Problem I: The authorship of the gospels was not ascribed to the historical authors until at least 150 years after the fact


The fact that the authorship of the four gospels was not specifically recorded by any other early church father before Irenaeus, as for the texts which are currently known and possessed, does not mean that they were not ascribed to the historical authors “for at least 150 years.” Irenaeus wrote that lengthy defense against Gnosticism, Against Heresies, with the inclusion of the historical authorship of the gospel accounts as if it were common knowledge and, furthermore, Ignatius wrote in most of his epistles of the scripture [Gospels], which he attributes to “the Evangelists,” which is a label he most often attributed to the Apostle John, of whom he was a disciple. To take this even further, historically, the label “the Evangelists” was used to label those who saw and were immediately commanded by Jesus to witness to the world or were traveling companions of those who were, such as: John, Peter, Paul, Mark, Luke, Matthew, James, Stephen, Thomas, and the like. The story behind the Gospel authorship is deeply entrenched in history and the combination of historical texts can lead one to easily accept the historical authorship.

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3 thoughts on “Problem I: The authorship of the gospels was not ascribed to the historical authors until at least 150 years after the fact

  1. I don’t get it, and I tried. If a creator created us specifically and knows everything to come, our history is sick. Luther said that going by our own good feeling is a poor reason for a theology. Augustine said something similar. If we accept the Bible as is, Jesus says many will take the wide road and few the narrow. What if this means the orthodoxy?

    Before Iraneaus, the Gospel of Mark was said to be a list of Jesus’ sayings. Much like the recent Gospel of Thomas. Church fathers quote chapter 17 of Josephus, today his book doesn’t contain those quotes. (I assume you know these authors)

    The book of Mark, in Greek, refers to the second temple destruction, this book and all the rest would be written after the apostles lives.

    How can you possibly justify this position. Clement and other leaders would have mentioned every book and letter considered todays Gospel. Why was Origen considered a reknowned church father, later rejected, Justin Martyr didn’t buy and seems to have never heard of a trinity, another Church father.

    The word believe, means an opinion without evidence. But the evidence points to a Church that created a religion, from a conglomeration of other religions,myth and history.

    • Hey, thanks for your response and sorry for the delay. You bring up some fair points that I would like to address to the best of my ability. The Orthodoxy of the faith is the authoritative instruction contained within the scripture which was left to us and the Orthodox being those who abide by such authoritative instruction. Consider the “Great Schism,” wherein the East and Western churches broke apart through dissension. The eastern churches, now going by the name of the Orthodox church, chose such a description based on their belief that they were abiding by such authoritative instruction when compared to the West.

      The question of the Gospel of Mark was raised by liberal, modern scholars such as those in the Jesus Seminar, which was supposed to be formed from the hypothetical “Q” document. The composition of Mark is actually often held as being the earliest of the gospel accounts and, by those same “liberal” scholars, the source of Matthew and Luke, which is disputed by the historical writings of the earliest of the church fathers.

      Most of the books in the New Testament were widely referred to by the earliest of the church fathers like Polycarp, Clement of Rome, and Ignatius, though some did not quote from certain scriptures, which was based on the availability and circulation at that time, I am sure. As for Justin Martyr, he does refer to the Trinity in chapter six of his first apology as far as the concept, not the term itself.

      Belief is simply the acceptance of a particular as truth. The evidence, for that matter, also does not point to plagiarism and this conclusion comes from believing that similarities equate to a spiritual or intellectual theft.

  2. Sorry again for the delay, I have been entrenched in studies, work, and recreation over the last couple of months.

    I wanted to address the last two paragraphs of your most recent response, though, as they are ultimately the “meat” of it. Honestly, I understand the point you are making, but the relevance in relation to the discussion is my area of concern. Regarding Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, the issue we need to address is their relevance to the text which we are now using. Augustine is said to have written of those who thought they knew Greek and Latin enough and would compose their own translations of the holy text (I have yet to find this in my collection of his work, but, respectfully, I am still looking). Despite my inability to locate the source of the Augustinian reference, this would make sense on a strict psychological basis when we consider human drive. Nevertheless, there is a point of reference from which biblical scholars can determine that both would be corrupt in some areas and accurate in others, which has indeed been the determination. Among other reasons why, we can take comfort in this idea of a “point of reference,” from which corruption is discerned.

    Gnosticism is not a hard belief to develop out of the scripture, but not for the problem of textual obscurity; instead, this is from the problem of a sinful mind, which blinds eyes and hardens hearts. As for Martyr, I am unfamiliar with the text that you are referring to. Please provide this source and I will check the texts that I own from Martyr.

    Peace and love.

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