We have no verifiable information about who wrote the gospels of the New Testament, where they were written, or even when. Later legends connected these gospels with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but there is no reliable historical evidence to support these claims. Modern scholars estimate that the gospel called Mark was written first, about 65–75 C.E., Luke around 80–85 C.E., Matthew around 85–90 C.E., and the final form of John to around 150 C.E., though there is good reason to think it was based on earlier sources. These four accounts disagree on many important points, which leads many scholars to question the historical reliability of the accounts.
[...] Oxford: Oxford University Press Ilan, Tal, “Notes on the Distribution of Jewish Women's Names in Palestine in the Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods” Journal of Jewish Studies Kingsbury, J. D., “Matthew, The Gospel According in The Oxford Companion to the Bible, B. M. Metzger & M. D. Coogan, Eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press Schaberg, Jane, in Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe, eds., The Women's Bible Commentary, 275–292. Louisville, KY: Westminster Schüssler Fiorenza, Elizabeth, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins. [...]
[...] Conclusion Why, we must ask, would Mary Magdalene be so well known in all the varied and widespread communities of the New Testament gospels? Why would a significant number of people be willing to believe that she, a woman, was not only the first witness to the resurrection but also the first witness to the risen Jesus? In other words, why were people willing to believe she was the first apostle chosen by Jesus? We cannot know for sure that she really did see the visions, but we know for sure that several gospel writers believed she did. [...]
[...] The Steadfast Disciple The New Testament gospels agree that Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus who traveled with him, ministered to him, and stood by him when most or all of the male disciples had fled in fear. From her actions at the crucifixion and the tomb, it would appear that her ministry was much more than financial, though she might well have been a wealthy woman. She was the first witness to the resurrection and the apostle to the apostles in relaying that information. [...]
[...] M. Metzger & M. D. Coogan, Eds.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). J. D. Kingsbury, “Matthew, The Gospel According in The Oxford Companion to the Bible, (B. M. Metzger & M. D. Coogan, Eds.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). S. S. Smalley, The Gospel According in The Oxford Companion to the Bible, (B. M. Metzger & M. D. Coogan, Eds.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). Jane Schaberg, in Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe, eds., The Women's Bible Commentary, [...]
[...] The story of her going alone in the John account may be the oldest version. In the gospels of Matthew and John Mary Magdalene is also the first person to see the risen Jesus (Matt. John 20:11–12). Apparently Mary Magdalene's prominence in the group did not begin at the crucifixion, because in the Gospel of Mark, generally considered the oldest gospel, Mary Magdalene is listed first among the women who traveled with Jesus and ministered to him. Scholars believe that the order in which people are listed in the gospels indicates their rank or prominence within the original group. [...]
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