Hello, gentle readers. You’re probably wondering why Facepalm Picard has graced the posts of this blog again. Well, similar to the post he was in before, we’ve got a doozy of a discussion for you today. Let me ask you…is there something evil behind the name of Jesus? I don’t mean Jesus himself was evil – no no no. That would be too much! I just mean the name “Jesus” itself is evil. Yup, that’s what someone brought forward to me. Let’s start reviewing this argument:
In Scripture – names have meaning.
“Joshua” or Yah-u-shu-ah – means “YAHUAH is salvation” – the name itself points to the NAME of YHWH. It contains the FATHER’S name. It points to the Father as Savior.
True, most Hebrew names carry a meaning, as most names in any language do. For example, Isaiah’s original Hebrew name (Yesha’yahu) means “the LORD is salvation.” Jesus’ original Hebrew name was indeed Yahushua, which means “The LORD saves.” All right, so far so good.
The name “Jesus”, and as you correctly say Iesous, since there was no “J” in either Greek or Hebrew means something else.
Yes, Jesus is taken from the Greek Iesous, and there is no “J” in the Greek or Hebrew alphabet. Neither is the sound related to the letter. Again, so far so good.
Transliterated – Iesous – or “H’sus” – in Hebrew means “horse”.
Wait, what? Hold on a moment…you don’t transliterate words backwards! The Hebrew name came before the Greek, so you generally transliterate words from the Hebrew to the Greek. Transliterating backwards makes about as much sense as putting something in English into Google Translate, translating it into Chinese, then translating it back into English and defining the English context by what comes out. Here, let’s have some fun:
English (Before): I need to go down to Office Max and buy a stapler.
English (After): I need to go to the office to buy a stapler.
Ah, see? “Office Max” must refer not to a store chain that sells office supplies, but a specific office somewhere that apparently sells staplers, because when you translate the Chinese backwards, it comes out that way. Aha!
In all seriousness, the Hebrew word for “horse” used in the Old Testament is indeed sus. The form mentioned here, hassus, is, as far as I can tell, merely one such form of the word found in the Bible, and is used only eleven times out of 139 occurrences. The more popular forms are susim (used 34 times) and the regular form of sus (used 22 times).
By the way, the only connection between Iesous and Hassus is they kind of sound the same. Man, that’s some hardcore etymology, I must admit.
Do you think that is a coincidence?
Why yes I do. Thank you for asking. It’s just as coincidental as the fact that English word “meme” is close to the Turkish word for “boob.”
In Latin it gets worse. “Sus” means pig. Greek “Geo” or “Ge” means “earth”.
…wait, what? What was the relevance of going to the Hebrew? Now we’re going to Latin? Also, “horse” is kind of a nice name. I mean, I’d love to have my name mean “horse.” Horses are cool, man. You can ride ’em and charge into battle on ’em and leap over fences and stuff and stuff. What’s wrong with your name meaning horse?
By the way, Iesous is a Greek name, not a Latin name. And why are we chopping the name up like this? So the first part of Jesus’ name refers to “earth” in Greek (even though there’s no “G” sound in the name), but the latter part refers to “pig” in Latin? Why does this matter? This makes about as much sense as me cutting up my name into two parts in two different languages. Observe:
“Did you know that in the name Tony, the word ‘to’ in Japanese is a quoting particle, whereas ‘ni’ means ‘you’ in Chinese? Don’t you see! The name Tony is telling us to quote ourselves! We’re our own authority, not God! OH MY GOODNESS TONY IS SUCH AN EVIL NAME D’AAAH SAVE YOURSELVES!”
See how silly that is? The name “Tony” is merely the shortened form of “Anthony,” in this case specifically from the Italian António, which stems from the Latin Antonius, which means “priceless” or “praiseworthy.” There’s no grand conspiracy behind the name. It really is as simple as that.
In like manner, there is no grand conspiracy behind the name Jesus. The name Iesous is merely the Greek rendering of the Hebrew Yehushua. There were many others in the New Testament named Iesous, but the use predates even the time of Christ. There are countless others in the Greek Septuagint (both in the Law, the Prophets, and the other books) whose names, usually seen as Joshua in the Greek, are rendered Iesous.
Do you think that is a coincidence? Could this be the name above all names?
Yes, it is a coincidence, and one you invented, by cutting the word up and picking and choosing what you wanted the bits to mean. You do this to try to prove that a bunch of third century BC Jews, desiring to preemptively insult the Messiah they had been longing for, took a Greek word that sounded kinda like “horse” in their language and just so happened to mean “pig” in a foreign language that wasn’t that widely used at the time, and then combined it with the Greek word for “earth,” then applied this new word to the name “Joshua,” with no one in the entire Jewish community taking notice at all regarding the degrading change.
That makes perfect sense.
The simple fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter by what rendition of his name you call upon him. Whether you speak English and you call him Jesus, whether you speak Serbian and call him Isus, or whether you speak Cantonese and call him Yasu, he will hear you. He will hear you. This is because it is not according to the specific form of his name by which he is called, but by his grace alone. Christ is not a magical being who can be summoned by a magical incantation that requires an exact pronunciation of exact words – he is the Son of the Living God, who died on the cross and rose again, suffering for the sins of his people, so that they may know true life. On the day of resurrection there shall be “a great multitude…from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev 7:9). These shall be believers, and they shall be united not by language, but by faith, and they shall all call on the Lamb by his beautiful name, even if it be in its rendition from their own tongue. I can promise you that, to the Lord, every single rendition and pronunciation shall be beautiful, for the desire to speak such a name came from a beautiful source.