Dating new testament
Matthew is considered earlier than Luke because it is in some respects closer to Mark, including that the anti-Jewish rhetoric of Luke then John is less evident in Matthew.Luke’s Gospel must be dated earlier than Acts of the Apostles, which was long thought to have been written no later than the nineties of the first century, partly because of the discrepancies between Acts and Paul’s own epistles, which began to be published widely in the second century: it was felt that if the author of Luke-Acts had access to Paul’s epistles, he would not have made so many errors in his account of Paul.There is evidence of influence from Luke’s Gospel, so it would probably have been written somewhat later than Luke.John’s Gospel shows clear signs of having been revised, probably at least twice, but also probably by the original author.* The term ‘synoptic problem’ refers to the fact that when the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are laid in parallel and read synoptically (‘with the same eye’), it becomes evident that there is a literary dependency among them.Scholars are now tending to the view that Acts must have been written in the second century (See, for example, the proceedings of the Acts Seminar).This means that Luke’s Gospel could also have been written early in the second century, although a date in the late nineties is still possible.Another clue is that the author of Mark seems to have known Paul’s epistles, making the date of Mark’s Gospel later than the epistles.
John’s Gospel is widely regarded as the last gospel to have been written, with many scholars saying that it appears to have been influenced by Luke’s Gospel. The clue to Mark is in chapter 13, in which Jesus describes the events of the First Roman-Jewish War and the civil war that took place within Jerusalem while the Romans were besieging the walls of the city.If Acts was written before 62, then the Gospel of Luke was written before that.We know this because Luke reminds the recipient of Acts, Theophilus what he had written to him earlier.Brown points out, in An Introduction to the New Testament, that the gospel’s use of “until this day” is proof that it was not written a mere two or three decades after the crucifixion (with my emphasis): Matthew 27:8: Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.