Gospel Writers


I started this thread because the other thread “How do I choose a Catholic?” is shifting from the main subject.

So were the 4 Gospels (The NT text) written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?

Catholic Scholars and the Church today believe they are. While modern scholars do not.

I firmly believed that the Four Gospels, the Book of Revelations, the Book of Acts, and the Epistles are written by the Gospel writers themselves.

I’ll cite some of the verse from the ECF to support this fact:

On the Composition of Mark and Matthew, citing Papias [Bishop of Hierapolis in Asia Minor; lived ca. 60-130 AD]:

Papias gives also in his own work other accounts of the words of the Lord on the authority of Aristion who was mentioned above, and traditions as handed down by the presbyter John; to which we refer those who are fond of learning.  But now we must add to the words of his which we have already quoted the tradition which he gives in regard to MARK, the author of the Gospel.  It is in the following words:  "This also the presbyter said: Mark, having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not indeed in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things done or said by Christ.  For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord's discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them.  For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely."  These things are related by Papias concerning Mark.  But concerning MATTHEW he writes as follows:  "So then Matthew wrote the oracles in the Hebrew language, and every one interpreted them as he was able."  And the same writer uses testimonies from the first Epistle of John and from that of Peter likewise.  And he relates another story of a woman, who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which is contained in the Gospel according to the Hebrews. These things we have thought it necessary to observe in addition to what has already been stated.  (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.39.14-17)

On the Composition of Mark, citing Clement of Alexandria [Bishop of Alexandria in Egypt; lived ca. 150-215]:

And thus when the divine word had made its home among them [the Christians in Rome], the power of Simon [the magician] was quenched and immediately destroyed, together with the man himself.  And so greatly did the splendor of piety illumine the minds of PETER'S hearers that they were not satisfied with hearing once only, and were not content with the unwritten teaching of the divine Gospel, but with all sorts of entreaties they besought MARK, a follower of Peter, and the one whose Gospel is extant, that he would leave them a written monument of the doctrine which had been orally communicated to them. Nor did they cease until they had prevailed with the man, and had thus become the occasion of the written Gospel which bears the name of MARK.  And they say that Peter when he had learned, through a revelation of the Spirit, of that which had been done, was pleased with the zeal of the men, and that the work obtained the sanction of his authority for the purpose of being used in the churches.  Clement in the eighth book of his Hypotyposes gives this account, and with him agrees the bishop of Hierapolis named Papias.  And Peter makes mention of Mark in his first epistle which they say that he wrote in Rome itself, as is indicated by him, when he calls the city, by a figure, Babylon, as he does in the following words:  "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son" (1 Peter 5:13).  And they say that this Mark was the first that was sent to Egypt, and that he proclaimed the Gospel which he had written, and first established churches in Alexandria.  (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.15.1-2, 2.16.1)

On the Composition and Order of all Four Gospels, again citing Clement of Alexandria:

Again, in the same books [the Hypotyposes], Clement gives the tradition of the earliest presbyters, as to the order of the Gospels, in the following manner:  "The Gospels containing the genealogies *, he says, were written first.  The Gospel according to MARK had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out.  And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it.  When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it.  But, last of all, JOHN, perceiving that the external facts had been made plain in the Gospel, being urged by his friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel."  This is the account of Clement.  (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.14.5-7).*


[According to the Clementine Tradition]
Dennis Barton
The Gospels are Historical**


I believe that the Gospels were written by Mark, John, Luke and Matthew, but I truly believe that Luke have used other sources (Luke 1: 1-4), perhaps some of it is what we today know as Q(uelle). I also do not believe that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, because the Greek does not indicate to be a translation from Hebrew. Papias is not infallible as far as I know;)

Further, I think that Matthew also could have used sources as Luke did, for instance Mark and Q. That doesn’t make Matthews testimony less true or God-inspired.

When you say that “I firmly believed that the Four Gospels, the Book of Revelations, the Book of Acts, and the Epistles are written by the Gospel writers themselves”, I hope you mean that Paul, Peter, Jude and James were the ones who wrote the Epistles, not the Gospelwriters;)

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