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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.


  1. Excellent post and very informative. I loved it. It doesn't matter which word we use to call him by name as long as our hearts convey it to Holy Spirit---then He knows...He definitely knows!

  2. Oh I am overjoyed to see this post. What knowledge and eloquence you have used in explaining this all in great detail. I agree with your ending point. It is most important that we have the acceptance of God's gift to us in His son. I believe both are correct. I really love this post. Thank-you for writing this I fully enjoyed it.

  3. awesome post.
    please follow back thanks :)

  4. nice! very informative and inspiring as well.

  5. Love this post.. great details!!

  6. This is a great post. I particularly like this part-
    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;.

    I agree 100%.

  7. Is Yeshua a Judaism name or what?

  8. Wow, very detailed phonological explanation. I like reading about etimologies and origins of words and names so I totally dug this post. :)

    Right, it doesn't matter what name or in what language we use for Jesus. It's how we regard him that counts.

  9. Galeng ng Birthday boy! Happy Birthday po Ralph Yahweh bless!I agree with you po 100%, I also think it does not really matter if we call our Savior as Yeshua or Jesus, as long as we live as good Christian and do good to everyone and shy away from bad vices and rumor mongering then that is good enough I guess.

  10. My God! Naloka ako nung binasa ko lol. Anyway, do you know Jesus is the son and he has the father named "Jehovah"?

    I hope you also tackle the importance of calling God using their real name which is "Jehovah" the father and "Jesus" the son because Satan is also a "god" :)

  11. Bro, this is a very good information about Jesus' name. I've known him as Jesus but I don't know the historical background on how the name was came about. Yahweh Bless to you Bro!

  12. I appreciate finding your time to research for the etiology of Jesus' name. It is quite nice at times to also learn the history of the things we love and people we adore. For this, it is good to know the etiology of the name of my best friend, Savior, King and My Everything - Jesus.

    God Bless You Ralph! Only a few bloggers do this kind of post :)

  13. wow this is a great read... very informative..

  14. informative post bro, now i deeply know what his name means. I've read that info. first in this blog, god bless

  15. information overload for me. I can't believe na ganyan complicated ang name ni Jesus. I think tama yung ending any name will do.

  16. It doesn't matter what you call them, the faith is of most importance.

  17. very informative post, He must be very happy too reading this :)

  18. In muslim country Jesus is named Isa, for them Isa is Jesus true name.But as you said,whatever nmaes we calls him the bottom line is He is THE SON OF GOD and our saviour.

  19. I can read Hebrew text. It's quite complicated since the vav can be read as V or B and at the same time sa O or U. The problem with their language is, if you don't know how to speak hebrew then it would be very difficult for you to read it. They dont use any vowel in most of their words. But they have these dots as a guide.