Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Has there been a published version of the Bible where the text was ordered in the order it is best assumed that it was written?

I'm not interested in a version that is ordered in a chronological sense from the perspective of the history of events. There are plenty of those. I would like to find a version that is ordered entierly in the order in which the text was written.

Obviously, some texts were written around the same time as other portions and an exact chronology may be hard to pin down. That's why I'm looking for a study Bible because I'd also like to read various footnotes regarding any specific debates on when portions of scripture might have been written.

If such a text does not exist, could someone provide a good reference that has outlined this material?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Though I don't know of a Bible published that way, there are some reading plans on the web that work as you describe.

A couple of options for reading plans can be found here. This site is the closest I found to what you wrote about. It has several plans available which may benefit you such as the historical and chronological plans. You'll want to watch here as their terms are not the same as other places. What they call the historical plan places the chapters on the estimated date of their writing while the chronological plan places them based on when the events described happened. You would be looking for the historical.

One obvious way to tell with a reading plan if it is going by order of events or order of writing will be to look at the plan for the Gospels. If each Gospel is presented completely, then the plan is by writing. If the events of the Gospels are interspersed with one another, then you have a plan based on the order of events depicted.


One issue you will have if you find several to compare will be the dating issue. For example, some scholars date Daniel as late as 150 BC while others, date him back in the 5th century. Isaiah will have similar questions related to 8th century and 5th century, or even split in two with the first 39 at one time and then the last 27 later. You'll have to take those into account and weigh your options.

share|improve this answer
Out of curiosity, where does the book of Job fit into the historical timeline. I seem to recall hearing that it was suppose to be one of the oldest books in the Bible. Maybe I just incorrectly recall what I heard or I guess it could have been stated as one of the oldest stories of the Bible, meaning it had been passed down by word of mouth for years before it was transcribed. – RLH Mar 26 '12 at 12:30
AS far as setting, Job shows signs of taking place around the time of Abraham. These signs are things like wealth being expressed by animals owned and that Job acts as priest for his family. When it was written down is a harder question. Most scholars date the writing to somewhere between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. There is a rabbinic tradition that Moses wrote the book (bt Baba Bathra 15a-b), but others take it as a translated work with an unknown author. If Moses, then it needs to be on the plan with the Pentateuch. – Frank Luke Mar 26 '12 at 14:21
Ah, I see. Thanks Frank! – RLH Mar 26 '12 at 14:23

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.