I have been asked the question a bunch of times over the years "Are
we wrong for calling Him Jesus?" I remember when I was younger and first learned of the name Yeshua and the meaning.
I was scared that we Americans had gotten WAAAAY off track and were possibly following the wrong one. This drove me to dive
in, dig in, study and research "Jesus vs. Yeshua". Also, I'm sure you all are wondering about the sub title of this
article and what it has to do with this subject. Just hold your horses, we will get to it lol.
I DEFINITELY used to be what is called and "Absolutist" (a person who holds absolute
principles in political, philosophical, or theological matters.) but thankfully, I FINALLY (lol) started to grow in grace
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. (2 Peter 3:18) When I began my study way back when about Jesus vs. Yeshua, I
did it to prove to myself that what I believed all of these years was not wrong or in error. I received my answer back then
and now see that we are in a time where this topic is becoming important to the younger members of the body of Christ and
we MUST be prepared to answer them. Gone are days when we just say "That's not important to salvation".
It has become important to the salvation of many youth. The answer is both VERY simple and EXTREMELY difficult at
the same time lol.
Let us start with some basic information
that hopefully makes clear why this question is even asked. The Old Testament of The Bible was written in the Hebrew language
a.k.a. the Semitic language. It was spoken throughout that part of the world, then called Mesopotamia, located today mainly
in Iraq. Their alphabet only had 22 letters which were ALL CONSONANTS. Put a pin in "ALL CONSONANTS" because we
will come back to it in a minute. (I really sound like a preacher LOL.) Vowels or markings for vowel sounds were added to
the language later. A part of the Old Testament was written in Aramaic like a few chapters in the prophecies of Ezra and Daniel
and one verse in Jeremiah. Aramaic became very popular and was also a common language in Israel during the time of Christ.
The New Testament was written in Greek. One must consider that a great
part of the New Testament was not written to be part of The Bible but were letters from Apostle Paul to churches in different
parts of Rome. This is EXTREMELY important to keep in mind so I will repeat it lol...The New Testament was written in the
Greek language. I could pretty much give you the answer right here but for the sake of appearing smart and writing a long
article for the magazine I will hold out a little longer LOL!
Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his
name JESUS. (KJV) First of all, The Gospel According To Luke's authorship has been debated for years. The early
church gave credit to Luke for writing both it and Acts. It is said that Acts is somewhat a sequel to Luke. Whoever authored
it did so in the Greek language. In the above verse it was the angel Gabriel speaking to Mary the mother of Jesus. He said
to "Call his name..." wait for it...wait for it a little longer...and just little longer (lol) and the name Ἰησοῦς
is what was recorded that Gabriel said to call Him. Now, to hopefully get a clearer understanding in this ball of confusion,
one must understand what the term "Transliteration" is. According to Merriam Webster - Transliteration: to represent
or spell in the characters of another alphabet. It's kind of like when we see someone say "Hi, my name is Chaunte' pronounced
Shon-tay" This is kind of what happened here. The transliteration of Ἰησοῦς is
Iésous and the phonetic spelling of it is ee-ay-sooce'. So Ἰησοῦς is the Greek
name for the Hebrew Yeshua and Iésous is the transliteration of it. One thing to note is that the angel Gabriel's name
is not actually pronounced like what we see either. The Hebrew pronunciation of his name sounds more like "Gav-ree-el"
so I guess in the eyes of many we say his name wrong too lol.
One thing that I have learned is that the name "Jesus" was not recognizable by the Jewish brethren because it sounded
so different from the name they were familiar with "Yeshua". Many of them dismissed this Jesus figure as the Messiah
because of how different the name was. The promise of the "Anointed One" which is the basic meaning of the Hebrew
term "Messiah" rang all throughout the Old testament. "Christ" derives from the Greek word "Christos"
which has the same definition of "Messiah". I'm sure many just want the answer but it is extremely important that
we get this concept to hopefully break us from our trained and conditioned way of "absolute" thinking. So now we
see the terms "Messiah" and "Christ" are two different words from two different languages but mean the
exact same thing. "HHHAHHHHAA" (in my Eddie Murphy "Coming To America" voice lol.)
So Ἰησοῦς or Iésous is the Greek
way of saying "Yeshua" or "Yehoshua" which in English we say "Joshua". "Jesus" is
the English and German way we pronounce the Greek version (Iésous) pronounced ee-ay-sooce' which also helps us understand
the Spanish pronunciation of "Jesus". Iésous is the Greek word for "Yeshua" or "Yehoshua"
which means "Yahweh saves" (or "Yahweh is salvation"). We have shortened the meaning even more like we
do in our country to just plain "Salvation" go figure lol.
I am WELL aware that there are MANY believers out there who feel as though the ONLY way to say His name is to say "Yeshua"
and I think they have that right to feel that way about what they call Him but let's consider something when trying to force
others to do the same. If you read Romans 14, Apostle Paul is dealing with something very interesting that relates to this
thought. There was obviously some argument about eating food and meat that was offered to other gods and some felt as though
the brethren should not eat it because the meat was now unholy. Earlier in the chapter around verse 5 Paul begins to say something
so important. He basically says that if one man sets aside a particular day as holy unto God and another man sets aside a
different day as holy unto God, let neither of them criticize one another for the day each chooses. He said in verse 6 (The
Message Bible) What's important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God's sake".
This chapter helped change my life and the way I viewed others even as it relates to "Jesus or Yeshua?" Jesus is
the way we say His name English taken from the Greek pronunciation and when I say "Jesus" I am speaking of the same
one who hung, bled, and died. The same who is Yeshua. When I say either "Jesus" or "Yeshua, I am setting the
name aside for the same anointed one.
Let's now get back
to where we placed the pin earlier concerning the "ALL CONSANANTS" in the Hebrew language. If we reeeeeally truuuuuly
study the names "Yahweh" and "Yeshua" we will find out something VEEEEEERY interesting. There were NO
VOWELS in the Hebrew language so "Yahweh was actually "YHWH". HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS FOR THIS NEXT ONE...Men
who were responsible for translating the Bible have gone on record saying that because of the ancient Hebrews failure to write
down their vowels and because of the language falling into disuse, they were often guided by "conjecture". WHAAAAAT???
This means they just merely guessed what some of the words and names would sound like. So basically we really don't know
what His name sounded like based off the record of the scholars back then. The name of God was thought to be so divine that
it became common for Jewish brethren to avoid even saying the name in fear that they would break the second commandment. Every
time they got to God's name in the holy writings they would replace it with the word "Adonai" which meant "Lord"
or "My Lord". Some also believed that when writing "God" it was too holy or divine to spell it all the
way out so they spelled it "G-d". This was taken from the practice that happened back then. The interesting thing
is that "God" is not His name or a name at all for that matter but a title. It is safe to say that mankind just
takes some things too far. I had to ask myself this question..."If our Heavenly Father told Moses to record and write
down what He was saying and Moses wrote down that God told him that he was "I Am" then if His name was too holy
to be spoken aloud why did He not say that to Moses then?" Just one of my questions lol.
I have two last points and I'm going to try to wrap this up (My Baptist closing lol). Joseph
(the one with the multi colored garment) was a foreshadowing of Christ. He was sold for 20 silver coins, where Jesus was betrayed
by Judas and sold out for 30 silver coins. There are so many other similarities but the one I want to point out is the one
that relates to the title of this article. Joseph was a big man in Egypt which represents "The World" and they knew
him because he helped save that nation from starvation just as Jesus came to give life and go out among the Gentiles who also
represents "the world". The thing that really blessed me was that Joseph was now in Egypt as a ruler and a savior
to them and he was dressed in Egyptian garb and matured so that his brothers did not recognize him when they came in need
of his help or saving just as it is with "Yeshua". His name has gone out into the world and has been dressed with
worldly language to the point that it is unrecognizable to what it used to be BUT it has not changed His mission. Even unrecognized
by his brothers, Joseph who was the same Joseph of their youth, reconciled with his brothers just as Christ did and will do.
"Yeshua the Messiah" or "Jesus the Christ" = The one anointed (apointed or sent) to bring God's salvation.
God knew that there would be a language barrier that would cause confusion in some areas...as a matter of fact, He was the
one who created it (Genesis 11). He knew that mankind would argue over which name was proper and I am TOTALLY aware of Acts
4:12. (KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven
given among men, whereby we must be saved. Many use this scripture as a basis for saying there is only one name
to call for salvation BUT if you read all of chapter 4 you will see that before Peter said what he said in verse 12 he first
made sure that the people accusing him knew exactly which Jesus he was talking about. He described Jesus in a way that the
men would not mistake which "Jesus", "Yeshua" or Ἰησοῦς /Iésous
he was talking about. Keep in mind that Joshua of the Old Testament who was a great champion for the Jewish people, basically
shared the same name with "The Anointed One", "The Messiah", "The Christ" and Peter made sure
by describing the acts of the Messiah that they were not to confuse Him with the other Yeshua or Yehoshua. Peter said that
there is neither salvation in any other Joshua. He was not making the name holy or deifying it. He was differentiating any
other "Yeshua" or "Joshua" from the one he was speaking of. This is why he mentioned the city He was from,
that He was crucified and rose. It was not the name alone that carried the power because if that was the case "Joshua"
of the Old Testament would have possessed that power. The power is in "THE Anointed One", "The Christ"/"The
Messiah who carried that name. AMEN.