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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

parch'-ments (membranai, "membranes," "parchments," "vellum"): The skins, chiefly of sheep, lambs, goats and calves, prepared so as to be used for writing on (2 Timothy 4:13).

In Greek and Roman times parchment was much employed as a writing material. "At Rome, in the 1st century B.C., and the 1st and 2d centuries A.D., there is evidence of the use of vellum, but only for notebooks and for rough drafts or inferior copies of literary works..... A fragment of a vellum MS, which may belong to this period, is preserved in British Museum Add. manuscript 34, 473, consisting of two leaves of Demosthenes, De Fals. Leg., in a small hand, which pears to be of the 2nd cent." (F. G. Kenyon in HDB, IV, 947).

Paul directs Timothy that, when he comes from Ephesus to Rome, he is to bring "the books, especially the parchments." These, as well as the "cloak," which is also mentioned, had evidently been "left at Troas with Carpus." What were these parchments? They are distinguished from "the books," which were probably a few choice volumes or rolls, some portions of the Scriptures of the Old Testament, some volumes of the Law of Moses or of the Prophets or of the Psalms. Among "the books" there might also be Jewish exegetical works, or heathen writings, with which, as is made evident by references in his Epistles, Paul was well acquainted.

The parchments were different from these, and were perhaps notebooks, in which the apostle had, from time to time, written what he had observed and wished to preserve as specially worthy of remembrance, facts which he had gathered in his study of the Old Testament or of other books. These notes may have been the result of many years' reading and study, and he wished Timothy to bring them to him.

Various conjectures have been made in regard to the contents of "the parchments." It has been suggested by Kenyon (HDB, III, 673) that they contained the Old Testament in Greek; by Farrar, that the parchments were a diploma of Paul's Roman citizenship; by Bull, that they were his commonplace books; by Latham, that the parchments were a copy of the Grundschrift of the Gospels, a volume containing the all-important narrative of the Saviour's life and cross and resurrection. Workman (Persecution in the Early Church, 39) writes: "By tas membranas I understand the proofs of his citizenship."

Whatever their contents may have been, they were of such value that Paul wished to have them with him in his prison at Rome, so that, if life were spared for even a few weeks or months, the books and parchments might be at hand for reference. Perhaps in the fact that the books and the parchments and the cloak had been left at Troas with Carpus, there may be a hint that his final arrest by the Roman authorities took place at that city, and that was the suddenness of his arrest that caused him to be unable to carry his books and parchments and the cloak with him. "The police had not even allowed him time to find his overcoat or necessary documents" (Workman, op. cit., 39; see p. 1886, 14).

Be this as it may, he desired to have them now. His well-disciplined mind, even in the near prospect of death by public execution, could find the most joyous labor in the work of the gospel, wherever his influence reached, and could also find relaxation among "the books, especially the parchments."

John Rutherfurd

3200. membrana -- parchment
... Word Origin of Latin origin Definition parchment NASB Word Usage parchments (1).
parchment. Of Latin origin ("membrane"); a (written) sheep-skin -- parchment. ...
// - 6k

Ancient Versions of the Old Testament.
... Eleazar accordingly sent the seventy-two elders with a copy of the laws written
on parchments in letters of gold, who were received by the king with high honors ...
/.../barrows/companion to the bible/chapter xvi ancient versions of.htm

2 Timothy iv. 13-Sep
... Ephesus. The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring
with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.". ...
/.../homily x 2 timothy iv.htm

The Beginning of the New Testament
... he closed his letter he begged Timothy to make a special effort to come to him,
and to bring with him 'the books, but especially the parchments.' (Verse 13.). ...
/.../duff/the bible in its making/chapter x the beginning of.htm

Paul's Second Imprisonment, and Martyrdom; Peter, his Epistles ...
... as some render it, the case) [153:4] that I left at Troas, with Carpus, when thou
comest bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments." [153:5 ...
/.../killen/the ancient church/chapter x pauls second imprisonment.htm

Faustus Rejects the Old Testament Because it Leaves no Room for ...
... So, not to speak of the truth, even their own fiction obliges them to confess that
the law written on tables of stone was purer than their sacred parchments. ...
/.../faustus rejects the old testament.htm

The Acts of Barnabus.
... on my knees, I was unable to prevail upon him about myself; for his great grievance
against me was on account of my keeping several parchments in Pamphylia. ...
// acts of barnabus/the acts of barnabus.htm

... and overcome them, when he has made his mark in the world by sheer force of work
and character, no one cares to grope through musty fusty parchments in search ...
// of the bible some lesser-known/jabez.htm

Imperial Caesar
... there. He opened it, finding within ancient parchments with heavy seals,
new writings, rolls of notes and a packet of letters. He ...
/.../miller/the city of delight/chapter vii imperial caesar.htm

Concerning the Sacrament of Baptism
... its reservations, its restrictions, and other like nets for catching money; so that
the water of baptism would be sold no cheaper than parchments are now. ...
/.../first principles of the reformation/concerning the sacrament of baptism.htm

Jesus Condemned to be Crucified.
... He was surrounded with soldiers, preceded by officers belonging to the tribunal,
and followed by Scribes, who carried rolls of parchments and books used for ...
/.../chapter xxix jesus condemned to.htm

Parchments (1 Occurrence)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia PARCHMENTS. parch'-ments (membranai,
"membranes," "parchments," "vellum"): The skins, chiefly of ...
/p/parchments.htm - 10k

Carpus (1 Occurrence)
... confidence in him, since he committed to his care not only the comparatively valueless
"cloak," but especially the priceless "books and parchments." It is idle ...
/c/carpus.htm - 7k


/p/parchment.htm - 8k

Pardon (31 Occurrences)

/p/pardon.htm - 18k

Troas (6 Occurrences)
... NIV). 2 Timothy 4:13 Bring the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus when
you come, and the books, especially the parchments. (WEB ...
/t/troas.htm - 11k

Timothy (28 Occurrences)
... to Timothy, asking him to rejoin him as soon as possible, and to bring with him
certain things which he had left at Troas, his cloak and parchments (2 Timothy 4 ...
/t/timothy.htm - 38k

Tro'as (6 Occurrences)
... 2 Timothy 4:13 the cloak that I left in Troas with Carpus, coming, bring thou and
the books -- especially the parchments. (See RSV). Troas, Tro'as. Trod . ...
/t/tro'as.htm - 7k

Especially (23 Occurrences)
... (WEB KJV WEY ASV WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV). 2 Timothy 4:13 Bring the cloak that I left
at Troas with Carpus when you come, and the books, especially the parchments. ...
/e/especially.htm - 13k

Carpus's (1 Occurrence)
... Carpus's (1 Occurrence). 2 Timothy 4:13 The cloak which I left behind me in Troas
at Carpus's, bring when thou comest, and the books, especially the parchments. ...
/c/carpus's.htm - 6k

Comest (50 Occurrences)
... (ASV). 2 Timothy 4:13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest,
bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. ...
/c/comest.htm - 22k

Bible Concordance
Parchments (1 Occurrence)

2 Timothy 4:13 Bring the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus when you come, and the books, especially the parchments.



Related Terms

Carpus (1 Occurrence)


Pardon (31 Occurrences)

Troas (6 Occurrences)

Timothy (28 Occurrences)

Tro'as (6 Occurrences)

Especially (23 Occurrences)

Carpus's (1 Occurrence)

Comest (50 Occurrences)

Cloke (7 Occurrences)

Specially (26 Occurrences)

Scrolls (3 Occurrences)

Cloak (73 Occurrences)

Cedar (61 Occurrences)

Behind (188 Occurrences)


Old (3966 Occurrences)

Testament (13 Occurrences)

Books (16 Occurrences)

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