Page:Biblical Libraries (Richardson).djvu/19

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INTRODUCTION


What is a library?


It has been suggested and even insisted that the subject of Biblical libraries, like the subject of snakes in Ireland, may be exhausted in the brief statement "there were none." The fact is that there were thousands or even tens of thousands of collections, containing millions of written books or documents in Biblical places in Biblical times.

The key to this paradox lies in the name library. Those who deny that there were libraries, do not deny the fact but the name for the fact. There were plenty of collections of written documents, organized for convenient use, they say, but they were not libraries, they were ar-

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