This challenges the Q-source theory of modern scholars, which claims that Luke learned about Jesus from reading what others wrote of him.
Finally, Josephus wrote that James was martyred due to political and religious issues (dated to 62 CE). Josephus is an independent source that used the same words as Luke to describe both James and Jesus.
A difficulty with this reason is indicated by the fact that the earliest gospel, Mark, has a far more highly developed theological understanding of the meaning of the death of Jesus than the much later Luke.
Mark views Jesus’s death as a saving atonement for the sins of the world; Luke writes of it prosaically as “just another” death of a righteous martyr.
(Marcionites accused “orthodoxy” of interpolating Paul’s letters; the letters themselves warn of forgeries, and many scholars believe the Pastoral letters are forgeries.) But the point here is that Ehrman does supply the reasons, the evidence, for dating Paul the way most do.
Dating Paul The grounds stated for dating Paul to the 50’s seems reasonable enough.
Given the pointed emphasis in the above quotation from BE to showing readers that there are “reasons” for each step of the dating process, this omission demands an explanation.
I suggest that the reason is that the assumption of historicity underlying the gospel narrative, and its related model of ‘oral tradition’, demand as early a date as possible for the written gospels.
So apparently more the level of sophistication of theological views are not necessarily determinants of relative chronology.
Some scholars have argued John is the earliest gospel.