Okay, I'll ask. Just where do you get the idea that the gospels were written "long after" Jesus was dead? What are you calling long after?<quoted text>
Everythign in the New Testament was written long after Jesus was dead.
Have you read the Hebrew TaNaKh ? That is what Jesus taught about.
If they were written within 30 years of his death, that's not long enough for legend to creep in. I believe (as you know) that all 4 canonical gospels were written prior to 70 A.D. We've debated the passage in Matthew about the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, so we're both beating a dead horse there. Neither of us is willing to budge an inch on that issue. So let's look at something else.
We know Peter and Paul were both executed in Rome in the mid 60s A.D.
There are just too many sources that discuss this. At the end of Acts,(a continuation of Luke) Paul is still alive although in prison in Rome. So if Acts is a continuation of Luke, and the gospel of Luke was based upon Mark (or Matthew as I believe) then that means Mark was written in the mid to late 50s A.D. I think Matthew predates Mark because Matthew was a Jewish tax collector and his gospel was written in Hebrew. If Matthew was literate as most tax collectors were expected to be, then he likely even started taking notes while Jesus was still alive. Of course this is speculation, but on it's own merit, it makes sense.
We do have a fragment of Mark that is believed to date to the last third of the first century. It is being examined by independent papyrology experts. If true, this would prove that the gospels were written at least within 60-70 years of Jesus' death. By historical standards, that's not a long stretch of time.
So again, for those who favor the later dating; why?