Dating and authorship of the gospels
John also gets rid of virtually all the kingdom sayings and when he keeps them (John 3) they have nothing to do with predictions of the imminent coming of the kingdom. There are predictions of an imminent kingdom within the lifetime of some of Jesus’ audience (Mark 9:1) and a prediction that the second coming of Jesus will occur within a generation (Mark ).
Taking into account the not particularly long life span and the standard definition of a generation this gives us an outline of about 30-40 years when these things should have taken place and support the fairly obvious, namely that John and 2 Peter were finished sometime after the 70s.
Likewise, Kennelly claimed that Pitre showed that all four Gospel authors believed that Jesus was God.
Pitre is not the first Christian apologist to attempt to make this case.
Rather, countless apologists prior to Pitre have already made the same argument.
We wish this series to help everyone understand the process of the Bible's history as a document and why we can have confidence in its message. Albright had previously written, in light of archaeological discoveries (his area of scholarly expertise), that [t]hanks to the Qumran discoveries [the Dead Sea Scrolls], the New Testament proves to be in fact what it was formerly believed to be: the teaching of Christ and his immediate followers between circa 25 and circa 80 A. Interestingly, Albrights assessment is not unique among unlikely sources of such assessments.
This is especially so given the climate of society today and its attitudes toward the Bible. Almost a half-century ago, when I first began to think seriously about various controversies over the dating and authorship of New Testament documents, one of the first things I encountered was this then-newly-minted comment by one of the worlds leading archaeologists, William F. While that comment was made a few years before his death in an interview in the evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, it was by no means a spur-of-the moment interjection common in interviews. What I have learned since encountering Albrights comment has only caused me to see more clearly why this accomplished archaeologist said what he did.
For my purposes I will look at the most relevant information from before A. Unfortunately, the questions of New Testament authorship and dating are not cut and dried. There is substantial variation in the writings of the church fathers.
The church fathers did not have the current understanding of history and authorship. To determine New Testament authorship as best we can, we use the earliest of the patristic sources augmented by the internal evidence of the New Testament.
So, for the benefit of my readers I would like to give a quick response to these claims.
Pitre was attempting to respond to the general academic consensus that all four NT Gospels were written following 70CE, by arguing that there is no explicit mention of the destruction of Jerusalem and it’s temple anywhere in the Gospels.
Confidence in the historical accuracy of these documents depends partly on whether they were written by eyewitnesses and contemporaries to the events described, as many New Testament texts claim.
Some critical scholars have attempted to strengthen their contentions by separating the actual events from the writings by as much time as possible.
So I could see a date in the 70s, perhaps not too long after the destruction. I once came very close to being persuaded by Robinson on an early date for Acts but the Lukan material prevented me from accepting his case.