[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Mon Aug 1 09:40:46 EDT 2005

No-one claimed it was a representation of the full verb. In the Hebrew test we see
YHWH as the complete name, YH as a shortened version (mainly in poetry) and YHW as 
a shortened version of the name included in other peoples names e.g. YHWNTHN yehonathan 
Jonathan in English, Igor in Syryllic languages.('scholarly' people like to refer to 
these as theophoric components, it makes them seem intelligent and thus an authority
on the subject).
I can understand why you would expect the gamma. My wife is Ukrainian and her bible 
has something like 'yegovi' as the representation of the divine name. However, such 
transliterations have made their way through many languages before reaching the 
Syryllic languages and do not reflect the way in which the ancient Greeks transliterated
When I said that IAO was a transliteration of the name, I meant possible of the shortened 
form we find in names YHW (said theophoric component) and was not in any way referring to 
the longer more complete version YHWH, of which we see tranliterations of the form IAOUAI.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Vadim Cherny
Sent: Mon 8/1/2005 1:57 PM
To: Peter Kirk
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation
> But why should I avoid suggestions which give substance to the verb
> hypothesis? I am only quoting the evidence.

Iaw is no evidence. Iao spelling is not conformant with the verb hypothesis.
No one could have pronounced the verb as Iao even remotely. Since we have
independent testimonies in Diodorus and Clement, Iao is not a garbled form,
but mainstream, and cannot be a verb.

> True, they COULD have replaced it by gamma or something, as in Russian.
> But the fact is that they did not. It is abundantly clear from many
> transcriptions of biblical and other names that the normal practice was
> simply to omit he.

I wrote to James, loss of the second root he is unlikely, especially in the
environment so emphatic (other two radicals--if that is a verb-- vowelized)
that he is pronounced there even now.

> In fact the evidence is clear that Greeks transliterated
> the "h" sound as zero.

This general trend is unlikely in the present case, see above.

> >... Also, if your careful Greeks represented schwa with alpha, all
> >the more they should represent somehow the second he - much strong than
> >schwa. ...
> Well, my position is that the final he of YHWH is in fact silent.

It is not silent in the verb, but vowelized, and so we might a fortiori
expect alpha, if alpha was earlier used even for schwa.

> >I think, Feldman also cites Varro for Iao. It is unlikely that Romans,
> >did not hear any he. ...
> Maybe, but very likely Varro was transliterating a Greek version of the
> name.

 I cannot deny this possibility, but is it likely? Varro had plenty of Jews

Vadim Cherny

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