And this is how Yeshua became Jesus:
Friday, July 8, 2011
“Yeshua” or “Jesus”
I first knew Jesus’ original Aramaic proper name “Yeshua” when we were visited by my wife’s cousin. Honestly, I’m quite bothered by this information. Since I was a child, I was taught Jesus to be my savior. So I did some research on the net and these are what I got so far:
Yeshua in Hebrew characters is יֵשׁוּעַ which literally means The LORD's Salvation, or Salvation from the LORD. So, how is it transliterated to Yeshua?
The name begins with a י (yud/yod), which carries with it the sound of our English "Y". The vowel point associated with the yud is the ֵ (tsere), which makes the vowel sound "eh" in sephardic/modern Hebrew ("ey" in Ashkenaz). So the first sound is יֵ "yeh".
The second letter is the שׁ (shin), which makes the "sh" sound.
The שׁ is followed by a ו (vav) with the וּ (shuruk) pointing, which makes an "oo" sound. (The ו alone makes a "v" sound, but when it appears as וּ the ו functions as a vowel.)
Together, יֵשׁוּ makes the sound "yeh-shoo". The final letter is the ע (ayin).
By itself, the ע is a silent letter, however, it appears as עַ with the ַ (patakh) vowel pointing, which adds the "ah" sound to the letter.
Together, the three syllables of יֵשׁוּעַ are pronounced "yeh-shoo-ah". We transliterate this in English as "Yeshua."
And this is how Yeshua became Jesus:
The first letter in the name Yeshua is the yod. Yod represents the "Y" sound in Hebrew. Many names in the Bible that begin with yod was transliterated in English Bibles with the letter "J" rather than "Y". This came about because in early English the letter "J" was pronounced the way we pronounce "Y" today. Thus, such Hebrew place names as ye-ru-sha-LA-yim, ye-ri-HO, and yar-DEN have become known to us as Jerusalem, Jericho, and Jordan; and Hebrew personal names such as yo-NA, yi-SHAI, and ye-SHU-a have become known to us as Jonah, Jesse, and Jesus.
The second sound in Yeshua's name is called tse-RE, and is pronounced almost like the letter "eh" in the word "net". The translators of the earliest versions of the English Bible transliterated the tse-RE in Yeshua with an "e". Unfortunately, later English speakers guessed wrongly that this "e" should be pronounced as in "me," and thus the first syllable of the English version of Yeshua came to be pronounced "Jee" instead of "Yeh".
The first sound of the second syllable of Yeshua is the Hebrew letter shin with the "sh" sound. However Greek, has no "sh" sound so the Greek sigma was used in transcribing "Yeshua" as "Iesus". The Greek transcription was transliterated in English, instead of returning it first to its original Hebrew. Thus the "s" sound was never returned to its "sh" sound and in English the "s" sound can shift to the "z" sound, which is what happened in the case of the pronunciation of "Jesus".
The fourth sound one hears in the name Yeshua is the "oo" sound, as in the word "true". Like the first three sounds, this also has come to be mispronounced but in this case it is not the fault of the translators. They transcribed this sound accurately, but English is not a phonetic language and "u" can be pronounced in more than one way. At some point the "u" in "Jesus" came to be pronounced as in "cut," and so we say "Jee-zuhs."
The fifth and last sound is "ah" that represents the Hebrew letter "ayin" with "patakh". There was no letter to represent them in Greek transcription of "Yeshua," so it was dropped -the transcription from which the English "Jesus" is derived.
So we have “Jesu” so far, the final "s" of "Jesus" came from the masculine names in Greek which ordinarily end with a consonant, usually with an "s" sound, so as used to close the name of Jesus.
So what do I think? In my opinion, I think it does not really matter if we call our Savior as Yeshua or Jesus. If the Greeks or Romans had His name mis-transliterated or they made used of letters to which they were comfortable of calling Yeshua, then so be it. What’s important is not the name but to whom we believe in. Jesus has many names; Prince of Peace, Lamb of God, Hesus, Sto. Niño, Jehovah, Messiah, and Christ to name a few. So, Yeshua or Jesus, it doesn’t have difference to me. As long as He is the Son of Yahweh, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born by Virgin Mary; He who suffered, crucified and died on the cross for our salvation from sin; He who rose from the dead and now seated at the right hand of the Father; He who will return at the end of time to be the judge of the living and the dead. Then, He is whom I believe to be my personal Savior and my God.