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Dates of the Gospels.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by MartyF, Mar 10, 2019.

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  1. Matthew

    0 vote(s)
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  2. Mark

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  3. Luke

    0 vote(s)
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  4. John

    5 vote(s)
    38.5%
  5. none of these

    8 vote(s)
    61.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. MartyF

    MartyF Active Member

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    I was watching a theologian I like quite a bit, but I was disappointed when he presented dates for the Gospels which are different than the ones I believe to be. Now he did not use the later dates of after the fall of Jerusalem like some disbelieving theologians do to poke holes into the authenticity of the of he Bible, but I did nonetheless find the dates chosen to be disappointing especially because he gave no reason for his choice of later dates.

    So, I was kinda wondering how prevalent the belief in the later dates. For me only John has a possibility of being written so late. Partly because of the older age of the author, but also because he is the only one who mentions Peter cutting off the ear.

    So, what do you'all think. I'm just looking to see what the current consensus is - not making any judgments.
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    According to front page of my bible the Gospels were published in 2011. :Rolleyes


    There is quite a bit of scholarly debate about the order the gospels were written and therefore the dates in which they were written.

    Since I hold them to be inspired, the dates assigned to them by others are an interesting historical aspect to their composition but not something I’d stake my salvation upon.

    Rob
     
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  3. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Rob,

    The dates are of great importance to full Preterists because a later date undermines their eschatology.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  4. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    The Jews were accustomed to written Scriptures, so the idea of the early Jewish Christians going without writing the Gospels down is a nonsense.
    I think Matthew may have been written as early as 39 AD, Mark in about 45. Luke probably researched his Gospel while Paul was imprisoned in Caesarea in the late '50s. It was known to Paul when he was writing to Timothy (1 Timothy 5:18).
    John's Gospel uses the present tense to describe the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:2) so that rather indicates that it was written before AD 70.
    .
     
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  5. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    I certainly do not know when the gospels were written, but between AD 40 and AD 70 works with all the known indicators. Since they were apparently in existence within 40 or so years of Christ's death, there would have been plenty of eyewitnesses to concur or object to them. And they were accepted.

    OTOH, I remember when the Smithsonian opened an exhibit of the Enola Gay with revisionist placards. But since it was only about 50 years after the historical event, there were plenty of eyewitnesses and the children of eyewitnesses, and they raised such a stink the Director was almost fired. They fixed the placards making clear that at the time, those involved were seen as protecting America.
     
    #5 Van, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  6. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Currently I am persuaded John was written after 70 A.D., but am open to the idea that it was written prior. Any evidence for this?
     
  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    See my post #4 above.
     
  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Why does the present tense require John to have been written prior to 70 A.D.?
     
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  9. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Dating the New Testament

    The Roman-Jewish War and the Destruction of Jerusalem

    "The Roman-Jewish war of 66-70 A.D., culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, was an event of enormous importance for the Jewish people, the Christian church, and even the Roman Empire. In the subject of dating the time of writing of the books of the New Testament, its primary significance is that none of the books of the New Testament give any sign that they were written after this event, and many of the books show evidence that they were written before it. Here, we will briefly review the history of this war, then follow with a survey of some New Testament readings which look to be written prior to it. …."

    "...Before looking at how the New Testament fits into this picture, we can first look at an early Christian writing that clearly was written after 70 A.D. The Epistle of Barnabas (probably not the Barnabas of the New Testament) dates itself when it says: “I will also speak with you concerning the Temple, and show how the wretched men erred by putting their hope on the building, and not on the God who made them, and is the true house of God… You know that their hope was vain. Furthermore he says again, 'Lo, they who destroyed this temple shall themselves build it.' That is happening now. For owing to the war it was destroyed by the enemy; at present even the servants of the enemy will build it up again” (Barnabas 16:1-4). This letter was clearly written well after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 A.D. However, he was writing before the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132 A.D....."

    "...Before we get to the gospels, let us consider first the book of Hebrews. Heb 5:1-4 says “For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.” This passage about what high priests do is set entirely in the present tense, something that would be overcome by events if the book was written after 70. Heb 9:25 says “the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own.” Heb 10:11 says “Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.” Again, both passages are set in the present tense. Furthermore, Hebrews is making a case that the sacrifices before Christ were insufficient. If the writer knew of the destruction of the Temple, the altar, and the entire sacrificial system, he could have used these events to bolster his argument, saying “see, they have passed away in any case.” The reason he doesn’t do this is probably because when he wrote Hebrews, these things had not yet happened...."

    "...Another book which is problematic if written after 70 is the book of Revelation. In Revelation the situation is complex because there are several very different schools of interpretation of the book. However, the date situation is problematic for all of them. In Rev 11:1-2, the author is asked to measure the temple but to leave out the court. This is an earthly temple in Jerusalem, as Rev 11:2 makes clear. Two witnesses with supernatural power then testify from Jerusalem for a time, until they are killed. The city of Jerusalem is called “Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” Then in Rev 11:13 there is an earthquake that destroys a tenth of the city, and 7000 people are killed. Now consider how strange this passage would be if written in 95 A.D. (a date often suggested for Revelation), when Jerusalem had been an uninhabited ruin for 25 years. Why would the author bother to criticize its spiritual condition, as in 11:8? What would be the significance of saying that a tenth of the city would be destroyed, when in fact the entire city had already been destroyed? 7000 people in Jerusalem are described as being killed in this earthquake, but no one lived in Jerusalem in 95 A.D...."

    "...Now we can briefly survey the gospels. John 5:2 says “Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes.” There is no ambiguity about the verb tense here; the Greek word estin, translated “is”, is a present tense verb. However, what John writes is untrue now and has been untrue ever since 70 A.D. It was true only before 70...."

    "...In the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, we have a different situation, because in these books Jesus clearly predicts the fall of Jerusalem. …"

    "...when evaluated carefully, the sayings of Jesus that foretell the destruction of Jerusalem are presented in such a way that they indicate that the prophecy has not yet (from the author‘s viewpoint) been fulfilled. For one thing, none of the authors make any claim that the prophecy has been fulfilled. This is the sort of thing the New Testament is usually eager to do. In Matthew alone, twelve times he says something to the effect of “this fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet…”.
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    If he was writing after AD 70, he would have used the past tense. Jerusalem was utterly destroyed.
     
  11. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. But the use of the present tense only affirms that it was there when that recorded event had happened. ". . . Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. . . ." What event or events does John refer to in the past in telling the story that would require the understanding that John wrote before 70 A.D. on that account?
     
  12. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    John writes in the present tense, ". . . Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, . . ." -- John 1:45. John 5:2 being understood in the same way.
     
  13. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I'm not really fussed whether John wrote before or after AD 70; it doesn't affect my understanding of the event in any way. The present tense seems to provide an indication.
    I take your point about John 1:45, but in John 5:1, John uses the imperfect tense, '....There was a feast of the Jews,' The change of tense in John 5:2 is hard to explain unless the pool was there when John wrote.
    What evidence can you provide for a late date and why do you think it matters?
     
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  14. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe Active Member

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    Just voted (*none of these). It is very difficult for me to think that any of the four Gospels could have been written after 70 AD and have no mention, no reference, or clue in some way of the destruction of the Temple.

    It is widely thought that John was written last (so probably before 70 AD) and of course, after Jesus was executed and risen (about 30-33 AD). Thus all the Gospels were written in the four decades following The Resurrection. It would be hard to fix the dates to a specific year; most often the dates are expressed as a range.

    It is possible that Acts was written before 62 AD (approximately the last year of Paul's life), thus it would make sense that Luke penned his Part 1 well before (perhaps 55-60?). Almost no one suggests that Luke's gospel was written first.

    And if you are familiar with the so-called "Synoptic Problem" the basic question boils down to which gospel was written first: Matthew or Mark? It seems that the evidence is mixed, and the scholars are split on the answer. Mark seems to be primarily based upon Peter's recollections (and his death was about 65 AD) meaning Mark cannot be later than this date. Mark may be written as early as 41 AD (Eusebius' date) and Matthew perhaps shortly thereafter (so both in the period of early 40s to early 50s, almost certainly before Luke). The early church fathers unanimously hold Matthew as the first.
     
    #14 franklinmonroe, Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  15. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    Farrah Fenton, in his translation of the bible believed that John was the first, and starts off his gospels with John, then follows with John's three epistles.

    My Dad believed that Mark was first., Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
     
  16. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that John wrote his gospel before his letters. But I am of the opinion that Matthew wrote before Mark and Luke, followed by John's account.
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Think the first 3 could have been all completed before AD 70, while John was later on!
     
  18. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    If we are to reason that way, then how does that beat John 1:1-3, which parallels the opening of Genesis?

    Because of this, Fenton’s order may be better regardless of the order in which they were written.

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made,” (John 1:1-3).
     
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