Early dating of the gospels
When one studies the teachings of Jesus, one realizes that His teachings and illustrations are easy to memorize.People throughout the world recognize immediately the story of the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, and the Lord's Prayer.As with the internal evidence, the external evidence also supports a first century date. Jose Callahan discovered a fragment of the Gospel of Mark and dated it to have been written in A. New Testament scholar Darrell Bock states that the Jewish culture was "a culture of memory." First, Jesus used the Old Testament prophets' practice of proclaiming the word of God which demanded accurate preservation of inspired teaching.Fortunately, New Testament scholars have an enormous amount of ancient manuscript evidence. Second, Jesus' presentations of Himself as Messiah would reinforce among His followers the need to preserve His words accurately.Mark wrote to a Greek or Gentile audience to prove that Jesus is the Son of God.Therefore, he makes his case by focusing on the events of Christ's life.
We have over 5000 manuscripts, and many are dated within a few years of their authors' lives. An important manuscript is the Chester Beatty Papyri. Fourth, Jesus trained His disciples to teach His lessons even while He was on earth.
Because of their differences, the four Gospels actually give us a fuller and richer picture of Jesus. Imagine if four people wrote a biography on your life: your son, your father, a co-worker, and a good friend. It is strange that these three Gospels predict this major event but do not record it happening. Early dating allows for eyewitnesses to still be alive when the Gospels were circulating to attest to their accuracy.
They would each focus on different aspects of your life and write from a unique perspective. The internal evidence supports these early dates for several reasons. Why do they not mention such an important prophetic milestone? The apostles often appeal to the witness of the hostile crowd, pointing to their knowledge of the facts as well (Acts , ).
Fifth, Jewish boys were educated until they were twelve, so the disciples likely knew how to read and write.
Finally, just as Jewish and Greek teachers gathered disciples, Jesus gathered and trained His to carry on after His death.