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The Bible

The oldest copy of the Bible to have been discovered is the Codex Vaticanus (The Lain Bible).

Publish Date: 300-305 AD
Language: Greek
Current Location: Vatican Library

Many theologians and scholars disagree as to the authors and the periods in which the books of the Bible were written. Below is a summary of chronology of the Old Testament based on scholars.

Period Books
Monarchic
8th–6th centuries BC
c. 745–586 BC
  • Earliest portions of Hosea, 8th century.
  • Earliest portions of Isaiah 1–39, late 8th century.
  • Earliest portions of Amos, late 8th/early 7th centuries.
  • Earliest portions of Micah, late 8th century.
  • Nahum, 7th century, based on its assumption of the fall of Egyptian Thebes and call for the destruction of Nineveh.
  • Zephaniah, reign of Josiah, late 7th century.
  • Deuteronomy 5–26 (the law-code forming the core of the book), reign of Josiah, late 7th century.
  • First edition of the Deuteronomistic history (the books of Joshua/Judges/Samuel/Kings), reign of Josiah.
  • Habakkuk, late 7th century.
Exilic
6th century BC
586–539 BC
  • Deuteronomy expanded with addition of chapters 1–4 and 29–30 to serve as an introduction to revised Deuteronomistic history.
  • Second edition of Deuteronomistic history (Joshua / Judges / Samuel / Kings + Deuteronomy).
  • Core of Obadiah around the fall of Jerusalem, 586 BC.
  • First (shorter) edition of Jeremiah.
  • Ezekiel, prior to the restoration of Israel to Jerusalem.
  • "Second Isaiah" (Isaiah 40–55), around mid-century.
  • Expansion and reshaping of Hosea, Amos, Micah and Zephaniah.
Post-exilic
Persian
6th–4th centuries BC
538–330 BC
  • Deuteronomy revised with expansions to chapters 19–25 and addition of chapter 27 and 31–34 to serve as conclusion to the Torah.
  • Torah (books of Genesis / Exodus / Leviticus / Numbers + revised Deuteronomy), 450–350 BC.
  • "Third Isaiah" (Isaiah 56–66)
  • Second (longer) edition of Jeremiah.
  • Haggai (self-dated to the second year of the Persian king Darius 520 BC).
  • Zechariah (chapters 1–8 contemporary with Haggai, chapters 9–14 from the 5th century).
  • Malachi (5th century BC, contemporaneous or immediately prior to the missions of Nehemiah and Ezra).
  • Chronicles (between 400–250 BC, probably in the period 350–300 BC).
  • Origins of Ezra–Nehemiah (may have reached its final form as late as the Ptolemaic period, c. 300–200 BC).
Post-exilic
Hellenistic
4th–2nd centuries BC
330–164 BC
  • Book of Esther, c.4th century BC
  • Job.
  • Ecclesiastes.
  • Song of Songs.
  • Book of Jonah (Persian or Hellenistic, no later than 2nd century BC).
  • Book of Psalms (the final anthology – individual psalms span many centuries).
Maccabean/Hasmonean/Roman
2nd century BC – 1st century AD
164 BC
  • Daniel, c.164 BC.

Below is a summary of chronology of the New Testament based on scholars.

Period Books
51-57 AD
  • First Epistle to Thessalonians (51 AD)
  • Second Epistle to Thessalonians (some scholars suggest 51-70 AD)
  • Epistle to Philippians (54-55 AD)
  • Philemon (54-55 AD)
  • Galatians (55 AD)
  • Corinthians (56 AD)
  • Epistle to the Romans (57 AD)
62-70 AD
  • Gospel of Mark
  • Colossians (some scholars suggest 55 AD)
65-85 AD
  • James
75-90 AD
  • First Epistle of Peter
80-90 AD
  • Gospel of Mathew
  • Gospel of Luke
  • Acts of the Apostles (some scholars suggest 90-100 AD)
  • Ephesians
  • Epistle to the Hebrews
90-110 AD
  • Gospel of John
  • First and Second Timothy (100 AD)
  • Titus (100 AD)
  • Second Epistle of Peter (110 AD)
  • Johannine Epistles
  • Revelations (95 AD)
Unknown
  • Jude