Hello, and welcome to Church Of The Red Print.
When I was a child and pre-teen I attended church and Sunday school every week. Specifically, I was raised in the Lutheran Church and completed intensive confirmation classes for two years in addition to Sunday services. I taught Sunday school and served on the evangelism committee.
My main resource was a nice, leather covered, King James version of the Bible. Of great interest to me was that the words of Jesus all appeared in red print. Everything else, from the Old Testament to the Revelation, was in black type. In those days, however, I did not give much thought as to why the teachings of Jesus would be highlighted in such a manner. Now, I do.
Central to the teachings of Christian churches throughout the ages are certain tenets. These are the listed questions and answers on the right.
Given the above answers, then, is there anything Jesus failed to do or say while he was here that was necessary for our salvation? Did he forget to tell us something that we needed to know? The answer is a resounding "NO". He is the complete redeemer.
What, then, is to be made of all the other "scripture" in the New Testament? Most of it was not written by anyone who even met Jesus, much less recorded his teachings. Jesus never gave a stamp of approval to any of it.
The primary basis for concluding that these other chapters of the "New Testament" are "divinely inspired" is based upon Jesus having told his disciples that whatever they bind on earth shall also be bound in heaven, and on the further unsupported conclusion that this principle applied to the later writings of Paul and others. These writings were not even determined (by men) to be scripture until almost 300 years after Jesus ascended into heaven.
By now you are probably thinking that I am denying the truth of these remaining writings, but nothing could be farther from my intent. Men are creatures of god and have knowledge of good and evil. They are capable of writing things which are true, whether or not they have the imprimature of Jesus. Men are also capable of great evil.
In the Church of the Red Print, believers are free to believe that these writings are scripture, and the Church of the Red Print commends them to all as valuable, but believers are also not required, as a litmus test, to accept them as gospel.
Once, when Jesus was asked what was necessary for our salvation, he simply replied "Believe in me." On other occasions he said much more was necessary. How is this to be reconciled? Easy. Jesus was not asking us to "believe" in him, like believing in Santa Claus. He was telling us to believe in him and the things he taught. In fact, Paul had it right when he said that faith, without works, is dead. Faith, without works, is just belief in another Santa Claus.