Edgar J. Goodspeed
The Bible Originally a Scroll and not a Book
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.
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.
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."
Goodspeed, "How Came The Bible" Second Printing
(Nashville: Abingdon, 1979) pp. 12-13.