Document: C. Vanderwaal, Search the Scriptures, Vol. VII: Matthew to Luke, trans. by Theodore Plantinga (St. Catharines, ON.: Paideia Press, 1979).

Excerpt: The unity of Christ’s gospel. Those who are familiar with the Bible know that the New Testament begins with four “gospels.” Yet, in the first chapter of his letter to the Galatians, Paul tells his readers in no uncertain terms that there is only one gospel. Cursed be anyone who maintains that there is any other gospel! Paul is right, of course, and we should take his warning seriously. There is only one gospel, one joyous message for us. Therefore we would do well not to speak of the Gospel of Matthew or Mark or Luke or John. Instead we should use the headings above the “gospels” as we find them printed in our Bibles; in other words, we should speak of the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.

Of course we intend no evil when we speak of the Gospel of Matthew, for this Gospel is “of” Matthew in the sense that it is written by him. But it’s better to stress the unity of the gospel of Jesus Christ when we speak of the Bible books. Thus the first book of the New Testament is the Gospel according to (the description of) Matthew.

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Search the Scriptures, Vol. VII: Matthew to Luke – C. Vanderwaal.pdf