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Sacred Text in the order found in the Christian Bible Options for authorship Options for dates Comments
The Torah or Pentateuch (see notes on individual books below) NOT the traditional author, Moses. The Torah is composed of 4 strands, called J, E, D and P, that are interwoven. Each strand comes from a different time period and author. The Yahwist (called J): either 10th-9th C bce or around 540 bce. The Deuteronomist (called D): ca. 625 bce The Priestly Author (called P): 500-400 bce Each passage in the Torah has to be evaluated on its own. The divine name used is often helpful: “Lord” is used by the Yahwist while “God” is often used by the others.
Genesis Mixture of Yahwist (J) and Priestly (P) for the most part. as noted above  
Exodus Mixture of Yahwist (J) and Priestly (P) for the most part. as noted above  
Leviticus Priestly (P) for the most part, with some older material from a traditional priestly handbook. as noted above  
Numbers Mixture of Yahwist (J) and Priestly (P) for the most part. as noted above  
Deuteronomy Mostly Deuteronomist (D), with some material from an older law code. as noted above The Deuteronomist is often called the “editor of the Torah” as well. It is quite possible that he/she added various small editorial notes throughout the text of the first 4 books of the Torah and composed the books of Joshua—2 Kings as well.
Books of the Prophets      
Joshua D (the Deuteronomist) working with traditional materials as noted above  
Judges D (the Deuteronomist) working with traditional materials as noted above  
1 and 2 Samuel D (the Deuteronomist) working with archival and traditional materials as noted above There are notes in these texts referring to certain archives and records.
1 and 2 Kings D (the Deuteronomist) working with archival and traditional materials as noted above There are notes in these texts referring to certain archives and records.
Isaiah This is not by one author and the recorded sayings are by at least three prophets: Isaiah #1: 8th C bce; Isaiah #2: 6th C bce; Isaiah #3: 6th-5th C bce. Chapters 1-39: Isaiah #1 Chapters 40-55: Isaiah #2 Chapters 56-66: Isaiah #3 A group of anonymous individuals preserved the prophetic speeches. After the time of Isaiah #3, an author shaped the collection into the book of Isaiah
Jeremiah unknown, possibly a scribe of the prophet. This book has some affinities with the D author. late 6th C bce or later  
Ezekiel possibly the prophet or a disciple. 6th C bce or later This book shares many perspectives with the Priestly author of the Torah
Hosea Hosea was active in the mid 8th C bce. The book was composed by an anonymous author sometime thereafter 8th C bce or later  
Joel unknown unknown  
Amos Amos lived in the 8th C bce. The book was composed by an anonymous author After the 6th C bce  
Obadiah anonymous 6th C bce or later  
Jonah anonymous 6th C bce or later  
Micah Micah the prophet was active in the 8th C bce. The author is anonymous The book was composed during the mid 6th C bce or later  
Nahum anonymous 8th C bce or later  
Habakkuk anonymous 6th C bce or later  
Zephaniah Zephaniah the prophet was active in the 7th C bce. The books was composed later 7th C bce or later  
Haggai Haggai the prophet was active in the late 6th C bce. Anonymous. 5th C bce or later  
Zechariah Zechariah the prophet was active in the late 6th C bce. Anonymous. 5th C bce or later  
Malachi unknown Early 5th C bce or later  
Books of the Writings      
Psalms Traditionally, David is the author. The Psalms themselves tell another story. Many name other authors. Psalms is a collection of 150 hymns by various authors, some anonymous, some named and some pseudonymous Several Psalms are very old. The bulk of the Psalms appear to have been written for use in the Temple, which existed from around 950-586 bce and, after rebuilding, from the 5th C bce until 70 ce.  
Proverbs Material largely written by various intellectuals in ancient Israel Some old material from the ancient sages, some later material from the 6th C bce or later, some material borrowed from an ancient Egyptian text.  
Job anonymous, possibly by two different authors, one writing the prose section and the other the poetic section 5th C bce  
Song of Songs Traditionally ascribed to Solomon; anonymous unknown, scholarly estimates vary between 950 bce to 200 bce  
Ruth anonymous 6th C bce or later  
Lamentations anonymous 6th C bce or later  
Ecclesiastes anonymous 4th C bce or later  
Esther anonymous 4th C bce or later  
Daniel anonymous mid 2nd C bce  
Ezra the anonymous author of Chronicles 4th C bce or slightly later  
Nehemiah the anonymous author of Chronicles 4th C bce or slightly later  
1 and 2 Chronicles the anonymous author of Ezra and Nehemiah 4th C bce or slightly later  

 

The following list relates to the New Testament of the Christian tradition:

Sacred Text in the order found in the Christian Bible Options for authorship Options for dates (all dates are ce) Comments
The first four books of the New Testament are called Gospels. According to Christian traditions, each gospel is named after its author. In most cases, there are good reasons for questioning this.    
Matthew anonymous 80-90  
Mark anonymous 67-70  
Luke The author of Acts 80-90  
John unknown 80-90  
Acts The author of Luke 80-90  
Romans The apostle Paul 56-57  
1 Corinthians The apostle Paul 54  
2 Corinthians The apostle Paul 55-56  
Galatians The apostle Paul 50-56  
Ephesians Pseudonymous 80-95  
Philippians The apostle Paul 54-55  
Colossians Possibly the apostle Paul 57-61? date later if pseudonymous
1 Thessalonians The apostle Paul 50-51  
2 Thessalonians Possibly the apostle Paul 50-51? date later if pseudonymous
1 Timothy Pseudonymous 90-110  
2 Timothy Pseudonymous 90-110  
Titus Pseudonymous 90-110  
Philemon The apostle Paul 54-55  
Hebrews unknown 60-95  
James James the brother of Jesus or pseudonymous before 70  
1 Peter pseudonymous 70-90  
2 Peter pseudonymous 70-90  
1 John possibly the author of the Gospel of John 100 or later  
2 John possibly the author of the Gospel of John 100 or later  
3 John possibly the author of the Gospel of John 100 or later  
Jude Possibly Jude a brother of Jesus 50?-100? date later if pseudonymous
Revelation Someone named John(?), but not the author of the Gospel of John 81-96 or possibly 54-68  

Contact your tutor if you have any questions about any of the above.