April 10, 2018

Bring My Scrolls, Especially the Parchments by Sharon Espeseth

Free Bible Image--Jesus Teaching the People

Why did the apostles write?

1. Because they wanted to share the story of Jesus and his ministry on earth.
2. Because they were believers.
3. Because somebody had to tell the story and they felt called or compelled to write it.
4. Because they were present during Christ's ministry.
5. Or because they had the connections and the ability to research and write the story.
6. So the story wouldn't be forgotten.
7. So readers would have access to the story of God who loved the world and gave his only son so
    that they might be saved.
8. So they could figure out for themselves what actually happened when Jesus came to earth.

Rather than a scholarly study, these are ideas that come to mind in light of the topic, "Why do you write?"

What did a tax collector, fishermen, a youth and a physician have in common?

Free photo from foundationsofmyfaith.blogspot.com

See the list above. Then also consider that they had--
1. Love for Jesus, God's only begotten son who came to earth to carry out God's plan of salvation.
2. A God-given ability to write, even if they didn't realize it at the time. (They were ordinary men, but they had been with Jesus.)
3. Faith in God's calling along with the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
4. Courage, for Jesus had told them, "Be not afraid. I will be with you." Even in your writing.
5. Belief that God would bless their efforts if they obeyed his commandment to go into all the world
    and preach the gospel.
6. Their desire to bring honour and glory to God by sharing the good news Jesus brings.
7. Enthusiasm for the gospel.

None of these lists is exhaustive, but they do give pause for reflection and a desire to further study the lives of the writers God called and infused with the Holy Spirit to write.

Why did God ask more than one person to write the gospel?

1. So that we would see and understand the story from more than one perspective.
2. So that one story would corroborate the others.
3. Because each writer would bring his own life experience to the story.
4. To further exemplify the universality of the God's plan of salvation.

Reference to the following link will show examples of how the "Saga of Salvation," as one writer calls it, has universal appeal and authority.


In the above text you will read that Matthew's gospel closes like a hinge on the door of the Old Testament and opens into the New Testament. Matthew's many references from the Old Testament explain the gospel to the Jews by pointing to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah foretold.

In this same web article, you will discover that the Gospel of Mark is believed to be Peter's testimony as told to young Mark. Mark was Peter's scribe while Peter was imprisoned in Rome. This  gospel seems written with the Greek or Gentile Christians as the original target readers.

Luke, the Physician, wrote a scholarly and well-researched account. Although Luke didn't meet Jesus in person, he is considered one of the greatest historians of all times. His readership may have been the Greeks, as this was his ethnic origin. At the beginning of Luke, he writes that although others have attempted "to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us," he too has "investigated everything from the beginning. With this mindset, Luke decided he too would write "an orderly account . . ."

John, in his gospel, beautifully writes about God's love and plan of salvation. The writer of the above online article says that if he had access to only one gospel, he would prefer that it be the Gospel of John. Why? Because this gospel "shows the divinity of Christ and the great passionate love Jesus had for his disciples and lost sinners."

Remembering the apostles were ordinary folk like me, I ask myself,

Why do I write?

Why do I write?

1. Because Jesus commanded: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." I may not 
    get to the far corners of the world, but when I write, I do not know where my words may go.
2. Because God has given me the gift of writing and teaching, i.e. an instructed tongue.
3. Because God has built the urge to write within me and he calls me to write.
4. Because I have stories only I can tell.
5. Because the Lord is my shepherd.

Writing this blog reminds me how easy it is to write on a computer compared to the arduous task of writing on papyrus or parchment, especially if you had to make your own writing material from animal hides. How about writing on parchment as Paul did? How about a reed pen you had to dip in ink every 6th letter?

We don't know the exact tools the gospel writers used, but we do know that Paul, writing around the same time as the gospel writers, used scrolls of parchment and possibly of papyrus.

For more information on parchment, go to


Imagine a writer like Paul being stuck in prison with no writing materials. That would explain Paul's words to Timothy, "When you come, be sure to bring the coat. . . and my scrolls, especially the parchments." (2 Timothy 4:13)

Paul writing in prison
Free Image--missionbibleclass.org

Maybe we need to ask ourselves, my fellow writers, "Why do I not write?" 


  1. Your perspective was enlightening, Sharon. And humbling. And encouraging! Thank you!!

  2. I'm glad this spoke to you, Bobbi. Blessings.

  3. I always enjoy the way you bring scripture and a 'theological' discussion to your posts, yet they are also so practical and down to earth. thanks for this.

  4. We have such a wealth of ideas in the Scriptures--from the theological to the real down-to-earth possibilities. Reading the InScribe blogs, I am always surprised at how different and unique are the ideas put forth. Again, we can thank God for the individuality and uniqueness of our writership. Thanks for your encouragement, Tracy.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.