Re: YHWH in LXX Papyrii

From: Bernard Taylor (
Date: Mon Mar 11 1996 - 13:21:27 EST

Futher to what Wes said, there is another aspect that I have not seen
mentioned. In a number of mss the divine name is represented in Greek
characters as PIPI. One of the interesting orthgraphic anomalies from
Qumran is that yods were often longer than vavs, and vice versa, so that
length can not be reliably used to distinguish these letters. Similarly,
the form PIPI is a Greek representation of what a Greek reader saw and
understood when confronted by the divine name written in Hebrew
characters. Lacking any sensitivity to yod/vav represenatation, it was
read as Greek (from left to right) as straight Greek characters.

Metzger makes mention of this in his volume: _Manuscripts of the Greek
Bible._ An Introduction to Palaeography (Oxford, 1981), p. 35, fn 73; 94,
108 (the latter two reference plates in the back of the book). Jerome
reported that some ignorant souls (he could be so subtle) even pronounced
it as "pipi." Hatch and Redpath have an entry for it in the main lexicon
and more in the Supplement. The first time I encountered this word in the
apparatus of Brooke-McLean (the Larger Cambridge LXX) I had no idea what
it might be!

Bernard Taylor

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