The Eyewitness Accounts as Presented in the Bible
The Prophets and the Apostles
Who wrote the
Bible? The authors were known by various
names, most commonly as “Prophets.” Other titles: “Man of God” (1
Kings ), “Servant of
the Lord” (1 Kings ),
“Messenger of the Lord” (Isaiah 42:19),
“Seer” or “Beholder,” (Isaiah 30:9-10), “Man of the Spirit” (Hosea 9:7,
3:8) and a “Watchman” (Ezekiel ).
“Apostles” appeared in the New Testament, in addition to the Prophets,
titles authoritative as spokesmen for the Lord. 
The following is a
list of the Biblical authors  who
their works under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Details are
provided for five of the gospel writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and
as presented by Simon Greenleaf in Testimony of the Evangelists.
1. The Writer of Job.
Book of Job, regarded as the earliest written book of the Bible.
2. Moses. Shepherd. Leader.
Writer of The Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), plus Psalm 90.
3. Joshua. Military general.
4. Eleazar, son of Aaron. High priest.
5. Samuel. Prophet.
Judges. Possibly Ruth.
6. Nathan. Prophet.
7. Gad. Prophet.
Ezra, Chronicles, Nehemiah.
9. Nehemiah. Cupbearer.
Book of Nehemiah.
10. Writer of Esther. Prophet.
Book of Esther.
11. David. Shepherd. Soldier. Musician. King.
Psalms 2-9, 11-32, 34-41, 51-65, 68-70, 86, 95, 101, 103, 108-110, 122, 124, 131, 133, 138-145.
12. Solomon. King.
Proverbs, Song of Solomon (Canticles), Psalms 72 and 127, Ecclesiastes.
13. Zabud, son of Nathan the prophet.
1 Samuel, 2 Samuel.
14. Sons of Korah.
Psalms 42-49, 84-85, 87; Numbers 26:9-11.
15. Asaph. Priest.
Psalms 50, 73-83; Ezra 2:41.
16. Heman. Wise Man.
Psalm 88; 1 Kings ; 1 Chronicles
17. Ethan the Ezrahite.
18. Agur ben Jakeh. Oracle.
19. Lemuel. King. Oracle.
20. Isaiah. Prophet. Poet.
Book of Isaiah.
21. Jeremiah. Prophet. Son of Hilkiah the priest.
Book of Jeremiah. Possibly Lamentations. Possibly I and II Kings.
22. Ezekiel. Priest. Prophet. Son of Buzi.
Book of Ezekiel.
23. Daniel. Prime minister.
Book of Daniel.
24. Hosea. Prophet. Son of Beeri.
Book of Hosea.
25. Joel. Prophet. Son of Pethuel.
Book of Joel.
26. Amos. Herdsman.
Book of Amos.
27. Obadiah. Prophet.
Book of Obadiah.
28. Jonah. Prophet. Son of Amittai.
Book of Jonah.
29. Micah. Prophet.
Book of Micah.
30. Nahum. Prophet.
Book of Nahum.
31. Habakkuk. Prophet.
Book of Habakkuk.
32. Zephaniah. Prophet of royal descent.
Book of Zephaniah.
33. Haggai. Prophet.
Book of Haggai.
34. Zechariah. Priest. Son of Berechiah. Grandson of Iddo.
Book of Zechariah.
35. Malachi. Prophet.
Book of Malachi.
Matthew. Tax collector. Son
Greenleaf, Testimony of the Evangelists:
called Levi, was a Jew of Galilee, but of what city is uncertain. He
place of publican, or tax-gatherer, under the Roman government, and his
seems to have consisted in collecting the taxes within his district, as
the duties and customs levied on goods and persons, passing in and out
district and province, across the
is generally allowed to have written first, of all the evangelists; but
in the Hebrew or the Greek language, or in both, the learned are not
nor is it material to our purpose to inquire; the genuineness of our
Greek gospel being sustained by satisfactory evidence. The precise time
wrote is also uncertain, the several dates given to it among learned
varying from A.D. 37 to A.D. 64. The earlier date, however, is argued
greater force, from the improbability that the Christians would be left
several years without a general and authentic history of our Savior’s
from the evident allusions which it contains to a state of persecution
church at the time it was written; from the titles of sanctity ascribed
Jerusalem, and a higher veneration testified for the temple than the
comparative gentleness with which Herod’s character and conduct are
that bad prince probably being still in power; and from the frequent
Pilate, as still governor of Judea.
Matthew was himself a native Jew, familiar with the opinions,
customs of his countrymen; that he was conversant with the Sacred
habituated to their idiom; a man of plain sense, but of little
what he derived from the Scriptures of the Old Testament; that he wrote
seriously and from conviction, and had, on most occasions, been
attended closely, to the transactions which he relates, and relates,
without any view of applause to himself; are facts which we may
established by internal evidence, as strong as the nature of the case
It is deemed equally well proved, both by internal evidence and the aid
history, that he wrote for the use of
his countrymen the Jews. Every circumstance is noticed which might
their belief, and every unnecessary expression is avoided which might
it. They looked for the Messiah, of the lineage of David, and born in
Bethlehem, in the circumstances of whose life the prophecies should
fulfillment, a matter, in their estimation, of peculiar value: and to
this evangelist has directed their especial attention.
has been already made to his employment as a collector of taxes and
but the subject is too important to be passed over without further
tribute imposed by the Romans upon countries conquered by their arms
enormous. In the time of Pompey, the sums annually exacted by their
provinces, of which Judea was one, amounted to about four millions and
a a half
of sterling, or about twenty-two millions of dollars. These exactions
in the usual forms of direct and indirect taxation; the rate of the
merchandise varying from an eight to a fortieth part of the value of
commodity; and the tariff including all the principal articles of the
of the East, much of which, as is well known, still found its way to
through Palestine, as well as by the way of Damascus and of Egypt. The
taxes consisted of a capitation-tax, and a land-tax, assessed upon a
or census, periodically taken under the oath of the individual, with
penal sanctions. It is natural to suppose that these taxes were not
paid, especially since they were imposed by the conqueror upon a
people, and by a heathen too, upon the people of the house of
37. Mark. (John-Mark.)
Book of Mark.
Simon Greenleaf, Testimony of the Evangelists:
was the son of a pious sister of Barnabas, named Mary, who dwelt at
is agreed that Mark wrote his Gospel for the use of Gentile converts;
opinion deriving great force from the explanations introduced into it,
would have been useless to a Jew, and that it was composed for those at
is believed, not only from the numerous Latinisms it contains, but from
unanimous testimony of ancient writer, and from the internal evidence
by the Gospel itself.
have entertained the opinion that Mark compiled his account from that
Matthew, of this notion has been refuted by Knoppe, and others, and is
generally regarded as untenable. For Mark frequently deviates from
the order of time, in his arrangement of facts; and he adds many things
related by the other evangelists; neither of which a mere epitomizer
probably have done. He also omits several things related by Matthew,
imperfectly describes others, especially the transactions of Christ
apostles after the resurrection; giving no account whatever of his
38. Luke. Doctor.
Simon Greenleaf, Testimony of the Evangelists:
according to Eusebius, was a native of
he wrote his Gospel for the benefit of the Gentile converts is affirmed
unanimous voice of Christian antiquity; and it may also be inferred
dedication to a Gentile. He is particularly careful to specify various
circumstances conducive to the information of strangers, but not so to
Jews; he gives the lineage of Jesus upwards, after the manner of the
instead of downwards, as Matthew had done; tracing it up to Adam, and
showing that Jesus was the promised seed of the woman; and he marks the
his birth, and of the ministry of John, by the reigns of the Roman
also has introduced several things, not mentioned by the other
highly encouraging to the gentiles to turn to God in the hope of pardon
acceptance; of which description are the parables of the publican and
in the temple; the lost piece of silver; and the prodigal son; and the
Christ’s visit to Zaccheus the publican, and the pardon of the penitent
Luke was a physician, appears not only from the testimony of Paul, but
internal marks in his Gospel, showing that he was both an acute
had given particular and even professional attention to all our
miracles of healing. Thus, the man whom Matthew and Mark describe
simply as a
leper, Luke describes as full of leprosy; he, whom they mention as had
withered hand, Luke says had his right hand withered; and of the maid,
the others say that Jesus took her spirit came to her again. He alone,
professional accuracy of observation, says that virtue went out of
healed the sick; he alone states the fact that the sleep of the
Gethsemane was induced by extreme sorrow; and mentions the blood- like
Jesus, as occasioned by the intensity of his agony; and he alone
miraculous healing of Malchus’s ear. That he was also a man of a
education, the comparative elegance of his writings sufficiently shows.
The design of Luke’s Gospel was to supersede the defective and inaccurate narratives then in circulation, and to deliver to Theophilus, to whom it is addressed, a full and authentic account of the life, doctrines, miracles, death and resurrection of our Saviour. Who Theophilus was, the learned are not perfectly agreed; but the most probable opinion is that of Dr. Lardner, now generally adopted, that, as Luke wrote his Gospel in Greece, Theophilus was a man of rank in that country [See Lardner, Works 6.138-139; 3.203-204; and other authors, cited in Horne, Introduction to the Study of the Holy Scriptures 1.267]. Either the relations subsisting between him and Luke, or the dignity and power of his rank, or both, induced the evangelist, who himself also “had perfect understanding of all things from the first,” to devote the utmost care to the drawing up of a complete and authentic narrative of these great events. He does not affirm himself to have been an eye-witness; though his personal knowledge of some of the transactions may well be inferred from the “perfect understanding” which he says he possessed. Some of the learned seem to have drawn this inference as to them all, and to have placed him in the class of original witnesses; but this opinion, though maintained on strong and plausible grounds, is not generally adopted. If, then, he did not write from his own personal knowledge, the question is, what is the legal character of his testimony?
it were “the result of inquiries, made under competent public
concerning matters in which the public are concerned,” it would possess
legal attribute of an inquisition, and, as such, would be legally
evidence, in a court of justice. To entitle such results, however, to
confidence, it is not necessary that they should be obtained under a
commission; it is sufficient if the inquiry is gravely undertaken and
by a person of competent intelligence, sagacity and integrity. The
request of a
person in authority, or a desire to serve the public, are, to all moral
intents, as sufficient a motive as a legal commission. Thus, we know
complaint is made to the head of a department, of official misconduct
existing in some remote quarter, nothing is more common than to send
confidential person to the spot, to ascertain the facts and report them
department; and this report is confidently adopted as the basis of its
action, in the correction of that abuse, or the removal of the
Indeed, the result of any grave inquiry is equally certain to receive
confidence, though it may have been voluntarily undertaken, if the
it had access to the means of complete and satisfactory information
subject. If, therefore, Luke’s Gospel were to be regarded only as the
work of a
contemporary historian, it would be entitled to our confidence. But it
than this. It is the result of careful science, intelligence and
concerning subjects which he was perfectly competent to peculiarly
they being cases of the cure of maladies; subjects, too, of which he
had the perfect knowledge of a contemporary, and perhaps an
beyond doubt, familiar with the parties concerned in the transactions,
belonging to the community in which the events transpired, which were
mouths of all; and the narrative, moreover, drawn up for the especial
probably at the request, of a man of distinction, whom it would not be
interest nor safety of the writer to deceive or mislead. Such a
certainly possesses all the moral attributes of an inquest of office,
or of any
other official investigation of facts; and as such is entitled, in
conscientiae, to be adduced of the matters it contains.
39. John. Fisherman. Son of Zebedee.
John, 1 John,
2 John, 3 John, Revelation.
Simon Greenleaf, Testimony of the Evangelists:
John, the last of the evangelists, was the son of Zebedee, a fisherman of the town of
The learned are not agreed as to the time when the Gospel of John was written; some dating it as early as the year 68, others as late as the year 98; but it is generally conceded to have been written after all the others. That is could not have been the work of Some Platonic Christian of a subsequent age, as some have without evidence asserted, is manifest from references to it by some of the early fathers, and from the concurring testimony of many other writers of the ancient Christian church.
is was written either with especial reference to the Gentiles, or at a
when very many of them had become converts to Christianity, is inferred
the various explanations it contains, beyond the other Gospels, which
have been necessary only to persons unacquainted with Jewish names and
And that it was written after all the others, and to supply their
concluded, not only from the uniform tradition and belief in the
from his studied omission of most of the transactions noticed by the
and from his care to mention several incidents which were known to him,
evident to admit of doubt; while his omission to repeat what they had
stated, or, where he does mention the same things, his relating them in
and cursory manner, affords incidental but strong testimony that he
their accounts as faithful and true.”
Further discussion on Gospel authorship, dating and authenticity can be found here:
40. Paul. Rabbi. Tent-maker.
2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1
2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon.
Paul, in his own words, before the witness of King Herod Agrippa II, his wife Bernice, Governor Festus, and Luke:
4”My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at
9”Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10This I also did in
12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15So I said, “Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now [NU-Text and M-Text omit now] send you, 18to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. 21For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come-- 23that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
25But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.
See also Acts 9:1-19; 22:6-16.
41. Peter. Fisherman.
1 Peter, 2 Peter.
Simon Greenleaf, Testimony of the Evangelists::
There is also a striking naturalness in the characters exhibited in the sacred historians, rarely if ever found in works of fiction, and probably nowhere else to be collected in a similar manner from fragmentary and incidental allusions and expressions, in the writings of different persons. Take for example, that of Peter, as it may be gathered from the evangelists, and it will be hardly possible to conceive that four persons, writing at different times, could have concurred in the delineation of such a character, if it were not real; a character too, we must observe, which is nowhere expressly drawn, but is shown only here and there, casually, in the subordinate parts of the main narrative. Thus and zealous man; sudden and impulsive, yet humble and ready to retract; honest and direct in his purposes; ardently loving his master, yet deficient in fortitude and firmness in his cause. When Jesus put any question to the apostles, it was Peter who was foremost to reply, and if they would inquire of Jesus, it was Peter who was readiest to speak. He had the impetuous courage to cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant, who came to arrest his master; and the weakness to dissemble before the Jews, in the matter of eating with Gentile converts. It was he who ran with John to the sepulchre, on the first intelligence of the resurrection of Jesus, and with characteristic zeal rushed in, while John paused without the door. He had the ardor to desire and the faith to attempt to walk on the water, at the command of his Lord; but as soon as he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid. He was the first to propose the election of another apostle in the place of Judas, and he it was who courageously defended them all, on the day of Pentecost, when the multitude charged them with being filled with new wine. He was forward to acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah; yet having afterwards endangered his own life by wounding the servant of the Most High Priest, he suddenly consulted his own safety by denying the same Master, for whom, but a few hours before, he had declared himself ready to die. We may safely affirm that the annals of fiction afford no example of a similar but no uncommon character, thus incidentally delineated.
42. James. Brother of Jesus.
Book of James.
43. Jude. Brother of James and Judas.
Book of Jude.
44. Writer of Hebrews (Paul or Apollos).
Book of Hebrews.
Simon Greenleaf, Testimony of the Evangelists:
“Such are the brief histories of men, whose narratives we are to examine and compare; conducting the examination and weighing the testimony by the same rules and principles which govern our tribunals of justice in similar cases. These tribunals are in such cases governed by the following fundamental rule;--
In trials of fact, by oral testimony, the proper inquiry is not whether is it possible that the testimony may be false, but whether there is sufficient probability that it is true.
It should be observed that the subject of inquiry is a matter of fact, and not of abstract mathematical truth. the latter alone is susceptible of that high degree of proof, usually termed demonstration, which excludes the possibility of error, and which therefore may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction. But the proof of matters of fact rests upon moral evidence alone; by which is meant not merely that species of evidence which we do not obtain either from our own senses, from intuition, or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life we do not require nor expect demonstrative evidence, because it is inconsistent with the nature of matters of fact, and to insist on its production would be unreasonable and absurd. And it makes no difference, whether the facts to be proved related to this life or to the next, the nature of the evidence required being in both cases the same. The error of the skeptic consists in pretending or supposing that there is a difference in the nature of the things to be proved; and in demanding demonstrative evidence concerning things which are not susceptible of any other than moral evidence alone, and of which the utmost that can be said is, that there is no reasonable doubt about their truth.”
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