Language of the Messias?

Date: Sat Mar 08 1997 - 15:59:39 EST

On March 8, 1997 Isodoros replied to R. Petry, me, thusly.

R. Petry on 5 Mar 1997 17:55:52 wrote:

>In the last digest I received I read this comment.
>My paraphrase (I know no Y'shua as the Name in Greek is IHSOUS).
>This may be so, but what about the fact that English translations of the
>>same word in the LXX translate it as Joshua. Isn't there some discrepancy
>>here and should we not be consistent in translating?

First let me thank you for the interesting questions; since they concern me,
addressing points I treated, I should have a couple of comments but, before,
a clarification:

Your "paraphrase" is generally accurate, I 'd only like to add that I felt it
very significant, within the context of this discussion, not to give credence
to statements such as

>> What are YOUR indicators that Y'shua spoke primarily Greek?
>> Your unstated position is that Y'shua spoke Greek as his "native
>>tongue. Mine is that he spoke Aramaic,

in that I feel that the usage here of "Y'shua" was begging the question and
was prejudicing the issue unscholarly and unfairly, as in replacing the
name it was "naively" introducing "assumption" therein that Jesus language,
as accrued by the name *was* Aramaic. Whereus that is precisely what
Mr. Kilmon is burdened to substantiate. And, to confirm this, when raising
this very objection, Mr. Kilmon, as if dsurprised, responded:

>uh...glance up and look at the "subject." [of that thread: "...Jesus..."]

Right. Which bespeaks of some historians peculiar eyesight. The truth is,
some people "see" into the evidence only what they like. And attest, before
a "court" such as this, accordingly.

>If we were consistent in translating or
>transliterating, etc. we would use Joshua, Yahshua or the correct variant
>would we not? The reason being, this was the older meaning of IHSOUS.

No. Definitely not - unless it translation into Hebrew or Aramaic.

(It seems that all other names we see in the Greek NT texts when translated
into the English are given their obvious Hebrew/Aramaic names. David,
Jeremiah, Joshua, Isaac, Joseph, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc. However, when we
translate the Name of the central character of the NT this is not done.
Instead, we end up with a Latinized version. Even Eusebius in his history,
showed that the Name Iesu was the same as the OT Iasua [Joshua]. And, in the
NT the more modern translations now use Joshua instead of Jesus in the two
places referring to the OT character. Yet, reverts to the Name Jesus in all
other occurrences. Why do we not call the OT character Jesus, then, if that
is the correct word for IHSOUS. Also, on the matter of language, to what
degree does internal evidence within the NT carry weight? Paul when struck
down on the way to Damascus says he was spoken to in "Hebrew". Though some
say the Greek here should mean Aramaic. Either way, this is at least one
place where it is claimed that IHSOUS spoke Hebrew/Aramaic.)

IHSOUS was transliterated from the *Greek* _that was_ into Latin,
and onto English, as Jesus. Why transliterate it into an-other thradition,
other than the one in which the name is, within the context of the Biblos,
met?! Why? Because... "th(at) was the older meaning of IHSOUS"?
First of all, may you not mean here "meaning," but "name" (?!) What do
you mean by "meaning", and why do you use this word here? You, please,
may answer - and especially if you did do mean "meaning" (I may offer a
comment or two further down) but if I may focus on the hypothesized
main point brought in as reason for such a substitution: why "older"?!

(You are right, I should have used "name" here. Names often do have meanings
within them so my question is still, does IHSOUS have an internal meaning in
the Greek language? I have looked in many places and the referral is back to
something like this "Hebrew, referring to the name Yah ho shua, or Joshua,
etc. which means...."
Further, there was no English J till I believe the 11th to 13th century. Even
the original KJV used Iesus vs Jesus. Prior to that the I was supposed to
have the sound of Y. So, if the Greek was a 'transliteration' as close to
Hebrew/Aramaic as possible, would it not be at least 'Yehsous'?, which
appears(?) to be more Aramaic than Jesus. One last point for this section. I
listen to Spanish broadcasts here in Arizona. When a name from another
language is said, the speaker says, pues, Yo presente a usted el presidente
Bill Clinton. or William Clinton. Why does the speaker not say Guillermo
Clinton? Because, Bill or William is the transliteration into Spanish. Is
this practice not carried through in all languages? except Koine Greek? Thus
the transliteration of names is not Spanish, but English. So, isn't IHSOUS
Hebrew/Aramaic and not Greek in like manner? I have other examples but this
could get too long.
Instead of older I probably should have said 'original' meaning which I think
in this discussion should still stand as the accurate translation into
English i.e. Yahshua or Yeshua or Joshua and not Jesus. But, perhaps I am
missing something here.)

>He lived in would cause us to be true to the names used in that land
>and nation. They were not Greeks, Latins, Germans, etc, they were,
>for lack of a better term, Israelis, no?

Israeli is a very fine word - for a subject and context befitting the word.
But it does not, not exclusively, not appropriately, and not even perhaps
in the main apply to the land (Palestine) and the people, as a whole, of,
or preceding the period that concerns us. Mr. Conrad offered a sense of the
complexities involved. I 'd like to offer that contrary, again, to the belief
held again generally by the "educated," the presence of the Greek peoples
in the area, and especially in northern and central Palestine, was primary
during and for many centuries before the gospels came to be commited to
text, preceding, in fact, and in accordance to the increasingly pilling up
archaeological evidence, that of the appearance of the tribes of Israel into
the area. Though, I must hasten, that the relationship of the Ellhnes and of
the Ysraelis and, yes, of the (original) Arams is by far culturally *closer*
interwoven and more complex that scholarship generally has recognized
(Here I should have explained that I did not mean the mix of residents in the
land, but was speaking specifically of those who were the Jews, and their
internal language. As mentioned above, here in Arizona there is a large
Mexican population. Surprisingly, or not, within their setting, many only
speak Spanish with very little or no English. Yet, they actively reside
within an English speaking world, the lingua franca of the day, no less.
Would this not have been similar pre 70 ad? Especially considering the
reputed "eliteness or exclusiveness" of the Jews re: their language and
Sacred books, etc.? Yes, I agree, this is a complex question.)

>What is the basic meaning of the word IHSOUS anyway.
>Joshua is supposed to be Yah is Salvation, or close to that.
>What does IHSOUS mean if not the same.

Ah! the "meaning"! A most interesting question. May I only say, today,
re "Yay: Salvation": related, but not the same - if by "same" you mean
"identical" to the meaning proposed for Joshua.

>Thus, if it does, then would we not use the
>LXX translation Joshua even in the New Testament? Just a thought.

No. You would use the Greek one, IHSOUS, in that *this* name is the one
name found in the Christian tradition that was transmitted in Greek,
was originally attested in Greek, and was in Greek written - not in
Aramaic, nor in Hebrew, but in the Hellenic. Why would you then want to
write it in another language? Is not the common Latin, English, enough of
(If though IHSOUS is a transliteration, then it is not Greek I think.
May I say that I really appreciate your response, Isidoros, and that also of
Carl Conrad.)


PS. I hope you do not mind Robert, but considering the subject title of the
thread you named, I think, not quite correctly (as the term "Messiah"
is an epithet that has been used to connote variously) I have changed it
to what this discussion is on (the Language of) IHSOUS.

(I do not mind at all. Although I feel that His Name does have a reflecion on
the language He spoke within His community. That He could speak Greek or
Latin to the "foreigners" I have no doubt. There are other questions and
comments I have about this subject but believe they border too much on
doctrinal questions, etc. and, are not appropriate for this forum. My purpose
here is to discover the full Greek force of the word IHSOUS and why it has
been rendered as we have in our English versions. And, In case I have stepped
beyond the bounds of the language discussion and into something beyond this
forum, since I am new to it, I offer my apologies.)

The Ionic Centre

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