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Dating new testament letters in chronological order Dating the Bible

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The four tables give the most commonly accepted dates or ranges of dates for the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, Deuterocanonical books, and New Testament, including, where possible, hypotheses about their formation-history.

Table I is a chronological overview of all the books of the Old and New Testaments plus the deuterocanonical books. Table II divides the Protocanonical Old Testament or Hebrew Bible books by groups, following the divisions of the , and makes occasional reference to scholarly divisions as well. Table III gives the , included in and bibles but not in the Hebrew and bibles. Table IV gives the books of the , including the earliest preserved fragments for each.

Dating new testament letters in chronological order Contents Dating the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dating new testament letters in chronological order Table I: Chronological overview[] Dating the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This table summarises the chronology of the main tables and serves as a guide to the historical periods mentioned. Much of the or the Protocanonical may have been assembled in the 5th century BCE. The New Testament books were composed largely in the second half of the 1st century CE. The Deuterocanon falls largely in between.

Period Books
Monarchic
8th-7th centuries BCE
c. 745-586 BCE
* Most of the individual psalms making up the first two-thirds of the .
* 8th century: (first half, immediately prior to Assyria's expansion c.645 BCE); "" (Isaiah 1-39), , (second half).
* 7th century: (based on its assumption of the fall of and call for the destruction of ), (in the reign of , c.649-609 BCE), (possibly shortly before the , 605 BCE); first edition of the (books of ///) in the reign of Josiah; 5-26 in the reign of Josiah.
Exilic
6th century BCE
586-539 BCE
* Core of around the fall of Jerusalem, 586 BCE.
* Completion of (///).
* expanded with addition of chapters 1-4 and 29-30 to serve as an introduction to the .
* active in the last decade of the 7th century and first decades of the 6th;
* active in Babylon 592-571 BCE;
* "" (author of Isaiah 40-55) active in Babylon around mid-century.
* Expansion and reshaping of , , and .
* Possible early Psalms collection (psalms "of David") ending with psalm 89.
Post-exilic
Persian
5th-4th centuries BCE
538-330 BCE
* (books of ///, using a variety of sources).
* Deuteronomy revised with expansions to chapters 19-25 and addition of chapter 27 and 31-34 to serve as conclusion to the Torah.
* "" (Isaiah 56-66)
* Later version (the Masoretic Hebrew version) of
* (self-dated to the second year of the Persian king 520 BCE),
* (chapters 1-8 contemporary with Haggai, chapters 9-14 from the 5th century)
* (5th century BCE, contemporaneous or immediately prior to the missions of Nehemiah and Ezra)
* (between 400–250 BC, probably in the period 350–300 BCE)
* Origins of (may have reached its final form as late as the Ptolemaic period, c.300-200 BCE).
Post-exilic
Hellenistic
3rd-2nd centuries BCE
330-164 BCE
* , and the (Could have been written in the 4th or even 5th centuries, but seem to reflect contact with Greek culture).
* (Persian or Hellenistic, no later than 2nd century BCE).
* Most of the individual psalms making up the final third of the .
Maccabean/Hasmonean
2nd-1st centuries BCE
164-4 BCE
* (164 BCE, combining newly-written visions, chapters 7-12, with the Persian and Hellenistic tales of chapters 1-6).
* ///possibly ; , , and
* late 1st century BCE or early to mid 1st century CE.
Roman
1st century CE onward
after 4 BCE
* (after 63 BCE, probably mid-1st century CE).
* (late 1st century BCE or early to mid 1st century CE).
* New Testament (between c.50-110 CE - see Table IV).

Dating new testament letters in chronological order Table II: Hebrew Bible or Protocanonical Old Testament[] Dating the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Torah Date or range of dates most widely held by scholars




The majority of modern biblical scholars believe that the Torah reached its present form in the . The five books which make it up are drawn from four "sources", the , the , the and the (viewed by most scholars as distinct schools of writers rather than individuals), but many scholars reduce the four to two, "Priestly" and "non-Priestly". There is general agreement that the Priestly source is post-exilic, but there is no agreement over the non-Priestly source(s).
  • is made up of "Priestly" and "non-priestly" material.
  • is an anthology drawn from nearly all periods of Israel's history.
  • is entirely Priestly and dates from the exilic/post-exilic period.
  • is a redaction (i.e., editing) of a /non-Priestly original.
  • , now the last book of the Torah, began as the set of religious laws (these make up the bulk of the book), was extended in the early part of the 6th century to serve as the introduction to the , and later still was detached from that history, extended yet again, and edited to conclude the Torah.
Prophets Date or range of dates most widely held by scholars
Former Prophets:




This group of books, plus Deuteronomy, is called the "" by scholars. The proposal that they made up a unified work was first advanced by in 1943, and has been widely accepted. Noth proposed that the entire history was the creation of a single individual working in the exilic period (6th century BCE); since then there has been wide recognition that the history appeared in two "editions", the first in the reign of Judah's (late 7th century), the second during the exile (6th century). Noth's dating was based on the assumption that the history was completed very soon after its last recorded event, the release of King in Babylon c.560 BCE; has not been widely questioned, some scholars have termed his reasoning inadequate and the history may have been further extended in the post-exilic period.
Three Major Prophets:



Scholars recognise three "sections" in the : Proto-Isaiah (the original 8th century Isaiah); Deutero-Isaiah (an anonymous prophet living in Babylon during the exile); and Trito-Isaiah (an anonymous author or authors in Jerusalem immediately after the exile).

The exists in two version, Greek and Hebrew, with the Greek representing the earlier version. The Greek version was probably finalised in the early Persian period, and the Hebrew version some point between then and the 2nd century BCE.

The describes itself as the words of the ben-Buzi, a priest living in exile in the city of , and internal evidence dates the visions to between 593 and 571 BCE. While the book probably reflects much of the historic Ezekiel, it is the product of a long and complex history, with significant additions by a "school" of later followers.

In the Hebrew Bible the are a single collection edited in the , but the collection is broken up in Christian Bibles. With the exception of , which is a fictional work, there exists an original core of prophetic tradition behind each book:

: second half of the 8th century BCE
: late Persian or Hellenistic
: first half of the 8th century
:around the time of the fall of Jerusalem, 586 BCE
: Persian or Hellenistic, no later than 2nd century BCE
: c.750-700 BCE
: an "oracle concerning ", the city destroyed in 612 BCE
: possibly shortly before the , 605 BCE
: reign of
: self-dated to the second year of the Persian king (Darius the Great), 520 BCE
: first eight chapters contemporary with Haggai; chapters 9-14 from the 5th century
: 5th century BCE, contemporaneous or immediately prior to the missions of Nehemiah and Ezra (which, however, are themselves difficult to date)

Ketuvim Date or range of dates most widely held by scholars
Wisdom collection:
, and
The books of , and share a similar outlook which they themselves call "wisdom". It is generally agreed that Job comes from between the 7th and 4th centuries BCE, with the 6th century as the most likely. Ecclesiastes can be no earlier than about 450 BCE, due to the presence of Persian loan-words and idioms, and no later than 180 BCE, when the Jewish writer quotes from it. Proverbs is a "collection of collections" relating to a pattern of life which lasted for more than a millennium, and impossible to date.
Poetic works: and The psalms making up the first two-thirds of the are predominantly pre-exilic and the last third predominantly post-exilic. The collected was possibly given its modern shape and division into five parts in the post-exilic period, although it continued to be revised and expanded well into Hellenistic and even Roman times. It is generally accepted that the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in 586 BCE forms the background to the .
Histories: and was composed between 400–250 BCE, probably in the period 350–300 BCE; (two books in modern Bibles, but originally one) may have reached its final form as late as the Ptolemaic period, c.300-200 BCE.
Miscellaneous works: , , , The is commonly dated to the Persian period; to the 3rd or 4th centuries BCE; the can be dated more precisely to 164 BCE thanks to its veiled prophecy of the death of a Greek king of Syria; and the could have been composed at any time after the 6th century BCE.

Dating new testament letters in chronological order Table III: Deuterocanonical Old Testament[] Dating the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Book Date or range of dates most widely held by scholars
225-175 BCE, on the basis of apparent use of language and references common to the post-exilic period, but lack of knowledge of the 2nd century BCE persecution of Jews.
150-100 BCE, although estimates range from the 5th century BCE to the 2nd century CE.
100 BCE
ca. 100 BCE
100-75 BCE "very probable"
mid-1st century CE
late 1st century BCE/early 1st century CE, on the basis of shared outlook with other works dating from this time.
196-175 BCE, as the author implies that Simon the high priest had died (196 BCE), but shows no knowledge of the persecution of the Jews that began after 175 BCE.
(Song of the Three Holy Children); : late 6th century; : possibly 95-80 BCE
and 2nd century BCE, as Baruch uses Sirach (written c.180 BCE) and is in turn used by the (mid-1st century BCE). The Letter of Jeremiah, ch. 6:1-73 of the Book of Baruch, is sometimes considered a separate book.

Dating new testament letters in chronological order Table IV: New Testament[] Dating the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Book Date or range of dates most widely held by scholars Earliest known fragment
80–90 CE. This is based on three strands of evidence: (a) the setting of Matthew reflects the final separation of Church and Synagogue, about 85 CE; (b) it reflects the capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 CE; (c) it uses Mark, usually dated around 70 CE, as a source. 104 (150–200 CE)
68–70 CE. References to persecution and to war in Judea suggest that its context was either Nero's persecution of the Christians in Rome or the Jewish revolt. 45 (250 CE)
80-90 CE, with some scholars suggesting 90-100. There is evidence, both textual (the conflicts between Western and Alexandrian manuscript families) and from the Marcionite controversy ( was a 2nd-century heretic who produced his own version of Christian scripture based on Luke's gospel and Paul's epistles) that Luke-Acts was still being substantially revised well into the 2nd century. 4, 75 (175–250 CE)
90-110 CE, the upper date based on textual evidence that the gospel was known in the early 2nd century, and the lower on an internal reference to the expulsion of Christians from the synagogues. 52 (125–160 CE)
95-100 CE. If Acts uses as a source, as has been proposed, then it must have been composed after 93 CE; it does not show any knowledge of Paul's letters, which also supports a late date; and the social situation is one in which the faithful need "shepherds" to protect them from heretical "wolves", which again reflects a late date. 29, 45, 48, 53, 91 (250 CE)
c.57 CE 46 (late 2nd century or 3rd century CE)
c.56 CE 46 (late 2nd century or 3rd century CE)
c.55 CE 46 (late 2nd century or 3rd century CE)
c.80-90 CE 46 (late 2nd century or 3rd century CE)
c.54-55 CE 46 (late 2nd century or 3rd century CE)
c.62-70 CE 46 (late 2nd century or 3rd century CE)
c.51 CE 46 (late 2nd century or 3rd century CE)
c.51 CE or post-70 CE 92 (300 CE)
, c.100 CE (350 CE)
c.100 CE 32 (200 CE)
c.54-55 CE 87 (3rd century CE)
c.80–90 CE 46 (late 2nd century or 3rd century CE)
c.65-85 CE 20, 23 (early 3rd century CE)
c.75-90 CE 72 (3rd/4th century CE)
c.110 CE 72 (3rd/4th century CE)
90–110 CE. The letters give no clear indication, but scholars tend to place them about a decade after the Gospel of John. 9, , (3rd/4th century CE)
uncertain 72 (3rd/4th century CE)
c. 95 CE 98 (150–200 CE)

Dating new testament letters in chronological order See also[] Dating the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dating new testament letters in chronological order References[] Dating the Bible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Citations[]

  1. , p. 3-4.
  2. , p. 19ff..
  3. ^ , p. 16.
  4. , p. 183.
  5. , p. 161-162.
  6. ^ , p. 676.
  7. , p. 690.
  8. , p. 14.
  9. ^ , p. 715.
  10. ^ , p. 710.
  11. ^ , p. 2 and fn.6.
  12. ^ , p. 154.
  13. ^ , p. 696.
  14. , p. 311.
  15. , p. 1073.
  16. , p. 623.
  17. ^ , p. 974.
  18. ^ , p. 342.
  19. ^ , p. 5.
  20. Franz V. Greifenhagen, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2003 p.212:'Clearly, on the basis of the extant manuscript evidence alone, 250BCE represents the terminus ad quem for the production of the final text of the Pentateuch'.
  21. , p. 11.
  22. ^ , p. 214.
  23. ^ , p. 214-215.
  24. ^ , p. 730.
  25. ^ .
  26. ^ , p. 00.
  27. ^ , p. 8.
  28. ^ , p. 217.
  29. , p. 2.
  30. ^ , p. 888.
  31. , p. 6.
  32. ^ , p. 492.
  33. , p. 443.
  34. , p. 102.
  35. , p. 21.
  36. , p. 93.
  37. , p. 10-11.
  38. , p. 76-77.
  39. , p. 7-8.
  40. , p. 94.
  41. , p. 8.
  42. , p. 16.
  43. , pp. 1–3, 9.
  44. , p. 9.
  45. , pp. 86–89.
  46. , p. 216.
  47. , p. 690.
  48. , p. 690.
  49. , p. 708.
  50. , p. 129.
  51. , p. 193.
  52. , p. 944.
  53. , p. xiv.
  54. , p. 438.
  55. , p. xxiii.
  56. , p. 168.
  57. , p. 105.
  58. , p. 101.
  59. , p. 23.
  60. , p. 51.
  61. , p. 748.
  62. ^ , p. 807.
  63. , p. 866.
  64. , p. 763.
  65. , p. 779.
  66. , p. 805.
  67. , p. 90.
  68. , p. 799,802.
  69. , p. 298-299.
  70. , p. 18.
  71. ^ , p. 19ff.
  72. , p. 241.
  73. , p. unpaginated.
  74. , p. 250-253.
  75. , p. 18.
  76. , p. 587.
  77. ^ , p. 250.

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