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Is the Name of Jesus Actually Yeshua?

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Some claim Yeshua is the Jewish name Jesus was called by and the name Jesus is wrong, even going so far as to say the name Jesus is pagan in origin! They argue Jesus is derived from Zeus and really means “hail Zeus.” How do we show the real answer to what the Messiah’s name was? It is found in the Apostle’s writings.

It’s true Jesus was known in His time as Yeshua. That name means “Jehovah is salvation.” The English spelling of Yeshua would be Joshua. However, when translated from Hebrew into Greek, the name Yeshua becomes Iēsous. The English spelling for Iēsous is Jesus. Simple, right?

Well, the problem gets more complex because some suggest there were no Gospels in Greek at the time of the Apostles, only Hebrew. They claim later in the 4th century people corrupted the name of Yeshua by transliterating it from the Hebrew into Greek. They even suggest we can’t trust our KJV because the English is corrupt because it wasn’t translated from these “Hebrew Gospels.”

First, there’s no manuscript or historical record of any Hebrew Gospels predating the Greek NT. Since all we do have are the Greek manuscripts, we must only use them to find out what the Apostles wrote about Jesus. To say it more pointedly, we must make a case out of the evidence we do have — not use conjecture about things we don’t.

This gets much simpler, though. We have some bits of manuscript called the “Magdalen” papyrus. This early NT manuscript contains eight verses from Matthew. In 1994, a German biblical scholar and papyrologist Dr. Carsten Thiede painstakingly redated these pieces of manuscript showing they were not from 180-200 AD as previously thought. Instead they were from 66 AD. This is the only verified manuscript we have from the time of the Apostles! This proves the Apostles wrote in Greek. Further, using an epifluorescent confocal laser scanning microscope, Dr. Thiede found the reading of Mt. 26:22 agrees with the Greek Textus Receptus (source of the KJV) not the Critical Greek Text (all modern translations from the Westcott and Hort Critical Greek Text).

Also, the “Magdalen” papyrus has the name of Yeshua transliterated into Greek as Iēsous. So the Apostles were inspired to transfer the Hebrew Yeshua into another language! People arguing we can only use Yeshua are saying we must choose between their ideas and the ideas of the Apostles. There really is no choice here! The name of Jesus isn’t a magic name tied to its pronunciation. It’s a legal name that can go from Hebrew to Greek. And Greek to English or Spanish or Portuguese, etc. One must accept the evidence of the Apostles! It is shown in this earliest Greek witness verifying the KJV. Or one must admit he or she is not following the Apostle’s doctrine.

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