Thursday, October 25, 2007

Paragraphing, Punctuation, Orthography in GNT Editions (Ricoblog)

Over at Ricoblog, Rick Brannan continues to discuss the differences between Greek editions of the NT in the areas of paragraphing, punctuation, orthography, here. Rich raised the question on his blog earlier this month, here. Note the remark at the bottom of this latter (original post) about the "subparagraph breaks" in NA27, which Rick dicovered as he was working on the Logos Bible Software edition of NA27 (cf. screenshot displaying such a break before John 1:18). (I never noted these myself.)

8 comments:

  1. According to the editors of NA26, its text divisions correspond to the divisions found in ancient MSS, and with rare exceptions NA27 reproduces the system of punctuation and paragraphing used in its predecessor: see NA26, p. 44*; NA27, p. 46*. Presumably, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are the MS referred to. However, although text division markers of various kinds are used in the major codices, the details of the system are still not standardized. So exactly which MS/S is/are being followed needs to be clarified and the details spelt out in NA28.

    Scott Charlesworth

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  2. I subsequently 'discovered' that Westcott & Hort has subparagraph breaks too; but at least they tell you what they are in §419 of their introduction: "In the subdivision of sections we have found great convenience in adopting the French plan of breaking up the paragraphs into subparagraphs by means of a space of some length."

    The same section goes on with some more information about W&H's edition that I didn't know either: "We have been glad at the same time to retain another grade of division in the familiar difference between capitals and small letters following a full stop. Groups of sentences introduced by a capital thus bear the same relation to subparagraphs as subparagraphs to paragraphs."

    I'm beginning to wonder how much of this sort of stuff NA27 just carries over without disclosing.

    Rick Brannan
    ricoblog

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  3. We had some of these in class just the other day (Romans 5.14 & 17). I challenged the class to come up with a technical sounding name for them: no suggestions yet.

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  4. For what it is worth, the following text divisions are marked in NA27 (terminology made up on the spot, I did not spent too long searching):
    1. modern comma ,
    2. Greek middle dot •
    3. Full stop (or question mark) without following space (Jn 1:43 after φιλιππον and at end of verse).
    4. Full stop with following space but without a capital at the start of the next sentence, the minor paragraph division (looks quite rare to me: after Jn 1:46 is an example).
    5. Full stop with following space but with a capital at the start of the next sentence, the middle paragraph division (after Jn 1:31).
    6. New line and indentation, the full paragraph division (after Jn 1:42).
    7. Blank line and indentation, the new section division (after Jn 1:18).

    If we include the absence of any division (the null option, as at the end of Jn 1:35), this system gives us eight levels to indicate one's interpretation of the flow of the text. The system is quite user-friendly and I would expect it to be intuitive rather than the result of research in the transmission history of the text.
    Occasionally we find an m-dash (e.g. Jn 7:22) and I guess these belong somewhere between nos. 2 and 3 (unless such parenthetical markers belong to a different category altogether).

    For those of us who like this sort of things: have a look at NA27 John 7:29 - 31. I think the division between 29 / 30 is no. 5 of the list above (middle paragraph division), 30 / 31 is a no. 6 (full paragraph division). However, because verse 30 starts on a new line the indentation of verse 30 (middle paragraph) happens to be longer than that of verse 31 (full paragraph)!

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  5. Dirk,
    I've been thinking about paragraph division in NA27 for my paper on John's non-Prologue at SBL. I don't think that phenomenon 4 is anything other than a typographical convenience. My impression is that the divisions before John 3:9, 27; 4:7, 11, etc. are there simply to avoid uneven spacing between words of text. However, I guess there are people in Muenster whom we could ask.

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  6. maurice a robinson6:49 pm, November 02, 2007

    PJW:I don't think that phenomenon 4 is anything other than a typographical convenience.

    Phenomenon 4 as noted by DJ: "Full stop with following space but without a capital at the start of the next sentence, the minor paragraph division (looks quite rare to me: after Jn 1:46 is an example)."

    This certainly seems fully intentional, following the conventions established by W-H.
    See W-H Introduction and Appendix, section 419 (p.319):

    "...then to divide it gradually up into sections of higher or lower rank, separated by spaces, and headed if necessary by whole words in capitals....We have been glad at the same time to retain another grade of division in the familiar difference between capitals and small letters following a full stop....to preserve the subordination of acessory points of view to the main course of a narrative or arrangement."

    Noteworthy in this regard: W-H also have a similar gap at the end of Jn 1:46.

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  7. Following this citation I'll concede the point. I'd then add that the size of space before the sentences beginning with a lower case letter is consistently less than the size before a capital.

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