Growing Apologist

Becoming a Defender of Truth

The Gospel Challenge

on September 15, 2012

Did you know that there are approximately 35 pages in the Book of Mathew, 22 pages in the Book of Mark, 37 pages in the Book of John and 28 pages in the Book of Luke [1]?  All in all, approximately 122 pages which is less than the size of paperback novels these days.  I don’t know about you, but it takes me about half a day to sit down and read the average paperback novel, and I do this once or twice a month. 

St. Jerome, who lived from 331 to 420 [2], is commonly quoted as saying “To be ignorant of the Scriptures is to be ignorant of Christ! [3]”  It has dawned on me just recently that I spend all this time reading contemporary novels that are at least 200 pages long (don’t get me wrong, it is healthy to relax and enjoy a good novel), but I have not read the gospels as much as I should.  In fact, I am not intimately familiar with the story of the gospel.  If St. Jerome is right, then how can I claim to be intimately familiar, to have a personal relationship, with Christ if I do not know the gospels inside and out?  St. Jerome is not just speaking of the gospels either—he speaks of all scriptures.

I give what I owe, obeying the precepts of Christ who says “examine scriptures” [John 5:39] and “seek and you will find” [Matth.7:7]. Let me not hear with the Jews: “you are wrong because you do not know scriptures nor the power of God” [Matth.22:29]. For if, according to the apostle Paul, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God and who does not know scripture does not know the power or the wisdom of God, then ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.  [4]

The entirety of the bible points to Christ.  As Christians, followers of Christ, it is our initiative to know Christ, for we cannot follow him if we do not know him and what he teaches.  Thus, we should know the bible thoroughly.

I challenge myself and you fellow readers to read all four gospels this month.  This means we need to read approximately 4 pages a day or 28 pages a week or one gospel every week.  Don’t worry about the details of what the gospels are saying yet, unless you have read each book a dozen times.  We just first need to get the big picture, the gist of the story, the basic components of Jesus’ life.  This is the starting point of further understanding of God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

Let’s hold each other accountable in the comments section and even discuss parts of what we are reading there.  Happy Reading!


Related Material

The Cross Reference blog 

Catholic Bible Study Tools at the Cross Roads Initiative 

Bible Study Articles at the Cross Roads Initiative 

Ignorance of Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ by Marcellino D’Ambrosio



[1], NIV Holy Bible, 9/11/2012, Website

[2]  Catholic Online, St. Jerome Doctor of the Church, 9/11/2012, Website 

[3] St. Jerome, Ignorance of Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ, Cross Roads Initiative, 9/11/2012, Website 

[4]  Jerome, Eustochium, Epistolae Medieval Women’s Letters, 9/11/2012, Website 



One response to “The Gospel Challenge

  1. So…did you do it?? 🙂

    And thanks for the ear yanking, much needed 😉

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