Dating the books of the new testament


14-Mar-2020 11:05

In actuality, there were gospels composed in the name of every apostle, including Thomas, Bartholomew and Phillip, but these texts are considered "spurious" and unauthorized.

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Are these texts really the faithful accounts of eyewitnesses written shortly after Jesus's advent?

In fact, prior to the end of the second century, there is no clear evidence of the existence of the canonical gospels as we have them. In other words, we do not even know who this person is whom Eusebius is allegedly quoting regarding these purported earlier texts.

Christian apologetics for the early gospel dates rely on the slimmest of evidence, including a very late third-hand testimony of a late second-hand testimony that "Mark" had written a narrative, supposedly based on the experiences of Peter as related by the apostle himself. According to Eusebius—in disagreement with Irenaeus, who suggested Papias had known the apostle John—Papias had no direct acquaintance with any of the apostles: …Papias himself in the preface to his work makes it clear that he was never a hearer or eyewitness of the holy apostles, and tells us that he learnt the essentials of the faith from their former pupils.

As another example, regarding Jesus's body being stolen, Matthew's gospel claims that "this story has been spread among the Jews to this day." The phrase "to this day" indicates that the writer is talking about a significant length of time, not shortly after the resurrection as some have attempted to place the composition and emergence of this gospel.

In fact, we do not have any mention in the historical record of the story of Christ's body being stolen having been spread among the Jews until the second century.

Based on the dating difficulties and other problems, many scholars and researchers over the centuries have become convinced that the gospels were not written by the people to whom they are ascribed. Indeed, the belief in the authorship of the gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is a matter of faith, as such an opinion is not merited in light of detailed textual and historical analysis.