This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Monday 3 June 2024, 8pm to 9pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Who wrote the Bible? Its books have no bylines. Tradition long identified Moses as the author of the Pentateuch, with Ezra as editor. Ancient readers also suggested that David wrote the psalms and Solomon wrote Proverbs and Qohelet. Although the Hebrew Bible rarely speaks of its authors, people have been fascinated by the question of its authorship since ancient times.

William Schniedewind, author of Who Really Wrote the Bible: the Story of the Scribes, offers a bold new answer: the Bible was not written by a single author, or by a series of single authors, but by communities of scribes. The Bible does not name its authors because authorship itself was an idea enshrined in a later era by the ancient Greeks. In the pre-Hellenistic world of ancient Near Eastern literature, books were produced, preserved, and passed on by scribal communities.

Join William as he draws on ancient inscriptions, archaeology, and anthropology, as well as a close reading of the biblical text itself, to trace the communal origin of biblical literature.

This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You will receive a link to join a couple of days before the event and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

About the speaker

William M. Schniedewind is Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, where he was the inaugural holder of the Kershaw Chair of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Studies. He is the author of How the Bible Became a BookA Social History of Hebrew: Its Origins Through the Rabbinic PeriodThe Finger of the Scribe: How Scribes Learned to Write the Bible, and other books.