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OK, I've "googled" just about every word combo I can think of to find what I'm looking for, but I can't find it!


I'm trying to find a list of the Bible books in the order in which they were written.


I don't want a list of the books in the order of when they were supposed to have taken place, but when they were written.


It hasn't made the search any easier that different websights are using the terms "historically" and "chronologically" interchangeably.


The Christian scriptures I had pretty good luck with, but not so much on the Hebrew scriptures.


Here is what I found on the NT:




1 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians

1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians









1 Timothy


2 Timothy

1 Peter

2 Peter




2 John

1 John

3 John




I don't think this list is correct though. It has Luke before Matthew and some of "Pauls" letters after the gospels. (One websight mentioned that some books that were attributed to Paul were written well after his death?)


Can anyone correct the order of this list for me?


Does anyone have a similar list for the Hebrew scriptures?


Any websight suggestions?


Cynthia: are all my questions going to be answered in my other Teaching Co lecture? LOL.

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I think they do discuss it in the New Testament and in The Old Testament teaching co tapes :lol: Cha Ching! There isn't a list in the course guidebook, but Bart Ehrman (UNC) states that the gospels were not attributed to their named authors until the 2nd century. I know that many scholars agree that Paul did not write most of the books attributed to him (yes, they have a course on Paul too!) but, in those days, it was considered humble and ethical to write under the name of your mentor as a gesture of respect and to give credit to them for your ideas.


I think that there is considerable disagreement and discussion on when each book was written and by whom it was written... good luck! :D

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The order in which the texts were written, both OT and NT, depend on the scholar giving the listing. Moreover, there is a dominant literary theory that says that the texts have been identifiably edited, which means that portions of the texts are more recent than others.


While I can't offer a source for chronological authorship, I can offer a cool overview text. I wuld suggest the Cambridge Companion to the Bible. It's pricy, but good. (Maybe cheaper on overstock.com or ebay.com?)

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Hi Aletheia and everyone,


Newbie here. Aletheia, you remind me of myself before I got burned out and too beleaguered by the prolixity of scholarly verbosity.


After being bombarded by some disgustingly deep quoted material someone over at the Spong board said:


"Sometimes I read stuff like that and wonder:

Am I too stupid to cross the street by myself anymore?"


Cracked me up. I need some comic relief, once in a while.




Yeah, I did that once--tried to come up with a list of when the bible books were written according to modern day scholarship. Scholars disagree, but here's some info I had.


From Raymond Brown's "Intro to the NT" (Highly recommend this book. It can be searched at Amazon.com.)


Written in the 50's by Paul: 1 Thess, Gal, Phil, Phlm, 1&2 Cor, Rom

Mk - written 60's or after 70

Mt, Lk/Acts (two-vol. work) written 10-20 yrs after Mk


Written in Paul's name in 70-100 (or later) after Paul's death:

2 Thess, Col, Eph, 1&2 Tim, Titus


1Pet - If written by Peter, 60-63; more likely 70-90.

Heb - 60s or more likely 80s

Jms - If pseudonymous, after the death of James ca. 62, in the range 70-110; most likely in the 80s or 90s.


Jude - Impossible to tell. A few scholars place it in the 50's; many in 90-100.

2Pet - After 1 Pet and Jude; most likely AD 130, give or take a decade.

Rev - 92-96

Joh - 80-110

1&2 Joh - ca. 100 (after Joh)

3 Joh - after 100


The OT dates are even more difficult to nail down.


Suggested references:

Intro to NT, by Raymond Brown

Reading The Bible Again For The First Time, By Marcus Borg

The Harper Collins Study Bible NRSV






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Thanks everybody for your suggestions!


I'm not trying to get a perfect list, just the gist, to help me appreciate why some things are in some books but not in others.


Actually, what got me wondering was the comment in a book I'm reading as to why Paul wouldn't mention some of the "miracles" of Jesus if they were so all fired important.


I'm neutral about the miracles, myself, but still I find it interesting that Paul wouldn't mention the miracles Jesus performed as a way to convert his listeners.


The book brought miracles up as an example of how Jewish story telling starts out simple and then gradually gets more complex. The synoptic Gospels plus John are examples.


Also the book mentions the progression from polytheism to monotheism by the Jews as is indicated by the way Yahweh "evolves" in his interactions with the Jews.


Yahweh changes from a god that walks and talks with Adam in the Garden and wrestles with Jacob to a trancendant GOD (with a capital G).

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I agree that getting some kind of timeline on the bible books is important and helpful.

Scholars do not agree, though, and this influences their interpretations of the text.


Marcus Borg has a good chapter on Paul in his book, "Reading The Bible Again."


He said Paul's letters are "conversations in context," only one-half of a conversation, more to do with specific issues arising within his communities, and writing to people who have already heard his message, so we should not see Paul's letters as a summary of his message. The agenda for Paul's letters is set not by him but by them.


Makes sense to me.

Marcus Borg does believe Jesus healed people.


As far as the gospels go, yeah, there's the historical Jesus and then the Jesus of faith or who Jesus became to his disciples after his death.

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I'm neutral about the miracles, myself, but still I find it interesting that Paul wouldn't mention the miracles Jesus performed as a way to convert his listeners.

Could be that the miracle of the resurrection (which Paul mentions numerously) overshadows all the "minor" miracles. Just my initial thoughts. Also, Paul had a first-hand experience of the resurrected Christ, whereas he didn't have direct knowledge of the prior miracles.

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