Sunday, January 17, 2010

Unloading 35 Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 8/35

Steve Ray has a list of 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). This is number 8/35. I'm trying to provide the answers in a common format, for easy reference.

8) How do we know who wrote the books that we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Hebrews, and 1, 2, and 3 John?

Simple Answer(s):

We don't.

Important Qualification(s):

1) We don't know, but we have good historical reasons to assign authorship for all of those books besides Hebrews. We don't know who wrote Hebrews, and we're mostly guessing about who the author is.

2) It doesn't really matter who wrote those books. We also don't know who wrote Esther, the books of the kings and Chronicles, and many of the psalms. We still accept them as the Word of God.

- TurretinFan

5 comments:

John Bugay said...

At least Rome has infallibly pronounced that Hebrews was written by Paul. (Though Paul is excluded from authorship of this book by virtually every criterion we are aware of EXCEPT for Roman bombast.)

Turretinfan said...

I'm actually planning a post on that very subject. I think you'll be impressed by the attempts of Rome's apologists to reconcile the consensus that it is not Paul's letter with Trent's claim that it is.

DrOakley said...

And don't forget...though Keating, Madrid, and Matatics for years pummeled unsuspecting Protestants with "How do you know Matthew wrote Matthew?" the fact is that modern Roman scholarship, including those chosen by the Pope to serve as the leading theologians of the Roman Church, reject the traditional ascription of authorship of the first gospel to the disciple Matthew.

Ray's questions only demonstrate that while he admits he was an ignorant Baptist, he has simply moved his ignorance across the Tiber.

james

natamllc said...

Dr. Oakley

it is amazing just how much of what you commented hereon points to the warnings of Scripture:::>

Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Having said that I would share a bit of personal thought on just who wrote the book of Hebrews.

For me, many years ago, my organization built a media empire. We developed a local advertiser that to this day reigns heads and shoulders over all others in our small footprint of the world. We had a tape library and print media to the masses.

We also wrote books and teaching manuals for our particular bent of Christianity and to aid our elders and servants inculcate the purpose and vision of God to those God was adding to us to care for.

I was a part of this. I assisted in typesetting the rough drafts of teaching manuals and books and also did my share of print layout for our profitable advertiser.

On all occasions when we were writing a manual for our own people or a book, the "author/s" would begin with a draft. That iteration would then be reiterated and reiterated and proofed and finally when everyone was satisfied it would then be put down in print form to be sent to the publishers.

Being a part of these collaborative efforts, I would get to change a sentence, correct a misspelled word, at a comma or simply drop a line intentionally or unintentionally.

However the process, whenever it was more than one author, there would be this attempt to bridge ideas for continuity.

At this time in my young Christian walk I was futile with journalistic zeal, "six men serve me good and true, what, when, why, how, where, who?"

As I studied the Scriptures I too came to the question, "who authored the book of Hebrews"?

After careful reading and rereading I came to this conclusion that from the various portions of the text, I could sense that more than one person wrote this fine document for our learning and admonition. I thought it to be some of Peter, some of Paul, mostly Paul, and then, some of Jude.

That's my opinion and quite possibly I will go to Heaven without a clue if it is correct. There are a few other questions I have asked about in here that I haven't gotten a reasonable response to, yet. The Greek word, logikos, the verse Hebrews 6:3 and now, who did God use to author the book of Hebrews? :)

john said...

“1) We don't know, but we have good historical reasons to assign authorship for all of those books besides Hebrews. We don't know who wrote Hebrews, and we're mostly guessing about who the author is.”

Historical reasons means there is apostolic oral tradition as documented in the church fathers that is binding so we only know authorship from tradition. With authorship we have some evidence for a canon, yet this is not admitted in SS. SS cannot derive the human authors, let alone the inspiration of the text.

“2) It doesn't really matter who wrote those books. We also don't know who wrote Esther, the books of the kings and Chronicles, and many of the psalms. We still accept them as the Word of God.”

If we don’t know who wrote those books then anyone could have written those books, so they don’t have to be apostolic. Then anyone can write inspired scripture at any time. Yet the canon has been set, so it is false to say anyone can write scripture. Therefore we need to know who wrote scripture via an official church teaching that has the authority to teach from God himself.

JM