Dating the Good News

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It only takes a minute to sign up. I have been trying to search this on the web and it seems I keep getting conflicting information. Apparently, modern scholars believe the Gospel of Luke was written in the second century AD. If this is true then why do we include it in our Bibles? Why do people read it if it was written much later? And then, I read some info about it being written in the 60s AD. I tried to search this on StackExchange but no luck. Could you help me out?

Don Stewart :: When Were the Four Gospels Written?

Bust of Roman Emperor Domitian r. Wikimedia Commons Luke was likely composed during Domitian’s reign. Written a generation after the death of Jesus ca. E , none of the four gospel writers were eyewitnesses to the ministry of Jesus.

Such a date is based on several criteria. First, the Gospel of Mark has been dated around A.D. Since Luke used a considerable portion of Mark’s Gospel.

If the Gospel of Matthew was written after 70 C. For example, in Matt : “The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Is there any evidence this parable was added to a pre C. Three pieces of evidence have usually been advanced to demonstrate that Matthew wrote after 70 C. First, Matthew is dependent upon the Gospel of Mark and Mark is normally dated to the late 60s or early 70s.

Secondly, the Gospel of Matthew has a developed Christology, which suggests a late date towards the end of the first century. Thirdly, the reference to the destruction of a city in Matt can and should be taken as a direct reference to the Jewish War and to the destruction of Jerusalem in particular.


Ultimately, from a faith perspective, the precise dates do not matter. What matters is that they are divinely inspired and thus authoritative for faith. Today virtually all scholars—whether skeptical or believing—acknowledge that the Gospels are first century documents. More than a century ago, the liberal German scholar Adolf von Harnack published a work titled The Date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels in which he considered this question. The first twelve chapters of Acts are concerned principally with St.

Most New Testament scholars date Mark’s Gospel at approximately 70 CE, so Luke was written at least a few years later, after allowing time for Mark to circulate​.

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The evidence shows that the four Gospels were written in a relatively short time after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


March 15, , Vol. Two new articles every two weeks. Bible Question? E-mail us. The evidence, both inspired and uninspired, overwhelmingly indicates Luke the physician, the traveling companion of the apostle Paul, is the author of the third account of the life of Christ.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke had low-ascending christologys, and John had a What are some criteria used to date the Gospels of Matthew and Luke?

Some say he was martyred, but I think the prevailing tradition is that he died at the age of 84 in Greece. What interests me more than the date of his death is the date of his gospel. I was brought up as an Evangelical fundamentalist and their approach to the Bible or so it seemed to me was very literalistic.

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the four gospels. They were inspired by the Holy Spirit which meant the Holy Ghost dictated the books to them. That is the industry which employs many Biblical scholars who write lots of books arguing with one another about who wrote the gospels and when. I listened and learned. Maybe they were all written by other people much later and they added lots of mythological elements and so forth.

So I learned to be skeptical of the fundamentalist Sunday school approach. The liberal Bible scholars were obviously working to an agenda. The later the gospels were and the more they could show that they were not really written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the more they could dismiss them as mythological fairy tales. Furthermore, the whole industry of academic Biblical scholarship would support them as long as they adhered to the liberal consensus.

So I began to be skeptical of the skeptics.

Did Luke get the date of Jesus’ birth wrong?

Apollonius lived in the first century. His birth was supernatural. He also performed miracles and appeared to people after his death. Sounds familiar, right? But the Gospels are based on the accounts of witnesses.

The Gospel of Luke is closely related to the other synoptic gospels, Matthew and Mark, and will influence our view on their dates as well. Also, Acts describes in.

Your browser does not support JavaScript. Please note, our website requires JavaScript to be supported. Please contact us or click here to learn more about how to enable JavaScript on your browser. Follow us:. Listen Now. One ancient prologue written to introduce the gospel describes Luke as a Syrian from Antioch. With this piece of information, we can deduce that Luke was probably not Jewish.

Paul also listed him with other Gentiles in his greetings to the Colossians

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With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Acts is the second of a two-volume work, with part one being the gospel of Luke.

In fact, many Biblical scholars often refer to these two texts as a single unit: Luke-Acts.

If Acts were written about A.D. 62, then this helps us date the four gospels. The Book of Acts is the second half of a treatise written by Luke to a man named.

Introduction to Christianity. But that is not the view of modern New Testament scholarship. Because the destruction of Jerusalem is never mentioned in Mark’s gospel, it is usually thought to have been written just before that, around 68 C. Most scholars accept the likelihood that Mark wrote in Rome, and given that Paul traditionally was said to have died in Rome sometime between under Nero, it seems likely that Mark knew Paul. His overall perspective seems similar to Paul’s own message in his negative presenatation of the apostles, his portrayal of the power within Jesus Christ, and his attitude toward the Law of Moses.

Indeed, his work seems to be a narrative presentation of Paul’s gospel in the life of Jesus, almost a post-mortem defense of Paul. If Peter was the one who established the Roman church and there is no reason to think that he did not , Mark might have known him as well, perhaps having heard from Peter himself several of the stories of Jesus that he then included in his narrative. If so, it is notable that Peter comes off very badly in Mark’s gospel.

But Matthew and Luke are a different story.

An Introduction to the Gospels

Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. The subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Biography of Saint Luke ; II. Authenticity of the Gospel ; III. Integrity of the Gospel ; IV.

One ancient prologue written to introduce the gospel describes Luke as a Syrian Much of the dating of the book of Luke depends on the dating of Acts. Luke’s.

When a person puts up a tent, the first stake placed in the ground largely determines the location of the entire tent. Dating the New Testament works in much the same way. Because there are many connections between New Testament books, moving the date of one book tends to drag the dates of a number of other books along with it. Therefore, it is important to decide which book ought to be the first stake, and where on the timeline that stake should be placed.

Most modern scholarship identifies the gospel of Mark as the earliest gospel, setting Mark down as the first stake for the tent and working from there. There are good reasons for doing this. However, there is also a problem with using Mark as the first stake, which we discuss in the article on Mark. For now, let us set Mark to the side.

I believe that instead of Mark, the first stake should be the book of Acts. Acts is the second of two books written by Luke, so setting a date for Acts also serves to establish the latest possible date for the Gospel of Luke. The Gospel of Luke is closely related to the other synoptic gospels, Matthew and Mark, and will influence our view on their dates as well. Also, Acts describes in detail the three missionary journeys of Paul.

Did Luke write his gospel using Mark?