How The Gospels Were Written

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How the Gospels Came to Be Written By John Coyne To understand how the Gospels generally recognized by all the Christian Churches as authentic came to be written and placed in the place of honor they hold in these churches, one has to look at the historical setting that gave rise to their composure After Jesus died, and the Church began on Pentecost, the followers of Jesus considered themselves to be Jewish, and continued to practice their Jewish religion by attending the synagogue, making annual pilgrimages to the Temple on Jerusalem, and generally observing all the common Jewish feasts. This continued until some time after the destruction of Jerusalem with a few exceptions.(1) The exceptions are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. They stem from the practice at Antioch of receiving Gentiles into the community of Jesus' followers without having them undergo circumcision, in other words, without becoming Jews.

A violent argument about this ensued between the followers of Jesus at Jerusalem and those at Antioch. This was settled at a general meeting of the early Christian leaders in Jerusalem by deciding that one did not have to become a Jew to become a follower of Jesus.(2) Around the same time, in Antioch, the Jews who did not see Jesus as the Messiah began to refer to the followers of Jesus as Christians. Previously they had called themselves followers of "The Way." Antagonism between these two groups of Jews grew. The growth accelerated after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD and the rout of Jewish rebels by the Roman armies in the decades that followed. Sometime before 90 AD the tradition Jews expelled the Christians from the synagogues and declared them no longer Jews. Some of the anti-Jewish flavor of the fourth Gospel, written sometime after...