Gospel References Indicating Non-Jewish Authorship of the Gospels

It is apparent from the following gospel quotes that the authors of the gospels not only wrote predominantly in the Greek language, but were not Jewish. The Greek writer of “Matthew” says: “this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” (Mt. 28:15),—showing, too, that it was written long afterwards; a Jew might have said “among our people,” or some such. It is written in “Mark”: “For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands of it, eat not, holding to the tradition of the elders” (Mk. 7:3); no Jew writing for his fellow-Jews would need to explain this Jewish custom, known to and practiced by “all the Jews.” Luke refers to: “Joseph, of Arimathea, a city of the Jews”; an American writer, speaking of Chicago, would not say “a city of the Americans.” The author of “John” is the most prolific in telling his Pagan readers about Jewish customs and personalities; absurd in a Jew writing for Jews: “After the manner of the purifying of the Jews” (2:6); “And the Jews’ passover was at hand” (2:13) “Then answered the Jews, and said unto Jesus” (3:1); “Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples—[all Jews]—and the Jews about purifying” (3:25); “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus” (5:16); “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him” (5:18). More: “And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh” (6:4); no American would say “the Fourth of July, a holiday of the Americans.” “After these things Jesus would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him” (7:1); “for they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already” (9:22); “His disciples said unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee with stones” (11:8); “As the manner of the Jews is to bury” (19:40), which need not be explained to a Jew.

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The Gospel of Mark, agreed to be the first written contains a number of "Latinisms" — loan words from Latin to Greek — which would suggest an audience more comfortable with Latin than in Greek. Some of these Latinisms include (Greek/Latin) 4:27 modios/modius (a measure), 5:9,15: legiôn/legio (legion), 6:37: dênariôn/denarius (a Roman coin), 15:39, 44-45: kenturiôn/centurio (centurion; both Matthew and Luke use ekatontrachês, the equivalent term in Greek). Clement, who died in 212, and Irenaeus, who died in 202, are two early church leaders who both supported a Roman origin for Mark. Mark calculates time by a Roman method (for example, dividing the night into four watches rather than three, and has faulty knowledge of Palestinian geography. Experts agree that although the gospel was not of Jewish origin, the writer seems to have a Jewish background. Therefore Mark may have lived in a place like Tyre or Sidon in a region close to, but not in Galilee, and familiar with Chrisitian traditions in Syrian communities. Both of these cities are on the Mediterranean Sea between Judea and Antioch the city where the term Christian was first used in the year 41 CE and a place that Apollonius called home for a good part of his life.

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