Dating of the gospels

The most generally accepted relationship is that Mark is the earliest text written, and that both Matthew and Luke had a copy of it when writing.

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not dated palaeographically) date is the Codex Sinaiticus at 330-360 CE.

Since Paleographic dating as it currently exists is unable "to construct a 95% confidence interval for NT manuscripts without allowing a century for an assigned date" none of the fragments of the canonical Gospels nor non canonal works like Egerton Papyrus 2 can be said definitively predate Against Heresies c. So the best that can be said is that the canonal Gospels existed in some form no later then 145 CE. Of the four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke share similar stories, similar descriptions of events, and even exact phrases from time to time.

Of these 4, the first 3 are known as the synoptic gospels — they say basically the same thing with different territorial twists thrown in — while John and the myriad Apocryphal gospels can read quite differently.

Many Christians regard the four canonical gospels as a particularly important grouping among the books of New Testament section of the Christian Bible.]).

By the end of the day it was clear to me that there are literally thousands of fragments of ancient texts still out there to be discovered and examined.

We have only touched the tip of the iceberg and as our ability to find and examine these fragments continues to improve, we’ll surely discover much more evidence that the New Testament was written very early and transmitted faithfully.The continuing discovery of early fragments of New Testament documents corroborates this early dating.When visiting with Dan Wallace, Greg Koukl and I asked him about the skepticism on the part of people like Bart Ehrman related to early dating.In fact, this is the focus of my book, Cold Case Christianity.I’ve been studying this issue from the perspective of a detective for some time now and I’ve written about the evidence for early dating and about the reliable transmission of the documents at Cold Case John remains the odd man out, sharing little material at all with the other three.

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