Monday, April 16, 2007

Quotation marks

Does anyone know whether there has been any study of the history of use of quotation marks in English Bibles? It seems that they were resisted for longer in Bibles than in other works, but are now compulsory, a fact which has both advantages and disadvantages.

I have a few specific questions:

Which was the first English Bible to have them?
What is the earliest analogy to the English quotation mark to be found within biblical manuscripts?
Are there languages in Roman script, whose Bibles are still resisting them?

6 Comments:

Peter M. Head said...

P66 has some, at least, I think that is what they are doing.

The Buck Stops said...

Absolutely they are still being resisted. The King James Version holds a powerful sway over some translation projects, and this phenomenon shows no signs of going away.

Witness the recent TR NT translation into Haitian Kreyol put out by Bibles International,© 2002. It has no quotation marks as such, but does utilise double brackets (<< >>) to set off quotations within a quotation(". . . ' '. . . ").

Josiah K. Walters said...

If double brackets are not to be considered quotation marks, then French, and probably some other languages, does not (in my experience) use quotation marks in Scriptures.

Clive Govier said...

Re. "the buck stops" comment: David Norton’s new Cambridge Paragraph Bible now uses inverted commas. Besides, the Haiti Creole NT was translated from the Greek Maj. text by Hantz Bernard (D.D. from Bob Jones Univ.). Hopefully, he saw the TR as more a standard of comparison than a standard of excellence.

Clive Govier said...

Re. "the buck stops" comment: David Norton’s new Cambridge Paragraph Bible now uses inverted commas. Besides, the Haiti Creole NT was translated from the Greek Maj. text by Hantz Bernard (D.D. from Bob Jones Univ.). Hopefully, he saw the TR as more a standard of comparison than a standard of excellence.

Clive Govier said...

"Which was the first English Bible to have inverted commas?" ERV 1881 didn't. ASV 1901 didn't. RSV 1946 did! New Cam. Para. Bible (KJV) 2005 does. Also, acc. to Wikipedia, "the punctuation--where changed from that of the current standard KJV text--mainly provides a simple restoration of 1611's punctuation."