Reed pens. First Century C.E.
What kind of pens and ink were used in Bible times? At the conclusion of the third of his three letters included in the Bible, the apostle John states: " I had many things to write you, yet I do not wish to go on writing you with ink and pen." A literal translation of the original Greek words that John used indicates that he did not want to go on writing with " Black (ink) and reed." - 3 John 13, The scribe's peb was a length of hard reed. It was cut diagonally across one end and finely slit through the point. A scribe could resharpen the point with a pumice stone. The reed resembled and functioned much like a modern fountain pen that has a metal nib. Most ink, or "Black," was a mixture of soot or lampblack and a rubbery gum, which served as an adhesive. This ink was sold dry and had to be mixed with water to thr right consistency before being used. When applied, such ink simply dried on the surface of the papyrus or parchment and did not penetrate it. Hence, a writer could readily correct any errors using a wet sponge, which would also have been part of the scribe's standard equipment. This detail concerning ancient ink explains what Bible writers may have been thinking of when they spoke of names being wiped out of, or canceled from, God's book of remembrance. - Exodus 32:32, 32; Revelation 3:5, .
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