Dating old testament
In Christian Bibles the Book of Ruth, which belongs in the final section of the Hebrew Bible, is inserted between Judges and Samuel.According to Jewish tradition dating from at least the 2nd century CE, the Book of Joshua was by Joshua, the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel were by the prophet Samuel (with some passages by the prophets Gad and Nathan), while the two Books of Kings were by Jeremiah.Lamentations is assigned by tradition to the Prophet Jeremiah; linguistic and theological evidence point to its origin as a distinct book in the 3rd or 2nd century BCE, with the contents having their origin in special mourning observances in Exilic and post-Exilic Jewish communities.The Book of Esther was composed in the late 4th or early 3rd century BCE among the Jews of the eastern diaspora.The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is the collection of scriptures making up the Bible used by Judaism; the same books, in a slightly different order, also make up the Protestant version of the Old Testament.
Deuteronomy is treated separately from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.
The Song of the Three Holy Children (i.e., the three thrown into the furnace) may have been composed by priestly circles in Jerusalem.
Susanna may have been composed around 170–130 BCE in the context of the Hellenisation struggle.
The remaining collections are probably later, with the book reaching its final form around the 3rd century BCE.
The Book of Ecclesiastes is usually dated to the mid-3rd century BCE. The book's claim of Solomon as author is a literary fiction; the author also identifies himself as "Qoheleth", a word of obscure meaning which critics have understood variously as a personal name, a nom de plume, an acronym, and a function; a final self-identification is as "shepherd", a title usually implying royalty.
The genre of the book is the novella or short story, and it draws on the themes of wisdom literature; its sources are still unresolved.