Wrong Ideas about Phrasing -  COMMAS

Don't be mesmerised by commas. There is NO rule that says you must pause at commas. Why? Because often the meaning of the text calls for a pause where there is no comma.
In John 3:16 the King James Version and the Revised Version have three commas. Only one is to be found in the Revised Standard Version, the Good News Bible, the Jerusalem Bible and the New English Bible. While J. B. Phillips puts in two!
"Where does the Bible say that children should be baptised?"
There are three possible meanings. On which part of the body?
In which part of the church? In which part of the Bible?
"Where does the Bible say that / children / should be baptised?"
Obviously, the meaning is - In which part of the Bible. Note: pauses needed before "children" and after "children".
The meaning, not commas, calls for the pauses.

There is NO rule that says you must pause at commas because sometimes the meaning of a text does not want a pause where there is a comma.
"Whilst riding a ferry with Enrico Caruso, the entertainer, Al Jolson asked him would he appear with him on a concert program."
In his day Caruso was known as the world's greatest tenor. Jolson was known as the world's greatest entertainer. Although Caruso entertained his audience, in this context the word "entertainer" refers to Jolson. So you would pause between "Caruso" and "the entertainer", but you would riot pause between "the entertainer" and "Al Jolson" - regardless of that second comma!

It is well known that you cannot always trust an author's punctuation be he Shakespeare or be she Agatha Christie.
In the original Greek of the New Testament there is no punctuation.
All this brings out the question, "What then is the value of punctuation if it doesn't tell you where to pause?"
Punctuation should assist in giving the meaning and you decide from the meaning where you will pause.
The meaning tells you where you should pause not the punctuation.

WRONG IDEAS ABOUT PHRASING BE WARNED ABOUT 2 WRONG IDEAS
1. NO rule says: The only place you need pause is at punctuation marks.
IF THERE WAS NO MORE TO THE ART OF READING THAN PAUSING AT PUNCTUATION MARKS EVERYONE WOULD READ WELL.
ALL THEY WOULD NEED TO DO IS PAUSE AT COMMAS, COLONS, ETC.
YOU WILL NEVER MAKE MEANING CLEAR DOING THIS THOUGHTLESSLY.
2. NO rule says: Pause at commas. WHY? FOR 3 REASONS.
1. Sometimes long sentences don't have commas.
You will need to pause during the sentence or expire!
2. You can't trust an author's punctuation.
Many good books have bad punctuation, even Bible translations.
"From Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ / who has been called to be an apostle."
Without a pause after Jesus Christ, Jesus is classified as an apostle. The reference of course is to Paul. So pause to separate "Jesus" from "who has been called to be an apostle".
3. Often the meaning of the text wants a pause where there is no comma.
Often the meaning of the text does NOT want a pause where there is a comma.

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