Biblical Authorship

By Mary Jane Chaignot

Categories: The Bible


Is there any DVD or video you know of that addresses the topic "Who wrote the Bible?" This could touch on authorship of the books of the Bible and/or on translations and printings of the Bible throughout history. We'd be grateful for any information you can share that would be suitable for Sunday School students (for viewing outside the SS but discussion within class). 
Karolyn Sewell


There are some options available for study. Apparently the A&E channel devoted some time to this topic and has created a DVD available for purchase. Those who are interested can "Google" those key words and the site will pop up. has several books entitled, "Who wrote the Bible?," which are also available for purchase. The contributors to have not reviewed any of these and cannot comment on their accuracy or insights.

Biblical authorship, however, is an evolving topic among scholars. Some judiciously maintain the historical accuracy of statements that claim Moses wrote the first five books, David wrote all the Psalms, Solomon authored Proverbs, four men by the name of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote the gospels, and Paul wrote all the books with his name in the salutation. Others believe authorship was a lot more complicated than that. Since many of the OT books had a long oral tradition before they were ever collected as sacred writings, we may never know who the original authors were. And, like Paul in writing his letters, it is doubtful that any of them expected these stories to be compiled and studied down through the ages. Additionally, the Hebrew Scriptures that currently exist are but a small portion of the literature that was available in antiquity. Many documents have simply been lost forever

Scholars are a bit more optimistic about tracing the development of the canon and determining how books were included as Holy Scripture. They know that it was a long and complicated process that transpired over a 1500-year period, beginning around 1150BCE and ending by the 4th century. Several Bible Dictionaries as well as The Interpreter's Bible have lengthy discussions about the decisions that were made for both the Old and New Testaments. The canon of the Bible (which books should be included, and what those books should say) was fixed by the 4th century CE.

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