.php lang="en"> The Bible Originally a Scroll and not a Book (Bible History Online Quotes)

Quotes About the Bible and History


Edgar J. Goodspeed

The Bible Originally a Scroll and not a Book

"We must remember that an ancient book was in the form of a roll--as the Jews made them, scrolls of skin, finished smooth on one side to be written on. These might be of most inconvenient length; Jesus in the synagogue was handed "the roll of the prophet Isaiah," and He "found the place where it was written" --a difficult thing to do in the long series of columns of that book, which amounts to 125 large pages and must have made at least that many columns of Hebrew, with no chapter-numbers, capitals, or column numbers (there were no pages) to aid the reader in his search. 

The Hebrew Bible -- The Old Testament -- as Jesus knew it, consisted of from twelve to twenty such scrolls of different sizes. They were never united into what we would call one "book" until the invention of printing made that possible, in the fifteenth century...so a "Bible" as we know it, even a Hebrew Bible, containing the Old Testament by itself, was unknown among the Jews of ancient times. 

The books that belonged to it were not physically united as they are with us; they existed in separate rolls or scrolls, one containing the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament; another, Isaiah (Luke 4:17); another, the Minor Prophets (mentioned in Acts 7:42); another Ezekiel; another, the Psalms and so on."

Edgar J. Goodspeed, "How Came The Bible" Second Printing (Nashville: Abingdon, 1979) pp. 12-13.