Where does the name Jesus derive it’s origin from? Does it come from the name “Zeus”?
Many today are saying that it has. Can we track the history of the name Jesus and find out where it came from? In the minds of many sacred name believers, there is a belief that the name Jesus originated from the name Zeus, a Greek mythological god.
Many in the sacred name movement could find out this historical background if that was their desire, however for some it may not be their desire. A desire for enlightened and advanced knowledge and a failure to ask for documentation of the facts before promoting the belief is a great issue with God’s professed people today.
The Deception Exposed
Let’s examine the evidence, or at least what is offered as the evidence from the side of the sacred name believers, and then we will examine what these people are not telling us. We read the following explanatory notes from the publishers of the Sacred Name bible know as [The Scriptures 1998 edition]:
“Consider Iesous, rendered as ‘Jesus’ in English versions up to now. For example the authoritative Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott, under Iaso: The Greek goddess of healing reveals that the name Iaso is Ieso in the Ionic dialect of the Greeks, Iesous being the contracted genitive form! In David Kravitx, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology, we find a similar form, namely Iasus. There were four different Greek deities with the name Iasus, one of them being the Son of Rhea.”
Now after reading the above quote, one might seem convinced. They might see a connection here, but let’s take a look at what they are not telling us. This quotation has the name of the Greek goddess of health and healing as Iaso. In Greek, the Greek letters of this word are Iota, Alpha, Sigma, Omega – Iasw. The Greek word Jesus in nominative case is spelled Iota, Eta, Sigma, Omicron, Upsilon, Sigma – IhsouV.
Please compare them closely:
- Greek goddess of healing-Iasw
- Iesous- IhsouV
Those are 2 completely different words. Look at the letters. It’s not even close. It is the difference between John and Jimmy. That’s really how close the Iaso and Jesus are. But if you didn’t look closer, you would have never known. I could have made up this lie, and made a beautiful video and shown that I had secret knowledge. This is what happens in the sacred name movement. But there’s much more, let me continue.
What was presented above by the publishers of “The Scriptures” would convince many. But God is truly telling us not to trust men, to really do our own research and have our own faith. To “prove all things”(1 Thess 5:21). If I am to believe the name “Jesus” shouldn’t be in the bible, I should need a little more proof then someone telling me that it sounds like “Zeus”. Bell and Ball sound the same, but they are two different things and it would be pretty hard to mix them up. The impression that I have been left with from this is that someone is trying to deceive.
History of the Zeus/Jesus Connection
The History of the connection between these 2 names goes back to 1974 when B. Traina put out his Holy Name bible and it was published with the following statement “The name of the Son, Yahshua, has been substituted by Jesus, Iesus, and Ea-Zeus (Healing Zeus).”
Unfortunately many have accepted these notes without doing the research, and the sacred name movement has taken on a life of its own. The fact is there is no true historical documentation of any connection throughout history from any writers. In fact we will see evidence to the opposite.
Some people have out rightly claimed that Jesus in the bible is the Greek Sun God and not the messiah, and people without questioning the validity of the claim, believe it as truth because they see that they sound the same, even though they are nowhere near. Doctrine based on these types of lies should make us question why anyone would need this kind of help to sustain it.
Some within the sacred name movement have done the research and are convinced that there is no historical evidence to connect the names Jesus and Zeus. Just because they have similarities phonetically, does not mean they are referring to the same thing.
The “J” Argument
Some have said that the English language inserted the “J” within the last 500 years and this is the reason not to use the name Jesus, because we know it has been changed. Many in the movement put a great amount of weight on the “J” issue. However, the “J” was not in any words back then, let alone in the name Jesus. It wasn’t in the name “John, Job, Jonah, Jeremiah, James, Judah, Josiah, Jacob, Jethro, Jude, etc, etc..” Are all pagan names? Are we to assume that the editor of the KJV was trying to insert pagan names into the bible by using the “J”? I don’t believe so. To be consistent we would have to go back to a language without the “J” in it.
There is no credibility in such an argument, and the weight put on the letter “J” argument by those within the sacred name movement is a little much. Have they really thought out or researched this issue very deeply. Or are they possibly ignoring the evidence purposely? I admit there was no “J” in the time of Jesus, John, Jude, Judas, James and the rest of them. However, I am not going to stop calling them these names because there was no “J” back then. This argument really leads many to distrust the bible and seek Hebrew scholars and guru’s to interpret the bible for them. I believe we can trust the bible the way God gave it to us and we don’t have to amend 1000’s of names in it as well as other words to try to get it to fit our beliefs.
The History of the Name “Jesus”
Let’s take a look at some history of the name Jesus without the guesswork offered by some within the sacred name movement.
First note the dictionary meaning and it’s transliterations offered in different languages.
Dictionary entry for Jesus: “ME. [a. L. Iesus, a. Gr. ‘IhsouV, ad. late Heb. or Aramaic Jeshua, for earlier Jehoshua or Joshua (explained as ‘Jah (or Jahveh) is salvation’), a frequent Jewish personal name.”
William Little, et al., eds. , The Oxford Universal Dictionary on Historical Principals,
(London: Oxford University Press, 1955).
The English Jesus can be seen here to have derived from the Latin, Iesus. The latin Iesus then, is from the Greek IhsouV, which is in turn from the late Hebrew or Aramaic Jeshua. Jeshua was derived from the earlier Hebrew Jehoshua – our English Joshua according to this dictionary. Some will say it is poor transliteration, or names can’t be transliterated, however we have several examples of names being transliterated to English.
Names Can Change over Time
For instance, let’s examine the name “Joshua” in the bible since this is the name that Jesus is taken from. In the Old Testament we find that the name changed on 3 different occasions.
The spellings are written hyiwvhy, iwhy, and ivwvhy. Scriptural references for these three biblical ways for spelling and pronouncing the name of Joshua the son of Nun are:
- Nehemiah 8:17 iwhy
- Numbers 13: 16 h x c w c y u c w h y
- Judges 2: 7 ivwvhy
So therefore the true sacred name has 3 different pronunciations. Which one is actually the correct one? You see in the sacred name movement we have several different versions of the name. Some call him Yahashua, Yesha, Yeshua, Yahwehshua, Yashua, Yahshua, etc. There is much confusion in the sacred name movement. God is not the author of this, and I believe there is a reason he gave us the name “Jesus”. With all of these pronunciations, most sacred name users do not believe in an inspired translation of the bible, but yet do believe in an inspired transliteration of the name, as long as it is their own. I don’t have an issue with your pronunciation of the name, however if you want to take issue with mine, then I hope you will be willing to look at the facts carefully with me to see if Jesus is really a pagan derived name.
So above we have 3 different pronunciations of the sacred name. This is not something you will find acknowledged by many within the sacred name movement. But clearly even inspired writers changed the names. This is an issue that many in the sacred name movement take issue about. They say “How would you like to be called by another name, names DON”T Change”. But yet we have evidence from sacred and inspired writings that names can change from one language or writer to the next.
Usage of the Greek Name for “Jesus” in the Greek Old Testament
The Greek Old Testament, sometimes known as the LXX, was written in the 3rd century before Jesus was born. It is often quoted from in the Greek New Testament. When the Hebrew name is in the text, without fail, it is transliterated into Greek as IhsouV, Jesus.
The question sacred name teachers, who propagate the Jesus=Zeus idea need to ask themselves is why Jewish scholars have chosen a word which means son of Zeus to put for the name of the great hero of their past?
Also the apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus, also called The Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach, was likely written early in the third century B. C. E. Originally written in Hebrew by one Joshua son of Sirach, it was translated into Greek by his grandson about 132 B.C.E.
Read this short passage from the introduction written by Joshua’s grandson who translated the work into Greek.
“ Anyone who values learning should be able to help others by what he himself says and writes. That is why my grandfather Jesus devoted himself to reading the Law, the Prophets, and the other books of our ancestors.”
The grandfather’s name is iwvhy, Joshua. His grandson translated the book into Greek, the language which many of the Jews learned from childhood. At the same time, he transliterated the name of his grandfather into Greek as IhsouV. Please think hard about this. If this was considered to be a pagan name that meant “Healing Zeus” a false god why would he call his grandfather by this name?
Not all Jews spoke Hebrew in the time of Jesus
It was important to have the Greek bible for the Jews. How could Paul send letters to Galatia, Ephesus, Rome, Corinth, and throughout these Greek speaking provinces. Greek was the language of the continent in this day. Therefore it was necessary for Paul to write them in Greek. It is another assumption by the sacred name movement that the New Testament was written in Hebrew, but every shred of evidence has been lost they say, and we are not even left with a single piece of pen writing of a Hebrew New Testament manuscript while we have over 1500 Greek manuscripts.
The statement that it was written in Hebrew is stated over and over again in the sacred name movement. The more something is repeated sometimes, even if it is not truth, and has no evidence, the more people will believe it. The evidence is missing, and there are numerous examples in the scriptures where words are translated from the Hebrew to the Greek for the Greek readers of the writings.
Not ALL Jews Spoke Hebrew
A common belief is that all Jews spoke Greek. In the book of Acts we know that not all Jews spoke Hebrew in the time of Christ. Some have said that Greek was not spoken by Jews. This one sacred name believer wrote:
“…the jews…would not read the greek, they considered it the language of dogs. (Jn 19:19-20.)” wsywig://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=501502252257
Has he really read the New Testament? We read in Acts:
Acts 2:5-11 KJV And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. (6) Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. (7) And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? (8) And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? (9) Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, inPontus, and Asia, (10) Phrygia, and Pamphylia, inEgypt, and in the parts ofLibya aboutCyrene, and strangers ofRome, Jews and proselytes, (11) Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
So we can see here that not all Jews spoke Hebrew. But clearly the gospel would be preached in different languages to different countries even to Jews who didn’t speak Hebrew. And in all of the writings of Paul, never did he ever make an issue of the use of the Greek transliteration of the name Jesus. It was not an issue then, but yet some are trying to make it an issue today.
Many other historical Greek works also from before the time of Jesus and after transliterate the name to the Greek “Iesus” if you should be interested in doing more research. There is no excuse for us to continue to fall into undocumented error when history clearly shows us that the name was transliterated even before the time of Jesus.
There is no historical reference of the Greek name Jesus to Zeus from historical Greek and Hebrew writings. This idea that we should stop using the name Jesus because it refers to a Greek god is only truth in the eyes of those who have failed to research it. Only truth in the eyes of those who think that Jimmy and Johnny or bell and ball are similar and phonetically tied and must mean the same thing because they sound close.
I pray that this study leads us to examine these issues with scrutiny, rather than just believing without investigation the first person who comes along with a new theory.
Jesus spoke to John in vision once and said “I am the Alpha and Omega”. These are the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet. They are Greek, and Jesus spoke Greek. He spoke Greek to Greeks who were sent to him.(John 12:20) The bible also shows that Jesus spoke Hebrew(Acts 21:40) and Aramaic(John 1:42) indicating that Jesus could speak many different languages. But one last note before leaving is this. After Jesus told us that he was the “alpha and omega” speaking Greek to us he said “I Iesous”(See Revelation 22:14-16). Jesus was speaking Greek and transliterated it thus.