How Religions Try To
Change The Dictionary

R. Kephart

John 6:52-56

I was discussing religion with someone and this verse came up ("Then Jesus said to them: 'Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you'."), with regard to whether or not the Catholic Eucharist is really the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The question came up as to what was the original word used here for "flesh" in the Greek. I didn't know, so afterwards I went home to look it up in some of my dictionaries. I found out something I found absolutely fascinating!

Questions regarding the Bible are really too important to trust to only one source. I used two of my Greek dictionaries (lexicons): the Liddel & Scott "GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON" and the Zondervan "A GREEK-ENGLISH LEXICON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT". The former is for Classical Greek, the second is koine. Another difference is that the latter is very Protestant (including extensive quoting of Luther), while the former does not have any denominational bias.

The Classical dictionary gave this as the definition of the word in question, SARX: "flesh, Lat. caro, Hom., etc.: in plur. the flesh or muscles of the body,... so sometimes in sing., the flesh, the body,... II. the flesh, as opposed to the spirit, N.T.; also for man's nature generally, Ib.;... all human kind, Ib." (I omitted here the Greek phrases used as references.) Note that the definition does include (in II.) references to the New Testament!

Then I looked up the same word in the Zondervan book. The definitions given are much too long and drawn-out to quote here. But, the definitions this book gives do match perfectly well with the definitions in the classical lexicon, but with one single striking exception! Included under the first meaning is the following: "... in fig. disc. to appropriate to one's self the saving results of the violent death endured by Christ, Jn. vi.52-56". This is the only spot where the definition of this word in the Protestant dictionary does not agree with the non-biased dictionary, i.e. where the Protestant author of this dictionary made up his own meaning for the word, to agree with his religious beliefs, and included it as though it were an original meaning of the word.

Protestants have gone so far as to actually change the dictionary to try to force the Bible to fit their own preconceived religious notions. They say they believe things they do because it's in the Bible; but actually what they do is alter the meanings in the Bible to force the Bible to support their beliefs.

Sometimes, Protestants try to justify this distortion of the meaning of this verse by pointing out the following verses, in which our Lord says "It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life." (Jn 6:64). But they ignore the beginning of this chapter of John. Chapter 6 begins with the feeding of the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes. A king who could do something like that would be invincible! so the people thought. "Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone" (Jn 6:15). So if you put the chapter together, it appears that when Jesus said that the flesh profits nothing but His words are spirit and life, He was comparing the significance of the feeding of the 5,000 with giving us His own Flesh and Blood: the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, which appeared so awesome, was only a trivial matter compared with the great miracle of giving us His Flesh and Blood for food.

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