The Authors of the Bible
The Bible is a set of books written in multiple languages by dozens of authors across thousands of years. Would you like to know more about the writers of the Bible? Keep reading.
Old Testament Authors Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. He was guided by the Holy Spirit to write down the story of the created world over its first several thousand years. Often relying on his own recollections, Moses also details the history of the people of Israel as they were chosen by God and traveled to their homeland from Egypt. Moses wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Jewish historians gathered the most important events of the nation of Israel from many historical writings. They tell the story of God’s people from the time of the return from Egypt until the end of the Jewish monarchy and the exiles in Assyria and Babylon. These books include Joshua, Judges, First and Second Samuel, and First and Second Kings. The interesting story of Ruth is also included in this set of books. Many Bible scholars are convinced that Ezra, a leader of the Jewish people after their return to the promised land after captivity, wrote First and Second Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The author of the Book of Esther is not known.
King David and King Solomon are the most prolific writers of poetry in the Old Testament. They confessed their sins and expressed their faith in the form of Hebrew poetry. David wrote many of the psalms. Solomon is credited with writing most of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Job is the first of these poetic writings in our Bibles, although the date and author is unknown.
Prophets were called by the Lord to announce impending punishment and eventual peace to Judah and Israel after they departed from the glory of David and Solomon. The prophets often spoke their announcements to godless kings and priests but wrote down their messages so that all could know them. The most important of the prophets were Isaiah, Jeremiah (and his Lamentations), Ezekiel, and Daniel. Shorter prophetic messages were written by Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Malachi’s prophecy, the last of the prophets, wrote 400 years before the birth of Jesus and foretells the coming ofJohn the Baptist.
The Evangelists (made up of Greek words for good news) recorded the life of Jesus; they are Jesus’ official biographers. Two were apostles: Matthew and John. Two were missionaries: Mark and Luke. They prepared their biographies for different groups of people, so they don’t tell the Jesus story in exactly the same way. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called synoptic authors; that is, they follow Jesus’ life with a similar chronology. John’s gospel, written last, records additional events and many of Jesus’ most familiar sayings and sermons.
Luke continues his account of Jesus’ ministry in the Acts of the Apostles. He records the ministry of the early Christian preachers, notable Peter and Paul.
The Apostles wrote letters or epistles to congregations and individuals in the years after Pentecost. 13 of St. Paul’s letters are included in our Bibles: Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First and Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. The letters to Timothy and Titus are often called the Pastoral Epistles since their content is intended primarily for pastors. The author of the letter to the Hebrews is unknown. James was not an apostle but the leader of the church in Jerusalem. The apostle Peter wrote two letters. The apostle John wrote three. Jude, probably a brother of Jesus,wrote one.
John, the apostle Jesus loved, wrote the Revelation, sometimes called the Revelation to John and other times the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Like the Old Testament prophet Daniel, John saw miraculous visions that forecast the struggle of the Christian Church against Satan to the end of time.