Reflecting on the Power of the Codex

Bible and archaeology news

Sometime in the first few centuries C.E., the first bound books—termed codices—revolutionized the way people read the words of prophets, kings, scribes and thinkers.* Unlike lengthy, cumbersome ancient scrolls, which had to be unrolled to be read, bound volumes of parchment leaves provided portability and convenience and, more importantly, allowed for nonlinear reading—the ability to jump from section to section and compare different passages almost instantaneously. In an article for the New York Times Sunday Book Review, author and book critic Lev Grossman reflects on the remarkable technological shift that occurred nearly 2,000 years ago and whether the growing popularity of e-readers will mark a similar shaft in how we read.

Reflecting on the Power of the Codex

Sometime in the first few centuries C.E., the first bound books—termed codices—revolutionized the way people read the words of prophets, kings, scribes and thinkers.

* See Timothy Rogers,“Origins: A Codex Moment,” Archaeology Odyssey, September/October 1999.

Read Lev Grossman’s article on the codex.

Posted in Artifacts and the Bible, Bible Versions and Translations, New Testament, News.

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  1. Jose says

    Do you have copies of the early codices in a facsimile form?

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Reflecting on the Power of the Codex « The Christian Caller linked to this post on September 6, 2011

    [...] codices—revolutionized the way people read the words of prophets, kings, scribes and thinkers.* Unlike lengthy, cumbersome ancient scrolls, which had to be unrolled to be read, bound volumes of [...]


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