No record of Jesus asking for the NT to be written

Hi all,

I thought I’d share an argument I developed. This might be helpful when discussing the New Testament with Protestants.I am almost certainly not the first person to think of this argument, but I haven’t seen it elsewhere.

There is only one New Testament book (letter) that records Jesus commanding the person to write anything. It appears in Revelation.

None of the other New Testament books have any indication that Jesus wanted the writer to write the book (letter).

How do we know that Jesus wanted those other books to be written? We can’t look to the books themselves. Revelation is the exception that proves the rule. We know that Jesus could have told the writers to write something that said, “Jesus commanded me to write this down.” Plus, the Holy Spirit could have helped them remember Jesus’ words. But that did not happen.

Question: if the Bible alone is our rule of faith and practice, how do we know that Jesus wanted 26 of those books to be written?

Answer: we can only know by looking outside the Bible, to the tradition passed down to us from our spiritual forebears.

This is a similar argument to what I call “the table of contents argument.” Where did the Bible’s table of contents come from? Not from inside the pages of the Bible. How do we know that Jesus wanted the books of the New Testament to be written? We can’t determine this by looking inside the pages of the New Testament.

The Bible didn’t grown on a tree, like a piece of fruit that we can pick and consume as we please when we are hungry. It is not a stand-alone book. Its historical development matters in our ability to read it properly.

The Church he founded and guided by the Holy Spirit.

That’s a good and well thought out argument. Yes Sola Scriptura, has a lot of problems not to mention the issues with the private interpretation of scripture.

You should read “The Protestant’s Dilemma” if you haven’t already seen it.


Here’s my 2 cents.

If Jesus asked for His gospel to be written, it would have been recorded by men that weren’t moved by the Holy Spirit. It wouldn’t have been the infallible word of God. It would have been ‘man made’ so to speak. The scriptures were written by men moved by the Spirit.

And, the Spirit of God didn’t come to men until Pentecost. It wasn’t until after then that NT scripture was written down.

1 Corinthians 2:12
12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[a] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

So why would Jesus have to ask to have it written down? Especially, when he knew none of them, at that time, had the Holy Spirit in them? Jesus knew the Holy Spirit would move in the hearts of men at the appointed time.

I like this, but what about the verse at John 20:22 when he gave them the Holy Spirit?

Welcome Home! Good apologetics.

Another way is to ask how did Jesus tells us how to solve disagreements? Not by chapter and verse. The final resolution is to bring it to the Catholic Church that He founded and gave the Authority to bind and loose.

Do any of the Old Testament books have any indication that God wanted the writer to write the book (letter)?

and yet: there they are

its not:

“Even the principle of sola scriptura (“Scripture alone”), according to the sharpest Protestant scholars, means that the Bible is the ultimate authority—above councils and popes and any tradition—but not that no commentary or tradition may be cited or utilized.”
Archived here:…4/0402fea3.asp

**From **Sola scriptura (“Bible alone”)

The [first] objective [or formal] principle proclaims the canonical Scriptures, especially the New Testament, to be the only infallible source and rule of faith and practice, and asserts the right of private interpretation of the same, in distinction from the Roman Catholic view, which declares the Bible and tradition to be co-ordinate sources and rule of faith, and makes tradition, especially the decrees of popes and councils, the only legitimate and infallible interpreter of the Bible. In its extreme form Chillingworth expressed this principle of the Reformation in the well-known formula, “The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, is the religion of Protestants.” Protestantism, however, by no means despises or rejects church authority as such, but only subordinates it to, and measures its value by, the Bible, and believes in a progressive interpretation of the Bible through the expanding and deepening consciousness of Christendom. Hence, besides having its own symbols or standards of public doctrine, it retained all the articles of the ancient creeds and a large amount of disciplinary and ritual tradition, and rejected only those doctrines and ceremonies for which no clear warrant was found in the Bible and which seemed to contradict its letter or spirit. …"

First of all, it is not a claim that the Bible contains all knowledge. The Bible is not exhaustive in every detail. John 21:25 speaks to the fact that there are many things that Jesus said and did that are not recorded in John, or in fact in any book in the world because the whole books of the world could not contain it. But the Bible does not have to be exhaustive to function as the sole rule of faith for the Church. We do not need to know the color of Thomas’ eyes. We do not need to know the menu of each meal of the Apostolic band for the Scriptures to function as the sole rule of faith for the Church.

Secondly, it is not a denial of the Church’s authority to teach God’s truth. I Timothy 3:15 describes the Church as “the pillar and foundation of the truth.” The truth is in Jesus Christ and in His Word. The Church teaches truth and calls men to Christ and, in so doing, functions as the pillar and foundation thereof. The Church does not add revelation or rule over Scripture. The Church being the bride of Christ, listens to the Word of Christ, which is found in God-breathed Scripture.

Thirdly, it is not a denial that God’s Word has been spoken. Apostolic preaching was authoritative in and of itself. Yet, the Apostles proved their message from Scripture, as we see in Acts 17:2, and 18:28, and John commended those in Ephesus for testing those who claimed to be Apostles, Revelation 2:2. The Apostles were not afraid to demonstrate the consistency between their teaching and the Old Testament.

And, finally, sola scriptura is not a denial of the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding and enlightening the Church.
-James White—

Sola scriptura (Latin ablative, “by Scripture alone”) is the Protestant Christian doctrine that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice. Sola scriptura does not deny that other authorities govern Christian life and devotion, but sees them all as subordinate to and corrected by the written word of God.

Sola scriptura, however**, does not ignore Christian history and tradition when seeking to understand the Bible.** Rather, it sees the Bible as the only final authority in matters of faith and practice.

“It grew on a tree!” haha :wink:

The question remains. Why are they considered inspired? The prophets claim to be the word of God, but there were many false prophets. What authority declared the prophetic books in the bible to be inspired? Only the Decalogue came directly from God.

Martin Luther declared 39 of them to be inspired, but only after consulting with those who rejected Christ. In so doing he excluded the 7 OT books that were part of the Septuagint - from which many NT quotes by our Lord came. By what authority did Luther do that?

His own. Solo Luther. No, thank you.

You hold to the two absolutely defining elements of Luther’s theology: Bible alone and 66 books in the bible. 100% traceable to Luther, and Luther alone. Yet, you are not Lutheran! By what authority do you overrule Luther on doctrine? By what authority does your pastor?

Personal opinion. No, thank you.

And therein lies the absolutely fatal flaw of bible alone.

Christ sent Apostles, not bibles. As irreplaceable as the bible is, it is not how our Lord founded His Church. It is not how He declared that it should be perpetuated.

It must be Apostolic - anything less traces to man and not God.

Jesus quoted from 24 different Old Testament books.
That’s a good starting point

Uh Oh! This may just be the revelation for another sect to start within Christianity with only a 51 book canon, and it be completely justified. :smiley:


Have you read the OT? Moses was commanded to write down the terms of the covenant and by tradition (cited even by Jesus) Moses was the author of the Torah.

Modern critical analysis can only come to the conclusion that if he did write them, he had help.

Someone who brings people back from the dead, cures lepers and walks on the water doesn’t really have to go out and find a Biographer. This is huge stuff. Others will try and capture the moment by writing it down all on their own. :smiley: Later, his work continues through others. Someone, probably nudged by the Holy Spirit, [the Church] gets the idea to compile the writings. Presto, you have the Bible.:cool:

I don’t understand the point of your comment (#11). Who was it addressed to? If it was addressed to me, let me know what you meant and I’ll try to respond.

But, several OT books are not quoted from so who declared God’s revelation that Jesus had to go around quoting from the OT? Certainly our Lord did not. That is not the test of canonicity, as the bible tells us in many places that it is an incomplete record. A tiny fraction of Jesus’ words and actions are written. Paul quotes from Jewish oral tradition regarding Jannes and Jambres. They appear nowhere in the OT. Jude quotes form an apocryphal text!

Who sorts all of this out? Who has the authority to do so? A man in 16th century Germany? Certainly not, but millions believe and follow his teachings (traditions he himself handed on). Not a single jot in the NT claims to be inspired. Who declared it so?

Ask yourself, based on the mountain of evidence, just how our Lord intended for the faith to be handed on. “Handed on” is the very definition of tradition. The bible, being handed on, is a tradition. Since we did not get the bible directly from our Lord, is it therefore a tradition of men?

We don’t want to go there.

that’s why i said
Jesus quoting an OT writing as God;s word
“That’s a good **starting **point”

One Protestant claim is that we have “a fallible collection of infallible books” - which leaves open the possibility that changes can be made at this late date. Do we really want to do that to the faith?

For Catholics, the Church has spoken and the matter is settled. There are no unknown books, i.e. books that were used in the early Church, and nothing ever to be discovered will add to the canon. We have the faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints.”

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