Are there any Biblical Scholars/Textual critics who believe that the 4 Gospels were originally written in Greek? I'm talking about the originals, the first ever copies not the manuscripts that we have now that are a few centuries old.

If so, can you please provide names/references of these scholars.

  • 9
    This is actually a fairly common position. Aramaic primacy is a newer hypothesis. Mar 19, 2014 at 1:45
  • Did the founding church fathers comment on this issue? Mar 19, 2014 at 15:08
  • 2
    Bruce Metzger, Daniel Wallace, and almost all the others. And the Church Fathers do comment on this. Jerome and others say that Matthew alone was written in Hebrew and then translated into Greek. This was unique among the NT books. Greek was the language they spoke of the rest of the books being written in. And there are a handful of Greek manuscripts that are estimated to be within a century of their originals (P52 for example).
    – Frank Luke
    Mar 19, 2014 at 16:12
  • @FrankLuke Sorry Bruce Metzger believes they were written in which language? thanks! Mar 19, 2014 at 17:37
  • @user1361315, Bruce, Daniel, and the vast majority of NT scholars believe Greek was first. Sorry I didn't specify.
    – Frank Luke
    Mar 19, 2014 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


Yes. Dr. C. Matthew McMahon writes that the belief that the four gospels were written in Hebrew is an idea that is not consistent with the manuscript evidence, and furthermore he draws the conclusion that believing that the four gospels were written in Hebrew is detrimental to knowing who God is, what he is like, and that Jesus is both God and man. See his footnotes for more sources.

  • It seems equally dangerous to ignore God's Hebrew choice of linage for Jesus Christ. Clearly when Jesus is quoted, it would be foolish to believe He spoke to His Hebrew disciples in Greek?
    – Rick
    Mar 19, 2014 at 11:23
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    It is instructive to note that the charge against Jesus that was nailed to the cross was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. This suggests that all three languages were commonly understood. Furthermore, The Hebrew Scriptures had been translated into Greek in 250 B.C. and this translation would have been familiar to the people of the day. So, Greek was definitely a language that was well understood in that day.
    – Narnian
    Mar 19, 2014 at 13:53
  • @Rick, if you are interested in that topic, I highly recommend *Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus".
    – Frank Luke
    Mar 19, 2014 at 16:13
  • From the Biblical record, the first church was Hebrew. All the doctrines were taught in Hebrew. Paul taught in Hebrew and was validated by the Bereans. Only later was there a need for Greek. Though most of the manuscripts were probably written in Greek, they were nevertheless taken from Hebrew scriptures and Hebrew thought.
    – Bob Jones
    Dec 26, 2017 at 18:46

Historically, most doubts about Greek authorship have centred around Matthew's Gospel. At one stage, Matthew's Gospel was thought to have been written in Aramaic, but this no longer has any serious support. Now, virtually all New Testament scholars and probably even a majority of theologians believe that all four New Testament were written in Greek. The following is a selection of views held by New Testament scholars and commentators.

Uta Ranke-Heinemann says in Putting Away Childish Things, page 218, Matthew's Gospel was originally written in Greek and is not a translation. She says when the Protestant-Catholic “Unity Translation” of 1980 continues to speak about the “old church tradition” of an original Aramaic version, it is refusing to acknowledge the findings of serious scholarship. As John Shelby Spong says in Born of a Woman, page 55, the author's primary language must have been Greek because of his familiarity with the Septuagint scriptures, citing for example, see Matthew’s assumption about 'virgin' in Isaiah 7:14. Similarly, Spong says (page 109) that Luke was written in Greek. Bart D. Ehrman says in Forged, page 227, that Matthew was not written in Hebrew, but in Greek, and was based on our Gospel of Mark.

It would be hard to find anyone who says Mark was not written in Greek. John Carroll says on page 252 of The Existential Jesus that Mark's story was written in Greek. Rhoads, Dewey and Michie say in Mark as Story, third edition page 9, says that Mark's original text was written in Greek.

Among commentators on John's Gospel, Rex Wyler says in The Jesus Sayings, page 275, that scholars presume a Greek original.

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