What Does the Bible Say About the Catholic Mass?

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  • The Catholic Mass’s view of the Eucharist as a re-sacrifice of Christ conflicts with the Bible’s teaching of a once-for-all sacrifice.
  • Biblical texts do not support the doctrine of transubstantiation; the Lord’s Supper is symbolic of Christ’s body and blood.
  • The Mass’s distinctive priestly role contrasts with the New Testament’s priesthood of all believers.
  • The repetitive nature of the Mass undermines the completeness of Christ’s singular atonement.
  • The Mass’s focus on ritual and ceremony diverges from the New Testament’s emphasis on faith and a personal relationship with Christ.
  • Additional elements of the Mass, such as the use of Latin and specific liturgical practices, lack direct biblical endorsement.

Eucharist as Re-Sacrifice in Catholic Mass

The Catholic Mass treats the Eucharist not just as a remembrance but as an actual re-sacrifice of Christ. This concept is at odds with Hebrews 7:27 and 10:10, which emphasize the finality of Christ’s sacrifice, offered once for all. The continual representation of Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass suggests a need for ongoing atonement, contrary to the biblical depiction of Christ’s complete and sufficient sacrifice.

Doctrine of Transubstantiation and Biblical Interpretation

The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, which teaches that the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Christ, is a central element of the Mass. However, this doctrine does not find clear support in Scripture. When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-28), the language used points to a symbolic interpretation. Scriptural references to the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 are reflective and commemorative, suggesting symbols of Christ’s body and blood rather than a literal transformation.

Priestly Mediation in the Mass

The Catholic Mass emphasizes a unique mediating role for priests, especially in the consecration of the Eucharist. This practice contrasts with the teaching in 1 Timothy 2:5, which affirms Jesus Christ as the sole mediator between God and humans. The New Testament concept of the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9) further undermines the necessity of a distinct priestly class to mediate access to God or to offer sacrifices, which is a foundational aspect of the Mass.

Repetition and Completeness of Sacrifice

The repetitive offering of the Eucharist in the Catholic Mass stands in contrast to the New Testament’s portrayal of Christ’s sacrifice as once and for all (Hebrews 9:26-28). This continual re-sacrifice in the Mass can be seen as undermining the sufficiency and finality of Christ’s atonement, a foundational doctrine of the Christian faith.

Ritual and Ceremony versus Faith and Relationship

The structured liturgy and ceremonial aspects of the Catholic Mass differ markedly from the simpler, more relational worship practices depicted in the New Testament. The early Christian focus was on communal fellowship, prayer, and the teaching of the apostles (Acts 2:42), rather than on the elaborate rituals and liturgical ceremonies that characterize the Mass. This difference suggests a shift from the New Testament emphasis on personal faith and relationship with Christ to a more institutionalized and ritualistic form of worship.

Additional Liturgical Elements and Their Biblical Basis

The Mass includes various elements like the use of Latin, specific prayers, and rituals that do not have direct counterparts or endorsements in Scripture. For instance, the use of Latin, while historically significant, does not align with the New Testament’s emphasis on clear and understandable communication in worship (1 Corinthians 14:19). Similarly, certain prayers and rituals integral to the Mass, such as the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the use of incense, are rooted more in tradition than in explicit biblical instruction.


In summary, the Catholic Mass presents several key aspects – the treatment of the Eucharist as a literal re-sacrifice, the doctrine of transubstantiation, the unique role of the priesthood, the repetitive nature of the sacrifice, and the focus on ritual and ceremony – that are not aligned with biblical teachings. These elements, along with additional liturgical practices, reflect a departure from the simplicity and doctrinal focus of New Testament worship, raising concerns about their biblical validity.

Read More

  1. “The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and The Word of God” by James G. McCarthy – This book offers an in-depth comparison between Catholic traditions, including the Mass, and biblical teachings, highlighting differences and evaluating Catholic practices in light of Scripture.
  2. “Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices” by Frank Viola and George Barna – Viola and Barna examine the origins of various church practices, including those found in the Catholic Mass, contrasting them with New Testament church practices and exploring how some traditions may have deviated from biblical foundations.
  3. “Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment” by Gregg R. Allison – Allison provides a thorough evangelical assessment of Roman Catholic theology and practice, including the Mass, analyzing them from a biblical perspective and discussing the implications for Protestant and Catholic relations.
  4. “Worship in the Early Church: An Anthology of Historical Sources” by Lawrence J. Johnson – This anthology offers historical insights into early Christian worship practices, providing context for understanding how and why certain elements of the Catholic Mass developed and how they compare with early Christian worship as depicted in the Bible.

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