Late dating of the gospels

Matthew wrote to a Jewish audience to prove to them that Jesus is indeed their Messiah.

That's why Matthew includes many of the teachings of Christ and makes numerous references to Old Testament prophecies.

They are each different in nature, content, and the facts they include or exclude.

Skeptics have criticized the Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament, as being legendary in nature rather than historical.

They point to alleged contradictions between Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

He first begins by outlining the assumptions on which the post-A. 70 dating hinges: Most critics date the writing of Mark around A. 70 because the Christian theology in it is quite developed and Jesus’ predictions of the destruction of Jerusalem (Mark 13) show that the event was at hand. The value of those arguments, however, hinges on certain assumptions: (1) With regard to Mark, the first argument assumes that “the Christian theology” was not in fact Jesus’ own.

To say it is “developed” assumes that it was once “primitive.” Actually the argument cuts both ways: one could argue that because Mark was written early, the theology is not” developed,” but truly characteristic of what Jesus taught.

century, other manuscript fragments date much earlier.

The Greek unical codices provide important clues to the development of the Canon, but are less important as evidence of the date of composition.

Regardless of who wrote the Gospels and when, if they reflect reality correctly, then it points to their being written by eyewitnesses, or having eyewitnesses as their source.

Thus, even if the traditional authorship and earliest dates are disproved - and it is my contention that the arguments against them are inadequate - it matters very little, we may surmise, who wrote them and when.

They also maintain the Gospels were written centuries after the lifetimes of the eyewitnesses.

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