When Were the Gospels Written?
Scholars left a wide range of dates to the writing of the Gospels dating from few years after the resurrection till thirty years. Even if the Gospels were not written until 30 years after Christ’s death, that would still place their writing prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which presents no issue with their authority or accuracy.
One of the proofs of an early date to the Gospel of Matthew’s is that early church leaders such as Irenaeus, Origen, and Eusebius mentioned that Matthew first wrote his Gospel while he was in Israel, which took place around twelve years after the crucifixion. Therefore, it is believed that the Gospel of Matthew was recorded between 40-55 AD.
In the Jewish culture it was very common to pass the oral traditions and to memorize the scriptures. In addition, there were a lot of eyewitnesses around to dispute and discredit any false claims. The pattern of names given in the four Gospels reflects exactly what we would expect if they were written by eyewitnesses with a close connection to the time and place of the events that they narrate.
The authors, who recorded the Gospels knew the truth of their message because they had seen and spent time with Jesus Christ after He had risen from the dead. And they were willing to die for the message God had revealed to them. Their lives and deaths testify to the fact that their books truly are of God.
Had the Gospels been edited before being written down, as some liberal scholars claim, then it was a very poor job because the writers left far too many “hard sayings,” and culturally unacceptable and politically incorrect accounts. One example of this is that the first witnesses of the resurrection were women, and at that culture woman were not considered reliable witnesses.
Whether the Gospels were written soon after the death of Christ, or not until 30 years after his death, is of little importance because their accuracy and authority do not rest on when they were written but on who gave them- the divinely inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16).
Jesus gave His disciples the sure promise that He would send them “another helper,” the Holy Spirit, who would teach them all things and bring to their “remembrance all that” He said to them (John 14:26). Therefore, we can totally trust the scriptures knowing that they were written by “men moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
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In His service,