Pretty straightforward question - In 1 Kings 18, Elijah speaks with a servant of the Lord named Obadiah. Is that the same guy wrote the book of the same name?
For what it's worth, I once heard a sermon in which the preacher said it was not the same fellow.
My bible has the following intro to Obadiah:
Obadiah wrote this shortest book of the Old Testament probably soon after 586 B.C. when the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. During this conquest, the people of Edom helped capture fleeing Israelites and turn them over to the Babylonians. They even took up residence in some Judean villages. This angered the Lord, for the Edomites, as descendants of Esau, were related to the Israelites (Gen. 25:21-26, 30) and therefore should have helped them. Obadiah prophesied that Edom would be repaid for mitreating God's people. Within a hundred years, Edom was in ruins. Obadiah also asserted that God is sovereign over the nations and that the house of Jacob would be restored because of God's covenant love for his people.
This would seem to preclude the Obadiahs being the same, as Elijah was well before the Judean exile (he was even before the northern kingdom was overrun).
There is much speculation about this Because there is nothing in the book of Obadiah that directly links it to a time period. We must then make our best guess based off of the prophesy of Edom being destroyed and the event of Judah being pillaged. This puts the book between about either 853 BC (When Jerusalem was pillaged 2 Chronicles 21:8-20) and 553 (When Edom was destroyed).
Anything beyond these two dates is a guess. There are some people who hold to it being a certain date but it is a guess. This leaves about 300 years to put the book into. Due to the nature of the prophesies in Obadiah, they must be connected so to speak to an event when Judah was pillaged leaving the 300 year period with two major options for dating the book
Either in 853 (making Obadiah a contemporary of Elijah) This is the option that would make it the same Obadiah.
Or in 586 (Making Obadiah a contemporary of Jeremiah) This option would make it different Obadiahs
The scholars tend to say it was the later of the two options, making it different Obadiahs. However for many reasons (too many to list here now) I personally hold to it being the first option so I personally hold to it being the same man. Yes, there is some scholars that do hold to this as well although not as many. So you really have to weigh the options and you can choose what you think on this one. If I was to give you an answer I would say that they are the same man.
I do plan on getting a detailed explanation of this topic on my own website soon if your interested. I have not done so yet, unfortunately. If you would like a more detailed explanation I do plan, Lord willing, to get one out fairly soon.