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and seven years ago our fathers

brought forth on this continent

a new nation”? Quotation marks

can help us know the difference

between an actual quote and a

paraphrase of what was said.

In modern times, writers are used

to using quotation marks for direct

quotes. However, as Bible students

we must keep in mind that the

inspired writers of Scripture did

not use quotation marks to identify

exactly what various people said. As

with all writers of ancient history,

quotation marks were unknown to

the Bible writers. The thousands of

quotation marks in many modern

translations were actually added

by translators in hopes of helping

Bible students have an easier time

understanding the text. Unfortu-

nately, quotation marks can cause

problems if we do not first under-

stand that the inspired writers often

did not intend for their statements

to be exact quotations, but rather

summaries of inspired truths.

Do you remember in 2 Kings 5

when the Israelite servant in-

formed Naaman’s wife that Elisha

could heal Naaman of his leprosy?

The Bible says that Naaman went

and told the king of Syria, “


and thus

said the girl who is from

the land of Israel” (2 Kings 5:4).

But Naaman obviously did not

approach the king of Syria and

literally say the words, “thus and

thus.” Rather than repeat what

the girl said to Naaman’s wife, the

inspired writer of 2 Kings sum-

marized Naaman’s statement to

the king with the words “thus and

Continued on p. 18


Valor & Virtue