Summary: Is Jesus really the name of the Son of God is there something that has bee forgoten over the centuries? Does Jesus Christ have a secret name that no one speak about or een realizes exists, and how does learning that secret name change who we are as Christians?
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As Christians we declare that we follow the one and only true Son of God called Jesus Christ. We believe that He came from Heaven through a virgin birth, lived in Judea two thousand years ago, performed miracles, was crucified and resurrected from the dead so we can be part of the New Covenant and receive atonement. Everyday thousands of people utter the name of Jesus, some in prayer, others in worship, while others use the name to display frustration.
We open our Bibles and see the name Jesus, we go to church and (hopefully) hear the name Jesus being spoken from the front. <strong>We assume that everyone over the past two thousand years has called out to the name of Jesus Christ as well.</strong> Even back when He was walking the earth the crowds went out to hear the words of Jesus Christ and to witness His miracles, or did they?
The Secret No One Is Telling You
Today we just assume that because we call Him Jesus Christ that everyone else throughout history has as well. It is the belief that the way it is now is the way it has always been because we are always right and nothing really changes in the world. It’s like how people assume that places such as New York city, Istanbul, or France have always gone by those names. However, that’s not true; New York used to be called New Amsterdam, Istanbul was called Constantinople, and France was called Gaul. Be it because of changes to a language, invasions, or a differing of opinion names change over the decades and centuries.
Even if there aren’t the changes mentioned above, differences in language can change a simple name into a myriad of variations. Take Germany for example, that isn’t the nation’s actual name it’s the English version of it, in French it’s called Allemagne, while the Germans themselves refer to it as Deutschland. The same goes for nations in the Bible, what we call Egypt the ancient Jews called Mizraim, or that Tarshish is southern Spain and Yavan (Javan) is Greece.
We see then that names may change over time but the things they identify remain the same, but what does this have to do with Jesus? Isn’t Jesus His one and only name and isn’t that what everyone called Him during His ministry, first name Jesus, last name Christ? Have you ever questioned why Christ his last name, I don’t remember there being a Mary and Joseph Christ in the early pages of Luke, no there’s something missing here, something that’s been forgotten.
If Christ isn’t His last name then Jesus is still His first name right? It may shock you to know that no one ever referred to Him as Jesus when He walked the earth. In those days He was called by fellow Judeans “Yehoshua.” That name was the one given to Him when He was eight days old during His circumcision ceremony. It is the name Mary called Him by as a child, the name He was known by in the synagogue, and it was the name the apostles would have recognized Him by: Yehoshua from Nazareth the Messiah.
Lost In Translation
If Yehoshua is His name what does it mean? Yehoshua is interpreted from Hebrew/Aramaic as “Yahweh the Savior” or “Yahweh our deliverer.” While the name Christ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Mashiach (Messiah), which literally means the anointed one and his anointing. To be anointed means to be covered and/or soaked by either oil or the Spirit of God, David being anointed by Samuel for example (1 Sam 16:12-13). Therefore, when we casually say the name Jesus Christ we are literally saying “Yahweh our savior and deliverer from Nazareth (literal definition varies between “branch” and “guard”) the one covered with the Spirit of God.”
How then did we go all the way from His name being Yehoshua to Jesus? In Jesus’s time because of Roman (and earlier Ptolemaic Greek) rule it was customary to for Jews to have two names. They would have their Hebrew/Aramaic birth names and an alternate Greek name which was either a direct translation or something unique. Take Peter for example, with his multiple names, he was Simon (Shimon; to hear and one the twelve tribes) in Hebrew, Cephas (stone) in Aramaic and Petros (stone) in Greek. We see this with other disciples as well as Matthew who was called Mathaios (gift of God) in Greek and Levi (to be joined and one of the twelve tribes) in Hebrew and with Judas (not Iscariot) who was called Yehuda (praise and is one of the twelve tribes) in Hebrew and Thaddeus (courageous heart) in Greek and Aramaic.