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?

  • 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
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 14:52
  • 3
    Yes, Jesus comes from Yeshua. I'll note that. Sometimes I ask questions just because they haven't yet been asked.
    – Narnian
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 14:58
  • I do that and get yelled at :D
    – user1054
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 14:59
  • 1
    @DanAndrews Well... if it helps, you can yell at me. :)
    – Narnian
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 15:04

6 Answers 6


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."

  • 1
    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
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 3:33
  • @Shammy Yesh(o)ua is the shortened variant of Yehoshua. Jehovah is an English translation of the Tetragrammaton. It is basically the same thing, just a different way of saying it. Commented May 3, 2017 at 11:30

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.


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.”


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.

  • 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
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 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 Commented Sep 15, 2012 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
    Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 9:14
  • @Caleb I concede that it was not well presented. Thanks for editing it. Commented Sep 15, 2012 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).


The Hebrew name of the Messiah which is Yahuwshuwa (not yeshua or jesus) is not just a name, it's an oracle. Many of the revelations are lost when its replaced with the name Jesus. Yahuwshuwa means " Yahuwah brings salvation and riches to those that cry out". let me break this name down.

Moses was the first man recorded in the scriptures to receive the revelation of the coming Messiah's name. In numbers 13:16 the KJV reads:

These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of nun Jehoshua".

This is a very significant verse. According to Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History 1:3:4, the modern name Jesus originally comes from this name Jehoshua. The Masoretic text gives us a 6 letter rendition ( יְהוֹשׁ֫וּעַ) and also a 5 letter rendition (יְהוֹשׁ֫עַ) of this name, this is why Jehoshua changes to Joshua soon after this verse. You can see these two renditions of this name in the Strong's concordance Hebrew dictionary #3091.

In Ezra 3:2 ( which was written in Aramaic not Hebrew) gives the name Jeshua when speaking about Joshua the high priest, compare Ezra 3:2 with Zechariah 6:11. This is because Ezra 3 was translated from the Aramaic. This is where Yeshua comes from.

So we can see our English bibles give us 4 different names for the Messiah. It gives us Jehoshua, Joshua, Jeshua , then Jesus in the new testament. Its interesting that the modern church ignores Jehoshua which is the most accurate English transliteration of the original name, but they use Jesus which is the least accurate. Even Joshua is more accurate than Jesus. We can even see Joshua, who led Israel into the promise land, is called Jesus in Hebrews 4:8 KJV. This is because they are supposed to be the exact same name.

We know that there was no J sound in the Hebrew language, and it was the latest letter to come to the English alphabet. So when we put in the ancient paleo hebrew vowel sounds, which are A,I, and U, to יְהוֹשׁ֫וּעַ then we get Yahuwshuwa ( jehoshua).

Yahuw (YHW) or Yah (YH) was commonly attached to the beginning or ending of Hebrew names to represent the Fathers name YHWH. For example: - Isaiah= Yesha'Yahu which means "Yahuwah is salvation". - Jeremiah= Yirmeyah, which means Yahuwah throws". These examples are given in the introductions in my Thomas Nelson KJV bible. So Yahuw in Yahuwshuwa is showing the Father's name inside the name Yahuwshuwa.

Now lets go to the next part of his name which is SHUWA. The Strong's Concordance #H7769 and 7768 gives us the definiton as " crying out, freedom from trouble, and also riches". Then when we go to #H3444 we see yeSHUWA means deliverance, Salvation, prosperity.

When we put all these together we get " Yahuwah brings salvation and riches to those who cry out". The definition of this name is a theme played out throughout the entire bible.

Moses didn't just make this name up out of nowhere, he received the Revelation of this name after personally witnessing the bondage of his people in Egypt (Exodus 1:13), them crying out for deliverance ( Exodus 2:23-25), then being saved from Egypt taking the riches of the Egyptians with them (Exodus 12:35), passing through the Red Sea ( baptsim) to a life of freedom. After putting all these things together, He came to the revelation of this name through the divine Spirit. The entire exodus story represents the gospel message, but that will go off track from the question.

examples of people crying out before receiving deliverance:

  • Genesis 21:16-20,
  • Exodus 2:23-25, 14:10-13
  • Psalms 34:17,107:19-20
  • Matthew 14:10-13
  • Mark 10:46-52

The cry is very important. Salvation doesn't come from repeating a "sinners prayer", it comes being convicted and realizing who you are as a sinner in need of a savior, coming to the Father through His Son and his finished work on the cross, with a humble heart in faith, crying out in repentance. Many christian testimonies testify to this.

The "riches" don't attest to material riches in this world, but to the heavenly and spiritual riches. examples :

  • Ephesians 3:8 4:8
  • colossians 1:27, 2:2-3
  • Matthew 5:20

Its not a coincidence that Moses gave this name to Oshea the son of Nun, who would lead Israel to receive their inheritance. It was a prophecy of the coming Messiah ( anointed one) that would come in this name and lead his people to an everlasting inheritance. Moses , a prophet , foresaw these things and crowned Oshea with this prophetic name. Joshua would foreshadow the one who would truly fulfill the name Yahuwshuwa in its fullness . After this name was attached to Joshua , we see that he was able to do incredible miracles like making the sun stop in the the sky (Joshua 10). Again, all this connects to the coming Messiah who would do miracles.

Moses also gave the title Christ ( Mashiyach in the Hebrew) to his brother Aaron the anointed high Priest and his sons ( Leviticus 4:3-4). This was also Symbolic and prophetic.

So we see the name Yahuwshuwa HaMashiyach represented through two men. Through Joshua, who was the successor in the government of Israel, and through Aaron who held the priesthood making atonement for the sins of Israel. both of them together show what the one Messiah would accomplish. Showing him to be both Ruler and Priest.

This name was prophesied to come long before His incarnation. This name was chosen because it displays Yahuwah's entire plan of salvation. It shows that through our faith in His Son ( who bears this name), the Father would bring salvation and spiritual riches to all who cry out to him from their sinful bondage in repentance with a contrite heart. Just like he did for Israel in Egypt, this was the spiritual meaning of exodus.

Psalm 107:17-20 summarizes the very definition of the name Yahuwshuwa so beautifully when we understand "the Word " to be the Son who healed us by his stripes:

17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

19 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.

20 He sent his Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

  • 1
    You say: "Its interesting that the modern church ignores Jehoshua which is the most accurate English transliteration of the original name, but they use Jesus which is the least accurate." But you can blame the Evangelists and the Apostles for that, because Jesus /ˈdʒiːzʊs/ is a fairly faithful form of the Greek form Ἰησοῦς /jeːˈsuːs/. which is the form you will find throughout the NT (and, if I'm not mistaken, the LXX as well).
    – Wtrmute
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 17:31
  • No you cannot blame the apostles for the modern church praising "jesus" and ignoring the original name that came down from heaven. Jesus is less than 500 years old. Even the church fathers, who wrote in Greek and Latin, always brought the reader back to numbers 13:16 to show the original name.
    – diego b
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 19:41
  • According to Celsus " on the true doctrine " he mocks the way the early 2nd century christans were very specific in pronouncing the Messiahs name In the Hebrew tongue with the right pronouncation. Even the gentiles.
    – diego b
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 19:44
  • . There are many manuscripts where the Fathers name YHWH is written in Hebrew even in the Greek manuscripts, we don't have the originals to see whether the apostles also wrote the Sons name in Hebrew too. And even if the name was originally written in greek, doesn't mean they preached that name.
    – diego b
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 19:45
  • . When Yahuwshuwa spoke to Paul in the vision, the book of acts says he spoke to him in the Hebrew toungue. And when Paul was taken into custody, and preached to his hebrew brethen along with the Romans he spoke the Hebrew name of the messiah it says even though it's recorded in Greek the spoke it in Hebrew. And the writings of the early church shows you they always brought you back to numbers 13:16
    – diego b
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 19:45

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