In the Bible, this term refers to a person who made copies of portions of the Scriptures and other documents.—Ezr 7:6.
In ancient times, copies of written text were made by hand—a slow, painstaking process that demanded great skill. (Ps 45:1) Copyists specifically named in the Bible are Ezra, Zadok, and Shaphan. (Ne 12:26; 13:13; Jer 36:10) Copyists helped preserve the inspired Scriptures when the aging originals deteriorated. There was also an increasing demand for copies of the Scriptures as the number of readers grew. The work of a copyist often included meticulous checking and correction procedures. Some copyists even counted both the words and the letters of what they copied. Skill and a careful checking process no doubt helped such copyists to preserve God’s Word through the centuries.