[b-hebrew] Transliterations from Hebrew to Greek to ? and the Massoretes

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Wed Jun 18 15:15:06 EDT 2008


Dear List,

Below is an article from Christ Heard's blog in the category of Canon. It
discusses the Hebrew Canon, but then makes the comment in the last part of the
article (See Below) the following comment,

"A further indication, which I haven’t seen noted elsewhere, involved the
vocalization involved in the transliterated Hebrew, which appears to postdate
the beginning of segholization in Palestinian Hebrew and the shortening of
vowels represented in the Masoretic Text, though this is by no means certain
with the transliteration being so sloppy."

As you can see, the comment about the "the vocalization involved in the
transliterated Hebrew, which appears to postdate the beginning of segholization
in Palestinian Hebrew and the shortening of vowels represented in the Masoretic
Text," seems to beg the question as to when (if that can be determined) this
occurred.

Any takers as to when this occurred?

Please give full source and context information when discussing this. This will
enable all who read to be able to check the sources if they so choose. This will
also allow those who may not be able to access the material to be able to read
the contexts, reasoning and conclusions drawn. This, I realize, may make the
responses a little longer, but will prevent the obvious "knee-jerk" reactions to
things written on the thread (At Least I hope it will).

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III


Codex Hierosolymitanus Canon List
I recently picked up a copy of Huub van de Sandt’s and David Flusser’s The
Didache: Its Jewish Sources and its Place in Early Judaism and Christianity
(volume 5 of Section III, Jewish Traditions in Early Christian Literature, in
the series Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum, published by Royal
Van Gorcum and Fortress Press, 2002). Part of the Introduction (pp 16-21)
provides details on the manuscript in which the only known (nearly) complete
copy of the Greek Didache appears, Codex Hierosolymitanus. This codex also
contains the sole complete Greek copy of 2 Clement. The codex, completed 11 June
1056 by “Leon, the scribe and sinner” contains the following works:
a.) Pseudo-Chrysostom’s Synopsis Veteris et Novi Testamenti: fol. 1r—38v
b.) Epistle of Barnabas: fol. 39r—51v
c.) First Epistle of Clement: fol. 51v—70r
d.) Second Epistle of Clement: fol. 70r—76r
e.) A list of the “names of (biblical) books used by the Hebrews,” with the
titles transliterated from the Hebrew and the Greek titles both written in red
ink: fol 76r
f.) Didache: fol. 76r—80v
g.) The letter by Maria Cassoboloi to Ignatius of Antioch: fol. 81r—82r
h.) The Twelve Letters of Ignatius of Antioch (the longer edition): fol.
82r—120r
i.) The colophon is followed by a short treatise on the genealogy of Jesus: fol.
120r—120v

Flusser and van de Sandt reasonably suggest that the central works (b through f,
above), as they follow immediately upon one another, were copied from an earlier
manuscript containing the same works, an early edition of what we now call The
Apostolic Fathers collection, perhaps related to widespread antiquarian interest
at this point in Byzantine history. Thus the space at the end of the Didache
does not have anything to do with the scribe Leon leaving an assumed space for
the completion of the book. Rather, his copy ended there, so he ended there,
continuing with copying the next manuscript on the following full page. This is
entirely plausible. It also makes item “e,” the list of Biblical books in use
among the Hebrews, potentially more important than has formerly been realized,
as it thereby certainly dates to an earlier period than the date of H. Indeed,
in comparison with other such lists presented by Melito, Origen (pace Eusebius),
and Epiphanius, they suggest that this list and the Epiphanian list are
dependent upon a common source dated to the first half of the second century AD.

Here is the list, as presented p. 19, n. 31, with the transliteration of the
Hebrew on the left, and the Greek title on the right, separated by a dot:
1. βρισιθ • γενεσις
2. ελσιμοθ • εξοδος
3. οδοικρα • λευιτικον
4. διιησου • ιησου υιου ναυη
5. ελεδεββαρι • δευτερονομιον
6. ουιδαβιρ • αριθμοι
7. δαρουθ • της ρουθ
8. διωβ • του ιωβ
9. δασοφτιμ • των κριτων
10. σφερτελιμ • ψαλτηριον
11. διεμμουηλ • βασιλειων α
12. διαδδουδεμουηλ • βασιλεων β
13. δαμαλαχημ • βασιλεων γ
14. αμαλαχημ • βασιλεων δ
15. δεβριιαμιν • παραλειπομενων α
16. δεριιαμιν • παραλειπομενων β
17. δαμαλεωθ • παροιμιων
18. δακοελεθ • εκκλησιαστης
19. σιρα σιριμ • ασμα ασματων
20. διερεμ • ιερεμιας
21. δααθαρσιαρ • δωδεκαπροφητον
22. δησαιου • ησαιου
23. διεεζεκιηλ • ιεζεκιηλ
24. δαδανιηλ • δανιηλ
25. δεσδρα • εσδρα α
26. δαδεσδρα • εσδρα β
27. δεσθης • εσθηρ

The somewhat garbled, but still recognizable Hebrew (the list is not Aramaic,
contra alia, except for the name for the Twelve Prophets, תרי עשרא, as it is
still traditionally so in Jewish circles) is prefixed with the Aramaic genitive
particle d- , “of”, throughout nearly all the titles but for those of the five
Pentateuchal books. One curious aspect of the list, unnoted by van de Sandt and
Flusser, is the apparent elision of sibilants in the transliterations of numbers
11, 12, and 17, the two books of Samuel and Proverbs, respectively. For the
latter (p. 19, n. 35) they suggest an original מתלות and the loss of a theta
during transmission, whereas I would suggest an original משלות and the loss of a
sigma, as is clearly the case in numbers 11 and 12, in regard to the name
Samuel. I’m not sure what to make of the second of a pair of books bearing a
second -d-; perhaps it represents שני or תני even though the placement there is
odd. The order of the books is also extremely irregular, with several
transpositions in comparison with the Epiphanian list: Numbers and Joshua are
transposed, Ruth is moved from after Judges to before Job, Chronicles is moved
from before Samuel to after Kings, and Jeremiah is moved from after the Twelve
to before.

For comparison with the Codex H list, here is the transliterated Hebrew and
Aramaic list from Epiphanius, De mensuris et ponderibus, lines 680—691, from the
TLG text:
βιρσηθ
ελησιμωθ
ουαιεκρα
ουαιδαβηρ
ελλεδεβαρειμ
διησου
διωβ
δεσωφτειμ
δερουθ
σφερτελειμ
δεβριιαμειν
δεβριιαμειν
δεσαμουηλ
δαδουδεσαμουηλ
δμαλαχειμ
δμαλαχειμ
δμεθαλωθ
δεκωελεθ
σιραθσιρειν
δαθαριασαρα
δησαιου
διερεμιου
διεζεκιηλ
δεδανιηλ
δεσδρα
δεσδρα
δεσθηρ

The H list and the list from Epiphanius are so similar that it is hard to deny
relation either through dependence upon a common source, as suggested by van de
Sandt and Flusser, or through chronological proximity in origin. If following
van de Sandt and Flusser with the former option, a date for the original source
in the first half of the second century AD is possible. If, however, the lists
are similar because they date to approximately the same time, then a date in the
second half of the fourth century is likely, as Epiphanius’ De mensuris et
ponderibus is dated to 392. I think the latter is more likely than the former,
primarily because the two lists are very similar, including the Aramaic d-
prefixes, but are very different from the lists of Origen and Melito as
preserved in Eusebius, and which we know to be late second century lists. A
further indication, which I haven’t seen noted elsewhere, involved the
vocalization involved in the transliterated Hebrew, which appears to postdate
the beginning of segholization in Palestinian Hebrew and the shortening of
vowels represented in the Masoretic Text, though this is by no means certain
with the transliteration being so sloppy.

Still, it’s an interesting list, and one that should be added to discussions of
the Biblical canon, whether one dates it to the second or fourth centuries.



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