Tertius and others were able to transcribePaul's more verbose utterances.
Even in the Old Testament, in Psalm 45:1,the Hebrew,
, the "readywriter (KJV)," or "skillful writer (NIV)," istranslated in the Greek Septuagint,
, a synonym for
, or shorthand writer. Thetechnical term must have been commonenough among Greek-speaking Jews in the3rd century B.C. for its use in theSeptuagint to have any purpose.Paul also mentions a technical term,
, a Latin word transcribed intoGreek, referring to a parchment notebook.
This was apparently a predecessor to the
, or "book" that we know today.These were written on both sides of thesheet and were small and often pocket-sized. They were easy to handle, to skipthrough for reference, and to store, andthus led to the ultimate departure from thetraditional scrolls.
The tedious, painstaking tasks of record-keeping in the ancient world is difficult forus to imagine today. Thus, it isunderstandable that abbreviations wereeven more common in antiquity than today.Even in our linguistic world, when atechnical term emerges, or a complexphrase is used with substantial frequency,we indulge in abbreviations or acronyms:NATO for North Atlantic TreatyOrganization; DNA for deoxyribonucleicacid; or the alphabet soup associated withgovernmental organizations: CIA, FBI,DOD, et al.
One of the more significant incidences of abbreviated words, found even on theearliest samples of formalized writing, isthe use of
, holy names.
One example is the
, amonogram of Christ consisting of the firsttwo letters of His name in Greek,
. Others include:Jesus,