HOUSMAIL HM#124 – THE NAME OF JESUS. 25 April 2006
There are some quite vocal Christians, who insist that one must use the correct Hebrew name of Jesus in order to be a true Christian. Some claim that the name “Jesus” is derived from that of a pagan god, and that it is offensive to God to apply it to His Son. Others go so far as to say that knowing and using the correct Hebrew name is a part of the Gospel, and that those who use the English name “Jesus” are not not saved. I have even been told recently by one person that the English name is actually the name of the antichrist!
However, it is interesting to note that there is quite a bit of disagreement amongst them about which is the correct name! Some insist on using the form “Yashua”. Others are equally insistent that it should be “Yeshua”.
This is not an unimportant issue. When it is insisted that one must pronounce the correct Hebrew name of Jesus in order to be recognised by God, it is made a part of the Gospel. Is it true or false? If it is false, then so is the “gospel” which insists on it. The Scriptures contain serious warnings about that.
It is my conclusion that these people are deceived.
It comes down to a question of proper use of language. Properly viewed, Jesus is NOT a pagan name when it is applied to the Son of God. It is a “Christian name”! It is simply how English speaking people pronounce a Hebrew name which arrived in English via Greek.
The simple facts are these:
1. “Jesus” is an Anglicised form of the Greek name “Iesous”. This is the name of the Son of Godeverywhere in the Greek New Testament.2. When Luke wrote his Gospel, and Acts, (IN GREEK!) he used the Greek name “Iesous” for Jesus.When the apostle Paul wrote about “Jesus” in Greek, in his epistles, he used the Greek name “Iesous”.It is quite ridiculous to suggest that either of these inspired writers were misleading their readers byusing a “pagan name”.3. When Pilate wrote the name of Jesus in the Greek version of the title placed on the cross, the Gospelwriters reported it (IN GREEK) as “Iesous”. (John 19:19-20) Of course the Hebrew version of thetitle would have used the Hebrew equivalent of “Iesous”, written in Hebrew letters. But the Gospelwriters didn't bother to tell us what that was. Nor did they say Pilate got it wrong!4. “Iesous” is the Greek form of the OT Hebrew name “Joshua”.
In the same way, there is no "sh" sound in Greek! The nearest equivalent in the Greek alphabet is the letter "sigma" which is the same as our English "s". The Greeks HAD to change "sh" to "s" to be able to write it and pronounce it! The addition of an "s" at the end of the word is also necessary because of another peculiarity of the Greek language.
In older English there was no "j" sound. So the first letter of the name "Jesus" was actually written as an "i" and pronounced as a "y". The letter "j" and its associated sound did not arrive in the English language until the late middle ages.
Understood properly, "Jesus" is NOT a different name. It is the SAME Hebrew name pronounced differently in another language.
God gave me His book in English! And in the English Bible He gave me the English pronunciation of the name of His Son as JESUS. I don't think He gave it to me wrong!
To suggest that those who use the name "Jesus" instead of "Yeshua", are followers of antichrist, is a very serious accusation.
Personally, I think it amounts to SLANDER against God to suggest that he would reject people for using the name just as He gave it to them in their mother tongue!