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A Grammar of Transcriptions in 2 Esdras: Text, Philology, Phonology



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Myers, Peter Daniel 


The most secure reconstructions of transcription spellings in 2 Esdras provide the simplest explanations for the extant spellings in manuscripts. When understood in their philological context, these securely reconstructed spellings reliably reveal a Hebrew and Aramaic pronunciation of Ezra-Nehemiah from a stage earlier than that attested in the Tiberian reading tradition. This pronunciation, and the process of uncovering it, sheds new light on Ezra-Nehemiah, 2 Esdras, and some of the people who transmitted these texts down through time. 2 Esdras contains one of the highest concentrations of transcriptions for any ʟⅹⅹ book. The translator had a penchant for transcription and for slavish representation of semitic Ezra-Nehemiah. Previous studies of transcriptions identified 2 Esdras as the last ʟⅹⅹ book to be translated, in the mid-late 2nd c. ᴄᴇ. This work contributes an exhaustive collation of all transcriptions in 2 Esdras, with a suggested reconstruction and historical explanation for every extant Greek MS variant. It provides a defence of the major text critical decisions underlying these reconstructions, and implications that 2 Esdras' textual transmission has for Greek linguistics. A philological analysis is given for every transcription, as well as a description of the Heb. and Aram. phonemic systems and their phonetic realisations revealed by this corpus. The dissertation makes a significant contribution to the study of transcriptions as well as to our understanding of Ezra-Nehemiah, 2 Esdras, text criticism, and linguistics.





Khan, Geoffrey


2 Esdras, text criticism, philology, phonology, Hebrew, Greek


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge