'Joanna' as it would appear in the bible?

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by joleer, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. joleer New Member

    English - Canadian
    The name Joanna is first listed in the second testament, which had been written in Greek. In Luke 8:3 and again in Luke 24:10 Joanna the wife of Chuza is mentioned. I'm curious, since there's no J sound in the Greek alphabet, how it would have been written in the bible?

    My uncle studied ancient Greek, and is certain it would look something like this;

    I was wondering if I should actually be looking for a different ancient Greek alphabet, and if he had the sounds right (as the J sound is often listed as a Tz as well). I have found so many variations online, and I'd like to get this ink, so I'd prefer to know I've gotten it right.


  2. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Hello joleer and welcome to the forums :)

    Your uncle is right, it's Ἰωάννα.

    While there were variations of the Greek alphabet in different city states, there wasn't a different one altogether really. By time the New Testament was written the alphabet was pretty much set.
    Unless I am very much mistaken, in all cases where we've taken a name from Hebrew and it starts with a "J" in English (Joanna, Jacob, Jeremiah etc) it starts with a iota in Greek. In Hebrew the sound was that of a "Y" sort of (Yacob, Yohanna etc).
    Since the Iota could be pronounced (and in some cases still can) sort of like a "y" sound, Greeks used it to transcribe names starting with that sound.

    I purposely didn't use IPA symbols here but I can if it will help you more :)

    Edit: Nowadays, when we want to transcribe in Greek an English name starting with a "J" sound, (say John) we use "ΤΖ"/"τζ" which is pronounced very similar to the English sound.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013

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