The Bible was written at different times with various authors writing biblical books in the generations they lived. These authors were inspired by God in writing the bible. The Bible has been divided into two main parts; Old Testament which was written before the coming of Christ Jesus and the New Testament written after the coming of Jesus (Hill & Walton 2009). The Bible is further subdivided into smaller categories: with the Old Testament divided into four; the Pentateuch, the Prophets, both major and Minor and the Poetic Books. The New Testament is divided into: the Gospels, the epistles and the only prophetic book in the New Testament, Revelation (Nelson 2008).
Old Testament Major Prophets and their Time Lines
Prophet Isaiah wrote the book of Isaiah between 740 and 700 BC and the theme the book is Judgment. Following the sin of the people of Judah, God through prophet Isaiah tells of the future destruction of Judah to be followed by them being exiled in Babylon (Bandstra 2009). Isaiah also brings hope to the people of Judah that should they turn away from their wicked ways then the Lord shall restore them. The same teachings and prophesies were also passed by the Prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah between 627 and 580BC because during his time Judah was declining from following the ways of God (Hill & Walton 2009).
Ezekiel began his ministry after he was called by God from 590 BC to 570Bc and preached the same message to Judah as it was the case with Isaiah and Jeremiah. In the year 586BC, prophesies came to pass and Jerusalem was under siege with Ezekiel being a captive in Babylon. While in captivity Ezekiel and Daniel prophesied the restoration of Jerusalem (Stuart 2009).
Old Testament Minor Prophets and their Timelines
Considering the Minor Prophets, Jonah for instance lived in Israel in the year 770BC. He declared the love of God to a pagan nation that was hesitant to the voice of God. His obedience to the command of God to go and preach in Nineveh is a clear indication that no one can escape the will of God. In 760BC, Jonah lived in Judah and was sent by God the northern Kingdoms to rebuke them of their sin and ask them to turn back to God (Stuart 2009).
Hosea is another minor prophet that lived in Israel and is referred to as the ‘the prophet of divine Love. Hosea lived in Israel during the reign of King Jeroboam from 786BC to 746BC. And he preached between the years 760BC to 730BC. Hosea learned to trust God when the Lord used the unfaithfulness of his wife to show how much painful it is when God’s people live his ways (Nelson 2008).
Micah, a young prophet, prophesied to Judah from 737BC to 690BC telling of the coming wrath of God should they remain in sin. However, Micah also prophesied hope telling of the coming of the Messiah. Habakkuk and Zephaniah lived in almost the same time from 630BC prophesying the coming judgment upon Judah. Between 593-570 BC, Nahum prophesized the downfall of Nineveh. At the same time, Joel prophesied God pouring his spirit to all men in 500BC and this was made true on the day of Pentecost as Peter testified on that day. The shortest prophetic book is the book of Obadiah addressing the Edomites prophesying their doom in the year 500BC (Hill & Walton 2009).
After exile, the book of Haggai was written in 520BC with 15 years of preaching. The theme of Haggai was rebuilding of the temple after the exile. This prophesies were echoed by prophet Zachariah who also encourages the rebuilding of the temple and the coming of the Messiah which will bring restoration to the nation of Israel (Bandstra 2009). Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament giving detailed information about Judeans in the Persian period. Malachi’s prophesies are also apostate mentioning the judgment awaiting evildoers. Finally, Malachi declares the hope that will follow the coming of the Messiah just as Elijah was a sign of hope to those who believed in God during his time (Bandstra 2009).