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We known the name of Christ through the Bible which is written in κοινή greek. In the original language the name is Ἰησοῦς which transliterated to Latin as Iesus and then to English as Jesus.

Why then do some Christians feel a need to Judaism the name and return it to Modern Hebrew יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshua)? Taking in consideration that Modern Hebrew is not the same as the Hebrew used at the time of Christ and that Modern Hebrew was invented in the XIX century.

To clarify my concern I will cite from a book of John Owen about the subject

They said Jesus was anathema, or "one accursed." They looked at him as a person to be detested and abominated as the common odium of their gods and men. Hence, at his mention they used to say, "Jesus anathema." He is, or let him be, "accursed, detested, destroyed." And the Jews continue in this blasphemy to this day, hiding their cursed sentiments under a corrupt pronunciation of his name. For instead of Yeshua, they write and call him Yeshu (ישו), the initial letters of yimmach shemo vezikhro — that is, "Let his name and memory be blotted out;" the same as "Jesus anathema." And this blasphemy of pronouncing Jesus accursed was what the first persecutors of the church tested the faith of Christians with, as Pliny said in his epistle to Trajan;Justin Martyr with other apologists agree. (On the Holy Spirit (Pneumatologia) by John Owen - Book 1 Chapter 1)

Also according to Stanley Porter, in “Did Jesus Ever Teach In Greek?” (Tyndale Bulletin 44, no. 1 [1993]: 199–235) in Israel many Jews including Jesus spoke Greek.

In John 19:20 the name of Ἰησοῦς and Iesus is used in front of the crowd

[John 19:20] Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

  • My point with the mention of the languages was to restrain the argument that Yeshua is a more faithful rendition of the name of Christ, given the fact that they do not spoke only Hebrew – wildmangrove Oct 22 at 21:14
  • Alrighty, I'll remove that comment. – KorvinStarmast Oct 22 at 21:15
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    This question is related, but the answers don't really get at why people feel this need: What is the Biblical basis for using the names “Yeshua” and “Yehoshua” (Joshua) for Jesus? – curiousdannii Oct 22 at 23:04
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    Hmm, why do Christians think names are important? At least, the names we use for God and Jesus? Well, names, as a topic, is complicated and has a lot of history. Most of it boils down to inheriting that almost occult belief that spirits listen better when you get their name right and say it lots of times, contrasted with the enshrined belief (the 3rd commandment) that saying a spirit's name when you don't mean it is offensive and brings that spirit's wrath. Reasons these days are mostly along the lines "well, don't you want to say it right? Don't you want to say it the way Jesus said it?" – 3961 Oct 23 at 19:51
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    Modern non-Christian Jews don’t call him Yeshua but Yeshu. The quote you included only strengthens the argument FOR Yeshua. Yeshua means savior reason why the a is dropped to deny him as the savior for those who reject ‘Christ’ianity. My name in different languages sounds different but if someone is intimately close to me and calls me by my name in my mother tongue with the mother tongue accent and dialect they will very likely get my attention instantly because few people know my name in that way. – Autodidact Nov 8 at 15:39
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Why use Yeshua instead of Jesus?

Besides the simplest and most obvious reason for doing so is because we can, I will give you the reason why I do this myself when I am alone and not hindered by being overheard by others. But I will say this much. One of the reasons I do it is because of devotion to the name of Jesus. Now let me explain where I am going with this from time to time.

Those who employ the name of Jesus in either Aramaic or Hebrew are not Judaizing the name of Our Lord, but pronouncing his Holy Name as such in devotional manner or in a Christian Rite that frequently employs either Hebrew or Aramaic in their liturgies.

Being a Catholic of the Latin Rite and greatly influenced by the Church’s traditions, I will explain my own motivation based on such.

The Catholic Maronite Rite uses Aramaic (Syriac) as a liturgical language and the name of Jesus in their Rite is Yeshua. I occasionally worship in this Eastern Catholic Rite.

Many of us can recall Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ in which all the dialogues were done in the languages employed at the time of Our Lord.

When I first watched this movie I decided to ask a friend who has a minor in biblical languages if he could recite in Aramaic the Our Father, the Ave Maria, the Gloria Patri along with the phrase begone Satan on a CD. The reason was that I could say the rosary in Aramaic, the language which Our Lord spoke. It is a purely devotional aspect that I have incorporated into my prayer life. What more needs to be said?

There are many other factors that one can incorporate into this response, such as:

  • The Catholic Church acknowledges Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic (also known as liturgical Syriac) as being sacred languages.
  • Our Lord spoke the common language (Aramaic) of the people in his day and age, but recited Hebrew in the synagogue when he read Sacred Scripture out loud.
  • Pope Pius XII allowed the use of Hebrew in the Tridentine Mass for Catholics living in Israel for obvious reasons. (Sorry folks, Latin was not the only language employed at Mass prior to the Second Vatican Council in the Roman Rite.)
  • The Maronite Catholic Rite may employ either Aramaic (Syriac) or Arabic in their liturgy, but the words of consecration must be in Aramaic, the very language Christ spoke at the Last Supper.

Although pronouncing the name of Jesus in any particular language has much merit. Pronouncing it in either Hebrew or Aramaic adds something special in my mind. How many times did Our Lord heard his most holy Mother Mary call him affectionately by his name: Yeshua.

Here are some YouTube video examples (dialect may very):

Whether or not we pronounce the name of Jesus as Yeshua or not is unimportant to most, but for some it brings us closer to the historical Christ in his day and age, in a loving traditional way of speaking.

Holy is the name of Jesus ישועה "yeshua" forever in Hebrew or Aramaic forever!

Addendum:

East Syriac Ishoʕ

Yeshuuʕ or Ishoʕ, the Syriac name of Jesus Aramaic and Classical Syriac render the pronunciation of the same letters as ܝܫܘܥ yeshuuʕ (yešuʕ) /yeʃuʕ/ and ܝܫܘܥ ishoʕ (išoʕ) /iʃoʕ/. The Aramaic Bibles and the Peshitta Syriac preserve these same spellings. Current scholarly consensus posits that the NT texts were translated from the Greek, but this theory is not supported directly at least by the name for Jesus, which is not a simple transliteration of the Greek form as would otherwise be expected, as Greek did not have an "sh" [ʃ] sound, and substituted [s]; and likewise lacked and therefore omitted the final ‘ayin sound [ʕ]. Moreover, Eusebius (early fourth century) reports that Papius (early second century) reports that Jesus's disciple Matthew wrote a gospel "in the Hebrew language". (Note: Scholars typically argue the word "Hebrew" in the New Testament refers to Aramaic; however, others have attempted to refute this view.) The Aramaic of the Peshitta does not distinguish between Joshua and Jesus, and the Lexicon of William Jennings gives the same form ܝܫܘܥ for both names. The Hebrew final letter ayin ע is equivalent to final ܥ in Classical Syriac and East Syriac and West Syriac. It can be argued that the Aramaic speakers who used this name had a continual connection to the Aramaic-speakers in communities founded by the apostles and other students of Jesus, thus independently preserved his historical name Yeshuuʕ and the Eastern dialectical Ishoʕ. Those churches following the East Syriac Rite still preserve the name Ishoʕ. - Yeshua (Wikipedia)

Other articles of interest may be read if desired:

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The "J" in Biblical names translated to English are usually "׳" (yod) in Hebrew, pronounced as "i".

For example,

  • Jesus - ישוע "yeshua"
  • John - יוחנן "yokhanan"
  • Joshua - יהושע "yohushua"
  • Joseph - יוסף "yosef"
  • L-RD - יהוה "YHWH"

Furthermore, ישועה "yeshua" means salvation, pronounced the same as ישוע (Jesus).

For more interesting Biblical name translations into Chinese, you are welcome to visit my other post: Did early Chinese Protestant actually call God “(old) Gentleman of Fiery Magnificence”, as Wikipedia says?

Many Christian who choose to use Yeshua instead of Jesus like the significant meaning of salvation behind the Hebrew word; many are also fans of Hebrew and Jewish culture.

protected by Peter Turner Nov 12 at 14:40

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