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Origin of the Name “Yeshua”

written by Asher Intrater
May 05, 2012

The Israeli branch of “Jews for Jesus” is running a campaign of newspaper ads this month with a slogan in Hebrew: “Yeshu = Yeshua = Y’shuah.” The name “Yeshu” is the most common name in Hebrew for Jesus, yet it is a terribly derogatory term, meaning “his name be blotted out.” (Although some scholars claim it is merely a transliteration from the Greek Iesous.)

In Numbers 13:16, Joshua’s name was changed from Hoshea to Yehoshua. The name Yehoshua is a combination of the name YHVH (Yehovah) and the word for salvation (Y’shuah). So Joshua’s name meant “Yehovah saves” and was a prophetic foreshadow of the coming Messiah (Matthew 1:21). Yeshua is His name and it means salvation. (It might have been better to translate His name as Joshua instead of Jesus in order to preserve the historical meaning.)

About 700 years after Joshua and 700 years before Yeshua, this same name became shortened from Yehoshua to Yeshua. In the last books of the Hebrew Bible (Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah), the shortened form Yeshua appears 31 times. The name Yeshua was already a popular Hebrew name in Israel centuries before the New Covenant, and therefore there is no reason not to use it today.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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