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The original name for Jesus in Hebrew-Aramaic is yeshu‘a. This was translated into Greek as Iēsous and then via the Latin Iesus into German, and eventually into English as Jesus.

Since Christians believe that using the name of Jesus/Yeshua in prayer adds authority and power, it could be argued that Christians should be using his original name (Yeshua) or at least something closer to it, rather than the somewhat convoluted translation "Jesus".

  • Are there any denominations or Christian groups that use "Yeshua" as opposed to "Jesus"?

  • Is there any evidence that other denominations have considered changing their usage from "Jesus" to "Yeshua" and are there any documented reasons why that suggestion was rejected?

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One reason I can think of not to change at this point: It would likely alienate you from people you're trying to minister to by saying/implying that the word they use is "wrong." It would be seen as "holier-than-thou" by many people. Using familiar language when witnessing/ministering can be very important, as evidenced by some missionary stories I've read. Eternity in their Hearts I recommend for some of these stories. –  Flimzy Nov 15 '11 at 16:32
Even if you changed to the Aramaic form, you'd still pronounce it completely wrong. The only language you can speak properly with English phonemes is English. –  dancek Nov 15 '11 at 20:09
Latin comes pretty close, though... –  Richard Nov 16 '11 at 13:10
The World English Bible: Messianic Edition (also known as the Hebrew Names Version) renders the name as Yeshua. Yochanan 1:17 –  TRiG Nov 17 '11 at 15:39

3 Answers 3

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Christians, in general, do not believe that Jesus' name is 'magic', in the sense that if you say the word your prayer is somehow more effective. The exact version of the name used is not therefore important. "In my name", as Jesus says, can mean a number of things including "with my authority" and "in accordance with my wishes".

It's true that Yeshua is probably a better rendition of the original name than Jesus. However the confusion of changing it - unless you have a good reason - would probably outweigh the advantages.

The only denomination that I know of that uses Yeshua on a regular basis are the Messianic Jews, particularly Jews for Jesus. That's because the name Yeshua is already familiar to many of them, so it isn't nearly as much of a disconnect. It also emphasizes Jesus' Jewishness.

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It's the difference between translation and transliteration. My name, in Polish is Yashu, I think. In Spanish it would be Juan. But in english it's John. There's a direct correspondence, equivalency between all three though, and that's what counts for translation. –  John Sep 10 '13 at 16:22

I would say it does not necessarily matter unless you choose to believe so, because belief has important bearing from a personal aspect, but no further.

The point is, a name, though important, refers to a person, so it is more important that we are referring to the person (authority, character, power, wisdom, etc) of Jesus, than on how someone pronounces His Name (or what language they use).

A good example of why it is bad to enforce something like this, is what happened when missionaries took the concept of Jesus/Christianity to parts of the world where they knew God by terms that the European missionaries were not familiar with. The local people were afraid to misuse the name of God, and had their own words in their own languages, but the missionaries often would try to force them to use their version of the word "God", the name "Jesus" etc, and thus left the locals in some confusion.

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You cannot transliterate Jesus' original Hebrew name into English. At least one of the Hebrew consonants in this name has no English equivalent. Yeshua is actually a transliteration of the word ישוא, which means "he who brings disaster."

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