What is the dating for the last books of the Catholic Old Testament?

I'm aware that Maccabees is pretty late, like 1XX BCE (end of 2nd century)... I'm wondering if any books are later than that.

  • The main portion of Second Esdras, contained in many editions of the Latin Vulgate, but not ratified at Trent, was penned around AD 100.
    – user46876
    Sep 12, 2021 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


Here is the list of Catholic Deuterocanonical books. For each book, I researched the most accepted dating by scholars, consulting mostly the Dictionary of New Testament Background, IVP Press, 2000 edited by Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter, Jr. (indicated by DNTB) and Wikipedia.

  • Tobit: Story is set in 8th century BC, currently accepted dating is 225-175 BC (source: Wikipedia)
  • Wisdom of Sirach (also called Ecclesiasticus): collection of sayings and instructions by a devout Jew between 196-175 BC, translated by his grandson into Greek for the benefit of the Jewish community in Egypt after he moved there in 132 BC (source: DNTB: "Sirach")
  • Judith: ancient Jewish novel in the Greco-Roman period, widely accepted date is 150 BC, reflecting the trauma of the Maccabean revolt (source: DNTB, "Judith")
  • Baruch (1 Baruch): pseudepigrapha originally composed in Hebrew as early as mid-second century BC but appended only to the Greek version of Jeremiah, (source: DNTB: "Baruch, Books of")
  • 1 Maccabees: History beginning with the accession of Antiochus IV (175-164 BC) and ends with the accession of John Hyrcanus (135-104 BC), dating likely 125 BC (source: DNTB, "1 and 2 Maccabees")
  • 2 Maccabees: History beginning with the reign of Seleucus IV (187-175 BC) and ends with the death of Judas Maccabeus in 162 BC, dating most likely 125 BC, matching the letter preface (source: DNTB, "1 and 2 Maccabees")
  • Additions to Esther: around 114 BC (source: Early Jewish Writings website article)
  • Additions to Jeremiah (Epistle of Jeremiah):no earlier than 540 BC and no later than 100 BC (fragment found in Qumran Cave 7), (source: Wikipedia)
  • Additions to Daniel: Greek additions were never part of the Hebrew text, part of LXX (circa 100 BC) (source: David A. deSilva, Introducing the Apocrypha)
  • Wisdom of Solomon: anonymous work of Alexandrian Judaism, dating between 220 BC to 100 AD, most likely within the early Roman principate period (27 BC or later) (source: DNTB, "Wisdom of Solomon") or late 1st century BC to early 1st century AD (source:wikipedia)

As you can see below, most were written before 100 BC with the exception of the Wisdom of Solomon (late 1st century BC or early 1st century AD).

  • thanks for the research. if you could order them chronologically where possible then that might help make it clearer
    – barlop
    Sep 25, 2019 at 12:43
  • @barlop I edited the answer to reorder the books chronologically Sep 25, 2019 at 16:06
  • I don't understand the suggestion of Wisdom of Solomon in the source referenced above as being potentially as late as 100 AD. The book of Romans alludes strongly to Wisdom chapters 13-14 in 1:18-32, and 1 Clement 3:4 alludes to Wisdom 2:24. (Besides a few other probable NT allusions). Sep 27, 2019 at 17:54
  • @Casey Perkins. The DNTB dictionary article wants to report more than taking a position: "About the date of Wisdom there is wider debate. Scholars have placed it anywhere between 220 B.C. and A.D. 100, often insisting that it arose during “some period of persecution” (Newsome). The earliest date is set by Wisdom’s clear use of the Greek translation of Isaiah, Job and Proverbs (Clarke; Reider; Holmes). The latest date is set by the evident use of the work by several NT authors (Holmes and Reider, vs. Gilbert and Grant, who express reservations concerning demonstrable dependence)." Sep 27, 2019 at 18:09
  • @Casey Perkins. But the DNTB article also favors earlier dating: "A date within the early Roman period, especially the principate, seems most likely. First, the description of the development of the ruler cult in Wisdom 14:16–20 best describes not the cult of the Ptolemies, which was organized and promoted from the center, but the spontaneous, decentralized development of the imperial cult under Augustus (who was also Egypt’s first remote ruler since Alexander the Great; Winston)." Sep 27, 2019 at 18:11

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