Did the gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John meet Jesus?

I know the Jesus that we atheists know is most likely just a myth but I would like to find out if, and only if, Jesus did exist (the man, not the god that did miracles) would these gospel writers have actually met him? I saw a youtube video (not entirely sure which one it was) that was showing someone from the Islamic religion debunking the Christian religion. He said that none of them had ever met Jesus as they only wrote the gospel 40-80 years after Jesus' supposed death.

Can anyone verify this for me, it would be an interesting point to make when arguing with a christian.

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I know, and I personally agree that he never existed or was just a simple preacher for christianity. The problem is if we are arguing with christians and we state that Jesus didn't exist they won't listen, if we can say that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John had never actually met him they may stop and ask if it is true and look it up for themselves. I'm purely asking for an argumentative purpose.
I did a quick google and there are a lot of different opinions on the matter, some say only 2 of the 4 met him, some say all 4 were close to him, I'm just looking to see if anyone who has already researched the matter may be able to clarify it for me.
Thanks, I just didn't really have time to do much research, and basically just googled it for interests sake. I was just curious if anyone else had done a lot of research on it and knew the facts from the fiction.

Funny; I was brought up Methodist and the general understanding was that they lived at least a generation after Jesus arose.

The short answer is 'no' they were almost 100 years too late. In his video, "The God Who Wasn't There," Brian Flemming ($20 at Amazon) outlines this question very well. He identifies that it was several decades AFTER Jesus' death that Paul wrote the first gospel and then close to 100 years before the first of the gospels were written. Combine that with the fact that Paul fails to mention some thirty critical elements that the other gospel DO talk about, the fact that they are consistently contradictory, and you've got some trouble on your hands. For more fun, visit a user on YouTube called, "ProfMTH" and search for his Bible Blunders series - its a scream. Peace!
Ryan ! Thank you! This is awesome! I did do some follow-up research after watching Flemming video (particularly the part addressing parallel histories of other deities) and found several discrepancies myself. I guess I was somewhat more trusting of his account of the order of the gospels. That doesn't seem like something a Fundy would have gotten wrong. I'll check this out further. Thank you for sharing! :-)

I agree with most of what you say, except that Paul did not author a Gospel. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and whatever you personally admit to the canon from the Apocrypha. None of the writers of the Gospels ever met Jesus (If you believe there was a person and not just a myth) The first was written at least 80 years after Jesus death, in the consensus opinion of most scholars (I am not one so I judge the sources.)

Actually the consensus date for Mark is 70-75 CE, shortly after the end of the first Roman-Jewish war and the destruction of the Temple. That puts it around 35-40 years after Jesus' death (usually dated to 35 CE or slightly later).

Even John, the latest of the gospels, is generally to have been written before the end of the First Century (95 CE is a common estimate), i.e. 60 years removed from Jesus' death.

I have no idea which scholars you've been reading but the above dates are fairly standard.

I have yet to read Bart Ehrman but other scholars give similar figures.

Lee Strobel covers interviews with apologist scholars in his book The Case for Christ and reports much different figures. He reports that Paul's writings and the oral tradition which became the gospels occurred as early as 2 years after Jesus' death.

I suspect that the accurate history is somewhere in between. I need to read Ehrman and others.

The consensus among scholars is that none of the authors of the Gospels ever met Christ and that the first was written after his death with Matthew, Mark, and John working from pretty much the same source material, and Luke playing Jung to their Freud

Lee Strobel is smarter than I am if he can figure out when an ORAL tradition started.





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