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

Liz Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Sun Sep 28 01:24:49 EDT 2003

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kirk [mailto:peterkirk at qaya.org]
> Sent: Sat, September 27, 2003 6:01 PM
> To: Liz Fried
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Variants of YHWH in the BHS Text
> 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.
> >Liz
> >
> >
> >  
> >
> 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

Exactly so. So based on the Greek transliteration we ought to feel
free to add an aspirated H at the beginning of a sylable in the middle
of the word (a HU or HO), which we never do. So I'm not convinced
that YAHUAH or YAHOAH is so off-based.

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