I have three questions:
1- I have searched and found that there is division between scholars about dating the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Although some believe that they were written before 62 AD because there is no mention of Paul’s death or destruction of Jerusalem, most scholars believe that they were written between 70 – 90 AD because he never quoted from Matthew although he quoted from Mark which means that he didn’t know the Gospel of Matthew. Also, they say that he isn’t a good Paulist (there is some difference between the book of Acts and the epistles of Paul), so they deny that the writer is a companion of Paul. Some believed that they were written after 90 AD because they say the writer quoted from the Paul’s epistles. What’s your opinion? Do we have strong evidence that the Book of Acts was really written before 62 AD?
2- What’s the Hebrew name of Jesus, Yeshua or Yahshua?
3- What about the contradiction between 2 Kings 8 : 26 and 2 Chronicles 22: 2? If it was a copyist’s mistake, how can we trust the rest of the Old Testament? There may be a lot of mistakes in the Old Testament that we don’t know!! In the Masoretic text of 2 Chronicles 22: 2, the age of Ahaiah is 42 years and in the Septuagint it is 20 years, and both of them are wrong!! If the Masoretic text and Septaugint text may have a mistake in the same verse, how can we know the true text!!
1. The division is principally between scholars who have a presupposition that there is no supernatural content in the Bible and those who believe that God is real and that he has a role in inspiring the Bible. This is an oversimplification, as a minority of conservative scholars use an after-AD 70 date, but it is close to the truth. Here is the “rub” for the anti-supernaturalists. Luke predicts in clear and obvious terms the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Therefore, literally ALL of these people date the book beyond this year, as their presupposition simply does not allow pre-AD 70. These liberal scholars push the date back as far as humanly possible, without making themselves look foolish, in order to try to strengthen their argument. This bias virtually disqualifies them as witnesses.
Given the presupposition, arguments from anti-supernaturalists are extremely likely to be circular and should be either completely ignored, or at least taken with a very large grain of salt. Given that a small number of believers use the post-70 date, I suggest you read only the comments of these people (those on both sides of AD 70, but who have not decided the answer before even asking the question). If we did not have the post-AD 70 believers, we would probably have to at least give a hearing to the unbelievers out of fairness. I have read a number of these folks (believers, but post-70), including one just two days ago, by coincidence. I find them completely unconvincing. It is my opinion that they are bowing to the liberal scholars–being intimidated by them, but I might be wrong..
To me the fact that Mark and Matthew also predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and Mark almost for certain was written before AD 70 is reason to believe that no matter when Luke wrote, he was using legitimate material from Jesus which was a legitimate prophecy of what actually happened in any case. If so, then the main cause of the debate is removed (whether Jesus is a legitimate prophet), and we can get down to business, which is look at the data.
The argument I find compelling is what you already mentioned, which is that a simple reading of Acts (and therefore of Luke which all scholars agree was written before Acts) tells us that it was written after the imprisonment of Paul in Rome, but before his death. Most but not all scholars agree that Paul was later freed from prison, made a visit to Spain, returned to Rome, and was finally executed around AD 65 (plus or minus one year. It is almost inconceivable that if Luke wrote his account after Paul’s release (assuming that happened) and after his execution (which certainly happened) then he would have recorded it. This seems to me to be an insurmountable argument for the belief that Luke was written somewhere around AD 62 or 63. I lave looked and looked at the post-70 arguments and found them extremely weak. They involve assumptions about what theology was accepted in the church at what date, all of which is so speculative that it is practically not even an argument.
By the way, there is a lot of material in common with Matthew and Luke. Sorry, but you are wrong on that. I am not sure of your source there, but it is way wrong, I am afraid. We are not talking about a couple of verses but whole sections. Who borrowed from whom, or, possibly, who they both borrowed from, including possibly oral records is a matter of great discussion. Luke has more original material not in Matthew than Matthew has original, but not in Luke (if you count the things in common with Matthew and Mark or Luke and Mark). Here is the bottom line, no one really knows who wrote first–Luke of Matthew, but I believe the case can be made for Mark in the late 50s (perhaps early 50’s but less likely, and perhaps as late as the early 60s), and both Matthew and Luke in the early 60s, but Matthew less certain.
As for the claim that Luke disagrees with Paul, this is simply not accurate. Period. I have read many claims of this, but found that there is virtually no difference in theology or even perspective between Paul and Luke. The very slight differences in perspective are easily explained simply because they are not the same person. Luke is NOT a liar. He is an incredibly precise and careful historian who, as he claimed, put together a more orderly account than Mark (or Matthew?). What you need to do is not read what people say about Luke and Paul, but look at their examples. Also, look at those who argue the other way around. People can say whatever they want, and the ones who get attention are the ones with the more controversial view. Here is my conclusion. This is a theory which is still looking for evidence, as there is none!
By they way,you say that some propose after AD 90 because Paul had died. First of all, the evidence is quite strong that Paul had NOT died when Luke wrote, but, since he died around AD 65, there is no reason whatsoever to push Luke past AD 90–at least not from that contention. No reputable scholar would do that. Also, you mention that Luke may not have been a companion of Paul. If so, then he was a blatant liar and a fraud, given what he wrote. Is it possible the the writing of a fraud would have been accepted by the church by, say AD 90, when people who knew John and Peter and Mark and Timothy and Silas were still alive in AD 90. The idea that Luke could falsify his relationship with Paul is simply ludicrous. You can dismiss this theory altogether.
2. Technically, none of your choices is correct, because classic Hebrew does not have vowels. Later Hebrew (before Christ) used vowel markers. Therefore, we can decide what the name of Jesus would have been from your choices for that reason. Of the three, Yeshua is the closest. Jesus is not even very close. This is an anglicized version of his name. I am sure, thought, that if you could ask him, he would be perfectly happy if you call him Jesus. When I am in other countries, it is very often that they mispronounce my name, and I almost never correct them. Who cares? I guarantee you, Jesus would not care if I called him Jesus instead of Yeshua. By the way, another anglicized version of the name is Joshua. You could actually call Jesus Joshua if you wanted, but I suggest you do not, as this would be very confusing. One more little thing. Arguably, Jesus had an Aramaic name, not a Hebrew name, as his native tongue was Aramaic, not Hebrew.
3. The Old Testament was passed along by copiers for hundreds of years before the first manuscripts we have,which are the Dead Sea Scrolls. Added to that, the Dead Sea Scrolls only cover a minority of the Old Testament. I would guess that only about 25% of the Old Testament is represented in the DSS. Here is the fact. There are copying errors in our best Hebrew manuscripts. But we have literally thousands of manuscripts we can compare to make good guesses as to the original. When the DSS was compare to the Masoretic Isaiah, only a very small numbers of discrepancies were found, and literally none of these had any impact on the overall meaning of Isaiah.
The most common copying error from the Old Testament is the numbers. They used a system a bit like Roman numerals, with letters substituting for numbers. The problem is that when one copies a number, the context does not show the error. For example if I were copying the word apple and what I wrote was appke, you would catch and correct the error. However, if I were to say Ahaziah lived 22 or Ahaziah lived 42 years, the context does not tell me which is mistaken. By the way, both 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2 have 22 years, but there is a variant for 2 Chron 22:2 which says 42 years. For this other reasons (you can cross check with the events of their lives from other sources) we can say with great confidence that 22 years is correct.
Here is the thing. Either God was going to use humans to transmit his words or he was not. Well, he did! The question is not whether any copying errors occurred, but whether the meaning of the scripture was lost. Here is the bottom line, whether it was 22 or 42 years has absolutely NO impact on the meaning, which is the only thing that is important. At the risk of slightly overstating, the evidence is that, although quite a few copying errors crept in over the centuries, it is reasonable to assume (again, based on evidence, for example, comparing DSS with the Masoretic from 1000 years later) that no significant doctrine or point of theology is affected by these copying errors. Can you trust the Bilble? Absolutely.
Of course, your question is coming from interacting with Muslims who claim that the Qur’an is perfect. You already know from our previous interactions that this is not true. For those who are aware of the scholarship this would be a bold faced lie. Uthman collected and burned virtually all Qur’ans during his sultanship, creating a single manuscript, but also destroying nearly all of the evidence for the many varieties and copying errors which had already come into the Qur’an. So, the differene is that with the Old Testament we have thousands of manuscripts which can be used to fairly precisely determine the original of the Hebrew Old Testament, but with the Qur’an almost all of the evidence has been destroyed, so we have virtually no data available to determine what the original Qur’an said, if there even is an actual “original” Qur’an, considering the fact that it was oral for several years after Muhammad died.
Bottom line, does it matter how old Ahaziah was when he was born to your faith or life in Christ? I know what the answer is.