Old Testament

Book Author By Tradition Author By Conjecture Conjectural Editor
Genesis Moses (Yahwist + Elohist) + Priest* Ezra*
Exodus Moses (Yahwist + Elohist) + Priest* Ezra*
Levitcus Moses Priest*
Numbers Moses (Yahwist + Elohist) + Priest* Ezra*
Deuteronomy Moses (found by Hilkiah) Deuteronomist [Jeremiah & Baruch]* Ezra (slightly)*
Joshua Joshua Yahwist + Elohist* Jeremiah & Baruch*
Judges Samuel Yahwist + Elohist* Jeremiah & Baruch*
Ruth Samuel ?
1 Samuel Samuel + Gad? + Nathan? Yahwist + Elohist* Jeremiah & Baruch*
2 Samuel Samuel + Gad? + Nathan? Yahwist + Elohist* Jeremiah & Baruch*
1 Kings Jeremiah? Annals of the Kings of Israel & Judah (Ch. 1&2 by Yahwist)* Jeremiah & Baruch*
2 Kings Jeremiah? Annals of the Kings of Israel & Judah* Jeremiah & Baruch*
1 Chronicles Ezra + Nehemiah? Chronicler (Ezra?)*
2 Chronicles Ezra + Nehemiah? Chronicler (Ezra?)*
Ezra Ezra Ezra + Nehemiah
Nehemiah Nehemiah Ezra + Nehemiah
Esther Mordecai? (495-479 B.C.) ? (460-330 B.C.)
Job Moses? various authors
Psalms David+ (compiled by Hezekiah) compiled later Ezra
Proverbs Solomon+ (compiled by Hezekiah) compiled later Ezra
Ecclesiastes Solomon (compiled by Hezekiah) compiled later (250-200 B.C.)
Song of Songs Solomon (compiled by Hezekiah) compiled later (300-400 B.C.)
Isaiah Isaiah Isaiah (Ch. 1-39) + "Second Isaiah" (Ch. 40-66)
Jeremiah Jeremiah & Baruch Jeremiah & Baruch + "Second Jeremiah" (Ch.27b-29a,33b,39,mid49)
Lamentations Jeremiah & Baruch various authors
Ezekiel Ezekiel Ezekiel
Daniel Daniel (580 B.C.) ? (165 B.C.)

*Based on Who Wrote the Bible?, by Richard Elliot Friedman, Prof. of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego

"Yahwist", "J" (848-722 B.C.)- author from Judah who wrote the majority of Genesis; refers to God as Yahweh; concentrates on stories of families, deception, sex, and violence; writes of angels, talking animals and prophetic dreams; portrays God in an anthropormorphic way in Genesis; refers to Mt. Sinai as Sinai and Moses' father-in-law as Reuel; attributes the heresy at Peor to Moabite idolatry (Num. 25:1-5)

"Elohist", "E" (747-722 B.C.)- author from Israel; refers to God as Elohim; priest of Shiloh: a priesthood that didn't believe in animal sacrifice, was removed from power by Solomon and Jeroboam, and whose leader Abiathar was exiled by Solomon to the Aaronid city of Anathoth; revered Moses and Samuel and concentrated on the Exodus; unadmiring towards Aaron and the Aaronid priesthood; wrote the story of the bronze snake Nehushtan; refers to Mt. Sinai as Horeb and Moses' father-in-law as Jethro; writes of Moses bringing water from a rock in Meribah (Ex. 17:6-7)

"Priest", "P" (722-587 B.C.)- Aaronid priest from Jerusalem, probably from King Hezekiah's time; refers only to Aaron as a prophet; recognized only Aaronites as priests rather than all Levites; concentrated on the laws of Moses and priestly duties; did not write on sacrifices until Moses; wrote as a reaction against the combined Yahwist-Elohist scripture; considered Jerusalem to be the only legitimate place to make sacrifice; wrote of God speaking to both Moses and Aaron and of the 'staff of Aaron' rather than the 'staff of Moses'; wrote of Moses being punished for lack of faith when he brings water from a rock in Meribah (Num. 20:11-12); attributes the heresy at Peor to the marriage of Midianites in which God grants priesthood to Aaron's grandson Phineas for killing a Jew/Midianite couple that practiced racial impurity and dared to flaunt it by entering the Tent of Meeting(Num. 25:6-16)

"Deuteronomist", "D" (621 B.C.)- author of most of the text that is now Deuteronomy; Deuteronomy was believed by the early church fathers, including Jerome, to have been the book of law that was discovered in the temple in 621 BCE under the reign of King Josiah (2 Kings 22); greatly concerned with establishing the centrality of the temple to Jewish worship and with keeping the people on their guard against pagan influences; unadmiring towards Aaron, Solomon and Jeroboam; most scholars believe "D" is also responsible for editing and arranging the "Deuteronomositic History", from Deuteronomy to 2 Kings; Hebrew scholar Richard Elliott Friedman identifies this author with Jeremiah and the Shiloh community due to focus and linguistic similarities

Isaiah (739-681 B.C.)- prophet during Hezekiah's reign; preached against idolatry and emphasized repentance of sins instead of sacrifice; predicts the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 2 Kings 20:16-18

Jeremiah (627-587 B.C.)- priest of Shiloh from Anathoth, the city of exile; son of Hilkiah; dictated his writings as his scribe Baruch wrote them; similar to the perception in 2 Kings, Jeremiah revered King Josiah and wrote lamentations for him after the king was killed by Pharaoh Necho; wrote prophecies against Josiah's son Jehoiakim; wrote that God never commanded sacrifice in Moses' time (Jer. 7:22-23, 8:7-8); prophecized the destruction of Judah and their exile into Babylon; saved from stoning by Shapan's son Ahikam; protected by his other son, Gedaliah, the governor appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon after the fall of Judah

"Chronicler" (627-587 B.C.)- Author who wrote Chronicles; Aaronid priest; recognized only Aaronites as priests rather than all Levites; concentrated on the laws of Moses and priestly duties; revered Solomon and King Hezekiah (2 Chr. 30:26); leaves out the sins of Solomon and how he split the kingdom as portrayed in 1 Kings 11; leaves out Isaiah's prophecy against Hezekiah from 2 Kings 20:12-19 (2 Chr. 32:31); most scholars see Chronicler as copying from and less reliable than the author of 2 books of Kings

Daniel (580 B.C.; 165 B.C.)- The book of Daniel tells of a 6th-century Jewish prophet who becomes a dream reader in the royal court of Babylon, similar to the way Joseph read the dreams of Pharaoh; historical inaccuracies in the text make many scholars believe it was written in the Maccabean era, mistakes such as: the intervention of an unknown Median Empire between the Chaldean and Persian Empires led by a 'Darius the Mede' (believed by scholars to have been confused with the Persian king Darius), the book calling King Nebuchadnezzar the father of King Belshazzar (who was neither related nor reigned subsequent to him), a contradiction in the year Nebuchadnezzar beseiged Jerusalem (Dan. 1:1; 2 Kings 23:36), and a prediction that Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria would invade Egypt a second time, conquer it, and then die somewhere between Mediterranean Sea and Jerusalem (Dan. 11:44-45)- none of which happenned- he died in Persia (1 Macc. 6:1-6); scholars date the composition as being written between the last correct 'prediction' (167-165 B.C.) and the tyrant's death (164 B.C.)

Ezra- (550-450 B.C.) Aaronid priest who was given authority by the Persian emperor Artaxerxes to instruct the Jews in Jerusalem on the law (Ezra 7:10-14) Promulgated a creed that included sources from all four of the sources that made up the first five books of Moses (Yahwist, Elohist, Priest, and Deuteronomist), as told in Nehemiah 8; Richard Elliott Friedman conjectures that he interwove the (already combined) Yahwist/Elohist text with the Priestly text and Deuteronomy to produce the Torah.

"Second Isaiah" (546-538 B.C.)- believed to have written Ch. 40-66; these chapters make references to the destruction of Jerusalem but whether it is in past or future tense is uncertain; prophecizes about a suffering servant and the fall of Babylon

Nehemiah (445-433 B.C.)- governor of Judea from 445 to 433 B.C.

"Second Jeremiah" (464 B.C.-70 A.D.)- The Hebrew book of Jeremiah was edited by a Levite from the Second Temple times in order to make it look like Jeremiah accepted Levitical sacrifice as legitimate (Jer.33:17-18); he switched around some of Jeremiah's chapters as well as added his own; the original version was recorded in both the Greek Septuagint (250 B.C.) and the Dead Sea Scrolls (200 B.C.-68 A.D.), but is unmarked in most Bibles

New Testament

Book Author By Tradition Sources By Conjecture Conjectured Editor** Proven Late Additions
Matthew Matthew/Levi the disciple (38 A.D.) Gospel of Mark + Q Diaspora Jew (75 -90A.D.) slight editing
Mark John Mark, based on Peter (64 A.D.) Oral traditions** Syrian Gentile (70 A.D.,after Temple's destruction) 2 endings added
Luke Luke the physician
(61 A.D.)
Gospel of Mark + Q Greek Gentile woman
(90 A.D.)
slight editing
John John the disciple
(90 A.D.)
Signs + John1** John2 (70-100 A.D.) adulteress saved from stoning story added
Acts Luke the physician (61 A.D.) Author of Luke (90-100 A.D.)
Romans Paul (55-56 A.D.) Paul (55-59 A.D.)
1 Corinthians Paul (54-55 A.D.) Paul (55+ A.D.)
2 Cornithians Paul (55-56 A.D.) Paul (55+ A.D.)
Galatians Paul (48 A.D.) Paul (48-62 A.D.)
Ephesians Paul (61 A.D.) ? (Before 95 A.D.)
Philippians Paul (62 A.D.) Paul(?) (54-62 A.D.)
Colossians Paul (61 A.D.) Paul? (54-90 A.D.)
1 Thessalonians Paul (51 A.D.) Paul(?) (50-51 A.D.)
2 Thessalonians Paul (52 A.D.) ? (75-90 A.D.)
1 Timothy Paul (62 A.D.) ? (100-150 A.D.)
2 Timothy Paul (64 A.D.) ? (100-150 A.D.)
Titus Paul (63 A.D.) ? (100-150 A.D.)
Philemon Paul (61 A.D.) Paul (59-62 A.D.)
Hebrews Paul?, Barnabas?, Apollos? (65 A.D.) Priscilla? (60-93 A.D.)
James James, brother of Jesus (45 A.D.) "James" (100-125 A.D.)
1 Peter Peter the disciple
(65 A.D.)
? (64-112 A.D.)
2 Peter Peter the disciple
(67 A.D.)
? (125-150 A.D.)
1 John John the disciple
(85 A.D.)
"John the elder"
(Before 117 A.D.)
Vulgate: Trinity added
2 John John the disciple
(85-90 A.D.)
"John the elder"
3 John John the disciple
(90 A.D.)
Jude Judas, brother of Jesus (67-73) "Jude, brother of James" (After 100 A.D.)
Revelation John the disciple
(95 A.D.)
"John of Patmos", Aramaic Jew

**Based on Who Wrote the Gospels?, by Dr. Randel McCraw Helms, professor at Arizona State University

"Q"- Comes from the German word "Quelle" or "Source"; Sayings of Jesus that are common to both Matthew's and Luke's gospel; most scholars believe that both authors used a common "sayings" gospel, similar to the Gospel of Thomas, which is now lost; other scholars believe that Luke simply copied the sayings he liked out of the Gospel of Matthew

Matthew- one of the 12 disciples; in the book of Matthew, he is the tax collector that brings Jesus to his house for dinner (Matt. 9:9-13); the Gospels of Mark and Luke call this tax collector "Levi", leaving no connection between him and Matthew the disciple; 90% of the book of Mark can be found in this text, although Matthew's Greek is more refined and many of Mark's grammatical mistakes are corrected; like all the Gospels, Matthew quotes from the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible; some of Jesus' sayings from Luke are found in Matthew and are believed to have come from a hypothetical source, called Q; the Book of Matthew includes a geneology of Joseph and a virgin birth narrative with the escape to Egypt from the infanticidal tetrach Herod (paralleling Moses' near-escape from death when he was a baby) and the visit of the Magi bearing gifts; makes many references to the delay of Jesus' return (Matt. 25:5,14,19,48)

Mark- Greek gentile called John Mark; cousin of Barnabas; called Peter's "son" in 1 Peter 5:13; The book of Acts says that Paul once refused to take him on a missionary trip because Mark previously deserted them, a disagreement which led to Barnabas splitting up from Paul; tradition holds that it is a non-chronological account given to Mark from what Peter could remember; this is the only gospel that portrays the human side of Jesus, which Matthew and Luke either drop or attempt to soften; shows a larger degree of acceptance towards the Pharisees; has no narration on the virgin birth or resurrection appearances and is the only gospel to portray Jesus' family as believing he's crazy (Mark 3:20-34); two different endings with resurrection appearances were appended to the end at a later date, which still appears unnoted in many bibles

Luke- Greek gentile; called "the beloved physician" by Paul in Colossians 4:14; 50% of the book of Mark can be found in his gospel; includes a different geneology of Joseph than the book of Matthew and a virgin birth narrative with visiting shepherds; puts a large focus on women and feminine issues; unlike the book of Mark, which says that Jesus proclaimed all foods to be clean within his lifetime, Luke-Acts portrays the question as not coming up until after Jesus' death in which a vision of Peter reveals that all food has become clean; in the book of Acts, Judas is portrayed as falling to his death rather than having hung himself as portrayed in the book of Matthew; The Book of Acts also portrays Paul as coming into conflict with the Nazarenes from Jerusalem as to whether it was necessary to keep the laws of Moses (Acts 15, 21); it also reports that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch, where Paul and Barnabas were teaching (Acts 11:25-26)

John- one of the 12 disicples, Jesus gives him and his brother James the name Boanerges, which means "Sons of Thunder" in Mark 3:17; son of Zebedee (Mark 10:35); the book of John is the only gospel to give a detailed theology as to the nature of the title "Son of God", which is identified with the Logos or "Word", a concept first put forth by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (535-475 B.C.) to describe the rational underpinning of the universe; it is also the only gospel to criticize Jews as a whole rather than Pharisees and Saducees; "The beloved disicple", unknown to the previous gospels and assumed to be John, plays a much larger role in the events, for instance following Jesus along side of Peter to the high priest's courtyard after Jesus' arrest (John 18:15); in comparison, the Gospel of Philip identifies Mary Magdeline as "the companion the Savior loved"; it's believed that the original story was written around a "Signs Source", a list of seven of Jesus' miraculous signs; certain linguistic anomolies and contradictions within the text (for instance on the role of Communion and the subordiance of the Son to the Father) suggest that a redactor added a reactionary narrative against the gnostic traits of the original text and added on to the original ending (John 20:30-31); instead of parables, the Gospel of John has Jesus give long speeches on the nature of the Father and the Son; instead of exorcisms, Jesus performs "miraculous signs"; instead of the Last Supper, Jesus washes the disciples' feet; Jesus is executed for claiming to be the Son of God rather than the Messiah; there is no mention of the Golden Rule, the passion in Gethsemene or of Simon the Cyrenian carrying the cross; the story of Jesus saving an adulterous woman from stoning by saying 'Those who are without sin cast the first stone' (John 7:53-8:11) was inserted into the gospel by yet another redactor at much later date

Paul- originally called Saul; although he never met Jesus before the crucifixion, the largest extent of the New Testament- nearly a third of it- is attributed to him; wrote that he was brought up as a "Pharisee among Pharisees" and originally persecuted Jesus' followers but then became the most successful evangelist at spreading the gospel around the Roman Empire; regarded Jesus "as to his human nature" as "born of the sperm of David and through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead" (Rom 1:1-4); wrote of how Jesus' resurrection nullified the laws of Moses, although this belief was not shared by James (Acts 15:19-21, 21:17-26); got into an argument with Cephas (Aramaic name meaning 'rock'; traditionally believed to be same person as Peter, whose name is Greek for 'rock') regarding the observance of Jewish dietary laws (Gal. 2:11-21); many scholars consider Paul to be a Gnostic, or at least semi-gnostic; some translate the word "archons" in his 1st letter to the Corinthians 2:6, as "demons", rather than "rulers of this age" who kill Jesus

James- the brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3) and leader of the church after Jesus' death (Acts 13); the Catholic church considers him to be Jesus' cousin; called "James the Just" to seperate him from James the disciple (the brother of John); he twice judges cases that are brought towards him in Jerusalem when Paul comes into dispute with his fellow Nazarenes (Acts 15, 21)

Peter- originally named Simon; the Gospel of Matthew reads that Jesus dubbed him Peter (Greek for 'rock') when he called him to become to cornerstone of the church upon his death (Matt. 16:15-20); the Gospel of John reads that he dubbed him Cephas (Aramaic for 'rock') when he first met Jesus (John 1:42); all four gospels read that he denied Jesus three times after Jesus' arrest in Gethsemene; traditionally believed to have been crucified in Rome- upside down at his own request- because he did not feel worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus; the Catholic church considers Peter to be the first Pope

Jude- calls himself the brother of James in his epistle; believed to be Jesus' brother Judas (Mark 6:3), although it is hard to understand why he would choose to identify himself as 'brother of James' instead of 'brother of Jesus'