10-minute Bible study on the new Mass translation … for all … or for many?

by Doug Lawrence

Note: Those who do not believe that the Bible is the totally inerrant, Holy Spirit inspired, written Word of God, can skip this post.

Today we deal with complaints about the words “for many” being used in the words of consecration, in the new Mass translation.

According to scripture, at the Last Supper, Jesus used these words when he personally instituted the Holy Eucharist:

And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many. (Mark 14:24)

The heady days in the aftermath of Vatican II resulted in a new, somewhat more generous and ecumenical Mass translation, in the vernacular, which substituted the word “all” for “many” … and we’ve been “stuck” with it, for lo these many years.

Evidently, when you stage a revolution inside the Catholic Church, even the plain words of Jesus Christ carry little or no authority. The editor’s of the allegedly “Catholic” New American Bible obviously agreed, since in various places, their radical, modernist footnotes literally denied the explicitly cited words of Jesus Christ, claiming instead that certain unknown writers had simply “put” those “words” into Christ’s mouth, presumably for their own nefarious purposes.

So, after about half a century of Mass apostasy, the Church finally gets around to correcting a serious liturgical error, and what do we hear from the loyal opposition at The National Catholic Reporter?

Yet this Sunday, Nov. 27, the first Sunday in Advent, when we are gathered around the eucharistic table — what should be the greatest sign of our unity — many of us will feel depressed. We will feel like losers when we hear not the words that Jesus’ blood “will be shed for you and for all” but that Jesus’ blood “will be shed for you and for many.” 

For the record, the Gospels contain the phrase “for many” a total of 13 times:

(Matthew 20:16)  So shall the last be first and the first last. For many are called but few chosen.

(Matthew 20:28)  Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a redemption for many.

(Matthew 22:14)  For many are called, but few are chosen.

(Matthew 24:5)  For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ. And they will seduce many.

(Matthew 26:28)  For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

(Mark 10:45)  For the Son of man also is not come to be ministered unto: but to minister and to give his life a redemption for many.

(Mark 13:6)  For many shall come in my name saying, I am he: and they shall deceive many.

(Mark 14:24)  And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.

(Mark 14:56)  For many bore false witness against him: and their evidences were not agreeing.

(Luke 8:29)  For he commanded the unclean spirit to go out of the man. For many times it seized him: and he was bound with chains and kept in fetters: and breaking the bonds, he was driven by the devil into the deserts.

(Luke 12:19)  And I will say to my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years. Take thy rest: eat, drink, make good cheer.

(Luke 13:24)  Strive to enter by the narrow gate: for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter and shall not be able.

(Luke 21:8)  Who said: Take heed you be not seduced: for many will come in my name, saying: I am he and the time is at hand. Go ye not therefore after them.

The phrase “for all” appears 16 times:

(Matthew 11:13)  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John:

(Matthew 21:26)  If we shall say, from heaven, he will say to us: Why then did you not believe him? But if we shall say, from men, we are afraid of the multitude: for all held John as a prophet.

(Matthew 26:52)  Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

(Mark 10:27)  And Jesus looking on them, saith with men it is impossible; but not with God. For all things are possible with God.

(Mark 11:32)  If we say, From men, we fear the people. For all men counted John that he was a prophet indeed.

(Mark 12:44)  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want cast in all she had, even her whole living.

(Luke 2:20)  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

(Luke 3:19)  But Herod the tetrarch, when he was reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done:

(Luke 9:13)  But he said to them: Give you them to eat. And they said: We have no more than five loaves and two fishes; unless perhaps, we should go and buy food for all this multitude.

(Luke 12:30)  For all these things do the nations of the world seek. But your Father knoweth that you have need of these things.

(Luke 13:17)  And when he said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the things that were gloriously done by him.

(Luke 19:37)  And when he was now coming near the descent of Mount Olivet, the whole multitude of his disciples began with joy to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works they had seen,

(Luke 19:48)  And they found not what to do to him: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

(Luke 20:33)  In the resurrection therefore, whose wife of them shall she be? For all the seven had her to wife.

(Luke 20:38)  For he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.

(Luke 21:4)  For all these have of their abundance cast into the offerings of God: but she of her want hath cast in all the living that she had.

The plain sense of scripture poses no barrier to a proper understanding of all of the above passages, and since it’s also abundantly clear that not everyone is going to end up in Heaven, on what do the self confessed “losers” base their complaints?

As the song says, “Feelings. Nothing more than feelings.”

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