Fw: IAO--How's it said?

David Hindley DHindley at compuserve.com
Tue Nov 16 23:54:43 EST 1999

Joe Friberg said:

>>Do you have a reference for which manuscripts? I am aware that some 
utilize the tetragrammaton, but have not tried to track down which ones.<<

I know of P. Fouad Inv. No. 266 (Deut 31:29-32:7 LXX), which reproduces the 
Hebrew YHWH in the square script instead of translating it as KURIOS or 
QEOS, as do most mss. It's script hand is similar to 2nd century BCE mss P. 
Rylands iii.458.

P. Onxyrhynchus vii. 1007 used a doubled Yod to represent Hebrew YHWH. P. 
Oxy. iv. 656 leaves a blank where the tetragrammaton or the word 
KURIOS/QEOS should be.

Origen, in column two of his Hexapla, reportedly had the Hebrew text 
transliterated into Greek characters, except for the tetragrammatin. In the 
columns which represented the translations of Aquila, Symmachus and the old 
LXX, the tetragrammaton was transliterated into Greek characters instead of 
translated (as in the column for Theodotion's translation).

Jerome (Epistola 25, Ad Marcellum) complained that "certain ignorant ones" 
would mispronounce the tetragrammaton they found in Hebrew square script 
characters, saying "Pi pi".

I recall that some of the Hebrew DSS biblical scrolls written in square 
script represent the tetragrammaton in paleo-Hebrew script, but that would 
be completely off the top of my head.

In all these cases, the idea seems to be to prevent the reader from 
accidently pronouncing the tetragrammaton, by making it distinctive enough 
to warn the reader to use a circumlocution.


Dave Hindley

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