Jesus or Yeshua?

Why Do We Call Him Jesus if His Name is Yeshua?

What did Jesus look like?

People have a funny idea of what Jesus looked like. Jesus of Nazareth was not white-skinned. Jesus was not European. Jesus was a Jew. Jesus lived in the land of Israel, in the Middle East. The Bible tells us that Jesus walked wherever He went, so we can easily imagine that His olive skin would have been darkened by the sun.

Jesus would not have had a neat, trimmed beard, because a command (Leviticus 19:27) in the Law of Moses , which the Bible says Jesus observed, required Jewish males to “not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”

Hundreds of years after Jesus’ life on earth, artists painted pictures that made Jesus look handsome. They were not accurate representations of Jesus’ likeness. The painters were following traditions and Western culture, rather than what the Bible says, and they certainly had never met Jesus. Sadly, their artworks continue to influence thinking to this day.

The only verse in the Bible about Jesus’ physical form, before His death and resurrection, is found in Isaiah 53:2. It says:

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him,
nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.

In other words, the only biblical description of Jesus during His time on earth says that He was not physically attractive.

Beauty, in God’s eyes, comes from within.

A reader asks:

Jewish people say that our Lord Jesus’ real Hebrew name is Yeshua. If it is true, then why are people worshiping him in the wrong name?

The reader is not the first person to ask this question. Some religious movements have argued that we worship the wrong Savior if we do not call him by his Hebrew name, Yeshua (ישוע ).

Response:

He is correct in saying Yeshua is the Hebrew name for the Lord. It means “Yahweh [the Lord] is Salvation.” The English spelling of Yeshua is “Joshua.” However, when translated from Hebrew into the Greek language, the name Yeshua becomes Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς ). The English spelling for Iēsous is “Jesus.”

Basically, what this means is Joshua and Jesus are the same name. One is translated from Hebrew into English, the other from Greek into English. It is also interesting to note, the names “Joshua” and “Isaiah” are essentially the same names as Yeshua in Hebrew. They mean “Savior” and “the salvation of the Lord.”

The Bible doesn’t give preeminence to one language (or translation) over another. We are not commanded to call upon the name of the Lord in Hebrew only. Acts 2:21 says, “But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” God knows who calls upon his name, whether they do so in English, Portuguese, Spanish, or Hebrew. He is still the same Lord and Savior.

By Mary Fairchild

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