Question: "How do we know when the books of the Bible were written?" Answer: We have a few basic ways of knowing when the individual books of the Bible were written: a combination of internal and external evidence and, particularly in the Old Testament, traditional accounts.The date of that return, which began under Cyrus the Great, can be correlated to historical records outside the Bible that place his reign from approximately 559 to 530 B. The dedication of the new temple in Jerusalem, in 516 B.C., is corroborated by the records of Darius I, and a second return of exiles was allowed under Artaxerxes I, whom we know ruled Babylon from 465 to 424 B. All these things help us to closely place the writings of those particular books of the Old Testament.Biblical scholars use similar cross-referencing to date other books of the Old Testament.In the New Testament, books are generally dated by the concerns being addressed, e.g., the growing Gnostic heresy, and how much they quote from other New Testament writings and a cross-referencing of events such as the collection for the needy in Jerusalem discussed in Romans and 1 and 2 Corinthians.
For example, while the book of Ruth is set during the time of the judges, scholars place the literary style as that of the time of the Israelite monarchy—the Kings—based on other writings more accurately dated to that time.
We also have historical, extra-biblical accounts such as that by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus to corroborate events described in the Bible. It seems logical that if such a prominent prophecy had been fulfilled before the writing of the Gospels that it would have been mentioned, as is the fulfilled prophecy of Christ’s resurrection as found in John , 22.
The Gospels are often dated by something that is not mentioned: Jesus predicted the fall of Jerusalem in Matthew 24:1-2, and we know from historians such as Josephus that the city fell in A. It’s important to note that even among scholars who believe the Bible to be God’s inspired, inerrant Word there is some disagreement as to the exact dating of the biblical books.
A good study Bible such as The NIV Study Bible or a commentary will lay out the various lines of evidence for the dating of the books. Why do the four Gospels seem to present a different message of salvation than the rest of the New Testament?
Sons of Korah wrote Psalms 42, 44-49, 84-85, 87; Asaph wrote Psalms 50, 73-83; Heman wrote Psalm 88; Ethan wrote Psalm 89; Hezekiah wrote Psalms 120-123, 128-130, 132, 134-136; Solomon wrote Psalms 72, 127.