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Why do you think it was written so much later?

I am curious because I am honestly ignorant when it comes to the history of writing and so forth so my question is why were the gospels written so much later after Jesus death and did Paul's writings come around the same time or before? That is the one thing that confuses me.

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jujubean1979200

Asked by jujubean1979200 at 9:28 PM on Apr. 26, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 23 (15,456 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • The various gospels date (depending on who you ask) from about 70AD to 180AD or so. It's really interesting, getting into the order they were written and stuff. Scholars say the earliest records are Paul (usually dated between 50-64AD) and "the Q document" (which goes back to the middle of the 1st century), which I believe included/was derived from a comparison of the gospels Mark and Luke, who are both believed to have used Mark in their construction.

    The book I'm reading now (A New Christianity for a New World), by retired Bishop Spong, goes into it (though I have others that do, too, this is just the more recent one I'm reading, and he explains it in a way I like more than the others, lol). He goes through the development, which texts based themselves on which, where the differences start, and things like that. It's really interesting.

    (cont)
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:41 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • oh cool! I will have to look that up. Its always fascinated me for some reason I was just too lazy to look it up haha or I would find so many crazy answers. It is interested that there is other literature that pre-dates yet the one excuse I get is no one knew how to write at that time or something like that.
    jujubean1979200

    Comment by jujubean1979200 (original poster) at 9:44 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • *just realized that should say Matthew and Luke, lol

    Part of me thinks the reason the writings may have come later is because while the first generation of the movement/"church"/what have you was still alive and kicking they were able to just move about and teach, but as that generation started to come to an end, it was necessary to get their messages down.... There are probably other reasons, too...
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:45 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Here's the wikilink, lol, to get you started. And if I got anything wrong in trying to explain it (which I very well could do), I'm sorry, lol.

    But I really do love the way he explains it in his book, because he goes step by step and shows how different themes, like the virgin birth and other things, are incorporated into the text as they progress. :)
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:47 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Bahaha and I didn't post it! here! lol

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_source
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:47 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • that makes sense. I know oral traditions much like dance in other cultures was one way of expressing stories and I am sure later would be written to pass it on to a bigger "crowd" of people. It makes me wonder though about the fact that we know oral traditions can often lose the true message you know? I feel in my opinion that is why it says "according to" because it was not actually written by the followers rather stories passed down. Paul's letters interest me because of his vision I swear I should have studied theology and archeology haha
    jujubean1979200

    Comment by jujubean1979200 (original poster) at 9:49 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • haha I think we are posting at the same time lol!
    jujubean1979200

    Comment by jujubean1979200 (original poster) at 9:50 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Haha, I hear you. I think a lot of people do lose sight of the real message, but I do believe that it is still attainable.

    Paul's an interesting guy, especially since, aside from his "vision", he never actually met Jesus.

    I really would love to go back to school for religious studies and all that, if I could, LOL :)
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:52 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I definitely think there was an oral tradition for some time. Some scholars argue that the tradition began with a mythical Christ, and the narratives were written later to describe a life, mostly using allegory. Others believe there was an historical Jesus too. There is disagreement on the dates of the gospels, but most agree on certain ranges. Most of the gospels are based on Mark and a gospel referred to as Q (as Bankgeek mentioned above), which is believed to be a collection of sayings without the narrative of the other gospels. Matthew and Luke are expansions of Mark along with some of the sayings of Q. Also, later the gospel of Thomas was found, which is a collection of Jesus' sayings too, and good percentage of them are also in some of the other gospels and some were not in Mark, which is part of why scholars believe there was another book of sayings used as a source that they just refer to as Q.
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 9:55 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • "which is part of why scholars believe there was another book of sayings used as a source that they just refer to as Q."

    Haha, I forgot about that - and it was the most interesting part of all! They think there was a lost source or gospel. Gah, I'd love to be able to learn as much as I could about that kind of thing! :)
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:58 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

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