The Bible is an anthology, that is, a collection of books that are gathered together and published as a unit. Many of the books were, at some previous time, independent until later generations granted them status as part of the canon. The 5 books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy, were canonized quite early, although some scholars argue that Deuteronomy was added to the canon a bit later. The status of books like Esther (which never once mentions God) and Song of Songs (which can be read as titilating poetry) was not finally decided until much more recently. It appears that the split between Christianity and Judaism may have been what forced the final arguments: How can you argue whether some bit of scripture supports or opposes Jesus as Messiah until you first agree about whether or not it is scripture? Jews and Christians never reached an agreement about the Apocrypha. The Christian scriptures came together similarly. When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, he was just writing a letter. It was the recipients of that letter who thought it was valuable who preserved it and copied it, spreading the copies around, and eventually, the early Church decided it was so important that it became part of the canon. Actually printing and binding Bibles as a single volume took even longer. Manuscript on parchment is too big and too heavy to allow the entire Bible to be bound as one volume.
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