Ancient Writing Tools

A stylus in Jesus’ day was a writing tool made of metal, ivory, or bone. The writer would press the pointed end of the stylus down on a waxed-surface tablet. However, a more permanent method of documentation was used for the Bible.

The Hebrew Scriptures were written with an iron pen-like object, possibly on stone or lead (Job 19:24). Clay and leather parchments were also used.

New Testament manuscripts probably were written originally with reed pens on pressed sheets of papyrus fibers. Papyrus was common and inexpensive. A dry reed stalk was cut to a small pen size, sharpened to a point on one end, and slit to dip into ink. The ink was made of lamp-black and gum dissolved in water.

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