Indeed, the search for literary sources that may be reflected in a piece of writing can be risky business. In the case of the Synoptic Gospels, however, we possess multiple accounts of the same events—events that originally occurred in a Hebrew-speaking environment, but were eventually recorded in Greek.
Is the consecration of the boy only done if he is the firstborn? Or is it done if he is simply the oldest?
The Greek text of John 21:15-17 indicates that Jesus used ἀγαπᾶν (agapan) for the Greek verb “love,” while Peter used φιλεῖν (philein) in his reply. The explanation often given is that the first word refers to a higher, truer love, whereas the second word means only “to be fond of.”
Although the church fathers testify that Matthew wrote the words of Jesus in Hebrew, not a single fragment of an early Hebrew manuscript containing Jesus’ sayings has survived from the first centuries of the Christian era.
Papias said Matthew wrote first. Someone else said Mark wrote first. Lindsey said Luke wrote first. Does it matter? Why can’t we just accept that the four gospel writers were four independent individual persons used by God to write one complete Gospel?
I remember reading a quotation from Jerome, translator of the Latin Vulgate, who said there was a copy of Matthew’s Gospel in Hebrew in the library in Caesarea in his day.