Since most books in the Bible were written anonymously (not uncommon in Biblical days), much of what we know for certain about the authorship comes from logical deduction.  What follows is the opinion of the majority of contemporary scholars along with the traditional views of authorship (both Jewish and Christian).

Date written are estimates only.

Hover over highlighted names for additional history and facts about the book.

Old Testament Authors

Old Testament groups are not necessarily ordered chronologically (they are ordered more by “type”).

Pentateuch (Books of Moses) or Torah

Note that the last eight verses in Deuteronomy, which describe Moses’ death, were obviously written by another (unknown) author.  Also, some theorize that the Pentateuch does not have a single author and that its composition took place over centuries.

Genesis (Book of Genesis)Moses1445 BC
Exodus (Book of Exodus)Moses1445 BC
Leviticus (Book of Leviticus)Moses1445 BC
Numbers (Book of Numbers)Moses1445 BC
Deuteronomy (Book of Deuteronomy)Moses1445 BC

The Books of History

Named “The Books of History” because they contain historical records.

Joshua (Book of Joshua) Joshua, possibly Eleazar or Phinehas1405 BC
Judges (Book of Judges) Samuel1043 BC
Ruth (Book of Ruth)Anonymous or possibly Samuel1030 BC
1 SamuelSamuel, possible additions by prophets Gad and Nathan931 BC
2 SamuelSamuel, possible additions by prophets Gad and Nathan931 BC
1 KingsPossibly Jeremiah561 BC
2 KingsPossibly Jeremiah561 BC
1 ChroniclesAnonymous, possibly Ezra450 BC
2 ChroniclesAnonymous, possibly Ezra450 BC
EzraEzra457 BC
Nehemiah (Book of Nehemiah)Ezra or Nehemiah424 BC
Esther (Book of Esther)Anonymous or Mordecai, Possibly Nehemiah450 BC

The Books of Poetry or books of Writings

Job (Book of Job)Anonymous, possibly Moses?
Psalms (Book of Psalms)Various:
David (73)
Asaph (12)
Sons of Korah (11)
Solomon (2)
Moses (1)
Ethan (1)
Hemen (1)
Unknown (50)
1410 BC
Proverbs (The Proverbs)Various
Solomon (29)
Agur (1)
Lemuel (1)
971 BC
EcclesiastesSolomon940 BC
Song of Songs (Song of Solomon)Solomon971 BC

Major Prophets

Named “Major Prophets” because the books are longer (not because they were more important)

Isaiah (Book of the Prophet Isaiah)Isaiah700 BC
Jeremiah (Book of Jeremiah)Jeremiah586 BC
Lamentations (Lamentations of Jeremiah or Book of Lamentations)Multiple anonymous authors, possibly Jeremiah586 BC
Ezekiel (Book of Ezekiel)Ezekiel590 BC
Daniel (Book of Daniel)Daniel536 BC

Minor Prophets

Named “Minor Prophets” because they were shorter (not because they were less important)

Hosea (Book of Hosea)Hosea750 BC
Joel (Book of Joel)Joel835 BC
Amos (Book of Amos)Amos750 BC
Obadiah (Book of Obadiah)Obadiah850 BC
Jonah (Book of Jonah)Jonah775 BC
Micah (Book of Micah)Micah735 BC
Nahum (Book of Nahum)Nahum650 BC
Habakkuk (Book of Habakkuk)Habakkuk615 BC
Zephaniah (Book of Zephaniah)Zephaniah635 BC
Haggai (Book of Haggai)Haggai520 BC
Zechariah (Book of Zechariah)Zechariah480 BC
Malachi (Book of Malachi)Malachi433 BC

New Testament Authors


Matthew (Gospel according to Matthew)Matthew50 AD
Mark (Gospel according to Mark)Mark50 AD
Luke (Gospel according to Luke)Luke60 AD
John (Gospel according to John)John80 AD


Acts (Acts of the Apostles)Luke62 AD
Romans (Epistle to the Romans)Paul56 AD
1 Corinthians (First Epistle to the Corinthians)Paul55 AD
2 Corinthians (Second Epistle to the Corinthians)Paul56 AD
Galatians (Epistle to the Galatians)Paul49 AD
Ephesians (Epistle to the Ephesians)Paul60 AD
Philippians (Epistle to the Philippians)Paul60 AD
Colossians (Epistle to the Colossians)Paul60 AD
1 Thessalonians (First Epistle to the Thessalonians)Paul51 AD
2 Thessalonians (Second Epistle to the Thessalonians)Paul52 AD
1 Timothy (First Epistle to Timothy)Paul62 AD
2 Timothy (Second Epistle to Timothy)Paul66 AD
Titus (Epistle to Titus)Paul62 AD
Philemon (Epistle to Philemon)Paul60 AD

General Epistles

Hebrews (Epistle to the Hebrews)Unknown, possibly Paul, Mark, Apollos, or Priscilla67 AD
James (Epistle of James)James (brother of Jesus)44 AD
1 Peter (First Epistle of Peter)Peter64 AD
2 Peter (Second Epistle of Peter)Unknown, possibly Peter67 AD
1 John (First Epistle of John)John90 AD
2 John (Second Epistle of John)John90 AD
3 John (Third  Epistle of John)John90 AD
Jude (General Epistle of Jude)Jude68 AD


Revelation (Book of Revelation)Likely John94 AD

Apocrypha Authors

1 Esdras (First Book of Esdras)  
2 Esdras (Second Book of Esdras)  100 AD
Tobit 200 BC
Judith 150 BC
Additions to Esther (Rest of Esther) 170 BC
Wisdom (Wisdom of Solomon) 100 BC
Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)  200 BC
Baruch  150 BC
Song of the Three Children (Song of the Three Holy Children)  
Story of Susanna (History of Susanna)  
History of the Destruction of Bel and the Dragon (Bel and the Dragon) 150 BC
Prayer of Manasseh  
1 Maccabees (First Book of the Maccabees) 100 BC
2 Maccabees (Second Book of the Maccabees) 10 AD

About the Old Testament authors (Old Testament author biography)


Moses is considered the author of the Torah, which consists of the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The books of Moses describe the creation of the world, the history of humanity, and the journey of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. Moses was a key figure in the Old Testament, and his writings are foundational to the beliefs and practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


Joshua was the successor of Moses, and his book, Joshua, describes the conquest of the Promised Land by the Israelites. The book of Joshua details the battles and victories of the Israelites under Joshua’s leadership as they take possession of the land that God had promised to their ancestors.


The books of Samuel describe the establishment of the Israelite monarchy, and the reigns of Saul and David, who were the first kings of Israel. The two books of Samuel are named after the prophet Samuel, who anointed both Saul and David as kings. The books of Samuel provide a detailed account of the political and religious history of Israel during a time of great change and upheaval.


Ezra and Nehemiah are often considered a single work, as they tell the story of the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile and the re-establishment of Jewish life in Judea. Ezra was a priest and scribe who played a key role in the restoration of Jewish worship and the re-establishment of Jewish law. His writing emphasizes the importance of obedience to God’s law and the significance of the Temple in Jewish worship.


Jeremiah was a prophet who lived during the Babylonian exile, and his books contain prophecies about the future of Judah and Jerusalem, as well as lamentations about the destruction of the Temple. Jeremiah is known for his passionate denunciations of idolatry and social injustice, and his writings emphasize the importance of repentance and obedience to God.


The book of Daniel is a collection of prophetic and apocalyptic texts that describe the visions and dreams of the prophet Daniel. The book is divided into two sections: the first six chapters contain stories about Daniel and his three companions, while the remaining chapters contain visions and prophecies about the future of Israel and other nations. The book of Daniel is known for its vivid imagery and complex symbolism, and it has been the subject of much interpretation and debate.

David (with others)

The book of Psalms is a collection of religious songs and poems, many of which were written by King David. The Psalms are still used in Jewish and Christian worship today, and they cover a wide range of topics, including praise, thanksgiving, lament, and wisdom. The Psalms are known for their poetic beauty and emotional depth, and they continue to inspire and comfort people around the world.

There were also other authors of the Old Testament, such as Solomon, who wrote the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Each author contributed to the rich tapestry of the Old Testament, and their writings continue to be studied and appreciated by people of faith around the world.

About the New Testament authors (New Testament author biography)


Matthew was among the 12 apostles who witnessed the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He was also known as Levi, a Jew residing in Capernaum. Despite being a tax collector for the Romans, a profession that was looked down upon by fellow Jews, he was called by Jesus to follow him while he was working at his tax booth (Mark 2:13ff).


Mark’s full name was John Mark. He had close connections with the apostles and the early church. His mother’s name was Mary, and their home was one of the key gathering places for the first church in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). Mark was also the cousin of Barnabas, another key leader in the early church (Col. 4:10), and he traveled with Barnabas and Paul for part of their first missionary journey. Towards the end of Paul’s life, he asked Timothy to bring Mark to him because “he was useful to him” (2 Tim 4:11). According to early church tradition, the apostle Peter was the main source for the Gospel of Mark.


Luke authored Luke and Acts. He worked closely with the apostle Paul, traveling with him from Troas to Philippi during Paul’s second missionary journey (as indicated by the use of “we” in Acts 16:11ff). After spending a few years in Philippi, he rejoined Paul at the end of the third missionary journey (Acts 20:5-6) and remained with him for the next four years while Paul was in prison. Luke was a trained physician and was included among Paul’s Gentile colleagues in Colossians 4, making him likely the only Gentile author in the New Testament.


John, one of the 12 original apostles, wrote the Gospel of John, the 3 letters of John, and Revelation. He witnessed the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. John grew up with his family of commercial fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus called him and his brother James to follow him, they left their family business to become his disciple. As a young man, John and James had fiery personalities and were nicknamed “the sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17; cf. Luke 9:54). In his Gospel, John referred to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” indicating a close friendship with Jesus. Additionally, Jesus entrusted the care of his mother Mary to John as he hung on the cross (John 19:26-27). John outlived the other apostles and spent his later life in Ephesus. His writings are likely the last ones of the New Testament.


Paul, the author of 13 letters in the New Testament, grew up in a conservative Jewish home and was trained in the way of the Pharisees. He was born in Tarsus, a large Greco-Roman commercial city in the southeastern corner of modern-day Turkey, where he had Roman citizenship. Later on, he moved to Jerusalem for schooling under Gamaliel, one of the greatest rabbis of his day, and distinguished himself in zeal and learning. Despite his zeal, Paul’s strong opposition to Christians led him to persecute them.

However, his unique combination of Jewish learning, Roman citizenship, and Greco-Roman city life made him ideal to make disciples throughout the Roman Empire. Jesus appeared to him on his way to arrest Christians in Damascus, which led to his surrender to Jesus. Paul then applied his zeal to making disciples of Jesus instead of persecuting them. He continued his ministry for about 30 years until he was finally beheaded for his faith in Jesus in Rome in the mid-60’s.


James, the author of the book of James, is believed to be the brother of Jesus. According to Matthew 13:55, James is the second oldest son of Joseph and Mary. Initially, during Jesus’ ministry, James and his other brothers misunderstood Jesus’ purpose and were skeptical of him (John 7:5). However, after Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:7), which led James to believe in him. He became a key leader in the church in Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; Acts 15). Paul also refers to him as one of the “pillars” (Gal 2:9). Early church tradition has given him several nicknames, including James the Just and “camel knees” because of his dedication to prayer for the Jews. James was stoned to death in Jerusalem in A.D. 62.


Peter was one of the original twelve apostles and had personally witnessed the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He and his brother Andrew were among the first followers of Jesus (John 1:40-41), and they were commercial fishermen from Bethsaida who worked on the Sea of Galilee. Although his given name was Simon, Jesus called him “Peter,” which means “Rock.”

Due to his strong and bold personality, Peter became the leader of the apostles, but sometimes his impulsiveness caused him to say or do foolish things. Despite his boldness, Peter denied Jesus three times on the night of his arrest. After his resurrection, Jesus commissioned Peter to ministry (John 21:15ff) and reassured him, although he wept bitterly over his failure. Peter became the primary leader and spokesperson of the church in Jerusalem, boldly proclaiming Jesus even to the leaders who had crucified him. Peter was martyred for his faith in Jesus in the mid-60s and was reportedly crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy to die in the same way as Jesus.


Jude, the author of the short letter of Jude, was the brother of Jesus. He, like his older brother James, did not fully understand Jesus’ purpose, and was skeptical of him during his ministry (John 7:5). However, after Jesus’ resurrection, Jude was gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem with other believers (Acts 1:14). In his letter, Jude refers to himself as the “brother of James,” and seems to be satisfied with being known as the sibling of a more prominent church leader.


There has been much discussion on the authorship of Hebrews. Some have suggested individuals such as Paul, Apollos, Luke, and Barnabas. The writer of Hebrews exhibited a strong understanding of the Old Testament and was skilled in writing in Greek. However, Origen, an early church leader, accurately stated that the author of Hebrews remains unknown and only known by God. This statement was made around A.D. 200 and still holds true to this day.