[b-hebrew] Fwd: Yahoshua/Yehosua

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Tue Apr 4 19:09:16 EDT 2006

On 04/04/2006 22:52, Herman Meester wrote:
> 2006/4/4, Karl Randolph <kwrandolph at email.com>:
>> I can see the reason for the question, in that
>> Joshua (Yehoshua) was written as Jesus (Yaysus) in
>> the Greek New Testament.
>> I personally question whether there was any attempt
>> to make sure the pronunciation was other than the
>> one recorded in the New Testament.
> What do you mean exactly, whose attempt?  As the name Ιησους Yesous as
> in NT is a Greek rendering of ישוע Yeshu, ...

What is your evidence for this? In Acts 7:5 and Hebrews 4:8, and 
regularly in LXX, Ἰησοῦς (Yēsous) is a rendering not of ישוע but of 
יְהוֹשׁוּעַ Yehoshua, i.e. Joshua who led the Israelites into their land. 
There is no reason to think that the Hebrew name of the Ἰησοῦς (Yēsous) 
referred to more often in the Greek NT was any different. So the real 
question is perhaps how יְהוֹשׁוּעַ Yehoshua was pronounced at that time. As 
you pointed out, the first vowel may well have been more an "a" than an 
"e" sound.

But you implicitly assert that the final "a" sound or "furtive patah" 
was not pronounced at that time. Do you have clear evidence for that? I 
suppose the Greek spelling, without a final "a", would be some evidence 
for that proposition. But there are alternative Greek spellings for 
other people with the same Hebrew name which do seem to indicate an 
additional final vowel: BDB quotes Greek spellings Ὡσηε, Ἰωσηε, Σουα. 
The last of these (from Nehemiah 11:26) seems to confirm that a 
pronunciation with furtive patah was at least sometimes used in ancient 
times. See also Σαυα for שׁוּעַ Shua in Genesis 38:2,12, 1 Chronicles 2:3 LXX.

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

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