[b-hebrew] Fwd: Yahoshua/Yehosua

Herman Meester crazymulgogi at gmail.com
Wed Apr 5 03:36:20 EDT 2006

Dear Peter,

I have only faint proof  ;) I just thought that if we have "Yesous"
instead of "Yesouas", this would mean in that case there's no `ayin or
patach. I'll take a better look at your examples, though. However, I
do think that in Greek, the sound `ayin was expressed with /a/ (cf.
Βααλ, Vorlage: Ba`l, not Ba`al) or /e/ (Ωσηε); so the `ayin was
reinterpreted, i.e. "replaced" with a vowel. The furtive patach in
that sense does not exist, that it doesn't "precede" the `ayin (he or
chet) in words like Ruach or Shavua. It rather replaces the `ayin
(etc.) altogether. That's why the modern Hebrew word Ruach is rather
funny: it is a construct, not a historical reality. It is either Ruch
or Rua, historically. No problem of course, just one of those curiosa
that accur when people reanimate a written language into a spoken

Herman Meester

2006/4/5, Peter Kirk <peter at qaya.org>:
> 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)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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