Chronological Order of the New Testament

Hi everyone,

What is the understanding of the order of the New Testament as they were written? I searched for this online and found a couple that purported to order the New Testament in the ‘order of events’ but not the order that they were written. And a few that had the order that they were written were not Catholic sources, so I’m not sure if I should trust them. For example, my priest says that Mark was written first (of the Gospels, not New Testament) but several websites list Matthew as first, as is traditional…

Thanks! :slight_smile:


We do not know the exact order in which they were written, and there is vigorous debate in scholarly circles surrounding this topic.

It is generally agreed that most of Paul’s letters are the earliest NT writings. Most date them between 50A.D. and 67A.D. (if you accept they were all written by Paul). One possible dating of his letters are:

1&2 Thessalonians (50-52)
Galatians (54-55)
1&2 Corinthians (56-58)
Romans (56-58)
Ephesians (61-63)
Philippians (61-63)
Colossians (61-63)
Philemon (61-63)
1&2 Timothy (63-67)
Titus (63-67)

The dating of the Gospels is notoriously difficult. Most modern scholars place all but Mark after 70A.D., but that is based on some questionable presuppositions. Personally, I think their order is Matthew, Luke, Mark (all before 70A.D.) and then John, which was perhaps as late as 90A.D. Acts was most likely written in the early 60’s.

The letters and Revelation of John are typically dated between 80A.D.-100A.D.

Hebrews, 1 Peter, and James have suggested dates ranging from the 50s to the 90s. I tend to think each was written before 70A.D.

Jude and 2 Peter are often dated very late - even 2nd century - but it is pretty hard to know when these letters were written.

It helps that some of them go together.

IMO, a date of 70 or so is more likely for Revelation than a Domitianic date (between 81 & 96). Johannine priority, anyone :slight_smile: ?

my articles on the subject:
III. The Writing of the New Testament

But my dates for the NT books are earlier than most others.

in this order:

Luke and Acts
John and Revelation

IMO, a date of 70 or so is more likely for Revelation than a Domitianic date (between 81 & 96). Johannine priority, anyone

My own opinion on the dating of Revelation fluctuates wildly. At times I am convinced it was written in the 60’s, and at other times I subscribe to the common view that it was written in the 90’s. I really think both arguments have merit.

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