The picture that the New Testament portrays of Jesus can be reduced to the titles and names that he has. Jesus was referred to as our savior, teacher, Emmanuel, son of man, son of God, lamb of God, the light of the world, and he even called himself “I Am” and so many other titles. Why does Jesus have so many names?
Jesus had so many names to reflect his different attributes and nature. There were names like Lamb of God and savior, which reflected his mission on earth. Other names like “I AM” and alpha and omega were used to reflect his position in the Trinity. While referring to him as the prince of peace or the firstborn of all creation reflected his nature.
So, how many names and titles did Jesus have in the Bible? Why do we not call Jesus by his actual given name? Why is Jesus a popular boy’s name? If his name was Yeshua, why do we call him Jesus? What are some names and titles of Jesus in the Bible? Continue reading to get more answers to these questions and more.
How many names and titles did Jesus have in the Bible?
Jesus had over 200 titles and names in the scripture. Some were more prominent than others, and some were also used to reflect his nature, work on earth, and position in the holy Trinity. When he was referred to as Emmanuel (God with us), it reflected his nature as omnipresent. Furthermore, Jesus referring to himself as “I AM,” an equal of God, reflected his position in the Trinity. Therefore, the many names he held had meaning and were linked to either his attributes or mission on earth.
Why do we not call Jesus by his actual given name?
We mostly refer to our savior as Jesus and not Yeshua, which is his actual given name, because we are familiar with the anglicized Greek version of the name Yeshua. There are some people who, however, refer to Jesus as Yeshua and even condemn those who call him Jesus. However, the Bible does not restrict us on the language translation we can use when referring to Jesus. Both versions of his name in different languages mean “the Lord is salvation.”
Why is Jesus a popular boy’s name?
The name Jesus is so popular because of its origin and meaning. The Hebrew translation of this name means “God will help” or “Lord is salvation.” This name is more common in Spanish. However, other than its origin and meaning, we cannot really pinpoint why it has attracted a lot of popularity as a first name. Furthermore, the Anglo cultures also use the modernized version of Jesus a lot, which is Joshua.
If his name is Yeshua, why do we call him Jesus?
Some people argue that we should refer to Jesus as Yeshua and not Jesus. Others even go to the extent of claiming that referring to our savior as Jesus is blasphemous. They argue that the letter J is a modern invention; hence, it is unbiblical as it cannot be found in Hebrew or Greek. However, why do we refer to the son of God as Jesus and not Yeshua?
Yeshua is a name in Hebrew that translates to Joshua in English. The transliteration of Yeshua to Greek is lesous, which is Jesus in English. Therefore, we call our savior Jesus because his name Yeshua translates to that, which does not change his name’s meaning at all. Whether you refer to him as Jesus or Yeshua, the name means “The Lord is salvation” in both languages.
And to deal with the controversy surrounding the letter J, though it is true that the Languages in which the scripture was originally written had no letter J, which does not mean that the scripture never talks about the city of Jerusalem. It is just a matter of language and translations, not adding or subtracting any meaning from the words.
Furthermore, we cannot rule out referring to the Messiah as Jesus as blasphemous. No commandment in the Bible requires us to refer to Jesus by his Greek or Hebrew name only. Therefore, we call him Jesus because we have interacted with the English translations of the Bible, as they all refer to him as Jesus. Whether you call him in Hebrew, Greek, Korean, English, or even Hindi, the meaning of his name does not change as it still remains, “the Lord is salvation.”
Name and titles of Jesus in the Bible
Titles and names of Jesus that reflect his nature
Jesus is referred to in the book of Ephesians 2:20 as the chief cornerstone. “Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.” Christ is the chief cornerstone as he is the symbol of unity of the building on which his Church stands. He brings together people of all races and gender to share the same faith in him.
Isaiah 9:6 calls Jesus the prince of peace. He came to this world to become sinful so that he may reconcile us with God through suffering and dying on the cross.
Jesus is also our judge. Acts 10:42 says, “And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead.” This means he has absolute authority over the universe and will judge us at the end day.
Jesus also referred to himself as the light of the world in the gospel of John 8:12. He came that he may take away the darkness of sin that had consumed us and shed light on our lives through the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus Christ is also called the firstborn of all creation in Colossians 1:15. Some people incorrectly interpret this verse as Jesus being the first thing God created. However, biblical evidence suggests otherwise, as Colossians 1:16 notes that through Jesus Christ and for him, all things were created. Referring to Jesus Christ as the firstborn among all creation simply means that he holds the highest position in the universe.
Paul refers to Jesus as the head of the Church in the book of Ephesians 5:23. It is not through our pastors or popes that we gain salvation, but through Jesus alone. And though we accord them respect as we are expected to, Christ is still the rule of the Church.
Other titles and names of Jesus in the Bible that reflect his nature include the word of life, the word of God, the son of man, the son of God, the Lords of lords, and the king of kings.
Names and titles of Christ that reflect his position in the Holy Trinity
According to Revelation 1:8, Jesus is the Alpha and Omega. Both the book of Mathew and Isaiah 9:6 refer to him as Emmanuel. Christ also equated himself to God in the book of John 8:58 and called himself “I AM,” a name God used to refer to himself in Exodus 3:14. 1st John 5:20 also implies that he is the true God. “We also know that the son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” Therefore, Jesus is the word that came in the flesh. All these titles just reflect his nature and position in the Trinity as God the son.
Titles and names of Jesus that reflect his mission on earth
The book of Hebrews 12:2 calls Jesus the author and perfector of our faith. Through Jesus Christ, we find the source of our faith and finisher too. He also refers to himself as the bread of life in the gospel of John 6:35. Other titles that reflect his mission on earth include; the bridegroom, lamb of God, deliverer, High priest, good shepherd, resurrection and life, mediator, rock, true vine, our savior, and lastly, he calls himself the way, truth, and the life.
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.