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They were portable and reusable, as the text could be erased by melting the wax.The writing implement was a stylus that was used to scratch grooves into the wax.These are the earliest witnesses to the original text of the NT.Each papyrus fragment is identified by a numbering system that was introduced by Caspar Rene Gregory (1846-1917).The Bodmer Papyri were discovered in Pabau, near Dishna in Egypt in 1952.They were supposedly stolen from the Pachomian monks (who were followers of St Pachomius) and smuggled to Switzerland.A full list of the known papyri is available at

The manuscripts were recorded on scrolls, wax tablets and codices.In the 1st century the scrolls were cut into sheets to form codices (described later).The writing implements were reed pens made from straw or bamboo and the ink was most commonly made from soot, but they sometimes used octopus ink.Early sources underlying the gospels most probably were recorded on wax tablets in Aramaic that was subsequently translated into Greek and recorded in codices.In “Jesus, evidence and argument or Mythicist Myths”, Maurice Casey gives an argument for why this could be so.

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