Somehow I had always imagined the Bible being written
by learned men inspired by God in lonely garrets,
and their work being checked and applauded
by their peers in holy councils.

Of course the deeper reality lies in the origin of the books
being political tracts promoting particular views
or being the oft-told legends of ancient fables
assembled to support the orthodox concepts
of a certain age or theological position.

The books were written over centuries
but the assembly and authorisation lay largely
in the hands of set groups with set agenda.
We may well question their choices!

The Old Testament seems to have been brought together,
as an authoritive and accepted group of teaching, in three phases:
...in, or shortly after, the Exile.. (c500BC)
.. in the period of Grecian conquest (c200BC)
.. in the period of Roman domination (c 50BC)
Maybe at times when the people needed reassurance,
or maybe when the ruling priesthood needed
a way to reimpose their position.

The New Testament was assembled from a mass of material
over the first four hundred years of Christianity
and was effectively set in stone by St Jerome,
who translated the Bible into Latin.

This version was then copied, edited, and corrected
to match the shifting theology of the early church,
and this process continues even to this day,
even though overtaken by the fresh ideas
of the Enlightenment.