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It was more nerdy stuff. And maybe whoeveritwas saw my comment coming. Maybe it's what I wrote here. Sigh. Maybe it's not important after all, but here's what I tried to contribute:
What an extremely important distinction Theophrastus notes here!
Robert Alter has said, “the language of the canonical texts [i.e., specifically that of the written Torah (aka the Pentateuch)] was not identical with the vernacular, [in] that it reflected a specialized or elevated vocabulary, and perhaps even a distinct grammar and syntax.”
Alter finds this hugely notable because the Hebrew Bible has an elegance, a literary style, that is not demotic, not oral-rhetorical. In fact, (and this is my observation) if what Alter says is true, then the Hebrew Bible is indeed special in a literary-linguistic sense. It defies what rhetoricians such as George Kennedy call “letteraturizzazione,” or “the tendency of rhetoric to shift its focus from persuasion to narration, from civic to personal contexts, and from discourse to literature” or a “slippage of rhetoric into literary composition.” (Walter J. Ong, like Kennedy, saw orality as basic and literacy as its eventual evolved state, with “secondary orality” as a third synthesis of orality and literacy within literate cultures – cultures like our own now and those of the Bible in translation).
Alter, to be sure, translates from the Masoretic Text. As Theophrastus notes, he and Fox also bring out the wonders of the added, punctuated oralities. And Alter often even turns to the Greek Septuagint to find clarity where Masoretic Text doesn’t have it. In those instances, (again my opinion) the MT has been less liberal in its punctuating. The MT and the Greek translations give voice, if you will. And Alter’s and Fox’s English translations do too. There’s an oral dimension brought into the more purely literary.
Similarly, Willis Barnstone, translating the Greek of Paul in the New Testament, finds a move to mix the modes of orality and literacy:
“The letters to the Romans (probably his last letter) and the Corinthians show Paul at the peak of thought and rhetorical magic. He achieves language magic in demotic Greek (Koine), with a flare of the classical period while keeping to the simplified syntax and virtues of the vernacular. He has the high flow of Plato, who wrote in Attic Greek, in his own less inflected tongue.” (page 114 of The Restored New Testament)
We all remember how Plato moaned about writing (ironically writing what Socrates said to Phaedrus):
“Writing, Phaedrus, has this strange quality, and is very like painting; for the creatures of painting stand like living beings, but if one asks them a question, they preserve a solemn silence. And so it is with written words; you might think they spoke as if they had intelligence, but if you question them, wishing to know about their sayings, they always say only one and the same thing. And every word, when once it is written, is bandied about, alike among those who understand and those who have no interest in it, and it knows not to whom to speak or not to speak; when ill-treated or unjustly reviled it always needs its father to help it; for it has no power to protect or help itself.” [275d-e]
Punctuation is the father of the written text, that translators use, to protect it and to help it speak.
The Socratic dialectic is shut down. The language police protect and enforce the "better" voice and viewpoint (i.e., their own). Silence to the dangerous. Sigh.