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Authors of the Bible: Wikis


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This list of authors of the Christian Bible gives the traditional and modern scholarly views.



Old Testament

(This table follows the canon of the Greek Orthodox Church as specified at the 1672 Synod of Jerusalem, see Development of the Old Testament canon for details. The various Christian canons - Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox - differ significantly, both in the books regarded as biblical and in the order in which they are presented)

Book Author according to
traditional thought
Author according to
modern scholarly thought
Genesis Moses: A few early authors, notably Josephus and Philo, believed that Moses wrote the entire Torah, including the account of his own death; later Talmudic scholars felt it more likely that this section at least was written by another. The problem of Genesis, to which Moses was not an eyewitness, also gave rise to alternative theories, expressed in the Oral Torah and the midrashim. Documentary hypothesis: Various unnamed editors combining originally complete and independent documents;[1]

Supplementary hypothesis: Various anonymous authors making additions (supplements) to a base text
Fragmentary hypothesis: Single unknown author drawing on multiple documentary and oral sources

Joshua Joshua with a portion by Phinehas or Eleazar Deuteronomist using material from the Yahwist and Elohist
Judges Samuel Deuteronomist
1 Samuel Samuel, Gad, and Nathan Deuteronomist or a combination of a Jerusalem source, republican source, the court history of David, the sanctuaries source, the monarchial source, and the material of various editors who combined these sources
2 Samuel
1 Kings Jeremiah[2] Deuteronomist
2 Kings
1 Chronicles Ezra The Chronicler, writing between 450 and 435 BC, after the Babylonian captivity
2 Chronicles
Nehemiah Nehemiah using some material by Ezra
Tobit Unknown A writer in the second century BC
Judith Eliakim, the high priest of the story A fictional work
Esther The Great Assembly using material from Mordecai An unknown author writing between 460 and 331 BC
1 Maccabees A devout Jew from the Holy Land. An unknown Jewish author, writing around 100 BC
2 Maccabees Based on the writing of Jason of Cyrene An unknown author, writing in the second or first century BC
3 Maccabees Unknown An Alexandrian Jew writing in Greek in the first century BC or first century AD
4 Maccabees Josephus An Alexandrian Jew writing in the first century BC or first century AD
Job Moses A writer in the 4th century BC.
Psalms Mainly David and also Asaph, sons of Korah, Moses, Heman the Ezrahite, Ethan the Ezrahite and Solomon Various authors recording oral tradition. Portions from 1000BC to 200BC.
Proverbs Solomon, Agur son of Jakeh, Lemuel and other wise men An editor compiling from various sources well after the time of Solomon
Ecclesiastes Solomon A Hebrew poet of the third or second centuries BC using the life of Solomon as a vista for the Hebrews' pursuit of Wisdom. An unknown author in Hellenistic period from two older oral sources (Eccl1:1-6:9 which claims to be Solomon, Eccl6:10-12:8 with the theme of non-knowing)
Song of Solomon An anonymous poet[3]
Ruth Samuel A later author, writing after the time of David
Wisdom Solomon An Alexandrian Jew writing during the Jewish Hellenistic period
Sirach Ben Sira Ben Sira
Isaiah Isaiah Three main authors and an extensive editing process. Is1-39 "Historical Isaiah" with multiple layers of editing. Is40-55 Exilic & Is56-66 post-exilic.
Jeremiah Jeremiah Baruch ben Neriah.[4] Chapters 1-6 and 10-23 seem to derive from Jeremiah himself, as dictated to Baruch.[5]
Lamentations Disputed and perhaps based on the older Mesopotamian genre of the "city lament", of which the Lament for Ur is among the oldest and best-known
Letter of Jeremiah A Hellenistic Jew living in Alexandria
Baruch Baruch ben Neriah An author writing during or shortly after the period of the Maccabees
Ezekiel Ezekiel Disputed, with varying degrees of attribution to Ezekiel
Daniel Daniel An editor in the fourth century to mid-second century BC
Hosea Hosea Unknown
Joel Joel Unknown
Amos Amos Unknown
Obadiah Obadiah Likely a story traveler
Jonah Jonah A post-exilic (after 530 BC) author writing under the name of the 8th century prophet
Micah Micah The first three chapters by Micah and the remainder by a later writer
Nahum Nahum Unknown
Habakkuk Habakkuk An unknown author around 850BC
Zephaniah Zephaniah Disputed; possibly a writer after the time period indicated by the text
Haggai Haggai Various Jewish authors
Zechariah Zechariah Zechariah (chapters 1-8); the later remaining designated Deutero-Zechariah, were possibly written by disciples of Zechariah
Malachi Malachi or Ezra Possibly the author of Deutero-Zechariah

New Testament

Book Author according to
traditional thought
Author according to
modern scholarly thought
Matthew Matthew the Evangelist is said by the early 2nd century writer Papias of Hierapolis to have written a "Sayings of Jesus" in Aramaic. The Gospel is not a sayings collection and shows clear signs of having been composed in Greek, but it is accepted by tradition as the document referred to by Papias. Dated c. AD 80-100. An anonymous author who borrowed from both Mark and a source called Q
Mark Mark the Evangelist, otherwise known as John Mark, a cousin of Barnabas the companion of Paul and later himself a companion of Paul. According to the 4th century writer Eusebius of Caesarea, who claims to be quoting a lost work by the Papias of Hierapolis, Mark was asked to write his account by the Christians of Rome, and recorded the preaching of the apostle Peter. (The First Epistle of Peter, dated around AD 100, mentions Mark as a companion of Peter). Usually dated no earlier than AD 70. An unknown author; likely an early Christian writer.
Luke Luke the Evangelist, the companion and contemporary of Paul. The earliest representation of Luke as the author of this Gospel (and of Acts) comes from the Muratorian fragment, a catalogue of the New Testament from c. AD 180. The Gospel itself is usually dated AD 70-100. An anonymous author who borrowed from both Mark and Q
John John the Evangelist. The Church father Iranaeus reported c. AD 180 that the Evangelist was John the Apostle, but there is no earlier record of the tradition that the two were identical. The first evidence of the existence of the Gospel dates from the mid-2nd century. An anonymous author with no direct connection to the historical Jesus. John 21 finished after death of primary author by follower(s)
Acts Luke the Evangelist The author of Luke
Romans Paul of Tarsus Paul of Tarsus
1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Ephesians Paul of Tarsus or edited dictations from Paul
Philippians Paul of Tarsus
Colossians Disputed; perhaps Paul coauthoring with Timothy
1 Thessalonians Paul of Tarsus
2 Thessalonians An associate or disciple after his death, representing what they believed was his message[6]
1 Timothy Perhaps someone associated with Paul, writing at a later date
2 Timothy Perhaps someone associated with Paul, writing after his death
Titus Perhaps someone associated with Paul, writing after his death
Philemon Paul of Tarsus
Hebrews Paul of Tarsus or possibly Luke the Evangelist, Clement of Rome or Barnabas An unknown author, but almost certainly not Paul[7]
James James the Just A writer in the late first or early second centuries, after the death of James the Just
1 Peter Peter An author, perhaps Silas, proficient with Greek writing
2 Peter Certainly not Peter[8]
1 John John the Evangelist An unknown author with no direct connection to the historical Jesus Same as Gospel of John.
2 John An unknown author with no direct connection to the historical Jesus Final Editor of Jn 21
3 John An unknown author with no direct connection to the historical Jesus Final Editor of Jn 21
Jude Jude the Apostle or Jude, brother of Jesus A pseudonymous work written between the end of the first century and the first quarter of the 2nd century
Revelation of Christ to John John the Apostle or John the Elder[5] Perhaps John of Patmos

See also


  • Gledhill, Tom. The Message of the Song of Songs. InterVarsity Press: 1994.
  • Kidner, Derek. The Message of Ecclesiastes. InterVarsity Press: 1984.


  1. ^ From the Introduction to Richard Elliot Friedman's The Bible with Sources Revealed, 2003.
  2. ^ Who were the authors of the books of the Bible?
  3. ^ Noegel and Rendsburg, Solomon's Vinyard: literary and lignuistic studies in the Song of Songs, (Society of Biblical Literature, 2009), p. 184.
  4. ^ Miller, Stephen M., Huber, Robert V. (2004). The Bible: A History. Good Books. pp. page 33. ISBN 1561484148. 
  5. ^ a b Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
  6. ^ Ehrman, Bart D. (2004). The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. New York: Oxford, p.385; Beverly Roberts Gaventa, First and Second Thessalonians, Westminster John Knox Press, 1998, p.93; Vincent M. Smiles, First Thessalonians, Philippians, Second Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians, Liturgical Press, 2005, p.53; Udo Schnelle, translated by M. Eugene Boring, The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998), pp. 315-325; M. Eugene Boring, Fred B. Craddock, The People's New Testament Commentary, Westminster John Knox Press, 2004 p652; Joseph Francis Kelly, An Introduction to the New Testament for Catholics, Liturgical Press, 2006 p.32
  7. ^ Richard Heard, Introduction To The New Testament
  8. ^ Carson, D.A., and Douglas J. Moo. An Introduction to the New Testament, second edition. HarperCollins Canada; Zondervan: 2005. ISBN 0310238595, ISBN 978-0310238591. p.659.


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