[b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sun Jul 24 20:11:32 EDT 2005

On 23/07/2005 15:35, Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:

> ...
>>The last word is. LAMA looks to me like a perfectly good Hebrew word 
>>for "why", although I agree that it can also be Aramaic.
>HH: I don't what text you are using, but perhaps it is the same one 
>Greenspahn was using. In the fourth edition of UBS at Mark 15:34 it 
>is the Aramaic word LEMA, not the Hebrew LAMA, that appears. It is 
>also LEMA in the third edition of UBS. ...

Thank you for the correction, in fact I simply misread the N-A text. But 
the textual evidence in Nestle-Aland is very uncertain, and in fact 
several early MSS (B, D, theta) do have LAMA. Also, was the Aramaic word 
really LEMA with a clear E vowel, or was the first vowel a sheva? I ask 
because sheva as well as qamats was usually transliterated as alpha in 
Greek, in NT, LXX etc. So the epsilon here seems to be a corrupt form 
whether the original was Hebrew or Aramaic.


>>Well, I accept that Greenspahn knows his Aramaic. But does he 
>>actually explain how ELWI can be Aramaic? I suppose the Aramaic form 
>>could be ELAY and this just might have been pronounced something 
>>like ELOY. But this is the kind of argument I was expecting from 
>>you, rather than citing endless authorities who simply copy from one 
>HH: I already gave that argument by saying there could have been 
>dialectal variation.
OK, but more detail would have been useful.

> ...
>The main reasoning for me is that we generally speak one language at 
>a time, ...

Well, this is actually not always true of fully bilingual people. I have 
heard people switch between languages in the middle of sentences as a 
matter of course in running conversation.

As for newspapers and TV, I didn't want to suggest that they were making 
things up, but on matters like this journalists are unlikely to be 
experts and so are likely to copy from whatever book they have to hand, 
which is very likely a popular work based on original scholarly 
documents. So the newspaper is at least a third hand witness. Or 
sometimes they quote professors who they interview, which perhaps make 
this second hand. The references I want are to the first hand, the 
original scholarly work.

Thank you to Shai for bringing us closer to what I want, some good 
evidence that Eloi could have been an Aramaic form; but like Dave I 
would still like some actual references (even though I am unlikely to be 
able to look them up). But I still wonder about the omega. I would 
expect omicron-iota for the kind of diphthong which would result from an 
-AY ending changing to -OY, whereas omega-iota as attested fits much 
better with the long O (holam) and long I in separate syllables of the 
Hebrew ELOHIY.

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

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