[b-hebrew] "th" and "b"

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Jun 16 01:28:56 EDT 2008


On Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 7:42 PM, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>

> On Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 10:59 PM, K Randolph wrote:
> > In New Testament studies, one indication that the Byzantine tradition may
> be
> > older than the Coptic tradition that underlies most scholarly editions of
> > the New Testament is that it preserves what seem to be regional
> variations
> > of Hebrew names: for example, Bethlehem in Judea, was spelled with a
> theta,
> > while Nazareth in Galilee is consistently spelled with a tau as Nazaret.
> I
> > noticed a couple of other similar differences in transliterations. Both
> New
> > Testament traditions spelled Kapernaum with a pi instead of the modern
> phi
> > that would have been used.
> I transcribe my personal translation of a few paragraphs from Richard
> Steiner's
> "Emphatic p in the Masoretic pronunciation of 'ppadhno (Dan 11:45)" in
> Hebrew
> and Arabic Studies in Honour of Joshua Blau, ed, M. Bar Asher et al.,
> 1993, p.552:
> It probably goes the same for k/kh and t/th.  In the case of Nazaret, we
> have
> another interesting issue, in that the final e is actually a vowel
> that breaks up
> the original consonant cluster from *nacartu > *nacart.

How do you know that was the original consonant cluster? What written
records from the first century or earlier are there that give that

> … As late as medieval
> times we have transcriptions of Hebrew without this vowel.  This is further
> reinforced by the sonorant nature of [r] where in place of the vowel, the r
> (which was pronounced as various kinds of rolls in Hebrew] might have been
> rolled to break up the consonant cluster.  Thus, in the Hebrew and Aramaic
> realization of the name, the name might have been pronounced [nacarrt^h],
> with an aspirated t^h, since no vowel preceded the consonant.  This may
> be compared with the Hebrew $ɔmart "you [2fs] guarded", where the taw
> has a dagesh.  As for Capernaum, I refer you to the following posts:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2003-June/015525.html
> and:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2006-December/031076.html
> In the latter, it seems the comment about Majority Text goes into your
> personal theory, which in light of the evidence above for both Nazareth and
> Maththaion, is weak.  I would appreciate it if you could elaborate on the
> author's speculation regarding the p/f of Capernaum that you mention and
> dismiss, without letting us know what he suggests.
> Look at the date, that was five years ago. My present response therefore is
based on the response I made at that time.

The reason I dismissed the author's speculation is that, if there was a
pronunciation shift occurring and almost completed during the first century,
what evidence would there remain of a previous pronunciation centuries
later? The earliest evidence from Galilean sources that he cited came from
three centuries later.

As for the Majority Text being an older tradition, that is not my personal
theory, rather I found the arguments of those who champion the Majority Text
as being more convincing than those who champion the modern scholarly
tradition, especially in light of the pronunciation variations found for
Hebrew and Aramaic transliterations.

> Yitzhak Sapir

Karl W. Randolph.

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