[b-hebrew] Jerusalem

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Sun Jul 11 15:47:12 EDT 2010


Hi Will,

have you tried looking on Perseus?

James Christian

On 11 July 2010 20:19, Will Parsons <wbparsons at alum.mit.edu> wrote:

> From: George Athas <George.Athas at moore.edu.au>
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Jerusalem
> Date: Sun, 11 Jul 2010 15:48:05 +1000
>
> > Hi Will.
> >
> > I appreciate your suggestion, but would need some firm textual data to
> > acquiesce.
>
> I agree that hard evidence is desired here, which I have so far been unable
> to locate.  (Google has failed me here.)
>
> Let's be clear on the nature of the evidence we're looking for:
> attestations
> of the name of Jerusalem in Greek sources prior to the Septuagint.  It's
> pretty clear that Greeks must have needed to refer to Jerusalem *somehow*
> during and after Alexander's conquests.  As part of first the Ptolemaic
> empire
> and then the Seleucid empire, it would seem highly likely that there should
> be
> some written evidence of this name (only genuine Greek evidence need apply)
> that should prove the matter one way or the other.  (Pre-Alexandrine
> attestations would be even better, but probably much less likely to exist.)
>
> > Josephus uses the form Ἱεροσόλυμα in his writings, so this seems
> > to be the standard late form, also attested in the New Testament. The LXX
> > uses Ἰερουσαλήμ, and we have a fair idea about when it was translated
> (3rd
> > to 1st centuries BCE).
>
> The crucial point I think between the LXX and Josephus is not that Josephus
> is
> much later than the LXX, but the nature of the audience.  The LXX was
> written
> *by* Jews *for* Jews, and of course the translators wanted to keep close
> the
> words of Sacred Scripture.  Josephus, though certainly Jewish, was writing
> for
> the wider Roman (in the imperial sense) audience, and he would naturally
> use
> the more cosmopolitan form.
>
> > So, I think you would need to propose either a
> > geographical bias (Egypt preferred Ἰερουσαλήμ) or a double shift (from
> > Ἱεροσόλυμα to Ἰερουσαλήμ and back again). This double shift seems quite
> odd
> > in my opinion, but stranger things have happened. In either case, you’d
> need
> > firm textual data from the early Hellenistic era to prove your
> hypothesis.
>
> The use of Ἱεροσόλυμα vs Ἰερουσαλήμ shouldn't be regarded as a "shift" from
> one to the other at all.  Both forms co-existed, deriving from a common
> origin, but neither one deriving directly from the other.  Which one was
> chosen may well have depended on the situation - I would imagine a
> Greek-speaking gentile as natually using Ἱεροσόλυμα, as perhaps would an
> Aramaic-speaking Palestinian Jew when speaking Greek, whereas a
> Greek-speaking
> Jew of Alexandria might well use Ἰερουσαλήμ because that's the form used in
> the Bible he was accustomed to.  So I would rather think the choice might
> be
> more of a cultural bias than a geographical one, though there may have been
> a
> secondary geographical preference, in that paradoxically the form that is
> closer to the Hebrew might be preferred in the milieu of the Alexandrian
> Greek-speaking Jewish population, where it was familiar from its frequent
> occurrence in the *Greek* Bible.
>
> Both forms could be used by early Christians.  Ἰερουσαλήμ would be familiar
> from its occurrence in both the inherited Jewish scriptures and the new
> Christian scriptures.  (I haven't made a systematic examination of the two
> forms in the New Testament, but I notice that Ἰερουσαλήμ is used in
> contexts
> that hark back to the Jewish scriptures, whereas Ἱεροσόλυμα is used in
> other
> contexts.)  As the Christian community became increasingly more gentile, it
> would naturally tend to use the more general form.
>
> So, yes, firm textual data is needed to prove (or disprove) the hypothesis,
> but I'd be surprised if this evidence doesn't exist (even if I can't find
> it).
> Surely there has to be *some* Greek historical or legal document dating
> from
> the early Hellenistic period that mentions Jerusalem.  (In the mean time,
> my
> guess is still on Ἱεροσόλυμα as the name used by the early Hellenistic
> rulers.)
>
> --
> William Parsons
>
>
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