RE: hHMIN, hUMIN : were both pronounced the *same* ?
Fri, 6 Dec 1996 20:33:58 -0800

Jonathan Robie wrote

>Acts 13:26 (GNT) Andres adelfoi, uioi genous Abraam kai oi
en umin
>foboumenoi ton qeon, hmin o logos ths swthrias tauths
>In "A Textual Commentary on the GNT", Bruce Metzger talks
about text
>variants which choose hHMIN vs. hUMIN, and he says:
> The interchange of hU for hH (both were pronounced
EE), and
> vice versa, was a common blunder among Greek
>Certainly, they sounded similar, but the *same*? At a time
that both forms
>were in active use in the language?
>How could a language fail to distinguish "you" from "we"?
Can you imagine
>negotiating anything in such a language? If the direct
participants in a
>conversation can't be distinguished orally, it is rather
hard to communicate
>about anything!


For what it is worth, we have an example of two different
inflection forms that not only sounded alike, but were
actually the same form in the 1st sing [eluon] & 3rd plural
[eluon] imperfect act indicative verb forms.

These, spoken or written alone are indistinguishable.
However, put them in a context with subject, object and
other modifiers, and there is seldom any confusion about
whether they are singular oe plural, or 1st or 3rd person.

Context will virtually always clarify. It would only be
when a scribe were less familiar with Greek (say, a Latin
speaking scribe who was nominally informed in Greek,
transcribing a manuscript), that these "homonyms" would
create confusion and result in a textual variant being

Paul Lorenzen
Instructor of NT Greek
Northern Sierra Bible Institute

Paul Lorenzen -- Sparks, Nevada -- Email -

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