Dating the Gospels (letter)

Dating the Gospels (letter)

Fr G.H. Duggan SM

I was pleased to see Paul H. Smith's letter (June AD2000) citing Thiede's The Jesus Papyrus in which the author establishes that the Gospel of St Matthew was written before 66AD.

In my view the Gospels should be dated as follows: Matthew before 42, during the 12 years the Apostles remained in Jerusalem; Mark in 46, being a record of the preaching of St Peter when he was in Rome, 42-46, having brought with him the Gospel of St Matthew and using this as his text; Luke in 53, that is, before 2 Corinthians, which was written in 56 and refers to Luke as "the brother whose praise is in all the churches for his gospel" (8:18); and John in 65 - Robinson argues for a date before 70, and Klaus Berger of Heidelberg has argued for 65 in a substantial monograph.

For a detailed analysis, one could quote Wenham and Carmignac for the Synoptics, and Robinson for all four.

In a word, the tide has begun to turn.

FR G.H. DUGGAN SM
Upper Hutt, New Zealand

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