What’s in A Name?

Before I begin, I want to state that I don’t believe there are any contradictions in the Bible. I do believe those things that appear to be contradictions are due to our lack of understanding of ancient writings, ancient cultures and the etymology of ancient words or languages. I am not a Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic or Latin scholar but I do know how to use tools that can help me understand the language. My purpose is knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 2:6 (NKJV)
6  For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

So I begin. Have you ever wondered why Jesus was named Jesus? Jesus is not a Middle Eastern or Hebrew name. Then there is the prophecy by Isaiah that his name should be called Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)
14  Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Seems like a contradiction or error doesn’t it. Well I worked backwards beginning with the name Jesus to get its origin. I will be using the Strongs Talking Greek and Hebrew Dictionay for this activity.

The Greek transliteration for Jesus is Iēsous. This word is translated from the Hebrew word Yehowshuwa`.

Yehowshuwa` or Yehowshu`a, yeh-ho-shoo’-ah; from <H3068> (Yehovah) and <H3467> (yasha`); Jehovah-saved; Jehoshuä (i.e. Joshua)
It is more likely that our translation of His name would be Joshua or the Greek version Jesus.

Now Immanuel is a little less straight forward. If you look up Immanuel it is translated God With Us. That doesn’t help with why he is named Jesus and not Immanuel. I found the answer in the meaning in Hebrew of the word “name”.

name-shem- a primitive word [perhaps rather from <H7760> (suwm) through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare <H8064> (shamayim)]; an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character

We usually think in terms of the label that your parents give you at birth or the appellation part of the definition but we carry many other names. We called them titles. What exactly is a definite and conspicuous position? According to Dictionary.com conspicuous means to be easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable; attracting attention, as by outstanding qualities or eccentricities. Position has several meanings but I believe these fit the context: status or standing; high standing, as in society; important status.

With these definitions Isaiah seems to be saying this virgin-birthed person will have a

clearly defined, readily observable, attention attracting standing in society, GOD WITH US.

I do believe as we read the reports of Matthew, Mark, John and the Luke, Jesus or Yehowshuwa` fulfills the prophecy. No contradiction.

That’s “What’s in a Name”

All questions and comments are welcome. I search for knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

Note: In future posts I will not use the name Jesus but Yehowshuwa` or Joshua.



2 thoughts on “What’s in A Name?

  1. His name is Yeshuah. Jesus is how over the years the name changed. It is a transliteration not a translation. It started with the Greek. The Y sound is a J in Grk. therefore the Je. There is no ‘sh’ sound in Grk so they used the ‘s’. Jes. In the Grk an ‘ah’ sound would have made it feminine so they they used an ‘s’ to make it masculine Jesus. It would be pronounced Yesus. Short e sound. It changed with each language. He is not Joshua. Remember too that when they translated the bible they changed the names and genders. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are English names. Pick up a Hebrew bible and you will have the real names. also many of the followers of Yeshuah were women. Yes, woman in the first century were Rabbi’s.
    Another way to look at the way ‘name’ is used… ‘ in the name of Yeshuah’ did not mean his label but the ‘authority of Yeshuah’. Think of it as ‘stop in the name of the law’. Stop by the authority of the law.
    That is what I found out on my search. Good for you for walking your journey in discovery too. God will bless you as you look for the truth.


  2. Thanks Morgan. I knew I could count on you for a comment. I purposely didn’t mention the letter changes, I and J. I hoped someone else would. For the sake of others reading our comments could you lists some of your references.
    There is one thing in your comment that I think you misunderstood me. I did not say JESUS was a title. That statement was regarding Immanuel. My point was Immanuel was more a description of his position; his inescapable presence seen by the people. As reported in the gospels, people were drawn to him and his teachings because of the power and conspicuous presence that showed he is GOD With Us without him announcing it.

    As for the Joshua, Strong’s Talking Greek and Hebrew Dictionary is the source used.

    Jesus – Greek Strong’s Number: 2424
    Greek Word: Ἰησοῦς
    Transliteration: Iēsous
    Phonetic Pronunciation: ee-ay-sooce’
    Root: of Hebrew origin
    Cross Reference: TDNT – 3:284,360
    Part of Speech: n pr m
    Vine’s Words: Jesus
    Usage Notes:
    English Words used in KJV:
    Jesus 972
    Jesus (Joshua) 2
    Jesus (Justus) 1
    [Total Count: 975]
    of Hebrew origin [ (Yehowshuwa`)]; Jesus (i.e. Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites :- Jesus.

    Hebrew Strong’s Number: 3091
    Hebrew Word: ‏יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎
    Transliteration: yehôshuaʿ
    Phonetic Pronunciation: yeh-ho-shoo’-ah

    Hebrew Word: ‏יְהוֹשׁוּעַ‎
    Transliteration: Yehôwshûwaʿ
    Phonetic Pronunciation: yeh-ho-shoo’-ah

    Root: from and , Greek and
    Cross Reference:
    Part of Speech:
    Vine’s Words: None
    Usage Notes:

    English Words used in KJV:
    Joshua 218
    [Total Count: 218]
    or Yehowshu`a, yeh-ho-shoo’-ah; from (Yehovah) and (yasha`); Jehovah-saved; Jehoshuä (i.e. Joshua), the Jewish leader :- Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. Compare (Howshea`), (Yeshuwa`).


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