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Criticisms and the name 'Iesous'

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  • Mike Grondin
    Over at http://pejeiesous.com/, Chris Skinner has recently been posting about narrative criticism with respect to the gospels of John and Mark. This brings to
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 22, 2012
      Over at http://pejeiesous.com/, Chris Skinner has recently been posting about
      narrative criticism with respect to the gospels of John and Mark. This brings to
      mind that it was Chris' WATSA-Thomas book that straightened me out about
      what kind of "criticism" it is that I myself have been doing for many years now.
      Obviously, it isn't narrative criticism, which Chris defines as "branch of literary
      study concerned with the final form of a document". Rather, it seems to be
      "redaction criticism", defined as "concerned with how received material has been
      shaped in the editorial process." To my mind, this is related to "textual criticism",
      defined as "concerned with establishing the original text of a document", in that
      whatever is identified in Coptic Thomas as redactional would be absent from the
      original, hence bring us closer to it. Now it very well may be that what folks think
      of as "redaction" is usually additions, deletions, or changes of wording. But the
      numerical design features unique to Coptic Thomas also count as redactions AFAIK.
       
      The name of Chris' blog also reminds me of something I learned indirectly from
      an entry in Larry Hurtado's blog that I thought I might mention. Back on May 1st,
      Pursuing this a bit more, I was able to find the NET ('New English Translation') version
      and look it over. Imagine my surprise to discover that in it, the book of Joshua was called
      the book of Iesous! Not that I didn't know that the two names were related ('Iesous' being
      the Greek of the Aramaic 'Yeshua'), but it hadn't occurred to me that the name 'Iesous'
      (IHSOUS) would have appeared in the Septuagint. (Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to
      be any widely-accepted source-language version of the Septuagint.??)
       
      Mike Grondin
      (please note change of email address)
       
       
    • Jack Kilmon
      In pre-exilic times, it was common practice to include YHWH as part of names such as YHWH is my Salvation which was the name YESHAYAHU (Isaiah). The
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 22, 2012
         
        In pre-exilic times, it was common practice to include
        YHWH as part of names such as "YHWH is my Salvation" which was the name
        YESHAYAHU (Isaiah). The pre-exilic Hebrew name that we know as "Joshua" was
        Yehoshua which means "YHWH is my help." The inclusion of the name of God in
        a personal name was common practice in the ancient middle east and is called
        the "Theophoric" noticeable in names like Michael (EL) Balshazar (Baal) and
        Yahweh Yahosef (Joseph). In the second temple period it became blasphemy
        for a mortal to pronounce the name of God (Shem haMeforash), even
        accidentally, hence the theophoric was either removed or shortened.
        Mattityahu (Matthew) became Mattaya and Yehoshua יְהֹושֻׁעַ became Y'shua (Yeshua).
        Yeshua was one of the most common names during the 2nd temple period
        including Yeshua ben Sira and a number of High Priests and many of the
        general population. The Hebrew word for "salvation" is YESHA and it is from
        the same root as the second part of Y'shua, SHUA, which means "To call for
        Help." Jesus' Aramaic name does NOT mean "Savior" as many Christian
        authored or influenced books read or even interpolated into the NT texts by
        later Christians. It means "YHWH will help."

        In the Galilee, Aramaic was pronounced differently and Galileans dropped
        their alefs and ayins like Cockney English drop their H's. Jesus' Galilean
        friends would have called him Yeshu. Therefore, in Judea and formally, his
        name was    ישׁוע Yeshua, yehSHOO-ah, and in the Galilee his name was pronounced
        Yeshu, pronounced YEHshoo. Because of strong Hellenistic influence in
        Palestine at the time, some Jews with the name of Yeshua used a Greek
        transliteration of the name. Yeshua ben Sirach was one of them who went by
        the name IESOUS, Ἰησοῦς pronounced YAYsoos. Greek had no sound for SH and the
        masculine ending S was added.
         
        With that background in mind, Mike,I had the same question regarding the Old Testament pre-exilic form יְהֹושֻׁעַ  yeHOSHua being represented in the LXX as Ἰησοῦς YEHsous which is the Greek transliteration of the second temple period Yeshua.  Even the name “JOSHUA is a contrivance conforming to the 2nd temple fear of pronouncing the YEHO.  The LXX was maintained, copied and used by Christians and has heavy “Christianization.”  It is the result of a pre-exilic name YEHOshua being transliterated to Greek in the post-exilic second temple period when one could not pronounce YEHO.  That’s my take.
         
        Jack Kilmon
         
         
         
        Sent: Friday, June 22, 2012 3:08 PM
        Subject: [GTh] Criticisms and the name 'Iesous'
         


        Over at http://pejeiesous.com/, Chris Skinner has recently been posting about
        narrative criticism with respect to the gospels of John and Mark. This brings to
        mind that it was Chris' WATSA-Thomas book that straightened me out about
        what kind of "criticism" it is that I myself have been doing for many years now.
        Obviously, it isn't narrative criticism, which Chris defines as "branch of literary
        study concerned with the final form of a document". Rather, it seems to be
        "redaction criticism", defined as "concerned with how received material has been
        shaped in the editorial process." To my mind, this is related to "textual criticism",
        defined as "concerned with establishing the original text of a document", in that
        whatever is identified in Coptic Thomas as redactional would be absent from the
        original, hence bring us closer to it. Now it very well may be that what folks think
        of as "redaction" is usually additions, deletions, or changes of wording. But the
        numerical design features unique to Coptic Thomas also count as redactions AFAIK.
         
        The name of Chris' blog also reminds me of something I learned indirectly from
        an entry in Larry Hurtado's blog that I thought I might mention. Back on May 1st,
        Pursuing this a bit more, I was able to find the NET ('New English Translation') version
        and look it over. Imagine my surprise to discover that in it, the book of Joshua was called
        the book of Iesous! Not that I didn't know that the two names were related ('Iesous' being
        the Greek of the Aramaic 'Yeshua'), but it hadn't occurred to me that the name 'Iesous'
        (IHSOUS) would have appeared in the Septuagint. (Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to
        be any widely-accepted source-language version of the Septuagint.??)
         
        Mike Grondin
        (please note change of email address)
         
         
      • Bob Schacht
        ... IIRC, you ve left out an important part of the concept of textual criticism: That is, when they say original, they MEAN original. That is, the manuscript
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 22, 2012
          At 03:08 PM 6/22/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:


          Over at http://pejeiesous.com/, Chris Skinner has recently been posting about
          narrative criticism with respect to the gospels of John and Mark. This brings to
          mind that it was Chris' WATSA-Thomas book that straightened me out about
          what kind of "criticism" it is that I myself have been doing for many years now.
          Obviously, it isn't narrative criticism, which Chris defines as "branch of literary
          study concerned with the final form of a document". Rather, it seems to be
          "redaction criticism", defined as "concerned with how received material has been
          shaped in the editorial process." To my mind, this is related to "textual criticism",
          defined as "concerned with establishing the original text of a document", in that
          whatever is identified in Coptic Thomas as redactional would be absent from the
          original, hence bring us closer to it. Now it very well may be that what folks think
          of as "redaction" is usually additions, deletions, or changes of wording. But the
          numerical design features unique to Coptic Thomas also count as redactions AFAIK.

          IIRC, you've left out an important part of the concept of textual criticism: That is, when they say "original," they MEAN original. That is, the manuscript is own physical self, not our transliterated version of the mss. What you're thinking of, I think, is an idealized transliteration of the text.

          In manuscript studies, the first step is transcription, which is the rendering in standard characters each character of the original text. As you well know, the individual characters are often difficult to make out, or to discern from similar characters, so the task of transcription is often quite complex, especially when the text is only known from multiple copies of different ages, in which case the original reading may not be clear. A second step is transliteration, which with iconographic languages involves rendering each character in conventionalized "spellings" of the icons in what is usually meant to be an approximation of how that word or symbol was pronounced. This step would not be necessary except that in Coptic, some characters represent phonemes not  used in English, requiring special symbols.  If there are multiple versions of a manuscript, they may be compared (collated) to weed out scribal errors.

          Only then, after transcribing and transliterating the available manuscripts, do the issues you have in mind rise to the surface. So I am suggesting that you have something different in mind than the textual critics usually mean by "original".

          Bob Schacht
          Northern Arizona University.
        • Mike Grondin
          Re: textual criticism, concerned with establishing the original text of a document ... Perhaps so, but your reasoning has me buffaloed*, Bob, since I wasn t
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 23, 2012
            Re: textual criticism, "concerned with establishing the original text of a document"
             
            [Bob Schacht]:
            > IIRC, you've left out an important part of the concept of textual
            criticism: That is,
            > when they say "original," they MEAN original. That is, the
            manuscript is [?] own
            > physical self, not our transliterated version of the mss. What
            you're thinking of,
            > I think, is an idealized transliteration of the text. ... I
            am suggesting that you have
            > something different in mind than the textual critics usually
            mean by "original".
             
            Perhaps so, but your reasoning has me buffaloed*, Bob, since I wasn't thinking
            of "an idealized transliteration of the text", whatever that might be. I was simply
            thinking in terms of getting some idea of what the Greek or Syriac original of
            Thomas might have looked like, based on what was done to it in the Coptic version.
            Now that may not fall under the category of textual criticism, and if so, I'd like to
            know, but in any case, I don't see what difference it makes whether we represent
            the hypothetical contents of a missing original manuscript as source-language
            ligatures or transliteration.
             
            Mike Grondin
            (*clever allusion to "Buffalo Bob" Smith of Howdy Doody fame, for us oldsters :-)
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