Jot and tittle

Henry Churchyard churchh at
Thu Nov 11 19:41:55 EST 1999

It is hypothetically conceivable that some type of marking of special
passages of text (such as the overdots over every letter in a word, or
"inverted nuns", which are found in certain places in the Masoretic
text) might have existed in scrolls of Hebrew biblical books in the
1st century A.D., but it seems pretty clear that no developed system
of vowel and accent diacritics was created until after 500 A.D.

I took a quick look at Liddell and Scott, and "Iwta" means a small
line, and "Keraia" something with the shape of a projecting spur, so
it's not clear to me that these words couldn't be used to refer to
features of the ordinary "square"/Aramaic/"Assyrian" letters used to
write Hebrew at the time.  I'm sure if you looked up this passage in
commentaries you could probably find more definitive answers.
P.S.  I don't really want to get involved in discussion of the
Hertzog vs. Shanks affair, but one thing that is perfectly true
is that people with agendas seize on "Biblical minimalism" and
use it for their own purposes.   For example, see:

Henry Churchyard   churchh at

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