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Re: [XTalk] Dating John

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  • John Lupia
    Ron Price wrote: According to ... Dear Ron: I have not seen Schnelle s book nor have I read any reviews. Does he explain the basis and evidence of the
    Message 1 of 9 , May 1, 2002
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      Ron Price wrote:
      According to
      > U.Schnelle, _The History
      > and Theology of the New Testament Writings_ (ET,
      > London: SCM, 1998, 477,
      > n119) one recent dating is 175 CE +/- 25 years, and
      > Schnelle himself
      > goes for 150 CE +/- 25 years.

      Dear Ron:

      I have not seen Schnelle's book nor have I read any
      reviews. Does he explain the basis and evidence of
      the "recent dating is 175 CE +/- 25 years" of P52?

      Best regards,
      John

      =====
      John N. Lupia
      501 North Avenue B-1
      Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA

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    • Peter Kirby
      ... From: Ron Price To: Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 10:11 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Dating John ... I am
      Message 2 of 9 , May 1, 2002
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Ron Price" <ron.price@...>
        To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 10:11 AM
        Subject: Re: [XTalk] Dating John


        > Peter,
        >
        > I think your computer program is a good idea in principle, but I'm not
        > sure it will be of much practical use for NT history because so few
        > dates are known with certainty and the rest are so often hotly disputed.
        > As I understand it, your program can deal with uncertain input in the
        > form of a date range plus a probability of the event being within that
        > range, but it can't handle the varied and rather subjective assessments
        > of either the date range or the probability.

        I am not sure that I understand what you say about what "it can't handle."
        Maybe you can give an example of what it seems that the program cannot handle?
        (Not that I dispute that it can't handle what you think it can't handle -- I
        just don't know what you think it can't handle.)

        > >But there is still an item of manuscript evidence to be discussed. The
        > >infamous p52 contains verses found in John. Until a cogent argument is made
        > >for the reconstruction of a proto-John that contained the verses as they are
        > >found in p52, it is safe to think that p52 is a fragment of John more or
        > >less as we have it. (It would be ad hoc to postulate a proto-John for the
        > >sole reason of evading the evidence of p52.) The typical dating of the
        > >manuscript is to the first half of the second century for paleographical
        > >reasons. I will incline towards the latter half of that period and assign
        > >p52 a date of 130. Allowing five years for circulation, this evidence
        > >points to a date between 30 and 125. I will assign a 90% chance to this
        > >evidence.
        >
        > In my opinion this judgement is dubious. We should not go by "typical
        > dating" but by the latest research on the subject which seems to be
        > suggesting a later date for p52. According to U.Schnelle, _The History
        > and Theology of the New Testament Writings_ (ET, London: SCM, 1998, 477,
        > n119) one recent dating is 175 CE +/- 25 years, and Schnelle himself
        > goes for 150 CE +/- 25 years. This casts considerable doubt on the 90%
        > chance you quoted.

        I would say that this calls into question the dating range that I allowed, not
        so much the 90% chance part. The 90% chance part represents the probability
        that p52 is a fragment of canonical John.

        It is a minor difference, but Schnelle says that A. Schmidt "dates p52 in the
        period around 170 CE (+/- 25) on the basis of a comparison with P Chester Beatty
        X."

        I am not sure that Schnelle prefers a range of 125-175, as it is possible that
        Schnelle prefers a range of 100-150 but considers this practically the same as
        dating it to 150 to be on the safe side. It's open to interpretation, at least
        in my opinion. Here is what Schnelle actually says: "The result for the dating
        of p52 is that the 125 CE period, usually given with extraordinary certitude,
        must now be stated with some doubt. One must at least allow a margin of 25
        years, so that one could think of a dating around 150."

        Jack Kilmon on his web site states that paleography dates p52 "to the time of
        Hadrian (117 - 138 CE)."

        Robert Funk in _Honest to Jesus_ says that p52 "has been variously dated from
        125 to 160 C.E., roughly one hundred years after the death of Jesus." (p. 94)

        A. N. Wilson says (Paul: The Mind of the Apostle, p.251): "This fragment, which
        is in the John Rylands Library at Manchester, England, perhaps dates from the
        second century. It remains the case, however, in spite of claims by journalists
        and non-papyrologists in recent times, it is difficult if not impossible to date
        papyrus within a 50-year margin."

        It is difficult for me to please everybody. Would it be satisfactory for me to
        say that p52 dates to the second century and average the date to 150 CE instead
        of the 130 CE that I offered in the previous post?

        best,
        Peter Kirby
      • Emmanuel Fritsch
        ... I am interest in this dating. Would it be possible to know the arguments of A.Schmidt ? What is the major view about it ? a+ manu
        Message 3 of 9 , May 2, 2002
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          > Ron Price wrote :
          > Schnelle was referring to A.Schmidt, 'Zwei Anmerkungen zu P.Ryl.III
          > 457,' APF 35 (1989), which you would have to consult if you want to know
          > the basis of this dating, for Schnelle doesn't explain it.

          I am interest in this dating. Would it be possible to
          know the arguments of A.Schmidt ? What is the major
          view about it ?

          a+
          manu
        • Emmanuel Fritsch
          Hello Peter, I think the most important before computing is to explain how you want to compute. What is your modus operandi ? a+ manu
          Message 4 of 9 , May 2, 2002
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            Hello Peter,

            I think the most important before computing is to explain
            how you want to compute. What is your modus operandi ?

            a+
            manu
          • Ron Price
            ... Schnelle was referring to A.Schmidt, Zwei Anmerkungen zu P.Ryl.III 457, APF 35 (1989), which you would have to consult if you want to know the basis of
            Message 5 of 9 , May 2, 2002
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              I wrote:

              >> one recent dating [of p52] is 175 CE +/- 25 years

              John Lupia replied:

              >I have not seen Schnelle's book nor have I read any
              >reviews. Does he explain the basis and evidence of
              >the "recent dating is 175 CE +/- 25 years" of P52?

              Schnelle was referring to A.Schmidt, 'Zwei Anmerkungen zu P.Ryl.III
              457,' APF 35 (1989), which you would have to consult if you want to know
              the basis of this dating, for Schnelle doesn't explain it.

              -------------------------------------------------------

              I wrote to Peter Kirby:

              >> your program can deal with uncertain input in the
              >> form of a date range plus a probability of the event being within that
              >> range, but it can't handle the varied and rather subjective assessments
              >> of either the date range or the probability.

              Peter replied:

              >I am not sure that I understand what you say about what "it can't handle."
              >Maybe you can give an example of what it seems that the program cannot handle?

              What I meant was that the results of the program (as of any program)
              are only as good as the input. In this application much of the input is
              controversial and therefore uncertain. I know you're trying to make
              allowance for the uncertainty, but different people would make different
              allowances.

              >I am not sure that Schnelle prefers a range of 125-175, as it is possible that
              >Schnelle prefers a range of 100-150 but considers this practically the same as
              >dating it to 150 to be on the safe side.

              On second thoughts, you're probably right here.

              >It is difficult for me to please everybody.

              True, and this reinforces the point I was trying to make above.
              A further complication for me is that I think John went through three
              distinct editions.

              > Would it be satisfactory for me to
              >say that p52 dates to the second century and average the date to 150 CE instead
              >of the 130 CE that I offered in the previous post?

              As you're using this date more or less as an upper limit on the date
              of John, this would be more cautious and in my opinion better.

              Ron Price

              Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

              e-mail: ron.price@...

              Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
            • Peter Kirby
              ... From: Emmanuel Fritsch To: Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 10:01 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Dating John
              Message 6 of 9 , May 2, 2002
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Emmanuel Fritsch" <emmanuel.fritsch@...>
                To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 10:01 AM
                Subject: Re: [XTalk] Dating John


                >
                > Hello Peter,
                >
                > I think the most important before computing is to explain
                > how you want to compute. What is your modus operandi ?

                The computation is executed by the program that I described in my post "The
                Dater Program." Here is that post:

                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/message/9860

                The source code in C++ is provided here:

                http://home.earthlink.net/~kirby/dater4.html

                And here is the algorithm in a sentence: Assuming even background probabilities
                for every year between the terminus a quo and the terminus ad quem for a
                document, and supplied with the six points of data on each author and with the
                three points of data on each piece of other evidence, make use of the definition
                of conditional probability and Bayes's Theorem in order to determine the
                probability that the document was written in any given year given each
                individual author or piece of evidence, and then compute the probabilities of
                the document being written in each year given all the information by applying
                the independent version of Bayes's Rule to the probabilities calculated for each
                individual data point.

                I am afraid that some knowledge of probability theory as well as C++ will be
                necessary in order to follow all the details. If you have any specific
                questions or concerns, I would be happy to address them.

                best,
                Peter Kirby
              • Peter Kirby
                ... From: Jack Kilmon To: Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 7:06 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Dating John ...
                Message 7 of 9 , May 6, 2002
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@...>
                  To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 7:06 PM
                  Subject: Re: [XTalk] Dating John


                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: "Peter Kirby" <kirby@...>
                  > To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 7:59 PM
                  > Subject: [XTalk] Dating John
                  >
                  > > Kysar states that most scholars today see the historical setting of the
                  > > Gospel of John in the expulsion of the community from the synagogue (ibid.,
                  > > p. 918). The word aposynagogos is found three times in the gospel (9:22,
                  > > 12:42, 16:2). The high claims made for Jesus and the response to them
                  > > (5:18), the polemic against "the Jews" (9:18, 10:31, 18:12, 19:12), and the
                  > > assertion of a superiority of Christian revelation to the Hebrew (1:18,
                  > > 6:49-50, 8:58) show that "the Johannine community stood in opposition to the
                  > > synagogue from which it had been expelled." (p. 918)
                  > >
                  > > Kysar states concerning the dating of the Gospel of John: "Those who relate
                  > > the expulsion to a formal effort on the part of Judaism to purge itself of
                  > > Christian believers link the composition of the gospel with a date soon
                  > > after the Council of Jamnia, which is supposed to have promulgated such an
                  > > action. Hence, these scholars would date John after 90. Those inclined to
                  > > see the expulsion more in terms of an informal action on the part of a local
                  > > synagogue are free to propose an earlier date." (p. 919)
                  >
                  > Brach 28b: "Said R. Gamaliel to the Sages: Can anyone among you frame a
                  benediction relating to the minim? (was censored to Sadducees but has now been
                  restored from an older version). JBrach 4, 8a; Tbrach 3,25 ..Samuel the Lesser
                  arose and composed it. The date of the Birkhat ha-Minim MUST be between 80
                  (when Gamaliel became Nasi and the date of Shmuel ha-qatan's death (90 CE).
                  Dating between 80 and 90 are Lagrange, Parkes, Jocz, Davies, Winters, Carroll,
                  hence I would place the Birkhat haMinim about 85 CE and believe it stimulated
                  not only the composition of 4G, fleshed around an earlier primitive Semitic
                  document, but also GMatthew as well.

                  KIRBY
                  I have come across a viewpoint that could call into question our argument for a
                  dating of John. I will quote the relevant portions of this article:

                  Kimelman, Reuven. "Birkat Ha-Minim and the Lack of Evidence for an
                  Anti-Christian Jewish Prayer in Late Antiquity." In Jewish and Christian
                  Self-Definition. Ed. E. P. Sanders. Volume Two. Aspects of Judaism in the
                  Greco-Roman Period. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981. Pp. 226-44.

                  The Genizah version of the birkat ha-minim reads as
                  follows:

                  1. For the apostates let there be no hope.
                  2. And let the arrogant government be speedily
                  uprooted in our days.
                  3. Lt the nosrim and the minim be destroyed in a
                  moment.
                  4. And let them be blotted out of the Book of Life
                  and not be inscribed together with the righteous.
                  5. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who humblest the
                  arrogant.

                  Reuven Kimelman writes (p. 244):

                  ----
                  The following are the salient results of our
                  investigation of the birkat ha-minim:

                  1. Birkat ha-minim was not directed against Gentile
                  Christians, but against Jewish sectarians.

                  2. The Genizah version which reads ha-nosrim
                  ve-ha-minim was directed primarily against Jewish
                  Christians.

                  3. There is no unambiguous evidence that Jews cursed
                  Christians during the statutory prayers.

                  4. There is abundant evidence that Christians were
                  welcomed in the synagogue.

                  5. Thus birkat ha-minim does not reflect a watershed
                  in the history of the relationship between Jews and
                  Christians in the first centuries of our era.

                  6. Apparently, there never was a single edict which
                  caused the so-called irreparable separation between
                  Judaism and Christianity. The separation was rather
                  the result of a long process dependent upon local
                  situations and ultimately upon the political power of
                  the church.
                  ----

                  Kimelman writes (pp. 239-240):

                  ----
                  What about the patristic evidence? Not only is
                  evidence lacking from rabbinic sources that Gentile
                  Christians were excluded from the synagogue, there is
                  abundant evidence from patristic sources that
                  Christians were frequenting the synagogues quite
                  often. Indeed, there is far-flung evidence that it
                  was the church leadership that strove to keep
                  Christians away from the synagogue and not the Jews
                  who were excluding them. Such protest from the church
                  Fathers demonstrates the receptivity of the synagogue
                  to Christians. This situation is highly unlikely if
                  the synagogue liturgy contained a daily curse against
                  Christians.

                  It is of no small significance to note that Jewish
                  receptivity to Christians is precisely where rabbinic
                  Judaism had made its strongest impact, namely, Asia
                  Minor, Palestine and Syria. So, for example, the
                  _Martyrium Pionii_, which was been dated from the end
                  of the third to the middle of the fourth century,
                  records Pionius (d. 250 - Smyrna) as saying: 'I hear
                  that the Jews call some of you to the synagogues.'
                  Indeed, the Jews seem to have mounted a missionary
                  campaign among the Christians of Smyrna. [The Acts of
                  the Christian Martyrs 13.1; 14.1 (ed. H. Musurillo),
                  1972.]

                  Origen, as mentioned above, is also aware that he had
                  congregants who attended synagogue on the Sabbath.
                  Indeed, Origen also alludes to Jewish missionaries who
                  induced Christians to practice Jewish rites.

                  In the late fourth century, Jerome stressed that
                  Christians imitated the rites of the synagogue,
                  probably as a result of familiarity with synagogue
                  practice. Jerome also pointed out, to his chagrin,
                  that Christians were often the beneficiaries of Jewish
                  generosity. This reached such a level, that he urged
                  htat such charity be refused lest it attract them to
                  Judaism. [Epistle 52 to Nepotion]

                  Finally, the evidence from John Chrysostom is
                  overwhelming. In the _Homilies Against the Jews_, he
                  harangues against the Judaizing activities of
                  Christians, in general, and their frequenting of
                  synagogues, in particular. The latter was so serious
                  that he felt impelled to denounce it over fifteen
                  times. [Chrysostom, Homilies against the Jews 1.3.3-4;
                  1.4.6; 1.5.2; 1.5.7; 1.6.2; 1.8.1; 2.3.5; 4.7.3-4;
                  4.7.7; 5.12.12; 6.6.6; 6.7.3-4; 6.7.7; 7.6.10;
                  8.8.7-9.] His vituperative attacks probably indicate
                  that the Christian legislation against Christian
                  attendance at Jewish religious meetings was
                  ineffective. [Apostolic Constitutions 2.61.1; 8.47.65;
                  Council of Laodicea, Canon 29.] Chrysostom, himself,
                  reported that Christians who frequent synagogues urged
                  their household, friends and neighbours not to report
                  them to the priests. [Chyrsostom, Homily 8.8.8.]
                  Clearly, the synagogue was a very real attraction for
                  Christians.

                  Significantly, in an effort to dissuade Christians
                  from rushing off to the synagogue begging the Jews to
                  help them, Chrysostom asserts that the Jews laugh and
                  scoff at them. Then most revealingly he concedes:
                  'Even if they do not do it openly . . . they are doing
                  this deep down in their hearts.' Not only can
                  Chrysostom not adduce evidence for Jews cursing
                  Christians, he cannot even adduce evidence for Jews
                  scoffing at them. The Jews must have been quite
                  receptive to Christians seeking their assistance and
                  the succour of the synagogue.

                  If one of the most virulent antisemites of the church
                  cannot produce evidence for official Jewish
                  denigration of Christians, then its existence is
                  seriously called into question. Not only is evidence
                  lacking from Christian sources that birkat ha-minim
                  was directed against Gentile Christians, but there is
                  also evidence, direct and indirect, that it was not.
                  Indeed, the preponderance of the evidence points to a
                  fourth-century Jewish Christian sect, called by
                  Epiphanius and Jerome the Nazoraeans, as the group to
                  which the term nosrim refers. Once it is clear that
                  nosrim does not refer to Christians but to Nazoaeans,
                  it is not at all surprising to discover that the
                  Hebrew was originally nasrim and thus more assonant
                  with Nazoraeans.
                  ----

                  Kimelman writes (p. 233): "A significant number of
                  scholars have contended that nosrim has been added.
                  The major argument has been the difficulty of
                  rendering smoothly both terms together. Those who
                  contend that nosrim is original have hard to render
                  the phrase 'Jewish Christians and other heretics'.
                  The fact that 'other' has to be supplied highlights
                  the difficulty of rendering an apparently redundant
                  text such as 'Jewish Christians and heretics'."

                  Kimelman writes (p. 238):

                  "It is of particular note that the first Christian
                  source [Epiphanius] clearly to mention cursing thrice
                  daily in the synagogues makes no mention of
                  Christians. The same source is also the first
                  patristic mention of the Jewish Christian sect of the
                  Nazoraeans. Jerome, who next mentions the Nazoraeans,
                  associates them with the Minaeans and infers that both
                  are cursed by the Jews. This, along with the fact
                  that the term nosrim first appears in rabbinic
                  literature in the mouth of R. Johanan of the third
                  century, warrants the conclusion that the Genizah
                  formula which reads ha-nosrim ve-ha-minim (= the
                  nosrim and [?, see below] the minim) was composed
                  between the time of R. Johanan (d. c. 279) and the
                  writing of the Panarion (377). The data also warrant
                  the conclusion that nosrim does not denote Christians,
                  but rather Nazoraeans, a Jewish Christian sect whose
                  existence is vouched for by at least two
                  fourth-century sources."

                  Kimelman writes (pp. 234-235):

                  "The issue with regard to the gospel of John has two
                  aspects which are not necessarily related. First, is
                  there awareness of birkat ha-minim? Second, is there
                  any evidence that it then contained a reference to
                  nosrim? John mentions three times that Jews who
                  'confess Christ' were excluded from the synagogue
                  (aposunagwgoV, 9.22; 12.42; 16.2). There is no
                  evidence that this situation was prevalent anywhere
                  else. The context of the mention of 'Pharisees'
                  (12.42) indicates that this is a derogatory reference
                  to local leadership. Indeed the absence of any
                  mention of such exclusion by early Christian authors
                  argues against its being a pervasive practice. It is
                  hard to believe that a major rabbinic practice which
                  is supposed to have originated in Yavneh about the
                  turn of the first century is attested to in only one
                  Christian document. If it were aimed against
                  Christians it would have been widespread. Thus it is
                  of no surprise that the term for exclusion from the
                  synagogue, aposunagwgoV, appears nowhere else in early
                  Christian literature and has no precise parallel in
                  rabbinic terminology. It is even possible that the
                  whole charge was concocted to persuade Christians to
                  stay away from the synagogue by making them believe
                  that they would be received with hostility. Thus the
                  Jews are generally represented in a negative fashion.
                  Alternatively, the gospel wanted to convince Jews who
                  had 'confessed Christ' that there was no turning back,
                  since such confession marks one as rejected by the
                  synagogue. It is more likely that the final edition
                  of the gospel is addressing Gentiles who are far
                  remeoved from Judaism. This accounts for the gospel's
                  having to explain so much of Judaism, even the
                  well-known festivals."

                  Justin makes nine reference to Jews who cursed Christ
                  (93, 95, 108, 123, 133, 16, 47, 96, 137). Only one of
                  these makes a connection to prayers (137): "Scoff not
                  at the King of Israel, as the rulers of your
                  synagogues teach you to do after your prayers."

                  Kimelman writes (pp. 235-236): "The connection between
                  the comment of Justin just cited and the birkat
                  ha-minim is, to say the least, problematic. First,
                  there is no mention of Christians. Second, although
                  elsewhere Justin employs xataraomai (=curse) and
                  xatanaqhmatizw (=anathematize) or forms thereof, here
                  he uses only 'episxwyhte pote (=scoff), a term which
                  would not be appropriate to the birkat ha-minim.
                  Third, whatever did take place occurred after prayers
                  (meta thn proseuxhn), while birkat ha-minim is in the
                  middle of the statutory prayers (the twelfth of the
                  'Eighteen Benedictions')! Justin clearly proves
                  inadequate as evidence for positing the existence of a
                  statutory Jewish prayer which cursed Christians."

                  Kimelman writes (p. 236): "The next patristic witness
                  is Origen. He offers less evidence than Justin. One
                  comment merely says that the Jews curse Christ
                  everywhere up to the present time. Two other
                  pertinent comments appear in his homilies on Jeremiah.
                  The first comment (10.8.2) accuses Jews of cursing
                  and blaspheming Jesus and plotting against those who
                  believe in him. The second source (19.12.31) says,
                  'Enter the synagogue of the Jews and see Jesus
                  flagellated by those with the language of blasphemy.'
                  One must be careful of Origen's hyperbole. For
                  instance, in another of the same Homilies
                  (12.13.20-23) he says that Jews are still responsible
                  for the murder of Jesus since they understand the Law
                  and the Prophets according to its plain sense! Thus
                  for Origen the mere practice of Judaism is an affront
                  to the coming of Christ and could be conceived as
                  blasphemous. Whatever the case may be, Origen makes
                  no mention of Christians being cursed nor of any
                  connection to the prayers."

                  The editor interjects into the article (p. 233): "One
                  of the results of the McMaster Symposium which lies
                  behind this volume was a highlighting of the lack of
                  evidence for any formative impact of Christianity on
                  any major element of tannaitic Judaism, including the
                  development of rabbinic law, the formation of the
                  Mishnah, the structuring of the liturgy, the closing
                  of the canon, and the major propositions of rabbinic
                  theology. This itself is sufficient to question the
                  thesis that birkat ha-minim was primarily directed
                  against Christianity. We must be careful of
                  anachronistically overestimating the impact of
                  Christianity on Judaism in the first two centuries."

                  If half of what Kimelman says in his article is true, then it seems that we
                  ought to reconsider the use of the birkat ha-minim as evidence for the dating of
                  John. Whatever incident went on between John's community and the synagogue, if
                  any, could have occured at practically any time in the first or second century.

                  [snip]
                  > >
                  > > Until and unless we find some evidence that another emperor demanded to be
                  > > mentioned as "Our Lord and our God," this point does seem to be cogent, if
                  > > not as strong as some of the other internal evidence. I would assign a 60%
                  > > chance to the idea that the author of John had Domitian in mind and that the
                  > > Gospel of John was written between 81 and 96 CE.
                  >
                  > Since this fits well between the ascension of Gamaliel II and within 6 years
                  of the last possible date for the expulsion, I agree but would place it at 80%.

                  KIRBY
                  I should have pointed out that each individual piece of evidence must be
                  considered in isolation from the others. Our judgments should reflect the
                  probability that the evidence holds given an even distribution of background
                  probabilities between the terminus a quo and terminus ad quem. It is the job of
                  the algorithm to find out which dates best fit all of the evidence.

                  > > But there is still an item of manuscript evidence to be discussed. The
                  > > infamous p52 contains verses found in John. Until a cogent argument is made
                  > > for the reconstruction of a proto-John that contained the verses as they are
                  > > found in p52, it is safe to think that p52 is a fragment of John more or
                  > > less as we have it. (It would be ad hoc to postulate a proto-John for the
                  > > sole reason of evading the evidence of p52.) The typical dating of the
                  > > manuscript is to the first half of the second century for paleographical
                  > > reasons. I will incline towards the latter half of that period and assign
                  > > p52 a date of 130. Allowing five years for circulation, this evidence
                  > > points to a date between 30 and 125. I will assign a 90% chance to this
                  > > evidence.
                  >
                  > The palaeography of P52 during the time of Hadrian (117-138 CE), and possibly
                  even earlier, is remarkable given the distance between Egypt and its provenance
                  of composition. One can only conceive of a close communication and exchange
                  between Syrian and Alexandrian Christians and P52 as a fragment of a 2nd
                  generation copy of the original.

                  KIRBY
                  I am interested in the evidence that the Gospel of John did not originate in
                  Egypt. I am aware of the patristic tradition placing John in Ephesus. Is there
                  more to the case against an Egyptian provenance for GJohn, at least in John's
                  earlier recensions?

                  > For my nickel, 85 CE (mid way between Gamaliel II's ascension) to 95 CE (5
                  years after the last possible date for Birkhat haMinim) with 90 CE as MY choice
                  of the year 4G was composed.

                  KIRBY
                  I will reveal the algorithm's output once there has elapsed enough time for the
                  discussion of the evidence presented and possibly the presentation of evidence
                  that I haven't considered.

                  Thanks for your feedback. I am interested in what you think about Kimelman's
                  ideas.

                  best,
                  Peter Kirby
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