4 thoughts on “Who wrote the gospels?”

  1. I thought the earliest gospel (not counting Paul) , Lukes, is consistently dated AD 60 at the earliest or within ten years of the destruction of the temple.

    This would make Luke, the actual apostle, what, 90ish and the others even older. Unlikely.

    I always thought they were written by communities around those apostles who as was usual in those times would have used the name of their founder to publish under. In fact Luke 1 v2 seems to suggest this is not an eyewitness account but one following the traditions handed down to them by eyewitnesses.

    1. Actually Mark's gospel is the earliest, and is thought to rely in part on an earlier collection of Jesus' which scholars call Q. Mark was a travelling companion / translator for the Apostle Peter.

      Luke was not one of "the 12" either, and you're right, he's relying on eyewitness testimony, not giving his own. I'm not quite sure why you assume he would have been 90 around AD60 though…?

      Be sure to also check out this video.

  2. Thanks for that. I’d made the lazy presumption that by apostle one of the original “12” was being indicated. Hence the age. And of course Mark is thought to be before Luke. Oops.

    1. Well that's the interesting thing – three of the four gopels aren't traditionally attributed to apostles, when we know it was common for later writers to do so in order to bump up authority. It makes much more sense then to think that the early, unanimous (if they were later, we'd expect to see competing attributions due to the wide geographical distribution) traditional attributions to non-apostles then, are legitimate.

      For what it's worth, I would put Luke-Acts before the fall of Jerusalem, as it doesn't mention it or the persecution by Nero in 64, nor the death of James, Peter or Paul (mid 60s).

What do you think?