This book argues that Mark's Gospel was not written as late as c.65-75 CE, but dates from sometime between the late 30s and early 40s CE. It challenges the use of the external evidence (such as Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria) often used for dating Mark, relying instead on internal evidence from the gospel itself. James Crossley also questions the view that Mark 13 reflects the Jewish war, arguing that there are other plausible historical settings -- for example the Caligula crises -- going on, to critically examine other arguments that place the writing of Mark as either around the time of the Jewish war, or at least after Paul's letters. The Date of Mark's Gospel argues that the gospel makes numerous Jewish assumptions, particularly concerning law observance. It shows that the synoptic gospels all portray Jesus as a law-observant Jew, before arguing more specifically that Mark assumes that Jesus fully observed biblical law:, while Matthew and Luke had to make this explicit.
Mark could only make such an assumption at a time when Christianity was largely law observant: and this could not have been later than the mid-40s, after which certain Jewish and gentile Christians were no longer observing some biblical laws (e.g. food, Sabbath).
James G. Crossley is Lecturer in New Testament studies in the Department of Biblical Studies at University of Sheffield, UK. He is the author of "Jesus in an Age of Terror: Scholarly Projects for a New American Century" (London Equinox, forthcoming 2008/9); "Why Christianity Happened: A Sociohistorical Account of Christian Origins 26-50CE" (Louisville WJK, 2006); "The Date of Mark's Gospel: Insight from the Law in Earliest Christianity" (London T&T Clark/Continuum, 2004) and co-author, with M. F. Bird, of "Two Views of Christian Origins: A Secular-Evangelical Debate" London SPCK, forthcoming 2008). He is co-edited (with Christian Karner) "Writing History, Constructing Religion" (Aldershot Ashgate, 2005).