Incorrect Greek on TV

I was watching TV this morning, it being the first day of my end-of-year vacation, and noticed that “The Price is Right” was on. Since I hadn’t seen it since Drew Carey took over as host, I decided to watch. After a while, they went to commercial, and I saw a spot for a book by Franklin Graham called The Name that really annoyed me.

The spot features a sombre voice over a series of graphics showing the name of Jesus in various languages. I have no idea if most of them were correct or not, but I am certain that the Greek was wrong. Below is a photo of my TV screen showing what they put up as the Greek version of Jesus

It’s sort of hard to see, but what they have is Ιησούςν which is incorrect in a few ways. First, the iota Ι at the beginning of the word should have a smooth breathing mark, thus making it look like this . Strictly speaking if you write the Greek without accents, then you would also not have the breathing mark, but since they do include the accent over the upsilon, they should have included it. That accent is the next error. It should have been an upsilon with a circumflex instead of with an acute accent ύ. The next two errors are at the end of the word where you see a sigma followed by a nu, ςν. In Greek the sigma has two forms: σ for when it occurs inside a word, and ς when it occurs at the end of a word. Since they have the sigma here as the next-to-last letter, it should have been written σ. But Jesus name is not spelled this way in Greek. In the nominative case (as a subject), which is what it should have been based on how it was being used, it is written Ἰησοῦς. In the accusative case (as a direct object), it would be written Ἰησοῦν. It looks like the people who made the ad combined the two forms, resulting in a nonsense word: Ιησούςν.

Would it have killed them to get someone to proof their text before sending it out? Granted, 99% of the people who see the ad won’t know the difference; I wouldn’t have 2 years ago. To me, it just shows sloppy work. I have to wonder how many of the other names were misspelled. Plus the whole ad looked like it was hawking one of those awful “Left Behind” books.

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