Stories about the Son of God in the bible continue to be used as references to how Christians should live. Believers speculate that Jesus came into the world to save everyone from sin and that his Word should still prevail even after his departure. Yet to understand him more and to live like him, religious scholars still wonder, what does the name Jesus mean?
The Word suggests that the name Jesus means Yahweh saves. In Matthew 1:21, we see how the angels announced this name to Mary and Joseph. The scripture implies, ‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.’ Believers speculate that Jesus came to the world to save them from sin, and it is best stressed in the meaning behind his name.
Where did the name Jesus come from? Why is he not called Yeshua, as other religious scholars suggest? Why is this name so important to believers? This article will reveal all biblical evidence provided about the name Jesus and explain the possible answers to these questions and more.
Religious scholars believe that the name of Jesus carries a lot of power. This name is suggested to have originated from the Hebrew name Yehoshua, which was later switched to the Aramaic term Yeshua. Religious scholars imply that the name was most preferred and therefore stuck. Both of these names mean ‘Yahweh saves.’ In English, the name is transliterated to Joshua. This name is believed to come from a combination of the Hebrew verb yasha, which means ‘to save’ or ‘to deliver,’ and Ya, an abbreviation of Yahweh.
The Greek language was believed to be spoken for social purposes in the Mediterranean region. For this reason, theologians also argue that Jesus could understand and speak Greek. A challenge began when the New Testament was written in Greek. Since Jesus is a name often mentioned in the bible, the writers had to find a transliteration for this mighty name.
Interestingly, the Greek language was very limited as it had no ‘Y,’ ‘ h,’ or ‘sh’ in the alphabet. Not to forget that all male names in Greek had an‘s’ sound at the end. This is how the name Yeshua in Aramaic was eventually changed to iesous in Greek. After this transliteration, the New Testament is speculated to have been translated again in the 4th century to Latin, and the name turned to Jesus. Finally, the ‘I’ apparently split into two letters, ‘I’ and ‘J,’ so the Greek term became the modern name, Jesus.
Believers imply that Jesus’ native tongue was Aramaic. They argue this by speculating that Jesus was a Jewish man who grew up in first-century Israel. So theologians imply that the Hebrew name Yehoshua was later transliterated to Yeshua (to mean Yahweh saves), which is in Aramaic. This is also believed to have been his actual birth name.
It is believed that Jesus is the name of the Son of God, while his title was Christ. This is why he is identified today by many believers as Jesus Christ. The name Christ originated from the Greek adjective Cristos which meant anointed. After some time, the name developed in the Greek Old Testament into a term meaning ‘the anointed one’ or ‘Messiah.’ Later, this name became used to refer to someone God had promised to send to save lives. This is believed to be the current meaning in the Gospels.
Religious scholars speculate that even though the Old Testament came from the Hebrew Bible while the New Testament came from the Greek documents of the early church, we don’t have the original documents. For a long time, research speculates that the KJV bible, which was the most preferred during early times, was translated using the Latin Vulgate. This is why many bible translations and spellings use the Latin transliteration of the Greek over the Hebrew and Aramaic transliterations.
This explains why our modern English bibles favor Latin transliteration of Jesus instead of the Hebrew Yehoshua/Joshua or the Aramaic Yeshua.
According to biblical scholars, Jesus was a common name in first-century Judea among Jewish males. They stress that this is why Jesus had to be identified by his childhood home, Nazareth in Galilee. (Acts 2:22, Mark 1:24, Matthew 21:11, Luke 18:37, John 19:19, John 1:45) Remember that this name was a Greek version of the Hebrew names Joshua, Jeshua, and Jehoshua.
The scriptures speculate that Jesus is the Savior of the World. According to John 3:17, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. Acts 4:11-12 further suggests the role of Jesus as it says, Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
When the Word implies that Jesus is the Savior, believers understand many ways in which this is so.
- Believers get baptized through his name. Acts 2:38
- Sins are forgiven when believers pray and declare him as their Savior, Acts 10:43
- By faith, miracles and healing are performed in his name, Acts 3:16
- Believers pray in his name, John 14:13
Jesus is a representation of God’s idea of a man. From all biblical stories, we can see how Jesus went through all phases a normal human being goes through. He went through all of man’s life problems yet still did not sin. So God’s idea is to let us see that it is possible to have Jesus Christ in us and be as perfect as he was.
Additionally, scholars imply that the name of Jesus represents humanity and humility. Not only is this seen in the commonness of the name, but also since he, without hesitation, came into the world in human form and humbled himself until his death.
Philippians 2:5-8, In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his advantage; instead, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! From this scripture, believers are urged to live in humility, like the Son of God demonstrated while he was on earth.
The name of Jesus holds a lot of significance. Christians understand that the name is essential because of who it represents. The name means God, our Savior. It is also important because it defines his extreme exaltation. Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11. The scripture clearly shows that Jesus’ name is the most important of all other names.
Numerous nonbelievers make a bizarre argument suggesting that Jesus and Hail Zeus mean the same thing. They base their argument on speculation that the name of God is Yah. They claim that the name of the Messiah is Yahshua and that it means Yah is salvation.
So apparently, the Roman church officials changed the name Yahshua to iesous, and the theologians insinuate that this Greek/ Latin Word means Hail Zeus. These people insist that Jesus’ name was changed to suit the pagan culture. Now, remember that Zeus was a very revered deity in Greek mythology.
The problem with this argument is that the Savior’s name was Yeshua and not Yahshua. Additionally, iesous means Jehova is Salvation, and not what these theologians try to imply that it means. This explains why the name Jesus does not mean Hail Zeus.
Jesus teaches believers to pray in his name. In the scriptures, many books imply how this is important. John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. By doing this, believers suggest that they pray in Jesus’ authority and pray as He would.
Praying in Jesus’ name shows that believers come in Jesus Christ’s righteousness and not our own. Remember that Jesus can go before God and be heard, but we can’t, which is why we come in his name.
- What is the meaning of the name Jesus?
- If His name was Yeshua/Yehoshua, why do we call Him Jesus?
- Is Jesus Christ a Name or a Title?
- “Why Isn’t Jesus Called Joshua?
- Jesus’ Name and its Meaning in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic
- If His name was Yeshua, why do we call him Jesus?
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.