For this reason radical scholars (for example, the Jesus Seminar) argue for late first century or even second century dates for the original manuscripts. Sherwin White has demonstrated, using documents from antiquity even less well-attested and with much wider composition-to-earliest-copy spans than the New Testament documents, even two generations are too short a span to allow the mythical tendency to prevail over the hard historic core of the oral tradition (Sherwin-White, 190).
Invoking these dates barely opens the door to argue that the New Testament documents, especially the Gospels, are mythological and that the writers created the events contained in them, rather than simply reporting them. In the 19th century, Ferdinand Christian Baur (17921860), founder of the Tubingen School of theology, maintained that the majority of the New Testament documents were pseudonymous works and gave little weight to the evidence of numerous citations provided by the early Christian writers (commonly known as church fathers).
In this updated material taken from the new edition of Sheehan’s Apologetics, Fr Peter Joseph, affirms the reliability of the New Testament literature and questions the conventional theories about late dating. Joseph lectured at St John Vianney Seminary, Wagga Wagga, NSW. Codex Sinaiticus of the mid 4th century contains the entire New Testament. He must have made his disciples learn sayings off by heart; if he taught, he must have required his disciples to memorize.” The same evidence has been presented by Harald Riesenfeld, also of Sweden, and Thorleif Boman of Norway.
To say it is “developed” assumes that it was once “primitive.” Actually the argument cuts both ways: one could argue that because Mark was written early, the theology is not” developed,” but truly characteristic of what Jesus taught.Another codex of the 5th century contains three-fifths of the N. D.: portions of 19 verses of St Matthew; papyri of St John’s Gospel containing twelve complete chapters and portions of the other nine; 86 leaves of a codex containing portions of St Paul’s letters. Carmignac names forty-nine scholars who uphold the Semitic origin of one or other of the Gospels. This figure does not include the even more numerous early manuscripts of translations into Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopian, Gothic, Old Church Slavonic and other languages. Mazon, Introduction à l’Iliade, Société d’Édition Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1959, pp.7-65. The Life of Christ, Bruce, Milwaukee 1947, pp.98-141 Redating the New Testament, SCM Press, London 1976, p.345 Idem, p.13 Idem, p.352 Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke, op. Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity, Gleerup, Uppsala, Sweden 1961; Préhistoire des Évangiles, Cerf, Paris 1981; The Gospel Tradition, Gleerup, Lund 1986 Memory and Manuscript, op. T., and another of the 4-5th century contains the four Gospels. books, dating from the 2nd-4th century, have been discovered in Egypt. From the early 3rd century we have: portions of 30 leaves with parts of the Gospels and Acts; a papyrus codex containing eight complete chapters of St Luke and five complete chapters of St John. He adduces multiple examples of Semitisms, and divides them into nine categories: Semitisms of borrowing, imitation, thought, vocabulary, syntax, style, composition, transmission, and translation. All manuscript statistics of the ancient classics are taken from the introductions to the critical editions of these texts published by Société d’Édition Les Belles Lettres, Paris. cit., p.328 The Gospel Tradition, Blackwell, Oxford 1970 R. Gundry, The Use of the Old Testament in St Matthew’s Gospel, Brill, Leiden 1967; E. Goodspeed, Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Winston, Philadelphia 1959; R. Codex Alexandrinus of the early 5th century contains almost all the New Testament. Other scholars point also to the wide use of shorthand and the carrying of notebooks in the Graeco-Roman world, the practice in schools of circulating lecture notes, and the common practice among the disciples of rabbis to make notes of their sayings. French scholar Jean Carmignac was struck by the Semitisms (Hebrew or Semitic way of writing and speaking) of the Greek text of St Mark’s Gospel when in 1963 he began to translate it into Hebrew. Evang., 1911; The Date of Acts and the Synoptic Gospels, Williams & Norgate, London, and Putnam, N. Theologische Quartalsch., Tübingen 1929, IV, pp.443-4 See a list of fifteen scholars in J. Codex Bezae of the 5th century contains, inter alia, the four Gospels. His work The Birth of the Synoptic Gospels summarises twenty years of research on the Hebrew language background to the Gospels. Wenham, Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke, Hodder and Stoughton, London 1991, p.299.