Acts 17:28 `For in him we live and move and have our being.'
How do we know about Jesus?
How has he been revealed to us?
Acts 2 Comment on Peter's sermon. Why do you think people found him credible?
Who wrote the Gospels, why
Matthew - early theologians and historians (such as Papias in the 1st Century) credited the book to the apostle Matthew, something undisputed at the time. Fragments from a codex of Matthew in Oxford and Barcelona have been dated to c60AD by papyrologist Carsten Theide2 (the original scroll must have been older, maybe late 50's). Written for a jewish audience with many more OT references than the other gospels.
Mark - Papias and other early church leaders all credit the gospel to Mark (which was a nickname). Christians in Jerusalem met at his mothers house (Acts 12:12), and he may have been speaking of himself in Mark 14:51-52 (a young man [who shall remain nameless] . . .). Although originally associated with Paul, he becomes very close to Peter in Rome (1Peter 5:13), from whom he collected the material for his gospel, which may have been written as early as 50AD (a fragment was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls - the library of an apocalyptic Jewish sect). Mark writes to a gentile church, but with a distinct Judean accent in his Greek.
Luke - a physician by profession, and probably a gentile (the only biblical writer who was), he was a close componian of Paul from his second mission trip. The gospel (and Acts) were dedicated and written for an educated Roman patron. He refers to other accounts and states that he had "carefully investigated everything" (Luke 1:1-4).
John - written by the apostle, late (perhaps verylate - he makes a point of refuting the rumor that he would not die John 21:20-23). John's gospel is both more intimate and more enigmatic. Looking back at the development of the church, and with almost all of the NT in wide circulation, John writes to reinforce and expand on what has been written before.
What does the authorship and date of the Gospels tell us about them?
Extra references to check out.
Matthew 24:1-2 (foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 - remember when these were written)
1 The Reliability of the Synoptic Tradition.quoted by Martin Hengel at the end of his Studies in the Gospel of Mark.
2 Eyewitness to Jesus, Doubleday, 1996