Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 07:30:49 -0400
To: b-greek 
From: Nichael Lynn Cramer  
Subject: The Return of the Sea-Hero [was: YHWH in LXX Papyrii] 
Cc: Bernard Taylor 

Bernard Taylor wrote:

>[...] In a number of mss the divine name is represented in Greek
>characters as PIPI. [...] Lacking any sensitivity to yod/vav
>represenatation, it was read as Greek (from left to right) as straight
>Greek characters.  [...] Metzger makes mention of this in his volume:
>_Manuscripts of the Greek Bible._ [...] Jerome reported that some
>ignorant souls [...] even pronounced it as "pipi."

This is an altogether fascinating topic. Probably the best --and most
provocative-- study of this material was that published in the early
80's by the spanish scholar Tonto d'Abril.

d'Abril's work is perhaps best known for his demonstration that it was
*not* simply the case that the tetragrammaton had been misread as
"PIPI" but rather that the Greek-Semetic hybrid script had been
mis-pointed; the correct vowelization (presuming the _VAV_ to be read
as HOLAM) being "POP'I".  Or more accruately, as d'Abril went on to
argue, "POP'EYE".

Assuming this was too much of a coincidence, d'Abril collected a
comprehensive list of the similarities between Yahweh and this
semi-divine sea-hero. Among the more striking of these are:

|                         |      Yahweh       |         Popeye         |
|    Main statement of	  |                   |                        |
|     self-definition:    | "I AM THAT I AM"  |   "I YAM WHAT I YAM"   |
|   Primary advisarial    |       Ba'al       |          Bluto         |
|	  entity:         |                   | [Ba'al-uto? : Note 1]  |
|  Presumed consort of    |                   |                        |
|    ambiguous gender     |      Asherah      |    Olive Oyl[Note 2]   |
|    characteristics:     |                   |                        |
|     Male offspring      |                   |                        |
|   (resulting from no    |       Jesus       |       Sweetpea         |
|  known carnal contact): |                   |                        |
                                      -- selected from Revue du Poisson,
                                             IV:1, Paris, 1983.

Of especial significance are the roots of the last two names ("Olive"
and "Sweetpea"). While it is true that neither name shows a direct
etymological relationship to its respective Yahwian counterpart, the
persistent repetition of this vegetative theme, coupled with the
source of the hero Popeye's strength (i.e. the magical "Spinach"[Note
3]) settles all question as to the fundamental soundess of d'Abril's

   [Note 1: Meyerson's identification of the Bluto = Ba'al + Pluto is
            very promising. See her "Journey of the 'Long-eared
            Companion' into the Underworld", Working papers of the SBL
            Seminar on early animation, Anaheim, 1988.]

   [Note 2: cf 2 King 18:32, where the King of Assyria attempts to
            lure the people of Israel out of their homeland with a
            promise of delivering them into a " of Olive O[y]l."]

   [Note 3: We should note here, with d'Abril, the well-known
            iron-rich nature of this magical "Spinach". Moreover, this
            is exactly what we would expect in a quasi-historical
            narrative arising deep in the early iron-age. The cultic
            resonances here should be obvious.]

Nichael	                           __	Be as passersby -- IC

Copyright © 1996 Nichael Lynn Cramer

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