Dating the gospel of john
Finally, he refers repeatedly throughout to the great religious and national festivals of the Jews for the purpose of indicating the exact historical sequence of the facts related (ii, 13; v, 1; vi, 4; vii, 2; x, 22; xii, 1, xiii, 1).All the early and the majority of modern exegetes are quite justified, therefore, in taking this strictly chronological arrangement of the events as the basis of their commentaries.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. when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and burned the Temple. 65),"1 and we have further evidence that it was written very early and not long after Jesus' ascension into heaven. He was a companion of Paul who also was not an eyewitness of Christ's life. The date of Acts is still in dispute, but the early date (about A. 63) is gaining support constantly."9 The writer of the gospel of John was obviously an eyewitness of the events of Christ's life since he speaks from a perspective of having been there during many of the events of Jesus' ministry and displays a good knowledge of Israeli geography and customs.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. The gold in the Temple melted down between the stone walls and the Romans took the walls apart, stone by stone, to get the melted gold. If we look at Acts 1:1-2 it says, "The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen." Most scholars affirm that Acts was written by Luke and that Theophilus (Grk. But, both had ample opportunity to meet the disciples who knew Christ and learn the facts not only from them, but from others in the area. The John Rylands papyrus fragment 52 of John's gospel dated in the year 125-135 contains portions of John 18, verses 31-33,37-38. It is the last of the gospels and appears to have been written in the 80's to 90's.Acts is a history of the Christian church right after Jesus' ascension. If Q actually existed then that would push the first writings of Christ's words and deeds back even further lessening the available time for myth to creep in and adding to the validity and accuracy of the gospel accounts. Therefore Matthew had to be written before he died. "Papias claimed that Mark, the Evangelist, who had never heard Christ, was the interpreter of Peter, and that he carefully gave an account of everything he remembered from the preaching of Peter."7 Generally, Mark is said to be the earliest gospel with an authorship of between A. He obviously had interviewed the eyewitnesses and written the Gospel account as well as Acts. John does not mention the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A. Some say this is because John was not focusing on historical events.Acts also fails to mention the incredibly significant events of 70 A. which would have been extremely relevant and prophetically important and naturally would have garnered inclusion into Acts had it occurred before Acts was written. If what is said of Acts is true, this would mean that Luke was written at least before A. 63 and possibly before 55 - 59 since Acts is the second in the series of writings by Luke. Nevertheless, it is generally believed that Matthew was written before A. Notice how Luke speaks of "them," of those who had personal encounters with Christ. Instead, John focused on the theological aspect of the person of Christ and listed His miracles and words that affirmed Christ's deity.
We know this text, albeit imperfectly, through a large number of ancient manuscripts.None of the gospels mention the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A. This is significant because Jesus had prophesied its destruction 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 21:6, see also Matt. Such an obvious fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy most likely would have been recorded by the gospel writers if they had been written after 70 A. Also, if the gospels were fabrications of mythical events then anything to bolster the Messianic claims -- such as the destruction of the temple as Jesus prophesied -- would surely have been included. "lover of God") "may have been Luke’s patron who financed the writing of Luke and Acts."2 This means that the gospel of Luke was written before Acts. Mark was not an eyewitness to the events of Jesus' life. Some might consider this damaging to the validity of the gospel, but quite the contrary. 65)."8 Therefore, we can conclude that Luke was written before A. Most scholars say it was written in the early 90's.But, it was not included suggesting that the gospels (at least Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were written before 70 A. Similarly, this argument is important when we consider the dating of the book of Acts which was written after the gospel of Luke by Luke himself. For clarity, Q is supposedly one of the source documents used by both Matthew and Luke in writing their gospels. He was a disciple of Peter and undoubtedly it was Peter who informed Mark of the life of Christ and guided him in writing the Gospel known by his name. Luke was a gentile convert to Christianity who was interested in the facts. This means that the time span between the original writing of John and its earliest copy (fragment) is approximately 35-45 years. He lays special emphasis on the first miracles: "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee" (ii, 11), and "This again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee" (iv, 54). This is apparent at the very beginning of his narrative when, as though in a diary he chronicles the circumstances attendant on the beginning of the Saviour's public ministry, with four successive definite indications of the time (i, 29, 35, 43, ii, 1).
Negative critical scholars strengthen their own views as they separate the actual events from the writings by as much time as possible.