I need to clarify something that I said in my earlier post today about my next project, since I have elicited several demurrals in response, and it was because I didn’t express myself very clearly. What I said was this:
Scholars have long held that Mark was the first of our Gospels to be written, and that it probably appeared sometime around the year 70 CE. Some scholars think it might have been a bit before that (I used to think that); more scholars think that it might have been a bit after. But almost everyone agrees that Mark dates to around the end of the Jewish War (66-70 CE). The only ones who consistently have argued otherwise are fundamentalists and very conservative evangelicals, who very much want Mark, our earliest Gospel, to be closer to the time of Jesus.
When I said that the only scholars “who consistently” argued for an earlier date I didn’t make myself clear. The reason I said “consistently” is because the only group of scholars that regularly have argued for an early date of Mark are fundamentalists and very conservative evangelicals. There are other (non-fundamentalists/non-evangelical) scholars who have *occasionally* argued otherwise. But critical scholars have not *consistently* argued this. Several readers have mentioned Maurice Casey and James Crossley as exceptions — i.e., critical scholars who have urged an earlier date. Yes indeed. No one (yet) has mentioned John A. T. Robinson (Redating the NT), another noteworthy exception — but he is certainly worth knowing about too. These scholars are bright, informed, learned critical scholars. They have not won too many converts to their views — but they do exist! The consistent critical view, though, is that Mark was written around 70 CE or so.
Sorry about the confusion!