A roll of leather or papyrus used for writing. Rolls were made by sewing sheets together to make a long strip. Some rolls became very long, exceeding 100 feet. They were usually from 9 to 11 inches high. Rolls were generally wound around a stick and, as used, would be unwound from one stick onto another. Much of the Old Testament and the New Testament was probably written on rolls. Scrolls (rolls) are mentioned in Ezra 6:1; Isa. 8:1; 34:4; Jer. 36; Ezek. 2:9; 3:1; Zech. 5:1–2; Rev. 6:14. The word book in Luke 4:17–20 probably refers to a scroll.
A variation in writing materials is a codex or book form, in which the sheets are placed on top of one another and joined at one side, rather than sewn side by side. The codex is like our modern book and is handier for use than the unrolling of a long scroll. The plates of Mormon, used in the translation of the Book of Mormon, were in codex form. It is not certain when this style came into common use in the Bible world, but it appears to be a later development than the scroll, some placing it as late as the 2nd century A.D. It appears that the Nephites were using the codex form as early as 570 B.C. (the small plates of Nephi).