[b-hebrew] Mark 15:34, Mat 27:46, & Psalm 22

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Apr 20 10:04:56 EDT 2004

On 20/04/2004 02:41, Trevor Peterson wrote:

> Peter Kirk wrote:
>> But Mark's "Eloi" sounds more like Hebrew Elohi, suggesting that 
>> Jesus was misquoting Hebrew (or quoting a different Hebrew text), 
>> i.e. using a different word for "God", for the first half of the 
>> verse. Matthew's "Eli" looks like a correction to match the Hebrew 
>> better. Neither form is Aramaic, surely.
> Surely? Do we know enough about the vocalization of Aramaic in all its 
> spoken dialects from this period to say? JPA vocalizes elaha with 
> short-e in the first syllable. The Western tradition of Syriac 
> exhibits the same sort of rounding trend that we find in the so-called 
> Canaanite shift, as in aloho. Both of these effects seem to be more 
> broadly geographical than simply isolated to Hebrew. (And I don't see 
> much problem with combining them, since qametz is used for the long 
> vowels in the JPA vocalization, which could also have been rounded.) 
> Since Jesus, if he spoke Aramaic, undoubtedly spoke a Western dialect, 
> I don't see any reason that he couldn't have pronounced it elohi 
> (perhaps all the more likely if in fact he spoke Hebrew as well). And 
> just as achuhi became achui (now made famous in the yaaqov ossuary, 
> but in any event probably earlier in the spoken language than in the 
> writing), eloi would make sense here.

Well, I accept that there may be some doubt about this. But would the 
Aramaic first person possessive suffix ever be -i? And if the same vowel 
shift had occurred, would there not be O's (omicrons) rather than A's 
(alphas) in "lama sabachtani"?

As for dropped H's, this is standard in Hebrew and Aramaic names etc 
rendered in Greek, in LXX, NT, Josephus etc. No need to posit a 
pronunciation in which H was dropped.

> But perhaps it would be better to continue such a discussion on the 
> Aramaic list, since whatever was spoken here, it was probably not BH.

I disagree, because I am arguing that what was spoken was precisely 
biblical Hebrew.

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

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