Also, we must remember that not every tradition gets retold. 347-419 or 420) was a priest and ascetic who moved frequently and wrote on many topics relevant to the church. 354-430) was a convert to Christianity and became bishop of Hippo.

Here are a few salient things that we do know more or less for certain: the Pentateuch was written first (by Moses, ca. C., I would say), and Revelation was written last (by John, ca. D., I would say; see the link), so that our English Bible order of the very first and last parts of the Bible is indeed chronological.

For many of the books of the Bible we are only able to give approximate dates.

Commentary: While the canon of scripture is indeed inspired, the placement of the books is not.

The order of the Hebrew Bible, for example, is somewhat different from the order you are no doubt familiar with (e.g., 1&2 Chronicles are the very last books, with Daniel placed along with Ezra and Nehemiah just before them). Still, the first five books ("of Moses") are universally first in the OT just like the gospels are in the NT, with the book of Revelation universally last.

There is an unbroken chain of writers discussing the New Testament that goes back to soon after the Gospels were written.

The writings of the church fathers are referred to as "the tradition" or as "patristic sources" in most discussions of this subject. All information from after this time either depends on earlier available sources or is suspect because we are unable to determine what the earlier sources are.

You can find a list of related links on the following page: BB 7: Bibliology.

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The authors must have clear links to the eyewitnesses (or be eyewitnesses) to reduce the possibility of communication mistakes.