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But more than that: since one of the sources used by Luke in writing his gospel was probably Mark’s gospel, this means Mark was written even earlier than Luke. Remember, we are not talking about deliberate lies; we are talking about legends.It is unreasonable to charge Luke or his sources with being liars.(4) The second argument against an early date for Luke assumes again that Jesus did not have supernatural power to foresee the future. Prophets often predicted Jerusalem’s destruction as a sign of God’s judgment, and Jesus’ predictions may have concerned its destruction at the end of the world, not A. In the predictions, Jerusalem is destroyed by her enemies. But if the “prophecies” had been written after the event, then those peculiarities would surely have been included. That is quite significant, considering what a catastrophe the destruction of the holy city was for both Jews and Christians at that time.And really, even on a purely humanistic account of the matter, there is no reason those predictions could not have been given before A. So really the argument from Jesus’ predictions supports a pre-70 dating of the gospels. This evidence is both compelling and authoritative, and as far as I know, has not been refuted convincingly by any reputable scholar. Luke centers much attention on the events that took place in Jerusalem, but he mentions nowhere in Acts the destruction of the city in A. A second event noticeably absent is the Roman Emperor Nero’s terrible persecution of the Christians in Rome.
I will be highlighting the robust, factual and thorough work of both William Lane Craig, and that of J.He first begins by outlining the assumptions on which the post-A. 70 dating hinges: Most critics date the writing of Mark around A. 70 because the Christian theology in it is quite developed and Jesus’ predictions of the destruction of Jerusalem (Mark 13) show that the event was at hand. The value of those arguments, however, hinges on certain assumptions: (1) With regard to Mark, the first argument assumes that “the Christian theology” was not in fact Jesus’ own.To say it is “developed” assumes that it was once “primitive.” Actually the argument cuts both ways: one could argue that because Mark was written early, the theology is not” developed,” but truly characteristic of what Jesus taught.But if He really was the Son of God, as the gospels state, then He could have prophesied the future. But that assumption is itself founded on mere assumptions. At face value, it makes more sense to say Mark was written before A. 70, for it seems unbelievable that Mark (whom critics agree was John Mark mentioned in Acts) would wait thirty to forty years to write down his gospel. If he wrote afterwards, he could not have portrayed the Romans only as friends.(3) With regard to the arguments for a post-70 date for Luke, the first assumes Mark was not written before A. Is it really plausible to think that Mark would wait decades before writing his brief gospel, which would be so valuable in sharing and leaving with newly established churches as the gospel preachers went about teaching and preaching? As a matter of fact, Jesus’ prophecies are actually evidence that the gospels were written before A. 70, for Luke never casts the Romans in the role of enemies in his writings. Besides that, we have Josephus’s descriptions of the sacking of Jerusalem in A. 70, and many of the striking peculiarities of the city’s destruction are absent from the prophecies.