By around 300, nearly every verse in the New Testament was cited in one or more of over 36,000 citations found in the writings of the Church Fathers (Geisler and Nix 108, 155).The distribution of those writings are important evidence because of their early date, the wide geographic distribution of where these authors lived, where their recipients lived, and the large number of New Testament references they contain. The Outline of History (Garden City, NY: Garden City Publishing, 1921).He proposed a compositional span of approximately 20 years: from about 4748AD (Galatians) to late 6870AD (Revelation; Redating, 352).He mainly based his argument on the fact that the New Testament documents do not reference the fall of Jerusalem (70AD; Redating, 1330).5060AD for Pauls genuine letters (i.e., Romans, 12 Corinthians, Galatians) to about 170AD for the Gospel and letters of John.Baurs proposal was remained influential for later attempts to date and identify authorship of the New Testament documents (Harris, 237, 24862; Ellis, Appendix VI).
Almost every book of the New Testament is explicitly cited as Scripture by these early writers.Invoking these dates barely opens the door to argue that the New Testament documents, especially the Gospels, are mythological and that the writers created the events contained in them, rather than simply reporting them. In the 19th century, Ferdinand Christian Baur (17921860), founder of the Tubingen School of theology, maintained that the majority of the New Testament documents were pseudonymous works and gave little weight to the evidence of numerous citations provided by the early Christian writers (commonly known as church fathers).Proposing that the New Testament documents were written within a frame of perhaps120 years, his suggested dates ranged from ca. This is especially so given the climate of society today and its attitudes toward the Bible. Almost a half-century ago, when I first began to think seriously about various controversies over the dating and authorship of New Testament documents, one of the first things I encountered was this then-newly-minted comment by one of the worlds leading archaeologists, William F. While that comment was made a few years before his death in an interview in the evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, it was by no means a spur-of-the moment interjection common in interviews. What I have learned since encountering Albrights comment has only caused me to see more clearly why this accomplished archaeologist said what he did.The New Testament is not the stuff of mythology or fiction, as the early and wide accessibility of the documents attest.