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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How Yeshua became Jesus (Greek Jesus vs Hebrew Yeshua)

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Did you know that the nameJesusis less than 400 years old? Where did this name

come from, and what was the original name of our Messiah?

In the Bible, names have significant meanings. For example, the name Abram meansexalted

father”, but the name Abraham meansfather of a multitude”. This is why God changed

his name from Abram to Abraham saying,

No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have

made you a father of many nations.” Genesis 17:5

Likewise, the name of our Messiah has significant meaning. When the Angel of the Lord spoke

to Joseph about his son, he told Joseph what to name the child, saying,

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Yeshua, for He will save

His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21

This is significant, because the nameYeshuameanssalvation”. The Angel was basically

saying, “call Him Salvation, because he will save His people from their sins."

So, where did the nameJesuscome from?

When His name was translated into Greek, it became Iesous. The "Ie" represents the "Ye"

sound, the "s" represents the "sh" sound, and the "ou" represents the "ua" sound. But,

why did they add thesto the end of His name?

The Greek language has certain rules about nouns that indicate case, number, and gender

by their spelling. This means the same word can have different spelling depending on its

use as subject or object in a sentence. For example, Iesous is in the nominative case,

while Iesou is in the genitive case.

The spelling of the nameJesushas been in use for less than 400 years. This can easily

be seen in the fact that the 1611 King James Version of the Bible still spelled His name

Iesous”, notJesus”. The name Iesous was used in Greek, Latin, and English until

the 17th century, when the letterJwas introduced as a replacement for the letter

Iwhen used as a consonant. However, it was still pronouncedYea-soosfor

many years before it eventually took on thegsound that we know today in the word

Jesus”. This means the pronunciation of the nameJesusis a very recent development

in the English language.

It is also interesting to note that if His name was directly translated from Hebrew into

English, it would be Joshua, because the Joshua of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the

New Testament are the same name in both Hebrew and Greek. We can clearly see this in the

book of Acts, when Joshua is referenced in the book of Acts, his name in Greek is identical

to the name of Jesus in Greek. Likewise, in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old

Testament), Joshuas name is also translated into Greek asIesous”. In fact, if you

look up the name Iesous in the Strongs Concordance, it will tell you that Iesous

is the Greek form of the name Joshua.

So, if Joshua and Jesus share the same Hebrew and Greek names, why do they have different

English names? Some people assume there is a great conspiracy involved in why the names

are different, however, it is a very simple reason. When the Old Testament Hebrew text

was translated into English, they phonetically translatedYehoshuaasJoshua”,

and when they translated the Greek New Testament into English, they phonetically translated

IesousasJesus”, with one exception, whenIesousreferred to Joshua son of

Nun the translators chose to continue using the name Joshua to avoid confusion.

I have heard some pretty ridiculous theories about the nameJesus”. For example, some

people claim that the nameJesusreally meanshail Zeus”, which is simply untrue

and proves they are unfamiliar with the Greek language. They make this claim because the

wordsJesusandZeushave similar sounding pronunciation in English. However,

in Greek, there are no connections between these two names, except that they both end

with anssound. If you compare the two names in Greek, you will see that they

have nothing in common. The name Zeus is spelled Διός in Greek, while the name Jesus is

spelled Ἰησοῦς in Greek.

Some people also claim that His name was changed to Jesus to hide the fact that He was a Jew,

since Jesus is based on a Greek name rather than a Hebrew name. While it is possible that

there might be some truth to this claim, it is pretty far fetched to think that it was

some grand conspiracy to hide the Jewishness of Jesus, since the Bible clearly tells us

that Jesus was Jewish.

For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing

concerning priesthood.” Hebrews 7:14

Likewise, the Gospels contain some pretty extensive genealogies that trace the Jewish

lineage of Jesus back to a number of Old Testament Jewish people including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,

and David.

Unfortunately, despite these facts, some people remain unaware of the fact that Jesus was

Jewish. However, I think it has less to do with the pronunciation of His name, and more

to do with these people not knowing what the Scriptures say about Him.

Is it wrong to call Him "Jesus"?

I do not think there is anything wrong with using the nameJesus”, but in the Bible,

names have meaning, and the name Yeshua meanssalvation”. Yet the Greek, Latin, and

English translations do not carry any meaning since they are phonetically created words

that did not exist otherwise.

I prefer to call Him by His Hebrew name Yeshua, because it has such powerful meaning and significance.

He is salvation and His name IS Salvation! But I am by no means a "sacred namer", and

I want you to know that it does not bother me if you prefer to use the name "Jesus",

because I know who you are talking about, and He knows who you are talking about too.

Unfortunately, some people treat His name as if it were a magic word. They seem to think

if you pronounce His name a certain way your prayers will be answered, but if you dont

say it just right your prayers will be ignored. I have even heard people argue that you must

pronounce His name a certain way if you want to be saved. Let me just say, that is not

the way His name should be treated. Our God is not so petty that He would reject someone

for using the "wrong" name.

Languages change over time, pronunciation changes from one location to another. We can

see some pretty vast differences just within the English language. If you took people from

London, New Jersey, Louisiana and Australia and placed them all in the same room, you

would immediately notice how differently they all speak the same language. They are all

speaking English, but which one is speaking therightEnglish? This is a good example

of why fighting over pronunciation is unprofitable. Placing so much emphasis on a certain pronunciation

of His name is like the person in New Jersey telling the person from Australia that they

are not speaking English correctly. It is more important that we understand the meaning

of words than it is to have the correct pronunciation of them.

I hope this teaching has helped to clear up some of the confusion about the name Jesus,

and I hope it has given you a better understanding about how His name was translated from Yeshua

to Jesus.

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