Update on the Pronunciation of “Propitiation”

I recently wrote about the various pronunciations of “propitiation” that are in use by pastors, theologians, and scholars, making particular reference to D. A. Carson’s peculiar pronunciation: prō-pĭs-ē-ā-shŭn.

According to the poll, the majority of the readers of this blog follow the pronunciation that I use: prō-pĭsh-ē-ā-shŭn. A couple prefer prō-pĭtchē-ā-shŭn or prō-pĭch-ē-ā-shŭn. But no one—at least from my limited readership—follows Carson’s prō-pĭs-ē-ā-shŭn.

However, Michael White pointed out in a comment that Carson’s pronunciation is listed in Webster’s 1828 as the only pronunciation for “propitiation.” I haven’t found any more information beyond that, but this at least confirms my strong suspicion that Carson doesn’t make mistakes in the pronunciation of his theological terms!

I haven’t yet had a chance to look it up in OED, so this is all that I’ve been able to uncover. If anyone has any more light to shed on this, I’d be interested to find out more.

See also my other two posts:

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2 Responses to Update on the Pronunciation of “Propitiation”

  1. theologien August 22, 2007 at 6:15 pm #

    The Oxford English Dictionary has “…pish.” Anything else is an affectation. In the Latin “propitiare” it is pronounced pro-pi-tzy-ar-ay, which is closer to modern english pronunciation than “…pis.”

    There is also the issue of Webster (If indeed that is were Carson finds his source), we have to realize that he was more of a spelling reformer than a lexicographer.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Phil Gons August 22, 2007 at 10:21 pm #

    Thanks for the note. I appreciate your sharing this.