“They had perfect knowledge…”

by | Jul 30, 2014 | New Testament Canon | 0 comments

Last week we studied what scripture says about God’s truthfulness and it’s own errorless nature. Today I wanted to share an interesting quote in the same thought-neighborhood as that study.

It’s from Irenaeus,a Christian and church leader who lived in the 2nd century AD (that is, the 100s), and has some important writings that have survived the centuries.  Here he gives us insight into what Christians who lived mere decades after the time of the Apostles believed about how God inspired the New Testament to be written.

We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.

For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed “perfect knowledge,” as some do even venture to say, boasting themselves as improvers of the apostles.

For, after our Lord rose from the dead, [the apostles] were invested with power from on high when the Holy Spirit came down [upon them], were filled from all [His gifts], and had perfect knowledge: they departed to the ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things [sent] from God to us, and proclaiming the peace of heaven to men, who indeed do all equally and individually possess the Gospel of God. Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews  in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.

If you want to read the work this was taken from, you can find it here.