Re: Consonantal iota

Lee R. Martin (
Tue, 21 Jan 1997 19:27:34 -0800

Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 2:48 PM -0600 1/20/97, Rod Decker wrote:

> >Was consonantal iota ever written as a distinct glyph (if I may use that
> >designation somewhat loosely), or is the only distinction morphological/
> >contextual (and not orthographical)?
> I think that the straightforward answer to this is NO, at least for
> antiquity, and I think it is expressed today by the combination of gamma +
> iota before a vowel. The fact that our NT Greek forms for Jerusalem and
> Jordan are spelled with an iota that has a smooth breathing certainly
> points to a theory that this iota was pronounced as a vowel.

Pardon my intrusion, but it seems to me that the iota in Jerusalem,
Jordan, Jesus, John, et. al. is a pronounced as a consonant, not a vowel
(corresponding to the Hebrew consonant yod). The only way it could be
pronounced as a vowel is to add a syllable, e.g. ee-er-u-sa-lem,
ee-or-dan, ee-ey-sus etc.

Lee R. Martin
Part-Time Instructor in Hebrew and Biblical Studies
Church of God Theological Seminary
Cleveland, TN 37311
Pastor, Prospect Church of God