Old Testament Date of Composition

Question
When was the Old Testament written?
Answer
The Old Testament was written over a long period of time, ranging from approximately the 15th century B.C. for some of the older books (e.g. Genesis, Exodus) to perhaps as late as the 4th century B.C. for the final forms of some of the most recent books (e.g. Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles. Because the Bible itself does not date its books, these dates are the results of scholarly dialogues and conclusions. The date range I have provided includes the most extreme (earliest and latest) dates generally attested by conservative scholars. Liberal scholars tend to set much later dates for many books (into the 2nd century B.C. for some). It is also likely that even the oldest books relied to some degree on prior written sources which have not been preserved through the ages.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Creative Delivery Systems at Third Millennium Ministries.