What’s in a Name? Y’shua

Y'shuaNameAs we draw closer to our Savior and King, we often get into the deeper meanings of things. We start looking at what things meant in the culture from which they came. It helps us to get a better picture and understanding of who we are worshiping and following. One of the things you will hear are the differences in the names. Let’s take a closer look at the name Y’shua.

What’s in a name? In ancient times, names meant something. Parents didn’t just give their kids a name because it was popular, or they liked it. Names were crucial. It was not only what someone called you, but it had a deeper meaning then than names do today. Let’s look at a few examples. In Genesis 10:25 Eber named one if his sons Peleg (division) for during his days the earth was divided. Abraham in Genesis 17 went from Abram (The Father is Exalted) to Abraham (Father of Multitudes).

In Genesis 17:19 and 21:6 Sarah named her son Isaac (He laughs) for YHWH made her laugh. In Genesis 25:26 Jacob (He Grasp the Heel or Heel Holder) because he was born holding onto Esau’s heel, but later we see in Genesis 32:28 his name was changed to Israel (Elohim prevails).

Most people have probably read Genesis chapter 5 where it goes through the descendants of Seth. We just showed a few examples of how Hebrew names carry a meaning and actually mean something, so could we have missed something crucial looking at it in ONLY English, without digging deeper into what the names mean?

It seems we have. YHWH revealed His plans for His Son to us from the beginning, and it was through the names He gave His children. Let’s dig into Genesis Chapter 5, Seth’s records.

Adam=man
Seth= appointed
Enosh=mortal/miserable
Kenan=sorrow
Mahalalel= blessed God
Jared= shall come down
Enoch=teaching/to instruct
Methuselah=His death shall bring
Lamech=despairing
Noah=comfort/rest

If we line those descendants up, we have a message within His message…

Man appointed mortal sorrow that the blessed God shall come down teaching. His death shall bring despairing and comfort/rest!

WOW!! Now that changes everything about He begot, doesn’t it? Just reading through those names became interesting and brings a whole new light to the way we see things and shows just how important a name and what it means really is.

Now let’s look at the name Jesus and how it came to be in the English language. We’re going to try to stay as simple as we can, but please look at these things for yourselves for a deeper understanding.

First of all, names are not supposed to be translated. They are supposed to be transliterated. That means the sound of the name stays the same. If you ever listen to Spanish or Chinese news stations, when they are talking about English political leaders or Hollywood stars, they don’t change the pronunciation of their names. Properly transliterated into English, His name would have been pronounced and spelled like Joshua, not Jesus. Say Y’shua and then say, Joshua. Do you see now they sound almost identical? Y’shua is Hebrew/Aramaic, and Joshua is the English transliteration of his name. His name was translated into Greek as Iesous, but as we have stated, names are not supposed to be translated.

As we saw with the descendants of Seth, every name means something. Y’shua’s name means Salvation or YHWH is Salvation. Let’s examine a few verses in the New Testament.

Matthew 1:21 KJV
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins (salvation).

Many Bibles have a footnote at the bottom of the page that may have something similar to this: 1:21 Jesus from the Greek, Iesous, from the Hebrew name “Joshua,” which means “the Lord saves” or “YHWH saves.”

Luke 2:28-32
Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised YHWH and said: Now, Master, You can dismiss your slave in peace as You promised. For my eyes have seen Your salvation. You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples — a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel.
Acts 4:12
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.

We see His name means salvation so let’s look at a few places in the Old Testament to see how the word salvation was used.

Genesis 49:18
I have waited for your salvation, YHWH

Psalms 9:14
That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in your salvation.

Psalms 91:14-16
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation.

Psalms 79:9
Elohim of our salvation, help us — for the glory of Your name. Deliver us and atone for our sins, because of Your name.

Isaiah 56:1
This is what YHWH says: Preserve justice and do what is right, for My salvation is coming soon, and My righteousness will be revealed.

Isaiah 62:11
Look, YHWH has proclaimed to the ends of the earth, “Say to Daughter Zion: Look, your salvation is coming, His reward is with Him, and His gifts accompany Him.”

His name means Salvation in Hebrew but by changing it, we lost the original meaning, as we have with so much of the original meanings of the Bible. Moving forward we will notice many different ways of spelling Names due to not knowing exactly the ways to transliterate the spelling. For example, Jacob is the English transliteration of Ya’aqov. There isn’t a J in Hebrew so it would be given the Y sound instead. Jacob and Ya’aqov sound almost exactly the same, but their spellings are very different.

We’re not going to get into which translation of the Bible is the best, but let’s look at the KJV, which is one of the earlier English translations and still very popular today. It’s interesting that in the 1611 KJV they actually had it as Iesous everywhere that we now see Jesus and also the KJV had Jesus in a place that it now has Joshua (Acts 7:45). They missed this due to Joshua being the closer way to say or spell the name. They were changing all the Hebrew Y’shua’s to the Greek Iesous/Jesus and realized this was referring to Joshua that YHWH appointed after Moses. Some people claim that He didn’t have a Hebrew name, so before looking any further, let’s consider a few things.

First off, we were given the historical and genealogical records of Y’shua in Mathew 1:1-17 and also Luke 3:24-38. This clearly shows Him being a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel). Israel fathered 12 sons (the 12 tribes) and one of those sons (tribes) was Judah. Today they are known as Judah or the Jews. It makes no sense what so ever that a Hebrew woman would name her Hebrew baby with a Greek name. There may be some doubt about the exact spelling and pronunciation of Y’shua, but we can be 100% sure that he was never called Jesus. He was born over 2000 years ago, yet the letter J is only about 500 years old. The name Jesus has NO meaning. If you try to search for the meaning of Jesus it, will point you to the Greek Iesous which then points to the Hebrew Yeshua/Yahshua/Y’shua.

Looking at all the information, we see in the Hebrew language that a name means everything and how changing even the smallest thing from His word causes confusion or causes us to miss things that are truly AMAZING. We lose so much meaning, and it becomes evident why YHWH tells us not to add or take away from His wonderful word.

After all….

Acts 4:12
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.

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Posted on January 18, 2015 in Foundational Teachings, Names and Words

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About the Author

Jeremy lives in North Louisiana with his wife and three children. He grew up in Methodist and Baptist churches most of his life. His pastor, who also happened to be his Uncle, started realizing that Torah was still an important part of our relationship with God and began to incorporate Torah into his messages. Jeremy set out on a mission to prove his Uncle wrong and dove head first into the Word. He failed in his quest to disprove his Uncle and came to realize that the whole Word still applies to believers today.

Responses (2)

  1. What’s in a Name? | Torah Babies
    November 29, 2015 at 7:39 pm · Reply

    […] For more information about the name Y’shua check out What’s in a Name? Y’shua […]

  2. […] For more information about the name Yeshua check out What’s in a Name? Y’shua […]

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