History of the word “Jesus”

In the New Testament, Jesus is a proper name derived and transliterated (not translated) from an anarthrous (without any definite article) Greek noun Ieesoús, which is pronounced as sounding similar to the Spanish version of Jesus “ee-ay-sooce” or “ee-yay-sooce.”

Ieesoús is first used for Joshua in the Septuagint; the Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament that was produced about 280 B.C. for Hellenistic (Greek speaking) Jews living at Alexandria. By the time Jesus was born, the Septuagint had become widely circulated and was the Old Testament Bible used in most Jewish synagogues because Hebrew was a fading dialect.

The reason I mention how and where this Greek word Ieesoún began being used in Scriptures is twofold. First, Ieesoús is the Greek word for ‘Jesus’ in the New Testament. Secondly, in the Septuagint Greek Old Testament, Ieesoún is the same word used for Joshua in Numbers 3:16.

In its original Hebrew form, Joshua is the word that you mentioned in your email, which is compounded from Yahweh and Oshea. However, my research did not verify the meaning of Jesus as ‘Yahweh the Savior.’ The name Joshua in the Old Testament originates from Numbers 13:8, 16, when Moses changed Oshea’s name to Yehoshua.

Numbers 13:8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea, son of Nun;

Numbers 13:16 These are the names of the men whom Moses hath sent to spy the land; and Moses called Oshea son of Nun, Yehoshua` (Jehoshua).

After the Babylonian Exile, the Jews who continued use of this name Yehoshua` but they condensed its form to Yeshua During the 15th thru 18th centuries A.D., when the Bible was being translated and circulated to use into the English language, certain alphabetic letters that were common to English, such as the letters ‘J’ and ‘V’ were considered phonetically incompatible with the phonetic sound of the Hebrew ‘Y’ (in its transliterated form) and in many places, the ‘W.’
As a result, major modifications were made to names in Scripture such as:

Yehoshua was modified to read Joshua.

Yeshua was modified to read Jeshua.

Yehowah, the first transliterated form of the Yahweh from the Hebrew Tetragrammaton (YHWH) was modified to read as Jehovah.

The Meaning of the Name Jesus
Since the names Jesus and Joshua are used as one word Ieesoús in the Septuagint, there is some justification for saying the two words are the same. However, there are contextual differences, which do affect the meaning of the name. Let’s begin by examine the meaning of the Hebrew words for Oshea and Yehoshua as they appear in Numbers 13:8, 16. I compared and used several different Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek lexicons and dictionaries.

Oshea (OT:1954) means ‘deliverer’ or ‘he will save.’ Oshea is derived from a root verb yasha (OT:3467) that means to help, deliver, save; to free or comfort.

The essential meaning of Oshea involves removing someone from a burden, or from oppression, or from impending danger. In the Old Testament the word is frequently used of removing or seeking to remove someone from the danger of defeat. In Jeremiah 23:6 is a prophecy about Israel’s future messianic king that illustrates with yasha the meaning of Oshea as preserving others from danger, ‘In his days Judah shall be saved (yasha), and Israel shall dwell safely…’

Yehoshua or Joshua (OT:3091) prefixes oshea with a contracted form of Yahweh and connotes one of several possibilities for its meaning as:

Yahweh is salvation,

Yahweh is deliverance,

Yahweh delivers,

Yahweh saved,

Yahweh is his help

Yahweh by him would save

Yahweh is deliverance or magnificence

Joshua learned to rule by obeying first; then he ruled for God, not self. In like manner, the New Testament scriptures teach us that Jesus learned obedience thru what he suffered, and this prepared him to be the author of our salvation.

Hebrews 5:7-8 {Jesus} who, in the days of his flesh, when he{Jesus} had offered up prayers and supplications, with intense cries and tears to Him {God} who was able to save him {Jesus} from death, and was heard because of his {Jesus} godly fear, though he {Jesus} was a son, yet he {Jesus} learned obedience by the things which he {Jesus} suffered.

As Muslims believe when Jesus returns will bring salvation to the entire world and he will rule the world globally.

In closing, we learn from this passage in Hebrew 5:7-9 the true meaning of the name Jesus; not as ‘Yahweh the Savior’ but rather as a man, he learned obedience thru his prayerful dependence upon God to save him, giving his name the meaning, ‘Yahweh was his help and saved him.’

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