Messiah’s Name is Jesus
Unlike English and other languages where many words are merely conventions, Hebrew words often convey the essence of what they refer to. This is especially true with regard to the names of certain people. For instance, the name “Jesus” by which Messiah is known to Gentile Christians is a meaningless combination of letters which are accepted by convention to represent what Messiah is called. “Jesus” is a transliteration of Messiah’s actual Hebrew name to the Greek name Iesous (pronounced ee-eh-soos), to the Latin name Jesus (pronounced hey-soos), and later to the English name Jesus (pronounced Jeez-us). Messiah’s actual Hebrew name, the Name above all names, the Name at which every knee will bow, the only Name by which we are saved, is Y’shua (pronounced Yeshuah).
Unbeknownst to most Christians, the Gospel of Matthew was written in Hebrew and later translated into Greek. Relating Gabriel’s conversation with Joseph about Mary’s pregnancy, Matthew 1:21 quotes Gabriel as saying:
21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
In the Shem Tob Hebrew manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew, the word translated “Jesus” is ישוע (Y'shua). Unlike its Anglicized third generation transliteration, the Hebrew name which Gabriel instructed Mary and Joseph to give her son is rich in meaning. Some mistakenly teach that Messiah’s name was Y’hoshua or Joshua. Although Y’hoshua and Y’shua are close in appearance and meaning, there is a subtle but important difference between the two. Y’hoshua means “the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation”. Y’shua literally means “salvation”. For instance, Isaiah 12:2-3 and Psalm 118:14-21 read:
Isaiah 12:2-3 (NASB)
2 "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation."
3 Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation.
Psalm 118:14-15 (NASB)
14 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.
15 The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
The Hebrew word translated salvation in both passages is “y’shua”. When used in the first person, Y’shua means “I save”.
Some speculate that there was an anti-Semitic motive behind changing Y'shua’s actual name to “Jesus”. Be that as it may, how would you feel if you gave up your only son to die saving the world and a couple hundred years after they killed him, the people who crucified him changed his name from the one you gave him to one more in keeping with their language and culture? I suspect that Yahveh would rather we call His son by the name He instructed Miryam and Yoseph to give him – Y'shua!
This is one of many lies our fathers inherited and passed on to us. In my next post I will examine yet another.