From: Michael Haggett (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Feb 01 2002 - 00:01:41 EST
I feel we're just going over old ground. Every Erasman
has had this conversation with those who claim that their
pronunciation is the way things were ACTUALLY said back then.
Yes, each one of us is entitled to pronounce things
whichever way they like. I'm pleased to see that you've
moderated the dogmatism of before to a "broadly speaking" ...
something I find much more acceptable than "it is beyond
any doubt" and "it's not even a close call." You say:
EI = I
AI = E
W = O
OI = U
A = A
OU = OU
H = H and I
but the evidence is only the interchangeability (I liked
Stephen's choice of word - for it cuts BOTH ways) of spelling.
It is going very much further than any such evidence can prove
to say that all vowels/vowel combinations affected were
PRONOUNCED in the same way, and further again to say
that the interchangeability shows both were pronounced in
only ONE way. It's building conjecture on conjecture.
Even "over and over again" is in fact a comparatively
small percentage, most of the manuscripts support the
spelling we have in our NT texts.
This puzzles me: If you really believe that there is such a firm
link between spelling and pronunciation, it is surely more
logical to adopt the Erasman position of pronouncing words
the way they are spelt in the texts we ACTUALLY USE
(accepting that this means different pronunciation systems
to different people).
Or do you really want us to start changing our texts to look
KE DIA TI DI HMIN PANTOTE DIALOGIZESQE EN BARBARH,
TUS ECUSI KE FILUSI THN ELLHNIKHN; DUNASE, DYNAMEQA, (this, I
suppose, is evidence that psi and upsilon are pronounced
the same way ;-) PROFERIN TAS FONAS OS BOULH/BOULOMEQA.
MH DE FOBI AMARTIAS, PTEOMEN GAR APANTES KE HGOUME EGOGE OTI TO
MAQANTI GLOSSAN DE PUHSE DEKA
MURIADAS "PARAPTOMATON" GLOSSHS.
True, nobody will much mind whether they hear PARAPTOMA or
PARAPTWMA, but what about whole words like WS = OS, or TW = TO?
You conjecture a system that all too often throws away the means
by which meaning is conveyed. Yes, who is doubting that
language changes over time ... and yes, we can hear the way
modern Greek is pronounced, but I think you're projecting too
much too far back into time. If language loses one means of
expressing a particular meaning, people develop alternative ways
to convey that meaning. There are occasions where understanding
the NT relies on the very distinctions that you maintain were
already lost. If such distinctions HAD already been lost, I
think the writers would have used alternative ways to make their
PS: Cross-threading, I know, but I'm longing to hear how you
distinguish between statements, questions, exclamations and
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