October 3, 2010

Mediums of Communication

First, I must clarify that I am not talking about spiritual mediums or so-called psychic quacks. These people unfortunately quite deluded in their worldview and often view the spirits they are dealing with as the spirits of departed loved ones. In reality they are evil spirits imitating the characteristics of those people to deceive not only the psychic quack but also the paying customer of said quack.

I've digressed. So sorry. We are now in a day and age where many are leaning towards electronic mediums for writing and documentation. The joke was always, "We're going paperless **chuckle**". This seems like it could be more of a reality in the not-so-distant future. Schools are switching to whiteboards. People are buying electronic books like Kindle. Students are carrying IPads, Laptops, etc. I personally prefer the smell of fresh ink but trends are trends and as far as I can see, things like the newspaper are dead.

Paperless Bibles? Much of the move to electronics also includes Biblical information. Logos Software and every software you can imagine under the sun now exist to exegete and study the Word. We can download 100 year old books form people like Spurgeon among others off of www.archive.org or Google books into electronic PDF form. It wasn't always like this, even a few years ago.

We can go back and find there were some quite unique mediums for propagating the Word of God.


Exodus 24:12
The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction."

Exodus 31:18
When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.

Exodus 32:15-19
Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written. The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp." But he said, "It is not the sound of shouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear." And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.


Exodus 28:36
"You shall also make a plate of pure gold and shall engrave on it, like the engravings of a seal, 'Holy to the LORD.'

1 Maccabees 8:21-22 (non-canonical)
The Romans accepted the proposal, and what follows is a copy of the letter which was engraved on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem to remain there as a record of the treaty..."

1 Maccabees 14:26 (non-canonical)
"For he has restored his brethren, and has driven away in fight the enemies of Israel from them: and they decreed him liberty, and registered it in tables of brass, and set it upon pillars in Mount Zion.


Exodus 28:9-10
"You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, in the order of their birth. As a jeweler engraves signets, so shall you engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You shall enclose them in settings of gold filigree."


Numbers 17:1-4
"The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the people of Israel, and get from them staffs, one for each fathers’ house, from all their chiefs according to their fathers’ houses, twelve staffs. Write each man’s name on his staff, and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each fathers’ house. 4Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony,where I meet with you."

Engravings Rock & Lead

Job 19:24
"That with an iron stylus and lead
They were engraved in the rock forever!"

Wood w/Wax Coating (as above)

Luke 1:60-65 (In the infancy narrative of Jesus and John the Baptist)But his mother answered and said, "No indeed; but he shall be called John." And they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name." And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. And he asked for a tablet [πινακίδιον/pinakidion: a writing tablet] and wrote as follows, "His name is John." And they were all astonished.


Made from animal skins. The oldest that we still have date from around 1500BC...around the time of Moses. They were most common between the 4th and 14th Centuries AD. Most all of the manuscripts of the New Testament are on this medium. It was usually only used on one side since it was rolled up although there is a mention of it being used on both sides in Revelations 5:1. These scrolls could get quite large, as long as 35 feet unrolled. Others forms could be codex and uncials.


Is nothing more than a parchment that has been scraped clean and reused due to shortage of material to write on. Parchments were often reused in this manner.


Common until the 3rd century AD and was made from reed. In particular the center strips within the reed were extracted, crossed over one another and glued or bonded together into sheets. These sheets were glued and/or stitched together to form rolls or scrolls. Job 8:11, Isaiah 18:2, 35:7, 2 John 12

Writing Styles/Utensils

These varied in accordance with the medium that was being used.

These were used with wax or clay tablets. They were sharp on one end and round on the other to rub out mistakes.

Jeremiah 8:8
"How can you say, "We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD," when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?

Jeremiah 17:1
"Judah's sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their hearts and on the horns of their altars.

Reed Pen:
Like a modern quill pen, slit on the ends.

3 John 1:13
I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink.

Black ink often made from soot and gum and dissolved in water.

2 Corinthians 3:3
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

2 John 1:12
I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

3 John 1:13
I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...