What Is Jesus' Real Name?

Why Do We Call Him Jesus If His Real Name Is Yeshua?

Jesus' Real Name
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A reader once asked:

Jewish people say that our Lord Jesus' real name is Yeshua. If it is true, then why are people worshiping him in the wrong name?

This particular reader is not the first person to question Jesus' real name. Some religious movements have argued that we worship the wrong Savior if we do not call him by his Hebrew name, Yeshua. Strange as it may sound, some Christians believe using the name of Jesus is akin to calling on the pagan name of Zeus.

What Is Jesus' Real Name?

Indeed, Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. It means "Yahweh [the Lord] is Salvation." The English spelling of Yeshua is “Joshua.” However, when translated from Hebrew into the Greek language, in which the New Testament was written, the name Yeshua becomes Iēsous. The English spelling for Iēsous is “Jesus.”

What this means is Joshua and Jesus are the same name. One name is translated from Hebrew into English, the other from Greek into English. It is interesting to note, the names "Joshua" and "Isaiah" are essentially the same names as Yeshua in Hebrew. They mean "Savior" and "the salvation of the Lord."

Must We Call Jesus Yeshua?

GotQuestions.org gives a practical illustration to answer the question:

"In German, our English word for book is 'buch.' In Spanish, it becomes a 'libro;' in French, a 'livre.' The language changes, but the object itself does not. In the same way, we can refer to Jesus as 'Jesus,' 'Yeshua,' or 'YehSou' (Cantonese), without changing His nature. In any language, His name means 'the Lord is Salvation.'"

Those who argue and insist we call Jesus Christ by his correct name, Yeshua, are concerning themselves with trivial matters that are not essential to salvation.

English speakers call him Jesus, with a "J" that sounds like "gee." Portuguese speakers call him Jesus, but with a "J" that sounds like "geh," and Spanish speakers call him Jesus, with a "J" that sounds like "hey." Which one of these pronunciations is the correct one?

All of them, of course, in their own language.

What's the Connection Between Jesus and Zeus?

Plain and simple, there is no connection between the name of Jesus and Zeus. This ridiculous theory is fabricated (urban legend) and has been circulating around the internet along with vast amounts of other weird and misleading misinformation.

Are We Worshiping the Wrong Savior?

The Bible doesn't give preeminence to one language (or translation) over another. We are not commanded to call upon the name of the Lord exclusively in Hebrew. Neither does it matter how we pronounce his name. 

Acts 2:21 says, "And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (ESV). God knows who calls upon his name, whether they do so in English, Portuguese, Spanish, or Hebrew. Jesus Christ is still the same Lord and Savior.

Matt Slick at Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry sums it up like this:

"Some say that if we don't pronounce Jesus' name properly ... then we are in sin and serving a false god; but that accusation cannot be made from Scripture.  It is not the pronunciation of a word that makes us Christian or not.  It is receiving the Messiah, God in flesh, by faith that makes us a Christian."

So, go ahead--boldly call on the name of Jesus. The power in his name comes not from how you pronounce it, but from the person who bears that name--our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Your Citation
Fairchild, Mary. "What Is Jesus' Real Name?" ThoughtCo, Apr. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/jesus-aka-yeshua-700649. Fairchild, Mary. (2017, April 7). What Is Jesus' Real Name? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/jesus-aka-yeshua-700649 Fairchild, Mary. "What Is Jesus' Real Name?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/jesus-aka-yeshua-700649 (accessed February 23, 2018).