Matthew is Jesus’ disciple. But he wrote his gospel in Hebrew, the original of which is lost for ever. What is available is the translation of that lost original. Thus no one can prove that Matthew’s gospel of today is identical with what Matthew wrote, because no original is available.
Mark is not Jesus’ disciple. He is Peter’s disciple. Thus Mark’s gospel cannot be considered as first hand narration. Mark did not see what Jesus did, nor did he hear what Jesus said. No one can prove the truth of Mark’s reporting about Jesus. Jesus’ disciples are more reliable reporters about Jesus than disciples of disciples. Mark is merely a disciple of a disciple.
Similarly, Luke is not Jesus’ disciple. He never saw or heard of him. Luke is not even a disciple of a disciple. Luke is a disciple of Paul, who has never been a disciple of Jesus. How can we accept Luke’s reporting if he never saw or heard Jesus? What authentic value do his reports have when they are merely third-hand reports?
As for the evangelist John, scholars assert that he is not John the disciple of Jesus. The content of the gospel of John and its wording, as analysis tells, cannot be written by John, the disciple of Jesus. Someone wrote it and attributed it to John the disciple to give it more reliability. Scholars confirm that it was written about 97 AD., i.e., sixty four years after Jesus’ disappearance. John would be at least eighty four years old by then, assuming that he was only twenty years at Jesus’ disappearance.
Why should John the disciple wait until he was eighty four years to write the gospel? Why did he wait sixty four years to begin his work? This confirms the conclusion that John’s gospel was not written by John the disciple.
What we have, in brief, is four strongly-doubted gospels. Matthew’s original manuscript is lost forever and none can prove the authenticity of the present translated version. Mark’s gospel cannot be highly trusted because Mark was not a disciple of Jesus and thus he was not a first hand reporter. The same defect applies to Luke, and even more clearly, because Luke was a disciple of Paul, who was the disciple of Barnaba, who was a disciple of Jesus. Luke’s gospel is third-hand reporting. John’s gospel is written by an anonymous writer, and not by John the disciple, whose name was simply used as a cover.
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