>"Jot" is the Hebrew "yod", the letter "I". The Greek letters and their names
>are adaptions of the Phoenician alphabet from which the Hebrew alphet also
>descends. Yod is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It looks rather
>like an enlarged apostrophe.
>"Tittle" is a diacritic mark used in Hebrew. e.g. a dot inside V turns the
>pronunciation to B. (It's hard to explain with this character set.)
Actually no. (the diacritical you're referring to, by the way, is
The quotation, from Matthew, refers to Greek manuscript conventions,
the jot being the iota subscript and the tittle being the circumflex
accent. It's unlikely that this is a direct quote from Jesus, since
one would doubt the likelihood of two first century Jewish peasants
conversing in Greek, but there was no doubt a bit of freedom in
translation. Probably for the best: "I am the aleph and the tav"
doesn't quite have the same ring as "I am the alpha and the omega".
For those particulary interested in alphabets, the iota is in fact a
close cousin of yod, their both having their origins in the phoenician
Don Hosek [log in to unmask]
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