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What was the name of Jesus? Yeshua, Yashua, or Y'shua?

What was the name of Jesus? Yeshua, Yashua, or Y'shua?

Jesus is not a pure Greek name, as there is no "J" in Greek. Yashua's Greek name begins with an iota. The name is transliterated IESOUS and sounds like ee-ay-soos.

Origin of the name "Jesus" - Hebrew or Greek?

Since the entire New Testament is written in Greek, not Hebrew, it suggests that God does not consider it inappropriate to use a name or title for Christ in keeping with that of another language or culture. The New Testament repeatedly calls the Hebrew Messiah by Greek names, several of them.

The inspired writings of the apostles refer to Yashua with other linguistic renderings pronounced differently. Yeshua and the Jewish apostles frequently quoted from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, which was frequently read and studied by Jews in the New Testament era.

Yashua vs Yeshua

Yashua is not an undisputed form, but due to the absence of Hebrew vowels is variously rendered YESHUA or Y'SHUA or YAHSHUA. My messianic friends mostly call Him Yeshua. But I am happy with any of these since they refer to the same person, my beloved Savior.

When I spent time in China the believers did not call the Messiah either Yashua or Yeshua or Jesus. There are more than two hundred Chinese dialects and each one has a different pronunciation. In Mandarin, the two characters for Christ's name are read "YE-SU," in Cantonese "YE-SOU," in Taiwanese "YA-SAW," and in Hakka "YA-SU."

Meaning of Yeshua

According to Blair Parke from BibleStudyTools.com, There are several definitions of Yeshua that can be found in Hebrew and Aramaic biblical text, taken from the Hebrew verb, Yasha, that means “to deliver, save, or rescue,” and also stated as “Yehoshua.” Pronunciation of “Yeshua,” in Hebrew, can be read this way: “Yod,” “Shin,” “Vav,” “Ayin.” In Aramaic, the term, “Yeshu,” was transliterated from the Hebrew term of Yeshua, pronounced as “Yeh-shoo,” and missing the “a.”

Greek translations have “Yeshua” listed as Yesous, among first century Greeks, of which the name, Jesus, is derived.

The involvement of the Council of Nicea, within the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the influence of the English language into biblical text, changed the use of “Yeshua” to describe the Savior into Jesus. “Yeshua” can be found mostly in the Hebrew Bible and other ancient texts that are still referenced among those in the Jewish faith. Hebrew is still considered the holy language used primarily for worshipping and prayer to God.

Our Lord rejoices to have people of every tribe and language and nation (spoken of in Revelation 5 and 7) address him in the way of their own language.

Taken from "Can you explain the name “Jesus”?" by Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, 39085 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 206, Sandy, OR 97055, 503-668-5200, www.epm.org

Photo Credit: Unsplash/EranMenashri


Originally published September 01, 2010.