Friday, February 17, 2012
Where did the name 'Jesus' come from?
I've seen some claims that the name 'Jesus' was simply derived from the expression "Hail, Zeus," so I wanted to show where the name 'Jesus' came from.
The name starts off as 'Yehoshua' in Hebrew and was shortened to 'Yeshua' in Aramaic. A lot of changes happened when it was translated into Greek. The 'a' is dropped because Greek had no equivalent for the Hebrew letter 'Ayin.'
There was no 'sh' sound in Greek, either, so the closest thing to the Hebrew letter 'Shin' was the Greek letter Sigma, which has an 's' sound.
Neither was there a Greek letter that produced the 'Ye' sound, and the closest thing to it was the Greek letter 'Iota.' Finally, almost all Greek nouns have case endings and so an 's' was added to the end to show that the name was in masculine form.
This was then transliterated into Latin as:
To let the Germans know how to pronounce the first part of the name, the 'I' was replaced with a 'J,' which creates a consonant 'Y' sound in German, as in 'Ja,' which means 'yes.'
English speaking people then of course saw the 'J' and pronounced it the way the consonant 'J' is pronounced in English.
So, no, the name 'Jesus' did not derive from "Hail Zeus," and it is not a pagan name. It very much refers to the same 'Yehoshua' mentioned in the Bible.