Preaching The Gospel


#1

When I was a religious seminarian in the 1980’s I was never taught (in postulancy, novitiate, one minor seminary & two theologates - 6 yrs total) exactly what the content of the Gospel is. Considering that the primary task of the bishop & priests is to preach the Gospel (cf Mk 16:15-16 & CCC #888), it seems to me that was a major, to put it mildly, shortcoming of my theological training. If priests in training are not taught how to execute their primary task, how, pray tell can the Church evangelize and grow in cultures across the globe, including the U.S., that are, in large measure, opposed to it?

The NT constantly mentions the Gospel/Word of God. In context about 98% of these references are oral as it mentions the Gospel being preached/spoken/heard. But I don’t see where this Gospel is summarized in the NT. So where/what is it?

It is analogous to a med school not teaching basic anatomy to first year students. Without having muscle, bone, organs, nerves, collagen etc explained in year one the students won’t have a solid foundation from which to work with.

I am curious if other seminarians/priests are having/had the same experience.


#2

Gospel = Evangelion (Greek) = Good News.

The “Good News” is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that we may earn Eternal Life, and that He has established a Church here on Earth to be His representative and the instrument of our salvation.

That wasn’t so tough, now was it?


#3

I understand that. But is that all that Sts Peter, Paul etc went about saying to convert thousands? More had to have been said in order for people to change their behavior, some to give up their lives for this “Gospel”.

What if the Apostles were asked “Well, who is this Jesus you keep talking about? Where is he? Who was he? etc?” What are sins? What is eternal life? I would have had to go deeper. What did the Apostles say?

After all, Jesus spent three years teaching the Apostles “everything” he heard from his father. Jn 15:15, “…but privately he explained to his own disciples he explained everything.” Mk 4:34 So what does the Church teach is this Gospel and its central message?


#4

Are you saying you never studied the scriptures?


#5

You are right, there was also their example, as in “see how they love one another,” and the miracles that they performed in Jesus’ name didn’t hurt.

What if the Apostles were asked “Well, who is this Jesus you keep talking about? Where is he? Who was he? etc?” What are sins? What is eternal life? I would have had to go deeper. What did the Apostles say?

After all, Jesus spent three years teaching the Apostles “everything” he heard from his father. Jn 15:15, “…but privately he explained to his own disciples he explained everything.” Mk 4:34 So what does the Church teach is this Gospel and its central message?

The Apostles taught the people what Jesus taught them when they asked him those questions, and the teachings of Jesus spread from person to person by word of mouth and then by letters and finally through the written gospels.

Thus, there are actually three sources of the Good News, scripture, Tradition, as passed on by the Apostles, and the authority of the Church, as the body of Christ, to definitively identify the two.

As has been pointed out, the essence of the Good News can be summed up by John 3:16. Jesus came, not just to tell us the Good News, but also to show us by his life how our lives should be changed by it, how to really internalize and live the Good News.


#6

Are you saying the Gospel that was preached by the Apostles, that was taught to them over a three year period by Jesus, who passed on to the Apostles “everything” he learned from his Father, (and was so much that Jesus had to send his Holy Spirit to help them remember it), is summarized in the Scriptures? And that the basis for the Apostolic preaching and therefore the Catholic Church was/is the Scriptures?


#7

It is my understanding that what the Apostles, and their followers taught was what Jesus taught them, and this teaching is recorded in the Scriptures. The Apostles did not teach from the Scriptures, what they taught was recorded in the Scriptures.


#8

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