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Beginning Catholic: When Was The Bible Written? [Ecumenical]
BeginningCatholic.com ^ | not available | Beginning Catholic

Posted on 07/15/2008 4:35:15 PM PDT by Salvation

 

When Was The Bible Written?

Many people ask, "When was the Bible written?" It's a common question, and the answer shouldn't be so hard to find!

This article contains the likely dates of composition for the various books of the Bible.

Of course, the Bible contains many different books, written at different times by different people. This means that sometimes there isn't a straightforward answer to the question when was the Bible written.

The theology faculty at the University of Navarre, Spain, put together an outstanding Bible commentary called the Navarre Bible. These volumes also contain a number of excellent introductory essays about the Bible. I've used a number of sources for this article, but the bulk of this information can be found in the essays "General Introduction to the Bible" and "Introduction to the Books of the New Testament", both found in the Gospels & Acts volume of the Navarre Bible.

The Old Testament

It's hardest to answer the question, "When was the Bible written?" for the Old Testament books. In fact , their authorship spans a period of about twelve centuries!

The individual books of the Old Testament were written at different times. Scholars say that some of the earliest individual books were written down probably beginning near the end of the thirteenth century BC — perhaps 1200 BC or so.

The last Old Testament book to be written was 1 Maccabees, probably written around 100 BC.

The New Testament

It's easier to answer, "When was the Bible written?" for the New Testament books.

The New Testament was written within a much shorter timespan, more or less in the years between 50 AD and 100 AD. While none of the books contains a specific date of composition, scholars have managed to assign dates that are fairly accurate. Some are quite exact, while others are more approximate.

This chart shows likely dates of composition for the New Testament books. A question mark indicates that there is significant uncertainty about the actual authorship or the exact date of composition.

And of course, regardless of uncertainty about dates or even about exact authorship, the Catholic Church affirms that all texts of the Bible are divinely inspired and teach "solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation." (Vatican II, Dei Verbum, 11)

Date composed Book Author
51-52 AD 1 and 2 Thess Paul
50-55 [early version of Gospel of Mt in Aramaic] Matthew
50-60 Jas James
54 Gal Paul
57 1 Cor Paul
57-58 2 Cor Paul
57-58 Rom Paul
60-70 Mk Mark
62? Phil Paul
62 Col, Philem, Eph Paul
62-70 Lk Luke
63 Acts Luke
64? 1 Pet Peter
64 2 Pet Peter?
65 1 Tim and Tit Paul
65? Heb Paul?
66 2 Tim Paul
68-70 Mt Matthew
70? Jude Jude Thaddeus
85-95 Rev John
95-100 1,2, and 3 Jn John
98-100 Jn John

(This information is mainly drawn from the Navarre Bible, "Introduction to the Books of the New Testament")

Another good page answering when was the Bible written is available on the Web site of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Mississippi. (They also have an excellent online Catechism of the Catholic Church.)

Now... Read the Bible!

I hope that this brief article has helped to answer the question of when was the Bible written. It's important to know that the Biblical texts are deeply anchored in historical facts.

But it's more important to read the Bible! Not only is it a literary treasure, but it contains the living Word of God. Your life depends on it!

"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."

(St. Jerome)



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; catholic; catholiclist
Ecumenical thread. The Religion Moderator has a page of guidelines for posting.

Guidelines for Ecumenical threads

1 posted on 07/15/2008 4:35:17 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
More information

 
To Tell You The Whole Truth
about the Church
and
the Holy Bible


The Bible: Approximate Dates When The Books Were Written

BOOKS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
BOOK PROBABLE DATE BOOK DATE
Genesis c.1250-1200 B.C. Matthew c.40-60
Exodus c.1250-1200 B.C. Mark c.45-60
Leviticus c.1250-1200 B.C. Luke 57-60
Numbers c.1250-1200 B.C. John c.40-65
Deuteronomy c.1250-1200 B.C. Acts 57-62
Joshua c.1200 B.C. Romans 57
Judges c.1200 B.C. 1 Corinthians 55
Ruth c.1000 B.C. 2 Corinthians 56
1st Samuel c.700 B.C. Galatians 56
2nd Samuel c.700 B.C. Ephesians 58
1st Kings c.600 B.C. Philippians 58
2nd Kings c.600 B.C. Colossians 58
1st Chronicles c.350 B.C. 1 Thessalonians early 50
2nd Chronicles c.350 B.C. 2 Thessalonians 50-51
Ezra c.400 B.C. 1 Timothy 55
Nehemiah c.400 B.C. 2 Timothy 58
Tobit c.200 B.C. Titus 57
Judith c.150 B.C. Philemon 58
Esther c.300 B.C. Hebrews c.67
1st Maccabees c.100 B.C. James 40's
2nd Maccabees c.125 B.C. 1 Peter 65
Job c.500 B.C. 2 Peter 61-62
Psalms c.500 B.C. 1 John 57-62
Proverbs c.450 B.C. 2 John 57-62
Ecclesiastes c.300 B.C. 3 John 57-62
Song of Songs c.450 B.C. Jude 61-62
Wisdom c.100 B.C. Revelation 68-70
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) c.180 B.C.
Isaiah c.700 B.C.
Jermiah c.585 B.C.
Lamentations c.550 B.C.
Baruch c.550 B.C.
Ezekiel c.590 B.C.
Daniel c.165 B.C.
Hosea c.750 B.C.
Joel c.400 B.C.
Amos c.750 B.C.
Obadiah c.500 B.C.
Jonah c.450 B.C.
Micah c.740 B.C.
Nahum c.612 B.C.
Habakkuk c.600 B.C.
Zephaniah c.620 B.C.
Haggai c.520 B.C.
Zechariah c.520 B.C.
Malachi c.450 B.C.

Source of dates of New Testament: John A. T. Robinson, "Redating The New Testament" 1976.


2 posted on 07/15/2008 4:37:30 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

3 posted on 07/15/2008 4:39:29 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Additional links on this "much discussed topic of the Bible."

Beginning Catholic: When Was The Bible Written? [Ecumenical]

The Complete Bible: Why Catholics Have Seven More Books [Ecumenical]

U.S. among most Bible-literate nations: poll

Bible Lovers Not Defined by Denomination, Politics

Dei Verbum (Catholics and the Bible)

Vatican Offers Rich Online Source of Bible Commentary

Clergy Congregation Takes Bible Online

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary's Last Words

A Bible Teaser For You... (for everyone :-)

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: New Wine, New Eve

Return of Devil's Bible to Prague draws crowds

Catholic and Protestant Bibles: What is the Difference?

Glimpsing Words, Practices, or Beliefs Unique to Catholicism [Bible Trivia]

Should We Take the Bible Literally or Figuratively?

Church and the Bible(Caatholic Caucus)

Doctrinal Concordance of the Bible [What Catholics Believe from the Bible] Catholic Caucus

Pope Urges Prayerful Reading of Bible

Catholic Caucus: It's the Church's Bible

How Tradition Gave Us the Bible

The Church or the Bible

4 posted on 07/15/2008 4:41:49 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Excellent! Bump!


5 posted on 07/15/2008 4:57:28 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Salvation

When the Canonical books were chosen. I don’t know the date.


6 posted on 07/15/2008 4:57:46 PM PDT by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: ex-snook

There will be someone who does know that.


7 posted on 07/15/2008 5:01:31 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Beginning Catholic: The Catholic Church's Origin [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Church Authority In Scripture [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Tradition: Life in the Spirit [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Infallibility: Keeping the Faith [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Moral Conscience: Catholic Teaching for a Strong Faith [Ecumenical]

Beginning Catholic: Catholic Morality: Life in Christ [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: When Was The Bible Written? [Ecumenical]

8 posted on 07/15/2008 5:04:10 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: ex-snook

Just found the date of the Council of Trent in a CUF article about the Canon of the Bible.


9 posted on 07/15/2008 5:19:33 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
You might go to the Catholic Encyclopedia under the subject “Muratorian Fragment”.
And Josephus’ work “Against Apion”.
Both available on line I believe.
10 posted on 07/15/2008 5:28:24 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

I’m 65 and have been a practicing Catholic all my life. I admit that I am no biblical scholar. My brother-in-law was visiting with us for ten days earlier this month. He is a strict fundamentalist and is a total bible scholar. He is convinced that the universe is only 6,000 years old. I asked him what he thought of all the carbon dating, and of scientists saying that the earth was 4.5 billion years old (I got that from a geology course in college). He said that’s now how the bible counts time. His mother was in my living room while I was showing her some photos from a DVD on my TV. She asked me about one picture of Victoria Falls and I said that it had been doing that for millions of years. My B-i-L interjected, and said that no, it’s only been there for 6,000 years. Can anyone here shed some light on where he comes up with that number?


11 posted on 07/15/2008 7:21:43 PM PDT by Ax (Detroitus: What's left over of a once-great city after the libdems have ruined it.)
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To: Ax

There are several schools to Young Earth Creatinism, they added the generations of all the people named in the Bible in the geneologies, add 2000 years and you get a number.


12 posted on 07/15/2008 7:54:04 PM PDT by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
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To: Ax

It’s based upon a reading, a myopic reading in my opinion, of Genesis 5 and 11. If you add up all the generations and carry them forward until modernity, 6,000 is a close approximation.


13 posted on 07/15/2008 8:02:16 PM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Salvation

There are a few complications: The Pentatuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy) are actually a combination of writings from two eras, the latter contemporaneous with the Exile and return (appx 590 BC). So the table perhaps oversimplifies by listing only the earliest date. Another slight problem is that Isaiah is believed to be both pre-and post exilic (Chs 1-39 pre-Exile), Chs 40 - during Exile.

Regarding the New Testament, in the first table in the opening post I like the “early Aramaic version of Matthew” much better than what the scholars simply call “Q”. This would really be much of the material common to Matthew and Luke but not found in Mark.


14 posted on 07/15/2008 8:30:52 PM PDT by lightman (Waiting for Godot and searching for Avignon)
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To: lightman

I saw different references for the Old Testament too. Very interesting to me. And I think it had those two eras separated. I think it was on wiki


15 posted on 07/15/2008 8:56:37 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Ax

I’m not sure of what was in your brother-in-law’s mind.
I’ve heard some say the entire universe was created in six 24 hour days and calculating back through Bible chronology and time periods they arrive at 6,000 years or so to the creation of Adam.
The belief is that the “days” of creation of Genesis can only mean days of 24 hours.


16 posted on 07/15/2008 9:09:05 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Salvation
Judging from the NT dates, looks like a preterist made this list.
17 posted on 07/16/2008 10:25:18 AM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (Global Warming Heretic -- http://agw-heretic.blogspot.com)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

The poster ist a preterist?

Why do you figure it was a preterist? (Many Catholics are partial preterists: they believe that there is a sense in which a prophesy is describing current conditions... but usually to demonstrate a larger theme which will come to full fruition at a future date. For instance: the Beast of Revelations is Nero, whose Hebrew name (QSR NRN) adds up to 666. BUT Nero serves merely as a fore-runner for an apocalyptic repression.)


18 posted on 07/16/2008 10:57:27 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Ax
James Ussher
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai

19 posted on 07/16/2008 11:02:39 AM PDT by Uriel-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: dangus
Why do you figure it was a preterist?

My figuring was based on the observation that the chart shows all NT books being completed prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Many futurists date many of John's books later than that (but still 1st century).

(P.S. I'm not Catholic, so I'm not familiar with the RCC take on this)

20 posted on 07/16/2008 11:47:55 AM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (Global Warming Heretic -- http://agw-heretic.blogspot.com)
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To: Salvation

This might seem silly, but I have just begun to wonder who wrote the Books of Moses. I would guess it wasn’t Moses.


21 posted on 07/16/2008 11:51:05 AM PDT by RightWhale (I will veto each and every beer)
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To: RightWhale
but I have just begun to wonder who wrote the Books of Moses. I would guess it wasn’t Moses.

Yah'shua seems to think that Moses wrote the Torah.

NAU Mark 12:26 "But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, and the God of Jacob '?

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
22 posted on 07/16/2008 11:56:22 AM PDT by Uriel-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: XeniaSt

I would guess it was not entirely Moses. He might have written some of it, but his personal involvement would have ended part way through.


23 posted on 07/16/2008 12:02:23 PM PDT by RightWhale (I will veto each and every beer)
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To: RightWhale
I would guess it was not entirely Moses. He might have written some of it, but his personal involvement would have ended part way through.

You doubt your L-rd and Savior ?
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
24 posted on 07/16/2008 12:03:45 PM PDT by Uriel-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: XeniaSt

Way too much third person. Where does it say Moses WROTE all that?


25 posted on 07/16/2008 12:13:45 PM PDT by RightWhale (I will veto each and every beer)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

I’m not sure how preterism would affect the dating of the Gospel of John. I can agree that a date that early seems a little odd: the closing of the gospel addresses an expectation that the end of the world would occur before the death of Peter. That would seem to suggest that it was written after Peter died.

What I have a problem with is that both sets of dates are presented as if all the books were created instantaneous. If the date ranges are meant to indicate a process, they look more like a range of estimates. Matthew, John, and Revelations were created by a process which probably took decades:

John, for instance, is probably a compilation of liturgical readings created by John. Evidence for the gospel being a compilation includes its disjointedness: its individual episodes are very highly formed, and appear thematically arranged, but collectively overlap each other’s time frames. For instance, Jesus concludes his last supper discourse sermon in Ch. 14 to depart presumably for the Mount of Olives, but then in chapter 15 he continues in what appears to be a last supper discourse.

Revelations also seems to have a similar disjointed timeline, in spite of very heavily thematically unified readings. Some have even suggested that Revelations seems to include the writings of a previous author (John the Baptist?). (This shouldn’t be shocking: IIRC, John 1:1-5, 10-12, 14 a pre-Christian prophesy alluded to in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which is fulfilled by Christ, as explained in John 1:6-9, 13, 15-18.)


26 posted on 07/16/2008 3:08:43 PM PDT by dangus
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To: XeniaSt

>> You doubt your L-rd and Savior ? <<

Jesus referred to “the book of Moses.” That’s hardly the same thing as saying that he insisted that Moses wrote the entire Pentateuch / Torah.


27 posted on 07/16/2008 3:20:05 PM PDT by dangus
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To: XeniaSt

>> You doubt your L-rd and Savior ? <<

I understand that Moses did chiefly write the “five books of Moses.” I accept this, since I accept Jewish tradition of the origin of these books. But I would suggest this is an example of why you’re hard to get along with. The evidence you’ve provided simply doesn’t support the conclusion you make from it. (This is not to say that there isn’t good evidence.) But you suggest that if someone doesn’t support your conclusion, that they are denying Christ.


28 posted on 07/16/2008 3:29:14 PM PDT by dangus
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To: RightWhale
Way too much third person. Where does it say Moses WROTE all that?

Get a good on-line Bible and search the New Testament
for all the places that Yah'shua refers to Moses and read
for yourself with the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Word.
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
29 posted on 07/16/2008 4:50:27 PM PDT by Uriel-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: dangus
But you suggest that if someone doesn’t support your conclusion, that they are denying Christ.

Are you unfamiliar with the use of Interrogative Sentences ?
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach Adonai
30 posted on 07/16/2008 4:58:40 PM PDT by Uriel-2012 (you shall know that I, YHvH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya'aqob. Isaiah 60:16)
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To: XeniaSt

Yeah... and your interrogative sentences have the air of “are you going to agree with me, or are you going to deny Christ?” Are you familiar with the use of leading interrogatives? Or loaded questions?


31 posted on 07/16/2008 7:20:05 PM PDT by dangus
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To: XeniaSt

Yeah... and your interrogative sentences have the air of “are you going to agree with me, or are you going to deny Christ?” Are you familiar with the use of leading interrogatives? Or loaded questions?


32 posted on 07/16/2008 7:22:58 PM PDT by dangus
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To: XeniaSt

And, just for the record, it’s interesting you say, “interrogative sentences.” I know you just like to show off by using big or exotic words, but here you may just have revealed a little more truth then you intended. Interogative sentences are not necessarily questions.


33 posted on 07/16/2008 7:32:00 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus; XeniaSt

C’mon, old FRiend.....he didn’t mean it that way.


34 posted on 07/16/2008 7:39:30 PM PDT by Diego1618
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To: dangus

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.


35 posted on 07/16/2008 7:47:27 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: dangus
Beast of Revelations

What book is that?
36 posted on 07/16/2008 8:20:20 PM PDT by tang-soo (Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks - Read Daniel Chapter 9)
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To: Salvation

Most timelines place the time of Moses around 1350-1450 BC.
So this article is implying that Moses didn’t write the Torah - aka the first five books. Then they are denying Christ, who quoted Moses’ writings often.


37 posted on 07/16/2008 8:26:35 PM PDT by tang-soo (Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks - Read Daniel Chapter 9)
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To: tang-soo

The Catholic title is “The Apocalypse of St. John.” The translation of “Apocalypse” to Revelation is a bit clumsy, inasmuch as that’s also a collective noun used to describe the entire bible. At the same time, the Apocalypse consists of several individual revelations. Catholics have adopted the more anglicized, Protestant titles of biblical books since Vatican II, so we do speak of “Revelation,” but once in a while a little discrimination between Revelation, and Revelations still pops out.


38 posted on 07/16/2008 8:39:03 PM PDT by dangus
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To: tang-soo

No, they are not denying that Moses really spoke those words. The four evangelists, quoted from the Old Testament according to whom they were teaching.

Matthew probably quotes the most in his Gospel, as Christ refers to the older texts. Remember that Christ was trying to convert the Israelites first. Mark doesn’t have quite so many Old Testament quotes, but they are still there.

Because Luke traveled with Paul, his Gospel is more historical for the upbringing and education of the Gentiles. He covers a lot of Christ’s stories in a different tone.

And lastly, John, with his dissertation on the Bread of Life has a totally different focus in some of his writings.

As to when the Old Testament was actually written down, I have been told by a priest that they probably did this when they were in exile in Babylon. Stories had been handed down person to person and family to family until that time.

Does this make sense or is it even more confusing? Check out some of the Bible links I posted, too. They have lots of information on the who, when, where, why and how of the Bible.


39 posted on 07/16/2008 8:45:07 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: dangus

Understood. It’s a pet peeve of mine when folks don’t get the name of the book correct. The book starts out with the greek word “apokalupsis” - The apocalypse or unvealing of Jesus Christ, given to Him by the Father. I’m not saying this about you, but it irritates me to read liberal “Bible Scholars” criticizing Revelation and they don’t even get the name of the book correct.


40 posted on 07/16/2008 8:53:07 PM PDT by tang-soo (Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks - Read Daniel Chapter 9)
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To: All
This may answer some questions that people had on above:

Beginning Catholic: Books of the Catholic Bible: The Complete Scriptures [Ecumenical]

41 posted on 07/17/2008 4:29:24 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

I just had a question about when the Bible was written to am calling people to this thread.


42 posted on 05/03/2009 8:04:05 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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