We can hear words so often that we become hardened to them and forget what it’s like to have heard them for the first time. To recreate this feeling, it sometimes help to consider the same words from different vantage points.
For example, the name Jesus Christ can be just as accurately rendered as Joshua Messiah. This is because of the variety of languages involved in the preservation of the Bible. “Joshua” is the translation of a Hebrew name into an English name. “Jesus” is the translation of the same Hebrew name, but having gone through Greek as an intermediate step between Hebrew and English. The same goes for Messiah (which is directly translated from Hebrew to English) and Christ (which is the same word translated first from Hebrew into Greek and then Greek into English). Thus Joshua means Jesus just as Messiah means Christ.
When, in New Testament times, people first began hearing of Jesus of Nazareth, they were hearing of “Joshua” of Nazareth. Of course, among Jews this would call to mind the great leader who, upon succeeding Moses, led the people of God into the promised land. That Jesus was also “Messiah” spoke of His anointing, which would remind the people of their great king David and all that was revealed about God in his time. The name “Jesus Christ” invoked the great exploits of both Joshua and David.
Notice, therefore, that while the name “Jesus Christ” may only bring to our minds whatever experiences we have had with that name in our lifetimes, it would bring up rich histories for Jews who heard it in New Testament times as “Joshua Messiah.” Sometimes there’s much more to a name than we realize.
Bible notes on this post.
The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything else – but Him.