When Westcott & Hort published their edition of the Greek New Testament in 1881, they also released (in $amz(159244198X a second volume)) a 300+ page Introduction discussing their text-critical principles (the volume also has 200+ pages of appendix, equaling 600+ pages of goodness). That introduction also discusses in some detail the typesetting of the edition in Section E, “Punctuation, Divisions of text, and Titles of books” (§§417-423, pp. 318-322).

[[NB: I’ve discussed the introduction on my other blog, ricoblog. The Intro/Appendix is available from Google Books if you’d like to check it out.]]

In the introduction (§419, p. 319) they discuss how they encode what is essentially a discourse-level hierarchy (sentence level and above) into the text using paragraph formatting, casing, and spacing.

Have you ever wondered why (if using a printed WH or an electronic edition with proper casing/punctuation) some paragraphs/sections begin with words in ALLCAPS; why sometimes there is vertical space before a new paragraph, and most of all why there are these long spaces (over a centimeter!) within paragraphs? And why sometimes sentences start with a capitalized letter, and others do not?

Well, you’ve stumbled onto WH’s typography/casing/spacing based outline of the text without knowing it. Here are the basics:

Major Section: vertical white space above, headed by word in CAPS
Section: vertical white space above, no initial CAP WORD
Paragraph: Newline with indentation
subparagraph: full stop followed by large amount of horizontal whitespace
UC-initial sentence: “Groups of sentences introduced by a capital bear the same relation to subparagraphs as subparagraphs to paragraphs”
lc-initial sentence: When a lower-case initial word starts a sentence. lowest punctuated unit; grammar dictates structure within the sentence unit.

Following this, I’ve examined a printed edition of WH and distilled the outline to First Timothy, which is below. I’ve only gone through this once (and that was hasty) so there may very well be some errors. Also note that the hierarchy I’ve implied is based on containing references; WH’s typography/casing/spacing does not imply a strict heirarchy (see Matthew). Also, dialogue in Greek NT’s typically begins with a sentence-initial cap; I’ve yet to determine how that would mesh with the encoded structure, largely because no such dialogue exists in First Timothy. That said, here’s the outline. Notable is how $esv(1Ti 3.1a) is handled, and also $esv(1Ti 6.2b).

1.1-6.22: Major section headed by ΠΑΥΛΟΣ

1.1-2: Paragraph
      1.1-2: UC-initial sentence

1.3-20: Paragraph
   1.3-7: subparagraph, UC-initial (single sentence)
   1.8-11: subparagraph, UC-initial (single sentence)
   1.12-17: subparagraph
      1.12-16: UC-initial sentence
      1.17: UC-initial sentence
   1.18-20: subparagraph, UC-initial (single sentence)

2.1-3.16: Paragraph
   2.1-7: subparagraph, UC-initial
      2.1-4: UC-initial sentence group
         2.1-2: UC-initial sentence
         2.3-4: lc-initial sentence
      2.5-7: UC-initial sentence
   2.8-3.1a: subparagraph, UC-initial
      2.8: UC-initial sentence
      2.9-10: UC-initial sentence
      2.11-12: UC-initial sentence
      2.13-3.1a: UC-initial sentence group
         2.13-15: UC-initial sentence
         3.1a: lc-initial sentence
   3.1b-13: subparagraph, UC-initial
      3.1b-7: UC-initial sentence group
         3.1b: UC-initial sentence
         3.2-6: lc-initial sentence
      3.8-13: UC-initial sentence group
         3.8: UC-initial sentence
         3.9-11: lc-initial sentence
         3.12-13: lc-initial sentence
   3.14-16: subparagraph, UC-initial
      3.14-16a: UC-initial sentence
         3.16b: metrically arranged

4.1-10: Paragraph
   4.1-5: subparagraph, UC-initial
      4.1-5: UC-initial sentence group
         4.1-3: UC-initial sentence
         4.4-5: lc-initial sentence
   4.6-10: subparagraph, UC-initial
      4.6-10: UC-initial sentence group
         4.6-7: UC-initial sentence
         4.8: lc-initial sentence
         4.9-10: lc-initial sentence

4.11-16: Paragraph
      4.11-16: UC-initial sentence group
         4.11-12: UC-initial sentence
         4.13: lc-initial sentence
         4.14: lc-initial sentence
         4.14-16: lc-initial sentence

5.1-6.2: Paragraph
   5.1-16: subparagraph, UC-initial
      5.1-2: UC-initial sentence
      5.3-8: UC-initial sentence
      5.9-13: UC-initial sentence group
         5.9-10: UC-initial sentence
         5.11-13: lc-initial sentence
      5.14-16: UC-initial sentence group
         5.14-15: UC-initial sentence
         5.16: lc-initial sentence
   5.17-25: subparagraph, UC-initial
      5.17-20: UC-initial sentence group
         5.17-18: UC-initial sentence
         5.19-20: lc-initial sentence
      5.21: UC-initial sentence
      5.22: UC-initial sentence
      5.23: UC-initial sentence
      5.24-25: UC-initial sentence
   6.1-2a: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.1-2a: UC-initial sentence group
         6.1: UC-initial sentence
         6.2-2a: lc-initial sentence

6.2b-6.21a: Paragraph
   6.2b-10: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.2b-10: UC-initial sentence group
         6.2b-5: UC-initial sentence
         6.6-8: lc-initial sentence
         6.9-10: lc-initial sentence
   6.11-16: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.11-16: UC-initial sentence group
         6.11: UC-initial sentence
         6.12: lc-initial sentence
         6.13-16: lc-initial sentence
   6.17-19: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.17-19: UC-initial sentence
   6.20-21a: subparagraph, UC-initial
      6.20-21a: UC-initial sentence

6.21b: Paragraph
      6.21b: UC-initial sentence