Accents in NT Greek

From: Cashmore Family (
Date: Sun Apr 11 1999 - 01:52:26 EDT

I would appreciate your learned advice on the relevance of accents to NT
Greek. Some questions/thoughts of my own to start the ball rolling:

a. The NT autographs (almost certainly) did not have accents. Certainly
the earliest manuscripts we have do not have accents. Therefore any
amibuities in words because of different pronunciation and therefore
different accents are not resolved in the autographs and in our earliest
copies of them.

b. Accents certainly make it easier to read the NT in Greek. So do lower
case letters for that matter. I am glad I do not have to manage with upper
case with no spaces between words. However, in getting the benefit of
these aids, one in obviously relying on the editors for textual comment to
resolve ambiguities.

c. When accents appeared on the scene in NT manuscripts (7th century???)
the scribes would have made some interpretations to resolve the placing of
accents. Would they have had more information than we have?

d. How many true ambiguities are there in the NT because of uncertainty as
to the placement of accents?

e. Do we really need accents for the purposes of studying NT Greek? What
should students of NT Greek be taught regarding them? Do we all need to
wade through Carson's book on accents?

I apologise if this topic has been dealt with recently. I am new to the
list again.

regards David

David, Glennis, Rachel, Elizabeth and Matthew Cashmore
New Zealand
Phone: 64-4-478-1841
Fax: 64-4-472-8023

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