I would suspect that Jesus himself was the first to have the name "Jesus", but was there anyone before him with the same name? In other words, was the name completely unique when the Angel Gabriel told Mary to name her son "Jesus" or had the name been bestowed to someone else before? Today, the name is not rare (especially in some cultures), but was it so back then also?
Well, to be accurate, are you asking about the Greek name Ἰησοῦς (English transliteration: Iēsous), or the actual Anglicized (English) name, "Jesus"? Or, are you referring to his likely Hebrew/ Aramaic name, יֵשׁוּעַ (English transliteration: Yeshu'a)?
I suspect you're probably talking about his Hebrew/ Aramaic name since that was what he would have been named --- and that is the name that actually has relevance to the phrase, "...he shall save his people from their sins."
So, who was the first to be called יֵשׁוּעַ? Well, I can tell you who was the first to be named יֵשׁוּעַ in the Tanakh, but you must understand that the Tanakh does not record the name of every Israelite who has ever been born. So, there may have been people named יֵשׁוּעַ even before the first one to possess that name as recorded in the Tanakh. In any case, the first one to be named יֵשׁוּעַ in the Tanakh (if I am not mistaken) is recorded in Ezra 2:2:
who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: (JPS Translation)
There was an early Hebrew variant of the name יֵשׁוּעַ, it being יְהוֹשׁוּעַ (English transliteration: Yehoshu'a). This was the name of the one we known in English as "Joshua son of Nun." Both the names יֵשׁוּעַ and יְהוֹשׁוּעַ were transliterated into the Greek Septuagint by the proper name Ἰησοῦς.
Compare Nehemiah 8:17:
Ἰησοῦ υἱοῦ Ναυη
with 1 Kings 16:34:
Ιησου υἱοῦ Ναυη
For this reason, the KJV translators mistook "Jesus" for "Joshua" in Acts 7:45:
Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;
The passage is not referring to the Lord Jesus, but rather, Joshua son of Nun (Yehoshu'a bin Nun), the successor of Moshe, who brought the Israelites into the promised land.
As an aside, the Hebrew/ Aramaic names יֵשׁוּעַ and יְהוֹשׁוּעַ are actually quite common in the Jewish culture. For example, you can see many people by those names in the Talmud.
When was Jesus name first used?
HEBREW BIBLE 285-246 B.C. Septuagint was the GREEK Old Testament official translation of the Old Testament. The 2nd century B.C. the Old Testament was translated into Greek. This translation is known as the Septuagint.
325 A.D. Constantine held the Council of Nicaea.
360 A.D. Codex Sinaiticus Greek New Testament was written after the Council of Nicaea. This was only used to produce the Latin Vulgate Bible. On 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt, in the Monastery of Saint Catherine, by the Leipzig archaeologist Constantin von Tischendorf. The Codex Sinaiticus is an ancient handwritten copy of the Greek Bible, and alongside the Codex Vaticanus, it is the finest Greek text of the New Testament. Also including much of the Old Testament, it is an inestimably important document in the history of Christianity. The Codex was written sometime in the 4th century (between 325 A.D. and 360 A.D.), and is an Alexandrian text-type manuscript.
382 A.D. [Latin Vulgate Bible translated by St. Jerome] the translation was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I. St. Jerome translated Greek into Latin. This means the original 285-246 B.C. Septuagint was translated into Latin in 382 A.D.
After 382 A.D. the following bibles were translated from the 382 A.D. Latin Vulgate Bible rather than the original Greek and Hebrew. Latin word Iesus was used. The correct word should be Iesous which is Greek. The correct word should be Joshua which is English.
1395 A.D. Wycliffe Greek Bible, 1514 A.D. Erasmus-Greek New Testament, 1525 A.D. Tyndale's New Testament, 1534 A.D. Tyndale Bible, 1540 A.D. The Great Bible also called Cranmer, 1568 A.D. The Bishops' Bible, 1587 A.D. The Geneva Bible, and 1611 A.D. King James Version translated from 80% of 1525 A.D. Tyndale's Bible which was translated from the 382 A.D. Latin Vulgate Bible. James II of England (1633-1701) was indeed the last Catholic monarch of England. James was driven from the throne by Protestants. England passed a law stating that no Catholic can hold office again.
1638 A.D. King James English used both Latin and English to create the English bible version. This was a translation from the 1611 Kings James which was a translation from the Latin Vulgate Bible. Latin word Iesus was used. The correct word should be Iesous which is Greek. The correct word should be Joshua which is English. The 1638 A.D. King James English texts all literally have the name JESUS in these two places, though the contexts refer to the man Joshua. In Hebrews 4:8 we read: "For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day." Likewise in Acts 7:45 we have: "Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David."
In 1604, Robert Cawdrey published the first English dictionary, the letter “J” was added to create the modern English alphabet we know today. The 1611 King James Bible written in English did not use the letter “J” instead used Latin words. If Jesus name was used before 1611 why was the name Jesus not used in the 1611 King James Bible? This would only mean that the English did not accept the “J” until after 1611 and before 1638 A.D. or the name Jesus was not used until after 1611 A.D.
One possible answer to how “J” was used to create the name Jesus is someone took the Latin word Iesus and added “J” to create the name Jesus. The problem is the use of the Latin word and not the Greek word. The second problem this had to take place after 1604 A.D. The third problem is that the 1611 A.D. King James Bible used the Latin word Iesus not Jesus.
However the 1638 A.D. King James Bible used Jesus’ name. We know the Latin did not use the letter “J” until the 18th Century or 100 years after 1638 A.D. King James Bible used Jesus’ name. King James I of England authorized the Protestant translation of the King James Version and chose to continue the anti-Catholic policies.
As you can see the only original Greek text was used to produce the Latin Vulgate Bible and after that all Bibles were translated from the Latin Vulgate Bible using both English and Latin words. As you can clearly see the Name Jesus cannot be used in the English Bibles except when adding the English letter “J” to the Latin word Iesus.
The 1638 King James Bible translated the Latin word Iesus into the English word Jesus. The problem translating the Latin word Iesus into English as Jesus before 1701 A.D. is that there was no “J” in the Latin alphabet. After 1701 A.D. the Latin word Iesus became the English word Jesus. The only “J” was used by the English and this would mean that Jesus name was made up by the English about 100 years earlier.
Asking bibleinfo.com for comments, they replied by saying. “I have no problem with those who want to try to pronounce the Hebrew and Greek equivalent of the names commonly translated Jesus. The name commonly transliterated Jesus in the Greek is Iasous. I have no problem with those who want to try to pronounce the Greek equivalent of the names commonly translated Jesus. The problem comes with contentions, accusations, and strife that results from those who insist on making an issue out of pronunciation rather than meaning”. The problem is that the word iasous was never used in the old or new testament.
“The problem comes with contentions, accusations, and strife that results from those who insist on making an issue out of pronunciation rather than meaning”.
One way was by translation, which tries to capture the meaning of a word, but in the process, loses the sound.
The other way was by transliteration, which tries to capture the sound of the Hebrew word, but in the process, loses the meaning. Translating the Latin word Iesus by using “J” to make the English word Jesus loses the meaning.
A Latin person with the name Iesus meets an English person and he calls Iesus Jesus. A Greek person with the name Iesous meets an English person and he calls Iesous Joshua. Pronunciation and meaning does not change the name or meaning. However, a Latin person with the name Iesus meets an English person and he calls Iesus Joshua. A Greek person with the name Iesous meets an English person and he calls Iesous Jesus. Pronunciation and meaning does change name and meaning. The Latin word Iesus was used only after 282 A.D. when the Greek word Iesous should have been used.
If being right means I am contentious then I am contentious. If making an accusation that is true then I have made a true accusation. If I am being strife and insist on making an issue on the correct name, the issue is true and has merit. I am only making an issue with the name and this does not change anything other than the name and the meaning in the bible.
All scripture are by inspiration of God. [2 Timothy 3:16 KJB] If all scriptures are inspired by God, then why was the Latin word Iesus being used and not the Greek word Iesous. For nothing is secret, neither anything hid, that shall not be known. [Luke 8:17 KJB] The secret no longer is hidden and this was inspired by God.