The Gospels

I read these words about the Scriptures today and wanted to share them. jd

Amid this welter of speculation, elaboration and conjecture the four Gospels continue to provide the only basic texts; as it were, the inviolate genes of the Christian faith. We whose language is English may rejoice that in our Authorized Version we have a translation of incomparable artistry and luminosity; but in whatever language or version, it is the words of the Gospels as they have come down to us, with all their textual imperfections and historical and theological ambiguities, which have inspired many of the noblest lives and much of the greatest art and literature and music and architecture of our civilization.

In the truest and most absolute sense, therefore, they may be called HOly Words, and without blasphemy attributed to God Himself. I tis on behalf of these words that majestic buildings like Chartres Cathedral have been constructed, and that great saints like St. Francis of Assisi have so joyously and wholeheartedly dedicated their lives to the service of God and their fellow men. To the greater glory of these words Bach composed, El Greco painted, St. Augustine laboured at his City of God and Pascal at his Pensees; in them a Bunyan found his inspiration in describing a Pilgrim’s journey through the wilderness of this world, and a Sir Thomas More comfort on his way to the scaffold. In our own time, they enabled a Dietrich Bonhoeffer to go serenely to his death, and a Simone Weil to derive solace and enlightenment from the affliction that was her lot.

To what these words have brought us , and bring us, there is truly no end; if they have survived their commentators – especially their latter-day ones – then surely they must be considered immortal.

by Malcolm Muggeridge, 1975