The Christ files

When were the gospels written?

Matthew is the first of the gospels; there can be little doubt of this. The notion that Mark was first because Mark is shorter is nonsensical. Matthew was one of the disciples and was a man of letters. Who better to take notes during Jesus’ lifetime?

Moreover, immediately after Pentecost there would have been a demand for a book containing the teaching and works of Jesus.

The Jews were a people of the book. Each time God did a great work, a new part of Scripture was written to tell about it. The 3000 converts on the day of Pentecost would have expected such a book, and we can be pretty sure that Matthew set right down to write it. Doubtless he spoke with the other disciples, and perhaps Matthew’s gospel is to some extent a joint work. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that within a month after Pentecost copies of Matthew’s gospel were in circulation.

from BIBLICAL Horizons, No. 94 and 95.
Toward a Chiastic Understanding of the Gospel According to Matthew, Parts 1 & 2
© 1997 Biblical Horizons |

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2 Responses to “The Christ files”

  • Daniel Franzen Says:

    Whenever I hear modern scholars’ claims that such and such book was written from 65-80AD (or later) and it may not have been Paul, or one of the other apostles, I always ask “why?” Why is late? Why can’t it be early? Or why can’t it be Matthew or Paul or Peter? And of course there is not even a beginning of an answer. And why has this ridiculously intelligent scholar chosen to cast his lot in with the skeptics and higher criticism. Sad.

    Doesn’t the thesis above make more sense anyway?

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Yes, but then we don’t look smarter than our forebears.