[quote=JoeyWarren]I have spent the last month everyday listening to “Catholics & the Rapture” and I’ve been pondering something Patrick Madrid said which coincides with how I’ve have always thought concerning Scripture.
“On any given subject that is brought to question, Protestants tend to look toward Paul first for answers and then try to make the Gospels fit the epistles, whereas Catholics tend to look toward Jesus and what he has said in the Gospels, where we believe the words of Jesus will shed light on the Epistles”
If this is true than could be be said that if Protestants think the words of Paul are greater then Jesus, then they are unknowingly proclaiming that Paul is greater than Jesus? :eek:
Give me your thoughts on this!
Mine are: that the reason he is so greatly honoured, is partly because his writings are the nearest one gets in the NT to systematic theology. The words of Jesus, on the whole, are prompted by particular occasions - they lack the organised character of (say) Romans, which contains a sustained argument from near the beginning, to the end of chapter 11.
He is more clearly didactic than Jesus - not surprisingly, given the problems he had to respond to. And much USA Protestantism is - speaking very generally - very keen on two things in particular: teaching, and evangelism. St. Paul is a very rich source for both.
Jesus spoke within a Jewish, Palestinian, culture - St.Paul had, somehow, to make the reality of what He was and did and said available to people who were often not Jewish, and did not have the same ideas about God and His ways as Jews would have. Talking about “the son of man” is fine if one is a Jew in Palestine - but it’s no good expecting an Athenian devote of Dionysos, or a Roman official, to have a clue about what is meant by the words. In modern jargon, Paul had to “inculturate” the ideas of a Jewish apocalyptic sect into a non-Jewish culture. His letters, show him engaged in doing so.
And there is the historical veneration of Paul as the Apostle of God’s grace - grace, is almost the supreme Protestant theological motif.
Jesus is - in many ways - much more readily assimilated to his background in Palestinian Judaism: St.Paul is the Apostle who makes explicit much of what the Reality of Jesus implies for the young Church; he shows just how decisively the world has been transformed by that Reality.
In no way does it follow that Protestants imagine Paul is greater than Jesus: no one with any experience of evangelical Protestant piety could possibly imagine this - he applies much of what Jesus says & means to questions that did not arise when the Church was confined to Palestine; and that is what is so useful about him. He had to deal with problems that Jesus did not ##