Thursday, October 25, 2018

Commas Matter.

A couple of things I found while pondering punctuation in the scriptures.
1. "...people, who are of the House of Israel," means something different from "...people who are of the House of Israel." I believe based on the context that the first is used but the latter was intended. (This is just one example where the phrase appears: "...the work of the Father shall commence in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel." The comma would indicate He has no other people but the house of Israel, which flies in the face of the doctrine that all of mankind are God's children. Leaving the comma out indicates we are talking about a specific group of God's children with whom he made specific covenants, but leaves open the possibility that He has other children with whom He has also made specific covenants that are not addressed in this verse. We have wars (literally) over this idea--that God only has one people and which is it--and it's all cleared up by properly punctuating.)
and 2. "touch upon them as much as it were possible for Christ’s sake" means something different than "touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake." When I realized it was the latter that was actually used in the scripture, I laughed. The comma turned a perfectly acceptable phrase into a swear, and we've been reading it that way for a hundred years. Oops!

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