Dating of the canonical gospels

15-Feb-2018 10:09

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Conservative Christians naturally take this passage as proof of Jesus’ miraculous powers of foresight, and an indication that the gospels were written before the events they foretell.

However, an equally possible interpretation is that this passage was composed after these events, and was written to “foretell” them in order to make it seem as if the author had access to a source of supernatural insight.

So, what conclusion is best supported by the facts?

This essay will examine four categories of evidence: internal evidence from the text of the gospels themselves; documentary evidence from the early church record; physical evidence in the form of surviving manuscripts; and negative evidence in the form of missing references to the gospels where we would have every right to expect to find them.

and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

One, as previously mentioned, is that it’s a late document whose author sought to make it seem earlier by leaving out Paul’s death.Papias One of the early church figures commonly appealed to in dating the gospels is Papias, a bishop who lived in the early second century.His best-known work is The Sayings of the Lord Interpreted, though the book itself is lost and we know of it only in fragments.Prophecies of the End In “2000 Years Late“, I called attention to this passage from the so-called Olivet Discourse, regarding Jesus’ prophecies of the end of the world: “And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

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And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings?

(Textual scholars are in wide agreement about other places in the Bible where this strategy was used, particularly the Book of Daniel.) Since no internal evidence of this passage can decide between these alternatives, by itself it is of little help in dating the gospels.

When were the gospels written? With their absence in Justin Martyr's works, we remain with the dating of the gospels to the last quarter of the second century.… continue reading »

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Oct 23, 2007 Dating gospels is a largely arbitrary exercise that obscures the fact that all early gospels, canonical and non. Question about dating the gospels.… continue reading »

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Gnostic Gospels - What do these. Coptic from a Greek text dating to the second half of. of his children. 7 Despite these similarities with the canonical gospels… continue reading »

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Dating the Good News. Irenaeus of Lyons is the first Christian commentator we know of who lists the four canonical gospels by. the dating of P52 is based.… continue reading »

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All four canonical gospels. It had been lost but was discovered, in a Coptic version dating from c. 350, at Nag Hammadi in 1945–46, and three papyri.… continue reading »

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