New Testament Writing Dates

2nd Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

There are two theories as to whom Paul is writing - either to Christians in Northern Galatia or in Southern Galatia. If written to Northern Galatia, it would have been written during his second missionary journey (about A.D. 50). If written to Southern Galatia (this is the most widely accepted theory), it would have been written just before the Jerusalem Council, thus giving it a date of A.D. 48.

Source: A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, pages 345-346

 

Written during Paul's second mission journey while he was in Corinth, a short time after leaving Thessalonica -- A.D. 50 or 51.

Sources: A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 354

 

Based on Clement of Alexandria Mark wrote before Peter was martyred in A.D. 64-67. Thus Mark had to have been written before then. There is no evidence that eliminates a date as early as A.D. 40, however Mark was most likely written sometime in the early 50's or late forties.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 88

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 127-128

 

1 Corinthians was written by Paul while he was in Ephesus during his third missionary journey near the end of his stay in Ephesus in the year A.D. 55..

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 290

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 360

 

Paul wrote this letter approximate a year after 1 Corinthians (inferred from 2 Corinthians 12:14, 13:1-2). It most likely was written after a visit to Corinth. Paul was now in Macedonia, which is to the north of Ephesus. The date this letter was written is approximately A.D. 55.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 293

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 370

 

Paul wrote the letter to the Romans during his three month stay in Greece in A.D. 57.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 276

 

James was martyred in A.D. 62, and thus this letter had to have been written prior to then. It may have been written as early as the late 30's. However, some of the internal evidence, such as the references to "diaspora" tend to favor a later date rather than a earlier date.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 354

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 432

 

The books of Luke and Acts are one continuous narrative -- starting with Luke and ending with Acts. Since the book of Acts ends with Paul's first stay in prison in Rome, with no date set for his trial, and the persecutions of Christians by Nero (A.D. 64) not having yet taken place, it could not have been written any later than A.D. 63. Since the book of Acts refers back to the book of Luke, and thus this book was completed prior to the book of Acts, it could not have been completed any later than the early 60's or late 50's.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 99

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 210

 

 

Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon

These four letters were written by Paul while he was in prison in Rome during the years A.D. 60-62.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 308

 

The books of Luke and Acts are one continuous narrative, Acts is essentially volume 2 of the book of Luke. Since the book of Acts ends with Paul's first stay in prison in Rome, with no date set for his trial, and the persecutions of Christians by Nero (A.D. 64) not having yet taken place, it could not have been written any later than A.D. 63. The abrupt ending indicates that Luke has come to the end of history that he can recount--at the time it was written there was no more to tell.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 210

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 210

 

Titus, 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy were written between Paul's release from a Roman prison in A.D. 62 and his re-imprisonment and martyrdom in A.D. 64.

Source: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 334

 

Written from prison just before Paul was martyred in A.D. 64.

Source: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 335

 

Because of this letter's references to severe persecution, this letter is dated to just prior to Peter's death during the period of Nero's persecution of Christians in A.D. 64-65.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 362-363

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 437

 

This letter's writer identifies himself as the writer of 1 Peter. Thus this letter is dated after 1 Peter and before Peter's martyrdom, giving it a date before A.D. 68, which is the latest date for Peter's execution.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 365-366

 

The author of Hebrews is unknown, although many suspect that it might be Paul. We know that Hebrews had to have been written prior to A.D. 95, because Clement of Rome cites Hebrews in his Epistle to the Corinthians. WE also know that Timothy was still alive when Hebrews was written. And it is likely that it was written prior to A.D. 70, because the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 would have been a powerful argument supporting Christ's sacrifice replacing the offerings in the temple.

There is no evidence that eliminates an earlier date in the 40's. So a date anywhere within a range from A.D. 40 to 69 A.D. is possible.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 348

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 424

 

Common material in Matthew and Mark indicate that Matthew was written after Mark. Since Mark dates from AD 45-60 Matthew most likely was written after that. Internal evidence in Matthew indicates it was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 79

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 161

 

We do not have a solid date for the writing of Jude. As a result there is a wide difference in opinions concerning when this book was written. Most historians agree that it was written during Jude's ministry in Palestine in the A.D. 60's to A.D. 80's.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 371

 

The Rylands fragment of the book of John was found in Egypt and dated to the year A.D. 135. As it would require several decades, for copying and circulation of this book, until it reached the Egyptian hinderland a date in the 90's makes sense. This agrees with the tradition dating of John by the early church, and the Apostle John's death in the late 90's.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 110

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 252

 

1 John, 2 John and 3 John

We do not know when these letters where written. Their content indicates a later date. With the latest date of John's death set at A.D. 98, it appears likely that these letters were written in the A.D. 90's.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 368

 

John states that he is writing Revelation while on the island of Patmos. His imprisonment there occurred near the end of his life, in the A.D. 90's. Thus a later date of A.D. 96-97 appears to be the most likely.

The date of John's death is not known. The latest date is A.D. 98.

Sources: Encountering the New Testament, Walter A. Elwell / Robert W. Yarbrough, 1998, Baker Books, page 79

A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, A Survey of the New Testament, Third Edition, Robert H. Gundry, 1994, Zondervan, page 127

What the Bible Says is So (by Pastor Roy Thompson)


Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness! | Believe The Gospel


JesusIsPrecious.org