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Redating the New Testament: Paperback – October 31, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1579105273 ISBN-10: 1579105270

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (October 31, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579105270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579105273
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

He concluded John was written before 70 AD, as well as James and the Didache.
A. Moore
Usually the most seemingly obvious conclusions were rejected simply because they contradicted some scholar's extremely convoluted assumptions.
Florida Dad
The early date of 68 A.D. makes Revelation a contemporary book of current events of the Church.
R. Benton Ruth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 128 people found the following review helpful By E. T. Veal on April 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What a pity that this pathbreaking work is out of print while publishers flood the bookstores with fantasy-as-history in an unending stream.
Bishop Robinson, a theological modernist whose "Honest to God" made him controversial within the Anglican communion, began this book as what he labels "a theological joke": "I thought I would see how far one could get with the hypothesis that the whole of the New Testament was written before 70", the year in which the Roman army sacked and burned the Temple of Jerusalem. As it turned out, he got much further than he had ever expected, a journey made more impressive by his lack of any predisposition toward a "conservative" point of view.
His conclusion is that there is no compelling evidence - indeed, little evidence of any kind - that anything in the New Testament canon reflects knowledge of the Temple's destruction. Furthermore, other considerations point consistently toward early dates and away from the common assumption (a prejudice with a seriously circular foundation) that a majority of primitive Christian authors wrote in the very late First or early-to-middle Second Century under assumed names.
For want of data, absolute proof of Robinson's thesis is impossible, and the weight of his arguments varies - from overwhelming in the case of the Epistle to the Hebrews through powerful (the Gospels, Acts and the Epistles of John) to merely strong (the Pastoral Epistles, the non-Johannine Catholic Epistles and Revelation).
In a postscript, Robinson reconsiders the dates of several subapostolic works: The Clementine Epistles, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache, the accepted dates for which range from the 90's to the latter half of the Second Century.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A. Moore on September 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Robinson (now deceased) was an Anglican bishop who published books that ruffled conservative feathers. He decided as a joke to try to prove that all the gospels were written before 70 AD, an idea then regarded as ridiculous.

The result was "Redating the New Testament" which showed why early dating is more logical. The book has become famous. Fads in biblical scholarship have come and gone and their works gather dust in libraries. But Robinson's book continues to impact.

Robinson's main argument is that all the gospels must have been written before 70 AD when the temple in Jerusalem was burned to the ground. And it is very, very strange that the destruction isn't mentioned. Why? Because the gospels repeatedly state that Jesus predicted that "not one stone would remain on another" of the temple (Mark 13:2, Luke 21:5, and Matthew 24:1). So then why didn't the evangelists try to score points by pointing out the destruction?

And even stranger: Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 that "this generation shall not pass away" until they saw the temple pulled down. Then, sure enough, 40 years (40 years = one generation for the ancient Jews) to the day the temple fell. Again, if the gospels were written after the temple's destruction, why didn't anyone mention it?

The temple was destroyed during a short, brutal war between the Jews and the Romans. The war left one million Jews dead, their country in ruins, and the temple burned to the ground. Few people today can grasp how shattering that would be to the Jews, and how significant for Christians. The entire theocracy of the Jews was extinguished. Gone were the Sadduccees. Burned along with the temple were all records proving lineage, and thus, the priesthood was destroyed.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Anne Rice on June 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
This man was brilliant, and his criticisms of Biblical scholarship are as fitting for today as they were when this book first saw print. His reasoning and his arguments are all highly persuasive. This and his book, The Priority of John, are of great importance to anyone undertaking serious study of the gospels or study of "the historical Jesus." He left me pretty well convinced by his ideas about the early date of the gospels, and I've read much since -- published after his death -- that supports his view.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Florida Dad VINE VOICE on July 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
For years I have studied the latest in Biblical criticism, and all during that time, I have been uncomfortable with the critical "orthodoxy" which dates all non-Pauline New Testament writings as after 70 A.D. and rejects the traditional authorship of the majority of the books. It has always seemed to me that the conclusions reached were not based on unbiased research, but upon presuppositions which are based upon further presuppositions. Usually the most seemingly obvious conclusions were rejected simply because they contradicted some scholar's extremely convoluted assumptions.

Robinson's work is like a breath of fresh air in the stale world that is modern Biblical criticism. Instead of simply making the same assumptions that every other biblical scholar seems to make, he questions them all, and in doing so, comes to a startling conclusion: that every single New Testament work was written before 70 A.D. and the fall of Jerusalem (and that most were written by their traditionally-assigned authors). For those not familiar with modern Biblical criticism, this is almost the equivalent to telling ancients that the world is round, not flat.

Robinson carefully goes through all 27 books of the New Testament (plus four post-apostolic works) and gives his defense of his dating for each. Note that he doesn't simply use the fall of Jerusalem as his reason for dating each before 70 A.D.; this is simply a starting point. In many cases, his defense of an early date of a book is almost completely unrelated to their lack of mentioning Jerusalem's fall - he uses both internal and external evidence in many ways to defend early dates.

The strength of his arguments vary from book to book.
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