Publication Date

Summer 2003

Document Type



Published in Faith and Mission, 20 no 3 Sum 2003, p 47-80.


There are various arguments for the date of composition of the Fourth Gospel. Forty-one lines of argument will be discussed below. The date of the Fourth Gospel will have significance for how one views the purpose statement, the occasion for writing, the author, and the location of origin (providence). At times one's interpretation may be influenced by how one decides on a date and vice-versa.

The discussion will be broken into four sections: the argument for a pre A. D. 70 date, post-A.D. 70 date, pre-A.D. 100 date, and post-A.D. 100 date. In each section, the discussion will move from the external to the internal evidence and will be placed in the order of least persuasive to most persuasive. The conclusion will determine the most compelling evidence for each category and decide on a date of composition for the Fourth Gospel (FG) which appears to be most supported by the evidence.