X-Catholics and John 6

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by BobRyan, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. BobRyan

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    Question for x-Catholics. Do you feel more or "less" inclined to read John 6 now that you are x-?

    I have yet to find a single Catholic who will "tolerate" an exegetical review of "all the details" specific to the statements of Christ in John 6.

    I am wondering if the x-Catholics feel a sense of "freedom" to read "all" of John 6 now that they have no RC "agenda" to read into it.

    And wouldn't Catholics "expect" x-Catholics to be "Avoiding John 6" (if one thinks John 6 actually supports Catholicism that is).

    So let me know where you stand. X-Catholics speak out!

    IN Christ,

    Bob
     
  2. Emily

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    as an ex-catholic, I have to say that this scripture stumps me..
    Im glad you posted them, because I have had a hard time finding them..

    It seems as though Jesus is ADAMENT about saying that you have to literally eat the flesh and drink the blood..

    so.. while I read it it still confuses me.
     
  3. BobRyan

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    I think your response is what a lot of Catholics would "think" that x-catholics must be doing. In other words - it "Appears" that Catholics view John 6 as "their strength" and that Catholics "defect from the faith" - in spite of John 6.

    However - a careful exegetical review of John 6 shows that there are a "Great number of details" that our RC bretheren "must avoid" in John 6 in order for them to "cling to the view of the faithLESS disciples of John 6".

    Some of the facts that they "must ignore" in John 6 are as follows;

    #1. Only the faithLESS disciples of John 6 argue FOR the Catholic view. In fact many of the RC promotions of John 6 quote THEM - and them "alone" - the faithLESS of John 6 that leave Christ.

    #2. Notice also that the faithFULL disciples do not "take a bite out of Christ" neither does Christ chastise them for being slow to do so). Yet in Matt 16 when they DO take the wrong meaning - Christ immediatly chastises them for NOT understanding that the symbol bread and leaven was not "literal" but was symbolic of "teaching" (in that case - teaching of the Jews).

    #3. Christ Himself says plainly after speaking about the flesh - and eating flesh bringing eternal life -- that Literal flesh "is worthless" for obtaining eternal life - it is not what you "eat that saves you". He says "MY WORDS are Spirit and are LIFE".

    Here is Christ showing that the FLESH being described in John 6 is "Worthless" if simply eaten "literally". RAther it is a reference to HIS Word.

    #4. John 1 starts off the "context" of John 6 by telling us "The WORD became FLESH". The link and symbol is established for the reader at the start of John's book.

    #5. In John 6 Christ uses the symbol of "the bread that came down out of heaven". In Deut 8:3 God tells us that the "spiritual lesson" of bread that comes down out of heaven - is "Man does not live by bread alone but by every WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God".

    In other words "the key details" of John 6 "must be faithfully ignored" by the RC view and they must "cling to a shallow surface reading" even to hold to it as they do.

    I would think that "freedom" to see ALL the details of John 6 actually gives x-Catholics MORE enthusiasm for the chapter once the blinders are off.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. Helen

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    Emily, I think if you read it in context, you will find Jesus makes it pretty clear. Take a look at the entire conversation. The people have asked for a miraculous sign, mentioning that Moses gave them manna from God. Starting in verse 32, with Jesus' initial response, the Bible will be in bold italics and my comments will be like this.

    Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who have given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

    Not that this has anything to do with the matter under discussion here, but it is interesting that almost everything (and maybe everything) in the Old Testament is a physical picture of a spiritual truth in the New Testament!

    "Sir," they said, "from now on give us this breas."

    Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."



    Look at what He just said, for He presents the full truth right there, actually, and the rest becomes explanatory and, at one point, irritation, after that. GOING to Christ is the bread and BELIEVING in Him is the drink. He puts is simply, right from the first. But let's continue:

    "But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe."

    Remember, these people were asking for a miracle. If you go back a bit in this chapter, you will find that He has just walked on water to the boat and that He and the disciples had then 'immediately' reached their destination on the other side of the lake. The people had evidence of a miracle right there. And THIS had followed the miraculous feeding of the 5000. What more do they want? This is why Jesus said that even though they have seen Him they did not believe. Not believing means they are not getting the drink, but are remaining spiritually thirsty.

    "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

    Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him will be given by the Father to the Son and will not be lost. There is NOTHING there about the bread and the drink, is there? That is because, as Jesus said, going to Him IS the bread and believing IS the drink, and thus those who look to Him, believing, get that spiritual food and drink, which is so superior to the manna or the fish that fed the 5000.

    But look at the reaction of the Jews when He says that -- remember the Jews depended on the Law and on their ability to keep it...

    At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and other we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"

    What follows from Jesus is typical Jewish, or Oriental, debate style. For another dose of it, go to John 3 where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus. Remember how Nicodemus asked 'how can a man enter his mother's womb a second time?' Nicodemus KNEW this was impossible, but he also understood that Jesus was using a physical picture to present a spiritual truth. Jesus knew Nicodemus knew this, and that this was their culture. So Jesus continued with Nicodemus just as He continues in John 6, returning to the physical picture to present a spiritual truth.

    "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me."

    That means, looking back at what He just finished saying a bit ago, that anyone who listens to God and learns from Him will have spiritual bread, i.e. come to Jesus.

    "No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; ony he has seen the Father."


    Jesus is again lifting it out of the physical realm and into the spiritual realm. It is the Jews who are DELIBERATELY ignoring the form of the argument, which is theirs start to finish, and twisting it (as you will see) to avoid the meaning.

    "I tell you the truth, he who believing as everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die."

    Jesus is making a clear distinction here between the physical manna which provides physical life, and going to Him, which gives the bread that yields eternal life. He keeps trying to lift their eyes from the earth. Keep this in mind as you read the next part:

    I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

    If we go to Christ, something else happens to us, which Paul explains in Romans 6:3-4 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized nto his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we to may life a new life.

    Jesus had to die physically. When we become believers, we are baptized INTO HIS DEATH! (I doubt sincerely that is something the Roman Catholic church taught you!) Without that death, our life in Him would not be possible, for we, also, have to die -- but to ourselves. It is because of this forthcoming death that Jesus is, in the above, saying what He does, for when we go to Him, when we get that bread of life, we are baptized into His death, which was in the flesh. This is why He said, "This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

    Now, remember the conversation with Nicodemus? Attitude is everything. Nicodemus came quietly and respectfully to Christ, asking questions. The Jews are doing neither here.

    Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

    They are doing the same thing Nicodemus did, but not for the same reason. Nicodemus continued the physical picture in order to learn more. The Jews are here taking the physical picture and using it argumentitively to discredit and challenge Christ. Thus, Christ's answer:

    Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."

    In the physical world, if you are actually eating the flesh and blood of an animal (or, ych, a human...) that means the animal or human is dead! Christ is saying that unless we participate in His DEATH we cannot live! What He is saying here has NOTHING to do with Holy Communion whatsoever. It has everything to do, instead, with being baptized, or immersed, into th death of Christ, for, remember, whoever loses his life for Christ will find it.

    He says His flesh is real food and His blood real drink. And again He compares them with manna. They are so MUCH MORE real than the physical is what He is saying. I didn't start as early as verse 27 here, but here is something He had said just before that part that I started quoting: "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." Jesus is continually trying to lift them above the physical into a MORE real world, and, certainly, a more lasting one! The Roman Catholic church has mangled and destroyed the entire meaning of what Christ is teaching here.

    He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

    Whoa! He's not talking to the average Jew outside, but to the men in the synagogue. These men KNOW the Scriptures and the meaning of what is going on. Watch the reaction closely:

    On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"

    They KNEW Jesus was not talking about cannibalism! They KNEW He was referring to death -- their own necessary deaths. How could they accept it? That most certainly IS a hard teaching! This is BEFORE the Cross, and they are not at all crazy about what they are hearing! Please note they never ask HOW they can eat His flesh or drink His blood. They are perfectly aware that He is not talking about a physical ingestion.

    Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe."

    Here again Jesus denies the physicality of what He is referring to. The flesh counts for nothing. Is this not a contradiction?

    The Greek word used for 'flesh' throughout this passage is sarx. It literally means meat stripped of the skin, but was also used to indicate natural or sinful man. Jesus had the only flesh uncorrupted by sin, so what we have is a play on words here. Flesh by itself counts for nothing. Spirit is what is important. And yet, because Jesus came in the flesh and died in the flesh, partaking of Jesus means partaking of His death, not His literal meat and blood. For He was only sacrificed once for all (1 Peter 3:18).

    FAR from the idea of perpetuating Jesus' sacrifice -- for He is risen and sits at the right hand of the Father now -- we are to understand from His teaching and also from Paul's, that we must JOIN in His sacrifice and be killed ourselves, to ourselves. This is what partaking in His flesh and blood means, as He made very clear in this passage from John 6.
     
  5. BobRyan

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    Hebrews 10 makes it clear that instead of "perpetual sacrifice" Christ "Put a stop to sacrifices and offerings" by offering Himself "once for all time".

    The Bible is pretty consistent on that point.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. Ray Berrian

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    Hebrews 9:26 tells us that Jesus has ' . . . appeared' {on earth} to die and to 'put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.' We do not earn our way to Heaven; He paid for all of our sins. [I Cor. 15:3 & I John 2:2]

    In chapter ten of Hebrews, verse ten, as Bob says, Jesus was only sacrificed once, 2004 years ago and not every Sunday during the holy service of Eucharist. The Bible says, 'By the which will we are sanctified {set aside for holy purposes} through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.'

    No laity, no Protestant ministers, no non-Catholic clergy and no Roman Catholic priest contributes to a re-sacrifice of our Lord. It was horrible enough to happen just one time!
     
  7. I Am Blessed 24

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    Another x-catholic here.

    The Lord's Supper is a 'picture' of Jesus' sacrifice and what He did for us, much like Baptism is a 'picture' of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.

    I carry a photograph of my family in my purse. It is not literally my family. It is a 'picture' of my family...

    "The truth shall set you free."

    Blessings,
    §ue
     
  8. frozencell

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    Helen,

    I'm sorry, but your post is very confusing. It's a very big circle in which you are speaking. You are assuming everything in the chapter is symbolic. But if you look at the meaning of the original Greek words used in this passage ( nowJesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."
    for "eat" and "drink" were never used symbolically. Interesting how Jesus chose to use the literal forms of these words in this passage as opposed to the symbolic form he used earlier. Did they didn't teach you that in Baptist class?
     
  9. frozencell

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    But, your family was literally there when the photo was taken, weren't they? Jesus is literally there. Please always remember that the truth will set you free when you realize the whole truth.
     
  10. frozencell

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    To know that you have been so horribly mislead is very saddening to me. No Catholic re-crucifies Christ any Sunday ever. Rememberance and communion WITH Christ does not have to involve a re-crucifixion. Catholics believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, not that we killed Him again. To kill Him again would fly directly in the face of "It is finished." and would nullify the entire Catholic Church. Christ is present in a lot of places where He wasn't killed again. This reasoning is not sound.
     
  11. Gina B

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    If this passage is literal frozen cell, why aren't you literally living forever after taking communion?
    Your answer is that it means spiritual life, just as partaking in food and drink is to be taken spiritually. Not literally.
    Gina

    [ March 09, 2004, 11:20 PM: Message edited by: Gina L ]
     
  12. Born Again Catholic

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    Gina

    What does eat my body drink my blood mean when used figuratively. The Bible itself teaches us when it is used figuratively in the Bible it means to persecute, assault, destroy. I will let you look it up the related passages it might help you.

    Jesus empahaszes that he is not speaking figuratively by going on to say "For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink." What is your figurtive interpretation of this sentence.
     
  13. Born Again Catholic

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    I thought eteranl life was literally real do you believe otherwise.

    You seem to be under the mistaken impression that spiritual means not real, where does the Bible teach that the spiritual is not real.

    Jesus came down to us as a real human being but was Jesus of the "flesh" or of the "spirit"?

    Being "of the flesh", aka having a carnal understanding of life profits nothing having an understanding of the absolute reality of the spiritual life is important. That is one of the next points Jesus makes in John 6, thanks.

    [ March 10, 2004, 01:37 AM: Message edited by: Born Again Catholic ]
     
  14. Born Again Catholic

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    Gina

    Here is a trick question for you was the mana and water that God provided the Isrealites in the desert real food or spiritual food.

    The answer is that it was spiritual food that was physically real. Being physical food does not disqualify something from being spiritual food as Helen tries to argue earlier

    1 Corinthians 10 (NKJV)
    1 ....I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3all ate the same spiritual food 4and all drank the same spiritual drink.

    Just as the mana and the water were both real spiritual food and drink, Jesus body and blood is "real food and real drink" but it is still spiritual food. We literally share Jesus's body and blood with him you don't get any more personal than that.

    When Jesus lifted up the bread and wine and said this is my body and blood he meant it.

    [ March 10, 2004, 02:24 AM: Message edited by: Born Again Catholic ]
     
  15. Gina B

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    Born Again Catholic, I'm not familiar with what you're talking about as far as the manna in the wilderness is concerned.
    As far as living forever, no that is not literal as pertains to your body. Your body will die and rot.
    Part of how we can tell this is spiritual is that whoever partakes of this bread and wine will never hunger or thirst again. Do you hunger or thirst after taking of it?
    Did Jesus lie, or did he suddenly switch midsentence from literal metaphorical?
    Do you have literal life in you if you don't partake of the sacrament?
    The body and the blood are spiritual food, that which gives eternal life. Spirits do not eat and drink literal food. Remember after the resurrection when Jesus ate to show that he not a spirit?
    Gina
     
  16. frozencell

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    Gina L,

    I read something in the Bible a little bit ago that really stood out to me. 1 Cor 15:36-49 talks all about the resurrection body. The part I want to point out to you is in verses 45 - 48. It seems Paul is very adament about the physical body and the spiritual body being seperate. It seems that he is saying that the spiritual body is it's own apart from the physical body. Catholics believe that all of Christ's essence is in the Eucharist, that it's more than just a symbol. What I'm trying to say is that the Eucharist doesn't feed your physical self, but your spiritual self. When Jesus said that we would not hunger or thirst again He meant that His Word and His Body will fill the longing and the hole in our souls. Of course, we are always going to want more and more, whether you are talking in a physical sense or in a spiritual one.

    Jesus switched suddenly between literal and metaphorical all the time. When Jesus was tempted in the desert the devil took advantage of the fact that He was very hungry. He tried to get Jesus to change rocks into bread. Jesus' reply, of course, was, "Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." We, of course, do not literally eat the words of God. Also, he referred to the manna that he provided to the Israelites in the desert. He told them how it was bread that fed the physical, and the physical only. If you don't take part in the Eucharist then, yes, you are still a living, breathing human being, but you have not recieved the fullest of Christ that you can spiritually.

    Why do you not believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist? Do you not believe that God has the power to change the bread into the body of Himself?

    Pax Christi,
    Elliott
     
  17. Born Again Catholic

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    Gina

    Let me try a different approach.

    Many christians hear the word "spirit" and they think symbolic, but the word "spirit" is never used in the Bible to mean symbolic.(Please Check)

    As these christians understand the term spirit this way they also tend to unconsciously disconnect anything related to spirit from the physical world?

    Gina, do you believe something can exist in the physical world and be spiritual. For instance as a christian are you a physical being or a spiritual being?

    The answer is obviuos you are a both physical and spiritual fully integrated.

    Just as Jesus is fully human and fully God.

    My point about Col 10 is that Paul helps us recognize that the manna and water God sent the Isrealites was not just food and water but spiritual food.

    Likewise Jesus body and blood are "real food and drink" as He says. And even you don't deny it is spiritual food. It is both spiritually real and physically real, Just as his sacrifice on the cross was physically real and spiritually real. Neither should be viewed as spiitually real but physicaly symbolic.

    As human beings who are both physical and spiritual are we supposed to have a fleshy/carnal understanding of our lives or be of the spirit. Similarly anyone who looks at Jesus sacrifice on the cross in a carnal way misses its importance, but by looking at in the spirit it becomes the supreme act of love.

    Likewise with Jesus's body and blood which is presented as real food and drink in the appearance bread and wine are we supposed to have a fleshy/carnal understanding of this food (ie prevents physical thirst) or be of the spirit.

    With this understanding we can read scriptures more clearly without it our reading becomes a test in scriptural gymnastics. For example for each passage below which would be your response

    "This is my Body"(holding the Bread) Mt 26:26-27; Mk 14:22,24; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 10:24-25

    Amen Jesus, it is,

    or

    That is not your body Jesus

    "This is my blood"(holding the wine) Mt 26:26-27; Mk 14:22,24; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 10:24-25

    Amen Jesus it is

    or

    Jesus that not your blood

    For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drinkJohn 6:55

    Amen Jesus, it is

    or

    Jesus your flesh is not true food your blood is not true drink you a speaking figurtively here.

    27Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 1 Cor 11

    Amen, it is so

    or

    As it is symbolic you cannot really be guilty of the actual body and blood of the lord but you still take it reverently.

    29For anyone who eats and drinks without DISCERNING THE BODY eats and drinks judgment on himself. 1 Cor 11

    Amen, we discern your body Jesus

    or

    There is no actual body to discern its a metaphor.

    Fortunately on the first passover/paschal supper when the Jews were comanded to eat the paschal lamb or face death they did it they did not take it as a metaphor they ate the lamb.

    Christ is our "paschal lamb" and He offers his body and blood in the appearance of real food and drink, do not doubt his word do not view the offering of bread and wine in a carnal fleshy way but in the way of the spirit.

    God Bless
     
  18. Gina B

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    I suppose God could do anything, but something being possible doesn't make it a reality.

    Jesus had not yet died when he held the bread and the cup. He gave us a symbol, an allegory, as he did in so many parables.
    He held up a piece of bread and said "this is my body, which is broken for you".
    He held up wine, and said "this is my blood which is shed for you".
    It hadn't yet happened.
    He was speaking figuratively, and the bread and wine is to be done in rememberance of Jesus, to be spiritually filled.
    Those who drink unworthily are guilty of course. This is to be done in remembrance of Jesus and his sacrifice. One that partakes as an unbeliever or disobedient person is shaming the sacrifice by claiming Christ and remembrance of his sacrifice when they truly are not. It is sin, and sin is why the sacrifice happened. They are taking it in as regular bodily food for their nourishment, and it does nothing for them spiritually. They eat and drink to their own damnation, when if they were believers and obedient they would receive the blessings that come from being such and walking in His commandments.
    Gina
     
  19. Gina B

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    BTW frozen cell, Born Again Catholic, others.
    Thank you for this conversation.
    These are the types of discussions this forum was meant for, and the manner in which they should be carried out. I'm glad to see it happening once again!
    Gina
     
  20. Brother Adam

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    My only thing would be is that God is outside of time. Just as Abraham was saved by faith through his action (Romans 4:3, James 2:20-24, Romans 1:5) and Christ had not yet died, God being omnipresent, could have been present. Jesus himself was captured by time while here on earth, but it still seems possible as a miracle. It seems you have to jump right over all the passages BAC offered to get pure symbolism. I'm more Calvinistic in this respect and believe in dynamic presence.

    Sorry, okay, but I'll leave so I can be off again to witness to the Athiests and Mormons on the Passion board. Had to say that though. Carry on.
     

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