@SinnerRobb My friend, I have cited below both an apologetic article explaining why the author of Matthew and John referred to themselves in the third person as well as a scholarly article studying the use of the third person in French autobiographies from the modern era. In fact, this scholarly article notes that throughout history people have chosen, for various reasons, to write about themselves in the third person. So it would seem that educated people should recognize that it is a historical fact that people do, for various reasons of genre and preference, choose to write about themselves in the third person.
Does that help clarify the case? Being educated should in fact allow you to see that many people have chosen to write about themselves in the third person, all throughout history. Even in the modern era. There is an entire scholarly article looking at only French examples.
This leaves John and Matthew as eyewitnesses who likely wrote of their experiences in the third person. So why would they have written in the third person instead of the first person? There are several reasons why this is the case.
It was a fairly standard practice in ancient writing to refer to oneself in the third person. We find this, for example, in Xenophon’s Expedition of Cyrus and Caesar’s Commentaries. Given this fact, it is not particularly surprising that Matthew and John adopt the same convention; it is certainly not evidence against Matthew’s or John’s authorship of the Gospels that bear their names. But what do we make of John’s writing in first person throughout his other biblical books? The main difference between the Gospels and the other books of the New Testament is that the Gospels function primarily as biographies for Christ and His ministry. John’s four other biblical books are either intended for teaching, encouraging and correcting a particular person or group (1,2,3 John) or to report to specific churches what the Lord had revealed to him through revelation regarding the end times and the final judgment (Revelation). These were more personal letters than biographies.
Scholarly Article on Autobiography in the Third Person
The idea of an autobiography in the third person may seem as
paradoxical as that of a biography in the first person. In both
cases there appears to be a contradiction between saying “he”
when one is “I,” and “I” when one says “he”. I propose to examine some of these figures, because they enable one to study “the use of personal pronouns in autobiography,” as Michel Butor would put it.
The discussion will therefore center on modern or contemporary
French works. I could have added older texts to this corpus, or mod-
ern texts corresponding to different horizons of expectation. For in-
stance: historical memoirs such as those of Caesar, religious autobiog-
raphies in which the writer styles himself “the servant of God,” or
seventeenth-century aristocratic memoirs like those of President de
Thou; or highly coded short genres such as the preface, the third-
person publisher’s blurb, or the biographical notice composed by the
author, all of which are related to publishing practices.
Lejeune, Philippe, et al. “Autobiography in the Third Person.” New Literary History , vol. 9, no. 1, 1977, pp. 27–50. JSTOR , JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/468435.