This is part 1 of my review of The Case for Christ by atheist-turned-evangelical-Christian Lee Strobel.
Strobel, recounting his interview of conservative Christian New Testament scholar, Craig Blomberg, on the reliability of the Gospels, page 35:
Blomberg: We don’t find out from Acts [what happened to Paul] , probably because the book was written before Paul was put to death. That means Acts cannot be dated any later than AD 62. Having established that, we can then move backward from there. Since Acts is the second of a two-part work, we know the first part—the Gospel of Luke—must have been written earlier than that. And since Luke incorporates parts of the gospel of Mark, that means Mark is even earlier. If you allow for a year for each of those, you end up with Mark written no later than about AD 60, maybe even the late 50’s. If Jesus was put to death in AD 30 or 33, we’re talking about a maximum gap of thirty years or so.”
Gary: Holy Conjecture, Batman!!!
What proof does Blomberg have that just because Paul’s death is not mentioned at the end of the Book of Acts that the Book of Acts must have been written prior to his death? Answer: Pure conjecture! But then Blomberg has the audacity to follow up with this statement: “…having established that…”
What exactly did you “establish“, Mr. Blomberg?
You gave no evidence for you conjecture whatsoever. It is certainly possible that the omission of Paul’s death is a signal from the author of Acts that his book was written prior to Paul’s death, but such a possibility is certainly not sufficient to “establish” anything. There are many possible explanations for why an author writing after Paul’s death would not include his death in the narrative.
But this is typical of conservative Christian apologetics. They grasp at the slightest possible “straw” that might bolster their belief system, and then “establish” a case on it. They use a few nonspecific statements allegedly made by a second century Bishop in Asia Minor, Papias, upon which to establish the traditional apostolic authorship of the Gospels! Two other examples of this behavior is conservative scholar Richard Bauckham’s claim of the presence of an “inclusio” in the Gospel of Mark “establishing” that Peter is the source of this gospel, and, his baseless assertion that the reason that Mark names only some of the characters in his gospel is to indicate that the one’s he identifies by name were entrusted by the Early Church to maintain the accuracy of the story in which they participated. Pure conjecture!