Why were the Gospel accounts written long after Jesus' death?

Since You Asked
Gospels
 
Q Why were the Gospel accounts written long after Jesus' death?
 
A

It all depends on what you mean by a long time!  The consensus of modern scholarship is that the Gospels were finalized in the form we now know them within several generations of the death and Resurrection of Our Lord: Mark shortly before AD 70, Matthew and Luke between 70 and 90, and John by the end of the first Christian century .  Historically speaking that is not a long period of time.  It also must be remembered that the Gospels developed in a mostly oral culture, so the stories were told and retold for years before they were committed to writing.  Additionally, it is very possibly that the sacred authors drew upon early written accounts of Jesus' ministry and sayings.

The first Christians saw no need to write things down for posterity because they believed that Jesus would be returning in glory very shortly.  It was only when it became apparent that the Second Coming wasn't necessarily too expected in the near future that they finally realized the importance of writing down the message concerning Jesus that they were preaching.

- Fr Bob
Gospels