6 Bad Reasons to Reject the Traditional Authorship of John’s Gospel

Nearly every shred of evidence that we have from the early church fathers tells us that the Apostle John wrote the fourth Gospel. And in a previous video, we saw plenty of internal evidence that points to John being the genuine author. Despite all this, there’s a lot of pushback offered from the critics. You’ll often hear there’s a vast scholarly consensus against the traditional authorship of John.  But when you dig into the arguments from biblical critics, they often turn out to be pretty weak. In this video, I address some of the more common ones.  Erik ManningErik is a Reasonable Faith Chapter Director located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He’s a former freelance baseball … Read more

Video: 3 Bad Reasons to Doubt the Traditional Authorship of Matthew

Skeptics like Bart Ehrman say that we don’t know who wrote Matthew’s Gospel. In Bart’s own words, “Whoever wrote Matthew did not call it “The Gospel according to Matthew.” The persons who gave it that title are telling you who, in their opinion, wrote it…” Now, the early church fathers all agree that Matthew wrote it. And all the ancient manuscripts we have attributed it to Matthew. We’ve looked at this in previous videos. So what are the main reasons Ehrman thinks that someone other than Matthew wrote it? In this video, I look at three bad reasons why many biblical critics reject the traditional authorship of Matthew and why they fail. Erik ManningErik is … Read more

Video: Money Matters in Matthew’s Gospel

Skeptical critics like Bart Ehrman tell us that we have no idea who wrote the Gospel of Matthew. They argue that all the internal evidence tells us it had to be written by someone else. But is that really so? The Gospels tell us that Matthew was a tax collector. So if Matthew did write a Gospel, we’d expect to see an unusual degree of interest in financial matters. And as it turns out, that’s exactly what we find to be the case. Matthew is all about the Benjamins, much more so than any Gospel writer. And it isn’t even close. In this video, I look at the internal evidence of money-mentions in Matthew’s Gospel … Read more

Video: Who Wrote The Gospels? These 6 Ancient Sources Tell Us

Skeptical New Testament scholars like Bart Ehrman argue that the Four Gospels in our New Testament are anonymous. In his bestselling book Jesus, Interrupted, Ehrman writes: “Some books, such as the Gospels…had been written anonymously, only later to be ascribed to certain authors who probably did not write them (apostles and friends of the apostles).” But wouldn’t the early church be in a better position to know who wrote the Gospels than contemporary critics? I’d certainly think so, and as it turns out, the early church fathers were unambiguous and united about who wrote the Four Gospels.  In this video, we look at the witness of 6 early church fathers and learn that the authorship … Read more

Manuscript Evidence Proves the Gospels Were Not Anonymous

Skeptical New Testament scholars argue that the Four Gospels in our New Testament are anonymous. There was no original “Gospel According to Matthew,” and the same goes for Mark, Luke, and John. Their titles were left blank originally. Or so the theory goes.  These four gospels allegedly were distributed without titles for almost a hundred years before scribes attached them to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, well after these apostles were dead. Names got assigned to give the four gospels more prestige. Skeptics like Bart Ehrman go on to conclude that because these books were anonymous, they probably aren’t based on eyewitness testimony.  While many NT critics have latched onto this anonymous Gospel theory, I … Read more

Are Christian Apologists Guilty of Committing the Spider-Man Fallacy?

The New Testament has archaeological and historical evidence in spades, lame pun intended. For example, we have Caiaphas’ ossuary, an inscription of Pontius Pilate, the discovery of the pool of Siloam, and a lot more. We also have external confirmations of Jesus’ existence found in Tacitus and Josephus, among others.  When Christians share this information online, untrained skeptics will snarkily accuse believers of committing the “Spider-Man” fallacy. The ever-reliable and usually offbeat Urban Dictionary defines the ‘Spider-Man fallacy’ like this:  “Often used to illustrate the flaw in the assertion by evangelical Christians that archaeologists unearthing biblical cities today “proves” that the Bible was written by a supernatural force. The Spiderman Fallacy is committed any time the … Read more

Why Everyone Should Believe That the Apostle John Wrote the Fourth Gospel

Skeptical Biblical critics like John Shelby Spong say that it’s impossible that the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John. Spong writes: “There is no way that the Fourth Gospel was written by John Zebedee or by any of the disciples of Jesus. The author of this book is not a single individual, but is at least three different writers/editors, who did their layered work over 25 to 30 years.”  Spong isn’t alone in this criticism, even some conservative evangelical Christians have cast doubt on the traditional authorship of John for various reasons. But there are quite a number of reasons to think that John the Son of Zebedee really wrote John. First, let’s consider … Read more

Busting 7 Arguments Against the Traditional Authorship of John

When arguing for the traditional authorship of John, you’re going to encounter a significant amount of pushback. Skeptics will often say that there’s a vast scholarly consensus against Johannine authorship, but when you look at their arguments, many of them are quite weak. In this post, I’ll address some of the more common ones.  1. Wouldn’t someone close to John sound more like the Synoptic writers?  No, not if John had different purposes for writing his Gospel. The early evidence from the church fathers says that his Gospel was intentionally supplemental. Clement of Alexandria wrote:  “Of all those who had been with the Lord only Matthew and John left us their recollections (hypomnēmata), and tradition … Read more

Why Think the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John? Follow the Clues.

Just about every bit of evidence from early church history says that John, the son of Zebedee, wrote the Gospel of John. But if you just read the book by itself, John isn’t explicitly identified by name. He refers to himself as the ‘Beloved Disciple.’ Because of this, there has been some in-house debate among Christian scholars who wrote it. And skeptics like John Shelby Spong say it’s impossible that John or any other eyewitness possibly wrote it. Spong writes:  “There is no way that the Fourth Gospel was written by John Zebedee or by any of the disciples of Jesus. The author of this book is not a single individual, but is at least three different writers/editors, … Read more

How Mentions of Money in Matthew’s Gospel Confirm Matthean Authorship

The Synoptics tell us that Matthew was a tax-collector by trade. So if his version of the Jesus story shows an unusual degree of interest in financial matters, we’re given a solid reason to think that the apostle is the genuine author. It wouldn’t likely be some later, anonymous non-eyewitnesses like the skeptical critics say.  As it turns out, this is precisely what we find to be the case. Matthew talks about moola more than any other Gospel writer, and it isn’t even close. When we add up the references to money in the Synoptics, here’s what we get:  Matthew – 44 Mark – 6 Luke -22 Luke’s total includes nine references in one parable … Read more

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