The Scriptures The Means Of Propogating The Gospel

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    It is asserted by some, namely Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, modernists, and most lately some "Catholic Baptists" that the gospel of Christ was transmitted orally in the early years of Christianity and that the Scriptures were not generally circulated or acknowledged until decades, if not centuries, after the apostles.

    In evidence against this untenable thoery I present the following statement of Paul:

    "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen."

    From this statement we see that it is "by the scriptures of the prophets" that the gospel of Christ was made known to all nations, according to God's commandment. That the "scriptures" in this statement cannot be confined to the Old Testament Scriptures is proven by the fact that Paul said the "mystery" of the gospel was "kept secret since the world began."

    That mystery, he explains in Ephesians, was the coming together of Jew and Gentile in the New Testament church. It was not revealed to the Old Testament prophets, but to the New Testament prophets. As Paul said in Ephesians,

    "(....Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ). Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel."

    My point is this: that it was through the writings of the New Testament prophets that the gospel mystery was being revealed even while Paul was alive. It was not the writings of Paul only, for he speaks of the plurality of apostles and prophets through whose "scriptures" - which is to say writings - the mystery was made known.

    Therefore the whole notion that the New Testament Scriptures were either not written or not generally circulated and not recoginzed as authentic till decades or centuries after the apostles is wholly at odds with the plain statement of Paul.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
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    "The plain statement of Paul" hardly indicates your position. The most likely and plain reading of the text is that he is speaking of the OT prophets. Again, Mark, you are really reaching!

    Grace and Peace, Danny [​IMG]
     
  3. DCK

    DCK
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    When do you think the gospels were written down, the day after Christ's ascension? If not, that means there had to be a period of oral transmission of the gospel, and oral transmission is simply another term for the preaching of the gospel. The fact that some people misuse the idea of oral transmission by late-dating the gospels doesn't mean that spoken preaching never happened.
     
  4. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Danny,

    Does the phrase "apostles and prophets" in the Ephesians passage idicate New Testament apostles and prophets? If so (and it obviously does), why would anyone think the Romans passage, which says essential the same thing, does not also refer to the New Testament prophets, other than a preconceived theory that the New Testament Scriptures were a post-apostolic production?

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  5. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    DCK,

    Who said that "oral preaching never happened." Of course there was oral transmission of the gospel. For that matter, the gospel is still transmitted orally.

    But the authoritative record through which the gospel was preserved had to be either the apostles and other New Testament prophets themselves or their writings (Scriptures).

    Remember, the apostles and prophets confirmed their oral preaching through super-natural deeds. It was on this basis that their preaching and writings were accepted as Scripture. Once they were dead the only authority that remained was the Scriptures themselves.

    And the passage I cited explicitly says that is was "by the scriptures of the prophets" that the New Testament mystery was made known "to all nations." That does not exclude oral preaching. It asserts that the basis of the preaching was the written word.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  6. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    The primary text the Apostolic churches used was the Old Testament scriptures. Because of the Resurrection of Christ we understand the Old Testament prophecies that were cloudly until Christ resurrection. That is the correct meaning of the text.

    The gospel of Christ was transmitted orally in the early years of Christianity and the Scriptures were circulated. Both of these are facts. They however did not have a concept of 27 NT books at the begginning of the 2nd Century. That is why some of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers was viewed as scripture by many believers and churches. Over a process of time however these writings were realized not to be Apostolic by many of the Church Fathers and after the Council of Carthage in 397 it was settled that the 27 New Testament books were the only Apostolic writings.
     
  7. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Earlier this year I heard a Lutheran pastor argue in favor of the Gospel of Thomas. And Luther himself, as I understand, was doubtful about James and Revelation. And then there is the claim that the Paulicians only accepted the writings of Paul.

    Not to mention the fact that the Council of Carthage also declared the books of Tobit, Judith, the Maccabees and and couple of extra books of Solomon to be part of the Old Testament. I even know of a few Baptists who think that the book of Enoch should be thrown in there.

    I guess the Council of Carthage didn't settle near as much as you claim it did.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  8. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    Yep, they made a mistake just like our Anabaptist ancestors who were the only Reformers who accepted the Apocrypha (Wonder why Landmarkers dodge this fact? :eek: )

    Show where the 27 book Canon was accepted universaly among the churches before Carthage and I will agree with you. The Fact is after Carthage no serious challenges to the New Testament Canon have been made.
     
  9. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    I don't dodge this fact any more than I dodge the fact that there have been Baptists all down through the ages who believed erroneous doctrines. There were people in the seven churches of Asia who held to heresies that Jesus Christ said He hated. Right now there are Baptists who don't believe any of the Bible was inspired. So what does that prove?

    Show me where the 27 book canon was "accepted universaly among the churches" after Carthage. The fact is that the New Testament canon was challenged after the council of Carthage and still is challenged.

    And I still find it astonishingly and ridiculously comical that you think the Council of Carthage authoritatively nailed down the New Testament canon while they were dead wrong on the Old. Now that is a hoot..... :D [​IMG] :rolleyes:

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  10. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Oral tradition? Not actually written down for decades or centuries?

    Are we talking about the New Testament? Get real. What did one of the writers say in HIS written letter about other writers in THEIR written letters?
    So by AD65 we have many copies of many letters of many apostles accepted as authoritative.

    Who needs a council to decide what God said? They simply came along later to confirm what believers already accepted as Truth.
     
  11. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Amen!
     
  12. Gunther

    Gunther
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    Dr. Bob, I would say that they only recognized what God had said.
     
  13. LarryN

    LarryN
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    Amen! </font>[/QUOTE]Amen and Amen! Reminds me of the foolishness known as the Jesus Seminar, which got several alleged scholars together to decide which of the words the Bible records our Lord and Savior as saying were actually said by Him. Utter foolishness!
     
  14. gb93433

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    Certainly Jesus gave out the good news. But it wasn't written down in the form of the four gospels most likely until after Jesus left. But I believe the epistles were not carried on by oral tradition though. They were meticulously copied by others. Paul signs his own name to the dictated letter when he mentions that he is writing is withy his won hand. Some people who believe otherwise are falling into the Patristic Fathers tradition after the first century. I see no credibility in that at all.

    Paul and the other apostles used the OT. In the NT are many quotes from the OT. I think it shows how they used the OT and viewed it.

    A very good book on the subject is Memory and Manuscript: Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity: With Tradition and Transmission in Early Christianity (Biblical Resource Series)
    by Eric J. Sharpe (Translator), Birger Gerhardsson, Jacob Neusner
    It can be seen at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0802843662/qid=1065038657/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/104-4971571-0314320
     

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