• David Lee Brown

Yeshua (Jesus)


The historical changes to the name Yeshua, (occasionally spelled Yehshua)

Yeshua (Jesus) in the original Hebrew, pronounced: ye-SHU-a (or) yeh-SHOO-a

Yeshua was the Hebrew name given to our Lord and Savior by his parents. Yeshua was one of the most common masculine Jewish names at the time of Christ, according to historians. The name Yeshua rendered in most English translations of the Bible as “Jeshua” appears 29 times, and is the name of at least five different persons and one village in the southern part of Yehudah (Judah), but when referring to our Lord it’s rendered Jesus. Jesus came to us as an average ordinary looking man with an ordinary name, but left this world the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When translated into Greek Yeshua became Iesus.

Iesus (Jesus) in the original Greek, pronounced: ee-ay-SUS

The change in the pronunciation was because the Greek language has no “sh” sound in it, so the Greeks substituted the “shu” with iota, rendered “esu” in English, which was their closest approximation of the “sh” sound. They also changed the ending “a” to “s” because masculine names in Greek often end in “s” (e.g. Farris, Narcissus) but sometimes end in “n” or “r”. When the Greek name Iesus was translated into Old English it became Jesus.

Jesus in Old English, pronounced: YEES-us

This was because in Old English the “J” was pronounced with a “Y” sound. When Old English gave way to Middle English, then to Early Modern English and finally to Modern English the spelling of Jesus remained the same, but the pronunciation changed from YEES-us to JEES-us.

Jesus in Modern English, pronounced: JEEZ-us

This is because in modern English we often use a “z” sound to pronounce “s” for example the word praise. The “s” is pronounced “z” phonetically rendered PRAIZ.

It is actually unfortunate we used the Greek translation to render the name Jesus in English, because almost all the sounds in the correct pronunciation of the name Yeshua are present in the English language. The only sound missing is the guttural throat sound after the “a” pronounced kind of like the end of the name Bach. The pronunciation of Jesus’ name is much less important than knowing who He is and what He’s done for you. He lived a sinless life, died a cruel and brutal death and on the 3rd day rose from the grave to show us that he had the power to control life and death. He died to redeem us from our sins and forgive our sins, so that we may have eternal life through Him and have a personal relationship with Him.

So, whether you call him Iesus, Yeesus or Jesus, the name his parents gave Him, in obedience with God’s command, was Yeshua.

Yeshua in English and Hebrew is: