Q. Jesus, Yeshua or Yahshua? There’s a lot of controversy doing the rounds as to whether or not we are using the correct Name to address our Saviour. Which is correct?
A. Your question arrived just when an article on the subject, written by Dr. Michael L. Brown, PhD in Semitic Languages, crossed my desk! I’ve used some of his material to answer your question.
Some people say we have to use the Hebrew name, Yeshua and insist that calling on the Name of Jesus is calling on Zeus. These bizarre comments are confusing some, so we would like to respond.
The original Hebrew-Aramaic name of Jesus is Yeshu‘a, which is short for Yehoshu‘a (Joshua). Yeshu‘a occurs 27 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, primarily referring to the High Priest after the Babylonian exile, called both Yehoshu‘a – Zech 3:3, and, more frequently, Yeshu‘a – Ezra 3:2. So, Yeshua’s name was not unusual; in fact, some five different men had that name in the Old Testament.
The etymological history of the name Jesus: Hebrew/Aramaic. Yeshu‘a became Greek Iesous, then Latin Iesus, passing into German and then, ultimately, into English, as Jesus.
Why then do some people refer to Jesus as Yahshua? There is absolutely no support for this pronunciation at all. Some zealous but linguistically ignorant people may have thought that Yahweh’s name should be a more overt part of our Saviour’s name, hence YAHshua rather than Yeshua. The Hebrew Bible has Yeshu‘a; when the Septuagint authors recorded this name in Greek, they rendered it as “Iesous” with no hint of Yah at the beginning of the name.
And there is no connection between Jesus (Greek Iesous) and Zeus. The suggestion is totally ridiculous and neither is it supported by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, as some have suggested.
The power of the Name is not in its pronunciation, but in the Person to Whom it refers; our Lord, Redeemer and King.