The 2001 Translation Translator NotesNote

CamelCase in Bible names

You have likely noticed that this translation puts multiple capital letters in many of the Bible names. For example, Jonathan appears as JoNathan, Isaiah as IsaiAh, and Eliezer as EliEzer. This is known as ‘CamelCase’ since there is a ‘hump’ in the middle.

Why does our translation use this?

Well, partly to help with the correct pronunciations of the names, and partly to show some translating consistency.

Of course, the common English pronunciation of Jonathan (for example) is Jon-uh-thun.
But the first part of that name (Io in Greek, Ieho in Hebrew) refers to the name of God, commonly pronounced as Jehovah in English, but possibly pronounced in Hebrew as Yeh-ho-wah).
And the second part of the Name (Nathan) means Gift.
So in Hebrew, the name of Saul’s son was originally pronounced closer to Yeh-ho-Nuh-thahn.

The same is true in the case of names that end with an iah, as in Isaiah.
For the last part of the name includes the name of God in this case.
Isaiah, for example, means Salvation [of] JehovAH, and it was originally pronounced Ee-suh-Yah. Yes, we know that the Brits pronounce it Ai-sai-ah; but understand the letter ‘i’ was likely pronounced as a long ‘e’ by the ancients. Also, by the time the NT was written, the name took on the pronunciation ‘Hsai-ah,’ due to the Greek influence.

Then notice that in this name (as in many other Bible names) the IE has actually been changed to a J in English Bibles, due to the way the letters were transposed in older Spanish writings.
Unfortunately though, this process wasn’t followed consistently by ancient Bible translators.
So while some names are spelled with a J in most English Bibles, many others are still spelled with an Ie or Iah.

Another important Hebrew word that is found in Bible names is ‘El’ (from the Hebrew Elohe, or God). So the name EliEzer, for example, (which people commonly pronounce ee-lai-ee-zer) means God [has] Helped and it should be pronounced Elee-ezzer.

There are other Hebrew words that are found in the prefixes and suffixes of Bible names that you’ll see we have also capitalized.
For example, you’ll find the word Ai, which is the Hebrew word for city.
So AiLam (for example) probably meant the City of Lam.
And where you find the prefixes Bel (as in BelShazzar), or BaAl, or BeEl, they refer to ‘the Lord.’ Also, the prefixes ‘Ben’ and ‘Bar’ mean ‘the son of,’ ‘Beth’ means ‘the house of,’ ‘Beer’ refers to a ‘well,’ ‘Is’ or ‘Ish’ means ‘Man,’ etc.

Does this mean that we have put all the capitals in the right places?
No, for we make no claim to Hebrew scholarship (all our translating here has been from Greek).
But what we are trying to do is to provide you with a better understanding to how these names were pronounced by First-Century Christians.

See more translator notes