What is the pronunciation of Jesus’ name in Hebrew? If people don’t pronounce the L_rd’s name correctly, are they really saved? These and other similar questions have led us to the discussion of the pronunciation of the name of Jesus, but have also opened up a much more critical issue.

If this discussion is only about linguistics and pronunciation, here is a synopsis of where the name of Jesus came from. There are two primary sources for the Old Testament Scriptures, the Masoretic Texts and the Septuagint. In the Masoretic Texts[1] the name is spelled יֵשׁ֫וּע (yeh-shoo’-ah) and is a shortened form of יְהוֹשׁ֫וּעַ (yeh-ho-shoo’-ah). Because of the way that vowels shorten in Hebrew, it is impossible to have the name Yahushua (yah-hu’-shoo-ah), Yahashua (yah-ha’-shoo-ah) or Yahshua (yah’-shoo-ah) with the spelling given in Scripture.  The spelling of the name יֵשׁ֫וּע  (Yeshua) is used thirty times in the Tenach[2], and refers to ten different people, predating the Christian era by at least 500 years. In the Septuagint[3] the name in those same texts is translated as Іησους (ee-ay-sooce’), which is the exact name for Jesus as used by the New Testament authors. Also Heb. 4:8 uses the name Іησους (ee-ay-sooce’) to refer to Joshua son of Nun. The Greek was then translated into the Latin Vulgate, becoming Iesus; which was translated into German where the “I” became a “J”, and then finally into English as Jesus (Je’-zus).   For more information on pronunciation, see the articles written by Dr. Daniel Botkin[4] and Dr. Michael Brown[5].

Simple enough, right? Well, this is where we get to the more critical issue. Each time that we have met someone who insists that Yeshua’s name must be pronounced Ya-hu’-shu-a or Yah’-shu-a, they have also ended up denying the deity of Yeshua. Coincidence? Maybe not.  The attempt to change the pronunciation has to do with inserting the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) into the name of Yeshua. The (mis)translation of the name is an attempt to change the meaning of Yeshua’s name from “He is Salvation” to “Yah is Salvation,” thereby claiming that Yeshua is only a man who represented G_d. Dr. Botkin wrote that the Sacred Name movement used John 5:43 as a “proof” of the Yahshua form, since Yah is a shortened form of Yahweh, and Yeshua “came in His Father’s name”.   Coming “in the name” of another, actually means to be appointed as their representative on their behalf. i.e. an ambassador or lawyer. This was accomplished by Yeshua being the exact representation, or “image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15-18). If this argument is about pronunciation, there has never been a name Yahshua in biblical times or in Jewish history.[6] This leads to the conclusion that the (mis)translation of Yeshua’s name is held to support an incorrect belief that Yeshua is not fully G_d and fully man. Those holding this belief also bear the fruit of attempting to control others by “secret knowledge” and therefore pride. For more information on the divinity of the Messiah, see Rabbi Shapira’s teaching[7], David H.Stern’s commentary[8] or Dr. Michael Brown’s book[9].

[1] Masoretic Texts are the Hebrew texts from which most Torah Scrolls and Bibles are translated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masoretic_Text

[2] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Jeshua [3442,3443]

[3] The Septuagint is a Greek version of the Scriptures fully translated by the 2nd century BCE, from which the New Testament authors frequently quote. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint

[4] http://www.yashanet.com/library/Yeshua_or_Yahshua.htm

[5] http://askdrbrown.org/portfolio/what-is-the-original-hebrew-name-for-jesus-and-is-it-true-that-the-name-jesus-is-really-a-pagan-corruption-of-the-name-zeus/

[6] http://askdrbrown.org/can-we-please-stop-with-this-yahshua-nonsense/

[7] http://youtu.be/ZqzNQ9GHwcI?list=PLOoP2kB8SXG1ungc0RFJ3i0llDo6ATql3

[8] Jewish New Testament Commentary, David H. Stern, Pg. 145 on Luke 22:42

[9] Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume Two, Michael L. Brown, Pgs. 3-48, Sections 3.1, 3.2 & 3.3.