[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Bill Rea bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Aug 2 16:52:08 EDT 2005

James wrote:-

>IAW is three vowels
>IAOUAI is six vowels
>IABE is the only transliteration containing a consanant and is evidently
>the transliteration of a form in a perios and place where the waw was
>pronounced as a 'v'.

Two incidents have reminded me of how little we can trust speakers
of one language to hear another correctly. On this list Peter Kirk
claimed the American ``Mom'' and British ``Mum'' sound almost identical.
Having become aclimatised to the New Zealand accent to me these two
vowels tucked between the m-s don't sound even remotely similar.
The visiting American Professor teaching the biostatistics course
cannot tell the difference between an ``a'' and an ``e' as pronouned
by New Zealand students. To me, again, they don't sound even remotely

If we have that much trouble hearing vowels in the same language
but with different dialects how can we trust the Greeks to have
heard Hebrew correctly? Reconstructing the pronunciation of Hebrew
word based on a higly variable Greek written record seems to me
to be close to futile.

Bill Rea, IT Services, University of Canterbury \_
E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz               </   New
Phone 64-3-364-2331, Fax  64-3-364-2332       /)  Zealand
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