There are still preserved manuscripts written on parchment
from the beginning of our era. Included are many fragments
of the Holy Scriptures. They were often bound around two sticks,
one at each end – these were known as scrolls. - Luke
4:17 (to v.21).
Writings on parchment have the advantage
of being stronger and more permanent than writings on papyrus.
In Latin, parchment is called 'pergamena'. The process used
to make parchment was developed in the old city of Pergamon.
They took the skin of goats, sheep or calves and treated the
leather in such a way that writing on both sides was possible.
The writer used a pen made of reed and the ink was made of
gum, soot and water.
In the National Library of Vienna, Austria,
we can see a certain fragment dated from the 3rd or 4th century.
The fragment contains a Greek text, but what is remarkable
is that the Name of God is written in Old Hebrew. The fragment
contains verses from Psalm 69, specifically verses 13, 30
and 31. The parchment is supposed to have been made by Symmachus,
someone considered to be a Jew converted to Christianity.
He was a translator of the Old Testament, from Hebrew writing
to Greek. In his translation, made around 200 A.D., he tried
to give the Greek text the right meaning like it is found
in the Hebrew Scriptures.