Dating new testament events

Why are the dates of the books of the New Testament of such intense interest to Christians? Bruce explains the methods used for dating the New Testament and stresses the importance of avoiding criteria that are too speculative and subjective.

It is true that the Romans since Julius Caesar had used a solar calendar with the year beginning January 1, yet they had no single system of regularly-numbered years. numerals were too cumbersome for use in designating the years, dates commonly were identified by their distance from the accession of an emperor or from the year a consul came into office.

Often this did not correspond with the regular calendar year.

As for the earliest of our Gospels, Mark, if it is a Roman Gospel (as I think), the crisis of A. 64 might have provided a suitable occasion for its publication. The Alliance calls the twenty-first century church to a modern reformation by broadcasting, events, and publishing. Prepared for the Web in February 2008 by Robert I Bradshaw.

This article and additional biblical resources can be found at Alliance Photocopies kindly provided by Rich Poll ( To download a copy of this article click here.

(2) The manners of reckoning chronology in the 1st cent.

were so varied that statements of time made in that age are difficult to interpret.The Letters to the Corinthians, then, were written not earlier than A. But even though genuine prophecy is earlier than the events it predicts, we can say that it will not be earlier than the events which it presup¬poses as its historical background. As for the latter, it is easy to see that some New Testament documents reflect the period when the imperial representatives could be counted upon to protect the preachers of the gospel, while others reflect the period when the imperial power had be¬come a mortal menace to the church. In one New Testament document we see the change from the earlier situation taking place before our eyes. -14, the question is asked: “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is right?Two major events of the second half of the first century, which help us date some of the New Testament books, are: the fall of Jerusalem in A. 70 and the first outright attack by the Roman Empire on Christians in A. We have only to compare Romans 13 with Revelation 13 to realize that the former is as clearly before A. ”—the implied answer being “No one.” But then the Apostle adds: “But even if you were to suffer for righteousness’ sake”—expressing this as a remote contingency.When this is done, it does not seem to make much difference whether the scholars engaged in the exercise are evangelical or not, For example, while many evangelical scholars continue quite happily to date the Gos¬pel of John in the 90s of the first century A. He is author of The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Bruce, “On Dating the New Testament,” Eternity 23 (June 1972): 32-33.D., others, who have no particular evangelical reputation, are moved by its affinities with the Qumran texts to date it a few decades earlier. Manson, was willing to push it back into the 50s, considering that a suitable occasion for its publication might have been the reconstitution of the church in Rome about A. 55, after its dispersion when Claudius banished the Roman Jews about A. (Inter-Varsity), Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Eerdmans) and numerous other books and articles. This article was originally published in Eternity Magazine by Evangelical Ministries Inc now the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.Acts, for example, ends with a reference to Paul’s two years under house-arrest in Rome.

Tags: , ,