In his recent Viewpoints commentary about the Gospel of Judas [Et tu, Judas?, April 26], Tom Holmes uncritically quoted one commentator who implied that all the four gospels of the New Testament were written by disciples of Jesus. It is important to note that this is by no means certain. New Testament scholars date the writing of Matthew, Luke and John to the late first century, up to six or seven decades after the death of Jesus. In addition, source analysis indicates that the gospels of Matthew and Luke rely on the earlier Gospel of Mark (which probably was written in the late ’60s). In the words of New Testament scholar Dennis C. Duling: “So late a date makes composition by a disciple unlikely, though not impossible.” (See his commentary on the Gospel According to Matthew in The Harper Collins Study Bible, page 1,857.)

Judith Alexander
Oak Park

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