Authentic Bible history vs New Age Nonsense: Was Matthew or Mark the first written Gospel?

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For 2000 years Christians have accepted that the four Gospels provide reliable historical facts about the life of Jesus. They also accepted that the ancient historians provided reliable accounts regarding the origins of these Gospels. Borrowing had obviously taken place between the authors of Matthew, Mark and Luke, later known as: ‘The Synoptic Gospels’. Who had borrowed from whom was of little academic interest until 1764 when Henry Owen, an Anglican Vicar, proposed that Mark wrote after Luke.

Although discussed in Germany, conservative scholars rejected the idea because it contradicted Jerome’s sequence of Matthew-Mark-Luke.

But Owen had arrived at his theory by critically examining the wording used by the authors, and this prompted others to also do so. In 1838 Christian Weisse claimed that as Mark’s Gospel was in poor grammatical Greek, compared to the other two, he must have written prior to them.  His reason was that the ‘borrower’ would not deliberately turn good quality Greek into poor quality. The sequence that Mark wrote first became known as the Markan Priority Theory.

Rationalists and other non-believers in the German Universities, supported by the government, championed this theory because all the ancient historians had said that Matthew wrote first. The acceptance of Markan Priority would mean all the early Christian historians were seriously wrong so unreliable.

Also, they could argue, that as most scholars dated Mark as writing about 64 AD, Matthew and Luke must have been written much later. So, these Gospels would have been authored by anonymous individuals who had never met Christ. They would have constructed stories of Christ not based on facts but on their personal faith.

Such a lack of Scriptural reliability would devastate Evangelical Christianity. And the evidence for the historical claim, by the Catholic Church, to having been founded by Christ would be undermined.

Christians answered those promoting Markan Priority [In future here referred to as Markans], by basing their stand on the words of the historians and on the reliability of Jerome’s listing in the order of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But although they undermined the Markan position, they failed to win the debate convincingly.

On the other side, Markans found it necessary to rely on an alleged historical document they called Q – although there was not the slightest historical evidence that it ever existed. The two sides fought each other to a stand-still.

Then, in 1965, the Second Vatican Council maintained that the historians were correct. It restated that the eyewitness Apostles and their apostolic friends had authored the four gospels. Soon afterwards, research led to a third theory emerging (or re-emerging), which would reconcile modern critical analysis with the historical evidence.

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Irrefutable historical proof of Jesus’ existence – from multiple sources

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You would expect a movement that began and then spread far and wide in only a few decades to have a founder, and—absent very strong evidence to the contrary—it does not make sense to reject the movement’s claim about who its founder was.

From non-Christian sources alone, we could have predicted that Christianity likely had a founder who lived some time in the first half of the first century.

When we find Christian sources agreeing with this and identifying that founder as Jesus of Nazareth, we have reason to credit this claim and to conclude: Jesus of Nazareth existed.

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Evidence for Pope Pius XII being a good guy is overwhelming

Krupp explained that Pope Pius used the Holy See’s global network of embassies to help smuggle Jews out of occupied Europe. In one such instance, the Vatican secretly asked for visas to the Dominican Republic– 800 at a time – to aid Jewish rescue efforts. This one initiative alone is estimated to have saved over 11,000 Jewish lives between 1939 and 1945.

Closer to home, the convents and monasteries of Rome—neutral territory during the war—were used as hiding places for Jews.

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Why Be Catholic? 11: Peace


…only one religion in the entire history of mankind—Roman Catholicism—possesses both a verifiable public Revelation and an unimpeachable authority for interpreting it. Once he is convinced of these two foundations, everything else follows as day follows night. A convinced Catholic has no need to agonize over the truth or falsehood of each individual element of the Catholic creed, or each individual moral precept. Thus Catholics will “no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles” (Eph 4:14). Confident that truth is not first one thing and then another, the Catholic knows the profound peace of being firmly and unalterably anchored not only in Christ’s grace but also in His truth.

This peace is imparted even more deeply by the Catholic’s realization that the sheer sublimity of Catholic teaching and the incomparable means of holiness offered by the Church are such that nothing better can be found by any person who truly seeks perfection. The nobility and consistency of the Church’s teachings, the supreme blending of the spiritual and the material in her sacramental system which speaks so powerfully to the nature of man, the riches of the Catholic tradition in guiding souls, and the extraordinary spiritual power witnessed in the lives of her saints: These are but so many reminders that it is quite impossible to attain through any other means anything which so perfectly answers the highest aspirations of the human heart….

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Is there Scripture to support the office of a priest in the New Testament church?

Q: Is there Scripture to support the office of a priest in the New Testament church?

A: Yep. The scriptural evidence can be found throughout the four Gospels.

You may have noticed Jesus working with a dozen hand picked men, known as the Apostles, with whom he shared (among other things) the Last Supper.

The events of the Last Supper included the eternal fulfillment of the old Jewish Passover, the establishment of the New Covenant, the initiation of the New Covenant Ministerial Priesthood, the receiving of the essential Liturgy of the Catholic Mass, and the institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion, which anticipated Christ’s definitive sacrifice for sin, which remains the official remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, until he comes again.

It was these same 12 who faithfully passed along all these truths, literally establishing Christ’s Church upon them, some 1500 years before the first Protestant ever thumped a Bible.

These same guys also wrote all the New Testament scripture, the meaning of which remains authentically and exclusively Catholic, in spite of the thousands of weird and wacky personal interpretations that people have come up with since.

The question you should be asking is: Why didn’t somebody tell you all this before, why didn’t they know all this, and/or why did they try to keep this information from you?