Wenham, John. "Chapter Twelve: When Were the Gsopels Written?" Redating Matthew, Mark, and Luke: A Fresh Assault on the Synoptic Problem. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1992, 223-244.
Wenham observes the dating of the Gospels remains a challenge, with advocates of various dates. The first question he approaches is that of the year 70. Though the Gospels record Jesus' eschatological statements about the destruction of Jerusalem, none says anything about the fulfillment (Wenham 1992, 224). It would be hard to conceive of a Gospel written after the fall of Jerusalem but not mentioning it.
Wenham also, after brief reviews of a number of theories, concludes that Acts was written before 70 (Wenham 1992, 226). In fact, due to several of the indicators in Acts, he, with numerous other scholar, is accepting of a theory of composition in 62 (Wenham 1992, 227).
Luke's Gospel, though not a direct predecessor of Acts like a first of a two volume work, does seem to come before Acts (Wenham 1992, 230). Wenham suggests a plausible date as during Paul's time in a Ceaesarean prision, 57-59. Luke would certainly have had adequate time to assemble his information and write his account. However, if Luke is the person referred to in 2 Corinthians 8:18, written in 56, as the early Fathers affirmed, he would have written the Gospel before 56 (Wenham 1992, 231). Denials of this passage referring to Luke are regularly based on the idea that Mark and Luke wrote at a later time, so the passage could not possibly refer to someone due to his writing a Gospel book (Wenham 1992, 234). Wenham cites numerous instances from the first 80 years of Christianity in which "gospel" can easily be understood as a book which tells about Jesus. Wenham understands this to be the meaning of Mark in Mark 1:1 (Wenham 1992, 235). To allow Luke time to become famous for the Gospel, Wenham suggests that he wrote the work in the period 50-55, when he was not known to be on journeys with Paul (Wenham 1992, 238).
Wenham briefly summarizes his argument from chapters six and seven, which placed Mark and Peter together at Rome from 42-44. The composition of his Gospel during this period, or slightly later, but certainly before 50, strikes Wenham as "likely enough" (Wenham 1992, 238).
Matthew, according to Eusebius, wrote his Gospel shortly before he departed from Palestine, probably 12 years after Crhist's Passion (Wenham 1992, 239). Wenham thinks the event could be as early as 41 or 42, in times of persecution. While some readers take Irenaeus to advocate a date in the 60s, Wenham thinks this is a misinterpretation of "Against Heresies" 3.1.1 (Wenham 1992, 240). Irenaeus' interest was not in the date, but in how the Gospels had survived to his time (Wenham 1992, 241). Eusebius, in fact, places Matthew's Gospel in 41.
Wenham closes his book by summarizing his conclusions (Wenham 1992, 243-244). He takes the Gospels to be largely independent compositions which reflect similar knowledge of oral instruction. Similarities in order of events may well show a literary relationship. The Gospels were written in the order Matthew (about 40), Mark (about 45), Luke (early 50s), John (later). This is consistent with internal evidence and early historical accounts (Wenham 1992, 244).