Friday, February 28, 2020

The Four Gospels and their Traditional Authors Essay

The Four Gospels and their Traditional Authors - Essay Example The character to whom the Gospel we call Mark is attributed by tradition appears in the book of Acts ("Mark" in Smith 2009). He was evidently a Jew of Jerusalem named John who took the Roman name Marcus (conventionally Mark in English) when he moved to Rome. His mother Mary was on intimate terms with the Apostle Peter, and we first hear of Mark when Peter goes to her house after escaping form prison (Acts 12:12). Tradition further identifies this figure with the Marcus mentioned by Paul (Col 4:10; Philm 1:24) as his companion in prison in Rome and with the Marcus Peter calls his son (perhaps in the sense of a spiritual son) in 1 Peter (5:13). The tradition that associated Mark with the authorship of the Gospel is post Biblical. In the middle of the second century Papias the Bishop of Hierapolis in Asia Minor collected saying of Jesus from his presbyters based on their memories of what had been taught at the earliest foundation of the church and published them in a book called Interpr etations of the Sayings of the Lord (Koester 1990, 32-35). This has been lost but quotations from it are preserved in the Church History of Eusebius. Part of the tradition (Eusebius 3.39.15) Papias wrote down described Mark acting as Peter's secretary and writing down (in Greek) everything that Peter said (in Aramaic) about Jesus, thus producing the Gospel of Mark (Koester 1990, 274-75). In the Gospels of Mark (3:18) and Luke (6;15) Jesus calls as an apostle a tax collector named Levi. In the parallel passage in Matthew (10:3) he is called Matthew. Tradition, once again attested by Papias, soon made this the same figure, called Levi before his conversion and Matthew afterward, and identified him with the Apostle Matthew and with the Gospel author ( "Mathew" in Catholic Encyclopedia 1917). According to Papias (Eusebius, Church History 3.39.16) he first wrote his Gospel in Hebrew and it was only later translated into (Koester 1990, 315-19). Irenaeus the Bishop of Lyons in the late second century, in his Against Heresies (14.1) gives the earliest attestation of Luke as the author of that Gospel and the Book of Acts. He calls attention to the fact that the author of Acts, although he never gives his name, on three occasions identifies himself as a companion of Paul by referring to himself and Paul in the first person plural (16:10-17, 20:5-15, 21:1-18). Irenaeus further identifies this author with the Luke named as one of his companions of Paul in the Pauline Epistles. Paul mentions Luke in Philemon (1:24) and in Colossians (4:14) refers to him as a physician (Koester 1990, 334-36) . One of the most important characters in the Gospel of John is the unnamed 'disciple whom Jesus loved.' At the end of the Gospel, the narrative framework of the text is nearly broken when Jesus tells Peter about him: "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you (21:22). The narrator immediately denies that Jesus means that the beloved disciple will live until he returns, but rather says: "This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true" (21:24), claiming the authority of this disciple for the authorship of the Gospel. Papias, again, is the earliest

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