Ink

INK (Heb. deyô, from a root meaning slowly flowing, Gr. melan, black). Any liquid used with pen or brush to form written characters. Mentioned once in the OT (Jer.36.18), where Baruch says he wrote Jeremiah’s prophecies “in ink.” Hebrew ink was probably lampblack and gum, as is suggested by the reference to “blot out” in Exod.32.33 (cf. Num.6.23); but it is possible that in the course of Jewish history various inks were used. The word occurs three times in the NT (2Cor.3.3; 2John.1.12; 3John.1.13). The NT books were written on papyrus, and the black ink used was made of vegetable soot mixed with gum and moistened as the writer needed it. The better black inks were made of nutgalls, sulphate of iron, and gum. The writing of MSS of the first century is remarkably well preserved.


INK (דְּיוֹ, H1902, μέλαν, black). A writing fluid whose chief ingredient was soot or black carbon. It was mixed with gum or oil for use on parchment, or with a metallic substance for use on papyrus. The early use of metallic ink in Israel is shown in the Lachish Letters (c. 586 b.c.). The DSS were written with ink made of carbon. The Letter of Aristeas says that the copy of the law sent to Ptolemy II was written in gold. The Egyptians must have used a good quality ink, as the bright colors in some papyri show. The ingredients for making ink were kept in a writing case. The word is used once in the OT (Jer 36:18) and three times in the NT (2 Cor 3:3; 2 John 12; 3 John 13).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)