[b-hebrew] The Name Abraham

Will Parsons wbparsons at alum.mit.edu
Mon Mar 11 21:00:17 EDT 2013

Hi Jim,

On Mon, 11 Mar 2013 17:10:58 -0400 (EDT), JimStinehart at aol.com wrote:
> As to the key question of the Biblical spelling of “Ra” that Will
> Parsons raised, please consider that “Potiphar” is a different name
> than “ Potiphera”.  I hope and expect that everyone on the b-hebrew
> list will reject the scholarly claim that two different Biblical
> authors, who did not know each other or each other’s work, somehow
> on a non-miraculous basis allegedly managed to come up with the same
> name, though spelled somewhat differently, for two different
> characters: “Very early, before P wrote, the figure of Joseph became
> connected with the Egyptian name P3-di-p3-Ra [pA di pA ra], ‘
> Potiphar’; but the connexion was never explicit.  One tradition
> ascribed the name to Joseph's father-in-law, another to Joseph's
> master.  An editor, plagued by a bent towards completeness, inserted
> them both.”  D. B. Redford, “ A Study of the Biblical Story of
> Joseph (Genesis 37-50)” (1970), pp.  136-137.

<continuation snipped here for this brief reply>

You have written a quite full exposition, which will take some time to
digest.  Since it's getting late here (writing from New England), I
won't attempt to make a substantive response to your post now (though
I may have further comments later), but I will give you credit for
bringing up the name פוטיפר/Potiphar, which indeed will make me
reconsider my previous response.

Will Parsons
μη φαινεσθαι, αλλ' ειναι.

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