By Patrick Miron

 

I have a friend who was evangelical Christian in childhood, atheist in adulthood, and now trying to rediscover Christianity, but in an academic sense at this point.  She asked me this question and I’m not sure I know what a good answer would be.

 

“what is the Catholic reasoning for the epistles / first century Christian writings being silent on the life of a historical, in-the-flesh human Jesus? Do you know much on this topic, does Catholic teaching address it?”

 

Any ideas?

 

WOW! Sever years old AREADY! Awesome!

 

I think of all of you often and you all continue in my daily prayers.

 

It’s a great question; one I have not been asked before which means I actually have to THINK.

 

I’m going from the assumption that you’re friend does now believe in God? And has at least a rudimentary understanding of who, and what God is?

 

As you know, the term “Gospel” means “Good News,” and the term “Epistle” means “letter,” so the terms are closely related as they are an extension of “the Good News” shared in the Gospels. They are not separate or able to be separated from the Gospel messages, but a continuation and expansion of them.

 

So the first question to address is on what evidence is the bible “Inspired by God?” And what exactly does this mean?

 

This does not mean that God WROTE the bible; no, men, chosen and guided by God did the writing. It does mean however that everything in the bible is there because GOD wanted it to be included; and that while everything in the bible is NOT Literally true; it is totally factual in its lessons and  messages.

 

I can think of several evidences of this truth:

 

  1. 1.      The Old Testament prophesies that later have been proven true: here are  examples

 

This site list some 44 that came true: [and even more exist]

 

]http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm

 

6.Will be an heir to the throne of David (Isaiah 9:7; 11:1, 10)

Was given the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32, 33)

  1. 2.     Infused by God Knowledge into Saint Peter:

And Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is?  But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?  Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; andupon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it

This final passage gives 2,000 years of proof, as Christ Prophesy about His New One God; with only One set of Faith beliefs, in and through his One “Catholic” which means “Universal,”  is indisputable evidence. Through severe persecutions, wars, heresies, many thousands of competing “Christian” man-made and promoted faiths, and the Church structure desired by God still stand; One; True and United.

  1. Saint Paul: was chosen by God: Acts chapter nine. And Paul too was granted infused knowledge by God in order to complete the Mission God had chosen for him.  1 Cor. 11:23 “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you…”
  2. A forth proof is that the bible existed for nearly 1,500 years in its complete 73  book form before being usurped by Luther and others. So either the bible is true and factual in its Moral and Faith teachings, or it’s the second greatest fraud, perpetrated on humanity. God being the first.
  3. Millions of people have given their lives as a witness to these truths as Martyrs.

Another question might be? Why does the bible exist at all?

The First Gospel is thought to have been authored by Saint Mark or Saint Matthew around 60 and 80 AD, with the other Gospels being completed by 95-100 AD.  The epistles fall into an earlier time period, as Paul is thought to have been Martyred around 64 AD, so all of HIS letters would predate that.

 

Their remains much debate about the dates because it’s some 2,000 years ago, and the calendar would still not have been invented and used. So everything is based on known historical data, most often giving clues but not so often hard evidence.

 

http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/pnt/pnt02.cfm     [Epistles]

 

http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Four_Gospel_Chart.htm   [Gospels]

 

The dating is FAR less important than the fact that they are the Divinely Inspired Teachings of Jesus Christ. Accepted as such from the Apostles onward with an amazing consistency of truth.

 

The Letters of James and Peter who were both Apostles, and related firsthand knowledge area bit  easier to accept as being inspired.

 

Here’s why the Gospel and Epistles can’t be separated.

Of the Four Gospels, two are authored by Apostles; Matthew and John, and two were written by disciples; Mark for Saint Peter, and Luke who was a scribe for saint Paul [the 13th Apostles CHOSEN by Christ].

 

Four of the authors of the Epistles were ALSO Apostles: Peter, James, Paul, and John.

 

Christ mandate to the Apostles and those they were empowered to choose. [Mt. 10:1-8, Mt. 16:15-19, John 17:14-19, Mk.16: 14-15 & Mt. 28:16-20]. It is notable that Jesus Himself, choose additional disciples to “GO-OUT” and teach.

 

Luke 10: 1-11And after these things the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come.  Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house, remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house.  And heal the sick that are therein, and say to them: The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city you enter, and they receive you not, going forth into the streets thereof, say: Even the very dust of your city that cleaveth to us, we wipe off against you. Yet know this, that the kingdom of God is at hand. “ 

Very often ignored is the fact that Christ in a precise manner expressed well His Divine Will on who should teach, and what ought to be taught.

 

In Mt. 10:1-8, Christ, 1. Names His Chosen Apostles and Peter as FIRST among them. 2. Bestows on them His Godly Powers and Authority{**} 3.and gives them what to teach and to WHOM it shall be taught [the Jews only]. Then just before Ascending Back to the Father; Christ changes the mandate from “only the Jews”, to the cf. Entire World. Mark 16:14-15At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. & again in Matthew 28:26-20 “ And the eleven disciples [APOSTLES] went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying:All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.  Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded [taught] you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

 

{**}Transferred to the Apostles His very own Godly Powers and Authority:

Mt. 16: 18 “And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth”.

 

John 17:18 “As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world”.

 

John 20:21 “He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.” Implicit in these  powers and authority was the mandate to appoint others to ALSO teach and preach the Good News.”

 

In the Power of giving [all] the Key’s to heaven [Mt. 16:15-19]to Peter,  Christ gave to Peter the necessary authority to make binding rules, laws and regulations, as was prudent for the World-wide establishment of His One God’ with One Faith ; through One church. [I’m attaching a document on this].

 

The most important parts of Christ life ARE detailed in the Gospels. Christ did not come ONLY to be known as the Son of God; no, he came to establish a New Covenant, a NEW FAITH, and a New Faith-organization [His Catholic Church.] BUT even the Gospels are incomplete: Eph. 4:4-8

 

John 20: 30-31 “Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.”

John 21: 24-25 “ This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things, and hath written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.” And thus opens the door for additional writings and teachings.

 

“what is the Catholic reasoning for the epistles / first century Christian writings being silent on the life of a historical, in-the-flesh human Jesus?”

 

As a FYI, by actual word-count:

I searched the word “Christ” in the Epistles: it appears some 458 times & the term “Jesus” appears some 349 times. That is 807 times our Lord is mentioned in the Epistles. That’s hardly being silent.

 

However, Christ did not say “share my life story”; Christ DID SAY: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded [taught] you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Mt. 28:19-20

 

So the answer seems to be they did what they were TOLD to do.

 

God Bless you and that terrific family of your’s

Patrick

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