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The use of Parentheses

The use of parentheses is entirely a matter of interpretation, for there were none in the originals and few in the early Creek copies. The translators deemed them necessary in a few instances, so as to indicate the sense of a passage by preserving the continuity of thought, as in Romans 5:13-17, which is an unusually long one. Some of the simplest and best known examples are Matthew 6:32; Luke 2:35; John 7:50; Romans 1:2. It is not to be thought that words enclosed in brackets are of less importance: sometimes they are an amplification, as in Mark 5:13; at others they are explanatory, as in Mark 5:42; John 4:2. Instead of being only of trivial significance, a number of parenthetical clauses are of deep moment. For instance, “For I know that in myself (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18)—the absence of that qualifying word had denied that there was any principle of grace or holiness in him. Similar examples are found in 2 Corinthians 5:7, and 6:2. On the other hand, some are of doubtful propriety: not all will consider that the parentheses found in the following passages are necessary or even expedient: Mark 2:10; John 1:14, and 7:39; 1 Corinthians 9:21; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 4:9, 10. Below are three passages in which this writer considers the use of parentheses is a real help in the understanding of them.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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