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Professions of the Bible Writers

Natasha is an avid bookworm and a Christian indie author. She wrote "The Ellises Series" and many other works.

The Bible was written by many people over thousands of years—so who were these authors, and what were their professions?

The Bible was written by many people over thousands of years—so who were these authors, and what were their professions?

Bible Authors and Their Occupations

Inspired men of God wrote a total of 66 books of what we have come to know as the Bible. Of course, anyone who believes in God knows that the Bible is authored by God through the human help of those who had a close relationship to God and were willing to pen their encounters, stories, and reflections on life according to whatever they were led by God to record.

This is especially true in terms of Creation, foretold prophecies, and ceremonial laws. In that way, the Book is a living source of relationships—theirs and God's—and how they link to us today.

The Bible is the most widely discussed and disputed book in history.

The Bible is the most widely discussed and disputed book in history.

Bible Authors Come From All Walks of Life

We can learn from understanding more about the Bible writers that it doesn't matter where we come from or what we do for a living—any of us can be used by God at any time. Surely, the men who wrote all that they did had no idea how much of an impact their words would have through the centuries!

The Bible remains the most widely talked about, sought after, and disputed book to ever be distributed. The fact that other religions have similar stories in their theologies is reason enough to believe this ancient book of Truths and Secrets as valid, standing the test of time from the many archeological finds in the past two centuries alone.

There are many who aim to disprove everything contained within this article as 100% accurate by twisting things out of context, but it's also clear that not everyone will be convinced 100% of the time. That's okay; it's a personal decision to agree—and once you do, no one can take that away from you! So for those who heartily embrace a spiritual life, may you find the wisdom and peace that comes from the reading of His Word!

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

— Joshua 24:15

None of the Bible Authors Were Writers by Trade

Curiously enough, none of the men who wrote books of the Bible wrote for a living (as in freelancers or authors). In fact, they all held other occupations, which makes the act of their writing so concisely that much more Divinely inspired.

It doesn't mean that none of them were artistically bent—think about someone like Moses, whose writing reflected his years of experience in a leadership role, or King David, who expressed his praise through verse, song, and dance.

The Pentateuch: The First Five Books of the Bible

The Bible itself is separated into two parts—the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old refers to everything that led up to the generations before Jesus' time.

The New recounts the genealogy of Jesus and the history surrounding His birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, as well as the predictions about His second coming and the end of the world.

The first five books of the Old Testament are commonly referred to as the Pentateuch, which is Hebrew for "five books." Each book of the Pentateuch is named according to what it is about:

  1. Genesis is the "beginning," i.e., creation, the early peoples, and what led up to the birth of Moses.
  2. Exodus is the story of the mass "exit" by the Israelites from Egypt.
  3. Leviticus, or "info about the Levites," gave instructions for how the Levites were to lead the people in worship and how the people were to worship and obey God.
  4. Numbers literally was a "census of the Israelites," according to Numbers 1:2.
  5. Deuteronomy or "second law" refers to the rules for living that God reissued to the people after they had disobeyed the first time in not having complete trust in Him.

These books are much different from the rest of the Bible because they deal specifically with history—of the world, sin, the Hebrew nation, and the Jewish laws that were followed throughout the rest of the span of time covered in the Bible.

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Using insights that God relayed, Moses is said to have written down word-for-word what God wanted to be dictated and retold to all people. But to understand why Moses would have taken on this challenge and why it is relevant, one must first know his background.

Moses: Prince and Shepherd

Moses was born during a time when Egypt ruled the land, making the Hebrews their slaves. And with the real fear of Hebrews one day over-throwing Pharaoh's power and rebelling as the Hebrews grew in number, Pharaoh initiated the edict to have male Hebrew babies killed. Yet, God was with them because the midwives had compassion for those children and allowed them to live (see Exodus 1:17).

When Pharaoh asked why they weren't following his orders, they declared the Hebrew women were giving birth quicker than they could get there to assist with the births. So Pharaoh's solution was to have "every Hebrew boy...thrown into the Nile . . . " (Exodus 1:22).

Moses' parents did indeed place Moses in the Nile, but not to die—rather, to perhaps have Divine intervention, for why else would they have taken great care to secure him in a water-sealed basket to float down the river? As the story goes, Moses gained the attention of Pharaoh's daughter, who rescued him and raised him as her own.

Certainly, he would have lived the life of a prince. And though it's not clear, he must also have been aware of his Hebrew beginning, especially since his mother and sister were instrumental in his care during infancy. Had that not made an impact on him, he wouldn't have been so angry to slay an Egyptian who was harming a Hebrew slave and risk becoming a fugitive.

When he fled to the wilderness, he did not know what to expect. He met the priest of Midian, and one thing led to another—not only did he marry one of the priest's daughters, but he also learned how to shepherd the man's flocks, and it was while doing so that he had his first encounter with God. From that point on, he was on a mission to lead the rest of the Hebrews out of Egypt and into Canaan.

Joshua: Commander of the Israelite Army

After the death of Moses, Joshua was next appointed to lead the people. As the next book of the Bible that bears his name, Joshua's occupation was as commander of the Israelite army. He eventually led them into Canaan and allotted them different areas of land according to their tribes.

The book of Judges moves further along in time to the era when the people started to decline morally after the death of Joshua and fall into enemy hands; therefore, God appointed judges to rescue them from the groups of invaders who kept vying for Israel's land. Some of the most recounted personalities of the Bible are recorded here—Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson.

Although the actual writer of the book is a mystery, there is the tradition that the prophet and priest Samuel penned it, as well as the last part of Joshua, and perhaps the book of Ruth, and part of 1 Samuel.

There is also another mindset is that each of these works was all or in part done by King Solomon, who also wrote Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Contrary to popular belief, it is not 100% known whether King Solomon actually wrote Proverbs or Song of Songs (also referred to as Song of Solomon).

In between the books of Ruth and Song of Songs, however, is a wealth of other stories written by many other writers. The prophet Isaiah wrote where Samuel left off, completing 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and the book of Isaiah.

He was literally a messenger for God, sent to various people to proclaim God's warnings and pronouncements, which were captured in writing. He also tells the saga of King Saul and the life and trials of King David.

Ezra: Scribe

One man did have the occupation as scribe; he was Ezra, who went on to write 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, the book that bears his own name, and Esther. In between Ezra and Esther is Nehemiah, the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes, who became instrumental in helping rebuild Jerusalem and reforming the people. His prayers and visions from God are contained within his recounts.

Job: Unknown (Perhaps Allegorical)

Job is a rather different story altogether. No one is sure if it was literally about the life of a man named Job who penned his own story (or was earlier written by Moses), or if it was merely an allegory, passed down through the ages since creation, with no specific writer laying claim to its first appearance. Either way you look at it, its unique look at God and Satan's warfare in action segues to the more introspective books of the Bible.

David: King, Warrior, and Shepherd

The Psalms were written mostly by King David (or his scribes), whose humble beginnings as a shepherd boy and warrior made him as dynamic a writer as he was a doer.

It is interesting to note here that Moses wrote Psalm 90, clearly showing how the Bible as we read it today was not written in that same order, but generally compiled into the order we read so that it flows more sensibly through the points of history and mentioned prophecies. Other contributors to the Psalms were Hezekiah and King Solomon.

Solomon: King

King Solomon was known as the wisest man who ever lived, who was as fair as he was successful. Surely his gift for writing was an inherited trait that served him well. Too bad for him that he didn't heed his own advice and was led astray from the Lord at the latter end of his life.

Major Prophets

The prophets who came along next included the books named after them (in addition to Isaiah) were Jeremiah (who also wrote Lamentations), Ezekiel, and Daniel, all of whom were powerful men in their own right.

Ezekiel was a priest who saw a vision of God as a flaming wheel and witnessed bones of dead ones come together and be made alive! He also had several other prophecies he was burdened to share with Jerusalem and its evil ways.

Daniel was a young Hebrew whose faith led him to be of service to King Nebuchadnezzar and later become his advisor. His apocalyptic visions were significant for his era, future generations in Bible times, and into the future yet unknown.

Minor Prophets

The books of the minor prophets were:

  • Hosea (whose mission was not just to prophesy but also to marry a prostitute and father her children!)
  • Joel
  • A shepherd named Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah (who was swallowed by a large fish—and yet lived)
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
John, a fisherman, was among the first of Jesus' disciples.

John, a fisherman, was among the first of Jesus' disciples.

The Authors of the New Testament

With such a long history of authors and books and stories combined in the Old Testament, the New Testament covers less time in history but includes events that were foretold prophecies from the Old Testament and changes in law for people to follow.

It all starts with the first gospel ("good news") written by Matthew, Mark, Luke (who also wrote Acts), and John (who also wrote the three books of John and Revelation). Each man of God came from a different profession to follow Jesus and share His story of salvation to the world.

  • Matthew was a tax collector.
  • Mark's profession is unknown.
  • Luke was a physician whose accounts of Jesus were very detailed, in true medical fashion.
  • John was a fisherman.

Quite an interesting mix of writers!

Paul (Saul): Tent Maker

Paul, renamed later Saul, was a Pharisee who went about persecuting the newly formed church until his conversion on the road to Damascus. He then became a devout follower of Jesus, who preached the good news to many nations.

He wrote about his experiences and wisdom learned in much of the content we read in the New Testament, which together form the Epistles to the churches and fellow believers:

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

James: Unknown

James was another disciple of Jesus whose profession is unknown, but he was the brother of the disciple Matthew. He, too, went out into the world to share the good news with many nations.

In his book, he addressed the 12 tribes of Israel with the news that all ought to "consider it pure joy . . . (when facing) . . . trials of many kinds (because) . . . the testing of your faith produces perseverance." (James 1:1-3 summarized)

Peter: Fisherman

Peter, whose first name was Simon, was a simple fisherman who willingly followed the Christ and suffered greatly for it. He went on to write 1 Peter and 2 Peter.

Jude: Unknown

Jude is speculated to be either one of the 12 original disciples, a different disciple, or a relative of Jesus. Because of the lack of evidence to fully identify him, it remains unclear what his profession was prior to preaching about Jesus or for how many years he even preached.

One thing we know for sure, however, is that he believed in the Lord with all of his heart, knowing that from Him would be eternal life to all who believe (see Jude verse 21).

Bible Writers and Their Professions

A collection of bible authors and their known professions

Bible AuthorProfession


Prince and shepherd


Commander of the Israelite Army




King, warrior, and shepherd






Advisor to King Nebuchadnezzar




Tax collector





Paul (Saul)

Tent maker




Alianess Benny Njuguna from Nairobi, Kenya on June 12, 2018:

It was a good read. Sometimes, I tell myself it doesn't matter who wrote which book as long as I know it is divinely inspired. I find the Bible very different from other religious-holy books which make it more interesting, an eye-opener and it is the only holy scripture to be verified scientifically though atheists don't want to acknowledge that.

Allen on March 02, 2016:

nipolak, it is unfortunate that some people such as JMcFarland just don't get it and then claim to be atheists and spew out their dislike of Christianity and the Bible.

Matthew 22:14 ""For many are invited, but few are chosen."

It most often takes great adversity or tragedy to open one's eyes.

Natasha L Polak (author) from Indianapolis, IN on February 23, 2015:

Thanks for the comments, friends!

The Logician from then to now on on February 23, 2015:

So true parrster! Hit and run atheists love to spread falsehoods about the history of Biblical writings but if you notice they don't provide references because the references they use have been debunked many times. And were you to challenge such falsehoods on one of their Hub Pages they will simply delete your comment which some atheists here frequently advise other Hubbers to do simply based on a commenter's religious persuasion. Somehow a theology dropout has more credibility than accomplished lifetime apologists who need not even be heard in their convoluted world. Excellent HubPage nlpolak

Richard Parr from Australia on February 23, 2015:

Appreciate the effort that went into this. What a diverse group were the writers of scripture. You may find Can We Trust the Gospels? Investigating the Reliability of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, by Mark D. Roberts, a worthwhile read. By examining and refuting some of the most common criticisms of the Gospels, author Mark D. Roberts explains why we can indeed trust the Gospels, nearly two millennia after they were written. Keep learning, keep writing, and above all, keep the faith. The best is yet to be. God bless.

roger on October 01, 2013:

2 Corintihians 2:9 says, But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.... I choose to believe that the entire Word of God was written by several men who were inspired by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God Himself.

Natasha L Polak (author) from Indianapolis, IN on January 25, 2013:

Note: I am now more convinced than ever of my faith in the Lord, and although there many be many things that cannot be completely understood or pinpointed on a historical timeline to present day, I know that God is REAL, and heartily stand by everything written in this article. Whoever reads this may disagree, and that is okay. I'm not a hater. After all, I am not forcing anyone to read this. Be blessed!!

Natasha L Polak (author) from Indianapolis, IN on January 24, 2013:

Will do! Thanks!

Elizabeth from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions on January 24, 2013:

Check out a presentation on YouTube called "nailed" by historian and author David Fitzgerald, or any of the talks by biblical scholar Bart Ehrman

Natasha L Polak (author) from Indianapolis, IN on January 24, 2013:

I see. Hmm I have seen Bibles with introductions to them, but neither of the ones I have at home do. I would love to hear anyone else's input on this topic!

Elizabeth from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions on January 24, 2013:

I don't teach, I studied. I'm now an atheist but I enjoy further study, conversations etc. I went to Vanguard and Books.

If you open your Bible itself and look at the introduction to each of the gospels, its likely to say that the authorship is unknown, but they are traditionally attributed to three people whose name is on the book - and those names were not added for a few hundred years.

Natasha L Polak (author) from Indianapolis, IN on January 24, 2013:

That's interesting. In all the books I have read about the gospels and bible studies I have been part of, there has never been mention of a question regarding who actually wrote any of the books you named. I would love to read any literature that supports what you are saying! Where do you teach?

Elizabeth from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions on January 24, 2013:

I'm a college level graduate of theology and biblical literature, and I don't know any biblical scholar today (or the majority of the last 200 years) that believe that the four gospels were written by Matthew, mark, Luke or john. The dating alone would make that nearly impossible. Several of the letters attributed to Paul are known forgeries. A lot of other books in the new testament are unknowns.

Natasha L Polak (author) from Indianapolis, IN on January 24, 2013:

Thank you for your comment Julie, but I am really curious as to where you are saying anything is incorrect? Most of my research was within the Bible itself where it talked about the professions of those who wrote the books, and then I did check several sources online about the history of each writer, etc. I have been a Christian all of my life and have had many discussions at church about who wrote which books of the Bible, and although there is some speculation about some of the books (which I noted), others are pretty straight-forward as to who wrote them. Please do respond so I can hear what you have to say! I am always open to hearing other views!

Elizabeth from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions on January 24, 2013:

Wow...practically every bit of this hub is incorrect, and there is an avalanche of research available that directly contradicts 90 percent or more of your entire hub.

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