1st book of the Bible. Oldest book


Dose anyone know what book was written first? I heard one of the epistles by Paul. Anyone know which one. Now did the church go from the synagogues to the tombs? How could they have celebrated the Eucharist in a synagogue?



The first book of the Old Testament was probably Job. The first book of the New Testament was probably 1 Thessalonians.

The early Jewish Christians, when they went to synagogue, would celebrate Mass afterwards in their homes.


Oh I thought they were in the catacombs I heard. And there were relics too back then.


I think the earliest evidence of Christians in the catacombs is under the perfection of Septimius Severus in 200 A.D. By that time Christianity and Judaism were very separate. I think it was only in the first century that Christians occasionally worshipped in the synagogues, and they still celebrated Mass afterwards. There were relics though, that’s definitely true.


There was a clear nexus of Temple Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism and Christian worship in the early Church. The first Christians were Jews, and they did not suddenly drop everything having to do with Judaism, get baptized and go to Mass.

Peter and Paul prayed and taught in the temple. Paul took the vow of a Nazarite and made offerings in the Temple. Everywhere Paul visited, he went to the Jews first and always sought out the synagogue as soon as arrived. These facts are very clearly documented in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles.

Hebrew Christians were thought to be a sect of Judaism - crazy Jews who though the Messiah had come and risen from the dead. It wasn’t until the destruction of the temple in 70 AD that there started to be a formal split. Judaism no longer had Temple worship and it was a shock to their culture. Over the next few centuries Rabbinic Judaism as we know it today would become the predominant form of Jewish worship. Eventually Rome imposed a temple tax on every Jew, as punishment for the Jewish uprisings. To further insult the Jews, the tax was used for the upkeep of the temple to the pagan god Zeus. Christians argued that they were not Jews to keep from paying the temple tax, and the split between Christians and Jews widened. Christianity was formally recognized by Rome as a separate religion.

So yes, Jewish worship and Christian worship existed side by side in the early Church. It is difficult for many Catholics to accept this but it is fact, and well documented in Acts of the Apostles. We see the Jewish influence in our own worship today. Many of the rituals are Christianized versions of Jewish rituals.

Mikveh purification baths became baptism
The feast of the Dedication of the Temple became Christmas.
Passover became the Eucharist



By the way, this post is supposed to say persecution, not perfection. I typed this paragraph on my phone and did not realize until now that there was a typo.


Don’t you hate it when that happens?

I notice on my phone that a long quote will not fit in the window when I want to quote a post either. Grr!


Hi billcu1,

Here is the chronology of the books of the Bible according to La bible de Jérusalem (1979), These dates are approximate and sometimes controversial.


BC 1250 : Moses substantial author of Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)

BC 750 Amos and Oseah
BC 740 Isaiah 1-39; Micheah
BC 630 Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Lamentations, Baruch
BC 622 First version of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings
BC 612 Nahum
BC 600 Habaquq
BC 587 to BC 538 Ezechiel ; Isaiah 40-55
BC 515 Haggai and Zachariah (1-8); possibly Isaiah 56-66
After BC 500 : Obadiah
BC 445 Malachi ; possibly Job; Proverbs, Song of songs, Ruth. Many Psalms
BC 400 Pentateuch legislation unified; Joel, Chronicles and Esdras -Nehemiah
BC 333 Zachariah 9-14 ; Jonah and Tobias
After BC 300 Ecclesiastes and Esther
BC 180 : Hebrew version of Ecclesiasticus
BC 166 Daniel
BC 132 Greek translation of of Ecclesiasticus
BC 125 2nd book of Macchabees
BC 100 1st book of Macchabees; Judith
BC 50 Wisdom

AD 50 Aramaic Matthew
AD 51 Epistle to the Thessalonicians
AD 57 Epistles to Galatians, Corinthians (Philippians?) Romans
AD 58 Epistle of James
AD 62 Epistles to Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon (Philippians?)
AD 64 1st Peter; Mark
AD 65 1st Timothy; Titus
AD 64-67 Epistle to the Hebrews; 2nd Timothy
AD 67 Greek Matthew; Luke; Acts of the Apostles
AD 70 Jude; 2nd Peter
AD 95 John : Apocalypse, Gospel and Epistles


dud; really, those, “perfect” Christians in those day’s joy, death, and, taxes theo’ua’ll did yes not of knowin fo’r sure and those culture in that eo"ns’s s’th ob’o_ back then geez gustatory perception . and then then some . and and, a’n! what did they do then? they just wnt out and andandand … just banged up their own ( Get thist., ) works and guess what man thus is the topper they found the rich who where formally poor then communally salling forth amoungst themselves then with none angst as if gaggle’s of flivvers went and goer’ to to the living poor betwixt and they have the golly gumptions of gumshoes; golashes that is; globe amaranth and dang vernier micrometerishing verily o’’_k’’’'aay and this is just the initial reports of passes on ,those Galieeans: peeps.

God bless ya

  • the john , fell’er


If you mean which writings of the New Testament were composed first, then it is a toss up between the epistles of James and Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. Both were composed in the early 50s of the first century.

The Gospels

While the gospel of Matthew didn’t end up in the Greek format we are familiar with today until maybe a year or so after Mark composed his, the latest critical scholarship believes that the Hebrew collection of Jesus’ sayings or “oracles” was written by Matthew first as claimed by Papias and has a good chance of being the long-debated “Q” source that ended up in the synoptic gospels. This was around the mid-60s of the first century for the completed forms of both gospels, with a likelihood that Matthew’s oracle source came before and might have been known as early as the time Paul was composing his first canonical letters.

Old Testament Books

As for Old Testament books, scholars debate as to whether Job is the oldest or actually a supplement to the very early written forms of the Torah. The oral stories that made up the first part of the Torah or Pentateuch are of course the oldest sources and predate Job.

Early Jewish Christians, the Sabbath, and the Lord’s Day

Early Jewish Christians did NOT celebrate the Eucharist in the synagogue, nor did they stop participating in Jewish worship until the Second Temple fell in 70 A.D. It was that event that created the biggest chasm between Jews and Jewish Christians, even though the division had already begun to grow before, because after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem it was impossible to return to the former way of Jewish cultic worship without the Temple.

Before then Jewish Christians did not celebrate the Eucharist in the synagogue because they were Torah observant at the time. (Acts 21:20) Remember that the Eucharist has been celebrated on the Lord’s Day, the day AFTER the Jewish Sabbath. Jewish Christians still observed the Sabbath and went to the synagogue on that day, Saturday. The Lord’s Day, which began after sundown on Saturday, was when the Jewish Christians got together to break the bread of the Eucharist, and they did this in private homes. Jews could not gather for the Eucharist before as travel was limited as were gatherings outside of Jewish worship.

Eutychus Died and Was Resurrected on Saturday Night

But as soon as Saturday evening came, it appears that the even Gentile Christians would get together at that cue to make it easier for the Jewish Christians to join them. Note how this explains how Paul’s lengthy sermon caused young Eutychus to fall asleep and to his death. (See Acts 20:7-12) This ancient Mass begins “on the first day of the week” but at night because Paul’s homily lasts “until midnight” and the breaking of the bread of the Eucharist happened right after Eutychus was resurrected by Paul. It is unlikely that Paul began his homily in the morning and spoke “until daybreak,” and the late hour explains why Eutychus fell asleep (sure it was a long homily, but the hour was late to begin with).

This “first day of the week” Eucharist celebration was obviously a Saturday night that continued “until daybreak” of Sunday, the Lord’s Day. It didn’t happen in a synagogue but a private home because this event occurred in Troas where no synagogues existed (though apparently some Jews did live there). And Paul had to take advantage of preaching late into the night because in the first century the Lord’s Day was not a work-free day in the Roman world (or in the Jewish world for that matter). Christians had little choice but to take advantage of worship at night, after the Sabbath ended on Saturday night, before the work of the “first day of the week” began.

The Road to the Catacombs

But again, when the Temple was destroyed and Jerusalem fell to the Romans, the previous Jewish culture came to an end. As a consequence Christians were also persecuted by Rome and thus worship had to be done in hiding, hence the worship in the catacombs.

As history continued, Jewish Christians were eventually made to separate from their brethren in the synagogues. There followed even a period of misunderstanding and anti-Semitism that attempted to force Jewish Christians and Jews in general to abandon their culture completely. By this time all connection between the two seemed lost.

A Return to Preserving the Jewish Culture in and Outside the Church

Times have changed however. The Catholic Church has recently come to understand that this division was a sad chapter in Christian history. Today Jewish Catholics are allowed to observe the cultural Holy Days of the Jewish people, and the Church strives to keep a living dialogue going between Christians and Jews. A recent Vatican report on the matter concluded thus:

In the past, the break between the Jewish people and the Church of Christ Jesus could sometimes, in certain times and places, give the impression of being complete. In the light of the Scriptures, this should never have occurred. For a complete break between Church and Synagogue contradicts Sacred Scripture–“The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible” by the Pontifical Biblical Commission, 2001.


would not they been writ at the same time ( whensoever besides the days of yore, then was now ) since God deigns to take and give before what is indited by the recipients of Our word? myself can believe that His ( Our God’s ) given story ( scripture ) is as true to form as now nonetheless, the inspired Book was written and is now been written for longer than any can imagine. in short God wrote the story and all of us even i conceptualize and act on Tradition with His young but new book.

      hope this helps dearly You sir,

God bless

john -


The consensus nowadays is that it’s 1 Thessalonians (ca. AD 51). As for the Old Testament - well, it’s really hard to say. As far as I know though the oldest OT book which we could more or less pin an approximate date to is Amos (ca. 750 BC).


As far as the NT is concerned, I think it’s either James or Galatians:


The date of this short epistle is intrinsically bound up with its authorship. If, as we have argued, this letter is by James, the bother of the Lord, then it must have been written before 62 CE (the date of James’ death).59 Among those who embrace the traditional authorship, two dates are normally advocated: either early (pre-50s) or late (toward the end of James’ life). It is our opinion that an early date best fits the evidence.


According to the south Galatian theory (i.e., in its most popular form), the terminus ad quem of this epistle must be before the Council of Acts 15 and the terminus a quo must be after Paul’s visit to Jerusalem in Acts 11:30. In other words, Galatians must have been written between autumn, 46 CE and autumn, 48 CE.16

As the date of this epistle, this can be more precisely determined as we look at the occasion. Suffice it to say here, it seems that this letter was written shortly before the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15—that is, in late summer/fall of 48 CE (or 49 CE).


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