Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

A prominent theological understanding in Christianity is that God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, is co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit. About 2,000 years ago, He entered into creation through a virgin birth and was given the name "Jesus" ("Yeshua" in Hebrew).

So, why did God the Son choose this particular name as His own at His birth?

share|improve this question
I feel like this question is a trap as you know his name wasn't "Jesus". This is the type of question that I see you replying to with an awesome answer - so what's the motivation for you to ask it? – user1054 Sep 14 '12 at 14:52
Yes, Jesus comes from Yeshua. I'll note that. Sometimes I ask questions just because they haven't yet been asked. – Narnian Sep 14 '12 at 14:58
I do that and get yelled at :D – user1054 Sep 14 '12 at 14:59
@DanAndrews Well... if it helps, you can yell at me. :) – Narnian Sep 14 '12 at 15:04
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Yeshoua (Joshua / Jesus) means "Jehovah Saves".

I'd say, that's a pretty good description of what he came to do - he came "to seek and save the lost."

share|improve this answer
The names don't have the same meaning. Yehoshua means "Yahweh Saves" , the word Jehovah didn't come around until the 13th century, Yeshua is another form of Yehoshua, but does not have the same meaning. Joshua means "God Saves", Jesus means "to rescue" or "to deliver" – Shammy Jun 13 at 3:33

As already mentioned by [Affable Geek], this verse answers the question

Matthew 1:21

21 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.”

share|improve this answer

I would like to suggest another layer of meaning on Affable Geek's answer. This requires a little set up, so bear with me.

In Exodus 20, God thunders from Mount Sinai and begins the Ten Words (or Commandments) with, "I am Yahweh (Jehovah) your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." Thus introducing Himself as Yahweh, the God who saves His people.

In chapter 24, Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up to meet with God on Mount Sinai, "and they saw the God of Israel... And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank." Other prophets, Ezekiel (ch 1) and Isaiah (ch 6) for example, also see Yahweh and live.

Now, Jesus says expressly in John 5 that "the Father who sent me has Himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, His form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me." And in chapter 14, He says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” The Son takes on flesh, becomes incarnate through the virgin Mary, becomes the Son of Man so that He might reveal the Father. In taking the name Yeshua, He is expressly identifying Himself as Yahweh, the God who saves His people. The Son is the one who rescues His people from Egypt and thunders from Sinai.

share|improve this answer
+1 Welcome to C.SE! Way to start with a bang! – Affable Geek Sep 16 '12 at 23:41
@Affable Geek Thank you. – Sticmann Sep 20 '12 at 21:55

The name "Jesus" has an explicit meaning defined in the New Testament itself, as we see here:

Mathew 1:21
“She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”

Elsewhere, we learn that Jesus is the name by which there is salvation for humanity. We find it innumerable times in Bible, specifically in Acts and Epistles, where apostles used the phrase “in the name of Jesus” to perform healing and miracles.

Here is one instance:

Acts 3:15
You killed the Originator of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this fact we are witnesses! 3:16 And on the basis of faith in Jesus’ name, his very name has made this man – whom you see and know – strong. The faith that is through Jesus has given him this complete health in the presence of you all.”

The power or the uniqueness of this name is also referred to in Philippians:

Philippians 2:6-11
2:6 who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, 2:7 but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. 2:8 He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross! 2:9 As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth – 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

And finally, we learn the consequences of rejecting Jesus:

1 John 2:22
Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son.

share|improve this answer
This is good stuff, but it doesn't answer they question. Why is the name "Jesus" and not "Bob"? The things you show would hold true no matter what his name was. – Caleb Sep 15 '12 at 8:20
@Caleb Mathew 1:21 which I have quoted has that reference and others except the last verse are the fruits by use of that name. I agree that last verse is unrelated but I felt that it will convey a message – JoaoRodrigues Sep 15 '12 at 8:42
Ok that was a case of poor reading on my part as you do cover it to some extent. I rewrote things to put the main point first, then build on that. Feel free to revert if I've mis-represented your answer, but I found the original hard to follow and hope this makes your point clearer. – Caleb Sep 15 '12 at 9:14
@Caleb I concede that it was not well presented. Thanks for editing it. – JoaoRodrigues Sep 15 '12 at 11:18

The answer provided is somewhat correct, but not really.

Jesus comes from the hebrew name Yeshua ישוע , which is another "form" of the hebrew name Joshua (Yehoshua) יְהוֹשׁ֫וּעַ.

Yeshua ישוע means: to rescue or to deilver

Yehoshua יְהוֹשׁ֫וּעַ means: God saves or the LORD is salvation

They are not the same meaning / or word. Allot of people who aren't Hebrew/Arabic speakers don't know this.

The word Jehovah comes from people incorrectly translating Yahweh so it isn't really correct to say Jehovah Saves it should be Yahweh Saves

The word Jehovah didn't even come around until about 13th century (as far as we know).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.