‘At a glance’ chronological and thematic summary of the 4 gospels from a Muslim perspective.

The Gospel of Matthew written around 80-85 AD. Author unknown. Used the gospel of Mark, the Q source and other material. Portrays Jesus as the new Moses who gives his disciples the true interpretation of the Mosaic Law and expects his disciples to keep it. The first book of the New Testament.

The Gospel of Mark written around 65-70 AD. Author: anonymous Greek-speaking Christian. The writer portrays Jesus as completely misunderstood by nearly everybody he encounters (compare Matthew). The first gospel to be written. The resurrection narrative in chapter 16 is not found in the earliest and best manuscripts, though it is still included in modern Bibles.

The Gospel of Luke written around 80-85 AD. Probably by a Greek-speaking Christian and companion of Paul. He uses Mark, Q and other sources to compile his gospel. Jesus is portrayed as a prophet and his teaching about God, salvation and sin is very similar to the prophets of the Jewish Bible (and very similar to that of Muhammad, the last prophet of God upon whom be peace). Unlike Mark, Luke does not share the view that Jesus’ death was an atoning sacrifice for sin. Mark’s striking statement that ‘the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ in Mark 10:45 is deleted by Luke who clearly rejects such a view – in abhorrence to the idea of human sacrifice perhaps? Any verses that suggest such an understanding in Mark are removed by Luke and Jesus dies a righteous martyr, rejected by God’s people. Simple repentance to God will bring forgiveness of sins (see Luke 15).

The Gospel of John written 90-95 AD. The last canonical gospel to be written. Traditionally believed to be by John the son of Zebedee, but most scholars doubt this today. In many ways quite different to the synoptic gospels: Jesus is portrayed as the preexistent divine Son who utters the famous ‘I am’ sayings unique to this gospel. Most scholars consider these sayings to be the literary creation of the gospel writer. The gospel has proved to be enormously influential on Christian thought about Jesus and provided the Christological foundation of the later Church’s creedal statements about Jesus. It is central to much evangelical preaching today.

Reproduced from Jesus as Western Scholars See Him; A Resource for Muslim Dawah Carriers by Paul Williams (unpublished work)



Categories: Bible, New Testament scholarship

30 replies

  1. Reblogged this on The Quran and Bible Blog and commented:

    The chronology of the gospels from a Muslim perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting summary for those who are not inclned to wade thru tombs of material but – are the statements on the whole accepted by most christian scholars ? Or are they disputed?

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  3. Mark – range of 45-60 AD.
    Matthew – range of 50-65 AD.
    Luke – 61-62 AD.

    Even if Mark was written between 65-70 AD – Mark 10:45 (atonement, death, crucifixion, ransom); all of Mark chapters 14, 15 (trials, crucifixion, death), 16:1-8 (empty tomb); 14:60-64 (Deity of Christ); – and Mark 3:29 – Deity of the Holy Spirit.

    All of that is devastating to Islam and the Qur’an.

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    • ‘Matthew – range of 50-65 AD.’
      What is the evidence for these dates?

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      • John A. T. Robinson, Re-dating the New Testament – decisive for early dating of NT books.

        John Wenham, Re-dating Matthew, Mark, and Luke

        The Case for Jesus, Brant Pitre (A Roman Catholic, but very good book and Biblical and common ground on issues with Protestants)

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      • these three seem to represent a very fringe view in their very early dating of Matthew. Nearly all scholars do not share their analysis.

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      • Paul, if I may chime in, it has been my experience that dates are very difficult to nail down, and while different factions put forth different dates, I, personally, feel that I have never seen a convincing argument from any particular date.

        I share that to make this point: while you are within your rights to ask for evidence in favor of a given date proposed by others, the same should follow for other dates proposed by still others (e.g. your own blog entry dated Matthew to 80-85; do you feel there is a clear argument in favor of such a date? and if it is based on the position taken by a group of scholars, did they present an argument for such a date?).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Denis I was simply asking why Ken gives unusually early dates.

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      • Brother Paul, the reason is that Ken bases his views on his opinions and biases rather than on real scholarship. He did the same with the dating of Mark on the Mark 13:32 thread. It’s an act of desperation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • He likes to cite scholarship when it agrees with his conservative views. He will dismiss scholarship when it contradicts his opinions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As do most Christian apologists.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Correction Paul. Ken cites his god and idol James White, since he has a sickening, disgusting idolatrous lust for White.

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  4. “All of that is devastating to Islam and the Qur’an.”
    Not true even in your dreams.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If you believe in the Qur’an as the revelation of Allah, through the prophet of Islam, Mohammad, you will automatically and presuppositionally not accept western liberal scholarship that is based on anti-supernatural bias.

      We accept the early dates, because they don’t follow the anti-supernaturalistic bias against the Scriptures as real revelation from God.

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      • conservative scholarship is real scholarship.

        liberal and leftist scholarship has an anti-supernatural bias; which a consistent Muslim should not accept.

        Dr. White is right: “Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument”

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      • Ken, don’t project your biases onto Muslims. As I have said, I place great emphasis on evidence. I don’t just reject someone because they are not Muslim. Muslim scholars have analyzed non-Muslim views, such as those of the orientalists. And even many modern western scholars have critiqued those older arguments. It is on the basis of evidence, not personal preference.

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      • Let’s be honest here, Ken. Fundamental christians like you and dr. White don’t accept scholarship whether it’s conservative or liberal. Dr. Ally perfectly refuted this false accusation made by your man long ago. You should know better by now.

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      • Dr. Ally did not refute anything in that debate. Dr. White did well and defended the proposition of the Debate. The problem is that you guys (Muslims) have 300 years of liberal anti-supernatural biased scholarship that you can use as a weapon, only because it has been mainstreamed in western culture for the past 300 years. But you don’t have in the Muslim world, because that kind of scholarship would get themselves killed; like the way those Saudis killed Jamal Khossoggi.

        Even Bart Ehrman admitted, when asked why he does not comment on the Qur’an: “because I value my life”.

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    • It seems you didn’t watch the video I posted. Please watch @ (1:24:22′).
      I’ve adjusted it for you.

      Dr. Ally schooled your man heavily. Dr Ally was citing from scholars whom James had recommend for him, yet James kept whining! The rest of your comment is just a red herring.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I remember that debate and I wrote a blog article on it; but you need to give the specific issue that Shabir Ally used Richard Bauckham for.

        It has been a while and I forgot the specific issue. I would need to watch the whole thing again. (earlier than your time signature for your point.)

        Did he use Leon Morris or F. F. Bruce for a specific statement that relates to the issue here in this debate?

        But Shabir’s argument on this issue (putting their Islamic leap of faith before established historical fact) was nuked:

        https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/muslims-put-leap-of-faith-before-historical-fact-8/

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      • And the other points is not a red herring:

        The problem is that you guys (Muslims) have 300 years of liberal anti-supernatural biased scholarship in the freedom of the west, that you can use as a weapon, only because it has been mainstreamed in western culture for the past 300 years. But you don’t have that in the Muslim world, because that kind of scholarship would get themselves imprisoned or killed; like the way those Saudis recently killed Jamal Khossoggi.

        Even Bart Ehrman admitted, when asked why he does not comment on the Qur’an: “because I value my life”.

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      • Bart was joking.

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  5. the same should follow for other dates proposed by still others (e.g. your own blog entry dated Matthew to 80-85; do you feel there is a clear argument in favor of such a date? and if it is based on the position taken by a group of scholars, did they present an argument for such a date?).

    Very good Denis.

    When one reads Raymond Brown’s NT Intro and his reasons for those late dates (similar if not identical to what Paul W. put up as dates) – he does not really give any good reasons except for the typical anti-supernatural bias of modern scholarship. (they cannot believe Jesus really did predict the destruction of the temple in AD 70 – predicted it in 30 AD before Crucifixion and that those 3 authors wrote about in 45-60 AD.

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  6. Sam Shamoun- full of sinful anger issues- wrote:

    Correction Paul. Ken cites his god and idol James White, since he has a sickening, disgusting idolatrous lust for White.

    Which one of the three books Iisted were written by James White?

    John A. T. Robinson, Re-dating the New Testament – decisive for early dating of NT books.

    John Wenham, Re-dating Matthew, Mark, and Luke

    The Case for Jesus, Brant Pitre (A Roman Catholic, but very good book and Biblical and common ground on issues with Protestants)

    You have been refuted.

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    • As always, this charlatan pretends to be Christlike despite his own shots against me. I guess this idolatry forget this:

      BEGIN

      conservative scholarship is real scholarship.

      liberal and leftist scholarship has an anti-supernatural bias; which a consistent Muslim should not accept.

      DR. WHITE IS RIGHT: “Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument”
      END

      I put it in caps so people can see how he confirmed by accusation that he is a man worshiper pretending to be a Christian apologist. Tell me he’s not a joke since he can’t help himself from reference his idol.

      Now what was that about being refuted?

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      • this idolatry forget= this idolater forgot

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      • Since when is quoting someone equal to worship? The quote he gave of dr.White is correct whether you like him or not. And keep your bigot mouth in check. People are sick and tired of your filth. If you are so weak that you can’t even keep your venom in your fangs in pretty much every comment section so far then go to your little irrelevant corner of the internet with your other snakes and you can swim in your own venom.

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      • Since when is quoting someone equal to worship?

        indeed. Thanks.

        Also, Sam ignored the three books that I first listed that promote conservative scholarship as to the dating of the Gospels.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. How am I a “man-worshiper” or “idolater” when I posted things like this:

    The Gospel according to Mark has a high view of the Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the Trinity:

    Mark 3:29 – “but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”

    One of the clearest verses in all the NT as to the Deity of the Holy Spirit – this one verse completely destroys your whole argument.

    Mark 12:36
    David declares in the Holy Spirit:
    The LORD said to My Lord (both Yahweh and Adoni) – (the Father and the Son)
    Sit at My right hand until I put all your enemies under your feet.”
    (Quoting Psalm 110:1)

    This verse is also very strong on the Deity of Christ and also mentions all three persons of the Trinity.

    נְאֻם יְהוָה לַֽאדֹנִי שֵׁב לִֽימִינִי עַד־אָשִׁית אֹיְבֶיךָ הֲדֹם לְרַגְלֶֽיךָ׃

    εἶπεν ὁ κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ μου κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποπόδιον τῶν ποδῶν σου

    “The LORD says to My Lord, sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for My feet.”

    In the Lxx, both Yahweh יהוה and אדֹנִי (Adoni) are translated as “kurios” / κυριος (Lord, Master, Boss, Lord of lords = God).

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