I have long wondered why scholars have dated the Gospels to AD 70 and beyond due to the amount of textual evidence we have from the early Church Fathers that the dating may be a bit too liberal. The biggest clue lies in the Acts of the Apostles. Acts was written by Luke as a sequel to his gospel, and the book ends after Paul’s first arrest in Rome sometime around AD 61-62. The book touches on the martyrdom of St. Stephen as well as St. James the brother of John. What it doesn’t touch on, however, are the martyrdoms of Peter, Paul, and James the brother of Jesus. We know that James was martyred sometime around AD 62 in Jerusalem and that Peter and Paul were both martyred in Rome sometime between AD 64-67. It doesn’t even talk about Peter’s arrival in Rome! There is also no mention in Acts about the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 67-70).
All of these clues suggest that the Acts of the Apostles was most likely written in AD 62, which would date Luke’s gospel to sometime around AD 60. Church tradition tells us that both Matthew and Mark were written before Luke and the early Church Fathers were very clear on the fact that John wrote his gospel shortly before his death around AD 100. It seems to me that the later dating of the gospels is based around the hypothesis that Jesus wasn’t who he said he was, and that there was no way the gospel writers could have predicted the destruction of Solomon’s Temple.
What say you guys?