Who Wrote the Bible? When and Why was it Written?

A lot of things have influenced generations, deciding the way people have thought and acted for as long as humanity can remember. For millions, hardly is there anything as influential as the Bible and for them, there is no book of greater authority. While it is believed to be the word of God upon which many have tied their entire lives, the question always asked is; who wrote the Bible?

Though today, one will still find a handful who sincerely believe the Bible literally fell down from God, the greater percentage of Christians believe that although the Bible was written by men, they were inspired by God as pointed out by in the Bible. The history of the book from the viewpoint of religion is different in some ways from what science offers which is easy to understand since science and religion hardly go together.

Although the debate will always remain on the truthfulness of the Bible and the errors that abound, here is a look at the writers of the Bible.

Who Wrote the Old Testament Parts of the Bible?

In a period of more than 1500 years, the Bible was written by many people, most of who did not even get to meet each other. The old testament was written before the birth of Jesus by prophets and kings while the new testament was written by the apostles of Jesus; men who met the Christ or those who have lived in his time.

On their part, there are scholars who believe that some part of the New Testament was written by men who claimed to be the famous apostles since, at the time, it was not unusual to find people writing letters in the names of others. Hence, they believe that such parts are nothing short of lies.

Back to the question regarding who wrote the Bible, here is a look:

The First Five Books

The first five books of the Bible according to both Christian and Jewish teachings, were written by Moses. The books; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were said to have been written close to 1,300 B.C.

However, scholars do not agree with the idea, poking questions at the existence of Moses as well as at the idea that the books were written by different people and not just an individual.

They indicate that there could be two sets of writers- while the first could be those that described God as Elohim, the second could be those that described him as Yahweh. It is believed that they wrote the first books during the captivity of the Jews in Babylon.

The scholars added that after the captivity, there was another group referred to as the Priestly people who reinvented the religion of the people. They are believed to be among the authors of the books as well as the Deuteronomist who claimed to have written the book of Deuteronomy as he kept referring to Moses in the third person. More so, some parts of the book suggested it was written long after the death of Moses as it claimed that Israel had not had a prophet as great as Moses “down to this very day”.

Discovered in the reign of Josiah, there are those who believed the king could have orchestrated the book of Deuteronomy for the benefit of his political goals.

History Books

The next books of the Old Testament, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings are believed to be the writings of Joshua and Samuel. But then, scholars believe the books were probably written by the same sets of writers as those that wrote Deuteronomy or their successors.

The Books of the Prophets

The books of the prophets are said to be written by the prophets themselves but again, the opinion of scholars is quite different. They are of the opinion that while Jeremiah was probably written by his scribe Baruch ben Neriah, the book of Ezekiel was probably not entirely written by the prophet because of the difference in style.

Other books of the prophets such as Nehemiah, Obadiah, Zachariah, Nahum, and all the other books of the prophets were written by the respective prophets.

Other Parts of the Old Testament

Known as the Wisdom section of the Bible, this has different authors. For the book of Job, it is believed that Moses is one of the writers or probably the only writer. It is the first book of the Bible that was written. Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song of Solomon were all written by King Solomon.

Who Wrote the New Testament Parts of the Bible? 

Who Wrote the Bible
Illustration of Paul (Image Source)

Questions into who wrote the Bible looking at the New Testament is tied around the apostles of Jesus.

The Gospels

The first books of the New Testament; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which all highlight the life and death of Jesus were believed to be the works of the said apostles although the book of John is slightly different.

Scholars are of the opinion that there is a possibility that the real authors of the books were not the apostles but they only used the names so as to gain some credibility. The idea is that after the book of Mark was written, the books of Matthew and Luke took inspiration from it. While the Acts was probably written by the same writer as Mark, however, Christianity believes that the writer is Luke.

The Epistles

The books here were believed to be written by Saul of Tarsus who came to be known as Paul. This is very instrumental to the start of the new religion referred to as Christianity as it is today. Paul wrote letters to James, John, Jude, Titus, and Philemon. He also wrote to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, as well as Thessalonians.

Finally, the book of peter was written by Peter himself. The book of Jude was written by Jude while the books of John 1, 2, and 3, as well as Revelation, were all written by John the Apostle.

See Also: 12 Famous Assassinations That Changed The Course of History

When and Why was it Written?

The Bible was written in a span of more than a thousand years. It was written between 1200 and 165 BC. It is important to point out that within the said time, the Bible was written at different points by different people many of whom did not even see each other as they died many years earlier.

There are different reasons as to why the Christian holy book was written. Importantly, it was written for historical purposes as well as to continue with certain teachings as contained therein.


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