The only evidence I know is their assumption that no body could not possibly have predicted the fall of Jerusalem. Hence, Jesus could not have foreseen the destruction of that temple.

The problem with that assumption is, that it's "the one million dollar question". Christianity believes that Jesus is God and hence could have easily predicted the event. Now, I am not saying that Jesus is really God, that's something I want to know my self.

However, those who argue for a latter date is trying to discredit christianity. Trying to disprove christianity by assuming the christians were false is kind of circular. Hence I need more evidences.

Moreover, Jesus may not be only one that predicted the fall of Jerusalem.

But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, he began on a sudden to cry aloud,

"A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house [i.e., the temple], a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!"

This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city [Jewish War 6:5:3].

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/who-says-jesus-couldnt-predict-the-fall-of-jerusalem#ixzz2iRM5grcF


Note: That being said the story of Jesus ben Ananus is also written after the fall of Jerusalem

However, Luke didn't mention the death of Paul, etc. Suggesting earlier date. So which one is right?

So, assuming Luke is honest, another big assumption, people think that Luke is written before the fall. If Luke is written after the fall, surely he would write about Paul's and Peter's execution. This suggests much earlier dates.

What are the other evidences that support the latter date theories? If you want to add supports for the earlier date theories it'll be great too for comparison.

  • The issue is not that nobody could have foreseen the destruction of the temple; it's that putting Jesus' prediction in writing makes more sense if the readers already know it was fulfilled. In fact, both Matthew (24:15) and Mark (14:13) have parenthetical notes to the reader emphasizing this very point. Oct 22, 2013 at 21:05
  • I address the pre-fall evidence for Luke-Acts here.
    – Frank Luke
    Oct 22, 2013 at 22:00
  • @BruceAlderman so you think that's the issue? In that case who can coroborate Luke that Jesus did correctly predict the fall of Jerusalem?
    – user4951
    Oct 24, 2013 at 6:20

2 Answers 2


Closely Related:
- What are the arguments in favor of Markan priority?

The best way to prove the earliest possible date of authorship of a document is to identify the sources used, and then identify when the source document(s) were written.

Begin with the known fact that Luke's Gospel was originally anonymous and was only attributed to Luke later in the second century. By comparing Luke with Mark in the original Greek language, it has been established that Luke was substantially based on Mark's Gospel.

John Carroll says, in The Existential Jesus, page 255, "A large majority of biblical scholars assume that Mark’s Gospel was written around 70AD, or a few years earlier or later." He says on page 11 that the consensus is that Mark's Gospel was the first New Testament gospel to be written.

Mark talks of Jesus prophesying the destruction of the great buildings in Jerusalem, but also in the same prophecy that Jesus would return on clouds of glory within the lifetimes of some of his listeners.

Since Jesus could not have prophesied something that clearly did not happen - his return on clouds of glory within the lifetimes of some of his listeners - he also did not prophesy the destruction, which was based on the author's own experience.

Because of this, we can establish that Mark's Gospel was written around 70 CE, at the time of the fall of Jerusalem.

At the very least, it took some years for Mark's Gospel to become widely circulated and for the authors of Matthew and Luke to decide to rewrite this account with different emphases.

So, Luke's Gospel must certainly have been written after the end of the First Roman-Jewish War.

  • So you think Jesus didn't predict the temple's doom? That means the bible can't be trusted then?
    – user4951
    Oct 24, 2013 at 3:58
  • Is that what you think?
    – user4951
    Oct 24, 2013 at 4:11
  • I'm not prepared to say on the basis of one passage in the gospels that the Bible can not be trusted - this is a conclusion that ought to be based on more evidence than this. However if Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple, he must also have predicted his own return within the lifetimes of those to whom he was speaking, as well as that the stars would fall down out of heaven - which is absurd. Oct 24, 2013 at 20:50
  • Where in the bible did Jesus predict his return within a life time?
    – user4951
    Oct 25, 2013 at 6:56
  • 1
    "You are considerably more definite about the date of Mark's Gospel than other." Yes - this reference is to Wikipedia, which must allow both theological and scholarly/hermeneutic datings - even if that means showing 2 Peter's date as approx 60-130, which is really "sitting on the fence." Since I believe BH is more about hermeneutics than pure theology, I go with the "approx 70 CE" used by the majority of critical scholars. Oct 26, 2013 at 7:54

There is actually a notably good reason for dating the gospel of Luke before the fall of Jerusalem, and that is that both Acts and Luke were written by the same author. It is thought by many that the author of both was Luke because of his companionship with Paul.

Acts 1:1-3,

"The former account, indeed, I made concerning all things, O Theophilus, that Jesus began both to do and to teach,

2 till the day in which, having given command, through the Holy Spirit, to the apostles whom he did choose out, he was taken up,

3 to whom also he did present himself alive after his suffering, in many certain proofs, through forty days being seen by them, and speaking the things concerning the reign of God." (YLT)

The former account referenced in Acts 1:1 was the 3rd gospel account, and the same author wrote and sent it to the same individual (Theophilus) as was the book of Acts.

Luke 1:1-3,

"Seeing that many did take in hand to set in order a narration of the matters that have been fully assured among us,

2 as they did deliver to us, who from the beginning became eye-witnesses, and officers of the Word, --

3 it seemed good also to me, having followed from the first after all things exactly, to write to thee in order, most noble Theophilus," (YLT)

The book of Acts then becomes a starting point to peg many of the other books of the NT, especially those of Paul's missionary journeys. Acts ends with the account of Paul's arrival and beginning of his two-year imprisonment in Rome in 61-62 A.D. waiting for trial (Acts 28:16-31). This places the book of Acts before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. We can conclude then that the "former account" sent to Theophilus - the gospel of Luke - was written before 61-62 A.D.

As there are no mention of the trial nor the outcome of the trial in Acts, it is probably safe to conclude that Acts was not written after Paul's trial. Therefore, the gospel of Luke could not have been written after Paul's trial either.

But other indications within the gospel of Luke are noteworthy. Excerpt from Dating The New Testament.com:

" Luke’s favorable attitude toward Rome points to a date before the persecution of Christians under Nero: Roman soldiers are favorably addressed by John the Baptist, something mentioned only by Luke (Luke 3:14)

The account of the Centurion in Luke 7 is very favorable to the man, who “loves our nation” (7:5)

The Centurion Cornelius in Acts 10 is a favorable character who becomes a Christian

The Centurion and Roman commander in Acts 21-23 help Paul repeatedly

The Centurion guarding Paul on the ship while he is traveling to Rome is yet another favorably portrayed Roman soldier.

Paul is repeatedly treated with deference due to his Roman citizenship (Acts 16:37-38, 22:25-28)" Source: here

It is also telling that all of the gospels were prophesying the destruction of the temple, which meant the temple was still standing when the books were written. See Luke 21:6, Mat. 24:1; Mark 13:1. The temple prophesy was of an event that had not yet happened when the gospels were written. That fact alone puts their date before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Moreover, Acts could not have been written after the persecutions of Nero as no mention of those persecutions are included in the book. Nero began his persecutions after the fire of Rome in A.D. 64. Nor does Acts mention the martyrdom of James (A.D. 61-62), Paul (A.D. 64-65) nor Peter (AD 64-65).

Excerpt from the post "When were the gospels written and by whom" at Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry:

""At the earliest, Acts cannot have been written prior to the latest firm chronological marker recorded in the book - Festus's appointment as procurator (24:27), which, on the basis of independent sources, appears to have occurred between A.D. 55 and 59." Source: here

As the internal evidence shows that the third gospel was written by the same author of Acts, and before the book of Acts, and as the book of Acts can be shown to have been written after the appointment of Festus (55-59 A.D.) but before Paul's trial (61-62 AD), then the we can know that the gospel of Luke was written after 55 AD but before 61-62 AD.

  • The lack of any post-62 information in Acts does not necessarily mean the book was written while Paul was still in prison. If "most excellent Theophilus", to whom Luke-Acts was dedicated, was a Roman official (see discussion here touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=15-10-026-c for evidence supporting this view), then it would make sense to end the book when Paul reached Rome, as Theophilus would have already been familiar with what followed. Oct 29, 2018 at 17:55

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