CHAT dating the Gospels (was: Languages in Gibson's Passion)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, March 12, 2004, 6:16|
>On Thursday, March 11, 2004, at 07:04 AM, Joe wrote:
> Ph. D. wrote:
>> Ray Brown wrote:
>>> If we accept the historicity of John's account (and I
>>> do), then it's quite clear that Pilate took full[snip]
>> Of course, the gospels were not written down until
>> sixty to one hundred years after the fact, so it's even
>> possible that Pilate ordered the text written and the
>> story became changed to say that Pilate actually
>> wrote it (or even that there was no text at all and that
>> it's an embellishment to the story).
> I'm curious how you came by this, or researchers did, or whatever.
So am I - Ph.D.'s dates are rather later than those normally given. We
know that Luke was a contemporary of Paul; indeed, Luke is mentioned in
some of Paul's letters, and some parts of the 'Acts of the Apostles' seem
to incorporate a 1st person diary kept by Luke. So to put him, at least,
60 to 100 years after the crucifixion not as far as I can see in
accordance with the evidence we have. All the authorities I've come across
generally put Luke's Gospel as somewhere between 70 to 80 CE, i.e. about
40 to 50 years later.
The Greek Gospel that bears Matthew's name is generally placed about the
same date (we do have other ancient evidence like the writings of people
such as Eusebios). There was a tradition that the original Matthew was
written in Aramaic and was the first of the Gospels. There is AFAIK now no
evidence to confirm or, indeed, deny this. It would seem, however, that
our Greek Matthew is likely to be more than a translation - but it may be
in some way related to an earlier version connected with the Apostle
But both Matthew & Luke clearly knew of Mark's Gospel and it's agreed now
by practically everyone AFAIK that Mark's is the earliest and it's usually
dated from the mid 60s, i.e. between 30 to 40 years after the crucifixion.
Only John's is given a later dating, from the end of 1st cent or the early
years of the 2nd, i.e. somewhere about 70 years after the crucifixion.
I've never seen it put as late as 100 years. The ancient tradition was
that the 'Beloved Disciple' was John, son of Zebedee & that he was the
author of the Gospel. But it would seem odd for him to refer to himself, I
think, as 'the disciple whom Jesus loved'. Also the Gospel does show signs
of editing; on the other hand it also shows a fairly intimate knowledge of
the Holy Land and Jewish customs. The likely scenario, it seems to me, is
that the Apostle John is essentially the author, but that it was published
posthumously by a follower/followers of John. Anyway, as I say, the Gospel
is usually dated at somwhere about 100 CE.
So, like Jo, I'm curious about Ph.D's later datings.
On Thursday, March 11, 2004, at 09:49 AM, Peter Bleackley wrote:
> There is a church in Italy which processes an object claimed to be the
> Titulus. Paleographic analysis,
'twould be very remarkable if it were the titulus. Do you know more about
the palaeographic analysis?
> and the fact that the inscriptions are not
> in the order mentioned in the Gospels,
Actually, only _one_ Gospel mentions the three languages, John's Gospel.
Although John mentions them in the order Hebrew, Latin, Greek, it doesn't
necessarily mean that the titulus had them in that same order.
> suggest that it may well be genuine.
> (eg, first century abbreviations are used, that a later forger would be
> unlikely to know.)
Interesting - can you tell us more? Even if it is genuine, it confirms the
presence of a titulus (i.e. the Gospel writers didn't make it up); indeed,
it wasn't exactly an uncommon practice. Personally I can see no good
reason for doubting it in the case of Jesus.
But, interesting as it is, it doesn't throw any light on the dating of the
Until I'm given good reason to think otherwise, I hold to my belief that
John did witness the crucifixion as we read in John 19, verses 26 and 27,
and that the events he caused to be recorded, even tho the publication was
some 70 years later, are those of an eye-witness.
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760