What name should we use for Jesus?

Proposed: It doesn’t matter what name you use in reference to Jesus.


Jesus has no special meaning in English.  It just the Anglicized version of the Latin Jesus (Heysoos), which is the Latin version of the Greek Iesoun.  It is just the proper name transliterated (using letters in your language to approximate the pronunciation in another language).

There is no magic in saying the name of God in English, Spanish, Hebrew, etc.  It does not matter how you say it as long as you worship Him.



20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23    “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. [1]

What is the name then in Hebrew and why would the Angel of the Lord insist on a specific name for the child?

The name given in Hebrew would be Yeshua.  Yeshua is a shortened version of the name Yehoshua.  In our English bibles, this name is written Joshua.

Yehoshua is a compound Hebrew word.  The first part is the YHVH, the four-letter name of God.  The second part comes from the Hebrew verb Yasa—to deliver or to save.

Thus, Joseph names the boy “God Delivers” or “God Saves” or “Salvation.”

In addition, the verb Yasa has a range of meaning.  One surprising additional meaning is “to grant the essence of existence.”[2]

So, an alternate meaning is “God grants the essence of existence.”

What better names for Jesus;

  1. God Delivers
  2. God Saves
  3. Salvation
  4. God grants existence

Does it matter? No, but using Yeshua, as I do provides a basis to understand the meaning of our Messiah’s name and how it relates to us.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 1:20–25). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew, Based on the Commentaries of Samson Raphael Hirsch. (1999). Page 112. Feldheim Publishers, New York.