What's the biggest time gap between authorship of two books of the Bible?

Honestly, I don't even know the order in which the books of the Bible were written, but I am quite interested in what the longest period of time that elapsed between two authorship of two books of the Scriptures.

  • Are you asking about the chronology of the writing of the books, or the chronology of the content of the books?
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 11:08
  • Actually, having read this question of yours, I am quite confused now. Has it been like the content of a book would depict a time that was already way a past time during the time of writing? If so, then I would probably want to have a question in both dimensions, so to say. Which dimension, by the way, is it in the answer by Sven given below? Is it a dimension of time of writing or the one of the time of the content?
    – brilliant
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 11:24
  • 2
    Of course... Most of the books of the Bible are written as history, so the chronology they portray happened well before the books were written. Genesis is the most extreme example, including a history since the beginning of the world. And some say Revelation is about the future -- if true it was written 2000+ years before the events took place. At any rate, many think Job was the first book of the Bible written, but chronologically it obviously portrays events that occurred after Genesis.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 11:28
  • 2
    And @Sven's answer is talking about the chronology of writing, not the chronology of events portrayed in the writing.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 12:36
  • @Flimzy - Then I am after the chronology of the writing of the books.
    – brilliant
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 6:47

1 Answer 1


The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, was written about 443 B.C. The first book of the New Testament, Matthew, was written about 40 A.D. leaving a 500 year gap between the Old and New Testament books.

Second would be Joshua (~1450 BC) and Judges (written by Samuel ~1100 BC)

  • 1
    I think your dating of the "Gospel of Matthew" is too conservative. Given that estimates for the dates when the canonical gospel accounts were written vary significantly among scholars; and the evidence for any of the dates is scanty. So I ask: What is the source of your claim? How reliable is the source of the claim? Has the claim been verified by somebody else? Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
    – user625
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 13:18
  • @monocode, you're the second who questioned the date and I'll look into it more. I didn't know, but apparently the dates range from 40-100 AD.. I think it's a bit unrelevant to that question so I think maybe this should be asked as a own question.
    – user301
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 13:26
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    You are, of course, ignoring Maccabees.
    – TRiG
    Commented May 19, 2012 at 20:01

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