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Did Peter, Paul, James and John all preach the same Gospel?

Discussion in 'Spirit-Filled / Charismatic' started by imperfectchristian, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. imperfectchristian

    imperfectchristian .

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    I don't think anyone would argue that they all preached Christ, but were there differences in their understandings of the Gospel that are clearly present and identifiable in their writings?

    Obviously their audiences were different and the intent of each of their writings were different. However, particularly when we look at Paul's writings (but not just Paul) as contrasted with the other writings in the New Testament I am increasingly finding it more and more difficult not to conclude that there are some variations between the writers in what Jesus' death and ressurection meant for believers.

    If I did not already approach the New Testament Scriptures with the viewpoint that the writers were all in complete harmony in their understanding, then I would have already concluded long ago that their beliefs obviously had some differences in terms of understanding what the message of Jesus meant for the believer.

    However I have until very recently been giving the benefit of the doubt to the idea that they are all in total harmony. Maybe their audiences shaded their writings in different directions or maybe their personalities, education and different experiences resulted in the perception of a wider variance in the meanings and applications of their beliefs and revelations than what actually existed.

    The bottom line for me right now is that I cannot at this moment reconcile certain concepts with each other between the writers and I believe that if I try and force them to fit like I believe many ministers and theologians have done through the years then I potentially compromise the integrity of the writings and the intent of the writers and consequentially the One (Holy Spirit) who inspired them.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter? I would appreciate you sharing especially if you have tackled this issue before and have come to a conclusion. I would very much like to hear some ideas.
     
  2. Jpark

    Jpark Contributor

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    John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

    Do you remember Scripture from 1 Peter, Paul's epistles, James, and 1 John?
     
  3. ARBITER01

    ARBITER01 Legend

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    I personally don't look at them in the flesh, you're more than welcome to if you want.
     
  4. imperfectchristian

    imperfectchristian .

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    I would not dispute that the truth is Spirit revealed, not intellectually attained, however Scripture also says be thoroughly convinced in your own heart. Part of the process is coming to terms with the teachings and meanings of Scriptures and searching the Scriptures to know what they say.

    One thing I am absolutely convinced of is that the Spirit inspired the writings in the New Testament, however that does not automatically mean they are all going to have the same exact understanding of the Gospel. In Acts it was obvious that learning the meaning of the Gospel (New Covenant) was an ongoing process so I don't see it as being unreasonable to conclude that the different writers might have varying differences in their revelations of what the Gospel meant and how it applied to believers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  5. imperfectchristian

    imperfectchristian .

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    I appreciate what you are saying, however I like to consider all sides, not just one.
     
  6. Allen1901

    Allen1901 King's Knight

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    I think there were a lot of arguments about how much of the law a new Christian had to keep. These arguments ended with a Church split. Paul went one way, and Peter and James went another.
     
  7. Jpark

    Jpark Contributor

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    I would say that's possible.

    However, my father told me that the Apostles were 100% from God, that is excluding Judas. John Calvin, John Wesley, and Martin Luther were 80% from God in that 20% of their teachings were from their thoughts.
     
  8. KingZzub

    KingZzub Blessed to Be A Blessing

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    Calvin more like 4% from God... ;)

    Seriously though, of course they saw things differently they were different. The God who designed a universe where every leaf on every tree, and every transient snowflake is completely different, created a universe where every human is different.

    The remarkable thing is that the Lord could write Scripture utilising these three very different men, say something that is 100% God-breathed and still have it sound like John, Paul and Peter. He didn't turn them into human dictation machines. Even the Old Testaments prophets in their "Thus saith the Lord" prophecies still have their own voices. The Word becomes flesh... God speaks through people. When He speaks through me He sounds English, when He speaks through another He sounds foreign - in the natural - but sound familiar because He is my Father.

    We are the wrapping paper of the message to humanity.
     
  9. psalms 91

    psalms 91 Legend Supporter

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    I believe that God inspired and when read together they expose a little more about certain teachings of Jesus and miracles. One thing you might find helpful is to compre similiar scripture in each book. Would also strongly recommend reading Luke and Acts together like one continuous book. John laid out a message of love and concerning the Jewish bride of Christ. Chapeters 14-16 is basically our katuba or wedding contract
     
    andreha likes this.
  10. Jpark

    Jpark Contributor

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    At least he got the Trinity right. ^_^

    Yes, the apostles did retain their style of writing. So it is possible that they could, although to preach another gospel would mean this:

    Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

    :eek:
     
  11. imperfectchristian

    imperfectchristian .

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    Well that is not really what I meant, but it does present and interesting and unfortunately polarizing point.
     
  12. imperfectchristian

    imperfectchristian .

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    Heavenly father or earthly father?
     
  13. KingZzub

    KingZzub Blessed to Be A Blessing

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    It is not immediately obvious what point you mean, twiggy.

    Care to elucidate.
     
  14. imperfectchristian

    imperfectchristian .

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    I appreciate your suggestion and I agree that the message of each writer does play a big part in understanding what they mean and understanding the common faith that they shared.

    The question is though...how common was their faith?

    Obviously they had their differences. How big were these differences?

    Was it enough to constitute in our modern era the forming or allegiance to a different denomination?

    If these differences do exist then I think it is of considerable importance that we acknowledge them and form our conclusions in light of their existence.
     
  15. imperfectchristian

    imperfectchristian .

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    Well I was not trying to imply that James, John or Peter were ceremonial legalists like those who had envaded the church in Galatia.

    Paul's statement "let them be accursed" is reserved for those who were trying to turn gentile believers into jewish proselytes for unGodly reasons.

    Now granted, I do believe the points Paul makes concerning the law apply to the whole law, but I don't think that what some of the leaders in church did in Galatia by dead religious works would equivilate directly to a church preaching what we consider to be a legalistic gospel in our modern time per say.

    In other words I don't think that Paul would use such language to a modern church that believed in Jesus and was sincerely trying to please God by keeping the ten commandments. I think he would still say they were misguided, but not that they were accursed. God looks on the intent of the heart, not the perfection of our doctrine.
     
  16. imperfectchristian

    imperfectchristian .

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    For the record, I am persuaded to believe that they did all believe the same Gospel, saved by grace through faith, but because of the differences of intent and the differences in the audiences they were writing to, the message was not as clearly indentifiable in some writings as it is in others.

    Given the difficulty in the differences in these writings, it can be quite difficult in ever arriving to one particular doctrine, because where one passage or letter advocates one way of looking at the message of the Gospel, another passage indicates something that at certain places seem to contradict it with another way.

    Luther struggled in his day with the book of James, saying how it was legalistic and eventually came around to accepting it later in life. Now I don't have a problem with James (although I used to), but I do have some trouble in melding the different relationships that the different writers had with God together and making it workable.
     
  17. nephilimiyr

    nephilimiyr I've Been Keepin My Eyes Wide Open

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    I'm a person who believes the gospel is a very short and simple message and although the authors of the Gospel had their own way of relating it, the message is the same from all 4 of them. Jesus brought the kingdom God to all mankind, and with faith in him, and only in and through him, we may have it. It really is that short and simple.
     
  18. KingZzub

    KingZzub Blessed to Be A Blessing

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    But it also depends on your subject. Listen to me preach on prayer or faith and you might hear two different things that you might think are contradictory or that seem like I have forgotten something, but I cannot put all the truth I know or explain every thing in total detail in one hour sermon, or in a 5 chapter letter.
     
  19. imperfectchristian

    imperfectchristian .

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    OK...so then are you saying it is impossible beyond to come to conclusions on certain exact truths based on Scripture because there is simply not enough information to substaniate the position without reasonable doubt?

    For example: Free will vs. Reformed

    or

    Word of Faith vs. Non-Word of Faith
     
  20. KingZzub

    KingZzub Blessed to Be A Blessing

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    No, not at all.

    I am not sure how you got there from what I said.
     
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