First, in 1 Corinthians -25, Paul quotes Jesus’ words of institution for the Eucharist, and the form of words he uses is the one found in Luke -20, not the one found in Matthew -28 or Mark -24. In fact, the passage is normally taken as a reference to a brother Christian who was famous for the gospel—not for having written a Gospel (some Bible versions even translate the verse that way).
“The Worker Is Worth His Wages” Third, 1 Timothy states: [T]he scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” The first quotation is found in Deuteronomy 25:4 and the second is found in Luke 10:7. This would suggest that the Gospel of Luke was in circulation in the A. 60s, but Ehrman’s point is still fair that Paul’s letters from the 50s don’t contain any clear references to the Gospels.
This article will answer several of the most common creationist attacks on carbon-14 dating, using the question-answer format that has proved so useful to lecturers and debaters. Answer: Cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere are constantly converting the isotope nitrogen-14 (N-14) into carbon-14 (C-14 or radiocarbon).
Living organisms are constantly incorporating this C-14 into their bodies along with other carbon isotopes.
Coal, oil, and natural gas are supposed to be millions of years old; yet creationists say that some of them contain measurable amounts of C-14, enough to give them C-14 ages in the tens of thousands of years. Younger objects can easily be dated, because they still emit plenty of beta radiation, enough to be measured after the background radiation has been subtracted out of the total beta radiation. However, you now know why this fact doesn't at all invalidate radiocarbon dates of objects younger than twenty thousand years and is certainly no evidence for the notion that coals and oils might be no older than fifty thousand years.
However, in either case, the background beta radiation has to be compensated for, and, in the older objects, the amount of C-14 they have left is less than the margin of error in measuring background radiation. Question: Creationists such as Cook (1966) claim that cosmic radiation is now forming C-14 in the atmosphere about one and one-third times faster than it is decaying.
Estimating an Earliest Likely Date Before trying to assign dates to particular Gospels, it can be helpful to try to identify a broader range of years in which they were composed.
Radiocarbon dating can easily establish that humans have been on the earth for over twenty thousand years, at least twice as long as creationists are willing to allow.The fact “scripture” is being cited shows that a written document—not oral tradition—is being used, and that suggests the Gospel of Luke was in circulation at the time 1 Timothy was written. But others—myself included—believe Paul wrote it and would place it near the end of his life, perhaps around A. Estimating a Latest Likely Date What about the other end of the general timeframe in which the Gospels were written? Ehrman writes: On the other hand, early non-canonical authors such as Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna (see chapter 28) do seem to know some of the Gospels.Many authors think that 1 Timothy was actually written by one of Paul’s disciples, sometime after his death around A. And so some or all of the Gospels were written before these authors produced their letters, around 110-15 CE.This means that the Gospels probably date to somewhere between 60-115. Ehrman’s point about Ignatius and Polycarp is correct.I would adjust the timeframe to between 50 and 115, but other than that, I don’t have a problem with his logic to this point.