When Were the Books of the Bible Written?

A lot of people are curious about when the books of the Bible were written. Get your answer here!

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It is generally accepted by scholars that the books of the Bible were written over a period of several centuries, from approximately 1400 BCE to 100 CE. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, with the exception of a few small portions in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek.

The Old Testament

The first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) were written by Moses. They are also called the Pentateuch or the Torah. The Old Testament books that were written after the time of Moses are called the historical books because they record the history of Israel. The next four books (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and 1 & 2 Samuel) tell about the time when the Israelites came into Canaan, the Promised Land. The next four books (1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles) tell about the time when Israel had kings.

The next group of books (Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther) contains history and also teaches about God’s love and care for His people. The next group is called the wisdom books because they teach us about godly living. They are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

The last section of Old Testament contains the major and minor prophets. These books were written by prophets who were chosen by God to speak His message to His people. Some of these prophets were before the time of Christ and some were during that time.

The New Testament

The New Testament was written between approximately AD 50 and 100. The books included in the New Testament are those that were most relevant to the early Christians. The order in which they appear in the Bible is thought to have been decided by a vote among Church leaders in the late 4th century.

The Gospels

The Gospels were written between approximately 70 and 110 A.D., with the majority of scholars agreeing that the Gospel of Mark was the first to be written, around 70 A.D. The other Gospels were likely written over the next several decades, with Matthew and Luke being written around 80-90 A.D., and John being written around 90-110 A.D.

The Epistles

The word “epistle” comes from a Greek word that originally meant a letter. In the New Testament, the word is used specifically for Paul’s letters to churches and individuals. The epistles were written between A.D. 50 and 68.

The Apocalypse

The Apocalypse, or Revelation to John, the last book of the Bible, is full of prophecies about the end of the world. But when was it written? Contrary to popular opinion, it was probably not written by John the Apostle during the reign of Emperor Domitian.

The evidence for this comes from a number of sources, including early Christian writers such as Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea (c. 260–340), who quoted from a now-lost work by Papias, bishop of Hierapolis (c. 60–130). In this work, Papias claimed that John the Apostle lived until the reign of Trajan (98–117), which would mean that he could not have written the Apocalypse.

Other early Christian writers make similar claims. Irenaeus (c. 130–202), bishop of Lyon, quotes from a now-lost work by Polycarp (c. 69–155), bishop of Smyrna, in which Polycarp claimed that John the Apostle was still alive in his own time.

These early sources suggest that the Apocalypse was written later than is commonly thought – perhaps towards the end of the first century or in the early second century. This is supported by internal evidence from the text itself. The book contains numerous references to events that took place after the death of Emperor Nero in 68 – most notably, the rise of Emperor Domitian (81–96).

It is also worth noting that there are no references to Christianity in general or to any specific Christian doctrines in the Apocalypse. This suggests that it was written before these ideas had become widespread – again, placing it towards the end of the first century or in the early second century.

The Canon of Scripture

The term “canon” comes from the Greek word for “measuring rod.” In its broadest sense, canon refers to the authoritative list of books that belong in the Bible. The process of determining which books should be included in the Bible began during the lifetime of Jesus and his apostles. By the end of the fourth century, virtually all Christians had come to accept the same 27 books of the New Testament as inspired Scripture.

The Old Testament canon was somewhat more disputed, but by the end of the fourth century most Christians had come to accept 39 books as inspired Scripture. These books were circulated in two different versions, one used by Jews (the Hebrew Bible) and one used by Christians (the Septuagint). In time, Christians came to prefer the Septuagint version, which included a few additional books (known as “the Apocrypha”) that were not found in the Hebrew Bible.

The question of which books belonged in the Bible continued to be debated for centuries, but by the time of the Reformation most Protestants had come to accept 66 books as inspired Scripture (39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament). This became known as “the canonical scriptures of the Protestant faith.” Catholics generally accepted these same 66 books plus a few additional ones (known as “deuterocanonical scriptures”), for a total of 73 inspired books.

The Development of the Bible

The Books of the Bible were written over a period of more than 1,000 years, from the time of Moses (around 1400 BC) to the end of the first century AD. During that time, there was a gradual development in both the content and style of writing.

The early books of the Bible were mostly historical narratives, telling the story of God’s people from the creation of the world to the time of the Babylonian captivity. These were followed by a number of prophetic books, which contained messages from God for his people. The last section of the Old Testament is known as the Wisdom literature, which includes proverbs and other sayings meant to help people live according to God’s will.

The New Testament books were all written after Jesus’ death and resurrection, and they tell us about his life, his teachings, and what it means to follow him. The four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) provide different accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry. The book of Acts tells us about early Christianity, and Paul’s letters give advice on how to live as Christians. The book of Revelation is a prophetic message about God’s ultimate victory over evil.

The Importance of the Bible

The Bible is arguably the most influential book of all time. It has been a source of guidance and inspiration for billions of people around the world for centuries. But how much do we really know about this ancient text? When were the books of the Bible written?

This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer with any degree of certainty. For one thing, there is no single “Bible” – different religious groups have different versions of the sacred text, and each version includes slightly different books. And even within a given version of the Bible, the order in which the books appear can vary.

In addition, many of the books of the Bible were anonymous – they were not attributed to any particular author until well after they were written. And in some cases, we only have copies of copies of the original text, which makes it difficult to date them precisely.

Despite these challenges, scholars have been able to piece together a general timeline for when the various books of the Bible were written. Most scholars believe that the Old Testament was written over a period of several centuries, from around 1400 BCE to 400 BCE. The New Testament was probably written between 40 CE and 100 CE.

Of course, this is just a rough estimate – there is still much debate among scholars about the exact dates on which specific books were written. But what is clear is that the Bible is an ancient book with a complex history.


In conclusion, the books of the Bible were written over a period of many centuries, by a wide variety of authors. While some books were written earlier than others, all of the books were ultimately included in the canon of Scripture because they were all seen as having value and importance for Christians.

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