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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Paper Reed

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גמא , Exodus 2:3 ; Job 8:11 ; Isaiah 18:2 ; Isaiah 35:7 . When the outer skin, or bark, is taken off, there are several films, or inner pellicles, one within another. These, when separated from the stalk, were laid on a table artfully matched and flatted together, and moistened with the water of the Nile, which, dissolving the glutinous juices of the plant, caused them to adhere closely together. They were afterward pressed, and then dried in the sun, and thus were prepared sheets or leaves for writing upon in characters marked by a coloured liquid passing through a hollow reed. The best papyrus was called ιερατικη , or paper of the priests. On this the sacred documents of Egypt were written. Ancient books were written on papyrus, and those of the New Testament among the rest. In the fourth century however these sacred writings are found on skins. This was preferred for durability; and many decayed copies of the New Testament, belonging to libraries, were early transferred to parchment. Finally came paper, the name of which was taken from the Egyptian reed; but the materials of which it was fabricated were cotton and linen. See BULRUSH and See BOOK .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Paper Reed'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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