Essay, Research Paper
The bible is most read book in the world today, as we know it. It is also the longest lasting book or should I say oldest, still available in our bookshelves across the world. The Lord has blessed us with the technology that we have today. We have computers, laptops, typewriters, and even pocket size machines that are capable of writing things down, or even voice recordings. But think back to the days when the words that fill the pages of the bible were being lived and mapped out. What was the time like in those days? Think, back of the tools that were used just to give us the book we know today as our guide to know the real God. I know that even now we still struggle with this process, but think how much harder it must have been for those people of that times period to write pages beyond pages of stories and accounts. The endless hours it must have taken to write just one book of the bible. The process of gathering information and the fact that all these books could have survived the times and be brought all together to form just one single book that would last over a thousand years later. In this paper I will tell you al little about the various tools used by the writers of the bible.
Papyrus is a water plant whose fibers were used by the people of Egypt to make a writing material. It also was used as material for mats, sandals, and sailcloth. The brownish flowers were made into garlands for the shrines of the Egyptian gods. Many people think the mother of Moses hid her son in an ark made of Papyrus. The papyrus plant still grows in the Nile valley of Egypt. It is also found in Ethiopia, Syria, southern Italy, and Sicily. The plant’s reedlike stems grow 3 to 20 feet high. As many as 100 flowers stalks spring from the top of each stem. These stalks may be more than 12 inches long. The Egyptians made a writing material also called papyrus, by laying strips of the plant’s stems in layers, and then placing them under pressure. The crushed Strips matted into a loose-textured, porous, white paper. Time has been known to turn surviving papyrus manuscripts brown and brittle. The paper was sold as long rectangular sheets of different sizes. The sheets were at first rolled and tied with string, Later there were bound together into books. Until the 100’s BC, Egypt guarded it’s monopoly on the preparation of the paper. Then the more durable parchment gradually replaced papyrus. This is also known as the most popular writing material of the time.
Parchment is animal skin that has been prepared as a surface for writing. The word parchment usually means a writing material, made from the skins of sheep, goats, or calves, thus meaning them to be very long lasting. Parchment scrolls have survived from about 1500 BC. In making parchment, the skins are first washed and then placed in lime to remove the hair and fat. Next, the skins are stretched on a frame and thinned with knives and scrapers. Finally, the skins are rubbed with chalk and pumice in order to create a smooth, white writing surface. A form of fine, high-quality parchment called vellum is made from the skins of calves or lambs. Vellum has been used for important writings such as charters, university diplomas, and wills. Heavy parchment is made from the skins of calves, donkeys, goats, and wolves. It is used for drumheads. Dipping pure, unsized paper into a cooled mixture of sulfuric acid and water, and then washing and drying it under pressure make parchment paper, also called vegetable parchment. This process makes the paper partly transparent and much stronger than ordinary paper. Parchment paper is used for legal documents and maps. Parchment was especially popular in the ancient cities of Asia Minor. The Jews, Persians, and other ancient people used it for sacred and literary writings. Beginning about 200 BC, parchment gradually replaced papyrus as the most commonly used writing material. Parchment remained the leading writing material in the west until the introduction of paper fro the Middle East in the AD 1200’s. Paper largely replaced parchment about the time printing was being developed in Europe during the 1400’s. Parchment is still sometimes used for important documents.
Ostraca was unglazed pottery popular with the common people as written in our textbook called Evidence. It is also know as potsherd. The forerunners of books were the clay tablets, impressed with a stylus, used by the Sumerians, Babylonians and other peoples of ancient Mesopotamia. More closely related to the modern book were the book rolls, or scrolls, of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. These scrolls consisted of sheets of papyrus, a paper like material made from the pounded pith of reeds growing in the Nile Delta, formed into a continuous strip and rolled around a stick. The strip, with the text written with a reed pen in narrow, closely spaced columns on one side, was unrolled as it was read.
There are numerous ways of how the people of he times would write. They had many different tools in which they would use to do so. Major developments in writing tools were the use of the brush and of the mallet and chisel by the Greeks. Writing found on ancient Greek pottery was done with a small round brush, and early Greek letters were carved on stone with a metal chisel driven by a mallet. Neither form of Greek writing shows any difference in the thickness of the lines of individual letters. The Romans, using broad-edged tools, introduced variations in the width of alphabetic marks. By the beginning of the 1st century AD, Roman-writing tools varied according to both the purpose of the writing and the surface used. Ephemeral writing and school exercises were often done with pointed styluses made of metal or bone on small wax-coated wooden tablets. Letters were scratched on the waxed surface with the pointed end of the stylus and erasures were made with the other, blunt end of the same tool. Permanent writing was done on papyrus with a reed cut to a point and dipped in ink. The rough surface of papyrus was suited to this pointed tool, and the writing produced was similar to that found on waxed tablets. Flat brushes and reeds cut with a broad edge were used on smooth surfaces, such as specially prepared animal skins and plaster or stonewalls. Inscriptional writing was done with mallet and chisel, but the style of these inscribed letters, with their variations from thick to thin strokes, shows their origin in the use of a broad-edged tool.
ORDER OF THE BOOKS
The order as well as the number of books differs between the Jewish Bible and the Protestant and Roman Catholic versions of the Bible. The Bible of Judaism is in three distinct parts: the Torah, or Law, also called the books of Moses; the Nebiim, or Prophets, divided into the Earlier and Latter Prophets; and the Ketubim, or Writings, including Psalms, wisdom books, and other diverse literature. The Christian Old Testament organizes the books according to their type of literature: the Pentateuch, corresponding to the Torah; historical books; poetical or wisdom books; and prophetical books. Some have perceived in this table of contents a sensitivity to the historical perspective of the books: first those that concern the past; then, the present; and then, the future. The Protestant and Roman Catholic versions of the Old Testament place the books in the same sequence, but the Protestant version includes only those books found in the Bible of Judaism. The New Testament includes the four Gospels; the Acts of the Apostles, a history of early Christianity; Epistles, or letters, of Paul and other writers; and an apocalypse, or book of revelation. Some books identified as letters, particularly the Book of Hebrews, are theological treatises.