Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"be content with your wages" - Authority of the Gospels

Around Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Authority of the Gospels

The New Testament has documents related to Paul in an overwhelming ratio.  They are mostly letters written by Paul.  In addition, the Gospel according to Luke is also closely associated with Paul, since Luke followed Paul to Rome and wrote the Acts to testify what Paul was.  However, the Gospels according to Mark and Mathew are also included in the New Testament as holy books.

Indeed, it is thought that Luke was written based on Mark.  Or contents included in Mark account for 42% of those of Luke.  Put simply, 42% of contents of Luke were copied from Mark.  So, if Luke was holy, Mark was also holy, so that Mark was included in the New Testament.  But why are Mathew and John included in the New Testament while they were apparently written after Luke?

It is also thought that Mathew and John were also based on Mark and Luke.  But weren't there other documents also based on Mark and Luke around AD 100?  If there had been other Gospels that had been also written like Mathew and John based on Mark and Luke, they should have been included in the New Testament.

So, there are only two possibilities: (1) there were no other Gospels written based on Mark and Luke, or (2) there were other Gospels written based on Mark and Luke but they lacked some special conditions.  The matter is simple in the case of (1).  But what are the special conditions in the case (2)?

The answer must be also related to the basic question why Luke adopted Mark as its source.  It must be because Mark had been written under supervision of Paul or Peter.  So, only Mathew and John were written under supervision of somebody who succeeded Paul and Peter.

But why aren't there any descriptions about such supervision or authority in those Gospels?  This is one of major keys to understanding the Gospels.

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Luk 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.