Craig Blomberg notes that “ancient parallels can be adduced for one writer referring to himself in the third person and first-person plural, as well as the ordinary first-person singular (Jackson 1999).”(1) This applies to the synoptic Gospels and John in the sense that he refers to himself as a son of Zebedee in the third person and, as I will argue, “the beloved disciple”. Also worth mentioning is the Greek historian and philosopher Xenophon’s (B. 430 – 354) work Anabasis 2.5.41; 3.1.4-6 and Julius Caesar’s (B. 100 – 40) works Gallic War 1.7; 2.1; 3.28; 4.13; 5.9; 6.4; 7.11 and Civil War 1.1. Here Matthew is identified as “Matthew sitting at the tax booth” regarding Jesus calling Matthew to follow him when, concerning the same episode, Mark and Luke identify Matthew by his other name Levi.
Examples of authors including their names in their works using the third person have been brought out by Craig. Keener in the 2007 work John, Jesus, and history, Volume 2. It thus follows that the author came to believe that this apostolic name Matthew was nobler than the other name Levi and in turn it was used here instead.
I was initially setting out to refute the Muslim counter case against the bulk of positive evidence cited in favour of traditional Gospel authorship but I have not yet seen an in depth Muslim critique of this sort.
So, for this article I will provide a fresh case for the traditional authorship of the synoptic gospels, John, and Acts, since Acts is so closely connected with Luke in this discussion.
But then the actual positive arguments for Matthaean authorship given by the same scholar (internal or external) will be omitted in the Muslim paper or not handled properly.