Who Wrote the Gospels and More questions


#1

Well being on these boards has gotton me to doubt my faith and confused me about the Bible and its authorship. I admit my faith is weak.

Who do we say wrote the Gospels, do we even know anymore?

Why are some liberals so caught up with the fact that Mark was the first gospel written?

Who does the Pope think wrote the first gospel and why is this question so important?

Who wrote the New Testament?? Do we still believe the New testament is Inspired if it wasnt written directly by the aposltes or the tradtionally known and assumed authors themselves ?

Does the Catholic Church still teach the Bible is totally and completly inerrant like it use to?

What was the traditonal understanding of who wrote these gospels according to the church fathers, why do we in modern times doubt they were written by the apostles and the other traditionally thought authors held by the early church?

How do we know when the first gospel was written?

Im very confused and feel like alot of the questions on this forum lead me to lose my faith and fall back into my sin again . I keep thinking what if the liberals are right, what if the bible isnt inspired, what if it can be explained away with historical critical method and nab footnotes are real.

because…

I dont know what to believe anymore, the Pope seems to be into these New Historical critical methods , why is our past pope kissing a koran? Why is our CHURCH ALLOWING THE NAB AND ITS FOOTNOTES TO BE RELEASED!! AND MADE THE OFFICAL BIBLE FOR THE MASS!!! WITH ITS FOOTNOTES…DOES THIS MEAN IT BELIEVES FULLY IN THE NAB FOOTNOTES…>>???


#2

another question

if we dont have the orginial copies left of the bible, how can we be sure what were reading is actually the word of God??

o

if all the translations are alittle false or off, how can we have any confidence that anything we read is truly the word of God??

thank you


#3

No one really knows - the church only states that they are of apostolic origin and are inspired writings. That is something we are supposed to believe as a matter of faith as there is no proof whatsoever.

Why are some liberals so caught up with the fact that Mark was the first gospel written?

What does this have to do with liberals??? This is a long argued point of discussion for which there is no easy answer. Scholars have written volumes of arguments and there are strong advocates on both sides of the issue. It is not being “liberal” to examine all the evidence we have and decide that maybe Mark was first.

Who does the Pope think wrote the first gospel and why is this question so important?

Good question - I’d like to ask him…

Who wrote the New Testament??

No one really knows. Scholars still argue over who wrote Shakespeare’s plays or some of Paul’s letters or various leaders’ speeches. Authorship in the ancient world was not as clear cut as it is today. Again, the church only states that they are of apostolic origin and are inspired writings. That is something we are supposed to believe as a matter of faith as there is no proof.

Do we still believe the New testament is Inspired if it wasnt written directly by the aposltes or the tradtionally known and assumed authors themselves ?

Yes, that is a matter of faith.

Does the Catholic Church still teach the Bible is totally and completly inerrant like it use to?

Yes, when it is speaking on matters pertaining to our salvation (see Dei Verbum). Why would anything else matter? The church clearly states that there are different forms of expressing the truth and that not all are to be taken literally.

What was the traditonal understanding of who wrote these gospels according to the church fathers, why do we in modern times doubt they were written by the apostles and the other traditionally thought authors held by the early church?

There are many reasons for this BUT the church has never dogmatically defined authorship - by faith they are of apostolic origins, which could mean many things. One of the things it does not mean is that any of the named original apostles put pen to paper to write them.

How do we know when the first gospel was written?

We don’t. The original copies of all the written sources have completely disappeared. The oldest fragment of any portion of the New Testament dates from the 2nd century, 100 years after Jesus’ death. The next oldest fragments (of Matthew, Luke, John, and Thomas) date to about 200. The first complete copy of the Greek New Testament (Codex Sinaiticus) is from the 4th century. Thus, three centuries separate Jesus from the earliest complete surviving copies of the gospels. None of the bibles we use are from a single or original source - they are formed from about 5000 Greek manuscripts that contain all or parts of the new testament.


#4

The ultimate source of the Scriptures is God, not any individual. The “authors” of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the heads of the communities from which the scriptures came. Each one preached the good news in a different fashion in order to address issues faced by their specific communities. Thus each has a slightly different emphasis. The evangelists’ preaching was recorded by some member of the community, probably after the death of the apostle, in order that the teaching not be lost. Thus you have the “second hand” authorship of a ghost writer. The teaching is that of the one to whom it is ascribed; the actual writing down was the work of others in the community. Luke may be the only one who did not have a ghost writer.

Matthew


#5

[LEFT]THE AUTHORS OF THE GOSPELS [/LEFT]
[According to the Clementine Tradition]
By
Dennis Barton
**
The Gospels are Historical**


The theory that Mark’s gospel was the first to be written dominates New Testament Studies today. This theory has led to serious and widespread doubts about the historical reliability of the Gospels, upon which our understanding of Christianity is built.
‘The Authors of the Gospels’ sets forth an alternative view. Using primary sources written by the earliest Christian historians (The Church Fathers) and the findings of modern literary analysis,the author argues strongly in favour of a return to the chronology widely used prior to the time of Jerome.
This would conform to the traditional teaching of the Church that two of the Gospels were written by eyewitness companions of Jesus.
The author points out that this teaching was recently renewed in a Dogmatic Constitution, Dei Verbum, of the Second Vatican Council.


#6

My personal recommendation is that you get either

The Navarre Bible - Suggest St Mark’s Gospel for a start.
-Contains

  • General Introduction to the Bible
  • Introduction to the books of the New Testament
  • Introduction to the Holy Gospels
  • Introduction to the Gospel according to Mark
  • The author
  • The apostolic figure of St Mark
  • Date of composition
  • Place of composition and immediate readership
  • Structure
  • Doctrinal content
  • Literary style
  • Jesus, the promised Messiah
  • Jesus the Son f God

Then proceed with the Gospel of St Matthew and the rest.
They are excellent.(NT - 12 book in set)
or

Ignatius Study Bible with execellent Notes & Teachings by Dr Scott Hahn & Team (NT - 10 books in set).

angelfire.com/ms/seanie/deuteros/graham_contents.html


#7

To find out what the Church teaches, go to the Catechism. Here is a link to the section which addresses this topic in an online Cathechism:

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a3.htm

I don’t really understand your emphasis on what the Pope thinks about the authorship of the Gospels. His thoughts on such matters are not ex-cathedra teachings. They should be respected because he is an informed theologian but they wouldn’t be infallible.

Although I think that the most reasonable belief is that the Gospels were in fact authored by the men they’re named after, said belief is not necessary for salvation. Also, I don’t know if anybody has pointed this out yet, but it is very possible that the writings were dictated. I think that this kind of thing was common among rabbis, and would have been carried over to the young Christian community. This would not negate authorship, but it would mean that the literal writer was a disciple of the author.

The point is, there are a million hairs that can be split. Stick with what you’re most comfortable with. For me, that’s the tried and true holding that the authors are the titles. To me, the rest is a bunch of recent muckety-muck because someone needs a Ph.D. in biblical studies.


#8

Luckily, we have something else that God left behind, a Church to preserve His Words - not just those written down, but those passed on in Tradition.

How do you think the Church lived and thrived before the books of the Bible were even written? Because the Holy Spirit was there to guide her, just like He is today.

Don’t get caught up on the little seeds of doubts that others may try and plant in your head about the bible. Just accept that God is still with us today!!!


#9

Not worthy How can I ingore IT when these seeds of doubts are embraced and taught by the CURRENT POPE AND LEADERSHIP??

if we dont have the orginial copies left of the bible, how can we be sure what were reading is actually the word of God??

o

if all the translations are alittle false or off, how can we have any confidence that anything we read is truly the word of God??

thank you

WHO CAN ANSWER THIS QUESTION?


#10

If they are embraced by the current Pope and Leadership, it’s because it’s true, but not necessary for your faith and morals. Would you rather have our current Pope and Leadership lie to us or pull the wool over our eyes?

What are the ramifications of any of your concerns?


#11

Im asking a question thats pretty direct dont you think does anyone care to answer or comment:)


#12

RepentorPerish,

It’s important to distinguish dogma and doctrine (which is infallible) from other opinions, teachings, or regulations which are not. Authorship of the various books of the Bible has never been a dogma/doctrine. The Pope can make an error in his judgement of who the author is. Popes are infallible only when they pronounce something must be believed by the whole church. The pope hasn’t done this.

Don’t you trust God to keep His word that the Church will be protected from declaring error? (“gates of hell will not prevail” Mt 16)

Nita


#13

Sure I do nita…

But can you answer my last 2 questions?


#14

OK,

  • Who do we say wrote the Gospels, do we even know anymore?* Matthew - Matthew, Mark - Mark, Luke - Luke, John - John (and maybe one of his disciples wrote the last chapter).

  • Why are some liberals so caught up with the fact that Mark was the first gospel written?* Maybe because it’s true, although personally, I thought Matthew was written first. - Again, why is this important?

  • Who does the Pope think wrote the first gospel and why is this question so important?* Again, I thought Matthew wrote the first Gospel. Have you seen where the Pope disagrees with this? Why is this important? I don’t know that it is important.

  • Who wrote the New Testament??* Paul wrote most of the Epistles subscribed to him, but the author of Hebrews is in doubt. John most probably wrote his letters. Peter wrote his. James wrote his. John wrote Revelation.

Do we still believe the New testament is Inspired if it wasnt written directly by the aposltes or the tradtionally known and assumed authors themselves? Emphatically YES! The Church does not question the inspiration of the NT or OT books.

  • Does the Catholic Church still teach the Bible is totally and completly inerrant like it use to?* The Church teaches that the Word of God can only be inerrant. With that in mind, it uses idioms that may not be construed as true, i.e. “the Sun stood still” does not imply that the sun travels across the sky.

  • What was the traditonal understanding of who wrote these gospels according to the church fathers, why do we in modern times doubt they were written by the apostles and the other traditionally thought authors held by the early church?* In the case of the Gospel of John, some think the last chapter uses a different writing style then the rest (as in Hebrews regarding Paul’s styles), hence it might be a different author. Often these writing styles are attributed to the style of the actual scribe that may have been dictated to by the Apostles in question.

  • How do we know when the first gospel was written?* We assume it was around 57 (Matthew). Some of Paul’s Epistles had already been written by then. How do we know, often it’s by the author’s knowledge or lack of knowledge of events that occurred around that time.

  • Im very confused and feel like alot of the questions on this forum lead me to lose my faith and fall back into my sin again . I keep thinking what if the liberals are right, what if the bible isnt inspired, what if it can be explained away with historical critical method and nab footnotes are real.* When all else fails, trust in your faith. Know that the devil is trying to plant seeds of doubt. Remember Jesus words, “***You believe because you have seen? Blessed are those who haven’t seen and still believe!***”


#15

Notworthy The Bishops in america and In Rome no longer agree with that .

What do you have to say to that?


#16

No one as of yet has answered this question

if we dont have the orginial copies left of the bible, how can we be sure what were reading is actually the word of God??

o

if all the translations are alittle false or off, how can we have any confidence that anything we read is truly the word of God??

thank you

WHO CAN ANSWER THIS QUESTION?


#17

The originals of all ancient books have vanished - this is not true only of those that make up the Bible. But there are copies of (say) the works of Virgil & Homer, & those copies, by being compared & studied, by means of the science of textual criticism, lead to more or less firm conclusions about what the original text was.

The same holds for the Biblical books - they have gone through much the same processes as the works of those two authors, & similar methods are used to study them. One of the incidental benefits of historical critical study, is that the form of the texts has been clarified; it is a very powerful help for clarifying the meaning of the Bible. ##


#18

The bible is a “lens” - a tool to help us see God more clearly. It is not an idol to be worshipped and that is why there is more to religion and our beliefs than the bible. We base some beliefs on the bible and some on other things.

There are many churches which try to base everything on a literal reading of the bible but we understand that every word is not a quote from God - the words are the record of many people’s experiences of God over many years. Those experiences came in many forms and are expressed in many forms, from poetry to myth to legend and even in passages which are historical. There are many books which discuss what the bible is and how to read it. I highly recommend And God Said What? by the director of religious education Margaret Ralph (Paulist Press). It is cheap and at all the usual places online.


#19

Repentor,

Since it doesn’t involve an infallible teaching of our Church, and the Church has not stifled discussion on the topic, there is freedom for people to express their opinions.

Personally, I believe the long standing tradition of authorship. But hearing about others (even Pope and bishops) who have a different opinion certainly wouldn’t cause me to doubt my faith since my faith is in Jesus, His Church, and the infallible truths it has declared. My faith was never based on the personal opinions of other members.

Nita


#20

There is no such thing as a perfect translation of the Bible, or of a single chapter of it. But then, there is no perfect translation of any work of literature - language operates in too many ways for such a thing to be possible.

Instead, a single phrase can often be translated adequately in more than one way - “I thirst” & “I am thirsty” are both perfectly adequate translations into English of one of the Words from the Cross; neither is the only accurate one. A lot of translation is much more complicated than that, but it makes the point.

One of the problems with the Bible is that it quite often happens - in the NT especially - that different readings of the Greek are equally possible; & sometimes it happens that a single word can be accurately translated in significantly different ways: echete means both “Have !” & “You have”, for example. The text can be certain, but the sense of what is written not certain.

Most of the meaning of the texts is clear - absolutely certainty on every last detail is not possible, & is in any case not necessary. The various translations may differ in details - & often do - but not in the overall picture. One will talk of “Aramaeans”, another will call the same people “Syrians”, & another will read the Hebrew differently & translate “Edomites” - but things like this can hardly be said to overthrow the teaching of St. Paul on grace, or Isaiah 40’s insistence that God is absolutely unique.

This is not something to worry about - it shows only that the message of the Bible was given through imperfect instruments; just like so many other things.

Because the Bible is a “lens”, it is a means to an end - it does not exist for itself, but for God. It’s not even the final revelation of God - Christ is, & no one & nothing else. It is immensely valuable, in many ways - but it is not & cannot be final; that would be to make it into a paper god, an idol ##


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