T he word eimi can mean more then "is" or "am".....
W 08 4/1pp.27-28TheEucharist—TheFactsBehindtheRitual
“This Means”or“This Is”?
Granted, some Bible translations render Jesus’ words this way: “Take and eat; this is my body,” and, “Drink all of you, because this is my blood.” (Matthew 26:26-28, ConferenzaEpiscopaleItaliana;TheNewJerusalemBible) It is also true that the Greek word e·stin?, a form of the Greek verb “to be,” essentially means “is.” But the same verb can also mean “signify.” Interestingly, in many versions of the Bible, this verb is frequently translated “mean” or “stand for.” It is the context that determines the most precise rendering. For instance, at Matthew 12:7, e·stin is rendered “means” in many Bible translations: “If you had known what this means [Greek, e·stin]: I want mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless.”—CEI;Douay
In this regard, many respected Bible scholars have agreed that the word “is” does not accurately render the thought Jesus was expressing here. For example, Jacques Dupont considered the culture and society in which Jesus lived and concluded that “the most natural” rendering of the verse should be: “This means my body” or, “This represents my body.”
At any rate, Jesus could not have meant that his followers were literally to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Why not? After the Flood of Noah’s day, when God gave man permission to eat the flesh of animals, he directly forbade man to consume blood. (Genesis 9:3, 4) This command was repeated in the Mosaic Law, which Jesus obeyed fully. (Deuteronomy 12:23; 1 Peter 2:22) And the apostles were inspired by holy spirit to renew the command against consuming blood, making that law binding upon all Christians. (Acts 15:20, 29) Would Jesus institute an observance that would require his followers to violate a sacred decree of Almighty God? Impossible!
Clearly, then, Jesus used the bread and wine as symbols. The unleavened bread meant, or represented, his sinless body that would be sacrificed. The red wine signified his blood that would be poured out “in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.”—Matthew 26:28.
According to Matthew 26:26 in the NewWorldTranslation, Jesus, when instituting the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal, says of the bread that he passes to his disciples: “This means my body.” Most other translations render this verse: “This is my body,” and this is used to support the doctrine that during the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal, the bread literally becomes Christ’s flesh. The word translated in the NewWorldTranslation as “means” (es·tin′, a form of ei·mi′) comes from the Greek word meaning “to be,” but it can also signify “to mean.” Thus, Thayer’s Greek-EnglishLexiconoftheNewTestament says that this verb “is often i.q. [equivalent to] todenote,signify,import.” Indeed, “means” is a logical translation here. When Jesus instituted the Last Supper, his flesh was still on his bones, so how could the bread have been his literal flesh?