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Should “Jesus” be rendered “Yeshu‘a” in English?

Obviously not Jesus given that the letter J is a replacement of the actual letter Y. The letter J sounds masculine so in English (only?) language all Jewish names that start with Y is changed to start with J. Jacob are actually Yakub, Joshua are actually Yosua.

Some speculate that the name is actually Yehoshua. Which is the same name with Yosua. Not really sure what it really means by the same name.

The Muslims call Jesus Isa. Is this related to another Jewish name, Yesaya, which in English bible is called Isaiah?

So what's the story here?

We pray in Jesus' name, yet we don't even know if it's His real name.

If possible I would like an explanation of all these alternative names and spelling. For example, why does the Muslim called Jesus Isa. Is there a connection between Isaiah and Jesus' name?

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    In which language? Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 13:32
  • If the heart of this question is your 2nd to last paragraph, what it means to pray in Jesus' name, that warrants a much different answer than one to address a historical curiosity. Which are you more interested in here?
    – svidgen
    Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 13:38
  • How "Yeshua" Became "Jesus"
    – Ura
    Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 17:34
  • It should be pointed out that praying in Jesus' name doesn't mean we think His name, the word itself, is some sort of magic word. The power rests with Him, not the word. Think instead of what it means when a police officer says, "open up in the name of the law". See christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/9206/… for a specific application of this principle. Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 20:03
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    Hebrew: ישוע בן יוסף. English transliteration: Yeshu'a ben Yosef.
    – user900
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 1:08

2 Answers 2


The name 'Jesus' is just an English phonetical representation of his name in the Greek Bible Ἰησοῦς. This name is also the same name used in the Greek version of the Old Testament (LXX) for Joshua (יהושׁוע).

All three names sort of sound similar but as a name is translated from one language to another it can sound quite different too.

When we are said to pray in Jesus name it is not related to the sound of his name in any particular language but to pray under the authority of his name in his nature. It means that by the merits of his death for our sin we can approach God in salvation and by his life in us, pray in his person and by the merits of his salvation. This does sort of lead back to the meaning of his name for Joshua means 'Jehovah is salvation'.


Greek would be pronounced: Eye-he-sous (Iesous) Christ-hos (Jesous Xristos)

Hebrew pronounced: Yah-shuah Ha'Mashiach (Yahshua HaMashiach)

Muslims call Jesus 'Isa' because it is written in the Koran as that. It's possible that's what the Arabs called him - I don't know Arabic so I couldn't really guess. But it's somewhat shorter than Yahshuah, or Jesus. We know that the NT was written in Greek, so we do know Jesus' name. It was Jesus. The only difference is spelling, but it's the same name in Greek as it is in English. If you prefer Yahshuah as Messianic Jews use it, then go with that.

Both are correct: one is Hebrew and one is Greek. It is more likely that he was called Jesus, because Koine Greek was the common language at that time. Some say he spoke Aramaic, but I would guess Jesus used the language most common and understandable at that time, which would have been Greek.

It's like Jesus coming back today in New York and speaking Chinese, or French. Even in Israel at that time people spoke and read Greek. Hence the Greek NT.

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    I invite you to Islam.SE where you may be able to ask why Muslims are wrong (in your opinion) and try to guide them toward the truth ;) For myself I cannot call a man God when he himself was praying God, praying and fasting. -1 for an unsupported idea about Muslims even though in a Christian website. You may be better to remove the last sentence and the answer will be OK. Thanks :)
    – owari
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 23:12
  • @owari I guess his rational is that Jesus is Isa in the Qur'an because it was less work to write Isa? :) answering-islam.org/Responses/Abualrub/true-name-isa.htm
    – user1054
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 16:35
  • @DanAndrews, no Isa is the very Jesus, I changes to J (like Yusof changes to Joseph, Ya'qub changes to Jacob, and etc.) and 'us' at the end of Jesus is somewhat a Greek or Latin style (I don't know Greek and Latin indeed!). Godspeed.
    – owari
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 5:13
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    @warren, thanks for the edit, I changed my DV to UV accordingly. Godspeed.
    – owari
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 5:14
  • @owari No, it was a rhetorical question. I understand Isa, Jesus, etc.
    – user1054
    Commented Jan 1, 2013 at 5:39

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