25 Names of Christ: Jesus

Of all of the names of our Savior, perhaps the most familiar is his given name, the name of ‘Jesus’.

The Oxford English Dictionary states that the name Jesus came into the English language from Middle English, adapted from the Latin Iesus, which in turn was adapted from the Greek Iesous. This in turn was adapted from the Hebrew or Aramaic word Yeshua or Yehoshua. The earlier root was Joshua. This dictionary explains that the word Joshua derived from the Jah of Jahveh, meaning “Jehovah is salvation” or “Jehovah saves”.

This definition is echoed by a more authoritative source yet, the Angel Gabriel, who told Joseph in a dream: “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21).

Jesus’ divinely-given name could have centered its meaning on any number of his transcendent attributes; His might, His glory, His justice, His perfect obedience. Instead, ‘Jesus’ is a name that focuses on what He does for others. What He does for us. “For he shall save his people from their sins”. His life was one lived not for himself, but for others, culminating in the greatest act of unselfish love in history, when He took upon Himself the sins of the world, saving His people and fulfilling the prophecy declared by an angel and written into his very name.


The Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1933)



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