Dating the four gospels

For much of this late dating there is little real evidence. In a letter that serves as an appendix to Robinson’s book Redating the New Testament, Dodd wrote: “I should agree with you that much of the late dating is quite arbitrary, even wanton, the offspring not of any argument that can be presented, but rather of the critic’s prejudice that, if he appears to assent to the traditional position of the early church, he will be thought no better than a stick-in-the-mud.”5 Many years earlier the same point was made by C. Torrey, professor of Semitic Languages at Yale from 1900 to 1932. This cataclysmic event brought to an end the sacrificial worship that was the center of the Jewish religion and it should have merited a mention in the NT books if they were written afterwards.

He wrote: “I challenged my NT colleagues to designate one passage from any one of the four Gospels giving clear evidence of a date later than 50 A. In particular, one would have expected to find a reference to the event in the Epistle to the Hebrews, for it would have greatly strengthened the author’s argument that the Temple worship was now obsolete.

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The book no longer survives, except as it is occasionally quoted by later church writers.

In one of our surviving quotations, it is clear that Papias loved hearing oral accounts about Jesus from people who were expected to know the truth — more than reading books about him.

180 CE, and our first fully intact copy with a definitive (i.e.

not dated palaeographically) date is the Codex Sinaiticus at 330-360 CE.

Codex Vaticanus of the same period contains all the Gospels and most of the rest of the New Testament. French scholar Marcel Jousse in his own studies demonstrated the Semitic characteristics and rhythm of the sayings of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels.

Last modified 25-Jan-2020 18:39