compares faith through the Holy Spirit to the "flesh", not His. Therefore we must be born of Spirit as Jesus spoke to Nicode'mus:

    "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit." Jn.3.6

    So first comes the resurrection, then rebirth through the Holy Spirit. Yet His words that He spoke before are also Spirit, not a metaphor as He clearly states:

    " . . . the words that I spoke to you are Spirit and life."

    In other words, the reason so may find this hard to believe because the Body and Blood, like rebirth, is a spiritual concept and just as Jesus told Nicode'mus"

    "Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive Our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"

    Spiritual things are just as "real" as those things we see and hear in our everyday life, but because they spring from the spiritual realm (which few can perceive), they are very hard to reason out through our limited senses. This is why Avi sent His only Son, because He (Ayn), is incomprehensible, therefore He sent His Son, who possesses His perfect image (like Adam did before Eve), so that we could "see" the invisible Father through the visible Son (in His earthly form). The "wafer" we believe is like Jesus' body (in more ways than one), but it possesses the spiritual "Body" within it just as Jesus above promised it would. Therefore we welcome anyone else's interpretation, providing it's consistent with all the Scriptural texts.

    Then John adds:

    "For Jesus knew from the first who were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He said, 'This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father.' "

    It was here that "the unrighteous hatred over a righteous man" (Talmud) first began to fester. This is also why the argument that Jesus meant to say this Bread was symbolic is so unreasonable in our minds. Why would He not have made this perfectly clear when He saw that they were misunderstanding His words (not to do so would be to lose something that Our Father gave Him which is impossible, see Jn.6.39)? In our understanding He did make Himself perfectly clear, or at least as clear as one can be with things within the realm of human understanding. Yet, despite this attempt to bring the disciples into a greater understanding, they just couldn't see. In fact, this caused the single greatest lost of followers than any other discourse according to John own words.

    "After this many of His disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him. Jesus said to the twelve. 'Do you also wish to go away?' Simon Peter answered Him, 'L-rd, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of G-d.' ".

    So we know from above that the crowd didn't understand Him. Did the twelve truly understand? Probably not, but Peter said what affirmed was all that is truly necessary- to abide in Him, and this is faith. Therefore we believe the Body and Blood is not equal to faith, but an outgrowth of faith. This doesn't mean the Body and Blood is unimportant even by our understanding, but only that faith, as in all things, must come first. This is why we think Jesus dealt with faith first before going on to the Body and Blood and why He worked so hard to grow the disciples' faith (their recent successful witnessing and the many miracles that proceeded this tough Gospel) so that when He taught them about spiritual things (which to understand the Body and Blood you must understand the spiritual aspects of it), they had earthly things to fall back on to strengthen their willingness to trust Him even if they could not fully understand what He said.
     
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