The Righter Report

Who Wrote the Gospels?

Many have questioned who the original authors of the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – were. Skeptics and those with a revisionist liberal agenda love to argue that the Gospels are anonymous. They will even argue that Matthew copied from Mark and Luke copied from one or all of the others. For the record, opinions are split as to who did author the first Gospel, Mark or Matthew. Origen of Alexandria, an early Christian scholar provided the following synopsis:

“Concerning the four Gospels which alone are uncontroverted in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the Gospel according to Matthew, who was at one time a publican and afterwards an Apostle of Jesus Christ, was written first; and that he composed it in the Hebrew tongue and published it for the converts from Judaism. The second written was that according to Mark, who wrote it according to the instruction of Peter, who, in his General Epistle, acknowledged him as a son, saying, “The church that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son.” And third, was the Gospel according to Luke; and last of all, that according to John.” 

Concerning the argument that one or more Gospel authors copied another Gospel author, there’s simpler explanations for common material. One is that Matthew and Peter and John most likely sat around campfires after Jesus’ resurrection and recalled what Jesus said and did. No doubt Jesus went over everything with them in the 40 days after his resurrection and before his ascension.  The disciples may have even taken notes on parchment to be used later in their separate Gospels. In addition, John 14:26 clearly cites the Holy Spirit as helping them recall what Jesus said and taught. 

John 14:26 – “But the Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I have told you.

That’s the source skeptics tend to ignore and sweep under the rug because they refuse to admit God and the supernatural exist.

Study Bibles such as the NIV Study Bible like to try to have it both ways when attributing authorship. The NIV Study Bible says, and I quote, “Although the first Gospel is anonymous, THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS WERE UNANIMOUS IN HOLDING THAT MATTHEW, ONE OF THE 12 APOSTLES, WAS ITS AUTHOR.” The fact is, the early church fathers were unanimous that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote the gospels that bear their names. That’s the best evidence available.

Following are web pages that contain the quotations of the early church fathers, confirming traditional Gospel authorship:

Matthew

https://renewal-theology.com/2019/04/15/1-church-fathers-and-matthews-gospel/

Mark Authorship

https://renewal-theology.com/2019/04/15/2-church-fathers-and-marks-gospel/

Luke Authorship

https://renewal-theology.com/2019/04/15/3-church-fathers-and-lukes-gospel/

John Authorship

https://renewal-theology.com/2019/04/15/4-church-fathers-and-johns-gospel/

The Righter Report

March 25, 2021 - Posted by | Evangelical, God, History, Human Interest, Theology, Theology Articles, Uncategorized

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