Tag Archives: Hebrew

Spelling of Capernaum

John 6:24 txt καφαρναουμ 𝔓⁷⁵ ℵ B D N W SBL TH NA28 {\} καπερναουμ A E L 047 TR RP lac 𝔓⁶⁶ C T. The lacunose MSS do have the word elsewhere. The MSS are listed by date as follows:

𝔓⁶⁶ – 200 – καφαρναουμ
𝔓⁴⁵ – III – καφαρναουμ
𝔓⁷⁵ – III – καφαρναουμ
0162 – III/IV – καφαρναουμ
ℵ – IV – καφαρναουμ
B – IV – καφαρναουμ
W – IV/V – mixed
C – V – καφαρναουμ
D – V – καφαρναουμ
T – V – καφαρναουμ
A – V – καπερναουμ
Z – VI – καφαρναουμ
N – VI – mixed
Σ – VI – καπερναουμ
Φ – VI – καπερναουμ
E – VIII – καπερναουμ
L – VIII – mixed
047 – VIII – καπερναουμ

You can see that the spelling changed in the 5th century with Codices W and A, except that Codices L and N and Z carried it a bit later. The BDF grammar on the transliteration of Hebrew “MUTES: כ, פ, ת (unvoiced nonemphatic stops and spirants) are represented by χ, φ, θ, except where two aspirates would follow in contiguous syllables (in which case the Greeks dissimilated even in their own words).”

Ancient Greek had letters for both the aspirated and unaspirated P, T and K, while in English we have letters only for the aspirated, because the unaspirated stops do not mean something different from the aspirated versions, they are not “phonemes.” In Greek, the aspirated P was Φ φ (sounds just like our English P) and the unaspirated was Π π, which English does not have a letter for. The Greek aspirated T was Θ θ, like our English T, and the unaspirated was Τ τ, which English does not have a letter for. The Greek aspirated K sound was the letter Χ χ, like our English letter K, and the unaspirated was Κ κ, which English does not have a letter for. The Greek language has changed very much since then. For example, the letter β is no longer the B sound but is now V. You now write the B sound as the two letters μπ. The letter δ is no longer the D sound, but is now voiced TH as in “then.” Now, to write the D sound you write two letters, ντ. Greek grammar has of course changed in the thousands of years. One of the biggest changes is that there is no longer a dative case.


The word Armageddon is found only once in the Bible, in Revelation 16:16.  “And He gathered them together at the place called in Hebrew Harmagedōn.”

There is a great variety of spellings of the word in the Greek and Latin manuscripts of the New Testament.  But there are two main divisions of the spellings: those with just Magedon, and those with the AR in front.

The earliest Greek manuscripts have αρμαγεδων.  Here is the image snipped from Codex Alexandrinus (Codex A), 5th century:

The Greek New Testament editions read as follows:

Ἁρμαγεδών  Antoniades, Robinson-Pierpont, SBL, and NA28

Ἀρμαγεδών  BG (Byzantine Greek), and TH (Tyndale House)

Ἀρμαγεδδών  TR (Textus Receptus)

The difference between the first two spellings is the “breathing mark” in front of or above the initial vowel.  The first one has a backwards apostrophe, and that is the “h” sound in Greek, so Harmagedon.”  The second and third spellings have a regular-facing apostrophe and so that has no “h” sound, thus Armagedon.

John tells us that it is a Hebrew name, so the Har would be Hebrew for mountain, and Magedō would be the place called Megiddo, mentioned in 2 Chronicles 35:22 and Judges 1:27.  So “Mountain of Megiddō.”  This was a frequent battleground because of a strategic pass and the Megiddo plain below. You can download here the book of Revelation with a fuller accounting of the readings in the Greek manuscripts.

Walton Pt. 5

Now available for download at the bottom of my translations page: Walton’s Polyglot, Part 5, IV KingsB – PsalmsA, PDF, 92 MB.

Walton’s Polyglot Part 9

Walton’s Polyglot Part 9 is now available for download on the bottom of my translations page.


Walton’s Polyglot Pt 10

Walton’s Polyglot was a mammoth work compiled by Brian Walton, consisting of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Chaldean, Samaritan, Greek, Arabic, Ethiopic, Latin, plus variant readings of Codices Alexandrinus and Vaticanus, in 1657!

Part 10 of Walton’s Polyglot is now available for download on my translations page, containing GspJohnB, Acts, Paul, Catholic Epistles, Revelation, PDF, 107 MB.