What Came First: Gospels or Church?

In 07 Observation on 2011/11/21 at 11:19 AM

It was not through the written Gospels that the Early Christians learned about Truths like the Crucifixion; rather the Gospels reflected what was already held as Sacred Truth by Early Christians, what had been handed down by Christ through His Apostles and protected as Sacred by the Early Church.

The Gospels are the systematic setting of what the Early Church believed through Faith and, more importantly, what had been taught by the Apostles and by Christ Himself.  When the Gospels were recorded, they reflected those Truths and Traditions which had been taught orally by the Apostles and passed along by hearing the Word of God as transmitted through the Apostles.

It was God who called men to capture in writing the Living Voice of the Living Word and the Sacred Tradition established by that Living Word while on earth; it was the Early Church who faithfully held those Truths and followed those teachings; it was not the written record of the Gospels that produced the Church, but rather the Word of God in the person of Jesus Christ our Lord who established the Church.  And, it was the Church that held sacred His teachings, protected those teachings and recorded those teachings in the form of the Gospels.

Sacred Tradition, as established by our Lord, is the memory of the Church, its connection to the Early Church and to the Living Word who established those Traditions.  This memory now extends over twenty-one centuries and is summarized in the Apostles’ Creed, the Athanasian Creed and the Nicene Creed.  Through the Holy Spirit’s guidance and protection of the Church, those beliefs remain intact today.

What makes man a unique creation is his God-given gift of free will.  God wills that all men be saved, but He respects man’s freedom to choose.  It is through the Church that God continues to speak to a world confused by its own choices, and it is through the Church that God has preserved a record, a written record, of the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Founder of our Faith.


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