#555 Dating the Gospels

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The Gospels — Direct Testimonies or Late Writings?

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Early dating of the gospels of the bible the four tables give the accepted dates or ranges of dates for the old testament hebrew bible, gospels of the bible new.

If the Gospel of Matthew was written after 70 C. For example, in Matt : “The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Is there any evidence this parable was added to a pre C. Three pieces of evidence have usually been advanced to demonstrate that Matthew wrote after 70 C. First, Matthew is dependent upon the Gospel of Mark and Mark is normally dated to the late 60s or early 70s.

Secondly, the Gospel of Matthew has a developed Christology, which suggests a late date towards the end of the first century. Thirdly, the reference to the destruction of a city in Matt can and should be taken as a direct reference to the Jewish War and to the destruction of Jerusalem in particular. None of these arguments is entirely persuasive. Some scholars date it earlier than the 60s. This leaves the reference to the destruction of the city in the parable of the wedding feast as the final piece of evidence for dating Matthew after the Jewish War.

As the question correctly maintains, this is hardly decisive, especially when we take into account the metaphorical nature of the Gospel parables. But even if we assume that this is a direct allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem, the question remains as to why the evangelist referred to this calamitous event in such an indirect way and why there are no further mentions of it in the Gospel. This is one reason why we should be cautious about locating this Gospel in Galilee.

We would expect a Galilean Matthew who lived through the horrors of the conflict to have referenced it in more detail in his Gospel.

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Skeptical New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman offers a brief look at how many Bible scholars estimate when the Gospels were written. These estimates are very popular, and not just among skeptical scholars. Many conservative scholars accept them as well. My own view is that they are too late by a couple of decades, but Ehrman correctly reports their popularity in the scholarly community. Before trying to assign dates to particular Gospels, it can be helpful to try to identify a broader range of years in which they were composed.

To begin with, none of the Gospels appears to have been known to the apostle Paul, writing in the 50s.

The Gospel of Luke was written by the same author as the Acts of the Apostles, who refers to Luke as the ‘former account’ of ‘all that Jesus began to do and teach’ .

Their work is like that of a detective—picking up a hint here and a scrap of evidence there. There is an interesting detail about St James which helps date the New Testament accurately. It appears in the work of Justin Martyr. Justin was one of the early Christian writers called the Apostolic Fathers. He lived from AD only one hundred years after the death of Jesus. A convert to the church, he wrote various works defending the Christian faith.

One of the details he recorded is this:. The importance of the use of nicknames in the gospels is an intriguing detail to which the British scholar Richard Bauckham has devoted an entire chapter in his monumental study Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Only people on the inside circle remember not only nicknames but who coined them and when they were given. Why does it matter? Because modernist scholars and those who would undermine the historical reliability of the New Testament like to suppose that the gospels were written long after the time of Jesus and the apostles.

The early traditions say Rufus and Alexander became missionaries, and when he is writing to the church at Rome Paul greets a certain Rufus and his mother in Romans

FIRST-PERSON (part 3): The problem of dating: When were the Gospels written?

Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. New York: Oxford University Press. Kirkbride Bible Co.

We know it isn’t the Gospel of Peter–which is a later apocryphal gospel that was written long after Justin Martyr died. The early tradition of the.

Regarding how much writing there was in the earliest decades of Christianity, we should keep in mind that Paul’s letters and other early sources refer to a lot of documents that aren’t extant. That includes documents about Christianity written by non-Christians. Here’s a post I wrote on the subject. Our Greek manuscripts are remarkably consistent in their authorial ascriptions– Does anyone know where or how to find photographs of these titles? I haven’t been successful in finding the right keywords to search with through trial and error.

Scott “Does anyone know where or how to find photographs of these titles? I don’t know if it includes photographs of the titles of the Gospels, but maybe it’s a good starting point. Tuesday, May 14, Dating the Gospels. Conventional reasons to date the Gospels after 70 AD:. Form criticism.

Who Wrote the Gospels?

Sheehan, revised. Comparison with Classical Texts. No one would ever have thought of questioning the integrity of the Gospel texts, but for the fact that they contain a Divine Law of belief and conduct, irksome to the irreligious. Whoever would dismiss the New Testament must logically reject all written sources of ancient history and literature. War B. New Testament A.

Gospel originally meant the Christian message, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out; in this sense it includes both the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and various apocryphal gospels dating from the 2nd century.

Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today’s church and ministry leaders, like you. Christian apologists are eager to date the gospels as early as possible to minimize the period of oral history. Less time for oral history means less time for legends to develop, and this points to a more reliable gospel message. I must confess that the conservative calculations sound reasonable in parts.

This thinking places at least some of the gospels well before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple in 70 CE. And note the juggling that Wallace must do. But he must argue that legend did happen when given a few additional decades to justify why he can dismiss the Gospels of Thomas, of Judas, of the Ebionites, and others , many of them written in the late first or second centuries.

When Were the Gospels Written?

The scholarly position is stated concisely in the narrative on Dating the Gospels linked here. Other scholars date them much earlier than that, but Gary Habermas, adopts the majority scholarly view in making his argument for the historical resurrection. Another key date is the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.

true of the four Gospels. It is usually claimed that Mark was the first gospel written around A.D. The Gospel of John is given a composition date in the 90’s.

Here we have in a convenient nutshell the basic reasons behind the widely accepted dates for the Gospels. Bart Ehrman explains he is not going into details here, and one can find in the literature more nuanced arguments for relative and other dates assigned to the gospels. But with these dot points we can say we are looking at the trunk of the tree. Ditto for the book of Acts. It is unknown until Irenaeus cites it in the latter half of the second century.

That leaves only the letters of Paul themselves. How certain can we be about a date that relies solely on the self-witness of the documents themselves? But the point here is that Ehrman does supply the reasons, the evidence, for dating Paul the way most do. He does not delineate the reasons here for believing Mark was written before the other gospels, and that is fine.

ApologeticsCanada Conference Part 2 – The Early Dating of the Gospels