John 6:33, 38, 51 & 58





Wrested Scriptures





John 6:33

"For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven."

John 6:38

"I came down from heaven."

John 6:51

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven."

John 6:58

"This is that bread which came down from heaven."


These passages are considered to be proof that Jesus existed in heaven prior to his coming to the earth.


  1. The words of this chapter were an "hard saying" (vs. 60) and as a result "many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him". (vs. 66). An understanding of the analogy with the manna provides the key to the right understanding of this passage.
  2. The bread "from heaven" (vs. 31) did not mean that it was actually manufactured in heaven and descended through the atmosphere, but rather that it was produced on the earth by God's Holy Spirit power. "From heaven", therefore, emphasizes the divine origin of the bread.
  3. Similarly, Christ came down from heaven, not literally, since it was the Holy Spirit which descended upon the virgin Mary to effect the conception. (Luke 1:35). "From heaven" emphasizes his divine origin as a person (i.e., his father was God) and the divine origin of his teaching. Unlike the manna which profited only temporarily, his words were "spirit" and "life". (vs. 63).

To help us understand Jesus' words in John 6, it is useful to compare them with those of John 16:28-30

John 16:28 "I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again, and going to the Father." 29 His disciples said, "Lo, now You are speaking plainly, and are not using a figure of speech. 30 "Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God."

In John 16:28, Jesus stated that he "came forth from the Father". The Father, of course, is in heaven. So when Jesus makes mention that he (Jesus) came down from heaven, it means the same thing as "coming forth from the Father". So then, what does it mean to "come forth from the Father"?  One should not take his words literally, but rather Jesus' statement should be read figuratively.  How do we know this for certain?  In John 16:30 notice how the disciples understood Jesus' statement. When the disciples heard Jesus say, "I came forth from the Father", they understood these words NOT to mean that Jesus pre-existed in heaven, and came down and took up habitation in Mary's womb. No! Rather, the disciples understood Jesus' statement as meaning, "We know that you know all things, and have no need for anyone to question you; by THIS we believe that You came from God."  The disciples did not take Jesus' statement literally.  They understood Jesus as speaking in figures.

This figure of speech is also repeated in John 6.  In John 6:42 the Jews ask, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?" The Jews stumbled over Jesus' words, for they took Jesus statement literally. In trying to explain what he meant, Jesus quotes from the OT...

John 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.'

So we see that "being taught of God" is what is meant by "coming forth from God". It is a figure of speech, and not to be taken literally. If we continue to read in John 6, we will see that Jesus often speaks figuratively...

In John 6,  you will see that Jesus is comparing himself to the manna from heaven. John 6:51 says, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven."  So we see that Jesus is speaking figuratively...not literally...he compares himself to bread/manna.  Jesus later says that we must eat his flesh and drink his blood, but Protestants do not take his words literally, do we?  In John 6:31 the manna is referred to as "bread from heaven". The literal translation is "bread out of the heaven".  Does one think that the manna was baked by the angels in heaven, and then was hurled by the Father towards the earth at the speed of light, and then landed on the desert floor?   When something (or someone) is described as having come from God, it means that its/his source can be attributed to God. The source of the manna can be attributed to God, therefore the manna is described as "bread out of heaven". The "source" of Jesus is the Father, and therefore Jesus could correctly state that he came from heaven (i.e. from God). But such a statement does not mean that Jesus pre-existed in heaven before his birth, no more than it means that the manna pre-existed in heaven before it appeared in the desert.

If we continue reading John 6, we learn some other important truths about who Jesus is...

John 6:46 "Not that any man has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.

Notice that Jesus says that he is "from God". Jesus does not state that he (Jesus) is God. Clearly Jesus is separate from God.

Jesus was misunderstood by the Jews, for the Jews took him literally. As a result, many of Jesus' disciples forsook him.  In spite of all this, it is worth noting what Peter said at the conclusion of John 6...

John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

After hearing all that Jesus said about himself "coming from heaven," what was Peter's response?  Did Peter finally comprehend that Jesus was in fact God the Son as Trinitarians assert?  No!  Rather Peter said, "You art that Christ, the Son of the living God."








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