(3 min read; 822 words)
Jim Wallace shows how Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp bear early 2nd Century witness to the 1st-century writings of the New Testament.
(4 min read; 904 words)
J. Warner Wallace shares a panel discussion with Gary Habermas.
(6 min read; 1,494 words)
(6 min read; 1,510 words)
[Editorial Note: After publishing this post, I learned that it duplicated a post I had previously published. Rather than delete one of them, I’ll just link them.]
In this post, Craig Keener looks at three different historical periods covered by the Bible – the times of Abraham, Israel’s Kings, and Jesus – and explains how our historical knowledge of each period differs. In providing this nuance, Keener helps us to see how unwarranted skepticism about the historical reliability of the Bible really is.
(16 min read; 3,897 words)
(4 min read; 896 words, footnotes included)
The referenced post was written Peter Saunders, CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, a UK-based organization with 4,500 UK doctors and 1,000 medical students as members.
The earliest undisputed manuscript of a New Testament book is the John Rylands papyrus (p52) (pictured above), dated from 117 to 138. This fragment of John’s gospel survives from within a generation of composition. Since the book was composed in Asia Minor and this fragment was found in Egypt, some circulation time is demanded, surely placing composition of John within the first century. Whole books (Bodmer Papyri) are available from 200.
Most of the New Testament, including all the gospels, is available in the Chester Beatty Papyri manuscript from 150 years after the New Testament was finished (ca. 250).
No other book from the ancient world has as small a time gap between composition and earliest manuscript copies as the New Testament.
No book of the New Testament includes a date when it was written. Moreover, folks living in that age didn’t even count time the way we do (i.e. BC-AD). Nevertheless, all New Testament books are deemed to have been written in the 1st Century, or, at the latest, shortly thereafter.
(All the authors and books listed here can be found in Annotated Bibliography on New Testament Text and Canon.)
Goodspeed, Edgar J. The Formation of the New Testament. University of Chicago Press, 1926, 210 pages.
“The books of the New Testament were written by various hands, at various places in the Greek world, and at various times between 50 and 150 A.D.” (p.1)
Smith, James E. Which Books Belong in the Bible? Lulu, 2009, p. 322-324.
Smith provides dates for each book, beginning with James in 48 A.D. and ending with the writings of John in 90 A. D.
Robinson, John A. T. Redating the New Testament. SCM Press, 1976, 370 pages.
Robinson dates the writing of the books between 40 and 70 AD, based primarily on the fact that none of the books make reference to the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple as having occurred. He lists specific dates for each book on page 352.
ESTIMATED DATES FOR INDIVIDUAL BOOKS
[Editorial note: The information here is incomplete; I will be adding to it over time. Note also that some of the sources in the section above provide specific dates for each book which may or may not be provided below. ]
Luke – would have been written before Acts
Acts -63 (per Stanley Porter)
Michael J. Kruger (in his “The Canonization of the New Testament” lectures found in iTunes U) says that the 27 New Testament documents are the only extant Christian writings from the 1st Century, with the possible exception of 1 Clement (95? 98?).
F. F. Bruce reports in a footnote on page 15 of The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? that J. A. T. Robinson argues in Redating the New Testament (1976) that everything in the New Testament was written before 70 AD.
“As stated by Nelson Glueck, former president of the Jewish Theological Seminary in the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, and renowned Jewish archaeologist, ‘In my opinion, every book of the New Testament was written between the forties and eighties of the first century A.D.'” (Source: Is Our Copy of the Bible a Reliable Copy of the Original?)
Michael J. Kruger announces on his blog the availability of the paperback edition of this book ($45) for those who thought that the hardback edition ($175) was too expensive. I think there is a Kindle version for $99 as well.)
Kruger edited this book along with Charles E. Hill, professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.
The content of this post has been moved to and incorporated with Annotated Bibliography on New Testament Text and Canon.