Subscribe to the CompellingTruth.org Newsletter:


What is the oldest book of the Bible?

In ancient times, history and teaching were shared verbally, rather than written down. There are a couple common contenders for the oldest book in the Bible, but due to the strong oral tradition over written authorship, it's impossible to know with certainty which book is actually the oldest. Here are the common options.

Genesis and The Pentateuch
The Pentateuch is the collective name for the first five books of the Old Testament, and Moses is credited as their author. Genesis, in particular, is an easy option to guess as the oldest book in the Bible, since it covers the earliest known events in the Bible—creation and the fall of mankind. Exodus 34:1–4 tells us that God had Moses inscribe some of His message on stone tablets. It's likely other parts were written down at that time as well. But we do not know for sure when their final form emerged.

Job
Some people think Job could be the oldest book in the Bible because it seems to describe some events that happened before Moses' lifetime; however, this does mean it was written at that time. Based on the theological focus within Job, educated estimates place its writing during the exilic period as a book for the Israelites. So, this places it significantly later than the book of Genesis.

When all is said and done, Genesis has the oldest information of any biblical books and Moses was the first person to have his words included in the written scriptures. So, it is safe to assume that Genesis, and maybe the entirety of the Pentateuch, is the Bible's oldest book.


Related Truth:

What methods help us figure out when the books of the Bible were written?

Were there different authors of the books of the Bible? Who were the authors?

Does the original Bible exist today? What are some of the oldest manuscripts of the Bible currently in existence?

What is the basic timeline of the Old Testament?

What is the basic timeline of the New Testament?


Return to:
Truth about the Bible










Preferred Bible Version:








CompellingTruth.org is a ministry of

THE TRUTH ABOUT: