Friday, 11 December 2015


'In one sense, of course, the answer to the question: "Who chose the Gospels?" is, everybody who has know something of that indemonstrable power and majesty and, like Aristides, Justin, Irenaeus, Clement, and countless others, has chosen to live by their telling of the story of Jesus. But second century Christian leaders would have said that neither individuals nor churches had the authority to "choose" which of the many Gospels they liked, but to receive the ones given by God and handed down by Christ through his apostles. 
Christianity, of course, is not the only religion to claim Scriptures which its practitioners receive as revelation from God. But when encountering claims to divine revelation, such as Christians once made and even continue to make concerning their Gospels, one faces that paradoxical necessity of choosing books which one has no authority to choose. And I think I hazard no risk in suggesting this can only be done by heeding the call once heeded by St Augustine: tolle lege, take up and read.' 
CE Hill, Who  chose the Gospels? p.246.