The old Catholic Encyclopedia, written by experts, says
“The word Gospel usually designates a written record of Christ’s words and deeds.”
This idea has been spread everywhere, and it is the prevelant belief by all Catholics today, layman, bishops and cardinals, and was believed by ME.
But, the more I read the writings of the Popes, and those authorized and approved by them, such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and especially the General Directory for Catechesis I began learning that this is NOT the understanding of the Church
The Church teachs that the Gospel is handed down in scripture and Tradition and it is EVERYTHING Jesus taught to His apostles, even the teachings He explained privately and even everything He taught through the Holy Spirit.
Mr 4:34 “He did not speak to them
without a parable, but privately
to his own disciples he explained
Joh 14:26 “But the Counselor, the
Holy Spirit, whom the Father will
send in my name, he will teach
you all things,”
Since “everything” and “all things” are not written anywhere in scripture, it is obvious that the Gospel is much more than what is written in the Gospels, as the writers in the Catholic Encyclopedia believed.
In other words, when the apostles or their successors came to a pagan land, and the people asked them who this Jesus was, the apostles or bishop did not start reading scripture. He did not start reading
“1 The book of the genealogy of
Jesus Christ, the son of David, the
son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
and Isaac the father of Jacob, and
Jacob the father of Judah and his
3 and Judah the father of Perez and
Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father
of Hezron, and Hezron the father of
The pagan would then ask, who is David, who is Abraham, and again, who is this Jesus and why do you worship him?
No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to teach about Jesus
and who He was, who His Fathers is, who the Holy Spirit is, and teach about salvation and grace and the sacraments only by reading the Gospels. The reason is that the Gospels are narratives of the life of Jesus. They do not claim to be the Gospel the apostles taught and preached.