In Praise of Punctuation!

Here’s a simple true or false question.  See how you do.

True or False: Moses was the daughter of Pharaoh’s son.  

My guess is that most of you answered “False,” but the correct answer is “True.”  “But how can it be true when Moses was a male, not a female,” you ask?  Well, re-read the statement with proper punctuation.

“Moses was, the daughter of Pharaoh’s, son.”

Ah, now do you see it? [If not, exaggerate the pause at the commas].  It’s all in the punctuation.  Can you imagine what it would be like trying to read and understand the Bible without punctuation marks?

Did you know that when the Bible was first written, there were no punctuation marks?  How much more difficult would it be to ascertain the true meaning of a passage without proper punctuation?

We take a lot for granted when it comes to our Bibles, don’t we?  We expect to see chapter divisions.  We expect to see verse divisions.  And we expect to see punctuation.  But none of these conveniences were in the original text.

Next time you begin one of your prayers with that “generic, catch all” in which you thank God for “all his many blessings,” you might want to remember this one in particular.  We owe a debt of thanks to those who worked before us in paving the way for our understanding of the greatest book ever written!

After all, without punctuation, we might have thought Moses was a woman!

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