Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When were the NT books written? A scholarly view

A few days ago I had the opportunity to peruse an 1891 printing of the David C. Cook Pictorial Family Bible. Family Bibles in this era often contained, either in parallel columns or as a supplement, that new scholarly translation of the Bible, the Revised Version. In this one, the RV NT was supplemental.

What interested me the most about this Bible, though, was a table of dates for the composition of the various books of the New Testament. Recall, this represented the same updated scholarship that had brought us the Revised Version. Most proponents of Marcan Priority have little idea how recently this idea came to the fore, and on how thin a layer of historical evidence it actually rests. According to the latest scholarly thinking of 1891, Matthew was the first Gospel written. The table is as follows, with dates given in years after the death of Christ in 33 AD:

Matthew 6
Mark 10
1 Peter 15
1 & 2 Thessalonians 19
Luke 23
Galatians 23
1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans 24
Ephesians - Colossians, Philemon, Hebrews 29
Acts 30
1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, 2 Peter 30
James and Jude, not so certain; supposed to be around 33
Revelation 63
John 64
1, 2, 3 John 65