with seeing the New Testament in terms of content and style it is
helpful to view the New Testament within the framework of the authors
of those books. The following chart illustrates the authors of the
New Testament along with the books which are credited to them.
BIOGRAPHY OF EACH AUTHOR:
Matthew: Mathew, also known as Levi, was a publican or tax collector
who was chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve Apostles. As a tax
collector Matthew would have been a literate person well suited
to author one of the gospel records. Early church tradition credits
Matthew with the authorship of the gospel bearing his name.
Mark: This disciple is given credit by the early church as the author
of the Gospel bearing his name. Mark was the Latin surname given
to this young man who's Jewish name was John. John Mark was cousin
to Barnabas a prominent figure in the early church. Mark traveled
with his cousin Barnabas in ministry and later in years ministered
to the Apostles Peter and Paul. Mark is not identified as one who
walked with Jesus yet his association with the Apostles makes him
more than qualified to produce a gospel record.
Luke: This man is credited with authoring the third Gospel and the
book of Acts. Luke is mentioned three times in the New Testament.
(Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24; II Timothy 4:11) and from these passages
we learn that Luke was a physician and a fellow worker of Paul who
traveled with Paul during his missionary journeys. Luke was an educated
man who's attention to historical detail is of great value to us
John: One of the twelve apostles, John was a fisherman and brother
to one of the other twelve apostles James. The Apostle John is the
author of the fourth gospel, three epistles and the Revelation.
John was a close personal associate of Jesus being referred to as
the "...disciple whom Jesus loved". John's writings are
of tremendous value to the Christian church and account for a significant
portion of the New Testament.
Peter: Peter was one of the most prominent of the twelve Apostles.
He was also a fisherman and brother to another of the twelve who's
name was Andrew. Peter was also referred to at times as Simeon (Acts
15:14) along with Cephos and Simon (John 1:43). Peter was a part
of Jesus inner circle of disciples and remains an important person
throughout the early church history. Peter is credited with authoring
the two Epistles which bear his name and as being the likely source
for Mark's Gospel.
Paul: The Apostle Paul, although not one of the original twelve
Apostles, was chosen by Jesus to be an apostle and to go out to
bring the gospel to the non-Jewish people of his day. Paul was a
Jew of respectable heritage and a ranking member of the strict Jewish
sect of the Pharisees. Paul was also a Roman citizen by birth which
he used to his advantage in times of persecution. His name before
his conversion was Saul and he was well known because he fiercely
persecuted the early Christians. After his miraculous conversion
Paul went on to live one of the most fruitful lives of service for
the kingdom of God.
James: The author of the epistle of James this man was also a brother
of Jesus. (Galatians 1:19). James was not one of the twelve Apostles
but was clearly a leader in the early church in Jerusalem. An important
council in Jerusalem chaired by James was responsible for deciding
that it was no longer a requirement to keep the ceremonial aspects
of the law of Moses. Acts 12:17; 15:13,19; Gal 2:9. Along with being
a member of Jesus household James also had the privilege of seeing
Jesus after He rose from the dead. I Cor 15:5,7.
Jude: The author of one epistle of only twenty five verses Jude
was also a brother of James and of Jesus. Jude 1; Gal 1:19 His name
in greek would be Judas however this is not the traitor of Jesus
but the defender of the faith who's epistle speaks out boldly against
the apostasy of his day.