Should we use the name: Jesus or Yeshua?

BibleAsk Team

Yeshua or Jesus

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. The English spelling for Iēsous is “Jesus.”

Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8 in the King James Version show that the two names are interchangeable. In both cases, the word Jesus refers to the Old Testament character Joshua:

“Which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David” (Acts 7:45). “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day” (Hebrews 4:8).

We can refer to Jesus as “Jesus,” “Yeshua,” or “YehSou, without changing His nature. In any language, His name means “the Lord is Salvation.” The language changes, but the meaning itself does not change.

The Bible nowhere commands us to only speak or write His name in Hebrew or Greek. In fact, on the Day of Pentecost, the apostles spoke in the languages of the “Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene” (Acts 2:9–10). Thus, Jesus was made known to every language group in a way they could readily understand.

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, German, or Hebrew. He is still the same Savior.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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