Why Are the Gospels Anonymous? – The Bart Ehrman Weblog


Seeking by way of some old posts, I ran across this one particular (that I’d forgotten about) that answers a query I get at least a couple of occasions a year.   Why didn’t the authors of the Gospels name themselves?  (They have extended been referred to as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, of course, but you will notice that the authors themselves never ever indicate who they are the 1st record we have of any person truly quoting these books *and* calling them Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is in Irenaeus, Against the Heresies, written about 185 CE — that is, about a century soon after the Gospels themselves had been written and placed in circulation.    Anyway, right here is the post, providing a reader’s query and my try at an answer.



Amongst the exciting queries I’ve received lately is the following.   It is on some thing other than How Jesus Became God!  Rather than variety out a absolutely new answer, I’ve resorted to the discussion I set out in my book Forged, cited right here, as relevant, in complete.


I nonetheless can not pretty grasp why the Gospels had been written anonymously. What is the prevailing theory? Why did the authors not try to pass themselves off as disciples by stating so at the starting of their writings?


It is usually exciting to ask why an author chose to stay anonymous, never ever a lot more so than with the Gospels of the New Testament.  In some situations an ancient author did not will need to name himself since his readers knew completely nicely who he was and did not will need to be told.  That is just about undoubtedly the case with the letters of 1, two, and three John.  These are private letters send from an individual who calls himself “the elder” to a church in a further place.  It is secure to assume that the recipients of the letters knew who he was.

[ome people have thought that the Gospels were like that: books written by leading persons in particular congregations who did not need to identify themselves because everyone knew who they were.  But then as the books were copied and circulated, names were still not attached to them.  As a result the identities of the authors were soon lost.  Then later readers, rightly or wrongly, associated the books with two of the disciples (Matthew and John) and with two companions of the apostles (Mark the companion of Peter and Luke the companion of Paul).

Another option is that the authors did not name themselves because …

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Contradictions in the Gospels – Rev Matthew Firth’s Response





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