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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

How could we know whether Christ’s temptation in the desert happened as recorded if no one witnessed it?

Question:

If no one witnessed the interplay between Christ and Satan in the desert, what are we to make of the accuracy of the account found in the Gospel of Matthew? Does the Church have any teaching specifically directed to how such an episode in Christ’s life, which apparently was not witnessed by any one else, could be accurately recounted in the Gospels?

Answer:

Though this is not a matter the Church has addressed, it would seem logical that Jesus himself is the source on events recounted in the Gospels that were not witnessed by others. After the event, he told others; the story was then circulated orally among his apostles and disciples until one of them wrote it down.

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