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Why the Savior's True Name is
Missing in Your New Testament

When our Savior was put to death, Pilate made a statement about Him in three languages, and then placed it on the torture stake. The text reads: Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the [stake]. And the writing was, [YAHSHUA] OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where [Yahshua] was impaled was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.” (John 19:19-20)
      Notice, John does not say that Pilate wrote the Savior’s Hebrew name, His Greek name and His Latin name. It was one name written or transliterated into three different languages. Transliterate means the sound of the name is the same - even if spoken in Greek, Hebrew or Latin.
      A primary goal in translating is to bring the sound of names (proper nouns) across unchanged into the next language, usually with a foreign alphabet. Names are not translated as are common nouns, and names do not change from language to language. Instead, proper nouns are transliterated. This is especially noticeable in bringing Hebrew into either Greek or Latin, as each has its own alphabet. Different letters must be employed to simulate the same sound in each alphabet.
      The Savior’s Name appeared in Hebrew as
ucwhy. In Greek it was IASOY. In Latin it was IASOUA. The sound is similar in each language.
      The proper rendition of the Savior’s Name is woefully lacking in the English of our King James. Hebrew scholars agree that the English spelling that closest represents the equivalent Hebrew sounds is “Yahshua.”

“Joshua” a Closer Rendition

The King James and most other Bibles print the Savior’s name as “Jesus.” But enlightened authorities maintain that the name “Jesus” is the same in the Hebrew as the Old Testament “Joshua,” the son of Nun. Why this discrepancy? Should not these names appear the same throughout our English Bible? If it’s Joshua in the Old Testament, why is it Jesus in the New? Why the switch?
      Our Savior was Hebrew. The Latinized Greek name “Jesus” has no meaning in Hebrew. This fact underscores a real problem because all Hebrew names have meaning. Both Mary [Hebrew meaning “bitter, rebellious”] and Joseph [Hebrew = “to add”] were told by the angel Gabriel [“mighty with El”] the specific name they should give the baby about to be born, implying this babe would be the Savior of the world. True to purpose, the name “Yahshua” means in the Hebrew, “Yah is salvation.”
      A good King James study Bible such as Bullinger’s Companion Bible points out the two places where the wrong names Jesus appears (Acts 7:45 and Hebrew 4:8), which both refer to the Old Testament person of Joshua. Reliable reference works show that the name of the Savior is the same as the Israelite general Joshua, the son of Nun.
      In this study we will determine why the name “Jesus” is incorrect and how the aforementioned enigma can be solved. This may seem a bit tedious to you at times, but unearthing truth covered by centuries of ignorance and neglect takes time.  

Names Closely Related
Numbers 13:16 is widely recognized as the time Moses changed the name of Oshea to Joshua: “These [are] the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea the son of Nun Joshua” [“Jehoshua” in some texts]. (Num. 13:16)
      It should be pointed out that the letter j originally was the letter i and was pronounced “ee” as in machine, much like our letter y. The letter j should today be pronounced as a y to be truer to the original Hebrew, e.g. Joshua as “Yoshua.”
      Hebrew scholars point out that the name of the Book Joshua (which follows Deuteronomy) is very much similar to the Book of Hosea (which follows Daniel). Under the listing of Joshua, Strong’s Concordance shows this close relationship: “See also Hosea; Hoshea; Jehoshua; Jeshua; Jeshuah; Jesus; Osea; Oshea."
      The name Joshua (No. 3091 in Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary) is portrayed by the following: “YeHOWSHUWA’; from No. 3068 and No. 3467; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (i.e. Joshua), the Jewish leader.-Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua.”
      In Strong’s Greek Dictionary under “Jesus” (No. 2424) we find: “’Ihsous Iesous, ee-ay-sooce’; of Hebrew origin [No. 3091]; Jesus (i.e. Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites:-Jesus.”
      The best transliteration (bringing the sound over) of the true Name of the Savior into English is YAHshua. The name Joshua does not appear once in the King James New Testament. Just why we do not find the Name Yahshua (or at least Joshua) in the New Testament is interesting.  

Why We Find Variance in Names
Adam Clarke’s Commentary points out that the early Christian translators did not know Hebrew. They refused to study or learn Hebrew or have anything to do with those Jews who had killed the Savior.
      Instead of translating the Old Testament from the Hebrew, they chose the Septuagint (LXX), a Greek translation of the Old Testament. This allowed them to bypass the Hebrew text in writing the Latin Bible. But by so doing they rendered many Old Testament names almost unrecognizable in the New Testament.
      The King James construes the people of Esau as Edom in Isaiah 11:14 and 63:1 and Ezekiel 25:12, 13, 14 and 32:29. But Edumea in Isaiah 34:5-6; Ezekiel 35:15, 36:15, and Idumaea in Mark 3:8. Same Hebrew name.
      Why the discrepancies? While both Idumea and Idumaea refer to Edom , variations came about as sections of the Hebrew text were given to different learned Jewish scholars to translate into the Greek Septuagint. Their spelling and orthography did not always agree. Once in Greek text, the differences in the names were perpetuated.
      Perhaps Adam Clarke says it best: “Through the ignorance and carelessness of transcribers innumerable mistakes have been made in ancient names. These also have suffered very greatly in their transfusion from one language to another, till at last the original name is almost totally lost. Examples might be multiplied without end; a very few will suffice: the [Hebrew] ucwhy Yehoshua (according to the Masoretic punctuation) [corrected = Yahshua] of the Hebrew Bible, is changed into Joshua and Jesus…” “Besides, neither the Greeks, nor Romans could pronounce either the Hebrew or Persian names; and when engaged in the task of transcribing, they did it according to their own manner of pronunciation. It is notorious that all the Greek and Latin historians have committed innumerable blunders of this kind, in their accounts of foreign nations.”
      Clarke gives Jerome’s explanation for translation mistakes from the Hebrew: “…the Hebrews had both sounds and letters which were wholly unknown to the Greeks and Latins.” Jerome, the 4th century scholar who produced the Latin Vulgate starting from the Greek Septuagint then going to the Hebrew, reveals that there was some creativity involved when the translators of the Septuagint came up short. They added more letters than were in the Hebrew ---as in the case of the Hebrew letters chet and ayin. Further, “Whereas the Greeks and Romans had only one s, the Hebrews had three, s samech, x sade, and c sin, each of which had a different sound.” (Adam Clark’s Commentary, Vol. 3, pp. 393-94, notes on Luke 3)  

Beware of Name Bearing Greek
Today we have a problem not only with the names of Old Testament Bible characters, but most importantly with the true names of the Father and the Son because of the translators’ ignorance and their problems making transitions from the Hebrew alphabet.
      Most Hebrew names in the New Testament are decidedly different from those found in the Old Testament. They have been “Grecianized,” betraying the fact that they were taken directly from the Greek Septuagint of the Old Testament, and not from the original Hebrew texts. Matthew has prime examples of name changes from the Old to the New Testament. Note in chapter 1, verse 3, Estrom should be Hezron. Here’s how other names are rendered: Verse 4, Naasson – Nahshon; Salmon – Salma; Verse 5, Booz – Boaz; Verse 6, Urias – Uriah; Verse 8, Ozias – Uzziah; Verse 9, Ezekias – Hezekiah;
Verse 10, Manasses – Manasseh; Josias – Josiah.
      Even the traitor Judas should be rendered Judah for uniformity with the Old Testament. With numerous examples like these, it is no wonder that the sacred Names of both Yahweh and Yahshua were progressively perverted upon arriving in English!  

A Short Course in Greek
Perhaps a brief explanation of the Greek would help explain the background behind the bizarre changes that came about in Hebrew names found in our New Testament.
      The Greek, like most European languages, gives gender to nouns, which can be masculine, feminine or neuter. (The Hebrew has masculine and feminine only, lacking the neuter gender. How the noun is used in the sentence determines what suffix or ending it will have.
      Initially, the spelling of Yahshua in the Greek was the equivalent of I A S O U. The letter I has the sound of ee as in police, followed by the letter a. So far we have the sound “ee-a."
      The Greek has no “sh” sound, so only the s (sigma) having but an “s” sound was used. This was followed by o (omicron) and u (upsilon), having a sound like our u. The Greek letters would sound something like “ee-ah-s-o-u.” Say these rapidly, and we get a fairly close rendition of Yahshua’s Name, “Yahs-o-u.”
      However, the scribes, the Masoretic Jews, out of mistaken reverence for the Name had deliberately vowel pointed the first letter, yod, in “YAH” of His Name with a shewa (:). Now it sounded more like “Yeh-s-o-u” (the “Yeh” rhymes with they). This was done to forestall anyone blurting out even the short form “YAH,” as in HalleluYAH.
      Being ignorant of the true pronunciation, Bible translators followed these Jewish scribes in their superstitious change. Rather than an “ah” sound they spelled the Savior’s Name as I H S O U, instead of I A S O U, and pronounced it “Yeyso-u.”
      The letter iota (i) soon became a j in Latin letters and instead of the capital I, His name was spelled JESOU in Latin letters. A suffix is added to nouns in both Latin and Greek according to their use in the sentence. (Greek H is eta, sounds like “ey” in they.)
      From the standard New Testament Greek for Beginners by J. Gresham Machen, we find the following chart showing the various endings for nouns, depending on their use in the sentence. Greek nouns are masculine, feminine or neuter. The ending for each is usually different for the five cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative. Modifying adjectives agree with the nouns. The suffix (endings) for declension of the masculine singular and plural are as follows:

Example, the word “son”:
  Singular Plural
Nominative os N. uios N.V. uioi
Genitive ou G. uiou G. uiwn
Dative w D. uiw D. uiois
Accusative on A. uion A. uious
Vocative e V. uie  

     In addition to the masculine gender (endings) of nouns, there are also feminine and neuter nouns each with their own declension. Also there are plural endings for the three genders, each with five cases (suffixes).
      This means a Greek noun in the nominative case would end in s. However, in other cases it could end in oi, i, ou, e, o, or on, depending upon its use in the sentence. In fact the name Jason is a transformation of the name Yahshua, being in the accusative case, therefore ending in n.
      YAHSHUA in the Greek became IASOU, a fair transliteration of the Hebrew. However, the Jews insisted that the letter a (alpha) be changed to h (eta) to conform to their self-imposed rule of not pronouncing the ineffable name YAHWEH or its poetic form YAH. IASOU then became IESOU because of an addition of the vowel point shewa.  

Latin Influence and the Switch to J
The nominative in the Greek ends with sigma s (s), which gave us IESOUS. This name was then lifted from the Greek text directly into the Latin translations, bypassing the Hebrew. The capital I became the cursive J. Hebrew names that began with yod y and had been transliterated into Greek utilizing the I and its vowel sound of Y underwent a change. In the Latin translations they began with the letter J. IESOUS became JESOUS, which then became JESUS when the English translations were made from the Latin-Greek texts.
      The problem was, substituting the J for the I also created a change in the pronunciation—from a Y sound to a soft G sound.       The Dutch printers favored a capital J, using it extensively in their printing. The letter J has been with us only five hundred years. Prior to that, printing utilized the capital I, including the text of the 1611 KJV Bible.
      In Latin the letter j is pronounced as our y, e.g., major is pronounced mayor. Before the turn of the century, French had become the international language of diplomacy and business. From Old French the present sound of j as g (as in sage) began to dominate our English language.

A Tangled Web
As stated previously, the Hebrew text was bypassed in favor of the Greek Septuagint when translating into Latin, English and other languages in the Old Testament. A number of scholars state that the New Testament was written first in Hebrew and then translated into Greek. (Request a list of Hebrew New Testament proponents, and our ministudies, Was the New Testament Originally Greek? And How the Savior’s Name Was Changed.)
      The original Hebrew texts either wore out or were destroyed first by the Romans, then by the Jews, later by the Crusaders, then the Inquisitors. Only copies of the Greek text have survived. Thus, instead of the correct Hebrew Name Yahshua, we are given a hybrid, Latinized Greek name for our Jewish Savior. The irony of the situation is that the Bible states in Acts 4:12 that there is only one name given for salvation. Yet nearly all our Bibles read “Jesus,” a corrupted name, instead of Yahshua. (The argument that we use “Jesus” because we speak English falls flat when we understand that “Jesus” is not English!).
      Interestingly, many Hebrew names are transliterated with no problem. Names like Daniel, Reuben, Ruth, Esther, Abraham and others are strictly Hebrew. Yahweh’s Name, however—the most important Name in the universe—has been replaced with Kurios and Theos in the Greek and G-d and L-rd in English. Yahshua (meaning “Salvation of Yah”) has been displaced by the Latinized Greek name Jesus, a name with no etymological meaning in any language.
      It should be obvious that the hybrid name Jesus in no way derived etymologically from the Greek deity Zeus, as some believe. While paganism has supplanted the true Savior Yahshua with a long-haired, effeminate “Zeus-“ or “Serapis-like” individual, the names Jesus and Christ are essentially woeful mistranslations.
      Christ is a Greek word that professedly means “anointed.” Why are we handed a form of the Greek christos (which means anoint, rub or smear with oil) instead of the Hebrew “Messiah” or “Anointed One?” Most Bible readers have no idea what the Greek past participle Christ even means. (Incidentally, we should not refer to Him as “our” Messiah, for He is Yahweh’s Messiah, His Anointed One.)
      From the American Heritage Dictionary under Christ we read: “Middle English CRIST, from the Old English CRIST, from the Latin Christus, from Greek Khristos, KHRISTOS, from KHRISTOS anointed, past participle of Greek KHRIEIN to anoint.” Green Bible Dictionary says: “Christ (Christos) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew ‘Messiah’ meaning ‘anointed.’”
      It is indeed strange that our Hebrew-speaking Jewish Savior is given a Greek name Jesus and a Greek title “Christ” for an English-reading audience! It should be obvious that the true Name of our Savior has been twisted and distorted and a counterfeit has been handed us.

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