MATHHEW WAS THE ONLY JEWISH EVANGELISTShlomoh Sherman
I believe that Matthew was the only Jewish evangelist. I do not believe that the other three were Jewish at all. And I have a problem with Matthew's Jewishness too but I believe he was a Jew.
Here's what I base my belief on.
With the exception of Luke, I believe that the other 3 Gospels were written my anonymous men using the names of the disciples of Jesus.
Luke himself is known to have been a Greek, a follower of Paul and his close intimate.
The author of the 4th Gospel is supposed to have been John, the beloved disciple. However based upon what we know of the sons of Zebedee and based on what is written in the Gospel According To St. John, this book could never have been written by a Jew, and not written by the disciple John. The real John was the last surviving member of the original triumvirate of leaders of the Mother Church at Jerusalem, a collegue of James, Jesus' brother. It is clear to me that James felt antipathy and animosity towards Paul and his teachings and that both Peter and John were in complete agreement with James. The Gospel According to John is filled with such overwhelming hatred towards Jews, and the Jesus of that Gospel is himself so anti-Jewish that it could only have been written by a gentile Christian whose Christology is far removed from Jesus the Nazarene presented in the Synoptic Gospels. In John, chapter 8, Jesus curses the Jews and refers to the TORAH as "your law" as tho he were the Wicked Son of the Passover Seder who excludes himself from the Jewish community.
The Gospel According to St. Mark was the first gospel written (around 70 to 75 C.E.) and is clearly the work of a Christian apologist who wishes to distance both Jesus and the Church from ther Jews and Judaism as much as possible. This gospel was written as a reaction to the Jewish defeat in the war against Rome. The man who wrote this Gospel took the name of Mark for a specific reason. I believe that Mark was a Roman living in the city of Rome itself, and a member of the gentile Church of Rome. The original REAL Mark was the nephew of Peter and his "interpreter". He stands in relation to Peter as Luke does to Paul. As a follower of Peter, he also felt antipathy to Paul, and there is even a story in Acts of the Apostles in which Mark and Paul fall into an argument so bitter that Mark leaves Paul and refuses to travel with him any more. At the time that Mark's Gospel was written, everyone knew that the first established Church in Rome was a Jewish Church, established by Peter. Even after Paul became the real hero of Christianity, no one could refute that the Church of Rome was established by Peter and that he was its first bishop (or even Pope, as Roman Catholics like to say).
That tradition is so deep that it must be historical. After the defeat of the Jews by the Romans and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Roman army, Christians, as well as Jews, were thoroughly traumatized by it. How, they asked themselves, had G-d allowed this to happen without sending Jesus to intervene? How had G-d's very own House been allowed to be destroyed by pagan non-believers? What did this mean for believers? It could only have one meaning, and that meaning was that Paul had been right and the Jews wrong. After the destruction of the Jews and of the Temple, it looked as though the Jews and their religion were finished in history. It looked as though what Paul had said was correct. G-d no longer was the G-d of the Jews; the Jews no longer were His Chosen People; those privilages had now passed on to the "New Israel" and the new Christian religion.
The leaders of that new religion now had an opportunity and an obligation to their people. They had the opportunity of HARMONIZING the brief history of the Christian movement so that it appeared a seamless transition from a Jewish sect to a universal religion; seamless also in that there never REALLY was any disharmony among the leadership; Paul and Peter and James and John had always been in agreement that the chosenness now belonged to the "new people of G-d". If that were not so, He would have sent Jesus to help the Jews defeat the Romans. It was now up to the author of Mark's Gospel to make several statements by writing his book. Firstly, all that Paul had said was now corroborated by Peter's own "nephew", and the Jesus of the new Gospel was seen as one proposing peace as the attitude that the Jews should adopt.
The Christians were peacefull, it was important for the Romans to know. "Mark" wrote his Gospel for the Romans as well as for the Christians. The Romans should know that the Christians did NOT IDENTIFY WITH THE JEWS IN THE REBELLION AGAINST ROME. The Christian messiah was NOT a political activist against the Emperor. Mark sets the tone now when Jesus is asked about payment of taxes to Caesar. The REAL Jesus would have never been able to say "Render to Caesar what's Caesar's." No Galilean would ever dare say that.
In Mark's Gospel, the Romans are not real people. They are present but they are dream creatures that have no substantive existence. They are not the fascist scum which they were in Judea in real life who made the everyday existence of the Jews so miserable that they were the only ones to rebel against the current super power. In fact, the Romans, including the Nazi Pilate, are really made to be nice guys who are just doing their duty of bringing Pax Romana to the world, and the Jews are ungratefull trouble makers. Of course, when Mark wrote his Gospel, there were already Christian converts in the household of Caesar himself. Why make trouble? No, the author of Mark is defintely not a Jew.
More to come ....
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