The Sense of Quoting

A Semiotic Case Study of Biblical Quotations

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In The Sense of Quoting, Odell-Scott argues that the neutral continuous script of ancient manuscripts of the Greek New Testament composed with no punctuation and no spacing provided readers discretionary authority to determine and assess the status of phrases as they articulate a cohesive and coherent reading of the script. The variety of reading renditions each differently scored with punctuation supported the production of quotations. These cultivated and harvested quotes while useful for authorizing sectarian discourse, rarely convey the sense of the phrase in the continuous script. Augustine’s work on punctuating the scriptures in service to the production of plainer quotable passages in support of the rule of faith is addressed. Odell-Scott’s textual analysis of a plainer quotable passage at verse 7:1b concerning male celibacy supports his thesis that plainer passages are the product of interpretative scoring of the script in service to discursive endeavours. To quote is often to misquote.

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Biographical Note

David W. Odell-Scott, Ph.D. (1989), Vanderbilt University, is Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University. He has published monographs, articles and edited works on the letters of Paul, and methods and approaches to the reading and interpretation of Christian texts.

Readership

Anyone interested in the epistles of Paul and the use of biblical quotations. Suitable for educated laity, ministers, students and academic specialist in biblical studies, hermeneutics and semiotics.

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