Wednesday, August 4, 2010
THE NAME OF JESUS DEFENDED (Exclusive)
“The Controversy Surrounding the Use of the Name Jesus”
By Elisha J. Israel
For many years there has been an ongoing controversy regarding the validity of using the name of Jesus instead of “Yeshua”, “Yahoshua”, “Yahshua”, or some other name. There are numerous reasons given for rejecting the name “Jesus” as the true name of the Messiah, three of which are in this chapter. These three were chosen because they seem to be prevalent today:
1)The name “Jesus” is not the original Hebrew name for the Christ, therefore it should not be used.
2)The name “Jesus” is a pseudo-name for the Greek god Zeus and,
3)The letter “J” was not in the Old English language and therefore Jesus could not possibly be the appropriate name for the Messiah.
Regarding original Hebrew, what people must understand is that almost every name can be translated or transliterated from language to language, and the name of “Jesus” is no different. For instance, in Revelation both “Abbadon” and “Apollyon” mean the exact same thing-Destroyer:
“And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” (9:11)
The “Zeus controversy” is simply an issue of transliteration. The name “Jesus” comes into English from the New Testament, which was written in Greek. In the Greek alphabet there was not a way to express the “sh” sound to fully transliterate the name “Yeshua” into Greek. This is how we came to get “Iesous”. Since the ending of the word “Iesous” is “sous” some have claimed that there existed an evil plot to replace the name of the Messiah with one that means “Zeus” or “son of Zeus.” This is inaccurate for several reasons.
Reason #1 (Spelling)
“Iesous” and “Zeus” would be spelled Ιησούς. “Zeus” would be spelled Ζεύς. Nor does “Iesous” mean “the son of Zeus”. In Ancient Greek, the son of Zeus would be spelled as follows, “ho huios tou Dios” or actually “o uiob tou Dios”, not as Iesous.
Reason #2 (Pronunciation)
In Ancient Greek, the word “Zeus” is not pronounced as “Zoos.” The letter “Z” actually sounded like the “d” and “z” and when put together “dz.” Also the diphthongs “ou” in Iesous is pronounce “oo”. But “eu” woulb be pronounced as eh-uh”.
So how do we end up with the name “Jesus”? Some would argue that there was no “J” in the Old English alphabet, which further supports the notion that the name “Jesus” is objectionable. However, the name “Jesus” has simply gone through changes, in conjunction with the English language. It is true that the name “Jesus” in Old English would not have been spelled using the letter “J”. In the 16th century Jesus was spelled “Iesu.” During the 17th century the “J” replaced the “I” to make “Jesu” and by the 18th century the “s” was added to make “Jesus”. The name “Jesus” known today has simply evolved linguistically along with the entire English language.
The Holy Bible is a very specific book which outlines what is acceptable and unacceptable concerning the worship of God. There are hundreds of laws contained in the Holy Bible, none stating that the Messiah’s name cannot be translated or transliterated into other languages. It is only logical that people speak the name of the Messiah in their own language. It was God who confused the languages during the days of the Tower of Babel. And to state that an individual can only say the name of the Messiah in a language which is no longer spoken is nonsensical. For it is written:
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” (Isaiah 28:9-11)
For those who deny the name of Jesus I believe that the question to ask is not whether or not the name “Jesus” is accurate. But ask, “If the name is actually ‘Yeshua’ or ‘Yahoshua’ was this individual God in the beginning and is he the Messiah that was prophesied by the Prophets?” Are we speaking of the same individual? If we are, there should be no problem if one who speaks English uses the name “Jesus”. Just the same, there is no problem if one who truly speaks Hebrew speaks the Messiah’s name in the Hebrew language.
From the book Into Egypt Again with Ships: A Message to the Forgotten Israelites (African Americans), pp. 104-106. The reader of this excerpt is encouraged to read this book in its entirety. It will really speak to the Hebrew Israelite (to whom the message is intended), the true ancestral identity of the so-called “African-American.”
Copyright © 2008 by Elisha J. Israel. All Rights Reserved.
Editor's Note:The majority of statements in bold-face and italics are my indications of emphasis.