The Dating of the New Testament

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Download Free PDF. A Pre Date for John’s Gospel. Brian Vranicar. John H.

The Earliest New Testament Manuscripts

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.

The Gospel’s place and date of composition are also uncertain; many scholars suggest that it was written at Ephesus, in Asia Minor, about ce for the purpose.

Jump to navigation. Dating the gospels is very important. If it can be established that the gospels were written early, say before the year A. If they were written by the disciples, then their reliability, authenticity, and accuracy are better substantiated. Also, if they were written early, this would mean that there would not have been enough time for myth to creep into the gospel accounts since it was the eyewitnesses to Christ’s life that wrote them.

Furthermore, those who were alive at the time of the events could have countered the gospel accounts; and since we have no contradictory writings to the gospels, their early authorship as well as apostolic authorship becomes even more critical. None of the gospels mention the destruction of the Jewish temple in A. This is significant because Jesus had prophesied concerning the temple when He said “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down,” Luke , see also Matt.

This prophecy was fulfilled in A. The gold in the temple melted down between the stone walls; and the Romans took the walls apart, stone by stone, to get the gold. Such an obvious fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy most likely would have been recorded as such by the gospel writers who were fond of mentioning fulfillment of prophecy if they had been written after A.


Recent observations have shown that regular many Christians even ordinary Church goers have their favourite scripture quotations of the New Testament in the Gospel of John. It is instructive that this Gospel does not identify its author as John. Meanwhile, questions surrounding the authorship of the Fourth Gospel which critical scholars of generations past thought were settled have recently gained keen attention of scholars in the recent time.

However, this research calls attention to re-entrench past and current trends in regards to the issue at hand as well as analyze the varying reasons for different opinions in other to establish a viable stance.

John Dickson inspected the newly published fragment of the Gospel of Mark, dated the earliest manuscript yet. John Dickson. According to.

It was prepared for those who were converted from Judaism to the faith, and was written in Hebrew letters. The second was that of Mark, who composed it under Peter’s guidance The third, the Gospel which was praised by Paul, was that of Luke, written for gentile converts. Last of all, there is that of John. It is John who gives us the theology of Christ as revealed in this deep mystery in which the promised Messiah comes to fulfilled the Old Covenant in His sacrifice and death on the cross, and through His resurrection to establish the New Covenant which transforms man’s relationship with God through the gift of the redemption and salvation of mankind.

When I had completed my year of research on John’s Gospel I identified 5 statements of truth around which I would build this study: The fourth Gospel is the last Gospel to be written, therefore, John assumes we have read and studied the other 3 Gospel texts.

The Date of John’s Gospel and Its Origins

The gospel is certainly a narrative about Jesus and in this resembles the others and is quite different from the epistles in the NT. But whereas in the synoptics the miracles are indications of the coming of the kingdom of God e. They also disagree about the date of the Cleansing of the Temple which John 2: 13—22 places early in the ministry, the synoptics at the end Mark 15—

Ancient Biblical PAPYRI containing portions of the Gospel of John: Number, Date / Century, Location / Inventory Number, Biblical Contents.

The evangelist John rests one hand on his gospel book, in this inch-tall marble sculpture carved by Donatello in about for a niche in the facade of the Cathedral of Florence. Scholars writing Gospel of John commentary often grapple with the question: Who wrote the Gospel of John? Photo: Erich Lessing. The Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament , tell the story of the life of Jesus. Gospel of John commentary is easy to find—some of the most famous theologians in history have closely examined the text and underscored its importance from as early as the beginning of the third century.

It is believed that Origen, an Alexandrian Christian scholar and theologian, wrote his Gospel of John commentary while in Alexandria at some point after A. Augustine—a famous fourth century church father—contributed no fewer than tractates in his Gospel of John commentary, while St. We may never know for certain who wrote the Gospel of John, any more than we can know who wrote the books of Matthew , Mark and Luke.

We do know that John is a gospel apart, however. Matthew and Luke follow the version of events in Mark, which is thought by scholars to be the earliest and most historically accurate Gospel. Another holds that John was written last, by someone who knew about the other three Gospels, but who wished to write a spiritual gospel instead of an historical one.

John, gospel of

First of all, I apologize—I did not mean to misrepresent you. Also, let me express my great respect for your expertise in the area of NT Greek grammar. Your Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics and its abridgment have been indispensable resources in my writing and teaching. In the matter at hand, too, I agree that discussions have too often proceeded without scholars adducing actual evidence, and, as you noted, this has been my desire in interacting with your publications on John in my BECNT commentary.

I will not unnecessarily prolong further discussion at this point, since it is obvious that you and I continue to disagree on the matter. I will limit myself to three brief points in this my final response for the time being.

If we accept a somewhat later date for Matthew, Luke could end up around 90 or To round this off, the Gospel of John seems oblivious to the other three.

The writings of John are often assigned the latest dates of all New Testament literature, with some secular scholars placing them well into the second century A. Of course John the son of Zebedee, the disciple of Jesus, could not have lived long enough to write anything much into the second century, so in this case establishing a date of writing should first involve establishing that John was in fact the author. It would perhaps be best to first establish the case that the same author is responsible for all the books associated with John.

The New Testament books of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation are sometimes called the Johannine literature and are traditionally assigned to John the son of Zebedee, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Still, there is reason to believe that the traditional understanding here is correct. The identification of John the son of Zebedee as the author of this material is dependent on a combination of the writings of early church fathers and indirect evidence within these books.

Holding John the son of Zebedee to be the author of Revelation are the second century church fathers Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, along with third century fathers Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian of Carthage, Origen of Alexandria, and Hippolytus of Rome. However, Papius identifies a separate John as the writer of the letters of John and Revelation, so there is some variance in early tradition as to authorship of the Johannine letters.

Unlike the other gospels, John the apostle is never named in the Gospel of John, though his name seems to be deliberately self-obscured by calling himself “another disciple” or the “disciple that Jesus loved” John , , , , , , , The “we” in John indicates that the author, along with the other apostles, were eyewitnesses of Jesus. There is little dispute as to a common author for the short letters of 2 John and 3 John.

Having connected 2 and 3 John, let us now connect these books to the longer letter of 1 John.

Gospel of John

In the sixteenth century the Greek New Testament was published for the first time in printed form. The great Dutch philologist Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam had established a text from a handful of manuscripts dating from the later Middle Ages. Unfortunately he used only manuscripts of inferior quality for his edition of A few verses from the Apocalypse were lacking in the manuscripts at his disposal.

reached its final form around AD 90–, although it contains signs of origins.

P52 – John Rylands Papyrus 2nd century – see also K. Hanson’s informative page on P P90 – Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 2nd century – a larger but badly damaged old piece of papyrus. P45 – preserves significant portions of all four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. P75 – has the end of Luke and beginning of John on the same page! P80 , P95 – two smaller fragments, containing only a few verses of John. Complete List of Papyri containing portions of the Fourth Gospel:.

Papyri containing portions of the Johannine Epistles:. The hyperlinks below show images of the beginning of the Gospel of John, and some also of the end of Luke, in the corresponding manuscript. These images and further explanations are from the Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts website.

Dating the New Testament

The papyrus was found in the city Oxyrhynchus, south of Cairo, in an ancient Egyptian rubbish dump. At this same site, hundreds of thousands of manuscript fragments were excavated around the turn of the 20th century Only a fraction of the manuscripts excavated at that time have ever been published. John Dickson inspected the newly published fragment of the Gospel of Mark, dated the earliest manuscript yet.

John and the Date of the Fourth Gospel again. Related Media. Nov 6, J. C. Hawkins, Horae Synopticae: Contributions to the Study.

A renowned scholar claimed that he discovered a first-century gospel fragment. O n the evening of February 1, , more than 1, people crowded into an auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To hear more feature stories, get the Audm iPhone app. On one side was Bart Ehrman, a UNC professor and atheist whose best-selling books argue that the oldest copies of Christian scripture are so inconsistent and incomplete—and so few in number—that the original words are beyond recovery.

They had debated twice before, but this time Wallace had a secret weapon: At the end of his opening statement, he announced that verses of the Gospel of Mark had just been discovered on a piece of papyrus from the first century. As news went in the field of biblical studies, this was a bombshell. The papyrus would be the only known Christian manuscript from the century in which Jesus is said to have lived.

Many consider him to be the best papyrologist on the planet. The program was funded by the Green family, the evangelical billionaires who own the Hobby Lobby craft-store chain. And the papyrologist who worked out its first-century date had to be the world-renowned classicist Dirk Obbink. The Greens were known to have hired him as a consultant during their antiquities buying spree. His enlistment had been a coup. A tall Nebraskan with a mop of sandy hair, Obbink was in his mids in when the MacArthur Foundation awarded him a half-million-dollar genius grant.

An Introduction to the Gospels

William Saunders. With so much talk lately about the Gospels, I wonder, who wrote the Gospels and how do we know? To answer this question we must first be clear on how the Gospels were formed and what constitutes authorship. The foundational premise is that “Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy maintained and continues to maintain, that the four Gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke and John], whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while He lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day when He was taken up.

The foundational premise is that Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy maintained and continues to maintain, that the four Gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke and John], whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while He lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day when He was taken up. Dei Verbum , No.

Dating the Gospel of John to after AD A. Internal Evidence #1: No warnings to flee the destruction of Jerusalem which was only years away when John.

The Gospel of John gets a bad rap among skeptical scholars, and many place less value on it than on Matthew, Mark, and Luke. A couple of centuries ago, it became fashionable in biblical scholarship to assign very late dates to John. For example, the famed German scholar F. Baur dated it to between A. Such dates fell out of favor after more recent discoveries. The fragment is small 3.

John MacArthur – The Gospel of John