Dating writing gospels
The four gospels that we find in the New Testament, are of course, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.The first three of these are usually referred to as the "synoptic gospels," because they look at things in a similar way, or they are similar in the way that they tell the story.Ron Cameron comments on the textual integrity of Thomas (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 535): Substantial differences do exist between the Greek fragments and the Coptic text. The existence of three different copies of the Greek text of Gos. does give evidence of rather frequent copying of this gospel in the 3d century. The presence of inner-Coptic errors in the sole surviving translation, moreover, suggests that our present Gos. is not the first Coptic transcription made from the Greek. Together these factors suggest a date for Thomas in the vicinity of 70-80 C. As for its provenance, while it is possible, even likely, that an early version of this collection associated with James circulated in the environs of Jerusalem, the Gospel of Thomas in more or less its present state comes from eastern Syria, where the popularity of the apostle Thomas (Judas Didymos Thomas) is well attested. It celebrated his memory by preserving sayings in his name that sanctioned the formation of a distinctive community.These are best explained as variants resulting from the circulation of more than one Greek edition of Gos. According to the critical edition of the Greek text by Attridge (in Layton 1989: 99), however, even though these copies do not come from a single ms, the fragmentary state of the papyri does not permit one to determine whether any of the mss "was copied from one another, whether they derive independently from a single archetype, or whether they represent distinct recensions." It is clear, nevertheless, that Gos. The ms tradition indicates that this gospel was appropriated again and again in the generations following its composition. The gospel locates its group's position within the Christian tradition as an independent Jesus movement, which persisted over the course of several generations of social history without becoming an apocalyptic or kerygmatic sect.
Although the mummies of Egyptian pharaohs wore masks made of gold, ordinary people had to settle for masks made out of papyrus (or linen), paint and glue.
E., Hippolytus quoes a variant of saying 4 expressly stated to be taken from a text entitled Gos. Possible references to this gospel by its title alone abound in early Christianity (e.g. For as Koester (in Layton 1989: 39) has shown, Gos.
The latest possible date would be toward the end of the 2d century, prior to the copying of P. 1 and the first reference to the text by Hippolytus. The fact that Judas "the Twin" was the apostolic figure particularly revered in Syriac-speaking churches is important evidence for the date and place of composition of the text.
This is really a very unreliable way of approaching it and I want to take some of those assumptions and show how they've been undermined or challenged But let me just give you one story which I think illustrates some of the misunderstandings of the fourth gospel that have sometimes been around.
You'll remember in St John's Gospel the story of what happens with the crippled person at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.'There is in Jerusalem a pool with five porticos...' (John 5:2)'Well,' said scholars of a certain generation, '..is manifestly an allegory.
Luke is a little later still, being written between 80 and maybe 90 or 95.