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Old 12-19-2001, 08:16 PM   #1
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Question who wrote the bible?

i can't find anything showing who wrote what sections of the bible. anyone know of a site that has this, or care to fill me in?

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Old 12-19-2001, 10:26 PM   #2
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That most famous author and poet, Anonymous, seems to have written the Bible.

But seriously, there have been books written to answer your question:

<a href="" target="_blank">Who Wrote the Bible</a> by Richard Elliott Friedman, is actually about who wrote the Torah.

<a href="" target="_blank">Who Wrote the New Testament? The Making of the Christian Myth</a> by Burton Mack

<a href="" target="_blank">Who Wrote the Gospels?</a> by Randall Helms.

There is also some interesting speculation about who wrote the Old Testament in <a href="" target="_blank">The Bible Unearthed</a>.

(If you are a true believer, the author of a book in the Bible in generally indicated by its title - so Solomon is supposed to have written the Song of Solomon, Mark is supposed to have written the Gospel according to Mark. But if it were that simple, you wouldn't need a library to answer the question.)
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Old 12-20-2001, 05:42 AM   #3
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Originally posted by call me SnydAr:
<strong>i can't find anything showing who wrote what sections of the bible. anyone know of a site that has this, or care to fill me in?

I second the nomination for the Burton Mack book, but be careful to take it with a grain of salt as he is somewhat of a maverick in the field of NT criticism and places far too much emphasis on "Q" in my opinion. A more balanced analysis of who wrote all the NT books and what's in them is available in any good intro text (Raymond E. Brown, Udo Schnelle)

Here's a quick synopsis from what I know:

Gospel of Mark (GMk) - Tradition says this was written by John Mark who was the son of one of the women the Apostles hung out with after the crucifixion. It is asserted by the early church fathers that he was a companion of the apostle Peter and wrote down what Peter said for his gospel. Church tradition also states that Mark wrote second (after Matthew)in the 50's C.E.

Recent biblical scholarship is a bit different. Since GMk is anonymous, as are all the Gospels, we cannot know for sure who wrote it (and the Church Fathers tradition on the matter seems to come from Papias which is questionable at best). It appears that the author of Mark (referred to in shorthand as AMk) was a 2nd or 3rd generation Xian writing in Ephesus in Asia Minor. It is supposed, based on the "mini-apocalypse" in chapter 13 that AMk is writing after the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Concensus is that it was written either shortly before or shortly after 70 C.E. Based on AMk explanation of aramaisms in the text as well as his somewhat sketchy knowledge of of the geography of Palestine scholars think he was writing for a Gentile audience and was probably a 2nd generation Jewish-Xian given is apparent alck of familiarity with Jewish customs. GMk is the shortest of the gospels and is the most compact linguistically. AMk's greek syntax is clunky and brutish, but it does not appear to be translational from a Semitic dialect. Scholars believe that AMk used oral tradition and possibly scant written sources to compose his gospel.

Gospel of Matthew (GMt) - Tradition of the church says that this gospel was written, indepedently of the others, by Levi (called Matthew) the tax collector. Church tradition asserts that this was written in the 50's by Matthew from his own recollections. There is a fragment of Papias in Eusebius that asserts that Matthew originally wrote in a semitic dialect (aramaic proto-Matthew) and that this document was later interpreted by others. This reference is tenuous at best. It is possible Papias is referring to a "sayings source" gospel which was later incorporated into canonical Matthew, but the evidence is inconclusive.

Biblical scholarship says that it is most unlikely that GMt was written by the apostle, but rather was probably written by a 2nd or 3rd generation Jewish-Xian in the Matthean community (those who took Matthew as their founder a la the Hellenistic habit of naming a philosophical school after its founder) between 80 and 90 C.E. Compared to GMk the Matthean literary artistry and command of Greek is far superior and has the earmarks of being heavily redacted (edited). It is believed that GMt used GMk as a written source (which casts serious doubt on the likelihood of Matthew the apostle having written it since it seems doubtful an eyewitness to events would use the writings of a 2nd hand account as a source). Although there is some dispute as to the direction of dependence most scholars believe GMt used GMk and not verse vica. A plurality of scholars (and possibly a majority) further conclude that AMt used another written "sayings source" called "Q" (from the German "quelle" for source) which he shares with ALk (the author of the Gospel of Luke)

Gospel of Luke - Tradition suggests that this was written by Luke the companion and physician of Paul in the 60s or 70s. The gospel itself is addressed to an unknown Theophilus and in GLk 1:1 the author makes clear that he is writing as an historian having examined other written sources on the traditions of Jesus.

Biblical scholars have concluded that the attribution to Luke is possible, but uncertain. ALk is also thought to be the author behind Acts and some of that material regarding Paul conflicts with Paul's own accounts making it harder to suppose that ALk was in fact a companion of Paul, though he was clearly from the Pauline school given is theology and how Paul figures in his two volume work. Scholars believe that GLk was written around 90 C.E. and possibly as late as 110 C.E. with acts being written a few years later around 95 C.E.(only Burton Mack gives the late date for GLk). It is generally accepted that ALk used GMk as a written source and either shares a no longer extant written source with GMt or used GMt in some form as a written source.

GLk is the most Hellenic of all the gospels. It is clear from the text that ALk was Greek educated and could have been a physician and is writing for a Gentile audience. GLk is the most balanced in its treatment of both the Jews and the Romans in the narrative, suggesting that ALk was trying to bridge the gap between Xians and the Roman empire. Many consider GLk to be the most literarily elegant of the 3 synoptics.

I am more familiar with the synoptic gospels than the rest of the New Testament and I don't have my references handy so what follows is a very short synopsis of the remaining books in the NT I make no claims as to its accuracy.

Pauline letters - Romans thru Philemon. There are, I believe, 13 undisputed letters written by Paul himself to various churches in Asia Minor. Written during the 50's and 60's C.E. (Paul is martyred in 67 C.E.) There are 3 letters which are almost universally agreed to be pseudepigraphal (written by followers of Paul and attributed to him) which are called the "Pastorals" and comprise 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. The remaining letters are variously disputed to be authentic or inauthentic.
Hebrews is generally thought to not be written by Paul (it is anonymous) but was attributed to Paul by some early Church Fathers. The writings of Paul (and Hebrews) are generally considered to be the earliest of the Xian text legacy we have today. Not including "Q" which is a hypothetical text derived from the common material in GMt and GLk which is not in GMk.

Gospel of John - Tradition says it was written by John the Apostle late in his life (roughly the 80's C.E.) most scholars conclude this was actually written by the "Presbyter John" referred to by Papias who was a 2nd generation elder of the early Church, around 90 C.E. This gospel is wholly different linguistically and christologically from the synoptics and does not appear to be literarily related to them.

Johannine epistles - 1,2&3 John are attributed by the church to John son of Zebedee the apostle (same as GJn). I don't recall when they are dated by the Church. Scholars conclude that these letters were written by the same author as the Gospel, probably Presbyter John.

Catholic epistles - The church attributes these letters variously to Peter the apostle and James the brother of Jesus (who seems to have figured prominently in the nascent Xian movement in Jerusalem after the death of Jesus although he appears not to have been involved in Jesus' ministry at all) and Jude.

The actual authorship, according to scholars, is uncertain, but probably James was actually written by Jesus' brother or a Jewish-Xian from Jerusalem as the theology is somewhat in tension with Pauline theology.

The Apocalpyse of John - called "Revelation" (the Greek word APOKALYPSIS means to reveal or uncover) The author of this book refers to himself as John, but no other clues exist as to which John this was. Church tradition says it was written by the Apostle John while in exile on the island of Patmos off the Coast of Asia Minor. The marked difference in literary style, theological content and other factors lead scholars to conclude that Revelation was not written by the same author as the Johannine gospel and epistles. Scholars generally date this book to around 96 C.E. making it highly doubtful that it was actually written by the apostle named John (he would likely have been in his 90's at the time) That it was written near Ephesus (and probably on Patmos as suggested) is not widely disputed. The book of Revelation, however, was heavily disputed as a canonical text for several centuries. As late as the 4th century we have documents from Church fathers questioning the canonicity of Revelation. Furthermore Revelation is unlike any of the other texts in the NT canon. It is more akin to the Jewish format of apocalyptic than anything. Scholars conclude that, using the apocalyptic genre as a framework, the author of Revelation is describing recent history around the time of the emperor Domitian. Almost noone except fundamentalist protestants think Revelation is prophetic and applicable to the modern era, though many Xians have analyzed Revelation in light of current circumstances in order to calculate the date of the parousia (the return of Christ) over the centuries.

[ December 20, 2001: Message edited by: CowboyX ]</p>
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