For convenience, most scholars refer to the writer of the Gospel of Matthew simply as Matthew, and similarly for the writers of the other Gospels. However, a majority of scholars nowadays no longer believe that the Gospels were written by their namesakes, that is, by the names attached to them. This is due to indications that the Gospels appeared too late to have been written by any of the twelve disciples, or to the fact that Mark and Luke were not eye witnesses to any of the events of Jesus' ministry yet the Gospels are written from the point of view of the eye witness. Nevertheless, such scholars speak and write as if they thought that the writer of Matthew was the disciple Matthew himself. One of the conveniences of this custom is that it avoids offending Christian publishers and editors who do not hold the more modern view, thus gaining the scholar's papers or books a better chance of being published. However, the practice may leave the reader uncertain as to the scholar's true views on this important problem. Moreover, the newcomer to the field will find that any explanations of this practice are few and far between. And the practice can sometimes lead to confusion as to whether it is the Gospel that is being referred to, or its writer.
In order to avoid any such uncertainty or confusion, this practice is not followed here, and "the writer of" is prefixed before the name of a Gospel when referring to its writer.
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