In the book Cold-Case Christianity author J. Warner Wallace, a homicide detective, writes about the evidence we have that the Gospels were written very near the time of Christ. This gives us reason to believe that the Gospels really were written from eyewitness testimony of the life of Jesus.
- The New Testament fails to describe the destruction of the temple (this occured in 70 AD)
- The New Testament fails to describe the siege of Jerusalem
- Luke said nothing about the deaths of Paul (AD 64 in Rome) and Peter (AD 65 in Rome) in the book of Acts. Even though they are prominent figures. Yet he did mention the death of Stephen and others.
- Luke said nothing about the death of James the brother of Jesus in the book of Acts (AD 62 in Jerusalem).
- Luke’s Gospel predates the book of Acts (See Acts 1:1-2)
- Paul quoted Luke’s Gospel in his letter to Timothy written about AD 63. (See 1 Timothy 5:17-18 and Luke 10:7) So Luke Gospel was already commonly accepted by AD 63.
- Paul echoed the claims of the Gospel writers in books/letters of Romans, Corinthians and Galatians. These letters were written between AD 48 and AD 60. And Paul quoted Luke in his letter to the Corinthian church nearly ten years earlier than in his letter to Timothy. (See 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 and Luke 22:19-20)
- Luke Quoted Mark and Matthew repeatedly. So they must have been written earlier than Luke.
- Mark’s Gospel appears to be an early “crime broadcast”. It’s brief, less ordered and filled with action verbs and adjectives written with a sense of urgency.
- Mark appears to be protecting key players by not naming them. Though the later Gospels name them. Mark is possibly trying to protect these key players from the same people who crucified Jesus, because they were still alive when he wrote his Gospel. Unlike the Gospel of John which was written later and named most of these key players.
Watch J. Warner Wallace explain the timeline with the evidence of an early writing of the Gospels.