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

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at cua.edu
Mon Sep 29 07:00:55 EDT 2003

>===== Original Message From Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org> =====
>If I remember rightly, there are quite a number of words where Hebrew
>texts vary between sheva and a hataf vowel under a word medial
>"guttural" consonant including he. So YAH:WEH and YAH:AWEH could be
>considered variant pointings and perhaps pronunciations of the same
>word. On the other hand, )AH:AROWN becomes AARWN in Greek (and hence the
>Englis Aaron), but we don't get a double alpha in Greek versions of the
>divine name, which suggests a sheva rather than a hataf patah in the
>Hebrew pronunciation.

Good point. A couple of thoughts on the other hand. First, I don't know that 
we could rule it out on this basis, since it's possible that there were 
different ways of pronouncing it. Second, regarding your suggestion yesterday 
about a furtive patach, I wonder how the evidence shapes up for Greek 
rendering. The most obvious example that comes to my mind is IHSOUS from 
yeshua, which doesn't seem to preserve the furtive patach. Is there any 
evidence of a Greek preservation of this sound? For that matter, I would think 
we'd want specific evidence of Greek epsilon for furtive patach, if we're 
going to suppose that Liz's pronunciation is correct.

(I don't know if this is at all relevant, but segol in Tiberian pointing often 
corresponds to patach in Babylonian, which has no equivalent to segol. On the 
other hand, it's Tiberian pointing that gives us the furtive patach, so if it 
was a Western tendency to pronounce this glide element closer to epsilon, I 
would think they'd have rendered it that way.)

Trevor Peterson

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