Evidence of the Dates of the Gospels?
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22-08-2013, 04:28 PM
Evidence of the Dates of the Gospels?
I asked my theist friend if it bothers her that the gospels weren’t even written by people who were even alive when Jesus was, let alone knew or seen him.

This was apparently news to her. I guess I took it for granted that everyone knows that. I gave her the chronology of the gospels, between around 70-130 c.e., and she told me that that wasn’t true. I explained that it is agreed upon by biblical and theological scholars. Scholars who themselves are theist. She doesn’t believe me and says that must be from scholars who are not believers and are simply trying to disprove the bible.


Does anyone have sources for the evidence of the dates the gospels were written? I’m sure she will still reject that information as well, but it would be better to be able to present her with the evidence for it, than to just tell her it’s what biblical and theological scholars agree on.

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22-08-2013, 05:57 PM
RE: Evidence of the Dates of the Gospels?
One place you could go is to the Yale Open course "Introduction to the New Testament" by Dale B. Martin. It's really enlightening. Since we don't have the original letters that all our manuscripts are based on, we can't date them with a method like carbon dating. However, biblical scholars can place an estimate to age based on the grammar, the choice of words, slang from a certain period, etc.
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22-08-2013, 06:27 PM
RE: Evidence of the Dates of the Gospels?
This book was written by two pastors and,as I recall, dates the Gospels between 70 and 100 CE.

http://www.amazon.com/Bible-Built-Charls...+was+built

Some say the world will end in fire
Others say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I side with those who favor fire.
But then ice is also nice
And would suffice.
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22-08-2013, 08:45 PM
RE: Evidence of the Dates of the Gospels?
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...spels.html
Here's a link to 4 well respected scholars talking about them. The fact is they "developed" and were written by "communities", to reflect their own local concerns and views. They are inherently works of "bias". They admit they are (only) the "good news". They are in no way "historical' in the way we mean that today. They were written for "proclamation", (use in liturgical events).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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22-08-2013, 10:41 PM
RE: Evidence of the Dates of the Gospels?
Okay, I'll check these out.

To clarify, I know of the historicity of the gospels, their biases, the escalation divinity claims, the "Q" source, and all that. That won't help me if I can't show her evidence of when they were written. I'm also aware of dating them based on events, influence, language used so on and so on. Much of that she would dismiss as who ever is making the claim is misinformed about Jewish culture, or mistranslated the original Hebrew, or what not. She doesn't bother with reasons or knowledge of this, just claims it.

But the problem also is if I use, as an example, that the first gospel, Mark, was written after the destruction of the temple, and that we know that because the destruction of the temple was mentioned in it, dating it to at least the year 70 or later. Well that's not going to help with someone who believes that's a prophecy and it, to them, proves the bible, not disproves it.

Those types of evidence is fine for me who knows prophesies aren't real, but will be dismissed by a believer, or ever worse, used as proof. Obviously carbon dating is out. But to be clear, what I'm looking for is not proof for me, but proof for a believer. I know she'll never accept it, but I want good evidence that will scrap at the back of her mind. On more thing that she has to know and try to justify.

I'm worried the only evidence of theirs are evidences that an intellectually honest person will accept, believer or not.

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22-08-2013, 10:42 PM
RE: Evidence of the Dates of the Gospels?
But I will check out your link.

Thanks,

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