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.