Re: Punctuation in Codex Bezae (on the web)

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Sat Apr 18 1998 - 23:13:20 EDT

At 8:07 AM -0700 4/12/98, George ( wrote:

>Might could be, ya know, with their illiterate minds ~ I like to think
>that the literate folks had not lost that wonderful illiterate quality
>of mind of those times ~ perhaps the texts were pre-read by the reader
>and pretty well committed to memory and sense prior to being read

I don't doubt that they pre-read the texts. Still, part of the reason that
it seems TO US so hard to read at a normal speed without punctuation is
because we have grown accustomed to having the punctuation. The
first-century readers of, say, one of Paul's letters might never have seen
a text with any form of punctuation. All of their reading was probably done
aloud anyway, so reading aloud before a group "at a normal pace" would be
nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, what constituted a "normal pace" is
debatable. Did they even try to approximate the speed of conversational
speech, or was it expected that speech guided by a written text would be

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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