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Dear brethren, I recently became involved in a discussion about the name of Jesus with a women who posted a question on the Glorious Church website. Her name is Teuila Holding. Teuila maintains that we must use the name Yeshua and not Jesus. Below is the discussion beginning with the question she posted on the website and my response. The discussion has continued from there via email. I need your help in this because I feel as though I’ve used about everything in my arsenal. What am I missing here that might persuade her of her error?

Note: My comments begin with DH and her’s with Teuila.

 

Teuila’s original question: Where do you find in Scripture to support your theory that people were baptized in the name according to the language they speak, or that His name was changed based on what language you speak?

Answer on website: The very fact that the New Testament was written in Greek and the name Jesus written as Iesous rather that Yeshua is a good place to start. Also, the Bible recognizes that the peoples of the earth speak different languages according to God's own purpose (Genesis 11). We reject the idea that the Lord's name is being changed when it is transliterated from one language to another. It doesn't matter if a person is baptized in the name of Jesus, Yeshua, Yesha, Jesu, or Iesous. These are simply Anglicized versions of the letters which spell God’s name in various languages.

Notification to Teuila: Thank you for posting a question or comment on the Glorious Church website. We take all postings very seriously and do our best to provide solid and responsible answers. We have recently posted our response to your posting. Please keep in mind that we sometimes change the title to make the nature of the question clearer to others visiting the site. Thank you for participating and please continue to visit.

Teuila: Thank you. But with all due respect, you didn't give me scripture besides stating that there were different languages spoken, which we all know to be true. The response is telling me that man is the one who changed the name of God from language to language however where do we find in scripture that His name changed when speaking to someone in a different language, especially Baptism?

DH: The name did not change. If you spell Yeshua in Hebrew letters, no one in Greece will be able to say it (unless they speak Hebrew). So when you transliterate the Hebrew letters into Greek, it comes out Iesous (except it would be in Greek letters). This is not changing the name, it is only changing the language in which the name is said. It still means Yahweh is Salvation. When people read the New Testament letters in their original languages, they would have read the Lord’s name as Iesous. When it was translated into English, it became Jesus. When I was baptized, the name Jesus was called over me. I have baptized hundreds of people and have always called the name Jesus. You seem to be suggesting that we are not saved because we didn’t say Yeshua. If that is what you are saying, please explain why God had the NT written in Greek and why He didn’t make clear that the name must be uttered in the original Hebrew. I am interested in this, so I honestly want to know your explanation.

Teuila: Who came up with the name Iesous?You would like to know why he didn’t specify that His name had to be uttered in the original Hebrew but I’d like to know where he said that it was pronounced diff according to the language you spoke? My name is Polynesian, you don’t have to be or speak the Polynesian language to say my name. My husband speaks Spanish, my name wouldn’t change if he was introducing me to someone who speaks Spanish. In High School I had foreign exchange students who came down from Japan, one of their names were Jin Soo, didn’t have to speak their language to be able to call him by his name.

And I’m quite confused when you say the name did not change yet Yeshua, Iesous and Jesus are all spelled 3 different ways and pronounced differently so how is that a direct transliteration or the same? How would you know how to pronounce Yeshua if you don’t speak Hebrew ( unless you do) those are not Hebrew letters so then wouldn’t Yeshua be the direct transliteration from Hebrew to English? I can’t read Hebrew but I can read/say Yeshua just fine.

DH: The name Iesous in Greek letters is the name as it appears throughout the New Testament. So I guess you could say that the New Testament writers came up with it under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. If we use your logic, then we should always use the Greek name Iesous and never use the Hebrew name Yeshua. But I have answered enough questions for a while. My question to you is, where does this leave all of us who were baptized in the name of JESUS?

Teuila: You can’t start from Jesus and try to figure out how that name came about. You have to start from the beginning in the old Testament with Yahweh (which they changed that too) then you will see that Yahweh was a lot of things to them but the greatest thing he could become for us was our salvation. Yahweh-Yasha. Yeshua. It’s the fulfillment of scripture of Yahweh coming himself to save his people when you say Yeshua. There’s no salvation in any other name. Singular. He wasn’t called anything other than Yeshua bc then that would break scripture. In Isaiah 56 he said that he’d give an everlasting name (singular) that would not be cut off. When names were changed in scripture it was obvious, for instance in Revelation 9 it specifically states that the name was diff in the Hebrew and Greek. We don’t find anywhere that his name was called something else from one language to the next.

DH: You did not answer my question. You also did not explain why the New Testament uses Iesous instead of Yeshua. Please respond to these issues. Thanks.

Teuila: The New Testament was written during a period called Hellenism where King Alexander the Great came in and was changing everything to Greek, names and all. Also weren’t there some names used both in the Old and New Testament? Why didn’t those names change then too? Can you please answer then where Iesous was derived from?

DH: The New Testament was written in the first century AD. Alexander the Great lived in the 4th century BC, 400 years before the New Testament era. Your explanation is historically impossible. The name Joshua (Yehoshua) of the Old Testament appears as Jesus in the KJB. The Old Testament name Elijah (Eliyahu) appears as Elias in the New. There are other examples. These names were not changed or translated; they were transliterated. This is the practice of exchanging the letter equivalents of the two languages (in this case Hebrew and Greek). That’s where Iesous came from. It is a transliteration from Hebrew letters to the equivalent Greek letters. It is the same name. You still haven’t said where your ideas leave me and all the others who have been baptized in the name of JESUS. Do we need to be re-baptized in the name of Yeshua to be saved?

Teuila: I understand what transliteration means and it would be to get the same sound so we would be pronouncing it the same way in our own language. What name was Iesous derived from? Yeshua correct?

Yes, I believe you have to be re baptized. The letter J wasn’t even created until the 16th century and the name Jesus wasn’t even used in the Bible until 200+ years ago. In the KJV 1611 Bible the scripture recorded his name as Iesus, 1617 it was Lefus and in 1722 it was Jefus Chrift.. So that’s the English language, so then that means that since the name Jesus wasn’t used in the English bible all those years, no one up until that point has a chance to make it to heaven bc they weren’t baptized in the name Jesus?

DH: You are incorrect about the name Jesus in the King James Bible. The letter J existed in 1611, it’s just that it was formed differently in formal type setting. Same with the letter S. The people of England knew the name Jesus in 1611 just as they do today. You seem to be suggesting that according to my beliefs, no one could have been saved in 1611 because they could not know the name Jesus. If I need to be baptized again to be saved, how should that baptism be done, what should be said? I am very serious about asking this because if I have it wrong, I want to get it right. I don’t really care about winning arguments, I just want to be saved. So what do I need to do?

Teuila: Well I can’t say whether or not they knew the name Jesus or not in 1611 but it wasn’t recorded in scripture until after 1722. I don’t find anywhere in the scripture where Yeshua’s name changes from on language to the next. Your name doesn’t change if you go to another country where they speak another language. Who are we to change God’s name? Salvation is in The name of Yeshua. Baptism in the name of Yeshua.

DH: It is not true that the name Jesus did not appear in the King James Bible until 1722. It was there in 1611, it’s just that some of the letters were formed differently from what we recognize today. It is also not true that your name would not change if you went to a foreign country. If you a man named Joseph went to Mexico, he would be called Jose. If a woman named Ruth went to Israel, she would be called Rut (with a long u sound). If a man named Michael went to Russia, he would be called Mikhail. When the writers of the New Testament wrote the Lord’s name, they wrote Iesous. They never wrote Yeshua. It almost seems as though you do not consider the New Testament to be part of the holy Word of God. Is that true?

Teuila: Well in my research the name Jesus did not appear until after 1722. I would say that if you were born in Mexico, you’re more likely to be named Jose not Joseph. That doesn’t mean that’s what they’re going to call you. That may be more common in their language but they’re not going to change your namer you go there, they have no right to. Where would your identity be in your name changed everywhere you went? And of course I consider the NT as part of the holy Word. Just bc it was never written doesn’t mean that wasn’t his name. It was man who changed the name of God, something we had no right to do.

DH: You seem to be unwilling to deal with the fact that the entire New Testament identifies the Lord’s name as Iesous (in Greek letters). It never calls Him Yeshua (using either Greek or Hebrew letters). So you can say all you want that everyone must call Him Yeshua, regardless of their language, but your whole theory falls apart as soon as you read Matthew 1:1.

Teuila: I’m sorry, I would’ve responded sooner but for some reason your email went straight to my junk folder. I’m not quite sure how it all falls apart after reading Matthew 1:1.

In Revelation 22:2 shows us that Paul (Saul) was speaking in the Hebrew tongue. Not for their benefit bc they knew what language they were speaking but for ours. They spoke, taught and preached the name Yeshua so why aren’t we doing what the apostles did? John 3:18 But he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name ((singular, one name)) of the only begotten Son of God.. Couldn’t have been Jesus bc that name never existed.

DH: Are you American or Polynesian? Or something else?

Teuila: My mom is Puerto Rican, my dad was mainly Polynesian and Italian. My husband’s mom is Puerto Rican and black and his dad is Irish and Native American.

DH: Do you live in the US and speak English as your primary language?

Teuila: Yes, of course.

DH: So you are an English speaking American who has a Polynesian name. Is that right?

Teuila: Yes. Which then you will try to justify that even tho He was a Jew who spoke Hebrew had a Greek name, and I would justify it saying that just bc I’m not Hebrew nor speak Hebrew doesn’t mean I cant say his name in Hebrew. Just like you don’t have to be or speak Polynesian to say my name. But again you haven’t answered any of my questions nor do I find in scripture where his name was pronounced differently from one language to the next. As we know names are very significant and have meaning and purpose throughout the whole bible. Esau means Red bc he came out that way, Jacob heel-holder, supplanter. Sarah to Sarai, Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel and many more yet we don’t find that about Yeshua’s name. So the fact that you’re trying to downplay the significance of a name, especially when it comes to our Saviour is not so convincing. Our God is very specific, the Arc, The Tabernacle, so again hard to see where His name would just be called anything and change from one language to the next.

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There are some of us that are that way, Mike. I am not one of them. I'm not resistant at all to Yeshua. It's just I'm more familiar with the English, Jesus. Some of us, however, have been scarred by some of the sacred name groups that say that only Jeshua is recognized by God as the saving name. I know an Apostolic preacher who's wife got mixed up in one of those groups and, because he would not renounce the name of Jesus, she actually left and divorced him. Seeing those kinds of abuses has made some Apostolics "circle the wagons" around the English name, Jesus. I do agree that some go to far with it, though. 
Mike Gibson said:

Very few people say you cannot be saved unless you use the Hebrew name. Or he will answer to no other. What I notice most among Apostolics is a resistance to the "original" Hebrew name. As if somehow its "foreign" and only the English will do.

How terrible for one to be told they must "renounce" the name of Jesus. It is the most wonderful name in the English language. Yet I wonder if the ancient English people who had understood the name as "Yesu" from the time when Tyndale translated the scriptures from Greek to English had a hard time accepting the newer "Jesus? They probably felt as if the sacred name was being changed.

I guess I am of the mind that we should get as close as we can to the original. What if English "evolves" again a few decades from now? Could we accept yet another name to replace Jesus?

The recent use (I'd call it a fad use at this time) of the word "evolves" may or may not be applicable to the kind of change in language that Dave has explained in this discussion. "Evolves" is being used as a euphemism by people with political and social agendas to try to get them to change their thinking. The average person in our culture has accepted the general concept of evolution and people who speak well and have letters behind their names use the term in a positive light frequently. The political-agenda folks then use the term to portray a change in a social view positively. So, in the mind of the average American who is not as knowledgeable or mentally engaged as he ought to be starts viewing an evolved point of view on abortion or immigration, for examples, positively because of the way that "famous" people are using the term. They don't realize that they are denying some basic values in so doing.

The discussion here regarding the name of Jesus is a little different, I think. "Jesus" is a very well-established English word that has Greek and Hebrew connections, but it's still an English word. If you or I were presented with some great-sounding story about a discovery or development that a person thought was a reason to change that word, we would probably reject it because of all the associations we have with the word "Jesus". Languages are always changing because culture and technology is always changing, but changing "Jesus" to a different word would be massive.

Agreed. Thats my point. Up until the 1600's Jesus was called "Jesu" in English. English Christians had called him that for a long time. So when Jesu became "Jesus" I wonder how they felt? How would we feel today if someone announced due to a change in our language we would no longer be using the word "Jesus" but replacing it with something else?

Mike, could you provide some references for your statement that English speaking people used the name Jesu until the 17th century?

Hi Dave, The best I can offer at this point is from the fact that both Iesus and Iesu were used to describe the same person we know as Jesus. In several languages this is true. At some point hundreds of years ago the English dropped "Iesu" or "Jesu" and went exclusively to Jesus.

I will post a few paragraphs explaining this.

http://www.pfrs.org/jewish/hr09.html

Two hundred years before Jesus was born, Jewish scribes translated the Old Testament into Greek. They transliterated "Yehoshua" and "Yeshua" as "Iesou" (Yay-soo) and "Iesous" (Yay-soos). In both Greek and Latin, the "s" ending (Iesous {Greek} and Iesus {Latin}) is added in the nominative case only (when the name "Jesus" stands alone or is the subject of the verb). The "s" ending is not used in other cases. If you check a Greek or Latin text of the New Testament, you will find the Greek spelling "Iesou" and the Latin spelling "Iesu" are used when Jesus is not the subject of the verb, while the "s" endings (Iesous and Iesus) are used in the nominative case. In both of these languages it was proper to pronounce Jesus' name as "Yay-soo" or "Yay-soos" depending on the sentence structure. (In Spanish, both "Hay-soo" {Jesu} and "Hay-soos" {Jesus} are still used). In Exodus 17:9,10 of the Greek Old Testament (LXX), we find the name of Joshua as "Iesou" in verse 9 (Joshua not being the subject of the verb) and "Iesous" in verse 10 (Joshua being the subject of the verb). The "s" ending was added to Joshua's name by the Jewish scribes who translated the LXX, in order to conform to proper Greek grammar. This is also the case with all of the New Testament books as well, and in the early Latin translations. Since we do not make this distinction in modern English, the "s" ending is retained in all cases. So, the "s" ending was simply a function of Greek and Latin grammar, and has nothing to do with the name "Zeus."

When the Bible was first translated by Wycliffe from Latin into English, the Latin spelling "Iesus/Iesu" was retained. When William Tyndale translated the New Testament into English from the original Greek in 1525, he followed Wycliffe and also used the Latin spelling (Iesus/Iesu) because English uses the Latin alphabet. The other early English Bibles, Coverdale, Geneva, Bishops, and the 1611 KJV all used the "Iesus/Iesu" spelling. Not until the 1629 edition of the KJV was the "Jesus" spelling used.

The only reason "Jesus" is spelled with a "J" instead of an "I" in our modern English Bibles is because of the evolution of the English language. English eventually dropped the practice of using the "s" ending only in the nominative case, and retained it regardless of case. In the sixteenth century, like Latin, the letter "I" was both a vowel and a consonant. As English evolved, the letter "I" became two letters. "I" retained the characteristics of the vowel exclusively, and a hook was added to the bottom to distinguish the consonant form (J). The pronunciation remained the same as Latin for both the vowel and consonant. By the time the 1629 edition of the KJV was published, the "J" was in wide use and was incorporated in this edition. Even though Jesus' name was spelled "Jesus" in the 1629 KJV, it was still pronounced exactly the same as in Greek and Latin (Yay-soos) and in the previous English versions. This is also very close to the pronunciation in Italian and Spanish, two other languages derived from Latin. Since the seventeenth century, the pronunciation of the letter "J" evolved into what it is today. In Spanish, "J" evolved into the "H" sound, Jesus being pronounced "Hay-soos/Hay-soo." In French, the "J" took on a unique sound. In English "J" evolved in pronunciation to its present form because of French influence on the language. Also, as English drifted away from its Latin roots, the vowel "e" evolved from the "ay" sound (as in Latin and Spanish) to the long "ee" and short "eh" vowel sounds. The "u" also developed a long "ou" and short "uh" sound in English. Hence over the last 500 years, the pronunciation of the Latin spelling "Iesus" slowly evolved from "Yay-soos" to "Jee-sus." The spelling has followed the normal transliteration process from Greek, to Latin, to modern English. The pronunciation in the earliest English versions was precisely the same as the original Greek. The only real change in pronunciation, from the time of Christ until today, is due solely to the evolution of the English language in the last 500 years. The pronunciation remained the same for 1500 years in both Greek, Latin, and was retained unchanged in the languages which use the Roman alphabet - early English, Spanish, Italian, and German.

Me...So in short I think I was wrong in believing Iesu or "Jesu" was used exclusively for several centuries in English. Apparently they were both used for a long time then "Jesu" was discontinued.

Peace and love, Mike

Hello everyone!  Haven't been here in awhile.  Thought of you guys and just stopped by to see if the discussions have had any activity.  Hope everyone is doing well.

I know this discussion is a bit old, and I haven't read all 4 pages of responses.  Lot of talk about syllables and etymology.  But thought I'd toss in an idea.

When you pronounce words out loud, there is sound -- the air vibrates.  Different pronunciations vibrate the air differently.  But there is NOTHING about the vibration of the air that has any spiritual effect.

  • The pronouncing of His name (vibrating the air) does nothing.  Not a magic formula.
  • The name is not a being/person.  It is just a word we use to reference a being, so His name itself does nothing.
  • HE does everything -- the One who is referenced by the name.
  • There is "power in the name" only because there is power in the One referenced by it.

I just don't see that there is much to debate there.

So, the core of the issue is not how you vibrate the air, but Whom you are referencing.  For evidence, consider these passages:

  • "To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD." [Gen 4:6]
  • "And he [Abram] removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD."  [Gen 12:8] 
  • "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them."  [Exo 6:3]

So, from the pre-flood days all the way up to Moses, people "called on the name of the Lord", but they didn't use the name YHWH (however you want to say it).  They referenced the same One, but with a different vibrations of the air.  And the fact that they used different references, didn't really make any difference.  The important thing was that they referenced the right One.

--- Mike R. Prevost

Good point, Bro. Mike; however, if I call on the supreme God by vibrating the air so as to create the name George, I'm not so sure the God I am calling on will respond. Doesn't the significance given to the name Jesus in the New Testament indicate that God wants to be known by a particular name and will respond only to that name, regardless of the sincerity of the petitioner? The point of this discussion has been that the name Jesus produces differing vibrations depending on what language a person is speaking. I don't have any issue with that, but I would have an issue with George. 

I agree with you about "George" -- at least in our culture.  I don't think you can just go make up your own name for God.  However, even having a name is an anthropomorphism.  But He has a specific name so that He can have an identity among men.  So that He can be referenced and talked about.  So that He can have a reputation.  So that we can identify Him to others.  So that we can label the works we do as being done for Him, in relation to Him, or as His agent -- works done "in His name".  So making up your own name for God muddies His identity.

However IF (and this is, of course, VERY hypothetical) there was some language of men where it was appropriate to translate IESOUS into something that sounds like "George", then, yes, I would think He would respond to "George" for the same reason that He responds to "Jesus".  I mean, if we were teleported back to the first century, and we started saying "Jesus" the way WE say it, no one would know Who we were talking about.  

But Jesus would.

It is the LORD who does the work.  Not the name.  We call upon the LORD.  The phrase "calling on the name of the LORD" is just a fancy way of saying "calling on the LORD".

Interesting topic.

--- Mike Prevost

I agreed with you, Bro Mike, until you said "calling on the name of the LORD" is just a fancy way of saying "calling on the LORD". Name means "authority." To leave that part out would be to lose access to the Lord and his power. However, scripturally, the way we "call on the name of the Lord" in salvation is through baptism IN THE NAME of Jesus (Jeshua, Jesus', etc)- see Acts 22:16. Again, without the name (authority) being invoked in baptism, the baptism does nothing. 

Mike R. Prevost said:

I agree with you about "George" -- at least in our culture.  I don't think you can just go make up your own name for God.  However, even having a name is an anthropomorphism.  But He has a specific name so that He can have an identity among men.  So that He can be referenced and talked about.  So that He can have a reputation.  So that we can identify Him to others.  So that we can label the works we do as being done for Him, in relation to Him, or as His agent -- works done "in His name".  So making up your own name for God muddies His identity.

However IF (and this is, of course, VERY hypothetical) there was some language of men where it was appropriate to translate IESOUS into something that sounds like "George", then, yes, I would think He would respond to "George" for the same reason that He responds to "Jesus".  I mean, if we were teleported back to the first century, and we started saying "Jesus" the way WE say it, no one would know Who we were talking about.  

But Jesus would.

It is the LORD who does the work.  Not the name.  We call upon the LORD.  The phrase "calling on the name of the LORD" is just a fancy way of saying "calling on the LORD".

Interesting topic.

--- Mike Prevost

MICHAEL AND DELLA WINSKIE said:

I agreed with you, Bro Mike, until you said "calling on the name of the LORD" is just a fancy way of saying "calling on the LORD". Name means "authority." To leave that part out would be to lose access to the Lord and his power. 

Sorry.  I must be a little slow.  Not understanding the issue.  And I think that my response would lead us quite a ways off topic.

But you at least agree with this part right?  "It is the LORD who does the work.  Not the name."

Thanks!

--- Mike R. Prevost

I do agree that it is the Lord who does the work. However, he has instructed us to use his name. We are to pray in his name, baptize in his name, worship and praise in his name, work in his name, etc. So, while it is the Lord that does the work and never us, it is the use of his name that he uses to release into motion whatever it is he wants to do through and in us. 

Mike R. Prevost said:

MICHAEL AND DELLA WINSKIE said:

I agreed with you, Bro Mike, until you said "calling on the name of the LORD" is just a fancy way of saying "calling on the LORD". Name means "authority." To leave that part out would be to lose access to the Lord and his power. 

Sorry.  I must be a little slow.  Not understanding the issue.  And I think that my response would lead us quite a ways off topic.

But you at least agree with this part right?  "It is the LORD who does the work.  Not the name."

Thanks!

--- Mike R. Prevost

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