In the first part of this series, A New Gospel, I suggested that we tend to interpret the message and purpose of Jesus through the epistles, the letters of the New Testament.
Why is this so?
Probably because the letters are more doctrinal and explanatory in nature. They seem to explain things more since they were written to different churches and individuals.
On the other hand, the Gospels seem to be just full of stories.
So, what happens is that, we end up interpreting the Gospels through the Epistles instead of the Epistles through the Gospels.
Or, as some have put it, we end up interpreting Jesus through Paul rather than Paul through Jesus.
Isn’t it strange that we should elevate Paul above Jesus? Isn’t there something wrong with this picture?
And this is why we end up missing out on a huge part of the purpose and message of Jesus.
If you still find it hard to accept what I’m highlighting here, let me give you one example.
Hillsong London has produced a marvelous magazine-style NLT Bible called Word. You can purchase it with free shipping here.
This Bible is arranged into 4 themes as explained in their introduction:
The first 4 books you will read in this Bible to understand “What God has done, how and why?” are epistles! And guess which is the first epistle?
At least Mark goes in there at the end.
You might think that this is not really a big deal.
Trust me, it is.
After reading the Gospels over and over again last year, now, when I read the epistles, I see things which I never saw before.
Ask my wife how many times I’ve said to her in the past few months, “Oh my goodness! This epistle doesn’t say what we always thought it said!“.
Again, I encourage you to find this treasure I mentioned in Part 1 of this series.
You will also be saying “OH MY GOODNESS!“.