Over the years, there has been a controversy about the origin of Jesus. Many have wondered whether Jesus was Greek or not, as his name suggests so. Also, Greek seems to believe that Jesus spoke Greek. So, is Jesus Greek?
Though the name Jesus is Greek, Jesus was Jewish, as he was born to a Jewish mother. Most of his friends and acquaintances were Jewish, and he mainly worshipped with them in synagogues.
There are many pressing issues concerning the true origin of Jesus. This article attempts to answer questions like Does the Bible say where Jesus was from? Why do some people believe Jesus was Greek? Did Jesus speak Greek? Where does the name Jesus come from? What is the Greek meaning of the name Jesus? How did Jesus have a Greek name when he was a Jew? Read on!
Does the Bible say where Jesus was from?
The Nativity of Jesus is mainly found in the New Testament, in the four gospels John, Luke, Matthew, and John. All these books agree that the origin of Jesus was a Jewish man born in Bethlehem. Matthew 2:1-2 says,’ Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem Judea in the days of Herod, the king, behold there came wise men from the west. Saying where is he that is born King of the Jews for we have seen his star in the east and have come to worship him.
Although he was born in Bethlehem, his native home place was Nazareth. Mary and Joseph had fled their native home when Herod started killing all baby boys to prevent the prophecy of a new king from being fulfilled. An angel of God spoke to Joseph through a dream Matthew 2:13-15 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph.” Get up,” he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet ‘out of Egypt I called my son.
After the death of Herod, an angel appeared to Joseph once again as promised to instruct him to return to Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus had taken over the throne, he was afraid to return and settle in a small town called Nazareth. Matthew 2:19-23 ” After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead” So he got up, took the child and his mother and father went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee and lived in Nazareth.
Why do some people believe Jesus was Greek?
Many people have believed that Jesus was Greek based on a few theories that we will look at. Firstly, Jesus stayed in his mother’s house until he was 30 years of age, something that only the Greeks did. Secondly, after Jesus came of age, he inherited the family business and only started his path at 30 years.
Also, he believed that his mother was a virgin, a belief shared by the Greeks alone. Also, his mother treated him like God. It has also been argued that Jesus could read and write Greek during his teachings among the gentiles. These theories hence led people to believe that Jesus was Greek.
Did Jesus speak Greek?
While theologians and scholars mostly debate about almost every aspect of Jesus’s life, they mostly agree about his language. Mostly Jesus is considered to have been multilingual. So, did Jesus speak Greek? There is substantial evidence that shows Jesus spoke Greek. After the conquest of Mesopotamia led by Alexander the Great ceased, Greek was embraced as an official language all over the region. Judea also adopted it officially, and it was spoken throughout the area. His Greek is likely to have been better as it was widely spoken and was a prevalent language throughout his era. Though he did not speak it regularly, as his daily life did not necessarily require him to, he was well conversant with it.
Most scholars believe that Jesus spoke Aramaic as his first language, as he was from Galilee and hence had the Galilean ascent. Though there were many versions of Aramaic due to the spread of trade and invasion conquests, his Aramaic remained Galilean. In the first century After Death, Aramaic would have been the most used language among the Jews as opposed to the religious elites. Hence, it is likely that Jesus spoke it during his teachings in his daily.
Also, Jesus spoke in Hebrew, technically from the same linguistic family as Aramaic. In the first century, After death, it was used in many holy scriptures, scrolls, and the Bible. Hence Jesus likely understood Hebrew as he read it during his sermons in the synagogue. Luke 4:16.
Additionally, Jesus spoke in Latin, a prevalent language during his time. Though Jesus likely knew Latin, it is possible that he only knew a few words, as Latin was mostly saved for legal and military purposes. Though Jesus’ first language was Aramaic, he conversed with three other tongues and used each when the need surfaced.
Where does the name Jesus come from?
Jesus’ original name was Aramaic. He was named Yeshua, a common name for boys around his age. When the name was translated into Greek during the Septuagint version, the name changed to Iesous as the Greek alphabet lacked ‘y’. So I used to substitute the missing ‘y’. Also, it had no H, so this sound was completely removed. Since the Greek alphabet also lacked ‘sh,’ it replaced it with ‘s,’ so the sound “s” was added. And that was how the Hebrew Yeshua was translated to Iesous in Greek.
When the Greek version of the New Testament was translated into Latin in 14 the century, the name continued to evolve. The Latin letter I was subdivided to form two letters, “j” and” I,” so there were two versions, Iesus and Jesus, which had similar pronunciations. Later the “J” became more popular and was used all over the regions.
Hence, the name Jesus was birthed by the merger of the Latin name Iesus, the Greek name Iesous and the Hebrew name Yehoshua.
What is the Greek meaning of the name Jesus?
The Greek meaning of the word Jesus is’ Sozo,’ which, when translated into English, means healed, made whole, or delivered. This name conveys a profound message of the power of the Messiah, an able and great God. It also speaks volumes of his divine nature and how he was an embodiment of God’s rescue.
How did Jesus have a Greek name when he was a Jew?
Initially, the name was not Greek but rather Hebrew. He was named Yeshua, which, when translated to English, is Joshua. This was a common name for children born around his age and meant the savior.
However, when the Bible was translated from Hebrew to Greek, the name Yehoshua changed as the Greek alphabet did not match the Hebrew one. Since the New Testament was originally written in Greek and not Hebrew, the name had to be changed. This is how he ended up with a Greek word even though he was.
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