Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 31 03:12:58 UTC 2009

quote from a Bible historian, which unfortunately I cannot source: There are
more differences between Bible manuscripts than there are words in the

m a m

On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 7:15 PM, Robin Hamilton <
robin.hamilton2 at> wrote:

> Gospel ...
> >>The word is primarily used
> >>to refer to the four canonical gospels: the Gospel of St.Matthew,
> >>Gospel of St. Mark, Gospel of St.Luke and Gospel of St.John, probably
> >>written between AD 65 and 80."
> >
> > Of course -- but they differ.
> As do the dates of the original composition.  I was a little taken aback by
> the range AD 65 and 80 given above -- essentially, this is the earliest
> possible dating of the earliest written Gospel, Mark, which has to have
> been
> composed after 65 CE at the absolute earliest, and virtually certainly some
> greater or lesser time after 70 CE.  A more plausible terminus ad quem for
> the latest of the four canonical gospels might be 170 CE, perhaps even
> later, for John.
> A fraught area, admittedly, but giving an unqualified dating of "AD 65 and
> 80," implicitly applied to the dating of all four canonical gospels,
> doesn't
> really help anyone.  Is there a properly qualified Biblical scholar in the
> house?  I'm one only to the extent of recognising that the original
> assertion with regard to the date is somewhat ... loaded.
> (As to why it matters ...  Even the earliest dating of the canonical
> gospels
> would place their initial composition after the conclusion of a power
> struggle in the early Christian church between Saul of Tarsus and James.
>  As
> such, they reflect to a greater or lesser degree an ideological
> confrontation, with the history presented from the point of view of the
> successful faction.  The later one places the composition of the gospels
> [and that leaves aside possible revisions after they are first written
> down], the more this is likely to be true.  To the extent that one should
> perhaps refer to the Pauline Gospels rather than the Canonical Gospels.
>  <g>
> And that's *before we come to the question of the origins of the doctrine
> of
> the Trinity ...
> 'Nuff said.)
> Robin Hamilton
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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