Unical manuscripts and breath marks

Do the early Greek manuscripts (the all caps unicals kind) of the NT contain breath marks? I don’t mean punctuation or the various accents, I mean those backward superscript commas that go before a word to let you know that the word starts with the letter H. You know, like the word (h)alleluia. It is not so relevant about the other comma thing that goes forward and does not make an H like in (’)Iesous, I would guess they are not there, if I had to guess.

This is from another thread, but it seemed to be off topic.

No. The uncial manuscripts were continuous script, meaning they had no spaces between letters. Now, there were little lines over certain words such as Theos, Christos, Iesous, etc. But that was only when they abreviated, and would use the first and last letter of that word/name and then put the little line over it (that looks like an accent) but it was only there to indicate abreviation of that word.

Now, there may have been cases when a scribe of would add different things onto an ancient uncial manuscript in order to correct it. I have edited portions of the Sinaiticus and Bezae uncials and have never seen any added breathing marks.

But reguardless, even if there are any uncials out there that may have a breathing mark, I am 99.9999999% sure that it was never an original mark.

Regrettably, I don’t have quick access to that information. We’re going to have to depend on others, like copland.

[QUOTEBut reguardless, even if there are any uncials out there that may have a breathing mark, I am **99.9999999% sure that it was never an original mark.

That’s a pretty high degree of certainty :stuck_out_tongue:


I accept Copland’s answer, no problem. Thanks Copland!

This leads me to wonder about the status of the pronunciation of the word we now know as “alleluia”. How was it pronounced in the Greek back around, oh, maybe NT times or when the Latin was translated into?

Joannes here on the other thread noted that the H was probably no longer pronounced in the Greek at that time, and that a Latin person probably would not have “heard” it even if it were pronounced, due to an unfamiliarity with it. Furthermore, if it were not visible in many samples of writing, then the reason for the transcription into Latin of the word “alleluia” sans H is clearer.

Are there other considerations germane to why the Latins would have transliterated the word alleluia sans H?

When it comes to correct pronunciation in Koine Greek, that is the most grey area concerning the language. What is considered to be the most common way to pronounce Greek traces back to Erasmas. And even at that I have heard many different scholars differ. Since it is a language that is no longer spoken (Koine that is), then it is impossible to know for sure how the ancients pronounced it.

So in other words, “alleluia” is pronounced without being dogmatic about what way to do it. But who knows, someone from ancient Alexandria may have pronounced it different then someone from ancient Corinth.

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