I can't tell you about the Old Testament, but The New Testament was
written by a sawdust recycler and anvil polisher named Willem F.
Plinkowskowicz, of Terra Haute, Indiana, back in 1892. An avowed
celibate and life-long police sketch artist, he longed for the kind of
immortality *** ens, Virgil, and James Michener had achieved. He
gathered together several popular folk stories under the title "Jesus
and His Favorite Chappies Romp Through The Saint Louis World's Fair,"
but failed to sell enough copies to pay for his lunch.
He went into isolation, and reworked the boring middle chapters that
had originally been called "A List of the Treats to be seen at the
Great Exhibition! Hurrah!" into the Wedding at Cana, the *** of
John The Baptist, and a road trip that Jesus, John, Peter, and Matthew
tricked Mary Magdalene into taking to the boardwalk at Atlantic City.
(That last section was later dropped, although it was later made into
the movie "Road Trip" with Tom Green in the role of St. Peter.)
He showed the reworked pages to his mother, who pointed out that the
middle no longer matched the continent of the rest of the story.
Emboldened by his success, he changed the rest of the story as well to
take place in what is now known as Israel, but which was then
considered a distant suburb of Buffalo, NY.
The publisher took a second look as promised, and decided to ignore
Plinkowskowicz (or "Plinky," as his mother called him). Still
undeterred, Plinky sold several of his more famous police sketches,
including his favorite characature of Ulysses S. Grant's left-handed
barber, Roland Dimwitty. He made enough money to publish the book
under the title "The Largely Amazing Riddle of J. and His Several
Friends in Buffalo," and decided on a fine leather binding (which
tradition continues today). Unfortunately, the printer was drunk, and
misread the title provided in the manuscript as "Bibliography of
Several and Various Works of Attrocious Genius in Wineries." The
printer then, it is believed, misspelled the title, skimped on the
gold leaf, and came up with the completely made up word "Bible" as the
title of the book.
Jay and Kay Dalton, Bee Dalton's Great Great grandparents, saw the
book at a convention in Parsippany, NJ, and thought the heft of it
appropriate for keeping their doors open for ventillation in the hot
summer months during the Great Desert Migrations of 1901.
The rest, as they say, is History.