The Jesus or Yeshua Debate

When first coming to an understanding of the Hebrew Roots of my faith I began to really appreciate using Jesus’ Hebrew name Yeshua. It was different and I could use it as a way to spark conversation about some of the rich history we have lost in Christianity. Lately however I’ve been coming across a lot of misinformation about the use of the name Jesus or Yeshua and how they relate.

Jesus or Yeshua

There are apparently a good number of so-called teachers out there saying that if you use the name Jesus and not Yeshua you are praying to a false messiah and therefore not actually a part of God’s covenant people. These teachers are part of what is called the Sacred Name movement and though they may mean well they are terribly mistaken about the name Jesus and where it comes from.

The problem with this teaching is that the assumptions made are never based on true scholarship and they are usually founded on assumptions made by people who can nether read nor write in Hebrew or any Biblical languages for that matter.

Let me explain to you how this deception works:

First they take their Strong’s Concordance and they look up “Jesus.” and find that Jesus is derived from the New Testament Greek name Iēsous, pronounced “Yesous.”

As they read this they think “Oh my goodness ‘Iesous’ sounds like ‘Yay Zeus’ this must mean the name Jesus is pagan so everyone who worships Jesus is actually worshiping Zeus.” or some other foolishness without actually learning the truth about how we got the English pronunciation: Jesus

The truth about the name Jesus AND why everyone can relax about whether they use Yeshua or Jesus.

Jesus is the English form of the Latin form of the Greek form of Yeshua.

Let me explain:

1. Beginning in the Hebrew as Yeshua you first must drop the “sh” shound because that sound does not exist in Greek leaving ‘Yesua’

2. Next, the ‘a’ at the end is silent so it is dropped leaving ‘Yesu’

3. Finally, in the Greek language, whenever the subject of a noun is masculine the “oos” sound is added giving us the pronunciation ‘Yesoos’ spelled out as: Iesous

4. It was this Greek form (not the Hebrew) that was eventually translated into Latin and eventually English.

5. As the English language evolved the ‘ee’ sound was replaced by the hard ‘j’ sound leaving us with the common pronunciation Jesus.

            Transliteration from Yeshau to Jesus            
Language   Transliteration Pronunciation
Hebrew Ye-sh-uah (ye-shoo-ah)
Greek Ie-s-ous (ee-ay-sous)
Latin Ie-s-us (ee-ay-sous)
English Je-s-us (gee-sus)

Calling on “His name” is calling on the object defined by the word not the word itself.

As it is with any word we use to describe something the issue is not the word as much as it is the object we are describing the word with. For example if I call a ‘rose’ a ‘chicken’ does that then mean the rose now has feathers and a beak? Of course not.

Or how about if I call my pickup truck a Ferrari? Does my truck now have the ability to go from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds? I wish!

So we understand that it’s not the name that defines the car I drive. The name is merely a reference pointing back to the car.

It’s the same with the name of Jesus or Yeshua. What matters is not the pronunciation of the name. What matters is who (the object) that name is pointing to.

For example, Mormons say they believe in Jesus but they believe in a Jesus who was a man and became a god. As you can clearly see that is not the Jesus or Yeshua found in Scripture. That is the wrong person and therefore they are not part of God’s family even though they got the name right.

Our Messiah is not petty and He understands when we are talking to Him

Each language has a slightly different way of saying Yeshua’s name. In English it’s Jesus, in Spanish it’s pronounced “Hey-sus,” in Cantonese it’s “YehSou.” they are all slightly different, but all correct.

No matter what language you use, as long as you are referring to the Jesus or Yeshua found in Scripture, you can rest assured knowing He hears you.

I personally like using His Hebrew name Yeshua but there are times when I’m praying or on a rant where the name “Jesus” comes out and that is completely ok because they both refer to the same person. Jesus was the name I grew up with and Jesus is the name I am more familiar with.

Don’t allow someone to condemn you for using the form of Yehsua you are used to because they are ignorant of the facts.

Question: Have you come across someone who told you Jesus is a Pagan name? How did you handle it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

  • Harry “rabbi” Snitkin

    Nice and clean. Well done!

    • Andre Robles

      Thank you Harry, I appreciate the encouragement.

  • Wow thank you so much 🙂

    • My pleasure Leidy, glad it could be of some help.

  • Lonnie

    “So we understand that it’s not the name that defines the car I drive. The name is merely a reference pointing back to the car.”

    I worked in automanfacturing for 8 years, Toyota, and know for sure it’s all about the name. It does define the car.

    Like I said before, Jesus isn’t his name. From Hebrew to Greek, Latin translation doesn’t matter because it’s what Yah spoke that truly matters, and he was very clear on what the name of his son should be and is.

    Yah sent a messenger to Miryam to tell her what to exactly name her son. Yah didn’t allow her to give him whatever name she desired, so what gives anyone else the right to name him as they see fit, only excuses?

    There’s only truth and false, light and darkness, hot or cold, but no in between, luke warm.

    Either his name is TRUTHFULLY Jesus or it’s the opposite, not, false. You already have said his name isn’t Jesus. You know Jesus isn’t the name Yah specifically named him. To teach people it’s okay is a perverse thing, especially after knowing the

    • Hey Lonnie, it’s nice to meet you.

      That works out perfectly because my truck happens to be a Toyota Tacoma. I love my truck. I’m going to ask a few questions here to get some perspective. I’m also going to be a bit silly in order to provoke some thought. Let me know what you think:

      If I were to take all the decals off of my truck so that it said nothing about Toyota or Tacoma on it and replaced them all with Transformer logos and started calling my truck Optimus Prime would my truck then stop being a Toyota?
      Would my truck then become a Transformer?

      What if I got everyone else in the world to call my truck Optimus Prime also? Would my truck then become a Transformer?

      At what point does my truck stop being a Toyota and start to be a Transformer? Does that ever happen or does my truck remain a Toyota no matter what we call it?

  • Lonnie

    Hello Andre.

    Answer to your first question.
    Your truck would be more valuable if it remains all original, so no it wouldn’t be the same if you changed the decals, especially renaming it. Yes, all the internal parts would be produced by Toyota, but that wouldn’t matter to a car collector looking for a Toyota. Just think of how Mr Toyota would feel about you desecrating his name from the car he manufacturerd, highly disrespected. Furthermore, if you did this to a lot of Toyota cars Toyota would come after you to put a end to it. Try telling them it’s still a Toyota, it won’t matter.
    I’m not going to go into the Transformer thing. Satan is the real transformer as it is written.

    Yah commanded not to add or take away from his word, we know who his word is, he named him. Jesus, Iesous, Isa, and all other names are an addition are they not?

    Eliyahu, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?”

  • Lonnie

    When your Tacoma was at the end of the assembly line for final inspection to be bought off, if an employee put a different name decal on it it would be REJECTED as no good. Even though it’s brand new and everything else has been bought off it would be sent back to get the proper true name decal, it matters not that it’s still a Tacoma, it would be called a defect if it had the wrong name.
    If that employee switched the name on a lot of vehicles they would lose their job.

    • What I’m hearing you say is that you want to be sure you are doing everything in your power to be sure not to offend or corrupt the word or will of Yah and that is a beautiful thing. Be sure to temper that zeal with wisdom and love in your interactions with others.
      Grace to you achi.

  • Joe Pena

    Actually this name thing is very wrong. Both the words, god and jesus are names of pagan gods.

    • That is a surprisingly common misconception among Hebrew Roots circles but the truth is that there is no evidence to support such a claim in either history or scholarship