The term "authorship" usually conjures up the following: an autonomous and biographical individual intentionally produces an authentic work (usually but not exclusively written). This author gives the work its meaning and, at times, its authority. Each element - autonomy, biography, intention, authenticity, meaning and authority - derives from and is influenced by the various images of authorship in the Bible. Here we face a paradox: the idea of the author in the Bible is inseparable from its reception. In the Bible the author is usually the creation of the Bible's editors. For example, "Isaiah" is the name of an edited collection as it is of some reputed "author" of those sayings. So we can add another term: editor. In order to trace how these elements influence ideas of authorship subsequent to the Bible, let us consider them in terms of four overlapping historical eras: antiquity, the medieval era, modernism and postmodernism. What happens is that in each period one way of characterizing authorship comes to the fore, and the others move to the side to play a minor role. Further, while each view of authorship seems new, it turns out to have close connections with the Bible; the new perspective brings these connections to light.
Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, Volume 3