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

Liz Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Sun Sep 28 11:20:40 EDT 2003



> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Trevor Peterson
> Sent: Sun, September 28, 2003 6:39 AM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] Variants of YHWH in the BHS Text
>
>
> Liz wrote:
> >
> > 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. Liz
>
> Maybe the problem is that you're using the wrong sound in your
> explanation. If the Greek transliteration is IAOUE, and both sides are
> saying that Greek would drop the /h/ from the writing, that gets us as
> far as supposing a form like IA(h)OUE. The way I would progress from
> there is to think of forms like OUAI and consider that OU seems to be
> the closest thing Greek has to a /w/. Since initial I+vowel is a rather
> standard transliteration in Hebrew names starting with yod, we end up
> with /yahw/E.
>
> Now, picking up from the common elements of the argument (/yah/OUE), you
> seem to be suggesting that we suppose the vav also drops out of the
> transliteration (like the he), leaving nothing but I representing
> initial yod and the vowels of the name--/yah/OU(w)E--which gives us
> something like /yahuw/E.* We know (from separate examples that Peter and
> I cited) that /h/ typically drops out of Greek transliterations. But I
> can't think offhand of the normal behavior of /w/. More to the point, I
> don't know what normally happens when /uw/ is transliterated into Greek.
> I would expect the separate sounds to each appear as OU, but I don't
> know what they would do together. Does anyone know?

This is exactly the problem, isn't it? The Greek transliteration OU is
customarily
read as the consonant W in the word Yahweh, but it could equally be read as
the long ooo sound.
Now if you have an aspirated h in the middle of the word which had been
dropped,
and the OU as ooo, then the new reading of the Greek would be ya hu eh.
This would be consistent with both the Greek, the theophoric names that we
have,
and with the spelling of the name at Elephantine.
The only question is whether the Hebrew W serves as both a vowel and as a
consonant
in YHWH, or if only one or the other. In my opinion,  it serves only as a
vowel based on
the theophoric names. But maybe going from the /hu/ to the /eh/ forces a
slight /w/ before the /eh/ since otherwise you'd need a glottal stop between
the syllables, wouldn't you, and wouldn't that require an aleph?
If so, that would lead you naturally to Yahuweh, with the accent on the hu.
>
Liz
>
> Trevor Peterson
> CUA/Semitics
>
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