But more, it demonstrated incontrovertibly that the methodology - of dating as late as possible - was wrong.
The result was a quiet but general retreat from the extreme positions adopted under the influence of this approach, and the result is the generally much more conservative datings of the 40's and 50s.
This article is by no means exhaustive on the subject but addresses some of the most common questions concerning the New Testament. But that said, there are certain books, such as Romans, Corinthians, and Galatians, for which virtually no one would dispute an A. To evaluate the accuracy of our New Testament, we have to look at two factors.
For further study we recommend “The Canon of Scripture” by F. Bruce (Inter Varsity Press.) Here’s an important fact to keep in mind: Jesus died in roughly A. One factor is the number of ancient manuscripts (copies of the original) we possess, and the second is the time gap between when the original document was written and when the earliest surviving copies were written.
Note: Several websites (NT Blog, Gospel Coalition, Andreas Köstenberger, Evangelical Textual Criticism, Hypotyposeis, etc.) have been writing about Dan Wallace's comments to Bart Erhman about the discovery of several New Testament papyri. Wallace has already written a summary of the debate, and below he clarifies what these papyri might mean.
He said he was ‘certain’ that it was from the first century.
That is, we know 'latest dates', earlier dates have to be substantiated." I reproduce it here, because I feel it summarises my view on this better than I have otherwise been able to achieve.
This is very much the thrust of late 19th-early 20th century scholarship; that the new testament documents must not be dated any earlier than can be conclusively shown from other documents (themselves not subjected to this approach, fortunately).
That makes the majority of the epistles and three of the Gospels dated only twenty to forty years after the death of Jesus. 90, the bishop of Rome, Clement, quoted from many of the New Testament books, thus assuring that their dates are earlier than A. Yet even against such evidence there are scholars who push for later dates on several of the letters, and the reason is a simple presupposition. When I go to Mc Donalds, I feel unhealthy even when I order the Mc Salad.
This collection contains ten of Paul’s thirteen letters found in the New Testament.