31 January 2013

I Don't Get Asked This Often ...

but it has come up. "If Jesus' name is "Yeshua" in Hebrew, are we using the wrong name?" Short answer? No.

Okay, here's a slightly longer answer.

Yeshua is the Hebrew name for our Lord. It can be rendered into English differently, depending on the original language from which it's translated.

Here's the explanation from Christianity.about.com:
It means "Yahweh [the Lord] is Salvation." The English spelling of Yeshua is “Joshua.” However, when translated from Hebrew into the Greek language, the name Yeshua becomes Iēsous. The English spelling for Iēsous is “Jesus.”

Basically, what this means is Joshua and Jesus are the same name. One is translated from Hebrew into English, the other from Greek into English. It is also interesting to note, the names "Joshua" and "Isaiah" are essentially the same names as Yeshua in Hebrew. They mean "Savior" and "the salvation of the Lord."

GotQuestions.org gives this practical illustration:

In German, our English word for book is "buch." In Spanish, it becomes a "libro;" in French, a "livre." The language changes, but the object itself does not. In the same way, we can refer to Jesus as “Jesus,” “Yeshua,” or “YehSou” (Cantonese), without changing His nature. In any language, His name means “the Lord is Salvation.”

Those who argue and insist we call Jesus by his correct name, Yeshua, are concerning themselves with trivial, non-essential matters. English speakers call him Jesus, with a "J" that sounds like "gee." Portuguese speakers call him Jesus, but with a "J" that sounds like "sjeh," and Spanish speakers call him Jesus, with a "J" that sounds like "hey." Which one of these pronunciations is the correct one? All of them, of course, in their own language.

The Bible doesn't give preeminence to one language (or translation) over another. We are not commanded to call upon the name of the Lord in Hebrew only. Acts 2:21 says, "But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." God knows who calls upon his name, whether they do so in English, Portuguese, Spanish, or Hebrew. He is still the same Lord and Savior.

The article points out (above) that there are different words for "book" for those objects with covers and printed pages. It's still the same object, regardless of what we call it.

He's still the same Lord, regardless of how we address Him.

I intended to compose something similar, but since I agree with that which I linked above, there you go. :^)

Any questions?


OldAFSarge said...

I have asked myself this question. Brilliantly answered. Sometimes the answer is so obvious and simple, we miss it.

Rev. Paul said...

Thanks, Sarge ... and agreed. We have a very great tendency to over-complicate things. This one, though, is so simple it takes a theologian to mess it up.


Stephen said...

Thanks for links. I enjoyed your answer.

Rev. Paul said...

Thanks, Stephen. And you're welcome.

Old NFO said...

Thanks, I didn't know that one!

Bob said...

I understand that the Devil likes to be called "Toby."

Rev. Paul said...

You're welcome, NFO. Happy to help.

Bob, you crack me up. Nice link!

PioneerPreppy said...


I thought you were going to get asked something else. Glad I read before I replied :)

ProudHillbilly said...

Neato! I knew the Jesus=Joshua part but not the Jesus=Isaiah part.

And in reality, we call upon Him in our heart, which is a language unique to each individual.

Rev. Paul said...

PioneerPreppy - I've been asked a lot of things since beginning this blog. Despite how many times I've mentioned wife & daughters, I get asked if I'm single. D'oh!

PH, very true. Thanks!

armedlaughing said...

Informative answer. Thanks.
Here in the SW, many Latino folks are names Jesus, pronounced HEY - SOOS'
For some reason I've been unable to determine, the familiar-diminutive of Jesus is Chuy pronounced CHOO'-EE.
I do know folks who refer to Yaweh as Chuy, but, I'm not one of them.


Rev. Paul said...

Thanks, gfa. You don't call Him Chuy? Hmm. :^)

ProudHillbilly said...

Jesus is Chewy?

Rev. Paul said...

PH, Psalm 34:8 does say "Taste and see that the Lord is good", after all. ;^)