|Volume 23 Number 5 May 2021
Louis Rushmore, Editor
“Did Catholicism give us the Bible?” someone asked. No, Catholicism did not give us the Bible. The Old Testament portion of the Bible was completed before the first century. The New Testament portion of the Bible was completed around the close of the first century. The church that Jesus promised to build (Matthew 16:18) was established on the first Pentecost following the crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ in about A.D. 33.
However, the Catholic Church evolved over centuries from apostasy by early Christians and did not have a universally accepted pope to govern it for hundreds of years after Christianity began. The church Jesus promised to build and over which He alone is the Head began in Jerusalem about A.D. 33, whereas Boniface III unified and governed the Catholic Church in Rome in A.D. 607. Therefore, the Bible existed before the Catholic Church came into existence.
To Whom Was Matthew Written?
A visitor to Gospel Gazette Online posed the question, “To whom was Matthew written?” Each of the Gospel accounts was written generally to a different readership. The Gospel message or good news about Jesus Christ and His mission to provide human redemption is the same in each of the records. However, the manner in which that message was penned in each instance corresponded to the targeted audience.
The Gospel According to Matthew was written with a Jewish audience in mind. The Gospel According to Mark was penned with a Roman readership intended primarily, whereas the Gospel According to Luke was scribed for a Gentile audience. The Gospel According to John was written much later than the former three Gospel accounts and penned for a universal audience.
The Gospel of Matthew probably receives the most notice since its arrangement in our New Testament precedes Mark, Luke and John. Therefore, we are probably more familiar with it than the latter three Gospel records. Yet, together, the four Gospel accounts provide a more comprehensive overview of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. With those four records as the foundation, Acts 2 proceeds to acquaint readers with the beginning of Christianity with the establishment of the Lord’s church. The balance of the New Testament guides Christians in the application of God’s Word to their lives and how to prepare to meet God in eternity. The Gospel accounts, Acts and the rest of the New Testament convey how to be saved from past sins, how to receive forgiveness of sins after one becomes a Christian and how to prepare oneself to be saved forever in Heaven.