Secret Alias wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:41 pm
whether its Jesus or Ish your explanation (the standard explanation) of the way the nomen sacrum functioned is the same for either 'root'. Both are equally viable explanations.
If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that writing Ish(u) as ΙΣ, in whatever Greek case, worked the same as for Ἰησοῦς. So the genitive would be ΙΣΟΥ, the accusative ΙΣΟΝ, or some such. Is that what you are saying? That the nominative, ΙΣ, was not
actually an abbreviation, but the other cases, ΙΥ and ΙΝ, were
I would argue that the nominative ΙΣ is better explained as Ish (because of its simplicity, it requires less imagination). If start wither ΙΣ you can see it as the Greek rendering of the Hebrew אִישׁ. No further explanations required. That's what appears there on the page.
If that were all that appeared on the page, I would agree with you 100%. But we have far, far more on the page than that:
- We have the overstroke in most manuscripts. What does the line over ΙΣ mean if ΙΣ is already the word itself?
- We have the multiple other nomina sacra, each of them with their own overstrokes in most of the manuscripts. If ΙΣ is just ΙΣ, with no missing letters, then what are ΘΣ, ΚΣ, ΧΣ, ΥΣ, and ΣΗΡ, among others?
- We have examples of nomina sacra abbreviated by suspension rather than by contraction. What does ΙΗ ΧΡ mean, for instance, in Revelation 1.5 in papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1079 (Ƿ18)? The Egerton gospel, too, uses this suspended form.
- We have at least one example of the particular nomen sacrum ΙΣ which has to mean Jesus/Joshua/Ye(ho)shua: Hebrews 4.8 (in Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus, among others), in which ΙΣ has to mean the Hebrew hero Joshua. It cannot mean Ish here, can it?
Unlike Ἰησοῦς which requires adding more 'hidden' letters, imagination, explanation etc.
This would be true if we did not have an entire system
of abbreviations for important names in the Christian manuscripts. But we do. Within that system, to render Ἰησοῦς as ΙΣ (with an overstroke) is completely expected (every bit as expected, at least, as reducing Mister to Mr.). Would you suggest otherwise?
Trobisch seems to think that the nomen sacrum was a specific characteristic of orthodox manuscripts. If that's true they might not have been used by the Marcionites. It's hard to know what to expect.
Yes, it is very hard to know what to expect from manuscripts which no longer exist. But it is easy to tell what is going on with the system of nomina sacra
which we do possess.
If ΙΣ came first, then the sequence was ΙΣ to Ἰησοῦς and then back to ΙΣ/ΙΥ/ΙΝ again (because there is nothing clearer than that ΙΣ means Ἰησοῦς in our extant manuscripts
), this time with an overstroke and embedded in a system of abbreviations stretching across multiple manuscripts. If Ἰησοῦς came first, then the sequence is simpler: just Ἰησοῦς to ΙΣ.
I've mentioned the evidence. Justin says the name is 'man' (Marcovich https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/12945
says Justin is saying it means the Hebrew אִישׁ) or
Jesus. Origen says that ΙΣ is the Greek rendering of אִישׁ. Irenaeus says that the nomen sacrum (whatever it was) doesn't go back to Ἰησοῦς. What more do you want?
What more do I want? I want evidence that does not
consist of patristic authors making theological points of the very subject matter
under discussion. That is where they ought to be expected to be the least
trustworthy. Do they tell you how to account for the other nomina sacra
into which Ἰησοῦς to ΙΣ fits like a glove? Do they tell you how to account for the suspended form in the nominative, ΙΗ?