[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Mon Aug 1 04:47:36 EDT 2005

The wealth of attestations of Hebrew name transliterations stands overwhelmingly
against your reasoning here. I am not aware of even one Greek transliteration of 
a Hebrew name which attempts to represent the 'he'. The greeks could only pronounce
a 'he' at the very beginning of a name e.g. HO THEOS and the difference between 
such an aspiration and a gamma was more than evident to Greek speakers.

Of course, if you can find examples of Hebrew names transliterated with a gamma in 
the place of the 'he' then I will have to reconsider my position on this.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Vadim Cherny
Sent: Mon 8/1/2005 7:27 AM
To: Peter Kirk
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation
> The form IAW is just one of many different attested Greek forms of the
> Name. It deserves no more specific attention than the others. But it
> clearly corresponds to the first part of the names starting Jeho-, since
> sheva was often represented by alpha and Greek has no "h".

Why Iaw? Iao. Iaw gives substance to the verb hypothesis.

All other forms are derivative from Iao, as far as I understand. None of
them is even remotely related to any possible pronunciation of the verb.

That Greeks had no he doesn't mean that they could not transcribe it and
omitted it. If alpha is for shewa, then it is completely incredible that
reasonably careful Clement omitted both sounds he. The first he is
sufficiently strong for the Greeks to hear; the sound is closer to gamma
than to nil. Also, if your careful Greeks represented schwa with alpha, all
the more they should represent somehow the second he - much strong than
schwa. Final he also has much stronger claim for the "alpha-status" than the
schwa has. Greek form of the verb would be, rather, igba, iagba, or iaga.

Do we have he in a similar position in Secunda? I don't have Hexapla at
hand. Perhaps you remember.

I think, Feldman also cites Varro for Iao. It is unlikely that Romans, too,
did not hear any he. Anyway, with these assumptions of missing he anything
could be justified.

If I understand you correctly, you say that Iao is yaho-smth name, not YHWH.
This assumption, you see, is pure and far-fetched conjecture. We know that
Iao was the Name; neither ancient author was speaking of generic Hebrew
names. In any case, the names derived from the Name, and if the names were
pronounced Iao, then YHWH was likewise.

Just admit that Iao and other attested pronunciations run head-on against
the verb hypothesis.

Vadim Cherny

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