Which Gospel is your favorite? / Justification by faith and/or works?

Mark is my favorite. Short, concise, action-packed, great sense of urgency, and actually quite ironic and humorous in some spots.


The Acts of the Apostles is another great one demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit in helping God’s people to fulfill the great commission.

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Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible (New Testament RSV-CE) - 18 CDs is available from Amazon (it’s kind of expensive) and I have a copy. Listening to the audio is a revelation. This has Neal McDonough as Jesus, Blair Underwood as Mark, Michael York as Luke etc. They do a wonderful job and I listen to it every Lent.

Matthew, because of all the citations of the Old Testament. It shows us how Christ fulfilled the law. The author of Matthew’s Gospel was clearly writing to a jewish audience; that’s why there are so many citations.

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Exactly why I like Matthew the best also

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My fav so far is Saint Matthew as well. I like Hodos’ idea of doing a family Bible study with Saint Mark.

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Agreed, it’s something I want to do if I have a family in the future

It has been quite a benefit to the kids and myself as well.


Cool. Hodos; how did you do that study?

My kids have the NIV Bible (its pretty readable for their age). So I just broke it down by a passage or two every Bible Study night. We would read the passage together and I would explain what was going on and any background information they might need to understand the passage (example, explain who the Pharisees were and what they taught, or maybe explain how the Jews used ceremonial washing, etc.). Each lesson I would try to pick one or two major themes from that passage and push that theme. I would ask questions about how it applies to us, them especially and try to come up with examples that they could relate to. For Mark, the big thing I picked up on is the urgency of proclaiming the gospel. Mark is all about proclaiming the gospel, in almost every major passage. That was a theme that ran throughout our study. We are on Chapter 13, so we are getting down to the wire now. My recommendation would be to read through your selected passages ahead of time, identify the main point or points, the things you need to explain, and come up with some questions to make the passage relevant to them.


Thanks, Hodos. The problem I face, is that they’re being raised up in an Evangelical Lutheran tradition, Sunday school and Wednesday Bible study; and I’m trying to catechize them in the True Faith. So, I’ll be reading to them from the RSVCE Catholic edition. I also bought a children’s copy of the Baltimore Catechism; so that way, if they stump me; I have a reference and study aid at hand. I’m also reading J R R Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings to them as bedtime stories. Good fairy tales and good Catholic writing from my favorite Catholic author of popular fiction.

I talked with my parish priest about my plan. I plan, on Saturday nights or Friday nights; to read a chapter of Saint Mark each study time and field their questions after the reading. Father said it was a good plan.

However; I’ll also take from your method some ideas on how I can best present the chapter to them. I love the idea of breaking it down into small passages that illuminate basic themes. It looks like my plan will end up having me to do weekly sermons to my sons. That’s okay. If anything else, in my ministry as their father; I have to make sure that they get a good Christian education. Saving their souls is more important that anything else is my thinking.

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I myself am Lutheran. I assume you are speaking about the ELCA, which unfortunately is often not faithful in their preaching and teaching . However, it depends from parish to parish with them since the synod leadership has abandoned the Lutheran confessions as definitional. I have met many great, orthodox ELCA pastors. I have also met some downright apostate ones (sad).

I would just focus on basic Christian doctrine, and where possible try to avoid those areas where we have doctrinal differences. I think you will find that confessional Lutherans and Roman Catholics have more in common than you think. I would avoid trying to make this a battle between you and your ex (I am assuming you are divorced by your statement, if I am reading that wrong I apologize).

Totally agree with you about your duty as a father. Also, if they have faith in Christ, their souls are already saved. Your job is to support and grow that faith so that they understand what it means to belong to Christ.

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Always nice to hear about other denominations and their journeys and love of faith. Very inspiring to hear about. I think if more people focused on unity and what beliefs Christians as a whole share instead of doctrinal differences we would all be a lot better off. Not saying doctrinal differences aren’t important or relevant, they are. But let’s remember:

“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us. “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, ‘for whoever is not against you is for you.”’
- Luke 9:48-50

”What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
- Romans 8:31

Keep up the good work @Hodos!

Respectfully and I am ignorant how to put this forth as a question on this forum, not on very much…Asking respectfully why is James not considered a gospel also? James was an Apostle of the Lord was he not? And there much more that we know also about this James for even St Paul speaks of him, found in Acts also etc…?

Well there are many Gospels, the most famous outside of the four in the Bible is the Gospel of Thomas which is written not synoptically but rather is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus. It is not in the Bible because it adds nothing new that the other Gospels don’t cover and this particular Gospel has some parts that are counter to what is in other Gospels.

These are called Non-Canonical Gospels , there is the Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Phillip, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of James, Gospel of Truth… you get the idea.

They are not in the Canon because they either do not add anything new to the life, death, and ministry of Jesus or they have parts that are counter to the other Gospels which makes them not beneficial to add. For example, the Gospel of Thomas has a section about the Last Supper where if interpreted in a certain way, could confuse people to think woman priests are okay. Thus this Gospel isn’t included in the Canon. It’s not a sin to read these Gospels but they are not necessarily inspired by the Holy Spirit or true.

You speak of James, there is a Gospel of James, I do not know much on it so I can’t speak on it (I know manly about Thomas in reference to non-canonical Gospels). But James either has something that is counter to Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, or it has nothing new that causes it needed to be added to the Canon. That is the straight answer

Thank you, Hodos for clarifying things. I mean no offense to genuinely practicing Lutherans. As for my marital status: I am a widower. As for doctrinal differences; there is much High Church Lutherans and Catholics agree on and I’m glad someone mentioned Christian unity. We need to focus on what unites us as Christians; since we face a hostile and pagan world bent on injuring truth and faith.

In fact, I’ll be talking with my kids’ ELCA pastor tonight to find out some questions on Lutheran theology. I’m hoping to find things that we both can agree on as common ground and to find out what my sons are being taught in their ELCA church. If you want Hodos, you can pm me on this subject.

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I feel that Saint James has many important things to say; especially faith and works and that the demons believe and shudder. In fact: One of the reasons I became Catholic is Saint James’ famous passage of faith without works is dead. However: I do agree with Luther that works without faith is useless as well. In fact; it leads to hell; since that’s one charge that Jesus may have laid against the Pharisees. ? I was dealing with some serious spiritual warfare at the time of my conversion and ELCA theology didn’t provide me the answers that I needed to combat the devil and sin. For instance: If I’m by nature a helpless sinner and can’t change my behavior, then there’s nothing I can do.

That bothered me greatly. Catholic teaching on sin provided me that answer; especially in the Baptism where we promise to master sin; if I’m remembering the Sacrament right.

The book of James is an amazing book and truly a huge aspect of our faith, especially building on the functions of faith and good works. That doesn’t mean it’s a Gospel though, it functions separately and it serves a very valuable and needed function. There is a separate Gospel of James which is non-canonical as I mentioned in my above post

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All the Gospels contain the teachings of our Lord. I want the full teachings of Jesus as witnessed by His Apostles. I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite. :open_book:


I believe the Gospel of James was a Gnostic work. However; I do agree with you, GospelOfMatthew. Saint James is a greatly important Letter.

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