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.

Tags: Jesus, christianity, john, luke, mark, matthew

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The 40 - 80 year time frame is most likely correct. Reputable New Testament scholars generally agree that Mark was written around 70 CE, Mathew & Luke in the 80's, and John in the 90's. They all underwent revision and may not have reached their present form until about 150 CE. None of the original authors had ever met Jesus (if he existed, which most scholars believe he did) since he died ca. 30 CE. A good book about the methods and conclusions of scholars searching for the historical Jesus is The Acts of Jesus edited by by Robert W. Funk and other members of the Jesus Seminar, published by Harper, San Francisco. If only Muslims were as critical of their own scriptures.
Congrats to Arnold for one of the first factually accurate posts in this thread.
First of all, Paul never wrote a single gospel (he did write several lettres though, many of which have been included in the New Testament).
Second of all, considering the Gospel of Mark was written around 72 AD, that puts the gospels only about 40 years after the death of Jesus, which is actually fairly good.

And as for the OP, I can see what you're trying to do but your point is moot: while it is certainly true that none of the gospel authors met Jesus (they were about 40-60 years too late) but like many ancient literature it is based on oral tradition. That doesn't necessarily make for a good argument against Christianity, because they will simply (on faith) maintain that the authors got hold of the correct oral tradition and wrote that version down. You're better off staying within the Gospels themselves and detailing, for example, how the teachings of a devout Jew like Jesus got distorted when his sect caught on among non-Jewish converts.


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