Dating new testament events
In this updated material taken from the new edition of Sheehan’s Apologetics, Fr Peter Joseph, affirms the reliability of the New Testament literature and questions the conventional theories about late dating. Joseph lectured at St John Vianney Seminary, Wagga Wagga, NSW. Codex Sinaiticus of the mid 4th century contains the entire New Testament. He must have made his disciples learn sayings off by heart; if he taught, he must have required his disciples to memorize.” The same evidence has been presented by Harald Riesenfeld, also of Sweden, and Thorleif Boman of Norway.
Codex Vaticanus of the same period contains all the Gospels and most of the rest of the New Testament. French scholar Marcel Jousse in his own studies demonstrated the Semitic characteristics and rhythm of the sayings of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels.
Another codex of the 5th century contains three-fifths of the N. D.: portions of 19 verses of St Matthew; papyri of St John’s Gospel containing twelve complete chapters and portions of the other nine; 86 leaves of a codex containing portions of St Paul’s letters. Carmignac names forty-nine scholars who uphold the Semitic origin of one or other of the Gospels. This figure does not include the even more numerous early manuscripts of translations into Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopian, Gothic, Old Church Slavonic and other languages. Mazon, Introduction à l’Iliade, Société d’Édition Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1959, pp.7-65. The Life of Christ, Bruce, Milwaukee 1947, pp.98-141 Redating the New Testament, SCM Press, London 1976, p.345 Idem, p.13 Idem, p.352 Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke, op. Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity, Gleerup, Uppsala, Sweden 1961; Préhistoire des Évangiles, Cerf, Paris 1981; The Gospel Tradition, Gleerup, Lund 1986 Memory and Manuscript, op.
T., and another of the 4-5th century contains the four Gospels. books, dating from the 2nd-4th century, have been discovered in Egypt. From the early 3rd century we have: portions of 30 leaves with parts of the Gospels and Acts; a papyrus codex containing eight complete chapters of St Luke and five complete chapters of St John. He adduces multiple examples of Semitisms, and divides them into nine categories: Semitisms of borrowing, imitation, thought, vocabulary, syntax, style, composition, transmission, and translation. All manuscript statistics of the ancient classics are taken from the introductions to the critical editions of these texts published by Société d’Édition Les Belles Lettres, Paris. cit., p.328 The Gospel Tradition, Blackwell, Oxford 1970 R. Gundry, The Use of the Old Testament in St Matthew’s Gospel, Brill, Leiden 1967; E. Goodspeed, Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Winston, Philadelphia 1959; R.
Modern research adduces several complementary arguments for the credibility and early dating of the Gospels, Acts, and letters of St Paul: (1) Argument from internal indications of dating. Robinson, well-known for the theological liberalism of his book Honest to God (1963), in an epoch-making work Redating the New Testament, came to the conclusion that the late dating of the Gospels by the school of ‘form criticism’ is totally dependent upon “the manifold tyranny of unexamined assumptions.” Robinson begins his study by noting that in the entire New Testament, “the single most datable and climactic event of the period—the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, and with it the collapse of institutional Judaism based on the temple—is never once mentioned as a past fact.” He proposes the following dates: Matthew 40-60; Mark 45-60; Luke 57-60; John 40-65; and indeed he dates the entire New Testament before the year 70.
C., is second to the New Testament in terms of the number of ancient manuscripts: we have 372 portions of papyri from the 3rd century B. Early dating of the books of the New Testament is held by numerous modern scholars.
Author Work Date of writing Earliest complete copy Time span No. But the earliest dates are clearly more probable: Mark around 42; Completed Mark around 45; (Hebrew) Matthew around 50; (Greek) Luke a little after 50.” Based upon the same arguments, French philosopher and specialist in Hebrew thought Claude Tresmontant proposes the following dates: Matthew before 36, Mark 50-60, and Luke 40-60.
We now have 76 manuscripts of portions of the New Testament going back to the 4th century or earlier. It is now regarded as practically established that the four Gospels as we know them were circulating in Egypt as separate books within the first half of the second century. Looking at the table below, we can see that the oldest manuscripts of certain major works of Plato, Caesar, Cicero and Horace date from the 9th century; of Thucydides, Herodotus, Sophocles and Aristotle from the 10th; of Tacitus from the 11th—yet no one doubts that these manuscripts, though ever so many centuries later than their authors’ day, are, substantially, the uncorrupted descendants of the originals. D., and thus they evince the authenticity of their content and origin. Language in the Age of the Gospels, Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago 1989, p.324 A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark, 2nd. ed., Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, Dayton, Ohio 1994 De Vir. He proposes the following dates: Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew, A. 40; Greek translation of Matthew, and Gospel of Luke, 63 or 64; Mark, 66 or 67; John, towards 100. These dates are accepted and proposed by Italian Biblical, Oriental and Patristic scholar, Tommaso Federici. German papyrologist Carsten Peter Thiede examined three papyrus fragments of the Gospel of St Matthew—acquired in 1901 in Luxor, Egypt, and now kept at Magdalen College, Oxford—and concluded that they can be dated to about the year 60 A. We also have five major manuscripts from the 10th cent. D., pushed their successors closer and closer to those dates which traditionally were ascribed to the four Gospels and the Epistles of St Paul. After many years of doubt or denial on the question, he concluded that the Gospel of St John is by him and can be dated 80-118. onward, and about 200 later manuscripts of complete or partial copies of the Iliad—but the earliest near complete manuscript is of the 10th cent. But the discovery of earlier and earlier fragments of manuscripts, the confirmation of the New Testament furnished by archaeological research, as well as the citation of the New Testament writings by Fathers of the early 1st century A.
St Jerome says that he himself made a copy of the Hebrew original of a ‘Gospel according to the Hebrews’—a work, now lost, which scholars judge to be akin to St Matthew’s Gospel. He then demonstrates the similarity of language between the discourses of St Peter in the Acts of the Apostles and the two epistles by him.