A complete list of the traditional authors.
hile the New Testament is more straightforward about the human authors who penned the various books, the Old Testament is a bit more mysterious.
The Old Testament is the heritage of the Jewish people and their traditions surrounding the human authorship of it are not frequently talked about in Christian circles. This is partly due to the constant debate among scripture scholars regarding biblical authorship. Some scholars agree with the various traditions, while many more point to historical authors who will never be known to humanity on this earth.
Whatever the case may be, the Church affirms, “God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth” (CCC 136).
We may not know for certain who wrote the Old Testament, but we shouldn’t dismiss the traditions that have been passed down through the centuries. The traditions are important and help us to understand the cultural context of each book in the Bible.
Here is a complete list of the traditional authors of the Old Testament, who may have had a hand in some way with recording the various events of salvation history.
1 Samuel (with Gad & Nathan)
2 Samuel (Gad & Nathan)
Song of Solomon
Sirach (or Ben Sira)
Prophetic books (self-ascribed authorship)
Wisdom (sometimes this book is ascribed to Solomon)
1 and 2 Maccabees