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Who Wrote The Bible?
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Who Wrote The Bible?
10/12/2021
This article is more history-oriented than spiritual, but we hope that it helps all those who’re interested in online Bible study for beginners.

 

Who Wrote The Bible?

This article is more history-oriented than spiritual, but we hope that it helps all those who’re interested in online Bible study for beginners. Historians in the modern era are equipped to trace the origins of sacred texts such as the Biblical revelations.

We know that the New Testament is a continuation of God's revelations to man, previously compiled in the form of the Old Testament and that the Muratorian fragment, which came into record around 170 AD, is the oldest compilation of Biblical canon.

Our question for this article goes even further back: who wrote the New Testament (and the Old Testament) and when?

A Short History Of The Bible

The history of the Bible is an interesting tale in that it reflects the faith and conviction of those who spent themselves preserving the divine message for future generations to read, facing insurmountable odds in their quest of doing so. And it has all been worth it, though we can’t quantitatively assert via exact figures, it is pretty obvious that the Bible is the most best-selling book ever written!

By the Bible, we refer to both the Torah, the divine revelations accredited to the Jewish Prophets, and the Gospels which were compiled by the followers of Jesus Christ’s apostles. The former is also termed the Old Testament, for obvious reasons, while the latter is the New Testament.

Archaeologists constantly stumble upon fragments of the Bible (from both eras – old and new), hidden in caves probably to avoid capture from the Romans, who at the time persecuted Christians. One such discovery was made in 1946 near the Dead Sea, and the treasure of scrolls and writings in Hebrew, which dates between BC 408 and 318 AD, was aptly named the Dead Sea scrolls.

Such discoveries reaffirm the idea that the Biblical revelations were indeed recorded in writing early on in Christian history, even if only in fragments.

When Was The Old Testament Written?

People often pose a simple question about the historicity of the Torah – “when was the Old Testament written?” They expect a straightforward single-line answer, however, there is none. Well, then who wrote the Old Testament and when? The original Hebrew Bible, as per the Jewish tradition, which is also held by Christians, was first written by Moses, the Prophet of God who liberated his chosen people and delivered them from the wrath of the Pharaoh.

Of course, any astute Bible reader will point out that there are several instances and events described in the Torah which Moses couldn’t have known/witnessed, such as the event of his own death, and thus accrediting the whole scripture to him would be misleading. We know that Moses lived around the mid 13th century BC, and thus the root of the text comes from this era, and it was later added upon by subsequent authors.

The most prominent figure in this regard is Joshua, who succeeded Moses as the spiritual and temporal leader of the Israelite kingdom. Scholars claim that he wrote the verses describing Moses's death and other events that followed since Moses could not have himself described the same. Consequent contributions were made over the centuries by writers and holy people who gathered snippets of holy revelations (transmitted orally as poetry or written in isolation) from various small sources and compiled them into the Torah we have today.

So what is the definite answer to “who wrote the Old Testament?” Well, put simply – Moses, originally, followed by his successors and followers as needed. And as for when was the Old Testament written? The original text and oral messages, which were transmitted as poetry (and we can't stress enough how good the Aramaic and Arabic people were at remembering, word for word, such messages), find their roots in the mid 13th century BC.

The compilation efforts date back to the 7th century BC and the first compiled book (the complete work) which resembled the one we have today, came in the record in the first century BC.

Who Wrote The New Testament & When?

As for who wrote the New Testament – the source of the message is the apostle Paul, who is featured prominently in the history of Christianity and seen as one of the most important driving forces of the early Christian mission. However, the canonical books – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are accredited to the next generation of Christian missionaries, the intellectual successors of the apostles.

These texts surfaced sometime after 70 AD, 40 years after the crucifixion – we know that a century later, the first canonical compilation, the Muratorian fragment (dated 170 AD/later) was available. Please note that contrary to common belief, the First Council of Nicea in 325 AD did not canonize the New Testament; this was not even a topic of discussion – the Biblical canon was well established by that time.

Conclusion

Some historians debate that the canonical revelations were mostly dictated orally in the early history of Christianity, and this makes sense considering how tight the conditions were for the early Christian community. However, written texts were also present, even if in isolation, and not a century and a half after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the first canonical compilation was available in the historical record.

None of this would’ve been possible without the conviction and dedication of the few who thought of preserving the message even if at the expense of their own lives.

Thus now if someone asks you: who wrote the New Testament, you’ll have something to tell them!


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