[This is the MILLERWRITES contribution to the 2012 Blogging A to Z April Challenge Here is my INTRODUCTION to this particular series, and an opportunity for you to influence which alphabetically aligned weird words I will comment on this month. THANK YOU for stopping by!]
YESHUA is a special name, but maybe not very special. Have you ever run into someone with the name Jesus? Probably a Latino boy or man, and he pronounces it, naturally, according to the rules of the Spanish language so it would be like this. We don't use that name (too often) in America, I think, out of respect for the name of our Savior, Jesus. I also think that in Latin countries, they use that name freely, out of respect for the name of their Savior Jesús
Different cultures think about things differently (there's a new concept eh?), and that's a wonderful thing.
My understanding is that the name 'Jesus' as it was given to Mary's baby was pronounced in the Hebrew as Yeshua and means 'God saves'. This was a very common name in Israel 2000 years ago. It was Joshua, as we pronounce it, who took over leading the Israelites after Moses died, and it was Joshua who "fought the battle of Jericho," as the song goes (although there was not too much of a fight when the walls fell down miraculously). And since he was one of the early heroes of the nation, and with its hopeful meaning for a people expecting a Messiah, the name YESHUA was all the rage!
So the apostles never called Him Jesus; the Pharisees never called Him Jesus, and even His mother never called Him Jesus. When the story was told in Greek, which has its own rules and limitations, the 'Y' became an 'I' and the 's' was added to the end (as all good Greek masculine names must have) so the Savior was called "Iesous" and when transliterated into English, the 'I' became a 'J' and there you have....JESUS.
After all the confusion and translating and cultural complications, it must be clear that the pronunciation of the name is not what matters. But who was this man? GOD SAVES!