Sir Frederic Kenyon
(A Gospel of
John Papyrus Fragment)
at any rate objective evidence, not resting on theological
prepossessions, and since it is accepted by all those who
have had most experience in dating the gospel itself must on
all grounds of probability be put back into the first
century, in order to allow time for the work to get into
circulation; and a date toward the end of that century is
wat Christian tradition has always assigned to it.
With regard to the other books of the New Testament there is
not much to say. No one doubts that the synoptic gospels
belong to a period perceptibly earlier than the fourth
gospel, so that the traditional dates round about the fall
of Jerusalem remain approximately the latest possible, and
the dating of Luke carries with it that of Acts.
For the Pauline epistles the only new evidence is that they
were circulating as a collection by the end of the second
century, and that this collection included Hebrews, but
apparently not the pastoral epistles...
The interval then between the dates of original composition
and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be
in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt
that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as
they were written has now been removed. Both the
authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the
New Testament may be regarded as finally established."
Kenyon, "The Bible and Archaeology" (New York: Harper,
1940) p. 288