A beginner’s question about breathings

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BrianB
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A beginner’s question about breathings

Post by BrianB » Thu May 09, 2019 3:09 pm

In Hoffman’s NT vocabulary list that ἑκηβόλος kindly shared with me, there are two different Greek forms of the name Jerusalem, Ἱεροσόλυμα and Ἰερουσαλήμ. I have no difficulty with the extra υ in one form, nor with the different endings, nor the different genders, nor even with the accent falling on different syllables. What aroused my curiosity is that one form has a rough breathing and the other one a smooth breathing. I believe I am correct in saying that the earliest manuscripts were all written without diacritical marks of any kind – no breathings, no accents, no iota subscripts. My question, then, is this: When the time came to add the breathings, how did they know which was the right one to use in the case of the name Jerusalem? Is there, in fact, any etymological connection with the adjective ἱερός? And what considerations led them to place different breathings on the two different Greek forms of the name?

I tried to compare Hoffman’s spellings with the ones in the Septuagint, but in vain. This online Septuagint

https://studybible.info/LXX_WH/Joshua%2015

uses no diacritical marks at all, while the Knox OT places the breathings only on words beginning with lower-case letters, never with capitals. Thus, for instance, ἱεροσυλημάτων (2 Macc 4:39) but

63 καὶ ὁ Ιεβουσαῖος κατῴκει ἐν Ιερουσαλημ καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνάσθησαν οἱ υἱοὶ Ιουδα ἀπολέσαι αὐτούς καὶ κατῴκησαν οἱ Ιεβουσαῖοι ἐν Ιερουσαλημ ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης (Josh 15:63)

http://newadvent.com/bible/jos015.htm

In the NT, however, Knox does put the breathings on capital letters, observing the same difference between the two spellings of Jerusalem.

I am mystified.

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jeidsath
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Re: A beginner’s question about breathings

Post by jeidsath » Thu May 09, 2019 3:27 pm

One is a transliteration from the Hebrew/Aramaic, and the other is a folk etymology from Greek ἱερός, holy.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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BrianB
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Re: A beginner’s question about breathings

Post by BrianB » Thu May 09, 2019 4:10 pm

A folk etymology. Well, well. So the Greeks had those as well. Who’d a thunk it. Thank you, Joel. In just a few words you cleared up a mystery that I had been struggling with for two whole days.

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