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LXX and the Letters Ayin & Ghayin

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  • Chris Weimer
    This might be relevant - I m having a small discussion about the ayin, how it is transliterated into Hebrew, and what that says about the dating of the LXX at
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 6, 2005
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      This might be relevant - I'm having a small discussion about the ayin,
      how it is transliterated into Hebrew, and what that says about the
      dating of the LXX at my forum. You can check it out, discuss it either
      here or there.

      http://neonostalgia.com/forum/index.php?topic=193.0

      Chris Weimer
      NeoNostalgia.com
    • Robert Kraft
      Feel free to cross-post if appropriate. The discussion on neonostalgia.com started with the suggestion that the dating of the LXX must have been earlier than
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 7, 2005
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        Feel free to cross-post if appropriate.

        The discussion on neonostalgia.com started with the suggestion that the dating
        of "the LXX" must have been earlier than the disappearance or amalgamation of
        the Hebrew/Semitic G ("gayin") in favor of "ayin" -- thus earlier than the Dead
        Sea Scrolls evidence. Relevant examples come from Greek transliterations, mainly
        of names.

        In discussing this thread, reference was made to Richard C. Steiner, "On the
        Dating of Hebrew Sound Changes (*H? > H? and *G. > ?) and Greek Translations (2
        Esdras and Judith)," JBL 124 (2005): 229-267. This is a very detailed article,
        which attempts to use LXX/OG evidence (along with much else) to date the
        disappearance of the uvular H and G (rather than vice versa), and then applies
        the conclusions to dating two of the later LXX/OG books -- 2 Esdras
        (=Ezra-Nehemiah) and Judith.

        Steiner argues that the G sound disappeared earlier than the H, indeed soon
        after the translation of LXX-Pentateuch (3rd bce), and that by the time of
        Josephus (1st ce), the disappearance of H also was well underway. Thus he dates
        Greek Judith prior to Josephus, since it retains some evidence of uvular H in
        transliterations, and 2 Esdras to later than Josephus, since it is virtually
        unaffected by uvular H. His Tables 1 and 2 supply the evidence and show that
        later sources such as Aquila sometimes retain the presumably fixed archaic forms
        (with the uvulars) while also often dropping the fricative G or H sounds.
        Steiner also emphasizes that reading traditions (see e.g. King James English!)
        may sometimes be more conservative than spoken practice -- following Joshua
        Blau, On Polyphony in Biblical Hebrew [Proceedings of the Israel Academy of
        Sciences and Humanaties 6/2, 1982). He also shows that Egyptian Aramaic
        pronunciation may have been slower in dropping the uvulars than some other forms
        of Semitic.

        To this discussion, I would also add Frederick (Fritz) Knobloch "Hebrew Sounds
        in Greek Script: An Analysis of Transcriptions and Related Phenomena in the
        Septuagint, with Special Focus on Genesis." Ph.D. dissertation, University of
        Pennsylvania (available from University Microfilms), 1995.

        Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of Fritz Knobloch's dissertation on hand, and
        I don't recall what he concluded from the "G" / "ayin" phenomenon. In his
        methodological suggestions about transliterated names, "The Challenges of
        Translating a Translation: Rendering the Proper Nouns of the Jewish-Greek
        Scriptures" (pp. 31-40 in A Multiform Heritage: Studies on Early Judaism and
        Christianity in Honor of Robert A. Kraft, ed. Benjamin G. Wright [Scholars
        Press, now handled by Duke Univ. Press, 1999]), he does not comment specifically
        on this phenomenon, but does warn about drawing conclusions from names that
        might already have reached a fixed form in Greek prior to the translation
        activity that produced the LXX/OG materials (see also Steiner). He also warns
        about contamination from textual variants that may creep in during the process
        of Greek transmission due to various factors.

        I would also underline that "the LXX" is an anthology produced over the span of
        centuries, so more precision is needed regarding where the evidence under
        discussion comes from (e.g. Pentateuch, Psalms, Samuel-Kings, 2 Esdras, etc.),
        if one wants to draw conclusions about the date of the translation(s).
        Fortunately, Steiner is aware of this situation, although he tends to be sloppy
        about how he refers to "the LXX" materials.

        Bob


        > This might be relevant - I'm having a small discussion about the ayin,
        > how it is transliterated into [sic! from?] Hebrew, and what that says about
        the
        > dating of the LXX at my forum. You can check it out, discuss it either
        > here or there.
        >
        > http://neonostalgia.com/forum/index.php?topic=193.0
        >
        > Chris Weimer
        > NeoNostalgia.com

        --
        Robert A. Kraft, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
        227 Logan Hall (Philadelphia PA 19104-6304); tel. 215 898-5827
        kraft@...
        http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/rak/kraft.html
      • Chris Gait
        If I could interject a non-scholarly question, Wisdom of Solomon is one of the most important books of the LXX for me (particularly the second chapter). I know
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 8, 2005
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          If I could interject a non-scholarly question, Wisdom
          of Solomon is one of the most important books of the
          LXX for me (particularly the second chapter). I know
          the book is late, but could you tell me what period it
          falls into using this Gayin/Ayin classification
          method? I have heard a date of 40-60 BC for it. Does
          that still hold?

          Regards,
          Chris Gait
          Nokesville, VA

          --- Robert Kraft <kraft@...> wrote:

          > Feel free to cross-post if appropriate.
          >
          > The discussion on neonostalgia.com started with the
          > suggestion that the dating
          > of "the LXX" must have been earlier than the
          > disappearance or amalgamation of
          > the Hebrew/Semitic G ("gayin") in favor of "ayin" --
          > thus earlier than the Dead
          > Sea Scrolls evidence. Relevant examples come from
          > Greek transliterations, mainly
          > of names.
          >
          > In discussing this thread, reference was made to
          > Richard C. Steiner, "On the
          > Dating of Hebrew Sound Changes (*H? > H? and *G. >
          > ?) and Greek Translations (2
          > Esdras and Judith)," JBL 124 (2005): 229-267. This
          > is a very detailed article,
          > which attempts to use LXX/OG evidence (along with
          > much else) to date the
          > disappearance of the uvular H and G (rather than
          > vice versa), and then applies
          > the conclusions to dating two of the later LXX/OG
          > books -- 2 Esdras
          > (=Ezra-Nehemiah) and Judith.
          >
          > Steiner argues that the G sound disappeared earlier
          > than the H, indeed soon
          > after the translation of LXX-Pentateuch (3rd bce),
          > and that by the time of
          > Josephus (1st ce), the disappearance of H also was
          > well underway. Thus he dates
          > Greek Judith prior to Josephus, since it retains
          > some evidence of uvular H in
          > transliterations, and 2 Esdras to later than
          > Josephus, since it is virtually
          > unaffected by uvular H. His Tables 1 and 2 supply
          > the evidence and show that
          > later sources such as Aquila sometimes retain the
          > presumably fixed archaic forms
          > (with the uvulars) while also often dropping the
          > fricative G or H sounds.
          > Steiner also emphasizes that reading traditions (see
          > e.g. King James English!)
          > may sometimes be more conservative than spoken
          > practice -- following Joshua
          > Blau, On Polyphony in Biblical Hebrew [Proceedings
          > of the Israel Academy of
          > Sciences and Humanaties 6/2, 1982). He also shows
          > that Egyptian Aramaic
          > pronunciation may have been slower in dropping the
          > uvulars than some other forms
          > of Semitic.
          >
          > To this discussion, I would also add Frederick
          > (Fritz) Knobloch "Hebrew Sounds
          > in Greek Script: An Analysis of Transcriptions and
          > Related Phenomena in the
          > Septuagint, with Special Focus on Genesis." Ph.D.
          > dissertation, University of
          > Pennsylvania (available from University Microfilms),
          > 1995.
          >
          > Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of Fritz
          > Knobloch's dissertation on hand, and
          > I don't recall what he concluded from the "G" /
          > "ayin" phenomenon. In his
          > methodological suggestions about transliterated
          > names, "The Challenges of
          > Translating a Translation: Rendering the Proper
          > Nouns of the Jewish-Greek
          > Scriptures" (pp. 31-40 in A Multiform Heritage:
          > Studies on Early Judaism and
          > Christianity in Honor of Robert A. Kraft, ed.
          > Benjamin G. Wright [Scholars
          > Press, now handled by Duke Univ. Press, 1999]), he
          > does not comment specifically
          > on this phenomenon, but does warn about drawing
          > conclusions from names that
          > might already have reached a fixed form in Greek
          > prior to the translation
          > activity that produced the LXX/OG materials (see
          > also Steiner). He also warns
          > about contamination from textual variants that may
          > creep in during the process
          > of Greek transmission due to various factors.
          >
          > I would also underline that "the LXX" is an
          > anthology produced over the span of
          > centuries, so more precision is needed regarding
          > where the evidence under
          > discussion comes from (e.g. Pentateuch, Psalms,
          > Samuel-Kings, 2 Esdras, etc.),
          > if one wants to draw conclusions about the date of
          > the translation(s).
          > Fortunately, Steiner is aware of this situation,
          > although he tends to be sloppy
          > about how he refers to "the LXX" materials.
          >
          > Bob





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