Dating of the gospels
In fact, the seventh and eighth are the only centuries that have as yet furnished no evidence of knowing him. Muller, Paris, 1883) he lists in succession along the northern shore of Germany the towns of Flhou&m, and Siatouta&nda. 72, 73: "Rapti qui tributo aderant milites et patibulo adfixi; Olennius infensos fuga prae-venit, receptus castello, cui nomen Flevum; et haud spernenda illic civium sociorumque manus litora Oceani praesidebat." The governor of lower Germany takes prompt action, the account of which winds up: "utrumque exercitum Rheno devectum Frisiis intulit, soluto iam castelli obsidio et ad sua tutanda degressis rebellibus." The source of Ptolemy's mistake is obvious. 20 he mentions Gnaeus Julius Agricola as having proved Britain to be an island and in the later instance tells the story of the fugitive Usipi. as well as Josephus] Tacitus, qui post Augustum usque ad mortem Domitiani vitas Caesarum triginta voluminibus exaravit." He gives no proof of having read Tacitus----he may not even have seen his works at all----but he did know of a tradition in which the thirty books were numbered consecutively. 1 he quotes Gaius Tacitus as an ancestor of his friend Polemius. Not that lack of a name on a text automatically equates with anonymous authorship anyway: In this era prior to publishing, and just prior to the advent of the codex, the equivalent to a spine or dust jacket was a tag on the outside of a scroll identifying the work in question -- since there would be no other concrete way to discern what was inside a scroll and differentiate it from other scrolls (other than external appearance).The following are the known references to Tacitus or use of Tacitean material after the day of Tacitus and Pliny until the time of Boccaccio. The latter name occurs nowhere else and has a dubious sound. Note here that Ptolemy's obvious use of Tacitus is taken as a signal of the Annals existing. If we make allowance for the method of Tacitus, which leaves his account far from clear, and for the use of a different language by Dio, there can be little if any doubt that Tacitus is the source for Dio. The last part of the section, dealing with Agricola's return and death, confirms the conclusion that Dio drew from Tacitus, and it sounds as though Tacitus had left the impression he desired. Claudian cannot be safely claimed as a reader of Tacitus in spite of his suggestive references to Tiberius and Nero. Servius, on the other hand, at the end of the fourth century, while his reference is to a lost part of Tacitus, evidently had read the text. After comparing himself and Leo to Pliny and Tacitus he says that should the latter return to life and see how eloquent Leo was in the field of narrative, he would become wholly Tacitus. He was, says Sidonius, a consular in the time of the Ulpians: "Sub verbis cuiuspiam Germanici ducis in historia sua rettulit dicens : cum Vespasiano mihi vetus amicitia" etc... Et cum hoc loco nihil de incensis propter peccata hominum civitatibus quasi ignarus expresserit, paulo post velut oblitus consilii subicit et dicit: Ego sicut inclitas . Whenever and by whomever the Gospels were written, it would not be left "unauthorized" or "unidentified" if for no other reasons than practical ones: It would need a title/descriptor at the very least, especially if it was intended to be read by more than one person or small group of people.
Nevertheless, Tacitus is mentioned or quoted in each century down to and including the sixth. 5.7 and, in spite of some interesting variants, it is reasonably exact. Quippe illic latius quam usquam aequor extenditur . If the Gospels are treated consistenly, there will be no question at all about their provenance, but that is clearly the last thing critics want to do.I wish to thank Roger Pearse for helpfully sending me copies of relevant pages from the works of the Tacitean scholar Mendell, from Tacitus: The Man and His Work.Mendell surveys evidence for knowledge of Tacitus throughout history; we will only look at evidence up to the sixth century (for reasons noted in Mendell below).We will also see that some objections argue that a certain individual would not write a certain way.Of course, if there are no word- or concept-anachronisms, and if the work shows signs of having been written in a style that the named author would write, then this is positive evidence for that person's authorship.