The validity of The Holy Bible

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
I NEED EVERYTHING YOU HAVE.!! sermons, articles, research [especially] ...
And also, do we believe that the apostles mathew and john and the disciples mark and luke wrote the gospels THEMSELVESS. ? proof pleasee... ii need HEAPS of sources so give me everyithing you can findd !!!
+God Bless


  • If you look at something like Sub-deacon Hanna's Doctrinal Theology you'll get some good answers to some of your questions. There's a good website at

    Holy Tradition teaches us that the Bible was divinely inspired. That does not mean that the writers of the Gospels were dictated to by an Angel, it means that we believe that the Holy Spirit guided the gospel writers and the early Church.

    Only Sts. Matthew and John actually met the Lord in the flesh, and St. John, who wrote his Gospel in old age (c. 95 A.D.) did so, in part, to combat heresies which were being advanced by those who had never met the Lord; he constantly stresses his credentials as an eye witness.

    John Mark, the Apostle to whom our own Church owes its existence (of course, it owes it to the Lord Himself) is said to have been the nephew of Mary, the sister of Barnabas (Acts 12:12; Colossians 4:10), which would explain why he accompanied Barnabas and his friend Paul on missionary journeys (Acts 12:25; 15:36-40; 2 Timothy 4:11). He later travelled with the apostle Peter, who called the young man “my son” (1 Peter 5:13). In fact, several early Christian writers indicated that Mark’s gospel comprised a collection of stories about Jesus that he heard from Peter. Barnabas, a native of Cyprus, was an early convert to the church (Acts 4:36), but there is no indication that either he or his nephew Mark had known Jesus, except for the tradition which would identify Mark with the “young man” of Mark 14:51-52. This is an important point, because the tradition it points to is our own Coptic one.

    Papias, writing in about 130 A.D. about Mark and Matthew says:

    "And the presbyter said this: Mark the interpreter of Peter, wrote down exactly, but not in order, what he remembered of the acts and sayings of the Lord, for he neither heard the Lord himself nor accompanied him, but, as I said, Peter later on. Peter adapted his teachings to the needs [of his hearers], but made no attempt to provide a connected narrative of things related to our Lord.

    So Mark made no mistake in setting down some things as he remembered them, for he took care not to omit anything he heard nor to include anything false. As for Matthew, he made a collection in Hebrew of the sayings and each translated them as best they could."

    Irenaeus, writing about 180 A.D. on Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in Adversus haereses   3.3.4 tells us

    "Matthew published his gospel among the Hebrews in their own tongue, when Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel in Rome and founding the church there. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the substance of Peter's preaching. Luke, the follower of Paul, set down in a book the gospel preached by his teacher. Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who leaned on his breast [John 13:25;21:20], himself produced his gospel, when he was living in Ephesus in Asia.'

    What you ought to realise is that western scholarship has produced a host of writings on the Bible, but that the Church believes that its own traditions are the best and most reliable source. The website I quoted above is in line with what the Church teaches, but there are problems associated with St. Mark himself due to differences between our tradition and that of Rome.

    I hope that helps a bit.

    In Christ,


  • How could Mark not have met the Lord when the Lord had the last supper in his house. also Pentecost occured at his house as well. Or am i mistaking that with another apostle? anyone correct me if i am wrong
  • Dear JYdeacon,

    No, you are not mistaken.

    There is a real difference between our tradition in the Coptic Church and what is taught elsewhere. We do indeed identify Mark with the 'young man' in Mark 14, and we do indeed believe that since Our Lord celebrated the Passover at his mother's house, He must have met John Mark. That is why I emphasised the importance of tradition, for without it we are indeed in the position that many Protestants adopt - which is to say there is no 'proof' that St. Mark met Our Lord. It depends what one means by 'proof'.

    We believe what Tradition tells us, which is that since our Lord was so often at his house, He must have met John Mark.

    The Roman Catholics take the view that I mentioned in my last posting, namely that St. Mark only became an Apostle at the hands of St. Peter - but they have obvious reasons for that view - which we refute.

    Our views on this are best stated by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III in his 1995 book on St. Mark.

    I hope that helps clear up the situation - which is, as I have said, only really understandable if one takes in the importance of tradition.

    In Christ,

  • Anglian, thank you very very much for your time and effort regarding this post.
    The reason i put this up here is because my Catholic Religion teacher is saying things about the Bible that I don't think are true...
    He was saying that the four gospels were written through second hand information and that we really didn't know how much of them were real [you can see how this didn't really settle with me]. He's also been saying that the old Testament is made of mainly 'myths' and not true fact... including the creation story and the story of Jonah..

    Is this The Roman Catholic Church's teaching?
    Do they believe that the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit?
    Do we know of any proof that disprooves these claims?
    Any related information would be Helpful.
    Thank you
  • Ah, I see; I did wonder if that was what was going on.

    It sounds as though your teacher belongs to the 'modernist' school of Catholic thought; Pope Benedict XVI would not be amused.

    Essentially what the modernists believe is that scholarship has 'proved' certain things about the Bible - mostly those things you mention. In fact it has not, and more recent scholarship is beginning to undermine the sceptical views of those who wrote in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Let us take some points here.

    the four gospels were written through second hand information and that we really didn't know how much of them were real

    In fact we have more evidence about the Gospels and how they were written and composed than we have for almost any other books of that era. Even a liberal Anglican like Bishop John Robinson found, when he came to write his 1976 book Redating the New Testament that there was more information than he had thought, and he came to the conclusion that the oral tradition of the Church was accurate. After all, Father such as Clement and Papias and Polycarp all wrote in the 1st century and knew some of the Apostles; we know that three of the Gospels were circulating as early as the 70s A.D. - so there were plenty of people about who knew just who had written them. It is an oddity of modern scholarship that it tends to disregard oral evidence such as this. The earliest Christians accepted these books as being what they say they are. That is good enough for the Roman Pope, and for most of us.

    As for the Old Testament being myths - well, there's as much evidence that what is says is accurate as there is that it is myth - that is to say there isn't a lot of evidence either way. The Jews have always believed it to be true, and so did Our Lord, and so did the early Christians.

    The official position of the RC's on these things is the same as our own; your teacher might be advised to read Pope Benedict's new book, Jesus of Nazareth in which he takes a very Orthodox line.

    I shall say something about the differences between us and the RC's in response to your other post on that thread.

    Let me know if I can be of any more help.

    In Christ,
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