Jesus/Yeshua

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Cherie
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Jesus/Yeshua

Post by Cherie » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:54 pm

I'm from Pretoria South Africa. I have a Messianic Jewish friend who says that we should use the Jewish name for Jesus, because he was a devout Jew. Why do we use the Greek name? It sort of makes sense to me, but I have no idea why Christians chose Greek instead of the Aramaic/Hebrex name for our Saviour. I note that in The Jerusalem Bible (OT) the name Yahweh is used for God.

Hadassah
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Re: Jesus/Yeshua

Post by Hadassah » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:28 pm

Hi Cherie,

I don't know who's participating on the forum at this moment. People are busy, traveling, etc. So I thought I'd just offer my little bit on this topic. Someone else might have another perspective on this.

Quite honestly, I think we'd have to say that the Greek version overtook because the Greek-speaking world overtook (at least for a while).

The ancient world, including Palestine, was stongly Hellenized (pervaded by Greek language and culture) from about the 4th century BC on with the conquests of Alexander the Great. There was even a phenomenon known as "forced" Hellenization, the purpose of which was to create one people out of many conquered lands. Open the book of Maccabees and you can read about this, right ~ this at the hands of Antiochus IV.

You probably know that some of the Old Testament Scriptures were even written in Greek. For example, it is generally acknowledged that while First Maccabees was written in Hebrew, Second Maccabees was originally written in Greek. I just thought about this... I am not sure whether you are a Catholic or Protestant Christian and so you may or may not accept these books as canonical.

Also, there were a good number of Greek speaking people in or about the region at the time of Jesus. You may recall in the Gospel of John (19:19-20) that the sign on the cross which read "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" was posted in "Hebrew, Latin, and Greek." And the early apostles and disciples evangelized a largely Hellenized world. Witness: most if not all of the New Testament Scriptures were originally written in Greek. In fact, most of the Fathers of the Church wrote in Greek, I think until around the time of Tertullian (late second, early third century), who wrote in Latin.

So it seems to make sense that the Greek version of Our Lord's name became prominent and that we now have the English transliteration, "Jesus," in wide usage.

Having said that, I am learning a bit of biblical Hebrew and I have to say that it has such a really beautiful sound. It is sad that most of us have no exposure at all.

God bless,
Hadassah

Cherie
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Jesus/Yeshua

Post by Cherie » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:24 pm

Hi Hadassah! Thank you so much for your answer to my question. I really appreciate it! By the way I am a Catholic, but know very little about Judaism or Jews who accept that Jesus is the Messiah. I have seen a couple of 'Jews for Jesus' guys who attend a large Charismatic church here in Pretoria. My friend who is a Messianic Jew still celebrates all the Jewish feasts, reads the Torah + the English Aramaic New Testament. She also observes the Jewish Sabbath. She is a Rabbi. But I gather that you practise the Catholic Faith. Thanks once again. God Bless! Cherie

Ariel
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Post by Ariel » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:33 am

Greetings and welcome Cherie,

Here in Israel, almost all Messianic believers call Jesus by his Hebrew name 'Yeshua.' Unfortunately most Catholics don't even know that this is his real name. On the other hand, most Israelis who don't believe in Jesus call him 'Yeshu' which forms the initials of "May his name and memory be blotted out." Probably over 90% don't know that this is the meaning of 'Yeshu', as it came out of the Jewish-Christian polemic in the Middle-Ages. So there is a real work of education to be done here.

The use of 'Yahweh' in the Jerusalem Bible is unfortunate, as Jews never say the name of God but say instead 'Adonai' (Lord) in prayer and HaShem (the name) in common conversation. So translating YHWH to 'the Lord' would more faithful to Jewish tradition.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Cherie
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Jesus/Yeshua

Post by Cherie » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:00 pm

Thanks so much for your interesting reply to my question. I am actually very surprised that we have chosen the Greek name for our Saviour, and not His Jewish name which is very beautiful. My Messianic friend insists that the apostles, especially Paul would have called Jesus Yeshua. She is going to send me an English Aramaic New Testament. She believes that all christians should be Torah observant, because although we are not Jewish, God would not treat His 'adopted' children any differently to the Jews whom He made a covenant with. The Jews who have not accepted Yeshua as Messiah remain His chosen people. I really do not know the official teaching of the Catholic Church on this. My parish does not have a Bible Study group. I know the Bible refers to the Jews as 'the apple of God's eye', and that the prophecy in Isaiah regarding Israel being returned to the Jews in one day has been fulfilled. I do not agree with the teachings of Islam at all, but am very sad that there is such a lot of violence in the Holy Land. Can't the Jews + Muslims live in peace together? Come to some agreement? I think both sides are very stubborn! Please correct me if I'm wrong. It's probably far more complicated than I deem it to be! I also find it very difficult to believe that Allah + God the Father are one. Why would the Angel Gabriel tell Mary one thing, then many years later inspire Mohammed to write the Qur'an which contradicts the Bible? Too many questions! By the way the Catechism of the Catholic Church doesn't explain in depth the Chuches' stance on the whole question regarding the destiny of the Jews. I thank you for your time.

Hadassah
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Re: Jesus/Yeshua

Post by Hadassah » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:57 pm

Hi Cherie,
Cherie wrote:She believes that all Christians should be Torah observant, because although we are not Jewish, God would not treat His 'adopted' children any differently to the Jews whom He made a covenant with.
This is surprising to me, although perhaps the norm in Messianic Congregations. I have had association with only one Messianic congregation here and then only minimally. I am surprised, because the Church released Gentile Christians from the obligations related to food and circumcision early on (see Acts 10, 11). I have come a long way in thinking about Jews and their obligations, and still go back and forth in my thinking about this. However, we still need to accept that Gentile Christians are not bound to be Torah observant (at least in the way that I think you mean that term). As we see in Acts, Jesus, through the Church with Peter as her visible head, did offer a solution for Gentiles that is not explicitly stated in that same text for Jews. We often like to think of God as very egalitarian, but I think that it is not always the case. If your friend is saying that it would a good spiritual discipline and a choice, I would have probably no issue with that. There is something very beautiful in observing even the most minute command simply because God has given it. But I would challenge her to produce an authoritative source for the fact that God binds Torah observance on Gentiles. I think we can see the opposite throughout Scripture.
The Jews who have not accepted Yeshua as Messiah remain His chosen people.
This portion of what you state is the official teaching of the Church.
Catechism of the Catholic Church doesn't explain in depth the Chuches' stance on the whole question regarding the destiny of the Jews. I thank you for your time.
I don't think all aspects regarding the destiny of the Jews are quite clear. The Church tends to explain in depth only what she has come to know in depth.

In Christ,
Hadassah

Cherie
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Jesus/Yeshua

Post by Cherie » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:03 pm

Hi Hadassah! Thanks for your input. I am confused about non jewish christians + even jewish christians having to be torah observant. I know Jesus didn't come to abolish the law, but he came to fulfil it. He said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind + soul. The 2nd is to love your neighbour as yourself. I once saw in a Catholic study Bible this comment, which is so beautiful. 'Man is commanded to rediscover the law in the person of his master Jesus Christ, who is it's perfect fulfilment. Love does no harm to a neighbour therefore LOVE is the fulfiling of the law'. In Galatians it says that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Gal 5v14 'For the whole law is summed up in one commandment: 'Love your neighbour as yourself'. My friend is going to send me an English Aramaic New Testament. I will see then how that translation reads. I have no problem with Saturday being the Sabbath. A Catholic priest once wrote that Saturday is the Sabbath + Sunday the Lords day. I have no problem with calling Jesus Yeshua, because it is his jewish name. I'm confused a little about the Jews who do not accept Jesus as Messiah. A Catholic once told me that they are no longer God's chosen, because they have rejected His Son as their Messiah + say the most terrible things about Him. That's why I looked for answers in the Catechism. My Parish does not have a Bible Study Group, because such a few people are interested. I think the Charismatic Catholics are more Bible orientated here in South Africa. But alas none in my area, and I don't/can't speak in tongues. So I wouldn't exactly fit in. I hope I'm not writing a whole lot of gibberish. God Bless You All + Thank You. Cherie

Hadassah
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Re: Jesus/Yeshua

Post by Hadassah » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:56 am

Hi Cherie,

You say, "I am confused about non jewish christians + even jewish christians having to be torah observant." Athol and I had a long discussion about this a few months back, particularly related to Jewish Christians and Torah observance. The discussion helped me to see some things more clearly and to think more deeply, though I think it frustrated Athol with me forever (lol). You might want to look at those exchanges, if you haven't already. They are on this forum under "Like One Under the Law." The main topic is (I think) "The Torah and the Gospel". They will, perhaps, help you to see some of the issues.

You also say, "I'm confused a little about the Jews who do not accept Jesus as Messiah. A Catholic once told me that they are no longer God's chosen, because they have rejected His Son as their Messiah and say the most terrible things about Him." Yes, you will hear things like that, less widespread today, but at one time, perhaps, the common thinking. When you do, reread paragraph 839 of the Catechism. And perhaps 219 and 220. Or take a look at the Vatican II document "Nostae Aetate", the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions", particularly paragraph 4.

Regardless of the fact that your parish does not have a Bible Study, I would encourage you to regularly read Sacred Scripture and to pray about it. Do you do so on your own? There are certainly reliable commentaries and web sites that can help you, too. If you need some recommendations, please let me know.

God bless,
Hadassah

Hadassah
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Yeshua/Jesus

Post by Hadassah » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:50 pm

Hi Again Cherie,

I am just wondering, what is the importance that your friend places on calling Our Lord Yeshua vs. Jesus? I'm certainly not objecting to calling our Lord Yeshua. I understand that it is certainly a sign of respect to call people by their proper names. And this particular name has a meaning that is possibly altered or lost when the name itself is altered. But it is also a very common thing that names are adapted to the common tongue as they are used in various languages. For example, I know someone whose given name is Jennifer. Her high school French teacher called her Genevieve, pronounced JAHN-vee-ev, for years. Her great-grandmother, who spoke only Italian, called her by a version of Genevieve pronounced (jen-u-WEV-ay). It could just be indicative of the fact that people tend to make someone's name familiar to themselves.

In Christ,
Hadassah

Cherie
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Jesus/Yeshua

Post by Cherie » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:08 pm

Hi Hadassah! My friend believes that it is ridiculous that christians have chosen to give a Greek name to the Messiah who was a devout Jew. She believes that the apostles, especially Paul would never have changed Yeshua's name to the the Greek Jesus. She told me that non believing Jews think it's absolutely hilarious that the 'Jewish Messiah' has a Greek name. I pointed out that the muslims call Him Isa or Esa. The Arabic christians call Him Yasu. The Greek ho Kyrios Iesous Christos means the Lord Jesus Christ. She said Aramaic was the language Jesus spoke + the NT should be translated from Aramaic + not Greek. She's a Nazarene Messianic Jew. Here in South Africa, as far as I know there are no Nazarene Messianic Jews, only Jews for Jesus. She lives in the USA + will send me an Aramaic English New Testament, which are printed in Canada. The Christian + Catholic book stores here in Pretoria (which is a large city) have never heard of this translation. I am now curious to know why our Saviour ended up with a Greek name. I would also like to see if the translation from the Aramaic differs from the NTwhich we read. The people in the area which I live in are mostly very anti Catholic.They have very weird + distorted views about Roman Catholicism. Most of them believe that our beautiful Church is 'The Great Whore of Babylon' which the book of Revelation speaks about. So before I can 'disagree' with my friend, I want to know what I'm talking about. Thanks for your time + interest. God Bless! Cherie.

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