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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Quick Reminder on the Use of Words in Scripture (Another "Yeshua" Reference)

Just because there are still people out there insisting that the only proper name to use for the Savior is the Anglicized name "Yeshua." The irony is not lost in me when they Anglicize the Hebrew, but I've covered that in previous entries. 

Today, I just want to remind us of how the Holy Spirit relies on us to use context and common sense. This is part of "rightly dividing the Word of Truth" (2 Tim 2:15). Some people have been put in bnadage to fear of their use of certain words.

Context matters... a lot of people get hung up on certain words, but not so the Holy Spirit.

Hebrew Texts (Old Testament)

Yeshua (יְהוֹשׁוּעַ) is used over 200 times in scripture, yet never of the Savior. The Holy Spirit never refers to the Lord Jesus Christ as יְהוֹשׁוּעַ Yeshua. It is Ok to use the Hebrew, but it is in no way "superior" or required or necessarily biblical.

Greek Texts (New Testament)

  • The Holy Spirit refers to the Savior as well as "a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew" (Acts 13:6) as Jesus (Iēsoûs, Ἰησοῦς) , or Bar-Jesus. The name is also used of one of Paul's fellow worker in Col 4:11. One thing that is unique, is calling the Lord, "The Lord Jesus Christ" or "Christ Jesus" or "Jesus Christ." "Kyrios Iēsoûs Christos." This should be our practice in any language.

  • Judas (Ἰούδας) is the name of the one who betrayed the Lord, also the name of another apostle (Zealotes), and the Lord's brother (author of Jude). In the Greek, it is also used for Judah (son of Jacob).

  • The "ecclesia" (ekklēsía, ἐκκλησία, church, assembly) is used of the worshippers of Diana (Acts 19:32), of the called out assembly of the Lord, individual local assemblies, and of Israel under Moses. We must make a difference, even among its uses in the epistles.

  • Theos (θεός) is used of the true God, the false god of the Greeks, and of "the god of this world" (Satan).

There is also the issue of pronouns. Clearly, we must interpret pronouns in context. "He," for example, could refer to everyone from the true God to Satan. A favorite evangelistic verse is based on pronouns alone:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.