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What is a jot and a tittle? Matthew 5:17-18

In the King James Version of the Bible, Jesus said, 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Matthew 5:17 - 20

ESV - 17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Clarify Share Report Asked March 08 2022 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Jots and tittles refer to small diacritical markings that are part of the written Hebrew language and its pronunciation. (Diacritics are marks placed above or below, or sometimes next to, a letter in a word to indicate a particular pronunciation—in regard to accent, tone, or stress—as well as meaning. They are not so common in English, but are found in many other languages.)

Such markings might be considered as insignificant in comparison to the actual letters and words of texts in which they appear, but Jesus was making the point that even the smallest such marks found in the words of the written Law given by God to Israel through Moses in Exodus through Deuteronomy would remain in effect as long as the world lasts. And, as He said in the passage cited in the question, He had not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it, and to do so on behalf of all humanity in a way that only He could.

March 09 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Jeanette Bent said about Matt 5:18"...one jot (iota) or one tittle''. The smallest letter refers to the smallest Hebrew letter (Yod) and the smallest stroke of a letter to a serif (a hook or projection on a Hebrew letter).

Matthew 5:18 in the NET BIBLE says: "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter1 will pass from the law until everything takes place."
NET notes
1 tn Grk “Not one iota or one serif.”
sn The smallest letter refers to the smallest Hebrew letter (yod) and the stroke of a letter to a serif (a hook or projection on a Hebrew letter).

"A tittle or superscript dot is a small distinguishing mark, such as a diacritic in the form of a dot on a lowercase i or j." --Wikipedia
(Diacritics are marks placed above or below (or sometimes next to) a letter in a word to indicate a particular pronunciation—in regard to accent, tone, or stress—as well as meaning, especially when a homograph exists without the marked letter or letters. For example, pâte refers to clay whereas pate refers to the head, and résumé or resumé is used for a work history versus resume, which means "to begin again.")

"Well, Jesus is saying not one jot or tittle shall pass from it; every bit of it will be fulfilled. I am not abrogating or annulling one whit of it, and anyone who teaches anyone else to disobey the smallest command in the Bible will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. Nothing ever changes in the Bible, nothing." gty.org

March 12 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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