Who Wrote the Bible?

"John Wycliffe, a renegade English Priest, produced one of the first English Bible Translations before his death in 1384. The Authorities were not amused. Denounced as a heretic after his death, Wycliffe couldn't be executed. Church officials did the next best thing: they exhumed his body and burned it." From: Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned by Kenneth C. Davis: Introduction p.xxii)

The Bible has been translated more times than any other piece of literature and is currently available in over two thousand languages, with several languages having numerous versions. According to one count translations number 2,233, but... who really wrote the Bible and are the translations accurate?

Unfortunately there is not one book alone that covers the many aspects of "Who wrote the Bible?" After reading about twenty books on the subject I have narrowed it down to these below as in my opinion they are best of the twenty. I highly recommend each one. I have indicated Old Testament or New Testament or both.- Jessika

Who wrote the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy?

Who Wrote the Bible?

by Richard E. Friedman

"It is a strange fact that we have never known with certainty who produced the book that has played such a central role in our civilization," writes Friedman, a foremost Bible scholar. From this point he begins an investigation and analysis that reads as compellingly as a good detective story. Focusing on the central books of the Old Testament--Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy--he draws upon biblical and archaeological evidence to make a convincing argument for the identities of their authors. In the process he paints a vivid picture of the world of the Bible--its politics, history, and personalities... sheds a new and enriching light on our understanding of the Bible as literature, history, and sacred text.

Richard Elliott Friedman is professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature and holds the Katzin Chair at the University of California, San Diego. One of the premier biblical scholars in the country, he received his doctorate at Harvard and was a visiting fellow at Oxford and Cambridge. Author of The Hidden Face of God, The Hidden Book in the Bible, Commentary on the Torah, The Exile and Biblical Narrative, and the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible?, Friedman is also the president of the Biblical Colloquium West. A consultant to universities, journals, encyclopedias, and publishers, he is also the editor of four books on biblical studies and has authored over fifty articles, reviews, and notes in scholarly and popular publications.

Who wrote the New Testament?

Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth
by Burton L. Mack

Burton Mack exposes how the Gospels are fictional mythologies created by different communities for various purposes and are only distantly related to the actual historical Jesus. Mack's innovative scholarship'which boldly challenges traditional Christian understanding'will change the way you approach the New Testament and think about how Christianity arose.

Who wrote the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke?

The Synoptic Gospels: An Introduction

by Keith F. Nickle Excellent, clear, short and highly readable introduction to who wrote the gospels. Written by a retired pastor in layman's language.

Who wrote the The King James Version of the Bible?(covers OT and NT)

God's Secretaries : The Making of the King James Bible

by Adam Nicolson

This was the world that created the King James Bible. It is the greatest work of English prose ever written, and it is no coincidence that the translation was made at the moment “Englishness” and the English language had come into its first passionate maturity.

The sponsor and guide of the whole Bible project was the King himself, the brilliant, ugly and profoundly peace-loving James the Sixth of Scotland and First of England... It was to be a Bible for everyone, and as God's lieutenant on earth, he would use it to unify his kingdom. The dream of Jacobean peace, guaranteed by an elision of royal power and divine glory... About fifty scholars from Cambridge, Oxford and London did the work, drawing on many previous versions, and created a text which, for all its failings, has never been equaled. That is the central question of this book: How did this group of near-anonymous divines, muddled, drunk, self-serving, ambitious, ruthless, obsequious, pedantic and flawed as they were, manage to bring off this astonishing translation? How did such ordinary men make such extraordinary prose? In God's Secretaries, Adam Nicolson gives a fascinating and dramatic account of the accession and ambition of the first Stuart king; of the scholars who labored for seven years to create his Bible; of the influences that shaped their work and of the beliefs that colored their world, immersing us in an age whose greatest monument is not a painting or a building, but a book.

If they wrote it in Hebrew, where did all the Greek come from? (covers OT and NT)

Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned
by Kenneth C. Davis

With wit, wisdom, and an extraordinary talent for turning dry, difficult reading into colorful and realistic accounts, the creator of the bestselling Don't Know Much About®, series now brings the world of the Old and New testaments to life as no one else can in the bestseller Don't Know Much About® The Bible. Relying on new research and improved translations, Davis uncovers some amazing questions and contradictions about what the Bible really says. Jericho's walls may have tumbled down because the city lies on a fault line. Moses never parted the Red Sea. There was a Jesus, but he wasn't born on Christmas and he probably wasn't an only child.

What is the history of the Bible? (covers OT & NT)

The Bible in Translation: Ancient and English Versions

by Bruce Manning Metzger

A survey history of the translations of the Bible from the earliest translation: the Septuagint circa 285-246 B.C. to The New International Reader's Version of 1996.
Outlined here is the development of biblical translation, including a careful analysis of more than fifty versions of the Bible.

One of the most respected living biblical scholars, Bruce Metzger begins this engaging survey with the earliest translations of the Old and New Testaments before proceeding to English versions dating from the eleventh century to the present. Metzger explores the circumstances under which each translation was produced and offers insight into its underlying objectives, characteristics, and strengths. Having served on a number of modern translation committees, his insights into the evolution of Bible translation flow not only from careful research, but also from personal experience.

Is the New Testament corrupted?

The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament by Bart D. Ehrman

The victors not only write the history, they also reproduce the texts. In a study that explores the close relationship between the social history of early Christianity and the textual tradition of the emerging New Testament, Ehrman examines how early struggles between Christian "heresy" and "orthodoxy" affected the transmission of the documents over which, in part, the debates were waged. His thesis is that proto-orthodox scribes of the second and third centuries occasionally altered their sacred texts for polemical reasons--for example, to oppose adoptionists like the Ebionites, who claimed that Christ was a man but not God, or docetists like Marcion, who claimed that he was God but not a man, or Gnostics like the Ptolemaeans, who claimed that he was two beings, one divine and one human. Ehrman's thorough and incisive analysis makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the social and intellectual history of early Christianity and raises intriguing questions about the relationship of readers to their texts, especially in an age when scribes could transform the documents they reproduced to make them say what they were already thought to mean, effecting thereby the orthodox corruption of Scripture.


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