Are the canonical gospels our earliest gospels?

 
queefsr4quitters
 
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queefsr4quitters
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12 June 2009 21:10
 

Most of the non-canonical gospels have been dated second century or later and I wanted to know if any other gospels have been dated to around the time of Mark, Matthew, Luke, or John. If so, are they still relatively intact or small fragments?

 
DancingFoolVB
 
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DancingFoolVB
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13 June 2009 04:02
 

Some scholars think that an early version of the “Gospel of Thomas” may predate the canonical gospels (see April DeConick’s blog Forbidden Gospels).

There are also hints of other early gospels, but only quoted in later works by canonical defenders.  So there is no way to know if they were quoted accurately or fairly.

 
 
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Rami
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15 June 2009 01:07
 
queefsr4quitters - 13 June 2009 01:10 AM

Most of the non-canonical gospels have been dated second century or later and I wanted to know if any other gospels have been dated to around the time of Mark, Matthew, Luke, or John. If so, are they still relatively intact or small fragments?

Good question.  As I am sure you know, even the canonical gospels cannot be “dated” (if you mean, scientific dating, as in “carbon dating”, for example) to the first century, since we do not actually possess any copies from the first century. 

There must have been another gospel, Q, since Mark, Matthew and Luke appeared to have drawn from it and quoted, but we do not have a copy of it.

From what I have read and heard, scholars seem to be in agreement that the four canonical gospels are indeed the earliest ones.  And yes, I have heard of the speculation that The Gospel of Thomas may be earlier than even Mark.

I know this isn’t much help, but just thought I’d join the conversation…

 
 
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Andrew
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15 June 2009 13:26
 
queefsr4quitters - 13 June 2009 01:10 AM

Most of the non-canonical gospels have been dated second century or later and I wanted to know if any other gospels have been dated to around the time of Mark, Matthew, Luke, or John. If so, are they still relatively intact or small fragments?

(Andrew):  Here’s an excellent resource.

 
 
 
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eudemonia
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15 June 2009 14:17
 

About time you got over here and answered this one Andrew! GEEZ.

 
 
 
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Eugenie
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18 June 2009 20:21
 

John Shelby Spong, whom Andrew has quoted in the past, denies that “Q” ever existed.  He thinks the epistles of Paul are the earliest Christian writings, and I agree.  He thinks Mark was written before 70 C.E.  The Gospel of Thomas may be early, but it is too gnostic to have been written before 70.

 
 
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Andrew
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28 June 2009 14:27
 
Eugenie - 19 June 2009 12:21 AM

John Shelby Spong, whom Andrew has quoted in the past, denies that “Q” ever existed.

(Andrew):  Yeah…and I’ve never understood that.  He says that the extistence of “Q” is incompatible with his theory that the Gospels were midrashic attempts to supplement the Jewish liturgy.  But he never says why…and I’m not sure that Mark’s gospel couldn’t have included sayings from “Q”.  Can you see any reason that it couldn’t?
And he never explains the source of the verbatim verses in Matthew and Luke that don’t appear in Mark, except to say that Luke copied Matthew (which he makes no effort to substantiate).

Eugenie - 19 June 2009 12:21 AM

He thinks Mark was written before 70 C.E.

(Andrew):  He suggests that Mark was written anywhere from 65 to the early 70’s (Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism), which is pretty much concensus.

 
 
 
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Andrew
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28 June 2009 14:29
 
eudemonia - 15 June 2009 06:17 PM

About time you got over here and answered this one Andrew! GEEZ.

(Andrew):  I’m sorry.  Without the nudge of email notification, I forget to check in.