[b-hebrew] Variants of YHWH in the BHS Text

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat Sep 27 18:01:01 EDT 2003

On 27/09/2003 14:42, Liz Fried wrote:

>Dear Dave et.al.,
>I pronounce the name Yahweh when I teach
>largely because scholars have for the most
>part decided that this is how it was pronounced.
>As Peter says, it's based on the Greek where it was
>written IAOUE. However, several things have always 
>bothered me about this. 1) it doesn't conform to any of
>the theophoric names that we have, 2) it doesn't conform
>to what we know from Elephantine, and 3) the Greeks, to
>my knowledge, do not have an aspirated H in the middle of
>their words, so that sound if there could not have been expressed. 
>herefore, it doesn't make sense to me that Yah-weh is correct.
Indeed the Greeks didn't have an aspirated H in the middle of words. Nor 
for that matter do English speakers - do your students pronounce that 
first H in the form you teach them? The second H should of course be 
silent anyway, with the pointing I gave. So, if  a Greek speaker had 
heard the this pronunciation, complete with aspiration in the middle, 
how do you think they would have transliterated it? There is actually 
plenty of evidence from LXX for how they did transliterate Hebrew names 
whose Hebrew pronunciation is not in dispute. Just one example, Hebrew 
)AH:ARON > Greek AARWN illustrates that it was normal for medial he 
simply to be dropped, with no attempt to represent e.g. by chi.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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