Early Dating for the Gospel according to Mark

Dr. Dan Wallace makes a good case for an early dating for the gospel according to Mark, around 55-61 AD.

This [Addendum: and other arguments from other scholars below] fully refutes Shabir Ally’s argument that Mark was written in 70 AD (following liberal scholars) below in his debate with Dr. White.   The only reason liberals date Mark at 70 AD or later is because they don’t believe in supernatural prophesy.  They don’t believe that in 30 AD, a week before He is crucified, Jesus actually prophesied of the destruction of the temple, and it actually came true and happened in 70 AD, about 40 years later.

Wallace writes:

“In sum, Mark should be dated before the production of Luke’s gospel which we date no later than 62 CE. Sometime in the mid-50s is most probable.”


Addendum:  Other scholars for early dating of Mark:

John Wenham, in his book, Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke, puts the Gospel of Mark at 45 AD.

John A. T. Robinson, put the Gospel of Mark also at 45 AD, and makes the case for all of the NT being written before 70 AD, in his famous book, Redating the New Testament.  

F. F. Bruce, puts the Gospel of Mark in AD 64, which is still way before 70 AD and before even the break out of the war of the Romans vs. the Jews, that started in 66 AD by Nero.

“As for the earliest of our Gospels, Mark, if it is a Roman Gospel (as I think), the crisis of A.D. 64 might have provided a suitable occasion for its publication. But my Manchester predecessor, T. W. Manson, was willing to push it back into the 50s, considering that a suitable occasion for its publication might have been the reconstitution of the church in Rome about A.D. 55, after its dispersion when Claudius banished the Roman Jews about A.D. 49.”  F. F. Bruce  (“On Dating the New Testament”, Eternity 23 (June 1972): 32-33.  (bolding my emphasis)


About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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2 Responses to Early Dating for the Gospel according to Mark

  1. I’m going to have to disagree with you, here. I think you are overstating your case to say that Dr. Wallace’s article “fully refutes” the dating of Mark to around 70 AD. An uncomfortable amount of Dr. Wallace’s conclusion is built upon conjecture as regards the life of Mark, conjecture that the gospel of Mark is the document to which Papias was referring in his statement, and positions which are highly contentious among scholars (like the authorship of 1 Peter and 1 Timothy).

    I’ll also disagree with your assertion that the only reason for the dating of Mark to around 70 AD is opposition to supernatural prophesy. There are quite a number of scholars who have either advocated or accepted this dating of the gospel, and who completely support the idea of supernatural prophesy.

    • Ken Temple says:

      Thanks for your comment!

      I have read Raymond Brown’s comments on each of the Synoptics (Intro to NT) and John A. T. Robinson’s famous “Redating the NT” and many others, (D.A. Carson, R.T. France, Guthrie, Wenham, where they interact with liberal scholarship) and it honestly seems the main reason for dating Mark at 70 AD is because of the anti-supernatural bias. So, I disagree with you on that. Robinson shows very convincingly that if these books were written after 70 AD or around 70 AD, they would show more details and evidence of the writer saying, “and this had happened and is happening to fulfill the word of Jesus”, etc. The silence of such an event is an amazing thing.

      John A. T. Robinson, who is also a anti-supernaturalist and liberal, even more fully refuted the 70 and post 70 AD dating for the synoptics. (Redating the New Testament; 1976, SCM Press)

      From the Wikipedia article (for convenience; I have the book and have read it; just not taking time to retype quotes.)

      “Robinson concluded that much of the New Testament was written before AD 64, partly based on his judgement that there is little textual evidence that the New Testament reflects knowledge of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. In relation to the four gospels’ dates of authorship, Robinson placed Matthew as being written sometime between AD 40 and the AD 60s, Mark sometime between AD 45 and AD 60, Luke sometime during the AD 50s and 60s and John sometime between AD 40 and AD 65 or later.[18][19] Robinson also argued that the letter of James was penned by a brother of Jesus Christ within twenty years of Jesus’ death; that Paul authored all the books attributed to him; and that the “John” who wrote the fourth Gospel was the apostle John. Robinson also suggested that the results of his investigations implied a need to rewrite many theologies of the New Testament.[20][21][22]”

      “fully refutes” maybe overboard for only Dan Wallace’s article, but along with Robinson, Wenham, Carson, Guthrie, and others, fully refutes seems right; and is my opinion.

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