Approx. Dates of the Bible Books updated Sept. 29, 2023
The Hebrew (Old) Testament – From 586 BC to 538 BC was the key period in the development of the Hebrew Bible. This is the time of Hebrew captivity and exile, by the conquering Babylonians. The Final list of books that were to be included in the Old Testament was finalized around 100 BC. The Dates below were compiled using the average dates of several selected sources. It is not possible to Date Bible Books 100% accurate, but the dates were developed using historical and scientific resources, where possible.
Genesis - Compilation written, by various unknown contributors, covering 900 BC-400 BC; all drawing on oral traditions; may date back to 1100 BC, or earlier. Possibly by Ezra. J source 950 BC, E 750, P 539
Exodus - as above, around 550 BC, all drawing on oral traditions
Leviticus - P source, during the 400's BC; but likely existed in the 600's, all drawing on oral traditions
Numbers - J, E, and P source, during the 500's BC, all drawing on oral traditions
Deuteronomy - D source, during the 600's BC, all drawing on oral traditions
Joshua – Several editors, Original source material 587 BC, rewritten again around 500 BC.
Judges - Most between 500 BC - 600 BC; chapters 17 - 21 added between 500 and 200 BC, while chapter 5 may date back to the 9th century BC. BC sources.
Ruth - Written during the period 300 BC - 250 BC, likely based on an older folktale.
1 Samuel / 2 Samuel – By several + editors, originally one book. Compiled of material written during two, or possibly three, periods: the oldest from 610 BC, most recent from 540 BC, and a possible third source from the period in between.
1 Kings / 2 Kings - Originally one book from the work of two unknown authors, one from around 609 BC, the other from 560 BC. The writers used earlier works of the Bible, and other Hebrew texts.
1 Chronicles / 2 Chronicles - unknown - Originally one book an unknown author in 300 BC. Ezra?
Ezra – Possibly Ezra, early 4th century BC.
Nehemiah - Nehemiah, 4th century BC.
Esther - unknown, standard version 125's BC; a folktale, Greek (additions in the Catholic version).
Job - written 500 BC and 250 BC; a folktale, chapters 32 to 37 added more recently.
Psalms - A diverse collection spanning a period before 586 BC, to 500 BC, several unknown authors.
Proverbs - A collection of short moral sayings compiled by a number of authors in the 5th or 4th century BC. Some of the sayings are likely oral traditions that are considerably older, 8th century BC or later.
Ecclesiastes - unknown author written in the 3rd century BC.
The Song of Solomon (Canticles) - Written date unknown date but BC, unknown author.
Isaiah - Three separate works: 1 Isaiah (1-39) 742 BC - 700 BC, 2 Isaiah (40-59) 539 BC, 3 Isaiah (56-66) shortly after the end of the exile in 538 BC. 1-30- Isaiah, 40+ by others not Isaiah and 200-300 years later.
Jeremiah - Mostly written by Jeremiah between 609 - 580 BC, but the work was a very late compilation by others: hence the substantial differences between the Hebrew and Greek versions.
Lamentations - From the Exile period (597 - 538 BC). Chapters 1-4 are by the same unknown author, with Chapter 5 likely by a second person, maybe by Jeremiah?
Ezekiel - Mostly written by Ezekiel 597 - 571 BC, the last part of the book written after his death, by others.
Hosea - Mostly written by Hosea 8th century BC, with later additions by other Israelite editors.
Joel – Joel, From 437 - 500 BC.
Amos - Most written by Amos 700's BC, with chapter 9, verses 9 - 15 added much later.
Obadiah - Written in the post-exile period. (after 586) Some debate as to whether it is a compilation or the work of Obadiah alone.
Jonah - Post-exile parable (folktale), 500’s BC by an unknown author. (Not the person in the story)
Micah - Parts written by Micah, prior to 6th to early 5th century BC; other parts by unknown authors during, and after the exile. Most of the first 3 chapters were added relatively recently.
Nahum - Nahum, early 5th century.
Habakkuk - Habakkuk, chapters 1 and 2 from 597 BC, chapter 3 by a later unknown author.
Zephaniah - Zephaniah, most written early 5th century BC. Chapter 3, verses 14 - 20 added much later.
Haggai - Possibly by Haggai, 520 BC; but more likely by one of his disciples.
Zechariah - Zechariah, chapters 1 - 8 from 518 BC. 9 - 14 by others possibly around 400 BC.
Malachi - 460 - 450 BC. Unknown author
Daniel - Unknown author, a folktale, about the capture of Yahuda 586 BC– but written 167 - 164 BC.
The Greek (New) Testament was settled, for the most by 367 AD (By the Roman Catholic Constantine Church). The book of Revelation was disputed until almost 600 AD. The New Testament Canon settled on only four gospels, out of the fifty or so that were available. All dates below are approximate based upon historical or internal information where possible. Where not possible we have averaged the dated consensus of several noted New Testament scholars. The “Q” indication noted below refers to the possible availability of other early reference documents that are no longer known to exist, or oral traditions. These dates are sorted by the best believed approximate date of (the current understood to be) authors.
1 Thessalonians - Authentic Paul/Saul early 50’s AD may contain later additions by others.
Philippians – Maybe by Paul/Saul? Mid 50’s – early 60’s AD. Portions joined later,
Galatians – Authentic Paul/Saul early to mid 50’s AD.
1 Corinthians - Authentic Paul/Saul early - mid 50’s AD.
2 Corinthians - Authentic Paul/Saul mid – late 50’s AD.
Romans - Authentic Paul/Saul late 50’s AD.
Philemon – Likely Paul/Saul late 50’s – early 60’s AD.
Mark – Author unknown, 1st Gospel, dates – Mid-late 70’s AD oldest Gospel, likely using “Q”
Jude – Author unknown late 70’s – 90’s AD. (Possibly half brother of Yahshua, brother of James.)
1 Peter – Author unknown, not Peter 70’s - 90’s AD.
Luke – Author(s) unknown 3rd Gospel, 80’s - 90’s AD original, using “Q” Mark and Matthew
Hebrews – Author unknown 70’s – 90’s AD.
Matthew – Author(s) unknown, 2nd Gospel, 80’s – 90’s AD original, using “Q” and Mark and others
Colossians – Disputed, Deutero Pauline 80’s + AD.
2 Thessalonians - Disputed, Deutero Pauline 80’s - 90’s AD. Possibly by a follower of Paul/Saul
Ephesians - Disputed, Deutero Pauline 90’s + AD.
Acts – Tendentious or Legendary, written to appear like Luke, not by Paul/Saul or Luke 90’s + AD.
1 Timothy – Author unknown, Pseudo- Paul/Saul or by the Pastorals 90’s – 100’s + AD.
2 Timothy - Author unknown, Pseudo- Paul/Saul or by the Pastorals 90’s – 100’s + AD.
Titus – Author unknown, Pseudo- Paul/Saul or the by the Pastorals 90’s – 100’s + AD.
John - Author(s) unknown, a 4th Gospel opinions by an isolated religious group late 90’s – 125 + AD.
2 peter – Author unknown, not Peter very Late 100’s AD – 200 AD.
Revelation – Disputed, date(s) Author(s) unknown - Parts modified maybe by John Mark?
1 John –Author unknown 90’s-100’s AD.
2 John–Author unknown 90’s -100’s AD.
3 John –Author unknown 90’s -100’s AD.
1 Clement – Clement? 90’s – 100’s AD. First mention of the apostolic succession.
Didache – Teaching of the Apostles – 100’s AD.
Letters of Ignatius – Author Ignatius -100’s AD.
Shepherd of Hermas – Author unknown – 130’s AD.
Assembly of Yahweh, Cascade
 Probably written from Corinth, the letter contains some later additions by other unknown writers.
 Likely written from prison in Ephesus or, less likely, written in 60 or 61 from Rome, the letter apparently is three fragments joined together later by those who were saving the Pauline letters.
 This letter is typically dated 54 AD, as written from Ephesus. If written from Macedonia, its date would be 57 AD.
 Likely written from Corinth.
 Scholars assign the early date if actually written by Paul from Ephesus, but the later date if written from captivity in Rome.
 Written by Yacob, brother of Yahshua who led the Yahudi community in Jerusalem after Yahshua. Not by a James.
 An early date would account for its primitive Christology. It must date before the first letter of Peter, which is indebted to James.
 Likely by a Greek follower and interpreter of Peter, this is First dated Gospel, and the shortest. 16:9-20 by another author..
 The letter claims to be “written by Jude, a slave of Yahshua messiah, and a brother of James.” Likely not the Apostle identified as Jude, and nothing else is known about the Jude of the letter.
 If written by Peter, the earlier date applies. Most scholars do not believe the letter was written by Peter.
 Written by an educated Greek, who was not raised as a Yahudi, but one, that had converted to Yahudaism.
 Written by an unknown educated Greek who knew Aramaic and likely Hebrew. Assumed by tradition to be the first Gospel written. Scholars today do not believe it to be the first Gospel. This Gospel drew much of its material from the Gospel called Mark and from many other oral or written sources.
 Most scholars do not believe this letter was written by Paul, but that it did come from Ephesus.
 Most scholars do not believe this letter was written by Paul, but that it was written later by a follower of Paul.
 Not written by the apostle named John. Includes early apocalyptic writings by various unknown authors. Some if not all of the apocalyptic material was likely written well before 70 AD, and unrelated to the destruction of Jerusalem. If the prophecy of Jesus in Matthew 24 is used as a prophesy of Yahshua and 70 AD was the “end of times” meaning – the end of the Temple/priesthood “Jewish man-made” religious system it could refer to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple . Revelation is the last book to be part of the Christian Cannon, and was added in 600 AD. Still a disputed book due to the amalgamation of ancient apocalyptic manuscript pieces that could not be arranged in a proven order.
Likely written by a school of Johannine scholars.
 Likely written by a school of Johannine scholars.
 Contains early Christian practices.