If we call someone our Messiah. Our Saviour. Shouldn’t we try to emulate Him? Shouldn’t we walk like He walked? Talk like He talked? And shouldn’t we know who He is and what His Name is?
Some say that it doesn’t matter whether His name is Jesus or Yeshua, as long as we know Him and acknowledge Him. True enough. My question is, what should we do if we get to know that we have been calling our Messiah by a different name?
Consider this. I have a friend who’s name is Rohan. Mistakenly, I keep calling him Ronny. He will acknowledge me when I talk to him. But when I get to know his name is not Ronny, and that I have been mistaken, shouldn’t I try to now start calling him by his real name? Nothing would change the fact that his name is Rohan, would it?
Let’s look at the facts
Jesus was a jew (Heb 7:14) – “Jew” means from the tribe of Judah
Born to a jewish family – Mary(Real name Miriam) & Joseph(Real name Yoseph) – (Mat 1:1-16)(Luk 3:23-38)
Jesus spoke in Hebrew – even to Paul who knew both Greek and Latin (Acts 26:14)
The Fact is, that the Disciples and Yeshua spoke in Hebrew, not in English or Greek. He was called Yeshua when He was on earth, by everyone including his disciples.
Let’s try to understand how Yeshua became Jesus
Jesus is a rendition of a Hebrew/Aramaic name transliterated to greek, then latin, then english. The translators had the hard task of writing down names in another language, while keeping the sound as close to the original as possible. The Name Jesus comes from “Yehoshua” pronounced Yeshua in Hebrew which means “Yehowah‘s Salvation” (Strong’s Hebrew/Greek Dictionary – H3091/G2424).
Yeshua was transliterated to “Iesous” in Greek. (An important thing to remember is that the Greek language at that time did not have a letter for the “Ya” and “Sha” sounds). (Similarly, The Sinhala language also did not have a “Fa” sound or a letter to write it in early days. It still does not have a “Za” sound).
When it came to translating from Hebrew to Greek, “Ye” was made “Ie”. “Sh” was made “S”. “Ua” was made “Ous”(Historians believe that a name finishing in the sound “Ua” would have made the name feminine). Iesous later became Iesus. Iesus later became Yesus. Yesus later became Jesus.
Let’s read the first place we see the name JESUS
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” In Mat 1:21 an Angel appears to Joseph (a Hebrew/Jewish carpenter) in a dream, and speaks to him. Does the angel speak to him in Greek, English or Hebrew? Obviously Hebrew. Then what would the Angel be saying he should call the Child? Jesus or Yeshua? Because The word “Yeshua” means Yah’s Salvation or God’s Salvation, which when we return to Mat 1:21makes perfect sense – as the Angel says “for he shall SAVE his people from their sins”.
Joshua & Jesus both are Yeshua
Moses’ aid Joshua had the same name as Jesus, which is Yeshua(1Chr 7:27/Joshua 1:1). What this means is, that Joshua and Jesus was translated out of the same name. Evidence for this remains in the King James Version of the Bible in Acts 7:45 and Heb 4:8. (Both of these verses have Jesus where actually it’s talking about Joshua). In newer versions like the NKJV or NIV, the name Jesus in those 2 verses have been changed back to Joshua.
Name above all names
Philip 2:9,10 talks about God giving a name above all names. Is this “Jesus”(which is the product of translations) or “Yeshua”, the true name that was given to the child by Mary and Joseph.
The question is – what is your heart, your conscience, your spirit, telling you. If you are happy calling Him Jesus. So be it. But it does not change the fact that His real name is Yeshua.
I would like to end with a snippet from the story of Joseph. Joseph is known to have many similarities to the Messiah. When Joseph was selected by Pharaoh, he was renamed “Zaphnathpaaneah” according to Gen 41:45. When Joseph’s brothers were brought to him, his brothers did not know him(Gen 42:8). But he revealed himself to his brothers(Gen 45:3). So it is up to us to make the choice whether we go on calling him by the name that has been given to him and which everyone uses. Or whether we call him by his true name that which is revealed to us.