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Who Wrote Most Of The Books In The New Testament

Whomever it was that wrote the Bible sure had a lot of time on their hands. That’s because there are over 60 books in the Bible, each written by a different person or group.

Who wrote the books of the Bible? That’s a question I have struggled with for a long time, since I was a child. But it wasn’t until three years ago, when I decided to get back into reading the Bible, did I start to seriously look into this topic.

­­­­The Bible is a large collection of books. There are many questions about who wrote the books of the Bible and what the order is. This article will answer those questions for anyone wondering too

who wrote most of the books in the new testament

Who wrote most of the books in the new testament

If you’ve ever asked your pastor or Sunday school teacher, “Who wrote each book of the Bible?” you probably got one of two responses:

“God wrote the Bible.” The Holy Spirit moved prophets like Moses and apostles like Paul to write about God’s relationship with the world (1 Ti 3:16; 2 Pe 1:20–21).
“About 40 people wrote the Bible.” The individual books were written by many authors over many years in many places to many different people groups.
In a way, both of these answers are true, but by now you’re probably looking for a little more detail about the authors of the Bible. And rightly so: when you’re studying a book or passage of the Bible, it’s pretty important to know who wrote it.

But there’s a lot of nuance that goes into answering this question. The Bible didn’t fall out of heaven, and it was a long time in the making.

So, let’s take a closer look at the people whom tradition says wrote the Bible. Before we jump into the list of names, let me throw out a few disclaimers:

The 8 traditional authors of the new testament of the Bible

1.Matthew/Levi (Matthew)

Authors of the Bible MatthewMatthew is one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, and one of the four evangelists who wrote down Jesus’s story. When we meet Matthew, he’s a tax collector for Rome. Tax collectors weren’t very popular in Israel, because they collected money from fellow Jews to pay a heathen king. But when Jesus calls Matthew to follow him, Matthew closes his booth down to serve the true King of the Jews. Then he brings Jesus over for dinner (Mt 9:9–10).

Matthew is called Levi in the other gospels, which may indicate that he’s from the tribe of Levi—we’re not sure (Mk 2:14–15; Lk 5:27–29).

2. John Mark (Mark)
Authors of the Bible John MarkMark’s an interesting character in the background of the New Testament. We first meet Mark in the book of Acts. When Peter miraculously escapes from prison, he goes to Mark’s mother’s house (Ac 12:12). Later, Paul and Barnabas bring Mark along on their missionary journey as a helper, but he leaves them and goes back to Jerusalem (13:5, 13). When Paul and Barnabas prepare for their second journey, Barnabas suggests bringing John Mark again, but Paul won’t hear it (15:37–38). Paul and Barnabas disagree so sharply that they split up: Barnabas takes Mark to Cyprus, and Paul starts a new missionary team (15:39–40).

Mark matures, though. Decades later, Mark is considered useful to Paul (2 Ti 4:11) and a son to Peter (1 Pe 5:13). According to tradition, Mark is the one who writes down Peter’s stories of Jesus—which is how we got the Gospel of Mark.

3.Luke (Luke | Acts)

Luke is a physician who accompanies Paul through thick and thin (Co 4:14; 2 Ti 4:11). His skills probably come in handy, because Paul takes a lot of beatings (2 Co 24ff).

But Luke’s greatest legacy is his contribution to the New Testament. Luke write more of the NT than anyone else (yes, even more than Paul). Luke’s a meticulous journalist who sets out to record the life and ministry of Jesus in consecutive order (Lk 1:1–4), and later records the history of the early church (Ac 1:1–2). He composes these accounts on behalf of a mysterious Christian named Theophilus, who wants to learn more about his Christian faith.

4.John (John | 1 John | 2 John | 3 John | Revelation)
Authors of the Bible JohnHe’s another member of the 12 apostles, a former fisherman from Galilee who follows Jesus (Mk 1:19–20). The Lord gives John and his brother James the nickname “Sons of Thunder” (Mk 3:17). The Bible doesn’t say how he earned this nickname, but John does seem to have a stormy personality at times (Lk 9:51–56).

After the resurrection, John becomes a pillar of the early church (Ga 2:9). He writes a persuasive account of Jesus’ earthly ministry, death, and resurrection, and then writes four letters (the last one, Revelation, includes many apocalyptic visions). According to tradition, John becomes an elder at the church at Ephesus. He is eventually exiled to the Isle of Patmos (Rev 1:9).

Fun fact: of all the epistles in the New Testament, John writes the longest (Revelation) and the shortest (3 John). In fact, 3 John is the shortest book of the Bible.

5.Paul (Romans–Philemon)
Authors of the Bible PaulPaul may not have the word count that Moses has, but he writes more individual documents than any other biblical author—13, to be exact.

When we first meet Paul, he’s not leading the church: he’s leading the charge against it. Paul (also called Saul) kidnaps Christians from the regions around Judea and brings them to Jerusalem to suffer the punishment for blasphemy. That punishment was often prison or death (Ac 8:3; 9:1–2).

But when Jesus stops Paul on the road to Damascus, Paul is forever changed. He becomes an apostle, the face of the church to the non-Jews around the Roman empire (Ep 3:1, 8). He travels across the world planting churches and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul’s letters to the Christians spread across the world make up his contribution to the Bible. Some of these letters were written to churches he had planted, others were to churches he hoped to visit someday. Paul also wrote to specific leaders in the local churches, like Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

6.James (James)
Authors of the Bible JamesJames the Just is the younger brother of Jesus (Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3), the son of Mary and Joseph. James doesn’t believe in Jesus while the Lord is going about his earthly ministry (Jn 7:5). But that all changes after Jesus rises from the dead. Jesus specifically appears to James (1 Co 15:7), and afterward James becomes one of the main leaders in the early church.

James is especially savvy when it comes to balancing freedom in Christ with respect for God’s holiness. When the church is undecided on how Gentiles should treat the Law of Moses, James settles the matter with a few pointers (Ac 15:13–21).

Later, James writes a letter to the Christian Jews scattered across the world, encouraging them to keep working out their faith. We call this letter the book of James.

7.Peter (1 Peter | 2 Peter)
Authors of the Bible PeterYou all know Peter. He’s the leader of the 12 apostles (Mt 10:2) and a pillar in the early church (Ga 2:9). Just as Paul is entrusted with bringing the gospel to the Gentiles, Peter is the face of the gospel to the Jews (Ga 2:7).

This guy is pretty hardcore. He walks on water (Mt 14:29), he cuts off some guy’s ear to protect Jesus (Mk 14:29, 31; Jn 18:10), and boldly declares that Jesus is the anointed one, the Christ (Mt 16:16). Yes, he’s also the one who denies Jesus three times at the Lord’s trial (Jn 18:15–16), but the resurrection totally transforms him. When the Holy Spirit comes to the church, Peter openly preaches the gospel of Jesus in the city.

Peter wrote two books of the Bible, and both are named after him. The first explains how Christians should live as aliens in this world: even though we’ll suffer, it’s nothing compared to the glory to come. The second letter urges Christians to remember what Peter has taught them even after he dies (2 Pe 1:13–14).

8.Jude (Jude)
Authors of the Bible JudeJude is Jesus’ and James’ younger brother (Jude 1). Like James, he didn’t believe in Jesus during Jesus’ ministry on earth (Jn 7:5), but after the resurrection, he became a Christian. Jude writes one book of the Bible: a letter urging believers to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3–4).

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Who wrote most of the New Testament?
who wrote most of the New Testament

The questions “Who wrote most of the New Testament?” and “Who wrote most of the books of the New Testament?” are different questions with different answers. By number of books, Paul is at the top; by volume, Luke is the winner.

The apostle Paul wrote the most books of the New Testament—13 total out of 27:

• Romans
• 1 and 2 Corinthians
• Galatians
• Ephesians
• Philippians
• Colossians
• 1 and 2 Thessalonians
• 1 and 2 Timothy
• Titus
• Philemon

Paul clearly identifies himself as the author of each “book” that he wrote. Actually, all of his writings are epistles (letters) written to individuals or churches to instruct them in the faith.

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