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Archive for the ‘Zeus’ Category

The various ways in which ancient people attempted to write the Hebrew name “YHWH” each tell a story. Ancient manuscripts of the Greek Septuagint testify to the difficulty involved in translating “YHWH,” the Hebrew personal name for God. At different times, they tried various ways of communicating the name “YHWH” but none of them satisfied everyone. This isn’t an unusual sort of thing. We have several English versions of the Bible today for similar reasons. Different forms of the name “YHWH” are also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in other ancient Hebrew documents.

The Greeks eventually followed the Jewish tradition of calling YHWH, “Lord,” and “Kurios,” the Greek word for “Lord,” was substituted for “YHWH” in the Septuagint. That method simply uses a descriptive term without communicating some form of the actual name. Lacking the exact letters to represent “YHWH,” actual Hebrew characters had once been used, but these symbols would have been confusing to most Greeks.

Charts and graphics would greatly improve my blog here, but I simply do not have time to add them at the present. The symbols are easily described however. I have seen the characters that I’m currently interested in called “Phoenician Script.” In a good Wikipedia article called “Tetragrammaton,” the form is called “Old Aramaic.” “YHWH,” in this form has been found in ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint.

The Greek language is written from left to right as is English, but Hebrew is written from right to left. Please keep that in mind as you read this. “YHWH” is actually written “HWHY,” and in the Old Aramaic form, the letters look something like “EYEZ,” but the “E” shaped symbol is turned backwards as a mirror-image would be.

The symbol shaped like an “E,” is actually a Hebrew “H,” but becomes an “E” (eta) to the Greeks with the exception that they change a final “H” (ref. my previous post) to an “S.” Note that a “Z” also has an “S” sound. Because of this, reading the letters in their order in Hebrew could have given us the English words “Eyes,” and “Yes.”

If the final “E” (reading from right to left) is altered to an “s,” and the Z-shaped symbol is left unchanged, it may also have something to do with the name “Suez.” Reversing the spelling would yield the name “Zeus.” Some may scoff at this, and may prefer the explanation that I gave for “Zeus” in my previous post.

It can be shown however, that several English words have originated in this manner. In the tedious work of translation, symbols that resemble letters of your own alphabet are sometimes automatically read as such. These might be considered mistakes in translation, but such readings often form new words.

For clarification, the Z-shaped symbol has a horizontal bar in the middle. In middle Paleo-Hebrew script, this symbol is actually the letter “Y,” and the Greeks use an “I” to capture its pronunciation.

The symbol in “EYEZ” that actually resembles a “Y,” is really a Hebrew “W,” which also represents “U,” and “V.” I realize this is difficult reading, but you can begin to get a picture of the complicated task of transliterating the name “YHWH” into a different alphabet.

The name “Zeus,” appears to be an ancient attempt to spell the name “YHWH” in a foreign alphabet which lacked the proper characters to do so (ref. my previous post). That attempt would have predated the Septuagint, and “Zeus” sounds very different from the original name.

The name “Iao,” which is found in some manuscripts of the Septuagint, appears to be intended to communicate the pronunciation of the name “YHWH.” An “I” functions as a “Y,” and an “A” can serve as an “H.”

As an example, “Yah,” the shortened form of “YHWH,” becomes “jah” in our word “Hallelujah,” and becomes “ia” in “Alleluia,” the Greek influenced alternate spelling.  The Hebrew “W” (as in “YHWH”) is usually replaced by a “u,” or an “ou,” but sometimes an “O” has been used. A lowercase Greek “omega” is shaped like a small “w.”

The thing most interesting to me about the name “Iao,” is that the Greek letters are “Iota,” which is an “I,” “Alpha,” (A) and “Omega” (O). In the Greek “symbol” font, it is written “Ιαω,” or “ΙΑΩ,” in uppercase symbols.

In many printings of the New Testament, Revelation 22:16 is written in red ink because the verse is spoken by Jesus. That verse would seem out-of-place if the words of verse 22:13, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last,” were not also his.

Verse 22:13 is also printed in red ink. It is sometimes difficult to tell who is speaking in the Revelation, whether it is Jesus (the Lamb), or God. The names and terms seem interchangeable. Revelation 21:5-7 is attributed to “he that sat upon the throne” (God), therefore, the words in 21:6, “I am Alpha, and Omega,” are not printed in red.

In the Greek manuscript that I checked, “Alpha” and “Omega” aren’t spelled out in these verses of Revelation, but are simply an “A” and an “O.” In Greek, the “I” form represents the letter, but not the personal pronoun “I,” as it does in English. “Ego” (“εγω” in Greek font), is the Greek word for the personal pronoun “I,” used in the verses in Revelation.

In comparing these verses with the Septuagint name “Iao,” I’m mixing English with Greek. Nevertheless, I believe that Revelation 21:6 and 22:13, are indirect references to “Iao,” the ancient Greek name for YHWH. “A,”  and “O,” are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, but I also think that linking the expressions of the verses to the name “Iao” gives a more complete meaning.

In John 8:58, Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” That is a very strange statement, and it offended some of the religious leaders. They attempted to stone him for identifying himself with the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14. It wasn’t blasphemy, and he wasn’t bragging, but simply stating the truth. From Genesis to Revelation, the ancient Bible is about him. He fulfills prophecy, and proves the existence of God. Jesus is Alpha (A) and Omega (Ω).

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Some Atheists, as well as some Messianic Jews (Jewish Christians) believe that the name “Jesus” was derived from the name “Zeus.” That’s one reason why many Messianics think we should call Jesus only by his Jewish name “Yeshua,” rather than an English transliteration of the New Testament Greek name “Iesous.”

Actually, there is evidence that the name “Iesous,” predates the mythology connected with the name “Zeus.” “Iesous” is a very old Greek transliteration of the name “Yehoshua” (Joshua), though the Jews consider it incorrect. The ancient Greek “Septuagint” name for the book of Joshua is “Iesous.” This is important evidence in favor of the Bible.

Atheists have also suggested a connection between “Zeus,” and “YHWH,” the personal name of God in the Hebrew Old Testament. Here again, evidence shows the name “YHWH” to be the oldest. Much of the following information may be difficult to find in print, but I suspect that many have been aware of it, and have rejected it without thinking it through. This may be one underlying reason for much of the argument over the name of Jesus.

My last post mentioned the difficulty of representing the Hebrew name for Jesus in the Greek language. That post is very important to the understanding of this one. The ancient Greeks would have had a similar problem with “YHWH,” the namesake of Jesus. To keep this short and simple, I’ll say that they lacked a proper “y,” as well as a proper “h.” The use of a “u” to represent the Hebrew “w” is fairly accurate.

A strange thing occurs if the transliteration process (from Hebrew, through Greek, to English) used in our old English versions of the Bible (Ref. King James version) is applied to “YHWH.” I have not been able to find such a transliteration of “YHWH,” or “Yah” (Jah), the shortened form of the name, anywhere (note; it’s possible that our word “God,” came from the pronunciation of “yod,” the “Y” of “YHWH”).

Perhaps we do have the transliteration, but we haven’t recognized it because it isn’t what we would expect. When I’ve attempted an internet search, what I find instead is psychological warfare against the name of Jesus. We do have another interesting Greek transliteration of “YHWH” which I intend to write about shortly.

The name “Jehovah,” is sometimes called a transliteration, but it does not follow the same pattern as Old Testament names which recur in the New Testament. It is only “JHVH” with vowels added to suggest a pronunciation, and has not come to our English Bible through the Greek language of the New Testament. That is because of the ancient tradition of always translating “YHWH,” as the word “Lord” instead, and not attempting to write, or pronounce the actual name (Ref. Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh, The Secret of YHWH, in my November 2011 archives). The name “YHWH” would appear, in some form, in many places in the New Testament if not for that tradition.

There are many examples in older versions of the Bible, such as the King James version, where an “h,” at the end of Old Testament names, becomes an “s,” in the New Testament. This has happened because the names were first adopted into the Greek language before coming to us. For example “Judas,” in Matthew 1:3, is “Judah” in the Old Testament.

Modern versions of the Bible, attempting to make the Bible easier to read, sometimes drop this information by spelling the names alike in both Testaments. This type of thing sometimes occurs even in older versions such as the King James.

In the transition from Hebrew to Greek, an “h” usually becomes an “e,” (eta) except at the end of a word. This is a general rule often followed in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament from the pre-Christian era. Many variations in spellings exist, and other Hebrew letters sometimes become an “e” so caution must be used in this study. The name Jehu (in Hebrew spelled Yhw ending with an “aleph”) isn’t found in the New Testament, but in 1st Chronicles 2:38 in the Septuagint, it becomes “Jeu.” The silent “aleph” may have been added to this name to distinguish it from “YHWH.”

The English “J” in “Jeu” was a “Y” in the Hebrew, and an “I” in the Greek. The “h” in the Hebrew name became an “e” (eta) in the Greek, remaining the same in the English translation of the Septuagint. The Hebrew “w” became “u” in the Greek, and was carried over to English. If there had actually been an “h” at the end, that final “h” would have become an “s” in a Greek transliteration. Following this procedure, a transliteration of “YHWH” through the Greek language into King James English could have given us the name “Jeus.”

That begins to look a bit mysterious because “Djeus,” or “Dyeus,” is considered to be the Proto-Indo-European origin of the name “Zeus.” This appears to also be the origin of “Deus,” the Latin word for God, as well as the Greek word “Theos.” The evidence suggests that “Zeus,” is a very ancient transliteration of the Hebrew name “YHWH.”

The use of a “Z” in the name “Zeus,” probably originated with the way some languages combine a “d” with other sounds, as in “Djeus,” or “Dyeus.” The Greek “Z” (Zeta) is pronounced “dzay’-tah.” “Z” is also often combined with other sounds. According to the Wikipedia article, “Jesus (name),” “Jesus” in Limburgish is “Zjezus.”

A “Y” in Middle Paleo-Hebrew is shaped like a “Z” with the addition of a short horizontal bar. That is another possible origin for the “Z” in “Zeus.” I intend to supply more details later.

Here is a very important fact which many atheists would ignore in an attempt to put their own spin on this information. The evidence shows the Hebrew name is the older, because there would be no need to transliterate “Zeus” to the Hebrew. The Hebrew alphabet could perfectly capture the pronunciation of “Zeus” in several different ways without a change in the sound of the name.

The Greek alphabet, on the other hand, would not permit the name “YHWH” to be written without significant changes. If the ancient Greeks wanted to record something about YHWH, they would have to either change (transliterate) the name, translate it as “Lord,” or use Hebrew letter symbols which would be meaningless to most Greeks.

Evidence shows that the Greeks tried all three methods at different times. That is probably why some stories about Zeus have elements in common with records from the Bible.

Except for pronouncing it, I have no problem with using the Hebrew name “YHWH” for God. I’m not going to use the name “Zeus” for God, because for most people, there is too much myth attached to the name. Only God himself could demythologize the name, but it probably began with an honest attempt by some ancestor of the Greeks to record the name of God.

For the record, some Aramaic Christians believe that Jesus should only be called by the Aramaic name “MarYah (Mar-Yah),” which is usually interpreted to mean “Lord.” I didn’t know that particular fact when I wrote my page “The Messiah.”

I ask any Christians or Jews who happen to read this to please understand that I am not equating ancient myths with the Bible. I think there’s proof that the Bible contains an accurate record of God’s interaction with man, and that some of its writings are the oldest in existence regardless of the age of our copies. If there is any truth in what the atheists are saying about “Jesus” and “Zeus,” then it is actually evidence that supports my statement. Atheists would have a stronger argument if they simply attribute the “zeus” sound in the name “Jesus” to coincidence.

There is much evidence however, that many of the ancient pagan myths are simply distorted, and fanciful, retellings of ancient events reported in the Bible. Likewise, many names of the “gods,” and heroes of the myths appear to have some foundation in the Bible. Biblical events are sometimes the source of information that has devolved into myth, but not the other way around.

The information I’ve given here needs to be studied and further refined, but it is very important. Whether atheist, or theist, whoever is aware of this has kept the secret. That may be because it runs counter to what many atheists would want to believe, and many theists would simply misunderstand it. The usual attitude is, “shout (or shoot) first and ask questions later.”

We need to get over that, if we’re going to get anywhere. The roots of this controversy may go back to the Tower of Babel, and it’s likely that God has preserved evidence of his truth in the design of languages.

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