Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Interesting Holy Bible Facts

Writing Materials Used for the First Holy Bible

Do you know the writing materials used for the first Holy Bible?

The use of papyrus as a writing material originated in Egypt and has been traced back to A.D. 2500. In the New Testament days it was still most popular writing material.

Papyrus "paper" was from the Egyptian papyrus plant. Scrolls of papyrus were rolled out horizontally rather than vertically. They were about 10 inches high and up to about 35 ft in length.

On the scroll the text was written in columns about 2 ½ to 3 inches wide, and just over ½ an inch apart from one another. The text was usually only on one side of the scroll, but an exception to this is alluded in the Holy Book of Revelations 5:1, "and I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed ith seven seals."

Vellum and parchment
Animal skins used as writing material are known as vellum and parchment. Some such leather scrolls are still in existence and date back to 1500 B.C. Vellum refers to the best quality animal skins and came from calves, while parchment refers to all other animal skin used in paper making such as bulls and goats, and was inferior in quality to vellum.

Pens were simply made from dried reeds which had been cut to a point and then carefully slit at the end. Quill from bird feathers later replaced reed pens.

From Scrolls to Books
In Old Testament and New Testament times the papyrus paper was made into scrolls by joining the Papyrus sheets to each other. Later on papyrus sheets were used in book form, when books replaced scrolls.

A final interesting fact to consider...ancient versions of the Holy Bible refer to translations of the Holy Bible into other ancient languages such as Latin, Coptic, Syriac, and Armenian. The Coptic is truly a blessed language.

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