I didn’t want to call this “quote of the day” lest someone think that if they come back tomorrow and the next day there will be two others, but it is certainly the quote that sprang out at me from today’s reading.
The modern reader, critic, and yes, even the person of faith, must remember that the authors of the four canonical Gospels never asked us to read them, to treasure them, or to treat them as scripture (Patterson, Stephen. “Can You Trust a Gospel? A Review of Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses.” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 6, no. 2 (2008): 194-210.)
Not, of course, an original thought. In fact, Andrew Lloyd Webber came at the idea from a different angle when he wrote in the lyrics of “The Last Supper” from Jesus Christ Superstar:
Always hoped that I’d be an apostle.
Knew that I would make it if I tried.
Then when we retire, we can write the Gospels,
So they’ll still talk about us when we’ve died.
I wonder, sometimes, at what some of we Christians do with the Biblical texts and the burdens we place on them that their authors never envisaged them having to carry. If had they known that over the ensuing centuries scholars would argue over minute sections of their writings and about the significance of articles and prepositions, I wonder if they would have had the courage to put anything in writing in the first place! Even if God was inspiring them.