Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Unloading 17 More Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 11/17

Steve Ray has a list of more than 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). I originally planned to respond to just 35 of them, but the series seems to have been of interest, so in this extension, I'm responding to three more numbered questions in his list, plus fourteen "bonus questions" that take the form "Where does the Bible say ... ." I'm trying to provide the answers in the same common format as the original series, for easy reference. This is number 11/17.

Where does the Bible . . .
. . . inform us of the names of the authors of the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John?

Simple Answer(s):

1) The text of Matthew's Gospel doesn't tell us the name or identity of the author. All of the texts of the gospel use the title "according to Matthew" but we aren't necessarily insistent that the title has to be right.

2) The same is true of Mark's Gospel.

3) Luke's gospel doesn't specify that the name of the author is Luke, although the same title note as with Mark and Matthew is also true of Luke. We can tell from the introduction of Luke and of Acts that the two were written by the same author:

Luke 1:1-4
Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

Acts 1:1-4
The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

We also learn from Acts that the author of the book was one of Paul's companions, at least from Acts 20:

Act 20:6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.

And continuing to Acts 28:

Acts 28:14-15
Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.

4) The identity of the author of John's gospel has already been discussed in the previous segment.

Important Qualification(s):

We have additional historical evidence that the gospels should be attributed to their respective authors. Nevertheless, nothing important about what believe hangs on whether the names of the titles of the books were the actual names of Jesus' disciples that wrote the books.

- TurretinFan


Editor said...

I challenge You anonymous Hyper Calvinist fan Turretinfan to respond to my video Catholic Fiction Special Edition: Are Catholics Christians?

I shall be waiting for that Video engagement with you. Pro Ekklesia Katholikos! GADEL

Turretinfan said...


Thanks for your challenge. Please note that, while I am a Calvinist, I am not a hyper-calvinist.

As for responding to your video, you make the word-concept fallacy. While Roman Catholicism calls itself "Catholic" it does not preserve the Apostolic faith. Therefore, it is not properly called "Catholic." The fact that it calls itself by that label is no more significant than the fact that the so-called Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be the witnesses of Jehovah, or the Mormons claim to be "The Church of Jesus Christ." Calling yourself by a name doesn't make you what the label is.

Whether you call yourself a "Christian" or a "Catholic" does not settle the matter. To be a Christian and to be a part of the Catholic church in the true sense of the word, you must trust for your salvation in Christ alone.

Who is the one in whom your hope is now and at the hour of your death? To whom do you pray?

Is it to God alone? To God and Mary? To God, Mary, and innumerable lesser saints?

- TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

Just an ancillary comment to underscore the point.

While traveling in the Philippines one year, I was standing in a line to board a ferry to cross over to another island. In front of me were two French men. All of a sudden some Philippino boys started heckling us saying, "hey Joe", "hey Joe" in a pejorative way. As some may know the Americans were instrumental in liberating the Philippino from the Japanese during the Second World War of the last century. Ever since, the United States has had a presence in the Philippines on many levels. Apparently because of the "American" G.I.'s anyone who looked like an American were heckled "hey Joe".

They thought those two Frenchmen were Americans. All of a sudden the two French guys in front of me turned on me and started scorning me because they were being heckled as Americans all the time wherever they went on their trip through the islands of the Philippines and they had had enough of it. They then took out their frustrations on me!

What's the old saw? "You can't judge a book by its cover"?

Garret G said...


I seem to recall- and I need your help on this- that I have read that there are no copies of Matthew, for instance, that do not have the superscription on it 'kata Mattaion'. This therefore could be original to the Gospel itself. Is this correct as far as you are aware?

Turretinfan said...

Yes, if there are any such copies, I'm unaware of them. There are, of course, some incomplete copies of Matthew that may be missing the first few pages ... but the ones that have the first page have that title/superscription (as far as I know, there is not even one early exception).