The Problem That Isn’t

Saint Luke, James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum

Saint Luke by James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum: Luke was the author of the Gospel of Luke, as well as Acts of the Apostles.

Some critics have used the so-called “Synoptic Problem” to cast doubt on the traditional belief that the gospels were actually written by apostles and by close associates of apostles.  They also cite the Synoptic Problem to cast doubt on the reliability of early church historians, such as Papias, Eusebius, Origen, Ireneaus, and others, all of whom attest to the traditionally understood authorship of the gospels.  If the critics are right, then the gospels do not reflect eyewitness testimony regarding the teachings and actions of Jesus.

Any person who is interested in becoming a Christian—or any Christian who wants to defend the faith—needs to understand a few things related to all of this.  Continue reading