I’ve begun the New Testament. Actually, I’ve finished Matthew.

This is through the Bible on CD that I’ve been listening to, and the narrator is no longer the inestimable Alexander Scourby; the narrator is now Mufasa, Bleeding Gums Murphy, the voice of CNN. James Earl Jones doesn’t have quite the expression that Scourby did – his reading isn’t flat, but compared to Scourby, it’s a bit soft. But he has the voice. And he uses it throughout. That low, rumbling, “If this is a consular ship, than where is the ambassador?” It’s a little distracting sometimes.

But here are my extractions from Matthew. Both of these points are inspired by Catholic Dave’s blog, which I’m not really posting on or reading on a regular basis any more, since it just makes me we want to argue, and I sense that it would be a pointless, conclusionless argument.

The first point comes from this passage:

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
(Matthew 23:8-11)

The term “pope” means “father”. Isn’t that a problem?

The second point is more general in nature. I had posted on Dave’s site that I thought the Catholicism, the New Testament, and modern western Christianity in general was essentially a Pauline-Petric religion. As proof of this, I offered this: Of the 23 non-gospel books, all but 6 were written by Peter, Paul, or one of their followers. Of the four gospels, two were written by apostles, and two were written by the followers of of Peter and Paul. But one of the two other apostles – Matthew – is sometimes noted to be in Paul’s camp. (I was going to say he’s his stooge, but that’s not respectful.) Matthew is the gospel that gives Peter much of his authority – the gospel where Peter walks on water, the gospel where Jesus calls Peter the rock upon which he builds his church. There’s more. But what I noticed is that Matthew includes stories where he’s not there. There are several points where he says that Jesus went off to be alone with just John and James and Peter, or even just Jesus and Peter went off by themselves. But these stories always seem to include Peter. So of the four gospels, perhaps 3 are followers of Peter and Paul, and one is independent?

I found that interesting.