Sunday, 11 November 2012

When were the Gospels written?


Many years ago I came into close contact with a man who was hugely erudite in biblical scholarship and theology. He was a very unhappy man who had lost what he called 'his early triumphalist faith' and confessed he missed it, but he thought it intellectually unsustainable. I knew nothing of biblical scholarship and was dismayed to learn that the biblical scholars had little credence in the literal truth of much of the Gospels and scrabbled around the internet for reasons to reinforce my faith. I remember clearly that I could see no convincing reason for dating the Gospels any later than 50 AD but they were usually dated between 70 AD and 100 AD. because of the prophecy of the destruction of the Temple My friend, like many sceptics, did not have nearly enough scepticism and never disagreed with what 'cutting-edge' scholars and theologians thought.

Reading this interesting link it seems the case is arguable that the Gospel of St Mark dates from the 40s. I remember this theory from ten years ago and am pleased to say that it sounds to me more likely now than it did then. 

Chapter 13 of Mark, where Jesus foretells the imminent second coming, seems to point to an early date. 
Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. (Mark13:30) 
But I still know nothing of biblical scholarship. 

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