[b-greek] Re: Greek transliteration Iesous from Yehoshua/Joshua/Yeshua?

From: Jack Kilmon (jkilmon@historian.net)
Date: Tue May 08 2001 - 16:57:28 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: <Miketolb@aol.com>
To: <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Cc: <jkilmon@historian.net>
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2001 8:51 AM
Subject: Re: [b-greek] Re: Greek transliteration Iesous from

> Hi Jack, I found your post informative and thanks for the response, but I
have a few questions. You state that it was in Galilean Aramaic that Ayins
and Alephs were dropped. What I don't understand is, why was "Joshua"
translated as "Iesous" outside of Galilee? What I mean is, doesn't the
Septuagint translate Yehoshua as "Iesous"? Are you saying that this
Galilean practice of dropping Ayins and Alephs was the same as the author(s)
of the Septuagint?

First with the Semitic names. y$w (yeshu) is the shortened Hebrew and voiced
Galilean form of the Aramaic y$w( (yeshua). Yeshua was the
2nd temple convention and also shortened form of yhw$) (yehoshua), and,
therefore Y[eho]shua. The admonition against accidentally or deliberately
pronouncing the Shem haMeforash was more intense in 2nd temple times hence
the name "YHWH helps" (Yehoshua) became Y-shua. Remember that
alefs and ayins were not alphas. They were voiced..or "gulped" below the

Things get a little more difficult when we get to the LXX since no
fragments, of which I am aware, of pre-Christian" LXX are extant that bear
the original Greek transliteration of the pre-exilic name Yehoshua. The
LXXenders it IHSOUS also but Josephus and Philo also use this form for
various people named either
Yeshu or Yehoshua. Greek did not have a shin sound nor did it have
pharyngeal fricatives or glottal stops so Greek uses the shorted form y$w
and adds an s to make it decinable.

> Also, you mention that in the 2nd Temple period the convention was to
"truncate the theophoric." What I don't understand is why this doesn't seem
to be the >case with other names such as "Elijah"... it is not translated as
"Hlihs" but rather "Hlias".

)l (el) is not the *name* of God...so no problem. The pre-exilic Hebrew
was )lyhw (Eli-Yahu) so Eliya is truncated, isn't it? Isha-Yahu also become

> Likewise, Jehosaphat isn't translated into Greek as "Ihosaphat" but as
"Iosaphat". I'm just not understanding why it seems in this particular case
of the name >Yehoshua the theophoric is truncated and pronounced "yay".

yhw$f( is a pre-exilic name. I am not aware of its use in the late 2nd
temple period. Truncation of theophorics did not take place in Greek but in
the Semitic stange before it was hellenized. I don't know if there were
some Yefas/Yefats roaming about. There were a ysf or two or three (yosef)
for the earlier Yehosef and a Yohanan for Yehohanan, a Yonathan for
Yehonathan, a Mattatiya for Mattit-yahu...and I guess I could find more
examples, but you get the point.

The point was not to accidentally pronounce the name of God with the
theophoric of a name or you would be in troooouble!!!

This was not 100% though..but generally.


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