Re: What is a Greek Sentence?

From: Paul F. Evans (
Date: Wed Jun 04 1997 - 13:24:19 EDT

<html><html><head></head><BODY bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><p><font size=2 color="#000000" face="Arial">Carl, et. al.,<br><br>Now this is an interesting discussion which may shed some light on what is often a mystery to those of us that try to rewrite our NT passages into a good English form, while retaining the original language! &nbsp;I think that you are close to having to think in the original here, rather than produce a mental translation as you go along, which is what we novices tend to do.<br><br>May I ask a question with respect to the comment you made about the basic unit of Greek being the paragraph, rather than the sentence? Although I can't give a coherent reason why, this seems to make more sense to me than anything else I have heard with regard to thought structure. &nbsp;When Koine does assume a written form, since it is designed primarily for audible communication as Carl observed, what are the indications of separation between paragraphs in ancient forms of the written text? &nbsp;What I am asking is,
 before modern punctuation and use of upper-case letters to designate paragraph beginnings, was there any indication in the text of the start or end of a paragraph? &nbsp;I had gained the notion that these MSS were usually narrow columns written on leaves of either a codex or roll with no breaks in the words or sentences, and I wondered if there were breaks between the paragraphs, or larger units.<br><br>I ask because I have little or no knowledge of the physical form of the early extant MSS, what they look like etc., and I wondered if writers had a way of indicating that they were transitioning into another thought unit.<br><br><br>Paul F. Evans<br>Pastor<br>Thunder Swamp Pentecostal Holiness Church<br>MT. Olive<br><br>E-mail:<br>Web-page:>----------<br><br>&gt;...and I'd explain that by saying that it's<br>&gt; always seemed to me that the unit of discourse in written Greek (even<br>&gt; granting that ancient Greek was written to be spoken and heard, not read<br>&
gt; silently) is what we call the PARAGRAPH, a grouping of clauses that has an<br>&gt; organic unity wherein the interrelationship of the clauses, however<br>&gt; complex, is nevertheless perspicuous.</p>

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