Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ST. JOHN - Chapter 6

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John vi.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Galilee. St. John does not usually relate what is mentioned by the other evangelists, especially what happened in Galilee. If he does it on this occasion, it is purposely to introduce the subject of the heavenly bread, which begins ver. 37. He seems, moreover, to have had in view the description of the different passovers during Christ's public ministry. As he, therefore, remained in Galilee during the third passover, he relates pretty fully what passed during that time. We may also remark, that as the other three evangelists give, in the same terms, the institution of the blessed sacrament, St. John omits the institution, but gives in detail the repeated promises of Jesus Christ, relative to this great mystery.

Ver. 4. From the circumstance of the passover, the number that followed Jesus was greatly increased. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 5. Our Lord first said, (Matthew xiv. 16.) Give them to eat; but afterwards, accommodating himself to the weakness of his disciples, he says: Whence shall we buy bread? So there is no contradiction.

Ver. 10. The text in St. Matthew adds: without counting the women and the children, who might possibly amount to an equal number.

Ver. 11. In the Greek, there is this addition: He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were sitting. The Syriac, and some Greek copies agree with the Vulgate.

Ver. 12. To make the miracle still more conspicuous to the multitude, Jesus Christ shewed, that not only their present wants were supplied, but that there remained as much, or more, after they had all been filled, than there had been at first presented to Him.

Ver. 14. The Prophet indeed. That is, the Messias. (Witham)

Ver. 15. St. John here corrects what relates to Jesus, and then what relates to the disciples. For if we attend to the order of time, the apostles got into the boat before Jesus went to the mountain. But, in matters of this nature, it is usual for the historians to follow their own choice. (Polus, Synop. critic.)

Ver. 19. Five and twenty or thirty furlongs. About three or four miles.

Ver. 21. In St. Matthew xiv. 26. and St. Mark vi. 51. we find that Jesus entered into the boat. St. John does not deny it; but he remarks a circumstance not noticed by the others: The vessel was presently at the land. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 26. Christ did not return an express answer to their words, but he replied to their thoughts. For they seem to have put this question to him, that by flattering him, they might induce him to work another miracle, similar to the former; but Christ answers them not to seek for their temporal prosperity, but for their eternal welfare. The Church is daily filled, says St. Augustine, with those who come to petition for temporal advantages, that they may escape this calamity, obtain that advantage in their temporal concerns: but there is scarce one to be found who seeks for Christ, and pays him his adoration, through the pure love he bears him. (Maldonatus)

Ver. 27. For him hath God the Father sealed. The sense seems to be, that Christ having wrought so many miracles in his Father's name, the Father himself hath thereby given testimony in his favour, and witnessed, as it were, under his seal, that Jesus is his true Son, whom he sent into the world. (Witham)

Ver. 30. What sign then dost thou shew? And foreseeing that he might, with great propriety, allege the recent miracle, they contrast it with what Moses performed in the desert. It is true, they say, you once fed 5,000 persons with five loaves; but our fathers, to the number of 600,000 did eat, not for once, but during forty years, manna in the desert; a species of food infinitely superior to barley bread. (Bible de Vence) See Numbers i. 46.

Ver. 31. Christ having declared that he was greater than Moses, (since Moses could not promise them bread which should never perish) the Jews wished for some sign by which they might believe in him; therefore they say: Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, but you have only given us bread; where then is the food that perishes not? Christ therefore answers them, that the food which Moses gave them, was not the true manna from heaven, but that it was only a figure of himself, who came down from heaven to give life to the world. (St. Augustine) --- St. Chrysostom observes, that the Jews here acknowledge Christ to be God, since they entreat Christ not merely to ask his Father to give it them; but, do thou thyself give it us.

Ver. 32. Moses gave you not bread from heaven; i.e. the manna was not given to your forefathers by Moses, but by God's goodness. 2ndly, Neither came it from heaven, but from the clouds, or from the region of the air only. 3rdly, It did not make them that eat it live for ever; but they that spiritually eat me, the living bread; that is, believe in me, and keep my commandments, shall live for ever. --- Ver. 37, 44, and 66. No one can come to me, unless the Father draw him.[1] These verses are commonly expounded of God's elect; who are not only called, but saved, by a particular mercy and providence of God. God is said to draw them to himself by special and effectual graces, yet without any force or necessity, without prejudice to the liberty of their free-will. A man, says St. Augustine, is said to be drawn by his pleasures, and by what he loves. (Witham)

Ver. 33. A life of immortality and eternal happiness to all who worthily receive it.

Ver. 34. St. Augustine with all the Fathers, believed that the Jews did not understand this in its proper sense; but only understood a material bread, of superior excellence to the manna, which would preserve their health and life for ever (St. Augustine); or at least, a far more delicious bread, which they were to enjoy during the whole course of their lives.

Ver. 36. You demand this bread; behold it is before you, and yet you eat it not. I am the bread; to believe in me is to eat me. You see me, but you believe not in me. (St. Augustine) --- It is to this place that those words of St. Augustine are to be referred: "Why do you prepare your teeth and belly? believe in me, and you have eaten me." Words which do not destroy the real presence, of which he is not speaking in this verse. (Maldonatus, 35.) --- Jesus Christ leads them gradually to this great mystery, which he knows will prove a stumbling block to many. The chapter begins with the miraculous multiplication of the loaves; then Christ walking on the sea; next he blames the Jews for following him not through faith in his miracles, but for the loaves and fishes, and tells them to labour for that nourishment which perishes not, by believing in Him, whom the Father had sent; and then promises, that what their fathers had received in figure only, the manna, the faithful shall receive in reality; his own body and blood.

Ver. 38. Christ does not say this as if he did not whatever he wished; but he recommends to us his humility. He who comes to me shall not be cast forth, but shall be incorporated with me, because he shall not do his own will, but that of my Father. And therefore he shall not be cast forth; because when he was proud, he did his own will, and was rejected. None but the humble can come to me. (St. Hilary and St. Augustine) --- An humble and sincere faith is essentially necessary to believe the great mysteries of the Catholic faith, by means of which we come to God and believe in God. (Haydock)

Ver. 41. I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. These Jews did not believe that Christ was the true and eternal Son of God, who came down from heaven, and was made flesh, was made man. He speaks of this faith in him, when he calls himself the living bread, the mystical bread of life, that came to give life everlasting to all true and faithful believers. In this sense St. Augustine said, (trac. xxv. p. 489) why dost thou prepare thy teeth and belly? only believe, and thou hast eaten; but afterwards he passeth to his sacramental and real presence in the holy sacrament. (Witham)

Ver. 44. Draw him. Not by compulsion, nor by laying the free-will under any necessity, but by the strong and sweet motions of his heavenly grace. (Challoner) --- We are drawn to the Father by some secret pleasure, delight, or love, which brings us to the Father. "Believe and you come to the Father," says St. Augustine, "Love, and you are drawn. The Jews could not believe, because they would not." God, by his power, could have overcome their hardness of heart; but he was not bound to do it; neither had they any right to expect this favour, after the many miracles which they had seen. (Calmet)

Ver. 45. Every one, therefore, that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned of him who I am, cometh to me by faith and obedience. As to others, when the Scripture says they are taught of God, this is to be understood of an interior spiritual instruction, which takes place in the soul, and does not fall under the senses; but not less real on that account, because it is the heart, which hears the voice of this invisible teacher.

Ver. 47. Thus Jesus Christ concludes the first part of his discourse: "Amen, amen, he that believeth in me, hath everlasting life;" which shews that faith is a necessary predisposition to the heavenly bread.

Ver. 48. Because the multitude still insisted in begging for their corporal nourishment and remembering the food that was given to their fathers, Christ, to shew that all were figures of the present spiritual food, answered, that he was the bread of life. (Theophylactus) --- Here Jesus Christ proceeds to the second part of his discourse, in which he fully explains what that bread of life is, which he is about to bestow upon mankind in the mystery of the holy Eucharist. He declares then, in the first place, that he is the bread of eternal life, and mentions its several properties; and secondly, he applies to his own person, and to his own flesh, the idea of this bread, such as he has defined it.

Ver. 51. Christ now no longer calls the belief in him, or the preaching of the gospel, the bread that he will give them; but he declares that it is his own flesh, and that flesh which shall be given for the life of the world. (Calmet) --- This bread Christ then gave, when he gave the mystery of his body and blood to his disciples. (Ven. Bede)

Ver. 52. The bread which I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world.[2] In most Greek copies we read, is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world. Christ here promised what he afterwards instituted, and gave at his last supper. He promiseth to give his body and blood to be eaten; the same body (though the manner be different) which he would give on the cross for the redemption of the world. The Jews of Capharnaum were presently scandalized. How (said they) can this man give us his flesh to eat? But notwithstanding their murmuring, and the offence which his words had given, even to many of his disciples, he was so far from revoking, or expounding what he had said of any figurative or metaphorical sense, that he confirmed the same truth in the clearest and strongest terms. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat, &c. And again, (ver. 56.) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. I cannot omit taking notice of what St. Chrysostom and St. Cyril, in their commentaries on this place, have left us on these words, How can this man do this? These words which call in question the almighty and incomprehensible power of God, which hinder them, says St. Chrysostom, from believing all other mysteries and miracles: they might as well have said: How could he with five loaves feed five thousand men? This question, How can he do this? Is a question of infidels and unbelievers. St. Cyril says that How, or, How can he do this? cannot, without folly, be applied to God. 2ndly, he calls it a question of blasphemy. 3rdly, a Jewish word, for which these Capharnaites deserved the severest punishments. 4thly, He confutes them by the saying of the prophet Isaias, (lv. 9.) that God's thoughts and ways are as much above those of men, as the heavens are above the earth. But if these Capharnaites, who knew not who Jesus was, were justly blamed for their incredulous, foolish, blasphemous, Jewish saying, how can he give us his flesh to eat? much more blameable are those Christians, who, against the words of the Scripture, against the unanimous consent and authority of all Christian Churches in all parts of the world, refuse to believe his real presence, and have nothing to say, but with the obstinate Capharnaites, how can this be done? Their answers are the same, or no better, when they tell us that the real presence contradicts their senses, their reason, that they know it to be false. We may also observe, with divers interpreters, that if Christians are not to believe that Jesus Christ is one and the same God with the eternal Father, and that he is truly and really present in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, it will be hard to deny but that Christ himself led men into these errors, which is blasphemy. For it is evident, and past all dispute, that the Jews murmured, complained, and understood that Christ several times made himself God, and equal to the Father of all. 2ndly, When in this chapter, he told them he would give them his flesh to eat, &c. they were shocked to the highest degree: they cried out, this could not be, that these words and this speech was hard and harsh, and on this very account many that had been his disciples till that time, withdrew themselves from him, and left him and his doctrine. Was it not then at least high time to set his complaining hearers right, to prevent the blasphemous and idolatrous opinions of the following ages, nay even of all Christian Churches, by telling his disciples at least, that he was only a nominal God, in a metaphorical and improper sense; that he spoke only of his body being present in a figurative and metaphorical sense in the holy Eucharist? If we are deceived, who was it that deceived us but Christ himself, who so often repeated the same points of our belief? His apostles must be esteemed no less guilty in affirming the very same, both as to Christ's divinity, and his real presence in the holy sacrament, as hereafter will appear. (Witham) --- Compare the words here spoken with those he delivered at his last supper, and you will see that what he promises here was then fulfilled: "this is my body given for you." Hence, the holy Fathers have always explained this chapter of St. John, as spoken of the blessed sacrament. See the concluding reflexions, below.

Ver. 53. Because the Jews said it was impossible to give them his flesh to eat, Christ answers them by telling them, that so far from being impossible, it is very necessary that they should eat it. "Unless you eat," &c. (St. Chrysostom) --- It is not the flesh of merely a man, but it is the flesh of a God, able to make man divine, inebriating him, as it were, with the divinity. (Theophylactus) See Maldonatus.

Ver. 54. Unless you eat ... and drink, &c. To receive both the body and blood of Christ, is a divine precept, insinuated in this text; which the faithful fulfil, though they receive but in one kind; because in one kind they receive both the body and blood, which cannot be separated from each other. Hence life eternal is here promised to the worthy receiving, though but in one kind: (ver. 52.) If any man eat of this bread he shall life for ever: and the bread which I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world: (ver. 58.) He that eateth me, the same also shall live by me: (ver. 59.) He that eateth this bread shall live for ever. (Challoner)

Ver. 55. Jesus Christ, to confirm the notion his disciples had formed of a real eating of his body, and to remove all metaphorical interpretation of his words, immediately adds, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. ... For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed;" which could not be so, if, as sectarists pretend, what he gives us in the blessed sacrament is nothing but a bit of bread; and if a figure, certainly not so striking as the manna.

Ver. 58. As the living Father hath sent me, his only, his true Son, to become man; and I live by the Father, proceeding always from him; so he that eateth me, first by faith only, by believing in me; and secondly, he that eateth my body and blood, truly made meat and drink, though after a spiritual manner, (not in that visible, bloody manner as the Capharnaites fancied to themselves) shall live by me, and live for ever, happy in the kingdom of my glory. (Witham)

Ver. 61. If Christ had wished to say nothing else than that his disciples should be filled with his doctrine, that being his flesh and blood, it would not have been a hard saying; neither would it have shocked the Jews. He had already said as much in the former part of his discourse: but he goes on in still stronger terms, notwithstanding their complaints; and, as they were ignorant how he would fulfil his promise, they left him, (Calmet) and followed the example of the other unbelieving Jews, as all future sectarists have, saying: how can this be done?

Ver. 62. If you cannot believe that I can give you my flesh to eat, now that I am living amongst you, how will you believe, that, after my ascension, I can give you to eat my glorified and immortal flesh, seated on the right hand of the majesty of God? (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 63. If then you shall see, &c. Christ, by mentioning his ascension, by this instance of his power and divinity, would confirm the truth of what he had before asserted; at the same time, correct their gross apprehension of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, in a vulgar and carnal manner, by letting them know he should take his whole body living with him to heaven; and consequently not suffer it to be, as they supposed, divided, mangled, and consumed upon earth. (Challoner) --- The sense of these words, according to the common exposition, is this: you murmur at my words, as hard and harsh, and you refuse now to believe them: when I shall ascend into heaven, from whence I came into the world, and when my ascension, and the doctrine that I have taught you, shall be confirmed by a multitude of miracles, then shall you and many others believe. (Witham)

Ver. 64. The flesh profiteth nothing. Dead flesh, separated from the spirit, in the gross manner they supposed they were to eat his flesh, would profit nothing. Neither doth man's flesh, that is to say, man's natural and carnal apprehension, (which refuses to be subject to the spirit, and words of Christ) profit any thing. But it would be the height of blasphemy, to say the living flesh of Christ (which we receive in the blessed sacrament, with his spirit, that is, with his soul and divinity) profiteth nothing. For if Christ's flesh had profited us nothing, he would never have taken flesh for us, nor died in the flesh for us. --- Are spirit and life. By proposing to you a heavenly sacrament, in which you shall receive, in a wonderful manner, spirit, grace and life. These words sufficiently correct the gross and carnal imagination of these Capharnaites, that he meant to give them his body and blood to eat in a visible and bloody manner, as flesh, says St. Augustine, is sold in the market, and in the shambles;[3] but they do not imply a figurative or metaphorical presence only. The manner of Christ's presence is spiritual and under the outward appearances of bread and wine; but yet he is there truly and really present, by a change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of his body and blood, which truly and really become our spiritual food, and are truly and really received in the holy sacrament. --- The flesh[4] of itself profiteth nothing, not even the flesh of our Saviour Christ, were it not united to the divine person of Christ. But we must take care how we understand these words spoken by our Saviour: for it is certain, says St. Augustine, that the word made flesh, is the cause of all our happiness. (Witham) --- When I promise you life if you eat my flesh, I do not wish you to understand this of that gross and carnal manner, of cutting my members in pieces: such ideas are far from my mind: the flesh profiteth nothing. In the Scriptures, the word flesh is often put for the carnal manner of understanding any thing. If you wish to enter into the spirit of my words, raise your hearts to a more elevated and spiritual way of understanding them. (Calmet) --- The reader may consult Des Mahis, p. 165, a convert from Protestantism, and who has proved the Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist in the most satisfactory manner, from the written word. Where he shows that Jesus Christ, speaking of his own body, never says the flesh, but my flesh: the former mode of expression is used to signify, as we have observed above, a carnal manner of understanding any thing.

Ver. 68. Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? He shews them, says St. Chrysostom, that he stood not in need of them, and so leaves them to their free choice. (Witham) --- Jesus Christ remarking in the previous verse that the apostate disciples had left him, to walk no more with him, turning to the twelve, asks them, Will you also go away? The twelve had heard all that passed; they had seen the Jews strive amongst themselves, and the disciples murmur and leave their Master; they understood what he said in the same literal sense; it could, indeed, bear no other meaning; but when Jesus put the above question to them, leaving them to their free choice, whether to follow him, or to withdraw themselves, Simon Peter answered him: "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life;" and therefore art able to make good thy words, however hard and difficult they may appear to others. --- We may here admire not only the excellency of their faith, but the plain, yet noble motive of their faith: they believe, because he is Christ, the Son of God, (or, as it is in the Greek, the Son of the living God) who is absolutely incapable of deceiving his creatures, and whose power is perfectly equal to perform the promises he here makes them.

Ver. 69. Simon Peter, the chief or head of them, said in the name of the rest: Lord, to whom shall we go? It is only from thee that we hope for salvation. Thou hast the words of eternal life: we have believed, and known, and remain in this belief, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God. (Witham)

Concluding reflexions on this chapter.

If we take into consideration all the circumstances of this chapter, it will be difficult to conceive how any person can bring their mind to think that there is no connexion between this chapter and the institution of the blessed sacrament. It must proceed, as Dr. Clever, the Protestant Bishop of Bangor, affirms, "from the fear of giving advantage to the doctrine of transubstantiation." He moreover adds: "whilst the institution is considered as a memorial only, nothing can well be further from being plain." See his Sermon on the Lord's Supper. The holy Fathers have unanimously understood these repeated promises of Christ with a reference to the institution. St. Cyprian, of the third age[century], quoting the promises of Christ, the bread which I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world, deduces this conclusion: "Hence it is manifest, that they have this life, who touch his body, and receive the Eucharist." Qui corpus ejus attingunt. (De Orat. Dom. p. 147.) St. Hilary, of the fourth age[century], quoting Christ's words, says: "there is no place left to doubt of the truth of Christ's flesh and blood, de veritate carnis et sanguinis non relictus est ambigendi locus; for now, by the profession of the Lord himself, and according to our belief, it is truly flesh and truly blood." (De Trin. lib. viii. p. 954-6.) St. Basil, of the fourth century also, citing ver. 53 and 54 of this chapter, says: "about the things that God has spoken there should be no hesitation, nor doubt, but a firm persuasion that all is true and possible, though nature be against it: Kan e phusis machetai. Herein lies the struggle of faith." (Reg. viii. Moral. t. 2, p. 240.) Again the same saint says: "it is very profitable every day, to partake of the body and blood of Christ, phagein to soma kai piein to aima tou kuriou emon, for he that eateth my flesh. &c. (John vi. 55.) --- "We communicate four times in the week; on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and on the other days, if there be a commemoration of any saint." (Ep. xcii. t. 3, p. 186.) --- St. Ambrose, of the same age, says: "the manna in the desert was given in figure. You have known things more excellent. For light is preferable to the shadow; truth to the figure; the body of Christ to the manna of heaven. But you may say: I see somewhat else: how do you assert that I shall receive the body of Christ?" He gives this answer: "How much more powerful is the virtue of the divine blessing, than that of nature; because by the former, nature itself is changed? ... If the blessing of men (he here instances Moses changing a rod into a serpent, and many other miraculous changes) was powerful enough to change nature, what must we not say of the divine consecration, when the very words of the Lord operate? For that sacrament which you receive, is accomplished by the word of Christ. If the word of Elias could call down fire from heaven, shall not the word of Christ be able to change the outward elements? ... The word of Christ could draw out of nothing what was not, shall it not be able to change the things that are into that which they were not? ... Was the order of nature followed when Jesus was born of a Virgin? Certainly not. Then why is that order to be looked for here? It was the true flesh of Christ, which was crucified, which was buried; and this is truly the sacrament of his flesh ... Our Lord himself proclaims, This is my body." --- If Jesus Christ, during his public ministry, performed so many visible and palpable miracles as we read of in the gospels, was it not to induce us to believe without doubting the truths that escape our senses, and surpass our reason? If we believe the water was changed into wine at the marriage feast of Cana; if we believe that the bread in the hands of Christ and his apostles was not diminished, by being broken and divided among five thousand, why cannot we believe the miracle of the Eucharist on the authority of Christ's word, "the bread that I will give you, is my flesh? This is my body," &c. Not one of all the ancient Fathers has ever denied the real presence; not one of them all has ever said, that the body of Jesus Christ is received in figure only.


[1] Ver. 37. Nisi pater traxerit eum. St. Augustine, trac. 26, p. 495. noli te cogitare invitum trahi; trahitur animus et amore.

----------trahit sua quemque voluptas. Virg. Ecl. ii.

[2] Ver. 52. Quomodo potest hic, &c. pos dunatai outos; St. Chrysostom, hom. xlv. in Joan. in the Greek, hom. xlvi. tom. 8, p. 272. otan gar e zetesis tou pos eiselthe, sunerchetai kai apistia. St. Cyril, lib. iv. in Joan. p. 359. Illud quomodo stultè de Deo proferunt, to pos anoetos epi theou legousin. --- Hoc loquendi genus omni scatere blasphemiâdusphemias apases. --- Judaicum verbum. to pos Ioudaikon rema. He takes notice how much the nature and power of God is above human capacity; he shews it by examples, and then concludes, (p. 360) De quibus miraculis si tuum illud quomodo subinde inferas, omni plane Scripturĉ Divinĉ fidem derogabis, ole pantelos apeitheseis theia graphe.

[3] Ver. 64. St. Augustine, 27. p. 503, carnem quippe intellexerunt, quomodo in cadavere dilaniatur, aut in macello venditur.

[4] Ver. 64. St. Augustine, 27. p. 503, caro non prodest quicquam, sed caro sola ... nam si caro nihil prodesset, verbum caro non fieret.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Christ feeds five thousand with five loaves: he walks upon the sea, and discourses of the bread of life.

1 After this, *Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias:

2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

3 Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

4 Now the Pasch, the festival day *of the Jews, was near at hand.

5 When Jesus, therefore, had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

6 And this he said to try him: for he himself knew what he would do.

7 Philip answered him: Two hundred penny-worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little.

8 One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him:

9 There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many?

10 Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

11 And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were sat down: In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would.

12 And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost.

13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets, with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten.

14 Then those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth, the prophet that is to come into the world.

15 When Jesus, therefore, perceived that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, *he fled again into the mountain himself alone.

16 And when evening was come, his disciples went down to the sea.

17 And when they had entered into a ship, they went over the sea to Capharnaum: and it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.

18 And the sea arose, by reason of a great wind that blew.

19 When they had rowed therefore about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing near to the ship, and they were afraid.

20 But he saith to them: It is I: be not afraid.

21 They were willing, therefore, to take him into the ship: and presently the ship was at the land to which they were going.

22 The next day the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other ship there but one, and that Jesus had not entered into the ship with his disciples, but that his disciples were gone away alone:

23 But other ships came in from Tiberias, near to the place where they had eaten the bread, the Lord giving thanks.

24 When the people, therefore, saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they took shipping, and came to Capharnaum, seeking for Jesus.

25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him: Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

26 Jesus answered them, and said: Amen, amen I say to you: you seek me, not because you have seen miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man will give you. *For him hath God the Father sealed.

28 They said, therefore, to him: What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?

29 Jesus answered, and said to them: *This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent.

30 They said, therefore, to him: What sign then dost thou shew that we may see, and may believe thee? what dost thou work?

31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written: *He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

32 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: Moses gave you not bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

33 For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world.

34 Then they said to him: Lord, give us always this bread.

35 And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: *he that cometh to me, shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me, shall never thirst.

36 But I said to you, that you also have seen me, and you believe not.

37 All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me: and him that cometh to me, I will not cast out:

38 Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.

39 Now this is the will of the Father, that sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should not lose thereof, but should raise it up again at the last day.

40 And this is the will of my Father, who sent me: that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

41 The Jews therefore murmured at him, because he had said: I am the living bread which came down from heaven.

42 And they said: *Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then saith he, I came down from heaven?

43 Jesus, therefore, answered, and said to them: Murmur not among yourselves.

44 No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

45 It is written in the prophets: *And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to me.

46 *Not that any man hath seen the Father, but he, who is of God, he hath seen the Father.

47 Amen, amen, I say unto you: He that believeth in me, hath everlasting life.

48 I am the bread of life.

49 *Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and they died.

50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven: that if any one eat of it, he may not die.

51 I am the living bread, which came down from heaven.

52 If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread which I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world.

53 The Jews, therefore, disputed among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

54 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

55 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

56 *For my flesh, is meat indeed: and my blood, is drink indeed:

57 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.

58 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.

59 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and died. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.

60 These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.

61 Many, therefore, of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it?

62 But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you?

63 If then you shall see *the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

64 It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.

65 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that did not believe, and who he was that would betray him.

66 And he said: Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father.

67 After this many of his disciples went back: and walked no more with him.

68 Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?

69 And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

70 *And we have believed, and have known that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.

71 Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve: and one of you is a devil?

72 Now he meant Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for this same was about to betray him, whereas he was one of the twelve.



1: Matthew xiv. 13.; Mark vi. 32.; Luke ix. 10.

4: about the year A.D. 32.

15: Matthew xiv. 23.; Mark vi. 46.

27: Matthew iii. 17. and xvii. 5.; John i. 32.

29: 1 John iii. 23.

31: Exodus xvi. 14.; Numbers xi. 7.; Psalm lxxvii. 24.; Wisdom xvi. 20.

35: Ecclesiasticus xxiv. 29.

42: Matthew xiii. 55.; Mark vi. 3.

45: Isaias liv. 13.

46: Matthew xi. 27.

49: Exodus xvi. 13.

56: 1 Corinthians xi. 27.

63: John iii. 13.

70: Matthew xvi. 16.; Mark viii. 29.; Luke ix. 20.