Everybody knows the gospels weren’t written by the men named in their titles, right?

23 Nov

From NT Scholar Michael Kruger:

One of the most commonly made claims regarding the canonical gospels is that they were not written by the individuals named in their titles.  Instead, we are told that these gospels were written later in the first century by anonymous individuals outside of Palestine who were not eyewitnesses of any of the events that they record.  After all, the text of the gospels themselves offers no indication of their authorship.   And the gospel titles, it is argued, were added at a later point—probably the middle of the second century—in order to bolster the credibility of these anonymous texts.

Now it should be noted from the outset that we have too little space here to offer a full scale investigation into the authorship of these four gospels.  Moreover, the authorship of ancient books is a tricky matter and not always easy to ascertain.  So, we will narrow our focus here on the issue of the gospel titles themselves. Although the titles themselves don’t guarantee the authorship of a book, they are key piece of historical evidence about who early Christians understood the authors to be. So, were the titles added late in the second century as some scholars maintain?  We shall argue here that there are good reasons to think the titles were included at a very early point

Read the rest here



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