Fw: all punctuation secondary, part 2

From: Dale M. Wheeler (dalemw@teleport.com)
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 13:22:44 EST

As Perry Stepp has pointed out one begins to see punctuation marks in the
Uncials; I personally think I see them in some of the papyrii. But just
because there may not be any punctuation "marks" doesn't mean that there
are not punctuation "indicators" in the earliest manuscripts. Scribes left
spaces, some larger, some smaller, all over the place to indicate clause,
sentence, paragraph, chapter (?!) breaks in the manuscripts. Most of these
are common sense breaks anyone would make in reading the text anyway.

For example, P46 has a clear break at our 1Cor 7:39, 7:40; though no break
at our 8:1 (perhaps because its so obvious). There are clear breaks at 8:3,
4, 5 (vv 2, 6 begin lines, but sure look to me like he ended the previous
line short to start a new sentence on the next line).

I'd also say that clauses are sometimes "marked" with extra space: 7:38
doesn't appear to have a break at the beginning of the verse, but has a
clear space in the middle right before KAIOMHGAMIZWN... In 8:5 there seems
to be a clear spacing before WSPER (which gets a comma in NA). I'd also
say, though the spacing is smaller, that there are other spaces for clauses
all over the place, eg., at 8:1 I think there is a "clause" space right

Moreover, in addition to the Nomina Sacra lines above God, Jesus, etc., the
word for "one", hEIS is clearly marked 2x in this section with a ROUGH
breathing mark (8:4, 6).

I'd say that when Textual Criticism books say that there is no punctuation
in the earliest manuscripts they are only giving half of the story.


Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail: dalemw@teleport.com

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