The Book

A Trustworthy Gospel: Arguments for an Early Date for Matthew’s Gospel. By Daniel Moore. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2024, xiv + 177 pp.

Available through Christianbook, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Wipf and Stock, and other fine book-sellers! Ebook versions are also now available at select book-sellers, including Logos. (Book outline is available here; media kit is available here for download).

The Trustworthiness of the Gospels rests not only on claims of inspiration, but also on eyewitness testimony. And our confidence in that testimony is directly related, Daniel Moore contends, to when the first Gospel was published. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Christians to consider whether an effective case can be made for asserting that the first Gospel was published within several years or perhaps a decade of the resurrection. To this end, this book offers a series of arguments demonstrating that an early publication of Matthew is reasonable, defensible, and preferable over the popular view that several decades passed before Gospels were published.

These arguments include a reasonableness argument that the early church had the means, motive, and opportunity to produce a Gospel; an argument from the church fathers, which also resolves supposed conflicts; exegetical arguments from Galatians; apologetic-motivational arguments from Christian scholars over the last several centuries; arguments based on ancient perspectives on aging memory and on the obligation of orators to write, concerns which would have motivated the apostles to publish early; and an explanatory power argument. Ultimately, the author will encourage the reader to view Matthew as the Messiah’s royal chronicler.

“The perspective that Mark’s Gospel predates the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John has achieved nearly universal recognition among biblical scholars and is rarely questioned. In this fresh and provocative study, Daniel Moore challenges this widely held theory, presenting a variety of evidence that points to Matthew as the earliest Gospel. While Moore’s conclusions will not be embraced by all, his study makes an important contribution to the current debate over Gospel origins.”

—BENJAMIN LAIRD, associate professor of biblical studies, Liberty University

“In A Trustworthy Gospel, Daniel Moore takes his stand with an increasingly minority of NT scholars who affirm that Matthew was the first Gospel to have been written, in contrast to the reigning Markan priority hypothesis currently prevailing amongst NT scholarship. Moore buttresses his thesis with arguments from patristic testimony, exegesis, apologetics, and history. Moore’s work is a valuable contribution to the conversation on gospel origins, and NT scholars cannot afford to ignore his work. Highly recommended.”

—MICHAEL M. CANHAM, director, The Barnabas Initiative

“Moore turns to the early church fathers and shows that they believed Matthew wrote the first Gospel and that he composed it very early in the history of the church. His research shows that the ancient Jews and Gentiles did not rely solely on oral teachings and memorization (a common assumption held today by many evangelical scholars and liberal critics alike). He also shows that, if we accept a very early date for Matthew’s Gospel, it will greatly enhance our understanding of Paul’s letters since, at times, he might be discussing teachings of Jesus found in Matthew’s Gospel. I challenge evangelical pastors, professors, and lay Christians to read this work and decide for themselves when Matthew wrote his Gospel.”

—PHIL FERNANDES, pastor of Trinity Bible Fellowship, professor of apologetics and religion, Veritas International University