Are Paul’s Epistles the Only Relevant Books?

Question from a Site Viewer
I would like to ask a question regarding the article Paul’s Gospel. In that article, one of your readers said that a pastor told him that the Apostle Paul’s epistles are the only books Christians or Gentiles need to study. I want to know if is there is a group or organization that’s defending that viewpoint?

Tim’s Answer
We are not sure where the pastor you mention gets his position. We are not sure how anyone can be a follower of the Lord Jesus and reject Jesus’ teachings as recorded in the four gospels. Further, as we note in the above article, one cannot truly accept Paul’s epistles and reject the rest of Scripture.

We are not aware of the source of this teaching. There is at least one cult, The Way International, that teaches that only Paul’s epistles are to be treated as Scripture. The Way International believes that the rest of Scripture is simply background and that Paul’s epistles are all that are needed. But this group also denies the pre-existence and deity of Jesus. As such, we would not consider them to be Christians. They are more akin to the Jehovah Witnesses in their denial of the deity of Jesus. In accepting only the Pauline Epistles, The Way International is also following in the steps of the ancient Marcion heresy of the 2nd century. Marcion also taught that only the Pauline Epistles were sacred scripture. But long before Marion lived, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Papias, each of whom personally knew the apostles of Christ and were taught by them, held the authority of both the Old and New Testaments as being Scripture. We have writings from them. This is the faith that was delivered to us. Any view that rejects the Old Testament or the other books of the New Testament is simply wrong.

Some claim that there are some ultra-dispensationalists who may hold that the Pauline Epistles are the only important Scriptures for the Gentile church. We have not encountered anyone who actually urges this position. But to the extent that someone might, they are simply wrong for the reasons we set forth in the above article. We cannot claim to follow Jesus and not do what He says. And we cannot do what He says if we believe that what He said is not important for us today. And what He says is found not only in the Pauline Epistles, but in the rest of Scripture, including the gospels. Our lives as believers would be greatly impoverished if we did not have the four gospels. Where would we find the Christmas story if we reject the gospels? Where would we find the Easter story if we reject the gospels? While the Pauline Epistles are rich, it is in the gospels that we come face to face with Jesus. Thus, the church has always accepted the four gospels. See our article Did the Bible Come From the Catholics? for more information.

We find the claim that we only need the Pauline Epistles to be preposterous. We trust you will as well.

May the Lord Jesus and His Spirit guide you as you seek to proclaim His truth.

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