Bible Publication Dates

The Bible was written at some point and eventually made its way into print. This article explores the various datings for the original Bibles and then major versions and printed editions. There is debate about when particular parts of the Bible were written and so some of the information below is contradictory. I have thoroughly cited each claim so that you can see where that information originated. I included the various datings to help with a comparative study into the differing dates which a person might stubble upon if only conducting a brief search.

Old and New Testaments

c.1500-1200 BCE – These are the traditional dates given for when Moses supposedly lived and wrote the earliest Biblical texts. However, recent scholarship commonly argues that they were authored in the 8th-7th centuries.[4] One source gives the precise dates for the life of Moses as 1526-1406 BCE.[5] Another source claims Moses lived between 1500 and 1300 BCE.[7]

1445-1405 BCE – The Torah was written.[12]

c.1400-400 BCE – The Hebrew Old Testament was written.[9]

1400 BCE – The word of God was first written and Moses received the 10 commandments.[11]

1313-1273 BCE – These are the traditional dates for when Moses began and finished composing the original Torah.[1] These dates are contradicted by more recent scholarship, which argues that the Torah was written around the 7th century BCE.[2]

c.1200-165 BCE – The Old Testament was composed.[3]

c.1200-100 BCE – The Old Testament was composed.[8]

500 BCE – The original manuscripts of the 39 OT books were completed.[11]

c.400 BCE – The Torah was canonized. This dating is controversial.[10]

331 BCE – The 39 book OT was completed.[12]

c.286-280 BCE – The Septuagint (LXX) was composed, the Hebrew Bible translated into Greek.[6]

c.250-200 BCE – The Septuagint (LXX) was composed.[9]

200 BCE – The Septuagint (LXX) was completed and contained 39 OT books and 14 Apocrypha books.[11]

c.200 BC – The Prophets were canonized. This dating is controversial.[10]

200 BCE-200 CE – The Hebrew Bible was probably canonized.[10]

c.50-100 CE – The 27 books of the New Testament were written and completed.[3], [7], [8], [11]

90-100 CE – The Hebrew Bible was canonized in Jamnia.[6]

90-118 CE – The Hebrew Bible was canonized in the Councils of Jamnia.[9]

c.100 – The Writings were canonized at “a hypothetical Council of Jamnia”. This dating is controversial.[10]

315 CE – Athenasius established the New Testament canon of 27 books still in use today.[11]

367 CE – The Festal Letter of Athenasius identified the 27 NT books recognized today for the first time ever.[9]

382 CE – Jerome composed his Latin Vulgate which contained 39 OT books, 14 Ap. books, and 27 NT books.[11]

397 CE – The New Testament’s orthodox canon was established by the Council of Carthage.[9]

c.400 CE – Jerome composed his Latin Vulgate.[9] This became one of the fundamental versions for later editions. In this article, Bibles that are based on Jerome’s Latin Vulgate have *LV after them.

500 – The scriptures had been translated into more than 500 languages.[11]

600 – The only language that scripture was allowed to be produced in was Latin.[11]

995 – Translations in Anglo-Saxon were made.

1382-1384 – John Wycliffe is the first to translate the entire Bible into English from Latin Vulgate.[9] *LV

Printing Press and More

1455 – The printing press was invented.[11]

1455 – The first thing ever printed was the Gutenberg Latin Bible printed in Germany.[9], [11]

1475 – The Codex Vaticanus surfaced out of obscurity. The bibles below that have *CV after them are based upon the Codex Vaticanus.

1516 – Erasmus produced his Greek/Latin parallel NT,[11] not containing the corrupt Vulgate, but his own rendering. This is the Textus Receptus. The bibles below that have *TR after them are based upon the Textus Receptus of Erasmus.

1522 – Martin Luther published his German NT.[11]

1522 – Complutensian Polyglot Bible.

1524 – The Masoretic Text is first printed. The bibles below that have *MT after them are based upon the Masoretic Text.

1525 – William Tyndale composed the first complete NT Greek to English translation.[9] *TR

1526 – William Tyndale composed the first complete NT Greek to English translation.[11] *TR

1530 – Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples translated the Vulgate into French (which was also the first complete Christian bible available in the French language). *LV

1534 – Martin Luther’s complete Bible is published. The bibles below that have *ML after them are based upon the Bible of Martin Luther.

1535 – Miles Coverdale prints first complete Bible in English (80 books), Coverdale Bible (TCB).[11] *LV, *ML, *MT, *TR

1537 – Miles Coverdale prints first complete Bible in English, Coverdale Bible (TCB).[9] *LV, *ML, *MT, *TR

1537 – Matthew’s Bible, 2nd complete edition of Bible in English (80 books).[11] *LV, *ML, *MT, *TR

1538 – The Great Bible was published and was the first English Bible authorized for public use (80 books).[9] *LV, *ML, *MT, *TR

1539 – The Great Bible was published.[11]

1539 – Taverner’s Bible. A minor revision on Matthew’s Bible. *LV, *ML, *MT, *TR

1560 – Geneva Bible (GEN) was completed (90% William Tyndall’s English translation).[9], [11] This was the first English Bible to add numbered verses to each chapter (80 books). *LV, *MT, *TR

1568 – Bishops Bible was printed (80 books).[11] This was a revised edition of the Great Bible.[9] *LV, *ML, *MT, *TR

1571 – Queen Elizabeth decrees Bishop’s Bible placed in every parish church. The Bishop’s Bible was a basis for King James Bible. *TR

1582 – Douay-Rheims Bible based on Latin, Greek, and Hebrew MSS.[9] *LV

1600s – Codex Alexandrinus is discovered in the first half of the century. This codex goes on to be the basis for many bibles.

1609 – Douay-Rheims Bible (DR), Douay OT added to Rheims NT (1582), First Complete English Catholic Bible (80books).[11] *LV

1611 – King James Bible (KJV) printed (80 books), Apocrypha removed in 1885 leaving 66 books.[3], [9], [11] *LV, *MT, *TR.

1752 – Douay-Rheims Bible (Challoner Revision) (DRC). *LV

1764 – Quaker Bible. *MT, *TR

1769 – Oxford Standard Edition of 1611 KJB. *TR

1782 – Robert Aitken’s Bible was the first English Bible printed in America.[11]

1791 – Isaac Collins and Isaiah Thomas produce first family bible and first illustrated bible, KJV (80 books)

1808 – Jane Aitken’s Bible was the first Bible ever to be printed by a woman.[11]

1808 – Thomson’s Translation. *CV

1833 – Noah Webster’s Bible was published. It was a revision of the KJV.[11] *TR

1841 – English Hexapla NT, early text comparison of the Greek and 6 famous English translations.

1844 – Brenton’s English Translation of the Septuagint

1846 – The Illuminated Bible

mid-1800s – The Codex Sinaiticus is discovered by Tischendorf. The bibles below that have *CS after them are based upon the Codex Sinaiticus.

1852 – Murdock Translation of Western Peshitto

1853 – Ferrar Fenton Bible. *MT

1862 – Young’s “Literal” Translation. *MT, *TR

1872 – Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible (REB), 1872 edition. *TR

1876 – Julia E. Smith Parker Translation. *MT, *TR

1881 – Westcott-Hort Bible. Based heavily on *CV, *CS.

1890 – Darby Bible (DBY). *CV, *CS, *MT, *TR

1901 – American Standard Version. The first major American revision of the KJV. *TR

1933 – Lamsa Bible

1941 – Confraternity Bible. A recension of the Challoner-Rheims Bible. *LV

1950 – Knox’s Translation of the Vulgate. *LV

1971 – King James II Version (KJ2)

1971 – The Living Bible (TLB)

1971 – The Story Bible

1971 – New American Standard Bible (NASB)

1972 – “The Bible in Living English”

1973 – Cotton Patch series (NT)

1976 – “An American Translation”

1976 – Good News Bible (GNB)

1978 – New International Version (NIV)

1978 – Simple English Bible

1982 – New King James Version (NKJV), “Modern English version maintaining the original style of the King James”.[11] *TR

1985 – Green’s Literal Translation. *TR

1985 – New Jerusalem Bible (NJB).

1985 – Recovery Version of the Bible

1985 – New Jewish Publication Society of America Version. Tanakh (OT)

1998 – Third Millennium Bible. *TR

1999 – American King James Version printed

1999 – The Common Edition New Testament (NT)

2000 – English Jubilee 2000 Bible

2000 – King James 2000 Version. *TR

2002 – The English Standard Version (ESV) was “published to bridge the gap between accuracy of NASB and readability of NIV.”[11]

2004 – Updated King James Version

2005 – New English Translation (NET)

2005 – Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

2005 – The Beloved and I: New Jubilees Version of the Sacred Scriptures in Verse

2005 – Dabhar Translation

2006 – Revised Standard Version-Second Catholic Edition (RSV-2CE)

2011 – Common English Bible (CEB)

2011 – Divine Name King James Bible (DNKJB)

2011/2014 – Names of God Bible (NOG)

2012 – The Voice Bible (VOICE)

2012 – A Conservative Version (NT)

2013 – New Messianic Version (NMV)

2014 – Modern English Version (MEV)

2014 – Tree of Life Bible

2017 – Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

2017 – Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

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References:

[1] – https://www.ou.org/torah/files/tanach_pamphlet_web.pdf. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[2] – https://www.history.com/news/who-wrote-the-bible. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[3] – https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/texts/bible.shtml#. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[4] – https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/tools/bible-basics/how-was-the-bible-written-and-transmitted. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[5] – https://www.conazarene.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Bible-Timeline.pdf. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[6] – http://clausenbooks.com/biblepre1500.htm. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[7] – https://www.biblica.com/resources/bible-faqs/when-was-the-bible-written/. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[8] – http://www.beginningcatholic.com/when-was-the-bible-written. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[9] – https://christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/how-we-got-our-bible-timeline. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[10] – https://www.historyofinformation.com/detail.php?id=139. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[11] – http://www.tcseagles.org/faculty/nchilds/editoruploads/files/Timeline_of_Bible_Translation_History.pdf. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

[12] – https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2016/02/when-was-each-book-of-the-bible-written/. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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4 Comments on “Bible Publication Dates

  1. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/codex-sinaiticus-history

    “Codex Sinaiticus is extraordinarily important, in that in about AD 350 we now have a manuscript that is still used today as one of the fundamentally most important manuscripts of the New Testament. It has the whole text in it.

    When Constantine Tischendorf found the manuscript, he asked the monks if he could borrow it, and promised to return it whenever they wanted it back.

    He took it with him back to Saint Petersburg, where it was photographed.

    But after he arrived back in Russia, the czar said, “You’re not giving this back. This is now my codex.”

    In other words, Russia stole it from St. Catherine’s.

    From Russia, Codex Sinaiticus was brought to the British Library on December 27, 1933 by an armed truck. And Codex Sinaiticus is still in the British Library today.”

    There is a simpler, common sense view of what “happened” Let’s look at the Ministry of Truth:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus
    Amongst the nuggets there I saw this:

    “German Biblical scholar Constantin von Tischendorf wrote about his visit to the monastery in Reise in den Orient in 1846 (translated as Travels in the East in 1847), without mentioning the manuscript. Later, in 1860, in his writings about the Sinaiticus discovery, Tischendorf wrote a narrative about the monastery and the manuscript that spanned from 1844 to 1859. He wrote that in 1844, during his first visit to the Saint Catherine’s Monastery, he saw some leaves of parchment in a waste-basket. They were “rubbish which was to be destroyed by burning it in the ovens of the monastery”,[86] although this is firmly denied by the Monastery. ” = A narrative! Truth in plain sight haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zondervan is really running that story? I thought it was fairly well known that Tischendorf stole the MS. I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit that Zondervan blamed the Russians while painting Tischenford as a saint

      Furthermore, I think there’s a decent argument to be made that Simonides forged the text, but I’m not ultrafamiliar with that so idk right now

      Like

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