Review of Chapter 12 of Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke

Introduction In this final chapter Wenham argues for the dates of the Synoptic Gospels. He believes Luke was written before 55, that Mark was written around 45, and that Matthew was written in about 40. Before or After AD 70? Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70. All three Synoptic Gospels…

Review of Chapter 11 of Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke

Wenham will propose early dates for the Synoptic Gospels. This raises the question: why are the Gospels not explicitly referred to in the rest of the New Testament? For example, Paul’s Letters frequently echo the sayings of Jesus but only explicitly refer to Jesus’ words on three occasions (1 Cor. 7:10; 9:14; 11:24). Critics of…

Review of Chapter 10 of Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke

This chapter concerns the general way in which the gospels were written down. Wenham admits there is some speculation involved. Oral teaching, perhaps with the help of written notes, began in Jesus’ ministry. After Jesus’ ministry, the disciples would have also taught orally but would need to use written sources to send to communities who…

Review of Chapter 9 of Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke

Chapter 9 concerns ancient testimony about Luke. Wenham focuses on the identity of the author and when it was written in the sequence of gospels. The early Christian writers are unanimous in attributing the gospel to Luke and usually make clear he was a companion of Paul: Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 3.1.1: “Luke also, the companion…

Review of Chapter 8 of Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke

In this chapter Wenham finishes up going over the evidence pertaining to Mark’s gospel. The first piece of additional evidence is the tradition of the Alexandrian church which makes Mark the founder of that church: Eusebius, HE 2.16: “And they say that this Mark was the first that was sent to Egypt, and that he…

Review of Chapter 7 of Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke

Introduction Wenham’s argument in this chapter can be outlined as follows: By the year 57 the church in Rome was famous and had been in contact with the apostle Paul for a number of years. Well-grounded tradition says this church was founded by the apostle Peter in the second year of the reign of Claudius.…

Review of Chapter 6 of Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke

In this chapter Wenham will look at ancient testimonies concerning the Gospel of Mark. There is a solid core to the tradition that links Mark to Peter’s teaching in Rome. As was the case with Matthew, we start with Papias (Eusebius, HE 3.39.14-15): But now we must add to the words of his [Papias] which…