In fact I have got the same kind of questions. I have always wondered why the translators of the Hebrew bible (and the New Testament authors following them) changed so many names. Why Rebekka
from Rivka(h)? Why Elisabet
(different T-character in the end! Why?) and Eleisabeth for Elisheva
? - There must be some literature about this, but I haven't dug up anything.
Some characters of the Hebrew language just don't exist in Greek or Latin, so this explains some of the changes. Also I can imagine, that in many cases the translators would adapt names to something like "Greek style", but this doesn't explain it all. The Greeks obviously loved the letter S at the end of male names and made up THOMAS
from THEOM and JONAS
. Maybe some were just a little careless, a steady source of inaccuracies.
With S or Z in Elizabeth
I once read something, why it was changed in the 16. (?) century. It had something to do with Queen Elizabeth
, but I don't remember. Anybody else knows?
Sometimes names are changed because of wrong etymology (even deliberately): Take ANTHONY
which had no H until the 15. cent., when someone thought, it had something to do with the Greek wort "anthos" (flower). Or CARMEN
, which was (Lady of the) Carmel
, but was assimilated to the word for "song, charm".
I only recently learned about JOHN
, and I found this quite interesting. Andy