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Zeta question

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Zeta question

Postby Turpissimus » Wed Feb 23, 2005 11:54 pm

Just flipping through some textbooks and grammars in anticipation of the White study group, and I've come across a disagreement about how the greek letter zeta is pronounced.

Is it sd or ds?

Both pronunciations seem to have their proponents. I'd be grateful if any of you guys could provide an answer, or background to whatever dispute centres around this issue.

Cheers.
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Postby Bert » Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:13 am

There was a discussion on this exact topic not that long ago.
Click on this link;
http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-foru ... +pronounce
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Postby Turpissimus » Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:40 am

Thanks very much, Bert.

I suppose I should learn to use that search feature...
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Postby Eureka » Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:47 am

It's zd I tells ya! 8)
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Postby cweb255 » Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:48 am

If one would only look at the LXX for transliterations...
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Postby chad » Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:51 am

what's the LXX?
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Postby cweb255 » Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:55 am

The Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, or more correctly, the Greek translation of the Torah.
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Postby chad » Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:56 am

thanks :) when was it done?
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Postby Bert » Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:07 am

chad wrote:thanks :) when was it done?

Between 250 and 300 years BC.
cweb255 wrote:If one would only look at the LXX for transliterations...

Can you elaborate how that helps the pronunciation?
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Postby Eureka » Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:17 am

Bert wrote:
cweb255 wrote:If one would only look at the LXX for transliterations...

Can you elaborate how that helps the pronunciation?

By checking the rules for the transliteration of Hebrew names into Greek.

If "zd" in Hebrew becomes ζ, and "dz" does not, then we have very strong evidence.


Now, can anyone name a Hebrew with "zd" in their name?


Isn't it even simpler than this anyway? Isn't it just a matter of looking at inscriptions in one of the various Greek alphabets that doesn't have a zeta? (There must have been at least one.)
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Postby cweb255 » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:28 am

Well, we all know that tzaddi is tz/ts sound, and zayin is more of a st/z sound. The name Ezra is transliterated as ESDRAS and in Hebrew is ayin-zayin-resh-aleph. We also see the zayin in Ezekiel transliterated with a zeta, though... Hrm... I guess it is more complex than I thought. And what's even weirder is that Zephaniah is a sigma in Greek and a Tzaddi in Hebrew. Then again, this only shows for Hellenistic Greek, and none of this was translated until shortly before the end of the Greek era (sorry Bert, but there's only evidence for the Torah and possibly Ben Sira to have an early dating on them).

Ok, I recant what I said, go with Eureka's suggestion of looking at a Greek alphabet that didn't have zeta (if there is such a thing). And there's always the possiblity that it was different depending on placement, before certain vowels or consonants or constructions, sort of like how the Latin 'x' could be either gz or cs (lexi from legsi or dixi from dicsi).

Maybe we should commission a study?

Chris
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Postby Eureka » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:56 am

cweb255 wrote:Well, we all know that tzaddi is tz/ts sound, and zayin is more of a st/z sound. The name Ezra is transliterated as ESDRAS and in Hebrew is ayin-zayin-resh-aleph. We also see the zayin in Ezekiel transliterated with a zeta, though... Hrm... I guess it is more complex than I thought. And what's even weirder is that Zephaniah is a sigma in Greek and a Tzaddi in Hebrew. Then again, this only shows for Hellenistic Greek, and none of this was translated until shortly before the end of the Greek era (sorry Bert, but there's only evidence for the Torah and possibly Ben Sira to have an early dating on them).

Zeta dropped its "d" sound around 350 BC(E). The Septuagint was written about 100 years later.
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