Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

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hauslern
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Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by hauslern »

I am aware of the importance of punctuation but won't repeat my Panda punctuation joke. What I want to look at is the story of the encounter between Jesus and the two thieves on the cross. We are told the Greek New Testament did not contain any punctuation.

We are told by the writers of Matthew and Mark that the thieves badgered him. In Mark 15: 32, "Those who were crucified with him also taunted him" (They both did). In Mathew 27:38, "The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him" (They both did).

In Luke 23: 39, "One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us. But the other rebuked him, saying "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? and we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong" Then he said, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Some Christians who don't accept the existence of the soul argue it should be "I tell you today." In other words, your body is in the ground until the resurrection. There is no intermediate place, just the ground. So JWs, Seventh Day Adventists, and some Evangelical scholars like Nancy Murphy ed (Whatever Happened to The Soul) are not dualists.
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Re: Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by drumdude »

A fairly in depth discussion of the topic can be found here:

https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archiv ... luke-23:43
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Re: Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

How one interprets the language of the Bible is very important too:

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Re: Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by Physics Guy »

There’s no punctuation, but “Truly I say to you” is a catchphrase of Jesus throughout Luke. Whatever follows it is what Jesus says; it itself isn’t qualified by anything following it. So “today I say to you” seems a weird reading. It’s like interpreting Bart Simpson as telling us not to hire cowhands.
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Re: Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by malkie »

Physics Guy wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2024 5:24 am
There’s no punctuation, but “Truly I say to you” is a catchphrase of Jesus throughout Luke. Whatever follows it is what Jesus says; it itself isn’t qualified by anything following it. So “today I say to you” seems a weird reading. It’s like interpreting Bart Simpson as telling us not to hire cowhands.
PG, I had to google "what Bart Simpson says" to get what you mean.
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Re: Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by huckelberry »

I checked the link drumdude supplied, the following seems to be a main idea.
And it has long been demonstrated that the use of “today” with a preceding verb to introduce or close a statement is nothing but a Semitic idiom intended to intensify the significance and solemnity of the statement that either will follow or has just been made.15

In fact, this idiom is rather common in Scripture, especially in Deuteronomy, where there are more than 40 examples of expressions such as, “I teach you today” (4:1), “I set before you today” (11:26), “I give you today” (28:13), “I command you today” (6:6; 7:11; 12:32), “I testify against you today” (8:19),
This leaves the question of when paradise is to been seen up in the air. I think this illustrates that the scriptures simply do not answer every question people might have and no matter how closely scrutinized a lot of uncertanities remain.
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Re: Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by Failed Prophecy »

hauslern wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2024 10:17 pm
I am aware of the importance of punctuation but won't repeat my Panda punctuation joke. What I want to look at is the story of the encounter between Jesus and the two thieves on the cross. We are told the Greek New Testament did not contain any punctuation.

We are told by the writers of Matthew and Mark that the thieves badgered him. In Mark 15: 32, "Those who were crucified with him also taunted him" (They both did). In Mathew 27:38, "The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him" (They both did).

In Luke 23: 39, "One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us. But the other rebuked him, saying "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? and we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong" Then he said, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Some Christians who don't accept the existence of the soul argue it should be "I tell you today." In other words, your body is in the ground until the resurrection. There is no intermediate place, just the ground. So JWs, Seventh Day Adventists, and some Evangelical scholars like Nancy Murphy ed (Whatever Happened to The Soul) are not dualists.
Gee, I don't know, maybe context and a charitable reading makes punctuation helpful but not strictly necessary. But what do I know; sm lnggs hv nthr pncttn nr vwls nd yet people stll mng t ndrstnd thngs

Yes, I know the "yet" has a vowel in it, the goddamn autocorrect makes it YouTube if I leave the vowels out.
hauslern
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Re: Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by hauslern »

Well, the question raised by a number of Christian philosophers, neuroscientists, and theologians is man does not have a soul so the thief will have to wait for the resurrection.
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Re: Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by Dr. Shades »

hauslern wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2024 11:45 pm
Well, the question raised by a number of Christian philosophers, neuroscientists, and theologians is man does not have a soul so the thief will have to wait for the resurrection.
So, when Jesus said, “TODAY thou shalt be with me in Paradise, He was lying?
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hauslern
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Re: Punctuation in the Bible. Can its lack be a problem?

Post by hauslern »

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/ ... ohn-2017-i

"Luke 23:43 - “I tell you the truth today you will be with me in paradise.”

The original Greek text contained no punctuation so that the adverb of time, (σήμερον semeron), “today”, could equally modify “I tell” (lego) as per most versions, or, “you will be” (ese) as per "Faithful Version". Therefore, on the basis of the Greek text and syntax of this verse alone, it is impossible to determine where the comma (if any) should be placed.

However, it is possible to examine the author, Luke, and how he used the adverb σήμερον before or after the verb it modifies. This adverb occurs just 20 times in Luke and Acts. In 14 of those, the adverb occurs AFTER the verb (Luke 2:11, 5:26, 12:28, 13:32, 33, 22:34, 61, Acts 19:40, 20:26, 22:3, 24:21, 26:2, 29, 27:33). Of the remaining cases where the adverb precedes the verb, one is a quotation from Ps 2:7 (Acts 13:33), and in three cases, σήμερον is preceded by a conjunction (Luke 4:21, 19:5, 6) which makes such a construction inevitable. The single case, Acts 4:9, where the adverb precedes the verb. Thus, placing the adverb AFTER the verb is entirely in keeping with Luke’s literary style.

In fact, Luke employs a common Hebrew idiom of adding “today” after a verb to add emphasis, and solemnity. For example:

Deut 4:1 – “I teach you today”;
Deut 11:26 – “I set before you today”;
Deut 28:13 – “I give you today”;
Deut 6:6, 7:11, 12:23 – “I command you today”;
Deut 8:19 – “I testify against you today”;
Deut 30:18 – “declare to you today”; etc.
See also Deut 4:26, 30:19, 32:36, Acts 20:26, 26:2, etc.
Thus, Luke’s style is consonant with Biblical literary style.

The question of the placement of the above comma can also be resolved by the semantics rather than the syntax of the passage. If the comma is placed before “today” (eg, as in most versions), then Jesus said that very day the two would share the joys of paradise. However, if it is placed after “today”, then Jesus employs a construction, which adds emphasis to the veracity of what He is saying. In order to choose between these two alternatives requires the answer to two more questions: What is Paradise? And, Where did Jesus and the criminal go that day?

Paradise: The word paradise, occurs only three times in the New Testament - Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:4 and Revelation 2:7. These references suggest that paradise is synonymous with heaven.

Jesus and the Criminal: Jesus did not go to heaven that day, Friday, because he told Mary Magdalene on the following Sunday morning (John 20:17) that He had not yet ascended to the Father. Neither did the criminal go to paradise that day because he was still alive at sunset and had to have his legs broken to prevent his escape over the Sabbath (John 19:31, 32).

Therefore, since Jesus could not have intended that He and the criminal were to be in paradise that day, he presumably intended the adverb today as emphasis as per Koine (common) Greek and Hebrew idiom. Thus, the correct place for the comma is after today thus making the passage read:

“I tell you the truth today, you will be with me in paradise.”

Thus, the passage does not (and could not) imply heavenly rewards immediately at death."

This is the only explanation I am aware of."
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