Why I Use the Hebrew Name for Jesus: Yeshua

 

If you ask Hebrew-speaking Israelis about “Jesus,” you may get a funny look.

There is no “J” sound in the Hebrew language.

 

Yes, just like the Name of God is YeHoVaH, instead of Jehovah, there is no “J” sound.

 

The Hebrew Name of Jesus is Yeshua (yod shin vav tsadi).

(Remember, Hebrew is read right to left.)

Yeshua written in Hebrew script
Yeshua written in Hebrew script

 

Why I Use the Hebrew Name for Jesus: Yeshua

 

The people and the writers of the Old Testament gave great value to names and their meanings.

5“No longer shall your name be called Abram [exalted father], But your name shall be Abraham [father of a multitude]; For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.                           Genesis 17:5 NAS

28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob [From aqab; heel-catcher (i.e. Supplanter)], but Israel [God strives]; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”                     Genesis 32:28 NAS

 

Names, and their meanings, were important in Jesus’ time as well.

16And He appointed the twelve: Simon [meaning doubtful; from shama’ hearing] (to whom He gave the name Peter)                                Mark 3:16 NAS

[Pétros (“small stone”) then stands in contrast to pétra (“cliff, boulder,” Abbott-Smith)]

 

In Hebrew, the Name of the Messiah is a play on words which reflects His life, His mission, His destiny.

An angel prophesizes to Joseph about Mary, his espoused wife:

21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”                           Matthew 1:21 NAS

 

Accordingly, Matthew 1:21, “Yeshua” is the name God gave his Son. It is his original birth-name.

 

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Yesous [Greek; Yeshua in Hebrew], for it is he who will save his people from their sins.”

 

Then note the play on words on the name “Yeshua” and the noun “yeshuah” that Hebrew speakers would hear in Acts 4:

 

“There is salvation [Heb. yeshuah] in no one else; for there is no other Name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved [Heb. yasha]” (v. 12).
The Hebrew Meaning of “Jesus”

 

In fact, “Yeshua” is a kind of nickname.

Yeshua, in turn, is a shortened form of the name Yehoshua (“Joshua” in English Bibles).

 

Moses’ righthand man, Joshua, has three names in the Bible. Originally, it was Hoshea, but Moses changed it to Yehoshua (Numbers 13:16). During the Babylonian Exile, it was shorted to Yeshua (Nehemiah 8:17).

 

Hoshea > Yehoshua > Yeshua

 

“Yehoshua” is a compound name consisting of two elements.

 

(1) The prefix “Yeho–” is an abbreviation of the Tetragrammaton, God’s Four-Letter Name: Yod-He-Vav-He: YHVH. (Modern scholars think the third letter was pronounced as “W.” Thus: YHWH, Yahweh.)

[I disagree! See Why I Use the Hebrew Name for God: YHVH – YeHoVaH]

In the Hebrew Bible “Yeho-” is used at the beginning of certain proper names: Jehoshaphat, Jehoiachin, Jehonathan (the “J” was pronounced as “Y” in Medieval English). The suffix form of the Tetragrammaton is “-yah” (“-iah” in Greek, as in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, or Halleluiah).

 

(2) The second element of the name Yehoshua is a form of the Hebrew verb yasha which means to deliver, save, or rescue.

 

Thus, linguistically, the name Yehoshua/Yeshua/Jesus conveys the idea that God (YHVH) delivers or saves (his people), eventually through his servant messiah.                     The Hebrew Meaning of “Jesus”

 

The Name Yeshua in the Bible

 

The name Yeshua was not rare.

There were men named Yeshua in the Old Testament:

The name Yeshua was known and used in Jewish history – you can find men called Yeshua in the roll calls of teams serving in the temple (1 Chronicles 24:11, 2 Chronicles 31:15, Ezra 2:2,6,36). It’s a version of Joshua, and it means “salvation”.                                   Jesus Vs. Yeshua?

 

The name Yeshua was even more common in the Second Temple era:

In contrast to the early biblical period, there were relatively few different names in use among the Jewish population of the Land of Israel at the time of the Second Temple. The name Yeshua was one of the most common male names in that period, tied with Eleazer for fifth place behind Simon [Shimon], Joseph [Yosef], Judah [Yehudah], and John [Yochanan]. Nearly one out of ten persons known from the period was named Yeshua.
How “Yeshua” Became “Jesus” by David Biven

 

How Did Yeshua Become Jesus?

 

Yeshua was transliterated (NOT translated) from Hebrew into Greek.

In transliteration, the sounds of letters in one language are replicated (as close as possible) into corresponding sounds of letters in another language.

The English form Jesus is derived from the New Testament Greek name Ihsouß [also, Iēsoús], pronounced “Yesous.”

 

According to Strong’s, Yesous (Strong’s #2424) is “of Hebrew origin” and can be traced back to Joshua’s Hebrew name, Yehoshua (#3091, [wvwhy {sic.}).

 

But how do we get the Greek Yesous from the Hebrew Yehoshua?

 

Someone armed with nothing more than a Strong’s Concordance may have difficulty answering that question.

 

Someone who reads the Bible in Hebrew, though, knows that the name Joshua sometimes appears in its shortened form, Yeshua ([wvy {sic.}) in Neh. 8:17 it is apparent even in English: “Jeshua the son of Nun.” (The letter J was pronounced like a Y in Old English.)

 

Strong does not tell the reader that the Greek Yesous is actually transliterated from this shortened Hebrew form, Yeshua, and not directly from the longer form Yehoshua. The process from “Yehoshua” to “Jesus” looks like this:

 

Hebrew Yehoshua à Hebrew Yeshua

 

Hebrew Yeshua à Greek Yesous

 

Greek Yesous à English Jesus

 

There is no “sh” sound in Greek, which accounts for the middle “s” sound in Yesous. The “s” at the end of the Greek name is a grammatical necessity, to make the word declinable.
The Messiah’s Hebrew Name: “Yeshua” Or “Yahshua”? by Dr. Daniel Botkin

 

Yeshua or Jesus?

 

The main reason I use Yeshua is connected to my use of YeHoVaH.

The publishers of most English Bibles use the terms “Jesus” and “the LORD.”

  • This has completely severed the overt linguistic connection of the Son and the Father.
  • This has hidden the author and authority of Yeshua’s ministry.

 

43 “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.                                  John 5:43 NAS

 

I repeat the quote from above:

Thus, linguistically, the name Yehoshua/ Yeshua/ Jesus conveys the idea that God (YHVH) [YeHoVaH] delivers or saves (his people), eventually through his servant messiah.
The Hebrew Meaning of “Jesus”

 

Yeshua Is His Name

 

Why do I use the Hebrew Name for the Son of God?

Because that’s His Name, that’s why.

 

Blessings,

 

TLThomas

 

It’s ok to doubt, if you check it out!

Be a Berean!

10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.                                  Acts 17:10, 11 ESV

See also

Is My Word On The Word for You?
It’s Ok to Doubt, If You Check It Out
Why I Use the Hebrew Name for God: YHVH – YeHoVaH

Please join me in this journey of discovery.

  • Leave a comment, or ask me a question.
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  • Take what I say and CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!

 

 

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