Gospels vs. Letters

I’m not certain where to ask this question. Nor how to ak it, but I’ll try.

As a cradle catholic, it’s been impressed upon my that the gospels hold more weight than the letters.
*]We stand during gospel readings
*]It’s Jesus’ actual words

I find Protestants who argue the bible as if the whole bible holds equal weight. It seems they reference the letter and what people said about Jesus more than what actually Jesus said.

*]Am I correct in that the Gospels hold more weight?
*]Do Protestants reference what people say about Jesus rather than what he said?
*]What a good approach to show the gospels hold more weight?

CCC. 124 The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures “because they are our principle source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Savior.”

There is more in the Catechism on this subject, but this sums it up nicely!

You find Protestant Christians who give more weight to Paul than Christ? Interesting… Never come across that personally, but I believe you if you say it’s out there,

1)Just thinking about our response to the Epistle and Gospel readings in divine worship, we too always stand for the reading of the Gospel. The Gospels are the center of our Christian faith, the life, words and actions of our savior.

  1. which Protestants are you asking about? Speaking as a Lutheran, it isn’t an either/or, but both/and. A pastor on any given Sunday may base his sermon on either, or the OT lesson for that matter, or connect them in some way, depending on the lectionary.

  2. It could depend on who you are trying to convince.


Oh yes…there are certain protestant denoms who give weight to the Pauline letters. I heard one on radio argue with a catholic apologist that the first 4 gospels are one part…and the pauline letters are another gospel…and his/her denom teach mainly the Pauline letters.

As far as I can tell, the foundational Christian doctrine of Original Sin is developed in Paul’s Epistles, not the Gospels.

Yes - and some have the belief that Jesus was speaking to the Jews only, so what he said has no bearing on our lives. :rolleyes:

I have come across this often myself. Some identify heavily with Paul as having that “personal in” with Jesus since Paul attests that he was not taught by man but by Jesus. This is seen by some in my neck of the woods as a validation to disregard (or denounce) any “Church” affiliation and depend on private revelation from the sacred scriptures. In this way, they can identify themselves as being “just like Paul”–so his letters tend to become hugely important; sometimes more so than the Gospels and the other letters seem to only be valuable in as much as they can back up what Paul says.

A quick scan of Barnes and Nobles will even reveal a selection of “Paul and Jesus” books to cater to and enforce this line of thinking.

I don’t know if you find this helps your thought process or not but if you think of the 4 divisions of the Old Testament: Law, History, Wisdom, Prophetic books and correlate them with the New Testament, you get:

Law = Gospels
History = Acts
Wisdom = letters
Prophetic = Apocalypse

Might be a helpful way to look at it.

The Gospels are the teachings of Christ himself. The Epistles are often situational lessons applying the teachings of Christ.

So yes, the Gospels are certainly the greater, though that isn’t to say the epistles are unimportant.

I’ve run into this MANY times. It may not be the dominant protestant position…but it is not uncommon either.

Yes, my friends and I have run into this. My one friend calls it “Paulianity”. And that is not said in a joking manner, either. It is disturbing.

That is disturbing.

The only time I’ve seen something kinda like that is among non-believers on the Discovery channel specials, who will insist that Paul invented the Christian faith.

Just a personal thought. I would say it is not correct because it implies one book is more important that the other. All books that are contained in the Bible are inspired and therefore they are all truth. I would say it is more appropriate to say that different books have different roles and thrust as to their usage. I think another poster tried to categorize the different types of the books of the Bible. Similarly this could apply to the Gospels and the Epistles.

I can’t answer this as I don’t know much about what the Protestants’ take on this. Even if they do, I don’t think it is in the majority. This would be unfair to many Protestants who are not using that approach.

None. The Epistles are true teachings for the Church and they do not contradict the Gospels which seem to be the implication if we say that the latter carry more weight.

Yes, they insist all the “bad” aspects were created by Paul, and that Jesus just taught us to love one another. If you actually look at what scripture says, it was Paul who said to love one another and Jesus who insisted on all the “bad” aspects of the religion.

Lets not generalize ALL Protestants as having this opinion. That is simply not the case.
On the other hand, certain Protestant “sub-sects” come VERY close to doing this.
In fundamentalism, the Epistles are quoted far more than the Gospels. I don’t think they are doing it deliberately, I just think because the Gospels speak so much about “works”, and the Epistles appear, at least to them, not to.
A sub-SUB-sect of “hyper-Dispensationalists” actually do go over that philosophical cliff and proclaim the Epistles are SUPERIOR to the Gospels.
Fortunetely, thier numbers are very small.

Thank you all. I just wanted to reassure myself that the gospels hold more weight.

I’m sure I’m hanging out with the wrong Protestants. Mostly Internet Protestants.

People on the internet are the worst.:mad:

It really does happen at times. In the Southern Accapela “churches of Christ” the sermon usually does come from Paul. They have no readings just the text. But then they claim to be the only Church Christ has and object strongly at being called Protestants. But they are the most Protestant and fundamentalist of all denominations.

Of course being the “only church” they also object strongly to being called a denomination.

Believe me, there is no compare between two of different type religion. This is where it will getting religion wars and this is where everyone should not be in it, why? Because it is a non-reasonable and it look bad. To me personal, I find inappropriate as if people are told me to compare different type of religion, nor good for family to compare it. Neither two of those are respectable. I choose to not tell people that is inappropriate and keep silent myself.

But I can say that those two people you saw are not respects each other.

Here is myself truth about why I choose Catholic is because most of my family are Catholic, and sub catholic or something.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.