Re: Punctuation in the Greek

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Tue Aug 03 1999 - 13:21:00 EDT

Steven H. Atherton wrote:
>I am a novice when it comes to Greek, but I have heard that the there was
>no punctuation in the original Greek. Is that true? If so, how does one
>discern the intention of the author? Your comments would be appreciated as
>would any resources that you could refer me to. Thank you.

This issue has been discussed on bgreek a couple of times, so check the
archives for some specific info.

It depends on what you mean by "punctuation"; if you mean periods and
questions marks, then the answer is that you won't find such things in the
earliest mss. However, certain scribes did leave extra space between words
to sometimes (!) indicate cluase, sentence, and paragraph boundaries. The
"history" of punctuation of Greek mss can be found in the footnotes of the
UBS text; most of the editors/versions listed there did not come up with
their punctuation choices out of thin air...they are based on the
punctuation of later Greek mss.


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:

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