[b-hebrew] Yahoshua/Yehosua

YODAN yodanco at yodanco.com
Tue Apr 4 16:40:17 EDT 2006

Hello Herman,

I am not sure that I understand the statement "Unlike Christians nowadays,
Jews in

Antiquity didn't have "official" names, as far as I think is known at


Since the name being discussed was a first name, are you saying Jews didn't
have first names?  Or didn't have them even as "late" in history as the
beginning of the Common Era?  How can that be?  What about all the Biblical
names that preceded the period you are discussing by hundreds of years?  

Perhaps I misunderstood what you said?



-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Herman Meester
Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2006 12:41 PM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Yahoshua/Yehosua

Dear Baruj,

There is no such basis; Jesus' original name was neither Yehoshua or
Yahoshua, it was just Yeshu. Unlike Christians nowadays, Jews in
Antiquity didn't have "official" names, as far as I think is known at
least, so even if we claim that the "original version" of "Yeshu" had
been "Yehoshua", this would have been irrelevant to the Galilean
family he was born in.
By the way, both /h/ and /`/ (`ayin) were likely not to have been
pronounced in Galilee anymore, as the sources suggest, and the name
Yehoshua (as a biblical name) was probably pronounced, if people would
discuss a "biblical" subject, simply "Yeshu" too.

Writing this, I suddenly worry I misinterpret your question; maybe
you'd mean to ask if the name that "Yeshu" ultimately derives of would
have been pronounced "Yahoshua" instead of "Yehoshua"?
In the latter case, that is likely, because instead of shwa, the
biblical authors likely did pronounce /a/ in this case. However, then
they would have pronounced Yahoshu` (or Yahushu`) and not Yahoshua;
for the `ayin was not replaced with /a/ yet for Scripture recitation
(as the Masoretes resolved their inability to pronounce the

best regards,
Herman Meester,
Rotterdam, Netherlands

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