Scripture vs the written Gospel?

The Scripture vs the Gospel?
About as wise a statement as “Mona Lisa, The Smile vs the hair.”

One artist. One painting. Only the pretentious, incapable of seeing the beauty of the whole, seek to foist their egos by discussing the purported idiosyncrasies of the parts.
 
When the council of Nicea, 325 AD, decided which would be considered inspired and which would not, the world was divided almost in half. So much similar to today Republican and democrat controversy. The votes being like 52% to 48%. It was a nasty battle between the Arians and the Bitarians. Constantine was not interested in truth, he only wanted to settle the fight because it was hurting peace, economy, etc. So the council was called. It was a stacked deck, Arius against the Bitarians. I say Bitarians because the idea of the Holy Spirit as a co equal third person had not yet hatched. These men, sat around arguing over "truth", Arius even being physically slapped. Arius fought for the belief that Jesus was lesser than the Father, using such verses as the father is greater than I, that the son did not know the hour or day, etc. Arius was not alone, half the believing world was with him on this.... but not at the council. Constantine ruled in favor of the bitarian view, and let them chose what was to be considered "scripture". He commissioned 1 man to write 50 bibles to be distributed to the churches as a standard. He approved and disproved of secondary writings, making illegal any writing that contradicted the bitarians. All opposing writings were burned. And anyone caught with an unauthorized writing would be considered a capital punishment. Realize that the men were ruthless, fighting to win, with no regard for truth, only to win. Just exactly like we see these day between the demos and repubs. We have so much documentation from this council. They would try to win against each other just like we see, by means of making the other look bad by means of association. If they could think of someone whom had been looked down on, they used it, trying to imply that person, in the others camp. It then became as you would expect, if you can't win, you insult the opposing side. It was nasty. Nothing Godly went on during the council of Nicea. And this is exactly where our scriptures came from. Who knows what all we may have lost in secondary writings. As with any creed, it's a circle drawn, stating orthodox belief as someone has defined it. An attempt to stamp out opposing ideas, considered "once in for all" that the matter is settled, that any belief that does not fit within that circle, is heresy. Much thought goes into it. It wholly reveals what they believe worded as such to shut the door on any other beliefs present or future. Who knew then that it would be written over 100 years later to add the Holy Spirit as a coequal third person of a trinity. While I believe we have sufficient scriptures to know the gospel, don't be fooled into thinking that Godly men whom were inspired were the one's whom chose which books. And we can also assume that this standardized 50 bibles sent out, also reflected their interpretation of the questionable verses. These are facts, varified by first hand writings, amounting to more 1st hand sources than the books of the NT. It's available to anyone whom wants to study it, and early church history. You can read the arguments of all these "players" as they tried to make their case for right belief. Volumes and volumes from each player adding up to tons of writings..... But sorry, you will not find but one side of this, because the opposing writings were burned. But you can however clearly see both sides view by simply reading 1 side by realizing the argument.
Maybe you should ask the REAL questions like “Who stacked the BIG deck?” or “Who appointed Constantine?” Surely if you’re looking for the Truth, and not just trying to deconstruct our belief in the inspired and infallible Word of God those are pertinent questions that need to be answered, but what’s the point right? After all, I think you have already concluded as Mr Ehrman has, that there is no God so everything else is moot. You’re here just to show us the err of our ways. Well you have found ripe ears with Artfuldodger. He’s a reed blown by any wind. Just glad to see some of the others have already smelled a polecat too.
 
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Thread starter #25
Pauls writings are the earliest writing of the NT. We consider them scripture, but for sure, at that time, he had no idea that one day, these letters would also be called scripture. In his mind, the OT was scripture.........and so was the book of Enoch
Thanks, that's kinda what I was trying to convey although rather badly with the gospel. My thread title should have been something like "Scripture vs the Gospel before it was written" or "Scripture vs the written Gospel and Epistles before it was written or "Scripture vs the written Gospel that was added later."
The Gospel "message" has always been. It was the Word before Creation. That was not what I was trying to convey. I'm not presenting God vs the Gospel. I was tying to convey God's written Word vs God's written Word after the Gospel accounts were written. Hard to explain I guess. I never intended it to read "God against his Gospel message." Just his written message before the Gospels were added in writing to his written message already in existance.

I was just putting some things out there for discussion. To see what was Scripture according to Jesus when He quoted Scripture. He wasn't quoting Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John when he quoted Scripture. The Gospel had not been written yet. It doesn't mean it wasn't happening or that it wasn't foretold.

I would also agree that Paul's epistles are Scripture and that he probably didn't consider them as such when he was writing them.

Maybe I got too far out of the river on this discussion and it made some uncomfortable with even discussing it.
 
Thread starter #26
Maybe a better title would have been "The Scripture as quoted by Jesus and the Apostles vs what would one day be added to the scripture Jesus quoted and referred to as the "the word of God" in the form of the written Gospel.

"Then at some point Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote of this revelation or prophesy while it was happening. Thus adding to Scripture already written. Their accounts of the gospel were added, not the gospel itself. It was already there."
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John ie the Gospels were added to already existing scripture that contained the gospel message. Paul's revelation and letters were also added to already existing scripture as well.
 
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Thread starter #27
The Gospel being just as important as the scripture. THE WORD WAS SCRIPTURE AND THE WORD WAS THE GOSPEL.

"Thank you Art for pointing this out in your very first post."

We can't ignore the importance of the gospel. It is the core of Christianity but is it Scripture? Is it the literal writings of the Father? The four humans writing about his Son?

"Just presenting it as a question, but yes. The answer is yes."
"I think I showed this in later posts."
"The written Gospel becomes Scripture. The Gospel concept was already and always existing."
The Word was the Gospel. Even before any scripture was ever written.
 
Thread starter #28
Pauls writings are the earliest writing of the NT. We consider them scripture, but for sure, at that time, he had no idea that one day, these letters would also be called scripture. In his mind, the OT was scripture.........and so was the book of Enoch
What would Jesus consider to have been scripture when he was walking the earth as a Jewish man? Again, I'm not trying to take away from the four gospel accounts that became scripture later.

The Torah, Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets, the Septuagint, the Pentateuch?

Also related and touched on in many discussions is Jesus teaching more about God's Kingdom and Paul not so much. The written gospel accounts teach of the accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Did Jesus dwell on this aspect as much as he did the Kingdom? I guess the way to get to the Kingdom was the Gospel. To Jesus, the Kingdom was also a part of the Gospel.
 
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I do not know which books he would have drawn from. Jesus taught the coming Kingdom of God. Which was saying to the Jews that the reign of the Messiah, their most anticipated time, was near. Paul's task was to show that although they thought that death excluded him, that the resurrection actually gave him "all" authority in heaven and earth. Thus the Father had given him everything. And that the Kingdom of God, the reign of the messiah, was within.
 

Israel

Senior Member
I do not know which books he would have drawn from. Jesus taught the coming Kingdom of God. Which was saying to the Jews that the reign of the Messiah, their most anticipated time, was near. Paul's task was to show that although they thought that death excluded him, that the resurrection actually gave him "all" authority in heaven and earth. Thus the Father had given him everything. And that the Kingdom of God, the reign of the messiah, was within.
That's really interesting.

Paul's task was to show that although they thought that death excluded him, that the resurrection actually gave him "all" authority in heaven and earth.
Especially since Paul understood, maybe far in excess of the gentiles to whom he was sent and labored among...even the specific nature of that death. Testified in:

"Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree," (in the Law)

Common death (so to speak) would surely appear as excluder, no?

But that particular sort...I can't help but believe Paul was led to much in seeking understanding.
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
On the atonement:

Zech 13:1

"On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

On the kingdom:

Ezekiel 39:29
I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.

On the Messiah,

Isaiah 11:2

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD--


Isaiah 11:12 (KJV)
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
 
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Thread starter #32
I'm going to try and keep my discussions a bit more mainstream instead of "out there somewhere." Maybe the Spirit can lead me in this fashion.

OK, Old Testament quotes in the New Testament. Old Scripture repeating itself in New Scripture. Must be important. Not that the non-quoted Scripture isn't. I hope no one thought I thought it was.
Presented for discussion of an example is Isaiah 6:9-10. Quoted five times in the New Testament in connection with national Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah.
Matthew 13:14-15; Mark 4:11-12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40 and in Acts 28:26-27.
 
Thread starter #33
The Old Testament is confirmed in the New. It's authority is never questioned. One can use the Old to explain the New and the New to explain the Old. The Old to explain Jesus and Jesus to explain the Old.
This must have been a challenge for Paul to explain the New in relation to the Old.
I've read there are 342 Old Testament quotes in the New Testament.

Paul was pretty educated in the Old Testament. He used it to show a lot more than the fulfillment of the Cross. Romans 9 comes to mind.
 
Thread starter #34
That's really interesting.

Especially since Paul understood, maybe far in excess of the gentiles to whom he was sent and labored among...even the specific nature of that death. Testified in:

"Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree," (in the Law)

Common death (so to speak) would surely appear as excluder, no?

But that particular sort...I can't help but believe Paul was led to much in seeking understanding.
Paul is sent and labored among the Gentiles. Yet he quotes Old Testament scripture to them in his letters.
How much did those Gentile Christians know about the Old Testament? Where did they get their knowledge of it? What authority did they give to the Old Testament?
Interesting. We call it the Old Testament. I wonder what Paul called it?
 
Thread starter #35
This might be a bit out there somewhere but I'm feeling compelled to write. Concerning Paul and Romans 9-11. Paul sees three different groups. Jewish Christians like himself, Gentile Christians to whom he was sent as an apostle, and Jews who had not accepted the gospel.
Was reading a bit by Krister Stendahl. He wrote "Final Account: Paul's Letter to the Romans." He may be a nut, I don't know. I didn't read his book.
Anyway Paul's looking at how God looks at these three groups. Paul frequently appeals to Old Testament texts to look for answers.

Just another example of Paul quoting Old Testament scripture in his letters.
Isaiah 10:22-23, Isaiah 1:9, and a few others. Jacob and Esau, Isaac and Ishmael are referenced in Romans 9 from the Old Testament as well.
 

Israel

Senior Member
I don't dismiss (at all) miracles, the miraculous, and those things that surely cause us to stop in wonder to what is the manifestation of all power stepping into a place of previous assumptions formed by routine.

God..."showing up".

We believe Paul experienced and wrote of these things. And others wrote of things done "through Paul" by God, that testify of this.

Paul even wrote:

My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith would not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

There is something Paul learned about being set in order and place to God, from which Paul saw clear manifestations of God being with him. Not for the sake of "wowwing" Paul...or even others for that matter, simply...But to the end of establishing.

But...who isn't "wowed", standing in awesome wonder (and great joy) when God does indeed manifest "I am among you"? I do not believe for a moment...God despises such joy and awe.

But it is never the result of merely seeking that (we are even told what kind of generation...seeks only that...signs)...but they are to expected (though who can ever "expect" their effects on us?) by the obedience of faith.

What do we know of Paul? To whom was he sent? To whom did he go? And who do we know, even by his own words, that would have been, and always remained "his own" preference?

This is not a case of loving the gentiles less, but such a testimony of a deep and abiding desire toward a brethren so close to his heart...he knew that to in any way to diminish this true longing that was burning in his heart, and (perhaps) even fail to confess to it...might leave him a liar before men. For, of it surely...God already knew.

It is not Paul whining "God made me go here...when I wanted to go there"...for how often he wrote of his delight in the faith he found delivered to his gentile children. Yet...he couldn't, and would not deny a first love, so to speak, and felt need to mention it more than once. Might this even be...for our...establishing?

This is not the recommendation of a religious formula...out from which have grown so many bizarre and distorted practices and manifestations. It is not reduced to "do what you don't want to do, don't do what you want to do"...but..."Obey God".

From the first "do what you don't want...etc" comes all sorts of asceticisms, a corruptible self engagement, and odd and bizarre awkwardness. In the other however "obey God"...comes a something else.

And to ourselves it may even at first...appear somewhat like the first. "God is asking (or commanding)" of me something I "don't want to do"...in matter of preference. But formulas, and the formulaic must...and can be resisted through Christ.

To even say it is a chess game with the Master finds me trying to put into words...what cannot be contained. But in the sense that we might see, or barely yet be able to comprehend...wills are always to some extent "in contest", and God is not ignorant. He knows our frame. Nevertheless I believe, and am confident enough to say (though even with great fear) we are "always being maneuvered...to the greatest of joys". His moves with us...are never to our harm, no matter "our feeling". We are drawn to places of seeming desert and wilderness, only to find a so much greater than we could have ever imagined of His presence.

There could be said...(dare I?) much enduring of "check...and mate" in our being through whatever experiences ordained...to our learning. God does not grow weary of "playing" (but not toying) with His children...ever...but we also learn (Do we?) that He who is all of truth, even in our being his children never throws a game. Though this may be the poorest of seeing...and relating, it is all this child can express, for now. And we may learn, even...chess...which seems so very very appropriate to the wise of this world...is not a game we are "good at" when playing the Master. We may even find a version of hide and seek, which seems to the wise of this world, so very infantile...is even more suited to us. Yet...with our Lord it becomes (not a hiding) but seek and find...and seek...and find...more! A child's delight! Daddy...I see you!


"When you were young" Jesus said to one of His own, "you gird yourself and went where you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch forth you arms and another will gird you, and carry you...where you would not". (How much a picture of a child, lifting his arms to his Father for all "doing"!)

There is a fight that must be "taken out of us" yet...we are never unaware...of our own will. It is taken out (not our will, but the mindless, and hapless flailing against another...will) through the work of Christ, and never any less, or other.

Another will, through time, practice, and experience in faith...of which we are...even at the very first made aware...but which through attentiveness and honest appraisals (through the O! so many tearing downs of a propensity to lie...even and especially to ourselves!) that takes a better form that we dare not deny it.

We begin to see God's will in some better light, and begin to understand His sovereignty is not only irresistible...but most laudable, for were He to surrender it to "another will" EVEN our own in resistance, no matter how informed it may appear (to us) we would be lost.

And we may begin to see (as is also my fervent hope...even in myself) that what remains of one will, present assuredly, and undeniable, is so far eclipsed by the goodness and majesty and grace in that other, as is also, undeniable.

The will of man...to live..to have, to abide in what might appear as his greatest imagination of all pleasure that might be, that even he might see as such, must have its poverty revealed. Not to a shaming, not to a crushing despair of having an "I was wrong" tortured from it...but, something very else. A stretching past, for a receiving past, what would be imagined...to the real.

In these tents there is much groaning. But there needn't be complaint (God help ME!). To be satisfied in groans that cannot be uttered...knowing it is One making intercession for us, we are given to know, in the faith of the Son of God. So, there is a glorious birthing taking place being mediated in groans, that we make common plea are not despised.

What did Paul learn? What was he given to see? What might we find exchanged even in himself...for what is the "far better"?
Surely a resident desire, never denied, to be go to his brethren after the flesh. Oh! to have in his eyes, in his time, a part played in that...to see (perhaps) some of a something of a seeming greater fruit bearing, plain to him.

Who (on the face of it) was "better equipped"? Who knew better the scriptures, the traditions, the ways of the children of Israel (even having magnificent credentials!) than he? Who would appear...better fit to it? At least...on the face of it?

Our God is not...a tease. This thing wasn't being "kept just beyond Paul's grasp"...forever moving (as if he would reach for it in desire) and pulled then, just out...of reach. No. God forbid. (And I know fear in my writing!)

No. What did Paul receive? What was Paul given? Even in place of what may have appeared the most fervent desire that he might "play a part"? Might see...to his brother's salvation.

He saw the plan. He saw the way of it, the way of God in plan revealed to him...of the "how" all Israel would be saved. Did this make him sorrowful? Or, was a previous sorrow...being consumed? In the overwhelming light of joy?

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not be conceited: A hardening in part has come to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove godlessness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Regarding the gospel, they are enemies on your account; but regarding election, they are loved on account of the patriarchs.

For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. Just as you who formerly disobeyed God have now received mercy through their disobedience, so they too have now disobeyed, in order that they too may now receive mercy through the mercy shown to you. For God has consigned all men to disobedience, so that He may have mercy on them all. O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?”

“Who has given so much to God, that God should repay him?”
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen


"they are loved on account of the Patriarchs".

There was a something I believe Paul saw. As great as his love was, and burned for his brothers...there was another love...already at work. It was toward them...before he even knew...of a "them". Or the "us" to which he perceived he belonged. It was moving to its fruition of salvation...in a relentlessness he could add nothing to, increase in no way...neither buttress nor support from even his great desire...for a desire far greater...was already working.


I am convinced with fear...this did not make him sad...at all.
What a relief to find...to discover, to have revealed, all he burned for in that desire to see them safely brought home...is being done...perfectly. To know...it already...as done.

I cannot help but also wonder how many "if only's" passed through his mind and heart...if only he could find the way...to pass his eyes...to them. Seeming so very close...yet likewise far...from the seeing delivered to him. If...only...

We weep many tears for "loved ones"...God knows we do. We do...groan. From places often, most often, and sometimes so deeply...only God can see. We may barely even know...of the depths from which these groanings come, bubbling up in our souls to an unsettlement. An unsettlement we do indeed "feel". Waters stirred in the deep..sometimes to a swirling on surface we begin to perceive.

Our desire for reconciling is not fruitless, vain, shameful, nor despicable. May we not despise that unsettling it brings. May we let such of the unsettlements of such burning desire while even in our unknowing have its free course in and through us. That we may altogether see...this is the work of the Reconciler, already at work from the foundation of the world, and now...even...in us. In our very...foundations.
 
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Thread starter #37
I think many folks see my quest or any of our quests as faltering if we ask deep heartfelt questions. That we should not have these thoughts. That just by asking puts us in a place of not having God's coverage or salvation.
I see Paul as such a person. "by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

"If somehow?" From a man who writes scripture.

I believe that all of us have a faith that's different from each other. Sometimes it's strong and sometimes it wains. None of us have all of the answers. It's not this set of legalistic rules that one follows to gain acceptance.
I think God is saying that his faith in us never wains.
 
Thread starter #38
Imagine how hard it must have been to keep the faith, Galatian legalists, Colossian Gnostics, and Judaizers at every turn.
Yet he was tasked from God to relay the gospel.
 

Israel

Senior Member
I think many folks see my quest or any of our quests as faltering if we ask deep heartfelt questions. That we should not have these thoughts. That just by asking puts us in a place of not having God's coverage or salvation.
I see Paul as such a person. "by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

"If somehow?" From a man who writes scripture.

I believe that all of us have a faith that's different from each other. Sometimes it's strong and sometimes it wains. None of us have all of the answers. It's not this set of legalistic rules that one follows to gain acceptance.
I think God is saying that his faith in us never wains.
"If somehow?" From a man who writes scripture.

How do we "hear"?

The Master tells us certain things about hearing.
Do we hear Him?

I believe Paul did...and I am seeing in you that same hearing...if I understand correctly.

Am I hearing a sort of "marvel"?

Is there a voice almost saying this:

"Paul...of all we have been given to see and know by the abundance of your writing and the testimonies to your work and tirelessness and depth of revelation...ain't you...of all...at least a shoo in?"

(For who speaks more of the assurance of "faith" in expectation and explanation to the believer, than he?)

If not you...then who? And if not you...what "chance" of those who see in themselves such a lesser degree of obedience...if compared to yours?

Paul...don't you know? You helped "write the Bible!"

I am being convinced Paul too well understood the dangers of wrong inferences.

Being an apostle...doesn't save anyone. (Or at least is not a guarantee of faithfulness) One can insert any other "calling" they approve there, also.
Judas.

Speaking oracles of God...doesn't save anyone. (Or at least is not a guarantee of faithfulness)
Caiaphas.

Being a member of a church...doesn't save anyone. At least as might be accorded by our perceptions.
(Ananias and Saphira)

We are quite sobered by those who even say ..."Lord, Lord... have we not...?"

We know what Jesus says of those whose standing on miracles, prophesies, mighty works (had any had cloths taken from their bodies for the healing, as Paul saw? Raised a Eutychus?) thought them sufficient.

Sin brings with it every wrong inference...to a particular fruit of presumption. And I would be most presumptuous of all to propose I know God's final disposition of Judas, Caiaphas, and Ananias...etc. Nor do I seek to suggest anything to their endorsement. (It is far more than enough for me that Jesus testified of losing none...except one...so there is ample enough example in that...at least to me)

Paul wrote:

Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.

I tend to think Paul learned...a lot. A lot in looking and seeking and finding.

Maybe even how a people could...so blessed with the presence of God in their midst...and manifestly so in wonders...could suffer a numbing of mind to begin to believe...they were special...of themselves, and in such...not even recognize the voice of the very God who once moved among them in their deliverance. The voice of Word...in which they thought they could assure their own standing. (O! to see the keepers of God's Word...is not in the parade of being "We, The Keepers of God's Word")

And yet seek...in utter hatred of it...to silence it. (He came unto His own...)

What we see as examples to us grow plainer from the coarse and (seeming) obvious to the finer...and refined.

Who do we exalt? I am persuaded Paul understood the ever present temptation and danger to seeing himself, and therefore presenting himself...as anything other than a mere man to whom God in grace had revealed salvation through only One, Jesus the Messiah, and he dare not budge an iota from there...as a man needing...salvation.

I am also persuaded it is a complete and powerful demonstration of his having the love of God worked so thoroughly through him and out then from him to his brothers, that he dare not lead them to a harm, a harm that comes by allowance of anything...to be presented in competition with the Son of God, Jesus Christ. So...even for their very sakes...he dare not be led to think more of himself...than he ought. Paul understood...how "examples"...work.

But...if we believe Paul's testimony as true...there came a time when he could boldly say (noting it was "near his end" is not the same as presuming that this was why it was so)

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Ain't it sweet? His assurance there...? Not only "to himself" from God...but making sure those who, as he, had been won to a seeking of nothing other than the Lord's appearing...would also find it to unspeakable...joy.
 
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Israel

Senior Member
Here is something I heard this morning...it's so very very lovely.
 

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