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Were the Gospels written by people who knew Jesus?

Postby So Wed » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:03 am

Do you believe that the Gospels were written by people who knew Jesus personally?

It was always told to me in church that the gospel were firsthand experiences written down by people who kneew Jesus, except Luke, who was a doctor who wrote after Jesus' death.

However, the gospels do not claim to be written by these men, and were written 40-60 years after Jesus died. This makes sense when you think about it; why would Matthew, a tax collector in Israel, be literate in Greek, the language the gospel are written in?
So Wed

Re: Were the Gospels written by people who knew Jesus?

Postby jimwalton » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:59 am

I think the evidence is convincing that the Gospels were written by their traditional authors: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I believe that the cases for traditional authorship are stronger than the cases against.

Though the Gospels are anonymous, the unanimous testimony of the ancient world is that they were written by Mt, Mk., Lk, and Jn. No other names are ever presented as competition, and there is never any doubt voiced in the ancient world that these four were the authors. Matthew and John were disciples, and Mark was probably a follower of Jesus. He lived in Jerusalem and his mother was active in the church (Acts 12.12)

I take an earlier view of their dates of writing. I think Mark was written in the late 50s (30 years after Jesus's ministry), and that Matthew and Luke were in place by the early 60s. I also happen to think John was early. So I would put a figure of 30-35 years, not 40-60, but I'll get attacked heavily on this forum for that position.

Why would Matthew be literate in Greek? In the Gospels Matthew is the same person as Levi, the tax collector. He would have to have spoken Aramaic to deal with the locals, but Greek was the business language of the region. He may also have known Hebrew, since he was probably a Levite. So Matthew may have been trilingual, as possibly many people of the region were.

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