Historical Champions

Historical Champions of the 1600s

Excerpts from the writings of Richard Ward (1646), William Cave (1676), and John Edwards (1695), relating to the origins of Matthew’s Gospel, have now been posted. Credit belongs to Google and to the Early English Books Online project for digitizing and making these works available. I have modified the spellings and punctuation, to make the material more accessible to the modern reader.

Richard Ward employs a question and answer format, tackling around 2,500 questions concerning Matthew’s Gospel as his pedagogical approach. Of particular interest is his question: “Why was the Gospel or any Scripture written?”

William Cave’s work profiles the lives of the apostles and other notables. He puts forth the belief that Matthew was written about eight years after the death of Christ, but also reports his understanding of the claims of Irenaeus, that Matthew “was written while Peter and Paul preached at Rome” and that it was written in Hebrew. See the post “Irenaeus’ “at Rome” affirms an early Matthew!” for my approach to the “at Rome” question.

John Edwards (not the American one who wrote “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God“) offers a chapter on the “Writings of the Four Evangelists: The Peculiar Time, Order, Style, Design of their Gospels.” He takes the position that Matthew was written “about eight years after Christ’s passion, AD 42,” but he acknowledges that this can’t be fixed with certainty.

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