To understand how the Bible came to be requires that we suspend nearly everything we know about authorship and the business of books today. The Bible is wildly unique, yet it sits on modern bookshelves mum to its extravagant dissimilarity, with its modest spine politely blending in--abook among other books. But it is not like those other books.
Kristen Swenson, Bible Babel
Swenson goes on to list five ways in which the Bible is not like other books.
1. It was written over a long period of time in a variety of places.
2. It is a compilation of different kinds of literature.
3. The Hebrew Bible was written in a preliterate culture. The Old Testament was shaped by orality. The New Testament by literacy.
4. "Authorship during the period of biblical development seldom meant the creative endeavor of an individual whose words once written remained immutable."
5. The Bible was not written as a piece. Its various parts circulated independently before they were collected.