Writers of the New Testament

This entry is part 490 of 507 in the series Inquiring Minds
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Were Greek writers responsible for the original New Testament gospels?

The four writers of the Greek New Testament are Matthew, John Mark, Luke, and John. Of these four, only one was a Gentile. Matthew, also known as Levi (Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:24) was a Jewish tax collector that Jesus called into his twelve disciples. His original language would have been Aramaic or Hebrew.

John Mark, the writer of the Gospel of Mark was a younger follower of Jesus. It’s believed he was the one to run out of the garden of Gethsemane the night of Jesus’ arrest (Mark 14:51-52). Although John Mark was not an apostle, he was heavily influenced by Simon Peter. Most of Mark is probably from peters perspective.

The apostle John wrote five books of the New Testament including the Gospel of John, 1-3 John and the prophecy of Revelation. John was a fisherman before Jesus called him to be one of his twelve apostles. John’s original language would have been Aramaic or Hebrew.

Luke was probably a doctor. He traveled with the apostle Paul on his missionary journeys. He is the author of a two-volume set in the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke and the church history book of Acts.

Luke was a Gentile who knew Greek the best out of the four Gospel writers. It may have been his native tongue. His Greek is almost more classical Greek than Koine Greek. Parts of the book of Acts approach this level of classical Greek. They are some of the hardest Greek to read in the New Testament.

For Matthew and John to do business as a tax collector and fisherman respectively, they would have known Koine (common) Greek. It was the lingua franca of the day. Every local person knew this form of Greek to be able to communicate with others who did not know the local language.

This is why Koine Greek is the language of the New Testament. Anywhere it was taken throughout the Roman Empire everyone could read what was written about Jesus. It made it very easy to spread the gospel and gospel ideas.

God wants to make his Word accessible to the masses. Jesus came at the perfect time after Alexander the Great hellenized much of the world that the Roman Empire took control of. Hellenization means that Alexander the Great made many of the conquered peoples learn the language and culture of Greece.

This made it possible for the gospel to spread much faster at this time in the ancient world. God knew exactly what he was doing by waiting until the proper moment in history for Jesus to be born and for his good news to conquer the nations of the ancient world.

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