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Re: Silent Reading

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  • Joe_Adler@tvo.org
    Message 1 of 1714 , Oct 1, 1996
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      tc-list@...,Internet writes:
      On Tue, 1 Oct 1996, Timothy John Finney wrote:

      > On a different matter, can anyone give me an authoritative reference that
      > says when people first began to read silently? I heard or read somewhere
      > that some ancient was astounded to see someone (I think the someone might
      > have been Clement or Jerome) sitting in a room full of books but not
      > making any sound as he read. If early copyists always read aloud as they
      > copied, perhaps certain implications would follow for New Testament
      > textual research?

      Augustine (Confessions 6.3) was amazed that Bishop Ambrose of Milan read
      silently, since silent reading was definitely not the norm. For a
      thorough discussion of this phenomenon, see three articles/notes in JBL:
      Paul J. Achtemeier, "Omne verbum sonat: The New Testament and the Oral
      Environment of Late Western Antiquity," JBL 109 (1990): 3-27; Michael
      Slusser, "Reading Silent in Antiquity," JBL 111 (1992): 499; Frank D.
      Gilliard, "More Silent Reading in Antiquity: Non omne verbum sonabat,"
      JBL 112 (1993): 689-694.

      Actually, there seems to be an earlier reference....in the first chapter of 1
      Samuel, Eli the priest observes Hannah mouthing words (but no one is around
      and she is making no sounds) and consequently believes that she is
      drunk.....in response, Hannah states that she is simply praying.....perhaps
      this may be evidence that most people would have prayed aloud in ancient
      times? Or Perhaps that demonstrates that people would generally not make any
      sounds while reading?
    • Julian Goldberg
      The complete Hebrew Scriptures (Hebrew Bible) or TANAKH (Torah-Law, Neviim-Prophets, Ketuvim-Writings) based on the Masoretic Hebrew text with vowels and
      Message 1714 of 1714 , Feb 4, 1997
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