That Letter J

LatinFrench* ItalianSpanishPortugueseEnglish
The letter J did not exist. Pronunciation of words can
only be estimated.
Words starting with the letter "I" gradually changed to "J" - pronounced ZZheeThe letter "J" does not exist, "G" followed by "I" or "E" gives a soft "G" - pronounced JeeWords starting with the letter "I" gradually changed to "J" - pronounced Hota with the "H" more rasping - deeper in the throatWords starting with the letter "I" gradually changed to "J" - pronounced ZZhotaWords starting with the letter "I" gradually changed to "J" - pronounced Jay
I-V-P-P-I-T-E-R - Jove, Father
With the Greek words
Zeu Pater - Zeus, Father
I-V-L-I-V-S - Julius
With the Greek word
I-E-R-V-S-A-L-E-M - Jerusalem
also written as HIEROSOLVMA "Holy Salem"
I-O-S-V-E - Joshua
**with the Greek word I-h-s-o-u-s
I-E-S-V-S - Jesus
Also with Greek word I-h-s-o-u-s

* In Italy, as elsewhere, there are many different spoken dialects. Italian slowly took over from Latin and French as a written language about 400-700 years ago, starting with Dante (1265-1321) in the Tuscan region in Florence.
** Most occasions of Joshua's name, Moses's lieutenant in the Old Testament (Yehoshua), use the five Hebrew letters "yod, he, vav, shin, ayin". On two occasions, Deuteronomy 3:21 and Judges 2:7, the letters "yod, he, vav, shin, vav, ayin" are used, and later, e.g. Nehemiah 8:17, an abbreviated form "yod, shin, vav, ayin" is used (Yeshua). This version, thought to be the original spelling of Jesus's name in Aramaic became the basis for the Greek word "I-h-s-o-u-s" (ea-sos) that was used for Joshua's name throughout the Septuagint, the Greek Bible translation that commenced in Alexandria around 280BC.

In today's Aramaic-speaking Assyrian church in the Middle East, the pronunciation is "Ea-shoa" Play

Now, because of how the starting sounds for Judge, Justice, Joshua, Jesus and Julius are pronounced today in these western languages, many have thought that "I" written in its place in Ancient Greek or Latin — as in I-V-L-I-V-S CAESAR — was most likely pronounced using the sound of the English "J" or "Zzh" rather than "Y" or "Ee".
The "Y" sound of course is the way most of the other, non-Romance European languages pronounce words that start with the letter "J", e.g. Germany where the letter "J" is pronounced "Yot", and Jesus is pronounced "Easus".

If so, the "J" or "Zzh" sound may well have been developed by the Romans from the sound of the old Hebrew / Phoenician character (known as Zayin) the 7th letter in the alphabet which the Greeks had changed to the letter "Z". Also used from ancient times in numerical systems for the number 1. Around 300 BC, the Roman censor Appius Claudius removed this letter as the 7th letter. Many Jews were imposing a death sentence on any speaking God's personal name outside the temple (i.e. blasphemously). Awkward if you were trying to keep the peace. Rome then created the letter "G" (pronounced as "Jee") in its Roman alphabet shortly after.

Now besides VPPITER and Zeu Pater, another example of a "Z" word in the Greek language gradually getting a "J" / "G" initial is the Greek word "Z-h-l-o-s" meaning "to be zealous or hot". It was written as "ZELOSVS" in Latin, later becoming "Jaloux" in French, "Geloso" in Italian, and "Jealous / Zealous" in English. "Zeal of your house has consumed me" John 2:17click here for other references on that word jealousy.

With regard to those four Hebrew letters for Jehovah "yod, he, vav, he" spoken to Moses in Exodus 6:3 and used extensively throughout the Old Testament, the Greek Septuagint used a completely different word. Those four letters were translated, and vocalized as "Kurios", the Greek word for "Lord", following a Jewish tradition of substituting its Hebrew equivalent "Adonai" (my highly-valued master, protector, provider-see Gen 18:12) whenever reading the text in public. Next in 380 AD, the Latin Vulgate translation followed suit with its word "DOMINUS". In his later translation, Martin Luther used the German word "HERR". In most English translations, the word "LORD", in capitals, is used.

Jesus's name, spelt in Greek as I-h-s-o-u-s.

  1. If spoken by the Jews of Jesus's time in the Koine Greek, perhaps pronounced as Easos, with those first two letters "I and H" suggesting a link to the four Hebrew letters "alef, he, yod, he" pronounced as eeh-yeh and translated as "I Am" in Exodus 3:14 and as "I will be (with you)" in Exodus 3:12. In John 8:58 and Matthew 28:20, the Greek words are: "Ego Eimi", pronounced by them as e-gho ee-meh. That word "Ego" became a silent "g" sound in many of the Romance languages, becoming "io" in Italy, "I" in England, "yo" in Spain and "eu" in Portugal. However, it retained the more explosive sound "Je" with the French in the north.
  2. If spoken using its Hebrew / Aramaic equivalent, perhaps pronounced as Ea-shoa, or Yeshua bringing to mind the children crying in the temple "Ya-sha-nna" — "Save, now, please" Matthew 21:15 quoting Psalms 118:25.
  3. Lastly, as spoken later by converted Gentiles in the west, especially after 313  AD, pronounced as Jesus and as Gesu (having a soft "G") meaning "Jehovah" (Ancient Latin-"JOVE" Modern Italian-"Geova") and "Saviour".

Interestingly, the change of the sixth double-stroke Hebrew letter "vav" (or "waw") from its harder "F" / "V"-like sound/shape and a second, softer "Y" / "W"-like sound/shape, to becoming two extra letters "Y" and "V", occurred in Greece, then spread worldwide. They used that double-stroke "F" letter early in the Greek alphabet, calling it a "Digamma" ("Double three"). They then stopped using it as a letter and introduced the two shapes "Y" and "V" as an upper case/lower case "oo" sound, later using it for extra "uh" and "ee" vowel sounds, also as a "w" consonant sound.
Instead of a dentilabial "F"-sound, they introduced a bilabial "Ph"-sound (where the teeth don't show), Φ, calling it a "Phi" (pronounced as "phee").

In Latin and other later alphabets they retained the "F" letter and its "F" sound, added a "V" letter, pronouncing it as "oo" and later in Italy, a "voo", in some places a "vee", and in German a "fow". Latin discouraged use of that upper case letter "Y", it became a foreign letter — the Greek "ee". In English it was then pronounced "wee", becoming "why".

Later the two letters "U" and "W" — in English "W" was called a "double you", in Italian a "doppio vee", and in German a "vay" — those two letters were added as more letters to try to clarify the whole situation

The Greek letters x and t

Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:10 PM
Subject: Chatting about X and also the shape of the cross

The letter "x" started life as the letter "k" in Greek and Latin, transitioning into the sound "ks".
But in Greek, the letter highlights the word "Xristos", the anointed one, that word used by Peter in Hebrew, "Ha-Mashiach", The Messiah.
Referenced in Daniel 9:25-26, first referenced as Jacob's anointed pillar in Bethel in Genesis 28:11-19, and then alluded to by Jesus in John 1:51

Hi all

Chatting briefly about the shape of the cross that killed Jesus, apparently it was the Jehovah Witnesses and a hyperdispensationalist chap called E. W. Bullinger who gained a lot of notoriety in 1877 (and also since) by insisting that it was on a crux simplex (a single stake) that the Lord was crucified, and that it had been Constantine who confused the issue by saying it was a “t” shape i.e. what was called a crux immissa.

Interesting theory, except there’s been a lot of literature discovered, written long before Constantine was born, indicating it was on a “t” shape, a tau, pronounced "t" (in Hebrew the Mark of life see Ezekiel 9:4-6). Early records like the Epistle of Barnabas associated that "t" shape, not only with Jesus on the cross, but also with Moses when, somewhat tiredly, but having help from Aaron and Hur, he continued to stretch out his arms as the Israelites battled the Amalekites. Exodus 17:12.

And from a "strength transferral" point of view, what was death to the Lord, was the means of life to all of us who receive him

So while the Greek New Testament word was a stauros, a stake, or a pole, and used from ancient times for execution, the Romans were most cruel in their massive use of their own word crux in many shapes to deter rebellion, to give criminals torture and death through strangulation, inventing this Latin word that is used worldwide to mean a “Cross”, an “X”, a crossing point, a crux, a crunch point, becoming cross, becoming heated up, the great unknown.

Pictures of our inability, and God’s ability, Hallelujah .

Article extract from Wikipedia:

For those interested, here’s another link to some of that early literature.

Blessings all Steve

Stephen Williamson Computing Services Pty Ltd


**End of Article.