Bible Statistics and History

Who was the first to write some chapter of the Bible?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2014-11-05 06:59:00


It is widely believed that Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (five Books or chapters of the Bible known to Jews as the Torah, and to Christians as the Pentateuch) were the first books of the Bible to be written. The traditional view is that Moses was the author of the entire Pentateuch, however there is nothing in the books themselves to support this belief. In fact, Deuteronomy chapter 34 describes the death of Moses.and says that "not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses..." This could not have been written by Moses or Joshua, or even by any author until long after the establishment of a nation called Israel. Morever, certain inconsistencies in the Pentateuch argue strongly against Moses being the author.

The Sources Theory, which is widely accepted by modern scholars and some Christians, states that the Pentateuch had several authors. We do not know the original names of these sources, but they are known today as the Yahwist ('J'), Elohist ('E'), Deuteronomist ('D') and Priestly ('P') sources. The earliest of these was the Yahwist, who probably lived in the southern kingdom of Judah around the ninth century BCE. The Elohist wrote a little later in the northern kingdom of Israel. The Priestly source added material during the Babylonian Exile. So, the Yahwist source would be the first to write material that became part of the Bible.

For more information, please visit:

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.