Saturday, October 3, 2009

What's in a name?

There are five separate individuals named Jesus in the Bible, which is not such a wonder since Jesus is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Joshua (please revert to that name for etymology). The most famous Jesus, of course, is the semi-biological son of Mary, son-by-law of Joseph and monogenes Son of God (see our article on John 3:16). Other men named Jesus in the NT are an ancestor of Christ (Luke 3:29), Joshua (Acts 7:45 and Heb 4:8), a fellow worker of Paul named Jesus Justus (Col 4:11) and a Jewish magician that Paul and Barnabas meet on Cyprus, named Bar-Jesus (a Greek transliteration of the Aramaic for Son Of Joshua). The name Jesus means Yah Will Save."

Yea, well, they seem to be twisting things a bit here. The name Jesus isn't Greek, the Greeks don't have a, "J". Seems to me that the name Jesus is Latin.

Funny thing about Latin names, they have a 'us' on the end to differentiate between males and females, kind of like the 'the's of Romance languages 'le's and 'la's denoting male and female objects. Julia would be a girl's name and of course Julius would be a dude.

Not only are Christians seemingly confused between Greek and Latin, they refuse to notice the similarity between the words "Deus", "Zeus", and "Jes".

Taking the 'us' ending to mean 'the man', and 'Jes' to be a cognate of the Greek and Latin words for 'God', we come up with 'Jesus' or 'God the man'.

But I think that Christian scholars are deliberately trying to lead us away from idea that the name 'Jesus' is actually just a title, because that would make the 'Christ' part a second title.

Christian scholars might tell us that 'Jesus' is equivalent to 'Joshua', or in Hebrew, 'Yeshua', but some others will say that Jesus' actual name was 'Yehoshua', adding a little more to the 'confusion'.

I think that the reason for this other source of the name Jesus(Yehoshua), is that one meaning of the name Joshua(Yeshua) is "Savior" and harkens back to the Old Testament Joshua and the idea of a warring Messiah who conquered Palestine for the Hebrews we hear.

Seems to me that the derivation of the name Jesus depends on how deep you are into Christianity. If you aren't a Christian you get this semi-confused etymology but if you ARE then it is perfectly reasonable for the name to mean different things depending on the situation.

For example, when talking to a Christian I mentioned that the name Jesus the Nazarene could very well be interpreted as, "The Savior, The Branch!", and I was surprised by the reaction. His eyes lit up as he said, excitedly, "Exactly!", which to me, meant that he 'saw' the hidden meaning of the Hebrew word for 'branch' which is changed to be Nazarene(coming from Nazareth) when THAT suits them.

That Christian and I both knew of the Old Testament prophecy that the Jewish Messiah would come from a 'branch'(i.e. be a decendant of) Jesse!

Jesse? Jesus? Nothing like each other at all, right?

But it is supposed to be a puzzle, hidden in plain sight, for those of 'wisdom' to 'divide correctly'.(which apparently means to see one meaning when that 'works for you' and an entirely different meaning when THAT fits.

I LOVED the "son-by-law" workaround(from the quoted passage), where Joseph 'gets' to be Jesus dad, but only when THAT suits them. What a laugh!

Son of God, well yes. Son of Joseph the Carpenter, well yes. Son of BOTH apparently.

It's all about eating your cake and having it too, all of it.


Anonymous said...

No J's in Latin either pboy.

Names have ambiguity. Every single word you're reading right now is essentially meaningless. It's part of language's fun.

But you're going to blame religion for doing what comes naturally because of, not in spite of language.

Yet you're not going to take to task the millions of deluded romantics who are making horrible movies and songs about True Love and what Love means and whatnot?

Here your use of etymology was a red herring.

You're really only reiterating that religion forces one context to fit into another without realizing it.

Yet you're guilty of the exact same "sin" your Christian friend is. Because it's no "sin" at all. Let me know when you've made a language that isn't inherently ambiguous or doesn't change with culture and I'll give you a million dollars.

But this sure brings back memories

2nd declension masculine baby!

us i
i orum
o is
um os
o is

Man that's a convoluted language. You know they really did not give two hoots about syntax?

Speaks well Yoda did, Latin he was.

pboyfloyd said...

Hi oneblood.

Yes, can you see how you 'demolished' my commment without adding much by explanation.

Since you seem to know, is the Greek literally, "God will save"?

And the rest? Why is it drivel that Christians use Yeshua sometimes and Yehoshua others, is THAT a function of changing language then?

The 'son-by-law' thing, is that NOT just a feeble excuse to make Jesus fit as both God's son AND making him 'come from a branch of Jesse?

Do you have some etymology of the name Jesse for us?

You can't just say, "That's all wrong.", because my point about 'Jes' being a cognate of 'Deus' and 'Zeus' is wrong.

I'm not sure that it is as 'wrong' as you are saying, if not simply because language IS a historical 'thing'. (We can't go back and get into the minds of people who decided to claim that Jesus was a good enough translation of "God will save")

Certainly the 'Ye' in Hebrew, means 'God' and therefore the 'Je' in Jesus means, well, 'God', right?

I'd like to know why even the Jesus translation to "God the man" isn't reasonable for those who started calling him that, if not Greeks and NOT Romans.

Stacy S. said...

Thanks for pointing out that "us" is the masculine in Latin. (somewhere in the back of my head I knew that). My son is in first year Latin right now and he said that there is no differentiation between the feminine and masculine. Hah!!:-)

Asylum Seeker said...

Hah indeed, Stacy. Latin is one of the Romance languages (Romance referring to Rome, so obviously Latin would be one, right!). And Romance languages such as Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish all have gendered nouns.

ALSO!: Wikipedia.
Cliffnotes version: Start with Yehoshua, a name that is related to Joshua, and means something approximating "Yahweh salvation". They dropped an "h" because the sound of the h got softer, and got Yeshua as a result. In translating to Greek, the "sh" was turned to an "s" sound because Greek doesn't have an "sh" syllable. Translated to Latin as Iesvs for nominative case, which become Jesus when "u" and "j" were introduced as letters to distinguish those respective syllables from the "v" and "i" they shared a letter with. But, apparently, our Jesus comes from Middle English "Iesu" which did not get a "j" introduced to it until the late 1600's.

I hope that helps with...whatever was going on here. I frankly have no fucking idea.

(Apparently, Jesse is Yishay=God exists, and I am rather confused but it does seem like Joshua and Jesus come from the same root name...)

Asylum Seeker said...

Should also be noted a lot of Hebrew names seem to reference God. Anything that ends in an "-el" for example. So, it shouldn't be too surprising to see someone who has a similar name to Jesus. Especially since Jesus(/Joshua?) was supposedly a popular name during the time of...Jesus.

Not sure what etymology or word meaning has to do with anything though (especially since, for English, the former is a real bitch most of the time).

Anonymous said...

Luckily enough pboy, without meaning to yank your chain, Asylum pretty much said, or quoted it all.

If you want to eat crow that's up to you.

And Asylum, without meaning to yank your chain (which I was), also pointed out that your post was convoluted.

"I hope that helps with...whatever was going on here. I frankly have no fucking idea."

Well said Asylum, and if you were trying to be ironic, then kudos.

You see pboy, sometimes you post something that's so far over my head I just stare at it, like a cat at...everything. A WTF leaves my mouth after the third sentence.

But sometimes you fall pretty hard the other way. You just happened to fall in the direction of one of my few "strengths."


"Yes, can you see how you 'demolished' my commment without adding much by explanation."

There wasn't really much to explain.

Anonymous said...

I know I put up some chutzpah in response to your posts but admittedly, I loathe disagreeing with you. It's like ticking off Rob Roy and William Wallace.

pboyfloyd said...

Yea, well, I guess that'll teach me to type away without looking at Wikipedia then.

Still, some good responses PLUS, don't you just hate it when you're always right?

I feed the crows every time we have food-garbage because it starts to stink if just shovelled into the bag, the dogs in the neighborhood go after it and maybe even the odd black bear if it's that time of year.

The crows are usually waiting to hear the plate ringing from the fork scraping off the food.

All that to avoid the real meaning of 'eating crow' that you're on about oneblood.

Okay, that one point might be drivel, but the criticism of the 'son-by-law' and ....

Well, now I'm stirring the shit to see what will float up. LOL

I'm not going to delete this comment and hang my head in shame.

Basically, I wrote that because I thought that I was 'on to something'. Don't know 'what' really.

Asylum Seeker said...

In fairness, I meant to say that I was confused about both the post, and the point of contention between you two.

Also: "Basically, I wrote that because I thought that I was 'on to something'. Don't know 'what' really."

Yep, I've had a few of those myself! I think my last post may actually be an example, honestly.

As for the "son-in-law" issue...beyond my grasp. It's what I get for never reading past Genesis!

Anonymous said...

"In fairness, I meant to say that I was confused about both the post, and the point of contention between you two."

Dang it!. I knew it I knew it I knew it!

I'll just say for my part I was referring to Derrida, Asylum. And that the point, unless countered by you or pboy, remains valid that his friend's usage of Jesus meaning this or that (with or without the use of etymology) is as fluid as the term 'true love' or 'love.'

I think Pboy's argument was convoluted by etymology but his assertion is still without merit because he, you, I, do the exact same thing with other terms.

Viva la language.

Regardless pb, don't delete the post.


Asylum Seeker said...

"I think Pboy's argument was convoluted by etymology but his assertion is still without merit because he, you, I, do the exact same thing with other terms.

Viva la language."

Granted. It's especially true in our very own internet age, where neologisms and new applications of old words abound (usually for comedic effect though...).

Also: I am now suddenly wondering what crow would actually taste like. Chicken?

Asylum Seeker said...

Well that's interesting. When actually in the area where you can post a comment, you can see trash bin icons for your own post, allowing you to "delete" them like oneblood did for those first two comment posts. However, they are not visible unless the page refreshes I believe (or if you post a comment of your own, resulting in the same effect). Additionally, on one's own blog, you can see trash bins for every comment (if my own is any indication) meaning that you will be able to remove those first two deleted comments if you were so inclined, pboy. I may be wrong about that however, but based on the little data I have so far, it looks like that is the case.

pboyfloyd said...

There ya go.

Anonymous said...

The link I used for Monty Python failed twice. So I put it up as a special tribute to pboy, Monty, and Latin on my blog.

Some tribute. Monty did most of the talking.

GearHedEd said...

One word fellahs...


mac said...

That's why Jesus should have been an our names mean nothing !

I suppose he may have been Mexican (plenty of those around these days). In which case it would be "Hey Zeus"... which, of course, means Hi God in Greek ;-)

mac said... plenty, I was referring to Jesus the name.

GearHedEd said...

It's not a rickroll. Really.

pboyfloyd said...

Um, yea, what was I going to say?

Oh, yea, granfalloon, I love it.

Can you not imagine all the Christians imagining that every Christian is some kind of 'holy' buddy?

Not that non-believers don't do something similar with the notion of in/out groups.

I think it says a lot about us that we can start rooting for 'our team' even if it is a team based on the flip of a coin. Once we are 'us', 'fuck them'. LOL

Jared said...

Iesous was the name (Greek) which was translated "Jesus" (vulgar* latin).

It is related to Joshua (Yeshua) which vaguely means "Yahweh delivers"
You could translate "Jesus Christus" as "the annointed one delivered by Yahweh."

*vulgar as in "common"

Side note: Yoda spoke using subjunctive (jussive, usually). English does have the subjunctive mood; often used it is. (contrary-to-fact)

As for the Romans not caring about syntax, this is not true, it had a distinct form of syntax which any Spanish speaker would be familiar with; those of us with Germanic structures built into our language would not recognize it as a "syntax," but it still is. It is only really important when dealing with phrases which are ambiguous and is built around additional phrases or words within the sentence which are required to explain the phrase.