there is something of a consensus that has emerged in the circles of New
Testament scholarship regarding the dating of the gospels. Because the John Rylands fragment is the
earliest extant manuscript of the New Testament and it contains a section of
the gospel of John which can be dated AD 117-140, even if one supposes that the
gospel was written in 140 it would
not have been “hundreds” of years since the events of Christ’s life. As it happens, the consensus even among skeptical New Testament scholars is that
all of the gospels were written within the first century AD. Thus, at most, all of the New Testament
documents were written within 70 years of the events they describe. However, most put the gospel of Mark (which
is normally taken to be the first gospel written) around 70 AD, which would be
within 40 years of the events described.
Moreover, nearly all put Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians at
around 55 AD, in which he testifies to Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection
appearances. This, of course, is within
15 years of the events.
We highly recommend this book Trusting the New Testament