History of Writing in the First Century AD

Updated: Apr 24, 2020


Letters, contracts, novels, plays, how-to manuals and more have been around for thousands of years. What process for writing and editing did writers use in the first century AD?

As I've been busy editing and formatting my own book for publication, I found myself wondering about how the books of the Bible were crafted and produced. I'm here to share with you what I learned!


Letters, contracts, novels, plays, how-to manuals and more have been around for thousands of years. What process for writing and editing did writers use in the first century AD?

Readers Were Rare in the Ancient World


In the first century, historians believe than in the average society only about 5-20 percent of the population knew how to read. Of those, the wealthy aristocrats probably made up the bulk of readers, but literacy was needed among certain tradespeople, and men holding important positions in the military.

Not being able to read didn't seem to really bother people back then, because they had two really great ways to deal with the lack of literacy: