Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 24, 1969
NUMBER 50, PAGE 1-2a

The Synoptics Plus John, Acts And The Epistles Equal "The Teaching Of Christ"

Robert H. Farish

The idea that the "synoptic" gospels have greater relevancy than the other books of the New Testament continues to have wide acceptance. Even longer than the "red letter edition" the red letter attitude has been around. But only in recent years have "gospel" preachers given expression to such notions. The concept that the words, spoken by Jesus while he was on earth, are of greater authority or significance than the words spoken by Jesus while he was on earth, are of greater authority or significance than the words spoken by Jesus through the apostles, in Acts and the epistles, is reflected in the things written and spoken about the church. Different people express the idea differently but all are seeking greater latitude for "sight" in areas that are exclusively "faith" areas. The improper emphasis given to the words spoken by Jesus while he was on earth de-emphasize the teaching of Jesus which is recorded in Acts, and the epistles. The attitude some have toward the "red letter" teaching requires the conclusion that the epistles are contradictory to the so called "synoptics; it is a case of synoptics vs. John, Acts, and epistles.

Lately the criticism has been heard that appeal was made to the epistles and Acts to establish the work of the church with little reference to the synoptics. The ambiguous assertion was made that the mission of Christ is the mission of the church, hence if we would know the mission of the church we needed to study the example of Christ; our appeal should be to the synoptics. Concern to "handle aright" or "rightly divide" the word of truth did not yield this fruit!!

When quotations from Corinthians, Galatians etc. are responded to by such remarks as: "0 that is only what Paul said about it," it is apparent that epistle teaching carries no more weight with such people than the writings of Emerson, Pope and other men of genius; the wisdom of the world is equated to "inspiration."

"All The Truth"

The doctrine of the apostles is the "teaching of Christ" — "But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you." (John 14:26); "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. He shall glorify me; for he shall take of mine and shall declare it unto you." (John 16:12-14)

According to Christ, the Holy Spirit glorified him by taking his teaching and delivering it to the apostles. Men fail to glorify Christ when they fail to accept the teaching of the Holy Spirit as the teaching of Christ. Christ is glorified only by those who regard apostolic teaching as relevant and also harmonious with "synoptic" teaching. The Holy Spirit taught the apostles "all things," this included the "many things" which the apostles were unable to "bear" while Christ was on earth, as well as "all that I (Christ) said unto you (them)", which the Holy Spirit brought to their "remembrance." The promise of Christ is that "he shall guide you into all the truth.That which is perfect" includes the "synoptics, John, Acts and the epistles.

God Hath Spoken In His Son

This "all the truth of which Christ is the spokesman is by Christ credited to God the Father — "all things whatsoever the Father hath are mine, therefore said I, that he taketh of mine." Truly, "God hath in the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son."

The things taught in Acts and the epistles must be regarded as including but not exceeding the "all things whatsoever I commanded you" which Christ charged the apostles to teach those whom they baptized. The "them" that were baptized, were the "them" that were to be taught "all things whatsoever" Christ commanded; "they" that "were baptized" were "added to the church" and "continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and the prayers." (Acts 2:41, 42). The "they" that were baptized made up the church and the only way for anyone to have definite knowledge of the will of the Lord in the matter of church organization and work is to study the Acts and the epistles, which give the features of this glorious church "which he purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28)

No one can meet the requirement to "be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is" who despises the book of Acts and/or the epistles. Foolishness is the lot of all who are afflicted with "synopticism."