1. Question Restatement :
Is there textual / literary evidence that "Jesus" is a name derived from "Zeus"?
What is the Etymology of the Name, "Jesus"?
2. Answer - The Names Jesus and Zeus are not Related Etymologically :
The Greek Septuagint Translation of the Hebrew Old Testament is the clearest evidence that the name "Jesus" is absolutely a transliteration of the Hebrew name: "Joshua", from Hebrew Scripture.
3. The Name - "Zeus", in Greek :
Ζεύς | Zeus, Logeion Lexicon - is represented in Greek in many ways, but: "Ζεύς" is the most recognized, (but also written as "Διός | Dios"; and also as "θεός | Theos". "Theos" is the same word used for "God", (the Father), in Scripture.
The spelling and morphology of the name: "Zeus" - is very different than: "Jesus".
Autenrieth-Homer, Morphology of Zeus, (From Logeion) - Ζεύς (Διεύς, root διϝ), gen. Διός, dat. Διί, acc. Δία, voc. Ζεῦ, also gen. Ζηνός, dat. Ζηνί, acc. Ζῆν(α): Zeus (Diespiter, Juppiter; cf. Ζεῦ πάτερ, ... etc.
Aeschin. 1:28 - Such a man, then, he forbids to speak. And right he is, by Zeus, say I!
τοῦτον οὐκ ἐᾷ λέγειν. νὴ Δία καλῶς γε, ὡς ἔγωγέ φημι. διὰ τί; ὅτι εἴ τις, οὓς ἐξ ἴσου δεῖ τιμᾶν τοῖς θεοῖς
4. Historical Roots of the Name - "Jesus" :
In Greek, Jesus / Ἰησοῦς is actually a transliteration of one name - that has two forms :
- Joshua | Yeshua | יֵשׁ֨וּעַ, appears as a later Hebrew/Aramaic name - and is itself another transliteration (or Aramaicism) of ...
- "יְהוֹשׁ֫וּעַ | Yehoshua, in the older Hebrew texts;
The Hebrew name "יְהוֹשׁ֫וּעַ | Yehoshua" is considered to mean : "God Saves", (Strong's Concordance).
In Greek texts, Both יְהוֹשׁ֫וּעַ | Yehoshua and Joshua | Yeshua | יֵשׁ֨וּעַ are transliterated into Greek into the same exact way : Ἰησοῦς .
"Jesus" In Greek:
NASB, Matthew 1:1 - The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Byz, Matthew 1:1 - βιβλος γενεσεως ιησου χριστου υιου δαυιδ υιου αβρααμ
Joshua | Jehoshua, the Son of Nun - Transliterated as Jesus:
NASB, Numbers 13:12 - but Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua.
Septuagint, Numbers 13:16 - καὶ ἐπωνόμασεν Μωυσῆς τὸν Αυση υἱὸν Ναυη Ἰησοῦν
Hebrew, Numbers 13:12 - וַיִּקְרָ֥א מֹשֶׁ֛ה לְהֹושֵׁ֥עַ בִּן־ נ֖וּן יְהֹושֻֽׁעַ׃
NASB, Deuteronomy 3:21 - I commanded Joshua at that time, saying,
Septuagint, Deuteronomy 3:21 - καὶ τῷ Ἰησοῖ ἐνετειλάμην
Hebrew, Deuteronomy 3:21 - וְאֶת־ יְהֹושׁ֣וּעַ צִוֵּ֔יתִי בָּעֵ֥ת הַהִ֖וא לֵאמֹ֑ר
Yeshua Also Transliterated as Jesus - During and After the Babylonian Exile and Aramaic Influence :
Chronicles was "probably composed between 400–250 BC, with the period 350–300 BC the most likely", (Wikipedia, Books of Chronicles).
WEB, 2 Chronicles 31:15 - Under him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua
Septuagint, 2 Chronicles 31:15 - διὰ χειρὸς Οδομ καὶ Βενιαμιν καὶ Ἰησοῦς
Hebrew, 2 Chronicles 31:15 - וְעַל־ יָדֹ֡ו עֵ֣דֶן וּ֠מִנְיָמִן וְיֵשׁ֨וּעַ וּֽשְׁמַֽעְיָ֜הוּ
5. The Name - "Jesus", in Syriac :
The name : ܝܫܘܥ / "Ishu'", (Matthew 1:18, Peshitta) - is the Syriac/Aramaic transliteration. The Syriac is very close to the later "Yeshua" Aramaicism - and certainly not the older Hebrew : "Joshua | Yehoshua".
The New Testament implies that Jesus perhaps had two names : a Hebrew name, "Immanuel", (Matthew 1:23); and the Greek/Aramaic name : "Iesos" and "Yeshua".