Jesus told his apostles to establish a church, not write a book, or so we are told by many of Rome’s apologists. Let’s shatter this rather transparent attempt to place a wedge between the Bible and the Church. Here is a simple way to do that, for the next time your “Catholic Answers” listening friend tells you this line.
1) Actually, Jesus did say “write in a book”
Revelation 1:11 says “Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” Yes, I know this is a “gotcha” moment, but it better get their attention.
2) Jesus alluded to them writing books
John 17:20 says “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word…” Guess how people believe through the word of the apostles? For anyone reading this, and for most of history, that has exactly been through their word written in the books of the Bible. Don’t think Jesus didn’t know that would be the way.
3) Do you really think Jesus and the Holy Spirit are on different pages?
2 Peter 1:21 explains “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” So, if the way that the Scriptures came is because the Holy Spirit inspired their writing, do you really think that “Jesus didn’t tell them to write a book” is a legitimate concern? Is the Holy Ghost not God?
4) The Holy Ghost was sent in Jesus’ name
John 14:26 says “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” So, actually, the Holy Ghost was sent in Jesus’ name. That means that the Holy Ghost telling the New Testament writers to write a book is just as good as Jesus telling them to do it himself.
5) Logically, you can have both
1 Timothy 3:15 indicates “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” That is the very purpose of each church. Each church is supposed to be the pillar and ground of the truth. In context, Paul is writing Scripture to give to Timothy to inform him how he should act in the church. You can have the Scriptures and you can have the Church. You don’t have to pick, but the Scriptures teach us in a way that the church itself does not. The church is ministerial, whereas the Scriptures are our ultimate authority, because they are the very word of God.