to be proclaimed upon the housetops, and they made it their business to carry into effect the old slogan of the prophets, ‘Publish good tidings.’ The writing of the individual gospels was a great matter, of course, but the collecting of them, together with their publication as a collection, was an altogether different act, and one of almost as much importance as the writing of some of them.”
Professor Goodspeed quotes from the presidential address of Professor Henry A. Sanders before the American Philological Association, in December of 1937, on the rise of the codex or leaf-book, saying: “By the end of the first century B.C. and still more in the first century A.D. codices were appearing in the book trade. For the Christian literature, codices were probably used from the first,” Based on this address of Professor Sanders, published in the University of Michigan Quarterly Review, 1938, page 109, Professor Goodspeed sets forth in his book (p. 71) a table comparing the findings of classical and of Christian works of the second, third and fourth centuries C.E., as to the number of fragments of roll-books and of codex or leaf-books found in each group:
Century Roll Codex Roll Codex
II 1? 4
III 291 20 9? 38
IV 26 49 6? 64
Of early Christians as publishers of books, Professor Goodspeed goes on to say (p. 78): “They were not only abreast of their times in such matters, they were in advance of them, and the publishers of the subsequent centuries have followed them.” He further states (p. 99): “It was the publication of the Bible that had stimulated the development of the leaf-book for literary purposes in the second century, and it was the publication of the Bible that stimulated the invention of printing.”
Professor Goodspeed ventures (p. 81): “The curious remark in II Tim. 4:13 ‘Bring . . . the books, especially the parchments,’ (the Greek words are biblia, membranas) makes one wonder whether the biblia does not mean the scrolls of Jewish scripture, and the membranai the newer leaf-books of Christian origin—the gospels and Paul. Professor Sanders’ argument strongly suggests that north of the Mediterranean, leaf-books were at first more likely to be made of parchment.”—See CODEX.
Because of the cost or scarcity of writing material, manuscripts were sometimes partially erased by scraping, sponging or removing by various preparations as much as possible of the original, and writing over it. With papyrus, sponging was done if the ink was fairly fresh; otherwise the old writing was crossed out, or the back of the material used for the writing surface. On some palimpsests, due to atmospheric action, and so forth, the original writing might appear clearly enough to be deciphered. A number of Bible manuscripts are among these, a notable one of which is the Codex Ephraemi, containing, under what was probably twelfth-century writing, a part of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures in writing thought to be of the fifth century C.E.
OTHER BOOKS REFERRED TO IN THE BIBLE
A number of uninspired books are referred to in the Bible. Some were source material for inspired writers. Some appear to be journals compiled from state records. Among them are the following:
Book of the Wars of Jehovah
Quoted by Moses at Numbers 21:14, 15. This was undoubtedly a reliable record or history of the wars of God’s people. It may have begun with Abraham’s successful warfare against the four allied kings who captured Lot and his family.—Gen. 14:1-16.
Book of Jashar
This book is cited at Joshua 10:12, 13, which passage deals with the appeal of Joshua for the sun and the moon to stand still during his fight with the Amorites, and at 2 Samuel 1:18-27, setting forth a poem, called “The Bow,” a dirge over Saul and Jonathan. It is thought, therefore, that the book was a collection of poems, songs and other writings. They were undoubtedly of considerable historical interest and were widely circulated among the Hebrews.
Other historical writings
Several other uninspired historical writings are referred to in the books of Kings and Chronicles, one being the “book of the affairs of the days of the kings of Israel.” (1 Ki. 14:19; 2 Ki. 15:31) “The book of the affairs of the times of the kings of Judah” is its counterpart for the kings of the southern kingdom, starting with Solomon’s son Rehoboam and ending with Jehoiakim. It is referred to fifteen times. (1 Ki. 14:29; 2 Ki. 24:5) Another record of Solomon’s rule is mentioned at 1 Kings 11:41 as “the book of the affairs of Solomon.”
In compiling and writing Chronicles after the captivity, Ezra refers at least fourteen times to other sources, including the “Book of the Kings of Israel,” the “account of the affairs of the days of King David” and the “Book of the Kings of Judah and of Israel.” (1 Chron. 9:1; 27:24; 2 Chron. 16:11; 20:34; 24:27; 27:7; 33:18) Ezra also made reference to books by previous inspired writers. (1 Chron. 29:29; 2 Chron. 26:22; 32:32) Ezra notes that other prophets of Jehovah made written records that are not preserved in the inspired Holy Scriptures. (2 Chron. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22) A “book of the affairs of the times” is mentioned by Nehemiah. (Neh. 12:23) Persian governmental records are noted in the Bible. In these were included reports of services rendered to the king, such as Mordecai’s disclosure of an assassination plot.—Ezra 4:15; Esther 2:23; 6:1; 10:2.
The wise writer of Ecclesiastes warns against the endless procession of books that do not instill the fear of the true God and the keeping of his commandments. (Eccl. 12:12, 13) An example of such was found in Ephesus, where spiritism and demonism were rampant. After the preaching of the good news about Christ, the believers brought their books of magic and burned them publicly, the calculation of their price being perhaps $8,000.—Acts 19:19.
In Exodus 17:14 is Jehovah’s command to write his judgment against Amalek in “the book,” indicating that the writings of Moses, the first writings known to be inspired, were already under way in 1513 B.C.E.
Some other references to the Bible or parts of it are: “The book of the covenant,” apparently containing the legislation set out at Exodus 20:22 to 23:33 (Ex. 24:7); “Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book” (now called the Pentateuch) (Deut. 31:24, 26); “the roll of the book,” the Hebrew Scriptures.—Heb. 10:7.
A rooflike shelter constructed of tree branches and leaves, sometimes with a wooden floor elevated off the ground. During the annual Festival of Booths at Jerusalem, booths were built on housetops, in courtyards, public squares, even on the temple grounds and around the roads near Jerusalem. Branches of poplar, olive and oil trees and the leaves of the palm and the fragrant myrtle were used in their construction. This was to remind Israel that Jehovah made them dwell in booths when he brought them up out of Egypt.—Lev. 23:34, 40-43; Neh. 8:15; see FESTIVAL OF BOOTHS.
Booths were also used for a number of practical purposes. Jacob made booths under which to shelter his herd, and he affixed to that place the name