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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
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Ecumenical thread. The Religion Moderator has a page of guidelines for posting.

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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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