Bible Summary Table

The following table provides an overview of the books of the Bible, with their authors, date and textual notes.  

OLD TESTAMENT

BOOKAUTHORAUTHOR'S ROLEDATE WRITTENNOTES

Genesis

Moses

Led Israel out of Egypt

c.1445-1405 BC

Likely compiled from separate histories on tablets handed down covering events from c. 3960 BC (Creation of Adam) to 1590 BC (Death of Joseph).

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Exodus

Moses

Led Israel out of Egypt

c.1445-1440 BC

Covers the background context of the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery, the judgement upon Egypt, and includes Israel's providential journey to Mt Sinai and the giving of the Ten Commandments along with the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness (c. 1445 BC)

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Leviticus

Moses

Led Israel out of Egypt

c.1445-1440 BC

Written early during the time of the exodus journey, most likely in the first month [Abib or Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, corresponding to March-April] of the second year of the wandering of Israel, and provides instructions in matters of worship and holiness, often carried out by priests (the sons of Aaron) and Levites. The goal is to maintain holiness before a holy God.

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Numbers

Moses

Led Israel out of Egypt

c.1445-1405 BC

Written during the time of the exodus journey covering the remaining 39 years of the 40-year history of the Israelites in the wilderness. Numbers ends just before the crossing of the Jordan River. It includes the two census numberings of Israel, the first at the start (at Mt. Sinai) and the second at the end of their journey (on the Plains of Moab, opposite Jericho). 

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Deuteronomy

Moses

Led Israel out of Egypt

c.1405 BC

Moses' farewell message and admonishment to Israel, written shortly before his death (age 120) as Israel is poised to enter the Promised Land. He reminds them to keep the commands of God, repeating and expanding on the law that had been given in a codified form more than 40 years earlier in the book of Exodus. Includes an obituary of Moses, most likely written by Joshua. 

The Jews have also referred to this book as Mishneh Hattorah, "The Repetition of the Law," taken from Deuteronomy 17:18, which uses a phrase that the New King James Version translates as "a copy of this law." The Greek Septuagint translation rendered this as To Deuteronomion Touto, that is, "This Second Law," from which we have the English title, Deuteronomy.

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Joshua

Joshua

Led Israel in the conquest of Canaan

c.1400 BC

Written at the time of the conquest of the Promised Land, as the Israelites entered the land. The Hebrew name Joshua or Yehoshua (meaning "The Eternal Is Salvation" occurs in the Greek New Testament as Iesous—transliterated into Latin as Iesus or Jesus. Interestingly, many symbols and types in the book of Joshua correspond to the New Testament picture of Jesus Christ leading His people into a spiritual Promised Land, inheriting the Kingdom, and overcoming evil along the way.

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Judges

Samuel

Last Judge prior to King Saul

c.1050 BC

Likely compiled from separate histories on tablets or scrolls handed down covering events from the death of Joshua (c. 1370 BC) to just before Samuel’s birth (c. 1080 BC).

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Ruth

Probably Samuel

Last Judge prior to King Saul

c.1050 BC

Ruth herself lived around 1100 BC. Jewish tradition notes Samuel as its author.

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1 Samuel

Samuel, Nathan & Gad

Last Judge and two prophets of Israel

c.1050-1000 BC

Samuel wrote the first 24 chapters. Nathan and Gad wrote the remainder (1 Chronicles 29:29).

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2 Samuel

Nathan & Gad

Prophets of Israel

c.1000-960 BC

Authors noted in 1 Chronicles 29:29.

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1 Kings

Probably Jeremiah

Prophet of Judah

c.585 BC

Likely compiled from separate histories on scrolls handed down covering events from c. 970 BC (Solomon becoming king) to c. 850 BC (Death of Jehoshaphat).

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2 Kings

Probably Jeremiah

Prophet of Judah

c.585 BC

Likely compiled from separate histories on scrolls handed down covering events from c.850 BC (Reign of Ahaziah) to 586 BC (Fall of Jerusalem).

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1 Chronicles

Ezra

Priest of Judah after captivity

c.500 BC

Likely compiled from separate histories on scrolls handed down covering events from c.1010 BC (David becomes king) to c. 970 BC (Death of David).

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2 Chronicles

Ezra

Priest of Judah after captivity

c.500 BC

Likely compiled from separate histories on scrolls handed down covering events from c.970 BC (Solomon becomes king) to 586 BC (Fall of Jerusalem).

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Ezra

Ezra

Priest of Judah after captivity

c. 500 BC

Ezra and Nehemiah in the Jewish canon was a single book. Part of it was originally written in Aramaic, a language similar to Hebrew.

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Nehemiah

Nehemiah

King’s cupbearer who led the 3rd group of Jewish returnees to land of Israel.

c. 490 BC

Ezra and Nehemiah in the Jewish canon was a single book.

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Esther

Probably Mordecai

Jewess who became Queen to the Persian king

c. 520-515 BC

Married to Darius I (compare Esther 1:1-3 with       1 Esdras 3:1-2 & 6:5, a Jewish historical work).

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Job

Probably Job

A man from the land of Uz, a land east of Israel (Job 1:3) in or near Edom (Lam. 4:21, Jer. 25:20)

c. 1650-1200 BC

Possibly written before Moses compiled Genesis at the time of the Exodus. There is a Job noted as a son of Jacob’s son Isaachar (Genesis 46:13) who may or may not be the same person. The Sabeans (Job 1:15) descend from one of the sons of Cush (Genesis 10:7).

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Psalms

David and others

King of Israel and others

c.1445-930 BC

David wrote half. Others were written by Asaph, sons of Korah, Moses and Solomon.

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Proverbs

Solomon, Agur & Lemuel

King of Israel and others

c. 970-930 BC

Solomon wrote chapters 1 to 29. Agur chapter 30 and Lemuel chapter 31.

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Ecclesiates

Solomon

King of Israel

c. 940-930 BC

Written late in Solomon’s life.

Song of Solomon

Solomon

King of Israel

c. 960 BC

Song of Solomon 6:8 says there are 60 queens and 80 concubines at the time of writing indicating this is early in Solomon’s reign when compared to his final number of 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).

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Isaiah

Isaiah

Prophet of Judah

c. 740-685 BC

Prophesied during kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah of Judah.

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Jeremiah

Jeremiah

Prophet of Judah

c. 627-586 BC

Prophesied from the time of Josiah through to the Fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC.

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Lamentations

Jeremiah

Prophet of Judah

c. 586-580 BC

Written soon after the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC.

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Ezekiel

Ezekiel

Prophet of Judah

c. 592-570 BC

Ezekiel prophecies from the 5th year (592 BC, Ezekiel 1:2) after Jehoiachin, Judah’s second last king was taken captive to Babylon (597 BC) along with other Jews such as himself and his last message is in the 27th year (590 BC) of his captivity (Ezekiel 29:17).

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Daniel

Daniel

High-ranking captive in Babylon and Persia

c. 605-535 BC

Parts of Daniel were originally written in Aramaic, a language similar to Hebrew. The first half of the book refers to Daniel in the third person so may have been written by another unknown author who was close to Daniel.
Daniel was taken to Babylon in the earlier captivity of 605 BC and lived over into the time of the Persian empire 70 years later.

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Hosea

Hosea

Prophet of Israel

c. 755-710 BC

Prophesied during kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah of Judah and Jeroboam II of Israel. 

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Joel

Joel

Prophet of Judah

c. 800 BC

Joel does not mention any kings of Judah or Israel to date the book. This may indicate a time when the priests and elders had most of the responsibility of ruling such as the time of young king Joash. Its early placement in the minor prophets and the lack of mention of nations such as Assyria or Babylon supports an early dating around 800 BC.

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Amos

Amos

Prophet from Judah sent to  Israel

c. 760-750 BC

Prophesied during kings Jeroboam II of Israel and Uzziah of Judah.

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Obadiah

Obadiah

Prophet of Judah

c. 585 BC

Prophecy against Edom who rejoiced and were treacherous when Judah was taken captive.

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Jonah

Jonah

Prophet of Israel

c. 820-780 BC

Jonah prophesied the expansion of Israel to the north into southern Syria (2 Kings 14:25) which places him just before or during the reign of Jeroboam II who expanded Israel to the north. A tablet of a religious reformation during the reign of Shamshi-Adad V of Assyria (c. 824-811 BC) could have been a result of Jonah’s preaching.

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Micah

Micah

Prophet of Judah

c. 730-710 BC

Prophesied during kings Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah of Judah

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Nahum

Nahum

Prophet of Judah

c. 650 BC

Prophesied against Judah and Nineveh sometime soon after the fall of Thebes (No Amon) in 663 BC spoken of in Nahum 2:8-10.

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Habakkuk

Habakkuk

Prophet of Judah

c. 610 BC

He speaks of raising up of the Chaldeans (Babylon) to punish Judah indicating they were likely independent from Assyria following its fall in 612 BC. Babylon first took captives of Judah in 605 BC so appears to date no later than that date.

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Zephaniah

Zephaniah

Prophet of Judah

c. 640-615 BC

Prophesied during the reign of king Josiah of Judah.

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Haggai

Haggai

Prophet of Judah

c. 520 BC

Prophesied to the returned captives in Judah in the 2nd year of Darius I to restart work on the second Temple after a 10 year hiatus due to opposition. The temple was completed in 515 BC.

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Zechariah

Zechariah

Prophet of Judah

c. 520 BC

Prophesied to the returned captives in Judah working on the second Temple during the 2nd year of Darius I.

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Malachi

Malachi

Prophet of Judah

c. 500-400 BC

Malachi is dated to some time after the second Temple was completed in 515 BC.

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NEW TESTAMENT

BOOKAUTHORAUTHOR'S ROLEDATE WRITTENNOTES

Matthew

Matthew

One of original 12 apostles and a Levite.

c. 35-60 AD

Tradition says that Matthew was the first gospel that was written. Matthew, originally a tax-collector, was a Levite and was likely in charge of writing and compiling the Jesus’ teachings. Acts 6:4 mentions the apostles devoting themselves to the “ministry of the Word” which likely included written documentation.
Most scholars argue for a later date of around 60 AD though some argue for a much earlier date. 

Mark

Mark

Early church disciple and assistant to the apostle Peter.

c. 40-60 AD

Mark wrote his account from Peter’s testimony according to Papias of the second century AD. Scholars are divided on when Mark wrote his gospel. The majority favour a late date around 60 AD while others argue for a much earlier date. Professor Jose O’Callaghan dated papyrus fragments of Mark’s gospel amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls to 50 AD. According to Acts Peter returned to Jerusalem in 38 AD until 44 AD and this is a likely time Mark compiled Peter’s testimony which became the Gospel of Mark.

Luke

Luke

Greek convert and physician

c. 58-60 AD

The first part of a history Luke wrote for Theophilus (Luke 1:1-4). Luke had to be in Judea to interview people to write his gospel. Luke was a scribe and record keeper who travelled with the Apostle Paul. It was likely written during the 2 years that Paul was imprisoned in Caesarea (58-60 AD) before going to Rome.

John

John

One of the original 12 apostles

c. 80-95 AD

John’s gospel differs in subject matter significantly from the other 3 synoptic gospels. Most scholars hold to a date of between 80 and 95 AD. 

Acts

Luke

Greek convert and physician

c. 60-62 AD

The second part of a history of the ministry of Jesus Christ and the early church compiled for Theophilus (Acts 1:1-5). It was probably started by Luke soon after he completed his gospel and completed at the end of Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome (61-63 AD)

Romans

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 57 AD

Written by Paul from Corinth near the end of his 3rd missionary journey.

1 Corinthians

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 56 AD

Written by Paul from Ephesus near the end of his 3 years there during his 3rd missionary journey.

2 Corinthians

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 57 AD

Written by Paul in Macedonia during his 3rd missionary journey.

Galatians

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 53 AD

Written by Paul from Antioch after his 2nd missionary journeys. The circumcision issue had been settled in 49 AD in Jerusalem after his 1st missionary journey (Galatians 2:1-10). Paul speaks of Peter’s hypocrisy when he came to Antioch after that in Galatians 2:11-16 following Paul’s 2nd missionary journey.

Ephesians

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 61-63 AD

Written by Paul during his 2 years imprisoned in Rome (Ephesians 6:19). Paul’s journey to Rome is dated to 60/61 AD as Festus took over from Felix as governor over Judea (Acts 24:27) in 60 AD.

Philippians

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 61-63 AD

Written by Paul during his 2 years imprisoned in Rome (Philippians 1:12-14).

Colossians

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 61-63 AD

Written by Paul during his 2 years imprisoned in Rome (Colossians 4:10).

1 Thessalonians

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 50 AD

Written by Paul during his 2nd missionary journey from Corinth where he was based for 18 months. This was the 1st epistle written by the apostle Paul.

2 Thessalonians

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 51 AD

Written by Paul during his 2nd missionary journey from Corinth where he was based for 18 months.  This was the 2nd epistle written by the apostle Paul.

1 Timothy

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 64 AD

Written by Paul probably from Macedonia after being released from his first imprisonment that lasted 2 years in Rome.

Paul probably visited Titus in Crete and Timothy in Ephesus before going to Macedonia where he likely wrote to Timothy and then onto Spain (Romans 15:24, 28) and Britain.

2 Timothy

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 67 AD

Written by Paul from Rome during his 2nd and final imprisonment in Rome just before being beheaded under Emperor Nero.

Titus

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 64 AD

Written by Paul probably from Macedonia after being released from his first imprisonment in Rome.

Philemon

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 61-63 AD

Written by Paul from Rome during his 2 years imprisoned in Rome.

Hebrews

Paul

Apostle to mainly the Gentiles

c. 61-63 AD

Hebrews 13:22-23 indicates that Paul was the author who is sending greetings from Italy and hoped to travel again with Timothy so Hebrews would have been written by Paul during his 2 years imprisoned in Rome.

James

James

Physical brother of Jesus and leader of Jerusalem church

c. 40-48 AD

Most scholars believe the epistle of James was written before there was a significant number of Gentile christians in the 40’s AD since he wrote only to the tribes of Israel. James was not converted till after the resurrection of Jesus.

1 Peter

Peter

One of the original 12 apostles

c. 64-65 AD

The tone of the letter indicates that it was written late in Peter’s life and the trials he speaks of may indicate the persecutions under Nero following the burning of Rome in 64 AD.

2 Peter

Peter

One of the original 12 apostles

c. 65-66 AD

Written after his first epistle before he was martyred in the late 60’s.

1 John

John

One of the original 12 apostles

c. 65-66 AD

Near identical themes of combating false teachers as 2 Peter so likely to have been written about the same time and just before the christians in Judea fled to Pella.

2 John

John

One of the original 12 apostles

c. 65-66 AD

Likely to have been written about the same time as his other two epistles.

3 John

John

One of the original 12 apostles

c. 65-66 AD

Near identical themes of combating false teachers as 2 Peter and likely to have been written about the same time. John indicates apostates were not leaving the churches but appeared to be taking over the churches.

Jude

Jude

Physical brother of Jesus

c. 65-66 AD

Near identical themes of combating false teachers as 2 Peter so likely to have been written about the same time and just before the christians in Judea fled to Pella.

Revelation

John

One of the original 12 apostles

c. 96 AD

Written by John while exiled to the island of Patmos in 95/96 AD. After emperor Domitian’s death he returned to Ephesus. With the book of Revelation completed he may have been the one chosen to complete the final canonisation of the New Testament (Revelation 21:18-19).



References
1. http://bible.ucg.org/bible-commentary/

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