What Would Jesus Do? Well, friends, it’s been a while and I’m here to report that I still have no idea. As a former history major, however, I can say that for events in the distant past, we are left with our sources — sources, alone. Anything that is not in the plain text of the earliest documents and archaeology is conjecture, speculation, hoo-haw, bunkum, hocus-pocus and legerdemain.

A wonderful site called EarlyChristianWritings.org has a helpful list of all the extant sources for information about/by the early Christian movement with scholars’ best guess at dates written. Since I’ve got a former monk guiding me spiritually these days (don’t ask), and I’m supposed to be reading something like every day — they call this Lectio Divina — it occurred to me to start at the beginning and move on.

What was the very first source? What did it tell us about the human Jesus? What was the second source? What did it say? Perhaps this will get us close to WWJD . . . we’ll see.

So, according to the best scholarly guess, here are the earliest 10 Christian docs and the approximate dates of their “publication”/writing:

45 – Passion Narrative
55 – 1 Thessalonians
55 – Philippians
55 – Galatians
55 – 1 Corinthians
55 – 2 Corinthians
55 – Romans
55 – Philemon
60 – Lost Sayings Gospel Q
65 – Colossians

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