Who wrote the Books of Samuel?

Updated: 8/22/2023
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The author is not named, but many Jewish and Christian scholars believe that Samuel wrote the first 24 chapters, and Nathan, Gad, or an anonymous author using the records of the three prophets wrote the remainder of I Samuel, and all of II Samuel.

There was originally only one Book of Samuel but it was so long that it was difficult to produce on one papyrus scroll, which had practical limitations on length. Eventually Samuel was split into two books, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel.

Samuel can be seen to be very closely integrated with 1 Kings (and then 2 Kings) and has very much the same style, to the point that they would appear to be almost the same book if not separated by their titles. In fact, the Books of Samuel are considered by biblical scholars to be part of the Deuteronomic history, which was written by the anonymous author we now call the Deuteronomist, in the seventh century BCE.

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According to tradition, it was written by the prophet Samuel (Talmud, Bava Batra 14b).

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Q: Who wrote the Books of Samuel?
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