Mesha Stele and the Tetragrammaton

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Tue Feb 20 15:03:56 EST 2001

May I ask again, what do you mean by "the greek use of W"? There is no
letter W in the Greek alphabet. The shape W is used by convention in e-mails
and online texts for the Greek letter omega, but this usage became
widespread only in the computer era, and certainly cannot predate the
addition of W to the Latin alphabet which is medieval. So the pronunciation
IAVE attested in an ancient document cannot possibly result from the common
use of W for omega and for waw.

So that rules out your step [2]. I have yet to see any comprehensible
evidence for your step [1]. Step [3] is also wrong, for the abbreviated form
YAH. has a mappiq in the he and so should be pronounced IAH with an audible

Peter Kirk

-----Original Message-----
From: Eduardo M. Acuna [mailto:eacuna at]
Sent: 20 February 2001 05:46
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Mesha Stele and the Tetragrammaton

> -snip-
> In late LXX the complete greek word for ADONAI, KURIOS, was used as a
> replacement for YHWH. It is worth to note that it was not inverted
> (SOIRUK). The abbreviation KS from K(URIO)S may stand as a recognition of
> the abbreviation of Y(HW)H, as YH.
> The complete phonetic transcription: IAWE, is the samaritan pronunciation
> IAVE documented by Photius in his letter 162 to Amphiloque, which is the
> modern Iahveh, Yahveh or Yahweh.
> -snip-
The samaritan pronunciation IAVE is a non sense.
The non sense of IAVE [Yahweh] comes from the fact that it is the result
of mixed origins:
A.- [1] the transliteration of the phonetic transcription of the
incomplete inverted vowels of ADONAI as IAW. [2] The greek use of W as a
transliteration for O, which is the very same letter used for the hebrew
Waw and leading to the V as a phonetic transcription and B].- [3] The
abbreviation of Y[HW]H as YH, pronounced IA. [4] the “matres lectionis”
YHW being rendered as [YH]W, [IA]V, easily extended to [YH][WH], [IA][VE],
for the Tetragrammaton.


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