Who Wrote the Gospels? Why New Testament Scholars Challenge Church Traditions
By Gary Greenberg
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Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not write the Gospel says biblical historian Gary Greenberg in his latest book, Who Wrote the Gospels? Why New Testament Scholars Challenge Church Traditions. At least, not the Matthew, Mark, Luke or John of Church tradition, he adds. Controversial as this view is, he notes that it is widely accepted among New Testament scholars. Yet few members of the lay public know about this modern scholarly consensus, let alone why scholars hold these views.
Not only is there a question of the identity of the authors of the original Gospel texts, the evidence from ancient sources also shows that during the first few centuries of Christianity many Christian scribes deliberately altered the Gospel texts and many of these changes have been erroneously incorporated into our modern Gospel accounts. In one notorious example, the last twelve verses of Mark, the first of the four Gospels to have been written, depict the resurrection of Jesus, but they were not part of Mark’s original Gospel. The verses were added later by an unidentified scribe trying to bring Mark into line with the other Evangelists. The famous story of the adulterous woman in the Gospel of John is also a late addition to the Gospel, absent from all the earliest sources. One scribe placed the story into the Gospel of Luke.
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