[quote="in_servitude, post:1, topic:346255"]
Can someone please point me to a place where it says that Jesus cared about the writing and promulgation of the New Testament?
My limited understanding in this area is summed up this way:
*]Jesus, being human, had limited knowledge. Would he know that something like the New Testament would ever appear? He could not, and it would seem to me that if he cared about the construction of a New Testament, he would have been asking for some notes to be taken.
*]Jesus, being divine, had the knowledge of God, and so would know exactly what would happen. Therefore, perhaps he didn't care to make such requests because he already knew a New Testament would be written and eventually widely distributed and translated.
Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian. Jesus cites "the law and the prophets," which generally reflects two of the three parts of the Hebrew scriptures: Law (Torah) and Prophets (Nevi'im). The last, "Writings" (Ketuvim) are the final part of the T-N-K (Tanakh, the Hebrew term for their Bible), which we can assume Jesus was referring in some places.
Jesus explicitly told the Sadducee that they did not know the scriptures (Matthew 22:29 -- “You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God."). The Sadducees only held the Torah (the first five books) as their scripture. In this passage, Jesus is referring to writings about the resurrection, which only come from around two centuries before his life (e.g., Daniel, Maccabees, Wisdom). They're not in the earlier prophets (except some verses of the Psalms), so he must have known these other "writings," (which rabbinical Jews later called "Ketuvim"). Elsewhere, he also refers to himself as the "Son of Man," a reference to Daniel 7. So it's a fair bet Jesus had an idea of what the Hebrew canon was and was not.
Personally, I don't think Jesus was walking around on earth acting like an omnipotent being. As we're told in Philippians 2:7, he "emptied himself, taking the form of a slave." I think we can take that seriously. I think Jesus had a sense of vocation, which is what compelled him to ministry and toward Jerusalem at the end of his life. But I don't think Jesus was walking around acting like God. So I'd say that he had followers, which he charged with ministry, and it was they -- as the church -- that decided to put together the Bible.
However, I tend to believe that Jesus didn't care so much about exactly how the Church grew and developed over time. Thus, the existence of the New Testament does not seem to be something that the human intellect of Jesus would predict.
I agree. The earliest books of the New Testament were written around 50 AD (the letters of Paul). The oldest complete gospel we have is Mark, written around 70 AD. But as we read in Paul's letters, Christians had spread around the eastern Mediterranean, as far as Rome. That was by oral preaching, not by scripture. If Jesus was concerned with a written documentation of his life and resurrection, I would think that we'd have seen gospels from the very beginning, but we don't see that.
The earliest Christian texts we have are those that are cited in Paul's letters that in all likelihoood pre-date Paul (e.g., 1 Corinthians 15:3-7, Philippians 2:5-11; Romans 1:1-6 or 3-4). Then the letters of Paul were circulated widely, which were probably the first "scripture" that many of the first Gentile Christians used. These don't mention the gospels, and it's not until about 40 years after Jesus died that we get the Gospels. I think what you see is that as the eyewitnesses died, there was a need that arose in Christian communities to pass on the faith, and that's where I think scripture began -- particularly the Gospels.
Does the Bible (or Church teaching) illuminate any assertion that the New Testament would materialize?
Not that I'm aware. If you look at Luke 1, you see some of the reasoning for the author's writing the gospel:
"1 Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, 3 I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received. "
In other words, the author of Luke has written for the purpose of "handing down" the tradition from "the eyewitnesses and ministers of the word."
That's my $0.02. Hope that helps.