Authorship of the Gospels
“None of the four Gospels were written by Jesus’ original twelve disciples”
The early church, many of whom know Matthew, Mark, Luke and John personally, was unanimous that the four Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew and John were both among Jesus’ twelve disciples, Mark got his account from the apostle Peter (also one of the twelve), and Luke was an active member of the first generation church. The historical record of early church writings shows that there was unanimous agreement in the early church that these were the original authors. It is only in the last few centuries that atheistic scholars have tried to reinvent the history of these gospels. There are a number of driving forces behind this fanciful reinterpretation of history:
Denial of Miracles – The foundational assumptions of most scholars are that miracles cannot and do not happen, therefore all accounts containing miracles must be made up stories which gradually evolved. The logic is, if a text presents a miracle as historical fact, the entire piece of writing must likewise be fabricated and made-up. So when the Gospels record Jesus’ virgin birth and miracles as historical events, the entire biography must be a gradually-exaggerated story which could not have been written by the assumed author.
The Need for New Theories and Publications – With academic disciples like Biology and Medicine, there is an almost endless amount of uncharted subject matter awaiting fresh research by academics. However with Biblical studies, there has been an exhaustive amount of research on almost every single verse and book for centuries and centuries. For a modern scholar to get attention, he must postulate some radical new theory, perhaps by over-exaggerating some minor new archeological finding. You won’t get any credit for saying what has already been said many times before. Often these new pictures of “the Historical Jesus” simply represent the current academic fad. When Marxism was popular, Jesus was reconstructed as a Marxist; when Mysticism was popular, the modern scholars made him look like a mystic. The modern scholars’ historical Jesus is often simply a projection of their own psyche and fads.
Over-valuing the Historical-Critical Method – The Biblical study tools of Higher Criticism and Form Criticism are the attempts to reconstruct history based on literary styles and comparison. These are worthwhile tools for study and can clarify our picture of the past. The problem is when scholars consider literary analysis an even more foolproof method than believing the plain historical record, arrogantly assuming they two thousand years later know more about ancient events than the people of that time. So for example, we have manuscript evidence that people who knew the twelve disciples said Matthew wrote Matthew’s Gospel, yet two thousand years later modern scholars arrogantly assume they somehow know better than these early leaders.