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This similarity between the two has led to the popular theory that Luke and Matthew shared a common source which was available to both.However, it is significant to note that both Matthew and Luke in the verses shared with Mark and/or Q use their own style. The first three gospels are Matthew, Mark and Luke.No in-depth study is needed to notice these three documents share a lot of common information (figure 12-1 shows these relationships).

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But, it was not included suggesting that the gospels (at least Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were written before 70 A. Similarly, this argument is important when we consider the dating of the book of Acts which was written after the gospel of Luke by Luke himself. For clarity, Q is supposedly one of the source documents used by both Matthew and Luke in writing their gospels. He was a disciple of Peter and undoubtedly it was Peter who informed Mark of the life of Christ and guided him in writing the Gospel known by his name. Luke was a gentile convert to Christianity who was interested in the facts. This means that the time span between the original writing of John and its earliest copy (fragment) is approximately 35-45 years.

They were written and published, therefore, in the first century A. We have already shown that the historical literary evidence demonstrates that the four NT Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and published by them for the churches of Jesus Christ. Eusebius writes, in his Church History (2.14.4-6), “Immediately the above-mentioned impostor [Simon Magus] was smitten in the eyes of his mind by a divine and miraculous flash, and after the evil deeds done by him had been first detected by the apostle Peter in Judea, he fled and made a great journey across the sea from the East to the West, thinking that only thus could he live according to his mind. This approximate date is based on his interaction with the procurators in the Book of Acts. This is in agreement with other early evidence that Luke was published after the private edition of Mark’s Gospel, but before the public edition. Irenaeus does not tell us exactly when John’s gospel was published, but he does tell us that it was published when John was a resident in Ephesus. John was in Jerusalem at least up until the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15.

Therefore, the gospels were published in their lifetimes in the first century. And coming to the city of Rome, by the mighty co-operation of that power which was lying in wait there, he was in a short time so successful in his undertaking that those who dwelt there honored him as a god by the erection of a statue. For immediately, during the reign of Claudius, the all-good and gracious Providence, which watches over all things, led Peter, that strongest and greatest of the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others, to Rome against this great corrupter of life. Most scholars estimate that Paul came to Rome around 60 A. In Acts 24-27, Paul first appears before Antonius Felix, the Roman Procurator and is confined for the last two years of Felix’ procuratorship. Paul was most likely sent to Rome in the first year of Festus’ taking office which would have been around 59 or 60 A. For more information see our article “The Authorship and Publication of the Gospel of Luke.” So, as we have seen from Irenaeus’ statement synthesized with other evidence from the early church fathers, Matthew’s Hebrew version was published in the 50’s with the Greek version being published in the late 50’s to early 60’s A. Ireneaus mentions the general time period of John’s death in “Against Heresies” (3.3.5), “those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information.

by Matt Slick12/08/08 Dating the gospels is very important.

If it can be established that the gospels were written early, say before the year 70 A.