Re: John 18:2

From: Stephen C Carlson (
Date: Wed Apr 17 1996 - 01:10:32 EDT

Dale M. Wheeler wrote:
>I wonder what the reaction of the membership is to the orthography
>of the first word in John 18:2 in NA26/27 when compared with the
>same word in UBS3/4. The fact that the NA editors have chosen NOT
>to put the iota as a subscript with a capital eta makes me blink
>everytime I see it. Has anyone ever run into an explanation for
>why they chose to do this (aside from the fact that their font
>would not support the subscript iota with a capital)? As far as I
>can tell this is the only time this happens (no capital omegas or
>alphas which should have iota subscripts).

This is standard orthography, though adopted well after the New
Testament was first written down.

In two of my grammars it is written:

Smyth #5 (p.9): ". . . The [iota] of the so-called improper diphthongs
... is written below the line and is called iota subscript. But with
capital letters, [iota] is written on the line (adscript), and THI
WIDHI = th| w|dh| or Widh| to the song." [| = iota subscript]

Goodwin #10 (pp.8-9): "N. in a|, h|, w|, the [iota] is now written and
printed below the first vowel, and is called the iota subscript. But
with capitals it is written in the line; as in THI KWMWIDIAI, th|
kwmw|dia|, and in Wixeto, w|xeto. This [iota] was written as an
ordinary letter as long as it was pronounced, that is, until the first
century B.C., after which it was sometimes written (always in the
line) and sometimes omitted. Out iota subscript is not older than
the twelfth century A.D."

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson, George Mason University School of Law, Patent Track, 4LE              : Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs     : chant the words.  -- Shujing 2.35

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