Re: Smooth breathings

From: Christopher Hutson (
Date: Wed Oct 13 1999 - 12:25:44 EDT

Michael Haggett asked:
>Does ANYBODY out there think that the smooth breathing serves a useful
function, and would any of you regret its lost if it were omitted from
printed and published texts?

I guess my reaction is somewhat similar to Carl's. Jim is of course right
that breathing marks were not in the original mss, but then neither were
accents, yet both make the text easier to read. I wouldn't want to depend
on reading in _scriptio continua_ either. As long as we understand that
such things depend on editorial decisions, they are helpful.

As to your specific question, consider cases of crasis such as KAGW, KAMOI,
TOUNTANTION, and so on. The smooth breathing over these words is a helpful
indicator, isn't it?


Christopher R. Hutson
          Hood Theological Seminary
          Salisbury, NC 28144

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