The “Jesus Didn’t Write a Book” Argument

The following quote is taken from a book, Catholic Religion Proved by the Protestant Bible (published in the 1960s with “Ecclesiastical authority”):

“Did Our Lord write any part of the New Testament or command His Apostles to do so? Our Lord Himself never wrote a line, nor is there any record that He ordered his Apostles to write; He did command them to preach. If reading the Bible were a necessary means of salvation, our Lord would have made that statement and also provided the necessary means for his followers.”

What I find absurd about this booklet is its attempt to do the impossible. It tries to use the Bible to discredit itself and at the same time use it to endorse the authority of Rome. This is an elastic glass, it won’t wash.

By way of response:

1. The New Testament itself shows that Jesus and His apostles appealed to the authority of the Old Testament Scriptures.

In Luke 24:25, Jesus rebuked the two disciples on the road to Emmaus“How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!”

Where have the Prophets spoken? Not in a myriad of rabbinical traditions, not in the “teaching office” of a religious institution, but in Scripture. Jesus wouldn’t have used such harsh language in holding these two ordinary people responsible for their ignorance of Scripture if it had not been readily available to them.

The proceeding verse says:

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (vs. 27). The Scripture was Jesus’ final authority.

There were certain things the disciples didn’t understand. “Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him…” (John 12:16). None of them appealed to traditions or an institution as final authority for the understanding of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Neither should we today.

It was the inspired Hebrew Scriptures that the apostles used in preaching the gospel and thousands of souls were saved (Acts 2:41, 47, 6:7, 8:12).

The assertion that “reading the Bible is necessary for salvation” is a straw man argument. One doesn’t have to read the Bible to be saved, one can as well hear it, believe it and be saved. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).

2. Like the Old Testament, the New Testament is also the inspired Word of God. It’s a revelation of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit as God the Father willed. Yes, Jesus actually commanded John to write a book:

“The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place … Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear it that and take to hear what is written in it … [Jesus said:] Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches … Then he said Write this down: for these words are trustworthy and true” (Revelation 1:3, 11, 21:5).

The entire New Testament was revealed by Christ:

“For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12)

“How that by revelation he [Jesus] made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words” (Eph. 3:3)

3. While the Lord Jesus didn’t pen a word of Scripture in His earthly ministry, He sent His Spirit to specifically do that. That the Holy Spirit did command men to write a book doesn’t make it less authoritative than if Jesus did.

Any attempt to relegate the Spirit into a lesser deity is a Trinitarian error. No true Christian denies or ignores the harmony of the Holy Spirit in the revelation of Jesus Christ:

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father and I will send in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

“But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own, he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13)

It’s interesting that Catholics love to appeal to the Trinity as an excuse (albeit a weak one) to exalt Mary as “mother of God,” but when it comes to the authority and inspiration of Scripture, they try to isolate the Holy Spirit from Jesus or the apostles as much as they can to cement their presuppositions

4. The argument raised in that book rests on the false premise that the church made the Bible. Actually, it’s the church that was founded on the revelation of Christ in Scripture, not the other way round.

When Peter confessed Jesus as the Son of God, He said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah,for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”

Referring to this confession He said, “on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:17-18).

The church is a community of all those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, thus without the Word of God (whether written or preached), there will be no church. That’s why Irenaeus said:

“For we learned the plan of salvation from no others than from those through whom the gospel came to us. They first preached it abroad, and then later by the will of God handed it down in Writings, to be the foundation and pillar of our faith” (Against Heresies, 3:1, 8).

Unfortunately, Catholicism puts the cart before the horse. They claim that since the church pre-existed the NT, the church is greater than the Bible. If this is true, then, based on this flawed logic, Moses would be greater than Jesus and if we pursue it further, paganism would also be greater than Christianity!


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