How Long After Jesus Died Was the Bible Written?

As devout believers in Christ, we often find ourselves diving into the pages of the Bible, seeking wisdom and guidance from the good book that has taught us about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. However, it’s not uncommon for curious minds to wonder about the origins of the Bible, and specifically, how long after Jesus’ crucifixion were its pages penned.

Exploring the timeline of the Bible’s creation may provide us a deeper understanding and appreciation of its extraordinary contents and the dedication of those who took it upon themselves to document and share Jesus’ message with the world.

So join us, as we embark on an enlightening journey to uncover the fascinating history behind the writing of the Bible, drawing inspiration and knowledge from the New King James Version (NKJV) in our search for answers.

How Long After Jesus Died Was the Bible Written?

I. Historical Context: The Timeline of Jesus’ Death and the Bible’s Creation

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The timeline of Jesus’ death and the Bible’s creation are essential to understanding the development of early Christianity. According to historical records, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place around 30 AD, under the Roman governor Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:1-2, Luke 3:1).

It’s important to note that the New Testament was not written immediately following Jesus’ death but was penned over a span of several decades. Scholars generally agree that the first books of the New Testament, Paul’s letters, were composed around 50 AD, with the Gospel of Mark likely being written around 65-70 AD.

Apart from the New Testament’s creation, the Old Testament was compiled over a much more extended period. Written in Hebrew and Aramaic, the Old Testament is an indispensable part of the Christian Bible. It’s commonly understood that the Torah (the first five books in the Old Testament) was written by Moses somewhere between 1400 and 1300 BC.

The remaining books in the Old Testament, including historical narratives, prophetic texts, and poetic works (like the Psalms), are believed to have been written between 1000 and 500 BC. By examining the timeline of Jesus’ death and the Bible’s creation, it becomes evident that the two events are separated by a significant span of time. This highlights the importance of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration in the authors of the New Testament, ensuring the continuity and authenticity of the teachings passed down through generations.

II. The New Testament: Its Evolution from Oral Tradition to Written Text

The New Testament was primarily spread through oral tradition before being documented into written text. Jesus’ teachings and the Gospel message were first shared by word of mouth, with His apostles and other followers passing on the Good News by recounting stories of His life, miracles, and teachings. The apostles’ preaching relied heavily on the power of memory and storytelling, a common way of preserving history and important teachings in ancient times.

This oral tradition ensured that the early Christian communities had access to Jesus’ teachings, even though they did not have a written Bible. It was only after a few decades that the growing church recognized the need to record these teachings, resulting in the Gospels, epistles, and other New Testament texts.

There are several reasons why the transformation from oral tradition to written text occurred. One primary reason was the concern that the original apostles who had personally witnessed Jesus’ teachings were beginning to pass away, making it crucial to preserve their memories in writing. Thus, the Gospel writers, also known as Evangelists, began to document the life and teachings of Jesus in written form. The four canonical Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – were authored between A.D. 50 and 100, each offering unique perspectives on His life and ministry. The New Testament was further enriched by the inclusion of various epistles, such as:

  • Paul’s Letters: Written by the apostle Paul to address specific concerns within the early churches he founded or visited.
  • General Epistles: Written by other apostles or their followers, addressing issues faced by the early Christian communities.
  • Revelation: A prophetic and apocalyptic text attributed to the apostle John, offering hope to believers in times of persecution.

Each of these texts played a significant role in the formation of New Testament doctrine, providing the spiritual foundation upon which the early Christian Church was built. Today, we continue to experience the power and impact of these texts as they guide our faith and unite us as believers in Jesus Christ.

III. Authors, Apostles, and Scribes: The People behind the Bible’s Composition

The Bible is a collection of 66 books, penned by around **40 different authors** over a period of about 1,500 years. These authors range from shepherds, kings, prophets, and apostles, among other diverse backgrounds. Some of the prominent authors in the Old Testament include Moses (the Pentateuch), King David (Psalms), and Isaiah (The Book of Isaiah).

In the New Testament, we have the Gospel accounts written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The Apostle Paul also contributed to a majority of the epistles, also known as letters, in the New Testament. Other key authors in the New Testament are Peter, James, and Jude. Many of these authors were guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit in their writing, as stated in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…

Aside from the main authors, there were also scribes and apostles who played a significant role in the composition and preservation of biblical texts. Some examples of scribes from the Old Testament are Ezra and Baruch, who were responsible for recording prophetic words and Jewish history. In the New Testament, the role of the apostles, such as Peter and John, was crucial in spreading the gospel message and ensuring the accurate teachings of Jesus were transmitted to future generations.

Many of their firsthand experiences were shared through their letters or in collaboration with their scribe companions, like Silas and Mark, who assisted in the writing of the gospels and epistles. By working together with authors, apostles, and scribes, these individuals contributed to the compilation of the divinely-inspired texts that make up the Holy Bible we treasure today.

IV. Deciphering the Gap: The Significance of the Span between Jesus’ Death and Bible’s Compilation

The period between Jesus’ death and the compilation of the Bible, often referred to as the gap, is an essential period to consider for a proper understanding of the formation and context of early Christianity. The gap spans approximately three centuries, during which time the early church was engaged in the process of forming a coherent New Testament canon. This was not an easy or straightforward endeavor as it involved choosing from a large number of different texts, and determining which of these texts aligned with their understanding of Jesus’ life and teachings.

During this gap period, a variety of factors contributed to the eventual compilation of the New Testament canon. Some key factors include:

  • Oral tradition: After Jesus’ death, His teachings and the accounts of His life were initially passed down through word of mouth. These oral accounts provided a foundation for written records to be produced and subsequently included in the New Testament.
  • Apostolic authority: The early church sought to establish a biblical canon that was directly attributed to the apostles, in order to maintain a strong connection to Jesus and the original apostolic teachings.
  • Textual consistency: In an effort to remain consistent with the life and teachings of Jesus, texts that were aligned with this core message were prioritized and included in the canon.
  • Emerging heresies: The efforts to define the biblical canon were often a response to emerging heresies in early Christianity. The church was motivated to consolidate an authoritative body of scripture to counter these alternative and often contradictory interpretations of Jesus’ life and teachings.
  • Regional acceptance: Texts that were widely used and accepted by various Christian communities were more likely to be included in the New Testament canon.

By understanding the factors that shaped the New Testament canon during the gap period, we can appreciate the significance the time played in shaping the foundation of the Christian faith. This undertaking to compile the Bible not only refined the core teachings of Christianity, but it also solidified Jesus’ message within the hearts and minds of the early believers. (“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16, NKJV).


In conclusion, we hope you’ve gained a better understanding and appreciation for the historical context and timeline of the Bible’s creation, specifically the New Testament, following Jesus’ death. It’s important to recognize that the inspired writings by the authors of the books in the New Testament began emerging as early as 50 AD, just around 20 years after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, with the process extending over several decades, finishing with the book of Revelation written around 95 AD.

Let’s not forget how the apostles and early Christians devoted their lives to spreading the Gospel and strengthening the Church amidst challenging circumstances. As we read in 2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV), “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” This verse encourages us to treat all the scriptures in the Bible as divine guidance given to us for leading a righteous and fulfilling life.

As you continue your walk with Christ, may you be inspired to study the Bible diligently, appreciate the divine wisdom passed down through generations, and most importantly, cultivate a life-changing relationship with our Lord and Savior. Happy reading!

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