Paper - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G5489, chartes ]
a sheet of paper made of strips of papyrus" (whence Eng., "paper"), Eng., "chart," "charter," etc.; the word is used in 2 John 1:12. The papyrus reed grew in ancient times in great profusion in the Nile and was used as a material for writing. From Egypt its use spread to other countries and it was the universal material for writing in general in Greece and Italy during the most flourishing periods of their literature.

The pith of the stem of the plant was cut into thin strips, placed side by side to form a sheath. Another layer was laid upon this at right angles to it. The two layers were united by moisture and pressure and frequently with the addition of glue. The sheets, after being dried and polished, were ready for use. Normally, the writing is on that side of the papyrus on which the fibers lie horizontally, parallel to the length of the roll, but where the material was scarce the writer used the other side also (cp. Revelation 5:1). Papyrus continued to be used until the seventh cent., A.D., when the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs led to the disuse of the material for literary purposes and the use of vellum till the 12th century.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words