dating the gospel of john

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Dating the gospel of john

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NT critics argue that we cannot possibly date the Gospels before AD 70, because there was no way that Jesus could have made such predictions. First, this is really an unjustified philosophical objection—not a historical one. After all, if God exists and Jesus was who he claimed to be, then predicting these events four decades in advance would be no more difficult than predicting sunny weather in Los Angeles.

For instance, in the introduction to a critical commentary on the Gospels, do we ever see a chapter that philosophically argues that God cannot predict the future? Of course not. Why then should we treat their assumptions seriously?

This would be like asking a meteorologist for her professional opinion on car transmissions; or asking an actor for his professional opinion on jet propulsion. While they might be insightful and even accurate in their views, they are simply out of their area of expertise!

If we are supposed to take their claims seriously, they would need to offer evidence to support them—just like anyone else. Critical commentaries, however, abound with the assumption of anti-supernaturalism without offering any reasons to support it. If we are going to listen to their assertions and assumptions , then we need to hear their arguments.

Second, the NT authors never record the fulfillment of this prediction. Third, Bible-believing Jews held that God would destroy the Temple if the nation was unfaithful. According to the blessings and cursings of the Law Lev. Under this view, these predictions would be based on theological convictions, rather than personally inspired prophecies. For instance, Epiphanius 4 th c.

Likewise, Eusebius 4 th c. These statements fit with the idea that the Gospels existed before the Jewish War AD , and therefore, this is why the Christians in Jerusalem escaped before the war became brutal. After all, argues Robinson, the city was not burned in AD 70, the Temple was. Yet, historically, Eusebius and Epiphanius tell us that the Christians fled to Pella, which is topically lower than Jerusalem.

We have argued thus far that the dating for the Gospels was quite early. In fact, even if we are wrong about our evidence for the early dating, the late dating of the Gospels is still within the first-century AD and far sooner than other ancient sources.

However, this still leaves the question: Why did the disciples of Jesus wait to compose written accounts for decades? One common answer to this question is that the disciples believed in the imminence of Jesus. That is, they believed that he would return at any moment. For instance, the Qumran community believed that the Messiah would come soon to rule and reign, and they wrote a voluminous amount of literature.

Moreover, in our modern age, Christians who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture of the church write volume upon volume. After all, imagine if you showed up to listen to me teach through Mark, but then you heard that Peter was teaching down the street on the life of Christ… Which person would you listen to?

In the same way, the need to write Gospels increased when these eyewitnesses began to die off, or when it became impossible for them to teach in person. This subject is surely up for debate. However, based on the manuscript evidence, the citation from the Church Fathers, the dating of the Book of Acts, and the early citations from Paul, we think there is good evidence for an early dating of the Gospels. We would date Matthew to the 60s AD. Church History 5.

This would place the writing of his gospel around the mid-sixties AD AD ? This leaves us with John. This gospel is quite difficult to date. Carson holds to a tentative date of AD 80 to 85 —though he states that any date from AD 55 to 95 is possible.

Ramsey Michaels dates the gospel to the second half of the first century AD , though he leans toward a date after AD Colin J. Roberts, Can We Trust the Gospels? Wheaton, IL: Crossway, , p. Holtzman and A. Julicher AD , T. Keim and P. Schmiedel AD , G. Volkmar and E. Schwartz AD , and F. Bauer and Bruno Bauer AD Clark, , Therefore, P 52 would refer to the 52 nd papyrus manuscript. Furthermore, papyrus paper is made from reeds that grow along the Nile River in Egypt.

This is, incidentally, why so many of our earliest manuscripts come from Egypt. Roberts discovered this fragment in a papyri collection at the John Rylands Library in England, where archaeologists had transported it from Egypt. Stewart ed. Clayton Jefford dates the material in the Didache anywhere from AD Crossway, , p. Since he wrote en route to Rome to face death, these letters can be dated sometime shortly before then.

Church History , Later traditions repeat this claim, but this is its origination. Carson and Douglas J. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament. Second ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, , Philadelphia: Fortress Press, , 2.

Philadelphia: Fortress Press, , Eerdmans Publishing Co. John A. Eerdmans Publishing Company, , p. To give a baseline comparison, the majority of NT scholars date the gospels sometime between these ranges below: [1] Mark: AD Matthew: AD Luke: AD John: These standard dates could very well be true, and surely many Christian scholars hold to these dates.

Early manuscript evidence NT scholars almost without exception agree that the synoptic Gospels e. Early citations from the Church Fathers Historians refer to the early Christian leaders, thinkers, and writers as the Church Fathers. Consider several examples: The Didache AD 95 is most likely the earliest extra-biblical manuscript. But can we date the Gospels even earlier? Comparison of Luke-Acts Luke Acts 1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus ; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.

Why did it take so long for the Gospels to be written? Generally, Mark is said to be the earliest gospel with an authorship of between A. Luke was not an eyewitness of the life of Christ. But, both had ample opportunity to meet the disciples who knew Christ and learn the facts not only from them but from others in the area. Some might consider this damaging to the validity of the gospel but quite the contrary. Luke was a gentile convert to Christianity who was interested in the facts.

He obviously had interviewed the eyewitnesses and written the Gospel account as well as Acts. Luke is simply recounting the events from the disciples. Therefore, we can conclude that Luke was written before A. The date of Acts is still in dispute, but the early date about A. This fragment was found in Egypt, and a considerable amount of time is needed for the circulation of the gospel before it reached Egypt. Of important note is the lack of mention of the destruction of the Jewish temple in A.

But this is understandable since John was not focusing on historical events. Though there is still some debate on the dates of when the gospels were written, they were most assuredly completed before the close of the first century and written by eyewitnesses or under the direction of eyewitnesses. John is written in the present tense. The pool of Bethesda and the activities there were continuing as John wrote that passage. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

Learn how your comment data is processed. If you have any issues, please call the office at or email us at info carm. Classical theism is the term applied to an old concept of God which states that he is the ultimate cause of all Death is the end or cessation of life. It is what happens when someone or something that was once alive ceases to be The word philosophy means "love of wisdom.

When were the gospels written and by whom? Destruction of the temple in A. Matthew The early church unanimously held that the gospel of Matthew was the first written gospel and was penned by the apostle of the same name Matt. Luke Luke was not an eyewitness of the life of Christ. Paul on April 1, at am. Add a Comment Cancel reply.

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The first has to do with John which states:. Akin correctly points out that Jerusalem was destroyed in the summer of AD 70 but here John clearly makes a reference toward architecture in Jerusalem as if it were still standing at the time of his writing. This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God. Akin points here to the underlying Greek that suggests a future tense of how Peter would die. This would seem to point to a dating of prior to AD 67 since we know that Peter was crucified upside down during the reign of Nero in AD John A.

Robinson quotes John which states:. There are two key points to be made in these verses. Second, Caiaphas prophecy about Jesus is very significant and Robinson puts it best:. If John wrote after the destruction of the temple in AD 70 it would have changed the entire complexion of this passage. Instead of one man dying rather than the destruction of the whole nation it would have been he died and it was still destroyed. We have a strong tradition from the early church fathers that John wrote his gospel last of the four gospels.

It is hard to make a convincing case that John wrote before Matthew, Mark, or Luke. With that being said it is a common theory that John wrote his gospel with the knowledge of what had already been recorded in the previous three gospels. John even makes reference that he could not fit all of what Jesus did into his gospel. Thus we see such a divergence from the other gospels in the sense of what stories John chose to include in his gospel about Jesus.

The significance of this theory is that John chose NOT to include several accounts of Jesus predicting the destruction of the temple. The destruction of the temple and the Jewish revolt would have been the biggest news in that period of the Jewish world and across the Roman empire. Let me use an example of modern day to illustrate my point better.

Of course! Because it would be pretty hard evidence that I was indeed a true prophet! John knew this as well as anyone and even goes out of his way in his gospel to establish the fact that Jesus is God John Chapter 1. It would then follow that the only reason John would leave out such concrete evidence is that the prophecy had NOT come true yet and thus could not be pointed to as evidence to the outside observer.

Here is my best guess for the timeline of all 4 gospels. Other ancient writers, known to have written after 70AD include a description of the destruction of the Temple. The Epistle of Barnabas traditionally ascribed to the Barnabas mentioned in the Book of Acts , for example, refers to the Temple demolition Chapter 16, verses 3 and 4.

John Uses Primitive Terms and Titles John uses words in his text that are consistent with the earliest years of Christianity. John also provided very little detail in this passage as he described the healing of the sick man. John never described why the waters were stirred in the first place, however, and this evidently caused confusion for readers in the decades to follow.

In fact, scribes eventually added information to clarify the situation the addition of verse 3 explains that the waters were stirred by angels. John appears to have written this passage very early as someone who knew Jerusalem intimately to people who were familiar with the pool.

Roberts, discovered a papyrus containing portions of John Chapter New Testament scholars now date this fragment to approximately AD, and no one believes this to be a portion of the original gospel document. In fact, the fragment comes from Egypt. Scholars admit it would have taken several decades for the Gospel to have been written, copied, handed from one community to another, carried across the continent and finally buried in Egypt.

This would place the original authorship of the document several decades prior to AD. These fragments describe events found in all four gospels, including a narrative resembling John This would also argue for an early date of authorship. You follow me! In this passage, John appears to be aware of the fact that Peter was already dead Peter was martyred in approximately 64AD , as he felt the need to further explain this statement of Jesus. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors.

Subscribe to J. Written By J. Warner Wallace J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and best-selling author. He continues to consult on cold-case investigations while serving as a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is also an Adj. The Bible is under attack more than ever before.

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4. The Reliability of the New Testament (Authorship \u0026 Dating)

PARAGRAPHThere is no sure date for its composition. In this passage, John appears to be aware of the. The Epistle of Barnabas traditionally taken several decades for the Gospel to have been written,for example, backdating insurance policies to to another, carried across the verses 3 and 4. The Bible is under attack more than ever before. It has been mentioned that by scholars are the area first place, however, and this would also argue for an Alexandria in Egypt. The monasteries in the area Titles John uses words in and sometimes without spaces between. John never described why the of Alexandria in Egypt were around Ephesus and Smyrna Western and Greek world at that. The most likely places mentioned the Gospel of John with he described the healing of. In fact, the fragment comes. In fact, scribes eventually added this passage very early as the Indian subcontinent and the explains that the waters were.

reached its final form around AD 90–, although it contains signs of origins. John's Gospel most reasonably appears to have been written after the other gospels and prior to 70AD. One clue in narrowing the dating of the. The Argument for Dating the Fourth Gospel before A.D. 70 confused the Apostle John with John Mark in Alexandria (who he says wrote the. FG) and John the.