In actuality, there were gospels composed in the name of every apostle, including Thomas, Bartholomew and Phillip, but these texts are considered "spurious" and unauthorized.Although it would be logical for all those directly involved with Jesus to have recorded their own memoirs, is it not odd that there are so many bogus manuscripts? If Peter didn't write the Gospel of Peter, then who did? Is not the practice of pseudepigraphy—the false attribution of a work by one author to another—an admission that there were many people within Christianity engaging in forgery?If these apostles themselves had gospels forged in their names, how can we be certain that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not likewise have gospels falsified in their names?
This subject of attribution is extremely important, because, as Tenney asserts, "if it could be shown that any of the books of the New Testament was falsely attributed to the person whose name it bears, its place in the canon would be endangered." Furthermore, there are places in the New Testament that imply the books were written long after the purported events, such as when the text reads, "In the days of John the Baptist," which indicates that the writer is set far ahead in time and is looking back.
The later dates are based also on this timeframe, but the difference is that they account for the mention of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, which occurred in 70 .
According to this scholarship, the gospels must have been written after the devastation because they refer to it.
However, conservative believers maintain the early dates and assert that the destruction of the temple and Judea mentioned in the gospels constitutes "prophecy," demonstrating Jesus's divine powers.
The substantiation for this early, first-century range of dates, both conservative and liberal, is internal only, as there is no external evidence, whether historical or archaeological, for the existence of any gospels at that time.