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From Luke 6: 13-16:

When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

John and Matthew were included, but the remaining two authors of the Gospel - Mark and Luke - were not. Why is this, and how did they come to know Jesus so closely as to later write his Gospel?

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In the spirit of rejecting the premise, conservative NT scholar Ben Witherington III makes the provocative proposal that Lazarus, rather than John, is the beloved disciple (see his blog post; MP3; mystery novel) and the substantive author of the fourth gospel. –  metal Sep 10 '13 at 17:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Historically, Mark is seen as one of Peter's disciples. The historian Papias in the 2nd Century refers to him as such. Likewise, the evidence in the narrative, for example, indicates that Peter was a significant source for most of the material, and most theologians accept Mark as "Peter's" Gospel. Also, its seeming indication that the Temple is still standing marks it as an early Gospel.

Luke was Paul's travelling companion. From very early on, this is what the church has taught. Luke and Acts were clearly written by the same individual (See Acts 1), and Luke is the traditional author.

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Beautiful, thank you for covering both points and providing excellent references. –  Yuck Sep 10 '13 at 14:25
It might be worth noting that Luke's Gospel is more of an historian's account (in Luke 1:1 he implies that he was not an eye witness and in 1:2 he states that he "carefully investigated everything"[NIV] and wrote "an orderly account"). The Wikipedia article on John Mark might also be of interest. –  Paul A. Clayton Sep 10 '13 at 14:41
Mark as Peter's disciple makes Mark quite close to the authentic stories of Jesus. Paul was not the disciple of Jesus. Luke as the disciple of Paul doesn't make Luke very close to the authentic stories of Jesus. So, the question remains. How did Luke come to know Jesus so closely? –  Mawia Sep 10 '13 at 17:50
Paul, of course, had a very personal encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, and later had a great deal of training with Cephas, Barnabas, and others. Luke was probably in the same group - but it is Paul that eventually came to be recoginzed as an Apostole in his own right. –  Affable Geek Sep 10 '13 at 19:11
@Mawia Luke knew through the Holy Spirit. These writings were inspired. –  Beestocks Dec 13 '14 at 13:28

Luke 10:1 (NIV)

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.

[a] Some manuscripts seventy; also in verse 17

Jesus did not have only Twelve disciples. There were other Seventy or Seventy-two disciples that Jesus appointed to preach the Gospel.

According to Wikipedia, it is possible that Mark and Luke were included in the Seventy disciples (check the list of Seventy disciples). If this is the case, it is no wonder that Mark and Luke could write the Story of Jesus accurately.

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