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?

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 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, 2012 at 12:30
  • 3
    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, 2012 at 14:21


Yes. There are many. Here's One

  • 1
    No, this is not it and I referenced this type of Bible for clarification. I am looking for a historical version, which isn't in chronological order of the events that are occurring in scripture. Instead, scripture is laid out in the order in which is was written across history. Though debatable, this means that the first book of such a Bible could be Job, which would then be followed by the Pentateuch. This is because many scholars believe that the oldest book in the Bible is, in fact, Job.
    – RLH
    Dec 28, 2016 at 13:56
  • You realize that the order in which it was written across history is a matter of debate? As long as you do, look for the Ferrar Fenton version.
    – user34445
    Dec 28, 2016 at 15:26
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    Certainly, but that doesn't mean that a book can't be compiled based off of best, educated guesses and subsequently provide commentary on ordering and potential errancies. Frank Luke had provided above a good online source for this historical list. It seems that it's still primarily ordered by genre sub-divisions, but still historically ordered.
    – RLH
    Dec 28, 2016 at 15:50

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