Discussion:
Not on Iota
(too old to reply)
occam
2021-12-02 17:28:34 UTC
Permalink
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".

As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant.

One explanation here
<http://dailymedieval.blogspot.com/2012/09/not-one-iota-of-difference.html>
suggests that it is tied to something called the 'Arian heresy'.

Any other possible explanations?
Peter T. Daniels
2021-12-02 22:36:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant.
One explanation here
<http://dailymedieval.blogspot.com/2012/09/not-one-iota-of-difference.html>
suggests that it is tied to something called the 'Arian heresy'.
Any other possible explanations?
Cf. "jot and tittle," referring to the dot on the i and the crossbar on the t.
occam
2021-12-03 00:35:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant.
One explanation here
<http://dailymedieval.blogspot.com/2012/09/not-one-iota-of-difference.html>
suggests that it is tied to something called the 'Arian heresy'.
Any other possible explanations?
Probably Matthew 5:18.
ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου
Not one iota or stroke of a letter will pass away from the law.
(KJV: one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law)
Thanks. That already takes it further back than I would have imagined.

However, I see this clarification in Wiki:

"Jesus probably would have been speaking about the Aramaic alphabet, see
Aramaic of Jesus, and scholars have long tried to guess what would
originally have been referred to by this phrase. Iota is the smallest
letter of the Greek alphabet, and was often left out by transcribers,
however, since only capitals were used at the time the Greek New
Testament was written (Ι), it probably represents the Aramaic yodh (י)
which is the smallest letter of the Aramaic alphabet, and like iota it
was frequently forgotten."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_5:18
Jerry Friedman
2021-12-03 04:45:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant.
One explanation here
<http://dailymedieval.blogspot.com/2012/09/not-one-iota-of-difference.html>
suggests that it is tied to something called the 'Arian heresy'.
Any other possible explanations?
Probably Matthew 5:18.
ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου
Not one iota or stroke of a letter will pass away from the law.
(KJV: one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law)
Thanks. That already takes it further back than I would have imagined.
"Jesus probably would have been speaking about the Aramaic alphabet, see
Aramaic of Jesus, and scholars have long tried to guess what would
originally have been referred to by this phrase. Iota is the smallest
letter of the Greek alphabet, and was often left out by transcribers,
however, since only capitals were used at the time the Greek New
Testament was written (Ι), it probably represents the Aramaic yodh (י)
which is the smallest letter of the Aramaic alphabet, and like iota it
was frequently forgotten."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_5:18
That makes sense to me, but while searching for the Greek text, I found
an unsurprising amount of disagreement on the Web, including one person
who said the passage indicates that Jesus thought of the Law as being in
Greek.

Obaue: I'd delete "it" from the second-last line of that Wikip quotation.
--
Jerry Friedman
Joseph C. Fineman
2021-12-03 03:30:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant
Perhaps it alludes to the iota subscript, which was placed below certain
other vowel letters to indicate that they once represented diphthongs.
It was indeed tiny, and it was not pronounced, so it would make a good
metaphor for insignificance. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/iota_subscript
--
--- Joe Fineman ***@verizon.net

||: A clear conscience is usually a sign of a bad memory. :||
Peter T. Daniels
2021-12-03 12:55:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joseph C. Fineman
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant
Perhaps it alludes to the iota subscript, which was placed below certain
other vowel letters to indicate that they once represented diphthongs.
It was indeed tiny, and it was not pronounced, so it would make a good
metaphor for insignificance. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/iota_subscript
Yes, I can see that now. The diphthong argument is there in the first
link I posted (last paragraph).
Which makes my original statement ("As far as I am aware, Greeks do not
regard the letter 'iota' as small or insignificant") incorrect.
"A small iota written below an alpha, eta or omega – e.g. in ᾠδή (ōidḗ)
– representing a vocalic offglide that was pronounced in early Ancient
Greek, but later became silent; invented in the Middle Ages in order to
mark those vowels which would originally have had such an offglide."
Invented in the Middle Ages? So the iota was a later addition (a
retrofit) to the Greek alphabet? Hmm...
The iota subscript was, not the letter iota.
occam
2021-12-03 15:59:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Joseph C. Fineman
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant
Perhaps it alludes to the iota subscript, which was placed below certain
other vowel letters to indicate that they once represented diphthongs.
It was indeed tiny, and it was not pronounced, so it would make a good
metaphor for insignificance. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/iota_subscript
Yes, I can see that now. The diphthong argument is there in the first
link I posted (last paragraph).
Which makes my original statement ("As far as I am aware, Greeks do not
regard the letter 'iota' as small or insignificant") incorrect.
"A small iota written below an alpha, eta or omega – e.g. in ᾠδή (ōidḗ)
– representing a vocalic offglide that was pronounced in early Ancient
Greek, but later became silent; invented in the Middle Ages in order to
mark those vowels which would originally have had such an offglide."
Invented in the Middle Ages? So the iota was a later addition (a
retrofit) to the Greek alphabet? Hmm...
The iota subscript was, not the letter iota.
So the expression is based on iota the letter (as referenced by Matthew
5:18) or the iota subscript (which was tiny, not pronounced therefore
insignificant)? There is a huge difference of around 1300 years between
the two instances.
Peter T. Daniels
2021-12-03 16:29:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Joseph C. Fineman
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant
Perhaps it alludes to the iota subscript, which was placed below certain
other vowel letters to indicate that they once represented diphthongs.
It was indeed tiny, and it was not pronounced, so it would make a good
metaphor for insignificance. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/iota_subscript
Yes, I can see that now. The diphthong argument is there in the first
link I posted (last paragraph).
Which makes my original statement ("As far as I am aware, Greeks do not
regard the letter 'iota' as small or insignificant") incorrect.
"A small iota written below an alpha, eta or omega – e.g. in ᾠδή (ōidḗ)
– representing a vocalic offglide that was pronounced in early Ancient
Greek, but later became silent; invented in the Middle Ages in order to
mark those vowels which would originally have had such an offglide."
Invented in the Middle Ages? So the iota was a later addition (a
retrofit) to the Greek alphabet? Hmm...
The iota subscript was, not the letter iota.
So the expression is based on iota the letter (as referenced by Matthew
5:18) or the iota subscript (which was tiny, not pronounced therefore
insignificant)? There is a huge difference of around 1300 years between
the two instances.
The iota-subscript is indeed not relevant to the expression.

I don't think we know the Aramaic cliché underlying Jesus's words,
but more and more texts are turning up every year.

One could see what the Peshitta (Syriac translation of the Greek) did
with it, but that was about 250 years after the gospel was written.
Madhu
2021-12-05 06:15:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by occam
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Joseph C. Fineman
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant
Perhaps it alludes to the iota subscript, which was placed below certain
other vowel letters to indicate that they once represented diphthongs.
It was indeed tiny, and it was not pronounced, so it would make a good
metaphor for insignificance. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/iota_subscript
Yes, I can see that now. The diphthong argument is there in the
first link I posted (last paragraph). Which makes my original
statement ("As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter
'iota' as small or insignificant") incorrect. What is more
puzzling about the Wiki page is: "A small iota written below an
alpha, eta or omega – e.g. in ᾠδή (ōidḗ) – representing a vocalic
offglide that was pronounced in early Ancient Greek, but later
became silent; invented in the Middle Ages in order to mark those
vowels which would originally have had such an offglide."
Invented in the Middle Ages? So the iota was a later addition (a
retrofit) to the Greek alphabet? Hmm...
The iota subscript was, not the letter iota.
So the expression is based on iota the letter (as referenced by Matthew
5:18) or the iota subscript (which was tiny, not pronounced therefore
insignificant)? There is a huge difference of around 1300 years between
the two instances.
The iota-subscript is indeed not relevant to the expression.
I don't think we know the Aramaic cliché underlying Jesus's words, but
more and more texts are turning up every year.
One could see what the Peshitta (Syriac translation of the Greek) did
with it, but that was about 250 years after the gospel was written.
Lamsa has "Yodh" for Iota. the cliche need not be aramic as it pertains
to hebrew scripture with its own scribal tradition.

"The jot and tittle refer to letters forming words of a written
text. The yodh (jot) is the smallest Hebrew letter (in many
English Bibles above Ps 119:73), half the size of the waw (Ps
119:41) or zayin (Ps 119:49) at times, and one-fourth the size
of most square Hebrew letters. The tittle was a distinguishing
feature of a letter, corresponding to the dotting of an i (not
an e) or crossing of a t (not an l) in cursive English."

-- Warren Vanhetloo, "Indications of Verbal
Inspiration," Calvary Baptist Theological
Journal 5.1 (Spring 1989): 63-85.
https://agncn.org/s/pp_4175_inerrancy.pdf
Madhu
2021-12-05 06:36:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Madhu
-- Warren Vanhetloo, "Indications of Verbal
Inspiration," Calvary Baptist Theological
Journal 5.1 (Spring 1989): 63-85.
https://agncn.org/s/pp_4175_inerrancy.pdf
Eh how did I paste that?

it's at https://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/cbtj/05-1_063.pdf not
agcn.org

Joseph C. Fineman
2021-12-05 03:24:36 UTC
Permalink
Invented in the Middle Ages? So the iota was a later addition (a
retrofit) to the Greek alphabet? Hmm...
Good point. %^)
--
--- Joe Fineman ***@verizon.net

||: Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from :||
||: bad judgment. :||
Steve Hayes
2021-12-03 09:16:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant.
One explanation here
<http://dailymedieval.blogspot.com/2012/09/not-one-iota-of-
difference.html>
Post by occam
suggests that it is tied to something called the 'Arian heresy'.
Any other possible explanations?
That seems likely -- an instance where one small letter made a big
difference.
--
Steve Hayes http://khanya.wordpress.com
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2021-12-03 23:55:32 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 2 Dec 2021 12:03:19 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant.
One explanation here
<http://dailymedieval.blogspot.com/2012/09/not-one-iota-of-difference.html>
suggests that it is tied to something called the 'Arian heresy'.
Any other possible explanations?
Probably Matthew 5:18.
???? ?? ? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ?????
Not one iota or stroke of a letter will pass away from the law.
(KJV: one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law)
Yes.

The Online Etymology Dictionary says:
https://www.etymonline.com/word/jot#etymonline_v_6509


jot (n.)

"the least part of anything," 1520s, from Latin iota, from Greek
iota "the letter -i-," the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet,
also "the least part of anything" (see iota). Usually (and
originally) with tittle, from Matthew v.18.

Entries linking to jot

iota (n.)
"very small amount," 1630s, figurative use of iota, ninth and
smallest letter in the Greek alphabet (corresponding to Latin -i-).
Its use in this sense is after Matthew v.18 (see jot (n.), which is
the earlier form of the name in English), but iota in classical
Greek also was proverbially used of anything very small. The letter
name is from Semitic (compare Phoenician and Hebrew yodh)

The OED says of jot,n.:

Etymology: < Latin iota (read as jota , compare Spanish jota ,
German jota and jot , jodt , jott ),...
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Jerry Friedman
2021-12-04 01:32:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Thu, 2 Dec 2021 12:03:19 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by occam
Given that the Greek alphabet is in the limelight of late, I am
intrigued by the English phrase "Not one iota of difference".
As far as I am aware, Greeks do not regard the letter 'iota' as small
or insignificant.
One explanation here
<http://dailymedieval.blogspot.com/2012/09/not-one-iota-of-difference.html>
suggests that it is tied to something called the 'Arian heresy'.
Any other possible explanations?
Probably Matthew 5:18.
???? ?? ? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ?????
Not one iota or stroke of a letter will pass away from the law.
(KJV: one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law)
Yes.
https://www.etymonline.com/word/jot#etymonline_v_6509
jot (n.)
"the least part of anything," 1520s, from Latin iota, from Greek
iota "the letter -i-," the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet,
also "the least part of anything" (see iota). Usually (and
originally) with tittle, from Matthew v.18.
Entries linking to jot
iota (n.)
"very small amount," 1630s, figurative use of iota, ninth and
smallest letter in the Greek alphabet (corresponding to Latin -i-).
Its use in this sense is after Matthew v.18 (see jot (n.), which is
the earlier form of the name in English), but iota in classical
Greek also was proverbially used of anything very small. The letter
name is from Semitic (compare Phoenician and Hebrew yodh)
"TIttle" is a bit more complicated.

'"small stroke or point in writing," late 14c. (Wyclif, in Matthew v.18),
translating Latin apex in Late Latin sense of "accent mark over a
vowel," which itself translates Greek keraia (literally "a little horn"),
used by the Greek grammarians of the accents and diacritical
points, in this case a Biblical translation of Hebrew qots, literally
"thorn, prick," used of the little lines and projections by which the
Hebrew letters of similar form differ from one another.

'Wyclif's word is borrowed from a specialized sense of Latin titulus
(see title (n.)), which was used in Medieval Latin (and in Middle
English and Old French) to indicate "a stroke over an abridged
word to indicate letters missing" (and compare Provençal titule
"the dot over -i-").

'As apex was used by the Latin grammarians for the accent or mark
over a long vowel, titulus and apex became to some extent
synonymous; hence Wyclif's use of titil, titel to render L. apex [OED]

'Compare tilde, which is the Spanish form of the same word.'

All the Spanish translations at biblehub.com do use "tilde" there.
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Etymology: < Latin iota (read as jota , compare Spanish jota ,
German jota and jot , jodt , jott ),...
And some of the translations use "jota", which is the letter J.
--
Jerry Friedman
Loading...