Dating of the new testament validating domain trusts
Robinson goes through each book of the New Testament with the historical hinge laying on the importance of 70 AD, the destruction of the Jewish temple.
For example he says, “I began to ask myself just why any of the book of the New Testament needed to be put after the fall of Jerusalem in 70”.
He, like most western theologians since the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, view the authors of scripture primarily as competing individuals rather than as part of the Church.
He has difficulty accepting the authors of scripture as people who cooperated in the proclamation and promulgation of the Gospel.
Yet Robinson does the Church a great service by laying bare the ephemeral nature of the claims that many of the New Testament writings were not written by their ascribed authors.
He notes that the claims based on statistical word counts, diction, and style are all over the map, pointing to the probability that their differences can be ascribed as much to differences in the preconceptions used to construct the statistical algorithms.
He notes as well that "there is an appetite for pseudonymity that grows by what it feeds on." Once you assume pseudonymity, you see it everywhere.
He argues against a tradition of pseudonymity on the basis of historical church writings which reject books on that basis, and mention the deposing of a bishop who wrote such a pseudonymous book.
Dating-of-the-NT-Chronologi Next is the timeline of the apostle Paul derived from the book of Acts and some of Paul’s own statements particularly in Galatians. At some point he asked himself "why any of the books of the New Testament needed to be put after the fall of Jerusalem in 70." He notes that none of the books make any reference (actual or metaphorical) to the destruction of Jerusalem as a past event. One of Robinson's contributions is to draw attention to the chains of inferences and preconceptions that are used by those arguing for the late dating of the canonical New Testament scriptures.
This description, however, is worded in the apocalyptic writing style, and this combination of an unambiguous message and a subversive writing style is not the easiest one.
The apocalyptic writing style was used by suppressed people to hide important information from their ruthless oppressors, in this case by the early Christians to conceal their subversive message for the Romans.
Below I will attach some of the charts he provides related to the dating of the books and some of the historical events in the book of Acts (Paul’s timeline for example) My favorite sections that Robinson wrote on were that of Acts, Hebrews and Revelation. He began writing this book as a theological exercise, as "little more than a theological joke".
His main and final conclusion thus is “There is, first of all, the observation that all the various types of the early church’s literature (including the Didache, a version of its ‘manual of discipline’) were coming into being more or less concurrently in the period between 40 and 70.”This book will definitely effect you if not completely change your mind on the assumed dates that you have been taught without any internal exegetical or external historical evidence. At some point he asked himself "why any of the books of the New Testament needed to be put after the fall of Jerusalem in 70." He notes that none of the books make any reference (actual or metaphorical) to the destruction of Jerusalem as a past event. Robinson (1919-1983) was a thoroughgoing theological modernist.