Top critical review
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back to front argumentation
on 17 January 2012
Ehrman is kind enough to list the 44-odd documents on which these 'lost Christianities' were based and the dates that modern scholarships places on them (pp xi - xv). Even taking the most conservative dating for the writing of the documents that were included in the New Testament - which places all bar Revelation within the first century AD (ie within 70 years of Christ's death and purported resurrection) only three of the 44 documents Ehrman lists can be deemed as having been conceivably written before or contemporaneously with the NT documents (and one is the Secret Gospel of Mark which even Ehrman concedes might have been written in 58 AD [so contemporaneous with several of Paul's writings], 1758 or even 1958!!). A further 30 were written during the 2nd century AD, 1 in the 3rd and 2 in each of the 4th and 5th centuries!!
Taking the argument commonly used against the validity of the New Testament documents, that time distance from the event is likely to skew the record, which documents are likely to be more correct? Those written in the mid- to late-2nd century and after (those that Ehrman wants us to treat as worthwhile), or the ones written in the mid- to late-1st century?