Who Wrote the Gospels? Why New Testament scholars challenge Church traditions
By Gary Greenberg
Inside the Book
Read Chapter 1
The Problem of Gospel Authorship
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John Did Not Write the Gospels
at least, not according to modern New Testament scholarship. The evidence shows that all four Gospels were written anonymously, and for almost two centuries after they were completed early Christians had no idea who wrote them. Eventually, guesses became traditions and traditions became dogma. The evidence also shows that during these first few centuries orthodox Christian scribes deliberately altered or added to the Gospel texts, and many of these changes remain in our modern Gospels. Yet, few members of the lay public know very much about this history [know that these alterations were ever made]. Gary Greenberg takes you inside the complex and poorly understood world of modern Gospel text and source criticism and provides a simple easy to follow guide that shows how New Testament scholars arrive at these challenging conclusions.
Some of the fascinating topics covered in Who Wrote the Gospels?
- What is the Synoptic Problem and how do scholars resolve it?
- What is the mysterious Q source that influenced Matthew and Luke?
- Is there a literary relationship between the Gospels of Mark and John?
- Did the original Gospel of Mark depict the resurrection of Jesus?
- Did the Evangelists agree with each other about important story details?
- Why did orthodox Christian scribes alter the Gospel texts?
- When scholars encounter contradictory ancient Gospel manuscripts, how do they decide which text comes closest to the original?
- What manuscripts stand behind our modern Gospel texts and how accurate are they?