From Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus – Ancient Evidence For The Life Of Christ (in print at Amazon)

a brief and obscure period on earth in human form and was crucified,” perhaps even centuries before Paul’s own time.^3

The second stage of New Testament writings, the non-Pauline epistles, denotes a slight shift in thinking. They assert that Jesus lived on earth recently, an element that Wells believes is absent from Paul altogether. The pastoral epistles and Ignatius’ non-canonical writings indicate a later stage in the early second century when Jesus was linked with the governorship of Pilate, meeting his death at Roman hands. The Gospels, which are more-or-less fabricated, represent the fourth stage in which there is an interest in a full history of Jesus. According to Wells, the early church simply accepted any reconstruction of Jesus’ life as long as there was no conflict with other well-established beliefs. Mark was the earliest Gospel (AD 90), followed by Matthew and Luke, with John being the last one written (early second century).^4