Can we use the name Jesus? A study

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Many people argue that we cannot and should not use the name Jesus when referring to the Messiah. Many further claim that we can only and should only use the Hebrew name. It must also be noted that the actual Hebrew name of the Messiah opens up a whole new debate itself with many arguing whether the correct Hebrew name is Yeshua, Yahshua, Yahushua, Yahawashi and a few other variations. But I won’t be dealing with that here. Only can we use the name Jesus when referring to the Messiah.

A verse that is often given as scriptural proof that we can only use the Hebrew name is Acts 4-12

Acts 4- 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

So there is just one name by which we can be saved and that is not Jesus but the Hebrew name.

However if we go back just 2 verses where we are told what name this is we will see that the name given is Jesus.

Acts 4-10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Now of course many people will point out that the verse above is in English, it is an English translation of the original language text and that the original text was not written in English and therefore Jesus is not the correct name. They may also point out the fact that the letter J did not even exist in the English language until the 16th century. Thus further proving that the name Jesus is in fact incorrect.

I would hasten to mention that if we reject the name Jesus based on the letter J then we must at least be consistent and also reject any use of the names Judah, Jacob, Jonah, Joseph and the words Jew and Jerusalem as all of these begin with the letter J.

But let’s go back to the original language. Jesus was a Jew or a יְהוּדִי Yehudi in the Hebrew if we are going to use the original language. However the NT is NOT written in Hebrew. It was written in Greek. If we go back to acts 4-10 and look at the name that saves in the ORIGINAL language ….

Acts 4-10 γνωστὸν ἔστω πᾶσιν ὑμῖν καὶ παντὶ τῷ λαῷ Ἰσραὴλ ὅτι ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ Ναζωραίου ὃν ὑμεῖς ἐσταυρώσατε ὃν ὁ θεὸς ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐν τούτῳ οὗτος παρέστηκεν ἐνώπιον ὑμῶν ὑγιής

So the name recorded in scripture is

Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ Ναζωραίου Iēsou Christou tou Nazōraiou

The Hebrew name of Jesus / Iēsou is NEVER, not even once recorded in the Bible OT or NT.

If we can ONLY use the Hebrew name (whatever that may be) then we have a problem. The NT writers never tell us what this name is. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John who wrote the gospels all used the Greek name for Jesus. As did Paul and Peter. 
Why did the writers of the NT who were moved by the holy spirit not feel the need to record his Hebrew name, if it truly is the ONLY name by which we can be saved anywhere in the scriptures.

2 Peter 1-21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Stephen who was a Greek speaking Jew called out to the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit when he was stoned to death.

Acts 7- 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

As a Greek speaking Jew he spoke in Greek.The words he used are recorded in the Greek.

καὶ ἐλιθοβόλουν τὸν Στέφανον ἐπικαλούμενον καὶ λέγοντα Κύριε Ἰησοῦ δέξαι τὸ πνεῦμά μου

Stephen did not call him by his Hebrew name and neither is his Hebrew name recorded in this verse in the ORIGINAL language. Stephen called him Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Kyrie Iēsou

Cleary God was perfectly ok with the use of the Greek version of the Messiah’s Hebrew name.

If we cannot use the English transliteration of the Latin version of the Greek name because names do not change (even though the fact that we have the name recorded in Greek and not Hebrew and it IS different which shows it does change) then we must be consistent and say that ALL names in the Bible must remain in the original language and be used that way.

We have a problem with other names in the Bible such as Abraham and Moses which are both English transliterations. Both these names are recorded in BOTH the Hebrew and the Greek and they are not the same.

’Aḇ-rā-hām; אַבְרָהָ֑ם Hebrew, Ἀβραὰμ Abraam Greek , Abraham English

Mō-šeh מֹשֶׁה֙ Hebrew, Μωϋσῆς Mōusēs Greek, Moses English

However both the Hebrew and the Greek (OT and NT) are the original languages. Again clearly showing that the use of the names in their Hebrew and Greek forms are perfectly acceptable.

In revelation we are told that the angel of the bottomless pit has a name that is different in the Hebrew and the Greek yet is the same angel.

Revelation 9-11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

Names clearly were known in different forms in different languages.

When Jesus was put on the cross it is recorded that his name was written above his head in 3 languages. Hebrew, Greek and Latin. His name was known in 3 separate languages.

John 19- 19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

The Hebrew ישוע Yeshua, Yahshua, Yahushua, Yahawashi or similar, the Greek Ἰησοῦ Iēsou and the latin Iesous

The Messiah was known by different versions of his name in different languages.

Some say that Jesus is a different Messiah than the Hebrew Messiah. However Jesus himself says that many shall come in his name.

Matthew 24-5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many

If the Messiah’s name can only be the Hebrew version then this different Jesus would never be able to come in his name seeing the Hebrew name and Jesus are not the same.

What this actually means is coming in the name of the Messiah, the Christ as Jesus himself states that they will say I AM THE CHRIST.

It doesn’t mean his Hebrew name at all.

If we go back to the verse in acts 4 we see that we get told that this name is associated with the Christ.

Acts 4-10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

We are told that it is the person who is identifiable as the Christ.
But this brings up another point if the Who has to be associated with the what surely we cannot use Christ either for this is the English translation of the original Greek Κύριε Kyrie .However this is simply the Greek version of the Hebrew term jyiv’m masiah. We are now going down the road of only the original languages of the Bible can be used.

The scriptures show that it is of little importance which version of his name we use. We can call him Yeshua if we want as long as the name we use identifies who we are identifying when using the name and that is the Messiah, the Christ who in the English language is identified by the name Jesus.

So the answer is yes we can use the English name for the Messiah, Jesus, if we acknowledge that Jesus is the jyiv’m masiah promised in the holy scriptures.