THE FOUR AUTHORITIES FOR REVEALING THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST TO HIS CHURCH
St. Irenaeus [ca 130-200AD], Christian Bishop of Lyons, was the second generation from the Apostles and a disciple of St. Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna who was himself a hearer of the Apostles and a disciple of St. John the Apostle. His writings contain the oldest existing writings of a Bishop which include all the books that are in our New Testament today. Sadly only two of Irenaeus' works have survived the ravages of time: "The Refutation and Overthrow of Knowledge Falsely So-called" also known more simply to history as "Against the Heresies", and the "Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching", which was only recently discovered at the beginning of the 20th century. In these two surviving works St. Irenaeus insisted that the proper teaching of the Revelation of Jesus Christ could only be taught through using both the Holy Spirit inspired writings given to the Church before the birth of Christ [known by his time as the Old Testament] together with the Holy Spirit inspired writings of the Apostles and their disciples which we call today the New Testament. He also insisted that these books could be properly used only by those people who accepted four authorities:
The four authorities for revealing the revelation of Jesus Christ to His Church:
The Catholic Church today continues to support these four authorities as the only legitimate interpretation of the revelation of Jesus Christ to His Church. Very little has changed since Irenaeus' time with regard to the attack on the teachings handed down to us from Jesus to His Apostles and disciples. In "Against Heresies" Irenaeus criticizes the heretics that have "disregarded the order and connection of the Scriptures," as revealed through these four authorities, and have rearranged or disregarded the order of the body of truth as taught by Christ, presented to the Church, and interpreted by the power of the Holy Spirit through the ministerial priesthood much like taking a mosaic of a king and rearranging the stones to form a picture of a dog or fox while claiming that this is the original picture. Each faction of "Christian" churches has its own mosaic rearranged to its own standards and doctrine but it is only the universal Catholic Church that contains to body of truth which reveals the living, unchanging glorified Christ.
Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2005 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.