Dating the New Testament | Fr. Dwight Longenecker
F.F. Bruce, “On Dating the New Testament,” Eternity 23 (June ): Why are the dates of the books of the New Testament of such intense interest to. Dating the New Testament* - Volume 26 Issue 4 - E. Earle Ellis. List of the chronological dates of the 27 books of the New Testament along with historical events in the first century AD. The list includes places where the books .
The significance of Gallio's judgement in Acts The prominence and authority of the Sadducees in Acts reflects a pre date, before the collapse of their political cooperation with Rome. The relatively sympathetic attitude in Acts to Pharisees unlike that found even in Luke's Gospel does not fit well with in the period of Pharisaic revival that led up to the council at Jamnia.
At that time a new phase of conflict began with Christianity. Acts seems to antedate the arrival of Peter in Rome and implies that Peter and John were alive at the time of the writing.
The Dating of the New Testament
The prominence of 'God-fearers' in the synagogues may point to a pre date, after which there were few Gentile inquiries and converts to Jerusalem. Luke gives insignificant details of the culture of an early, Julio-Claudian period. Areas of controversy described presume that the temple was still standing.
Adolf Harnack contended that Paul's prophecy in Acts If so, the book must have appeared before those events. Christian terminology used in Acts reflects an earlier period.
The confident tone of Acts seems unlikely during the Neronian persecutions of Christians and the Jewish War with the Rome during the late 60s. The action ends very early in the 60s, yet the description in Acts 27 and 28 is written with a vivid immediacy. It is also an odd place to end the book if years have passed since the pre events transpired. If Acts was written in 62 or before, and Luke was written before Acts say 60then Luke was written less than thirty years of the death of Jesus.
This is contemporary to the generation who witnessed the events of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. This is precisely what Luke claims in the prologue to his Gospel: Many have undertaken to draw up a record of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who were eye-witnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
Thus, there is not a reason to reject their historical accuracy either.
First Corinthians It is widely accepted by critical and conservative scholars that 1 Corinthians was written by 55 or This is less than a quarter century after the crucifixion in Further, Paul speaks of more than eyewitnesses to the resurrection who were still alive when he wrote Specifically mentioned are the twelve apostles and James the brother of Jesus. Internal evidence is strong for this early date: The book repeatedly claims to be written by Paul 1: There are parallels with the book of Acts.
There is a ring of authenticity to the book from beginning to end. Paul mentions who had seen Christ, most of whom were still alive. The contents harmonize with what has been learned about Corinth during that era.
There is also external evidence: Clement of Rome refers to it in his own Epistle to the Corinthians chap.
Timeline of New Testament Books - New Testament Charts (Bible History Online)
The Epistle of Barnabas alludes to it chap. Shepherd of Hermas mentions it chap. There are nearly quotations of 1 Corinthians in Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian alone Theissen, It is one of the best attested books of any kind from the ancient world.
Along with 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians and Galatians are well attested and early. All three reveal a historical interest in the events of Jesus' life and give facts that agree with the Gospels.
- Dating the New Testament
Paul speaks of Jesus' virgin birth Galatians 4: He mentions the hundreds of eyewitnesses who could verify the resurrection 1 Corinthians Paul rests the truth of Christianity on the historicity of the resurrection 1 Corinthians Paul also gives historical details about Jesus' contemporaries, the apostles 1 Corinthians Surrounding persons, places, and events of Christ's birth were all historical.
Luke goes to great pains to note that Jesus was born during the days of Caesar Augustus Luke 2: The traditions that get pruned will be those that are the least popular, but not necessarily the least true. In summary, over time traditions split and are pruned. The dominant tradition will then be subject to drift as traditions grow and split in one place and are pruned in another.
Therefore, in order to keep the true story, it is critical that the tradition gets frozen before too much time has passed. When we have many traditions available, we can use this model to analyze the relevance of each tradition.
Note that it is popular among certain Bible scholars to discount the patristic tradition as a matter of course and rely only on the biblical texts themselves to determine questions of authorship and dating. This is silly for several reasons. The Bible was not handed to us by God in A. Much can be learned from what has been written about it in the preceding millennia.
Dating the New Testament
Today's man is not so much more knowledgeable and less biased than ancient man. Especially for the ancient tradition, we can expect that the church fathers actually had information that is not available to us by virtue of how close they were to the events themselves.
Textual criticism of the New Testament can be problematic because it lends itself very strongly to non-conclusive arguments that depend more on the assumptions of the critic than the text.
There are exceptions to this, but those exceptions are uncommon. In general, I will take the position that the patristic tradition is authoritative, unless the tradition itself is murky or it is contradicted by a clear and convincing textual argument from the New Testament.
The Tradition Below are the most important church fathers with respect to the authorship and dating of the New Testament. For the most part, I will quote only these unless the record is thin or conflicting. Papias late 1st cent. He wrote a five book series, Interpretations of the Sayings of the Lord, which has now been lost except for quotations in later books, which are referred to as the fragments of Papias. The Muratorian Fragment ca A. It is the oldest list of the books of the New Testament.
The document itself is in bad shape, so for the most part it is difficult to interpret the absence of a particular book from this list. A book being on the list is a fair indication that it was in widespread use, however.4. The Reliability of the New Testament (Authorship & Dating)
It is dated because the author refers to the recent episcopate of Pius I of Rome, who died in A. His preserved writings argue primarily against the Gnostics, a heretical splinter group. Because of the theme of this writing, he spent more time discussing sources than most writers of this era.
Clement of Alexandria A. He should not be confused with Clement of Rome, one of the first popes. He converted to Christianity in middle life, but split away from the main church late in life largely because the church was not strict enough to suit him. He left there as a result of a conflict more political than theological with the local bishop, and founded a new school in Caesarea.
He preserved much of the tradition that would have been lost otherwise. He was the primary creator of the Vulgate, a key Latin translation of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew sources.
He was one of the great theologians of the church, and he also reported on historical details. In this time and largely under the influence of Jerome and Augustine there were several councils that ratified the contents of the current Roman Catholic Bible. As such, this is a natural time to end the discussion of the tradition.
Practically speaking, the vast majority of the canon was accepted as soon as it was written, but there were several books with more controversial histories that took longer to accept or reject.
When displayed in three columns, with Matthew on the left, Mark in the middle, and Luke on the right Gospel Parallels Throckmortonit becomes apparent that there is a significant relationship between the Gospels. They frequently describe the same events, have events in the same order, and use the same wording in a way that implies written dependence rather than oral dependence.
Understanding the source of these similarities is referred to as the synoptic problem. The dominant understanding is that Matthew and Luke both separately had access to Mark, but not to each other. Mark's language is awkward or problematic in many cases.
Dating the Bible
Both Matthew and Luke fix this language, but often in different ways. Similarly, Matthew and Luke often modify the order of events in Mark, but not in the same way. That is to say, for passages that are in all three Gospels, Matthew agrees with Mark and Luke agrees with Mark much more than Matthew agrees with Luke against Mark.
Both Matthew and Luke agree with each other, however, on content that is not in Mark. The understanding here is that there is another source, called Q by scholars, that both Matthew and Luke had.
Q is primarily composed of sayings of Jesus. It is not expected that Matthew or Luke used each other because of the significant number of otherwise inexplicable omissions and conflicts between Matthew and Luke in how they use Mark and Q.
Finally, there is material that is unique to Matthew and other material that is unique to Luke.