Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mondays hot topics - Gospels in Early Church

Wow, it's been quite a while since I posted any "Hot topics" from the discussion forum but I saw this one and even though it's not Monday thought I'd post it. Here's a good one from "jpurssey" for us to chew on
I've been thinking about how the Gospels may have been used in the early church and realise that i have heard or read little about it. it is comparatively easy to imagine the letters being read out at some church meeting and also being studied by some church "elders" (I use the word in general terms as I do not want to provoke an argument, but simply to distinguish those with an ability and interest to study them). Even the letters are sometimes long and are quite complex.

I grew up with a lot of verses being used in isolation, and with a loss of context. A lot oi sermons were constructed that way. I doubt very much that the early church used the gospels and letters that way.

I understand that the written gospels were collations of spoken stories that were assembled to give a message to their particular audiences. These would have been the stories that the early christians told to one another and to their non-christian audience. Given the level of literacy, many would needed to have the gospels read to them.

What would have been the circumstances in which the Gospels were read to an audience?

How was a Gospel delivered in its entirety to an audience?

Does anyone know of any scholarship on this matter?
Thoughts? Comments? Ideas? Post them on the forum or in the comments below

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