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“Jesus” – Remembering his true name:
An Etymological Analysis of the Historical Sources
(Second Edition, updated Dec. 18,2000)
by Shibli Zaman
Sadly, we have seen Christian Missionary activity focused primarily on derailing Islam now more than any other period in history. Thus, we witness numerous charades and parodies coming from them in their attempts to twist, manipulate and outright molest historical and etymological facts. These polemics range from a variety of utterly hilarious to outright abusive and cruel. However, as a disclaimer, a distinction should be made between the “Christian Missionary” and the Christian. The view of Christians in Islam is a benevolent one:
“And nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.” [al-Qur’an, Surat al-Maa’idah, 5:82]
On the other hand, the “Christian Missionary” variety is in a genre of its own. Their tactics have been seen the world over, whereby they maintain a “Bread for Bibles” policy in the indigent third world, and are even seen dressed as Muslim clerics teaching the Bible in Arabic to unwitting non-Arab Muslims who are told they are learning the Qur’an. Such deception and forceful proselytization saw its early dawn in the Crusaders of the last millenium who sojourned across Europe to displace the Muslims from Jerusalem. However, in the end it was their own undoing and they only succeeded in permanently destroying and weakening their Christian brethren in Byzantium by sacking its capital, Constantinople. Likewise, the Christian Missionary movement has only bred their own undoing: My genre. As the first word in our Qur’an is “Read”, thus when we meet the Missionaries and their claims we read everything about their scripture to the point that we learn it better than they themselves. In the end such refutations are produced to which rebuttals are impossible and the result is Islam being the fastest growing religion in the Christian world, in spite of their efforts to derail Islam’s insurmountable growth worldwide.
One such dishonest Christian Missionary polemic has been the allegation that when the Qur’an uses the name “`Eesa” for Jesus it was actually a mistake on the part of the Prophet Muhammad . They allege that out of contempt, the Jews called Jesus “Esau” after the rejected brother of Jacob as recorded in the Book of Genesis. Having supposedly heard this disparaging epithet for Jesus from the Jews, the Christian Missionaries allege that he recorded it by accident in the Qur’an as the name of Jesus.
Not withstanding the fact that there has never existed a single word even hinting at this in any document of recorded history, it is completely erroneous logically. Considering that the Muslims accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah, why would The Prophet Muhammad choose to take the name of Jesus from the Jews who rejected him instead of the Christians?
While conducting the research necessary to refute this fallacious Missionary argument, I came across some amazing facts which I did not expect to find. Much of it I could not even dream of documenting on a single web page, and as you will notice, the attempt to include as much as I could made this page very lengthy as it is. I do fully intend on sharing the remainder of my documentation piece by piece as time permits. For now here is a brief summary of the research which over all took over a week to conduct, and lost me a whole lot of sleep.
In this second edition, I have included more details and deleted some which I felt were unnecessary or tasking of the reader. Upon such deletions I have inserted notes as the reason why in blue and a link to access the previous version. Most of the information has been added under “Theories on the Origin of the Messiah’s Name” in which I have presented additional theories which I feel are strong historically as well as ethymologically. Please feel free to contact me with any questions and/or comments.
JESUS IN THE QUR’AN
- BY WHAT NAME IS JESUS CALLED IN THE QUR’AN?
The Muslim world knows Jesus Christ as “al-MaseeHu `Eesa” meaning “Jesus the Messiah”. This is illustrated in the following verse of the Qur’
|“When the angels said to Mary, ‘O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be ‘al-MaseeHu `Eesa’, the son of Mary; Honorable in this world and in the hereafter, and from those who are near (to Allah).”
[al-Qur’aan, Surah Aal-`Imraan, 3:45]
|| – “al-MaseeHu `Eesa” – “al-MaseeH” is Arabic for ” The Messiah” and “`Eesa” is the name used for Jesus in the Qur’an.
- IS THIS NAME “`EESA” A DERIVATIVE OF “ESAU” THE DISAVOWED BROTHER OF JACOB?
The names “`Eshaw” and “`Eesa” are completely unrelated etymologically and lexically. “Esau” is Latinization of the Biblical Hebrew name for Jacob’s twin brother, `Eshaw, who was disavowed. This name is spelled:
`Eshaw – – “AYN, SHIN, WAW”; Pronounced “`Ee” (like “see”) + “shaw” (like “saw” with additional stress).
This is an archaic word which literally means “hairy”. It refers to one who has a hairy and dark body. This fact is illustrated in the following Biblical verse:
“The first came forth red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they called his name Esau.”
[Genesis 25:25, RSV]
Due to Esau’s dark and murky color, and the hair which enveloped his body, he was named “`Eshaw” meaning “covered with hair”.
The corresponding word for this in Arabic is A`thaa with the trilateral root “AYN, THAA, YAA”. This word, likewise, means covered with hair. In Ibn ManTHoor’s cohesive and authoritative work on the Arabic language entitled “Lisaan al-`Arab” (The Arabic Tongue), he states:
|“`Athaa: al-`athaa: Having a murky color with an abundance of hair; al-a`tha: an abundance of ugly and coarse hair; i.e. al-untha `athwaa’ (fem. “hairy woman”, i.e. hag); al-`uthwatu: coarse head hair, matted in spite of being combed; `athi: old person’s hair; `athwaa, a`thaa, perhaps a reference to a hairy man is “a`thi“; an old man is “`athwaa’“; a`tha: Hyenas..”
[“`Athaa” Lisaan al-`Arab, Ibn ManTHoor]
About the name of Jacob’s twin brother “Esau”, Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon states:
|| (Left) Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament, H.W.F. Gesenius, 6215, page 658; the page was scanned for indisputable authenticity of sources.
Note that Gesenius himself refers to the Arabic word “`Athaa” as it is the obviously correlating word to “`Eshaw”. The Qur’anic name for Jesus is not related by any stretch of etymology to the words “`Eshaw”, or “`Athaa'”.
Thus, for the Missionaries to argue any further that the Qur’anic name “`Eesa” for Jesus has any relation to the Hebrew name for Jacob’s disavowed twin brother is to dispute canonized authorities in Semitic etymology and to further discredit themselves.
JESUS’ NAME ACCORDING TO CHRISTIANITY
III. WAS JESUS’ NAME “YAHUSHUWA`” OR “YESHUA`” AND DID BOTH MEAN “SAVIOR”?
Was his name “Yahushuwa`”?
– YAHUSHUWA` – This is theorized to be a combination of “Yahweh” and “Yasha`” meaning “Jehovah is Salvation”. This was the name of Moses’ companion Joshua Ben-Nun who is referred to as “Yasa`” in the Qur’an.
The problem with this theory is that there were several people in the Tanach named “Yahushuwa`”:
1.Yahushuwa` (Joshua) the son of Nun, companion of Moses, subject of the Old Testament Book of Joshua.
2. Yahushuwa` (Joshua) the Bethshemite (1 Samuel 6:18)
3. Yahushuwa`, (Joshua) governor of Jerusalem under King Hosiah (2 Kings 23:8)
4. Yahushuwa`, (Joshua) son of Josedech (Haggai 1:1) and so forth…
However, there exists not a single shred of historical evidence that the historical “Jesus” was ever called “Yahushuwa`” in his lifetime. All the aforementioned had this name, yet their names were not transliterated into “Jesus” or “Ieosus”. They were transliterated as “Joshua”. Thus, we must conclude that “Jesus” was a name very dissimilar to “Yahushuwa`” (Joshua) since it was transliterated by the early Biblical writers into the incongruent “Ieosus” and then later “Jesus”. However, the closest thing to a reference of any executed figure in Jesus’ time period is the Talmudic entry:
“On the eve of the Passover, Yeshua` was hanged…” [Babylonia Sanhedrin 43A]
One will find this quoted repeatedly in Christian polemics trying to prove the historicity of Jesus. However, this is erroneous due to the following reasons: First this mentions someone named “Yeshua`” and not “Yahushuwa`” who was hung on the eve of Passover. Second, there is nothing to say or support that this was the Biblical “Jesus”. As will be further illustrated in the next section, both the names “Yeshua`” and “Yahushuwa`” were very common amongst the Israelites prior to Jesus’ lifetime. This brings us to our next supposition regarding his name.
Was his name “Yeshua`”?
– Yeshua` – This name is rooted in the word “yasha`” meaning “safety” in Hebrew. Christians attempt to proselytize their theories of a “man-god” Jesus by saying this name of his meant “Salvation”. The Problem with that theory is the fact that this name means “He is saved”.
If he is God then who saved him? If this name is a sign of divinity then what of the others with the name Yeshua`? Were they the “only begotten son of God” as well? Obviously not, as no Jews ever held this erroneous idea.
“Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity…Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah…” [Ezra 2:2]
“The ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah,” [I Chronicles 24:11]
“And next him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah…” [II Chronicles 31:15]
“And next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah..” [Nehemiah 3:19]
Each and every one of these people have the name “Yeshua`” spelled exactly how the Christians allege Jesus’ supposed original name is spelled. However as we can see, this name was transliterated into “Jeshua” by the early Biblical writers and not “Jesus” or “Ieosus”. Why then is Jesus the only one named “Jesus” in the entirety of the Bible and, moreover, in the entirety of any recorded history of his time? It is because his name was unique and neither “Yeshua`” or “Yehushuwa`” were his name.
As we can see “Yehushuwa`” and “Yeshua`” were not special or unique names, yet they were very common. However, “Jesus” remains a name very unique to this Messianic character shrouded in controversy. There is no historical record of Jesus being called by either of these names in his lifetime. Even if “Yeshua`” were the name of Jesus it would completely obliterate the Christian position that he was the “Savior” of mankind, since this name does not mean “Savior” but means “He is saved”. This would further support the Muslim belief that Jesus was saved from the ignominy of crucifixion and ascended up to heaven alive.
||(Left) Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, H. W. F. Gesenius, p 373]
|As can be seen here plainly, the name “Yeshua`” means “Saved”. Christian religionists attempt to say this name means “Savior”. This is scholastic guile and a statement made in complete absence of even a basic understanding of the Biblical languages. If Jesus’ name was indeed, “Yeshua`” it would only support the historically sound theory that Jesus’ was not resurrected but survived the crucifixion. Thus, he would be true to this name. However, as we have seen the likelihood that this was his name is extremely thin.
Note: I deleted this portion of the previous article for the sake of relevance and brevity. It dealt with other usages of the word “yasha`” in the Old Testament. Click here to read this part in the previous version. I did not feel it was necessary to go over so many examples of this word in the Old Testament in Hebrew.
Similar to there being a complete absence of any reference to Jesus in history as “Yahushuwa`”, there is likewise, a complete void of information linking Jesus to the name “Yeshua`” in his lifetime. The Talmud was written between 300-600 A.D. Other commonly quoted books like the “Toledoth Yeshua`” were satires written to defame Christianity as late as the 10th century A.D. nearly 1000 years after Jesus. Ironically, from the disparaging writings against Jesus came the Arabic “Yesu`” as they are the only source for this name being attributed to Jesus in the Middle East. The Christian world is left at a loss to find a historical Jesus who fits the description given in their sadly sparse Biblical sources.
- COULD HIS NAME HAVE POSSIBLY BEEN “JESUS”?
Initially, I had left out this part of the article in order to avoid blemishing the sensitivities of the Christian reader. However, after much dialog and discussion after that first article, I found it most necessary to share these historical accounts. I implore the Christian readers to take no offense in this, and to simply take the facts as they are. I encourage all to let this inspire them to research and check my sources. Let there be no doubt.
There remains a bitter dilemma for those who wish to assert that “Jesus” has any relevance to what the historical figures name actually was. Whether it was Yeshu` or Yeheshuwa` the Jews would have been forbidden to mention him by name. Jewish law explicity forbids mentioning the name of criminals against God or their deities.
“And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods neither let it be heard out of they mouth.” [Exodus 23:13]
Thus, in order to write about Jesus without mentioning his name and, thereby, breaching the law; they wrote the acronym “Y’SHW” which stood for:
“Yemach Shmo w’Zikro” meaning “May his name and memory be blotted out”.
By this acronym he is mentioned in all early Jewish words regarding Jesus. The Toledoth Yeshu which is dated to the 6th Century A.D. calls him by this name (among other horrible allegations and epithets).
“It is no wonder that Jews considered the Christian belief as simple idolatry and felt obligated to apply the Law in Exodus 23:13: “Make no mention of the name of other Gods” to the name, Jesus. Naturally, the name of one of the truest and best Jewish teachers had to be shunned.”
[Jesus the Jew – The Historical Jesus, The True Story of Jesus, Moses Bazes, Jerusalem, 1979]
“…it may be assumed that this shortening of the name was probably an intentional mutilation by cutting off part of it. The rabbis mention other instances of the names of persons being shortened because of their misconduct..” [Jesus in the Talmud, Jacob Lauterbach (Rabbinic Essays, Cincinnati, 1951, pp. 473-570),
From this abbreviated curse of “Yemach Shmo w’Zikro” (Y’SHW) the Greeks hellenized the name to “Ieosus” which later was Anglicized to “Jesus” by the King James’ translators of the Bible. As shocking as the facts are, all are encouraged to research this subject in detail.
Thus, if Jesus’ name had been “Jesus”, and had he indeed proclaimed himself a literal “Son of God” and “God”, then the Jews would have never made mention of his actual name due to Exodus 23:13. Thus, by hearing the Jews call Jesus “Y’SHW” and reading it in their writings, the Greeks based their transliteration of his name based upon this sad and horrible insult to the Messiah of the Jewish people. As it may be to the horror of many, mentioning the name “Jesus” is to actually curse him. Therefore, it is impossible that his name was ever Y’SHW-Ieosus-Jesus. For 2000 years the Messiah of the Jews has been inadvertently recorded as a curse.
- THE ARAMAIC JESUS: WHAT IS JESUS’ NAME IN THE LANGUAGE WHICH HE SPOKE?
Jesus and even the earliest Christians spoke Aramaic. Much of the Old Testament, such as the Book of Daniel, was originally in Aramaic though a large bulk of those codices are lost forever. Neither the Greek of the Textus Receptus upon which the New Testament is based, nor the Hebrew of the standardized Tanach upon which the Old Testament is loosely based were their native tongues.
||“..portions of the Old Testament books of Daniel and Ezra are written in Aramaic…Jesus and the Apostles also spoke this language.””In the early Christian era, Aramaic divided into east and West varieties. West Aramaic dialects includ Nabataean (formerly spoken in parts of Arabia), Palmyrene (spoken in Palmyra, which was northeast of Damascus), Palestinian-Christian, and Judeo-Aramaic. West Aramaic is still spoken in a small number of villages in Lebanon.”
[Encyclopedia Britannica, Reference Index I, “Aramaic Language”, page 476]
Jesus spoke Aramaic. Thus, the New Testament would have to be dependent upon it. Much of the Old Testament was in Aramaic as well, and the earliest Christian societies throughout Arabia from Palestine, to Syria, to Nabataea spoke Aramaic. So what is Jesus’ name in Aramaic?
“Eesho M’sheekha” meaning “Jesus the Messiah”.
– Syriac. Syriac is a late variant of Aramaic widespread in Christendom, thus coined “Christian Aramaic”.
– Aramaic. Taken directly from the “Peshitta”.
– Aramaic. Peshitta; with diacritical marks.
The “Peshitta” is the Aramaic New Testament and closely resembles the language of Jesus.
Thus, Jesus would have even called himself “Eesho” or more specifically “Eesa” since the Northern Palestinian Jews pronounced the letter “shin” as “seen”. Interestingly enough we find a few striking parallels in Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic which tell volumes and uncover astounding facts.
THEORIES ON THE ORIGIN OF THE MESSIAH’S NAME
- THE STAR OF THE MESSIAH (NUMBERS 24:17) = THE NORTHERN STAR (MATTHEW 2)
Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament states the following:
The Hebrew word “`Esh” is by definition a bright northern star or stars in the Ursa Major constellation. Ursa Major is translated into “Big Bear”. More specifically heed the note in the side margin which is displayed to the right. “Eesh” is also a reference to “the constellation of the bear” which is the same Northern constellation mentioned previously.
H.W.F. Gesenius goes on to illustrate the collaborative relationship between the Hebrew word “`Esh” and the Arabic word “`Aasa” and “`Essa” and defines this as “nightly watcher”. Immediately this begins to collaborate in great detail with the Qur’an. The Chapter entitled “al-Taariq” meaning “The Nightly Visitant” states in verses 1-3:
|“By the Night and the Nightly Visitant. And what will be expounded to you regarding the Nightly Visitant. It is a star of piercing brightness.” [al-Qur’aan, Surat al-Taariq, 86:1-3]
Regarding Verse 3 of this Chapter, the Master Qur’an interpreter, Imam Suyuti states in his book “al-Durr al-Manthoor fee Tafseer al-Ma’thoor”:
“And it has been narrated that Ibn Jareer said, by the report of Mujaahid, about the verse: “It is a star of piercing brightness” that this means the star of Pleiades.” [“al-Durr al-Manthoor fee Tafseer al-Ma’thoor”, Jalal ad-Deen al-Suyuti, under “Surat al-Taariq”]
“Ibn Zayd stated, Verily, it is the star of Pleiades.” [Imam Qurtubi, Tafseer al-Qurtubi, under “Surat al-Taariq”]
Thus, the Qur’an also refers to the star of Pleiades of Taurus (“Thaur ath-Thurayyah”) as a “nightly visitant”. The correlation is clear and the consistency between the Qur’an and early pre-Biblical prophetic thought, as old as 2000 years before its compilation, is to its credit.
But what does the “Star” have to do with Jesus?
First and foremost, it is probably one of the most historically significant signs of the Messiah foretold.
“I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel…” [Numbers 24:17]
“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” [Matthew 2:2]
Chapter 2 of Matthew details the Magi following the North Star in search of the Jewish Messiah. It was the most well known sign of the Messiah.
The Hebrew word in this verse for “Star” in this verse is “Kokab” . From this word “Kokab” came the title “Kokhba” which was given unto Simeon bar-Koziba when he was endorsed as the Messiah by the revolutionary Jewish Rabbi, Akiba ben-Yosef.
“Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph, a highly esteemed teacher of the period, enthusiastically supported the rebels and conferred the name Bar Kokhba (Son of the Star) upon their leader. Akiba also hailed him as the Messiah.” [Encyclopedia Britannica, Reference Index V, page 872]
As Bar-Kokhba was falsely assumed as the Messiah he was killed in battle against the Romans in the year 135 A.D. Regarding the “Star” being the sign of the Messiah:
The Theological Word Book of the Old Testament which is a compilation of entries from Brown-Driver-Briggs and Gesenius defines “Kokab” as:
“1. star – a. of Messiah, brothers, youth, numerous progeny, personification, God’s omniscience.”
[Theological Word Book of the Old Testament, Brown-Driver-Briggs, H.W.F. Gesenius]
Prophets are named after the events surrounding their birth
Adam – (“Aadam”) – meaning “ruddy”; perhaps from – (“Dum”) – meaning “blood”; Also related to (“Adamah”) – meaning tilled earth, ie from which the first man, Adam, was created.
Previously, there was an explanation to Adam’s name in reference to “blood”. Though the information was valids, after research, I concluded it was not strong enough as opposed to the explanation given below.
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” [Genesis 2:7]
Noah – (“Noakh”) from (“Nookh”) – meaning “To Rest”. His name is explained to mean “rest” at the time of his birth in the following verse:
“And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” [Genesis 5:29]
Isaac – (“Yitzhaq”) – from (“Tzahaq”) – meaning “to laugh” or “he laughs”. This name being chosen at the sime surrounding his birth is seen in the following verse: “And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear the a son indeed; and thou shall call his name Isaac..” [Genesis 17:16-19]
Ishmael – (“Yishmaael”) – from (“shama`”) “to hear” and (“ale”) “God” – meaning “God heard”. God announces that He has heard Abraham and his wife Hagar’s prayers and gives the name “Ishmael” to the baby, meaning that He had heard their prayers.
“And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael, because the LORD hath heard they affliction.” [Genesis 16:11]
Moses – (“Moshe”) – Meaning “Drawn out” since Moses was “drawn out” from the river as a baby in the basket.
“And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.” [Exodus 2:10]
Each and every single Prophet has been named in this way. However, when we come to Jesus’ birth we find a puzzling contradiction and a manipulation in the Gospels is exposed.
The Birth of Jesus: Contradictions and Unfulfilled Prophecies
Jesus’ birth is mentioned twice in the Gospels in two dramatically different and contradictory accounts. Once in the Gospel of Matthew and the other in the Gospel of Luke. The Gospels of Mark and John start with John the Baptists’ advent in Jesus’ adulthood. Between the birth accounts of Matthew and Luke we find a striking contradiction.
JESUS’ BIRTH ACCORDING TO MATTHEW:
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” [Matthew 1:21-23]
First of all, it is odd that no one is ever recorded calling Jesus “Emmanuel” anywhere in the Bible. This was an attempt to match Jesus to a supposed prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. The fact that this verse was in no way a prophecy to the coming of Jesus is that the child called Emmanuel was born and referred to immediately after this verse. Let us look at the context:
“Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham… that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it.” [Isaiah 7:1]
“Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, ‘Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.’ But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” [Isaiah 7:10-14]
“Moreover the Lord said to me, “Take a large scroll, and write on it with a man’s pen concerning Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz..Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the Lord said to me, “Call his name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz;…He will pass through Judah, He will overflow and pass over, He will reach up to the neck; And the stretching out of his wings Will fill the breadth of Your land, O Immanuel.” [Isaiah 8:1-8]
You don’t have to be a Biblical scholar to see, the figure of Immanuel was a sign promised to King Ahaz, then in the next chapter the child was born, and then finally we even see that child later called “Immanuel”. Jesus was never called “Immanuel” or “Emmanuel” by any one at any time in his life. All the readers are encouraged to read Isaiah 7-8 in order to see the context of this incident. It has nothing to do with Jesus.
In spite of the fact that it has been proven that Matthew did not author the “Gospel of Matthew”, lets assume for the sake of argument that he did write it. Are we to believe that Matthew, a close Apostle of Jesus, so ill-informed regarding Old Testament prophecy? Historical scrutiny proves beyond a shred of doubt that this was an attempt at scriptural manipulation by those not familiar with Jewish scripture, culture, or prophecy.
JESUS’ BIRTH ACCORDING TO LUKE:
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” [Luke 1:31-33]
Note the highlighted reference to the “House of Jacob” which is a reference to Numbers 24:17 “There shall come a star out of Jacob”. This is in line with the Old Testament prophecies and corresponds with what little historical documentation we have regarding the birth of Jesus.
The earliest account of the “Star of Bethlehem” is made by the Bishop of the Church of Antiochia, Ignatius, in the early 2nd century A.D. In his letter to the Ephesians he writes:
“How was he revealed to the world? A star shone forth high above all the stars in the skies, whose brilliance cannot be described and which was of a completely new type so that it aroused an amazement.” [Ignatius, Ad Ephesios, Chapter 19:7]
Thus it has been clearly demonstrated that Jesus’ name being “`Eesa” from the Arabic root “`Assa” and the Hebrew root “`Esh” meaning “North Star” has far more credibility than a reference to a name for which there is absolutely no congruence with Biblical prophecy or historical evidence. By clinging to the erroneous names for Jesus, “Yeshua`” and “Yahushuwa'”, in order to force the idea of a Savior man-god, the Chrisitans have laid doubt upon the very existence of Jesus. He was born as the Messiah, and was the Star that came forth from the House of Jacob, and thus he was named “`Eesa” named after the Star of the Messiah. “Yeshua`”, “Yahushuwa`”, “Immanuel”, “Emmanuel” are all the result of Christian arm twisting of the Tanach to force it to say something that has no congruence with the Israelite Messianic prophecies.
VII. THE HEBREW WORD “YA`ASU” MEANING “WHOM GOD CREATED”
||(Left) Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, H. W. F. Gesenius, p 358]
|Here we see a word spelled yod, ayn, sheen, yod which is also very similar to “`Eesa” which would be spelled in Hebrew ayn, yod, sheen, yod. It is also spelled as yod, ayn, sheen, waw. This word means “The one who was created by God”. In the Bible there is another character with this name who is called “Jaasau” in the Latinized Biblical texts. “Of the sons of Bani; …and Jaasau,” [Ezra 10:37]
As is well known, Jesus was born of a Virgin in what is coined as the “immaculate conception” in the Christian world. It is an important belief to which both Christians and Muslims hold tenaciously. To deny this would bring into question the validity of any Christian or Muslim. Thus, we have a word “Y`ashi” which means “created by God”. This would be in great accordance with a point found only in the Qur’an:
|And the similtude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam. He created him from dust and said to him ‘Be’, and he came to be.”
[al-Qur’aan,. Aal-`Imran, 3:59]
The Christians of the 7th century claimed that since Jesus had no father, God must have been his father. Thus, to this claim the Qur’an presents the powerful argument that Adam had no father or mother, thus Jesus having no father is no claim to divinity. Had this been the case Adam would have been a greater god. Hence, the term “Ya`si” or “Ya`su” from which an Arabic version of “`Eesa” could easily evolve etymologically. By maintaining the same bilateral root, the integrity of the name would have been preserved.
Thus, the Qur’an’s historical accuracy in its usage of “`Eesa” rather than the Arabic “Yesu`” for the name of Jesus is indeed interesting to say the very least. As we have seen, “Y’SHW`” is actually based upon a problemmatic and an ignoble Hebrew nomenclature for Jesus which is littered with disagreement and controversy. For 2000 years Jesus has been recorded in history under the cursed title “Y’SHW” from “Yemach Shmo w’Zikro” (“may his name and memory be wiped out).
Hebrew records have recorded certain figures whose sparsely sentenced fragmented stories are somewhat similar to that of Jesus’ as Yeshua` but none as Yeheshu`ah. There is no historical evidence asserting that those references are indeed referring to Jesus. There have been a plethora of explanations attempting to rectify this variance in the Hebrew versions of Jesus’ name, but all are based on conjecture and none are based on historicity or textual evidence. Indeed, the burden of proof is upon the Christian world to produce documented evidence of the existence of a “Jesus” from his own time period.
The Qur’an was revealed over 600 years after the ascent of Jesus, in far away Arabia where most of the Christians would have been calling him “Yesu`” from the same “Y’SHW” found in their Christian Biblical teachings which were sketchy at best. However, the Qur’an from which the Prophet Muhammad was teaching, mentioned a Jewish Messiah, who performed brilliant miracles, born of a pure virgin, who was named “`Eesa”. The Arab Christians were familiar with “Yesu`” whom they knew as their Lord and Savior. Had the Prophet (peace be upon him) copied stories from the Jews and Christians, he would have also copied their mistakes. However, the Israelite stories which are related in the Qur’an are strikingly accurate historically and diverge from the Bible in the areas where the Judeo-Christian scriptures err monumentally.
For The Prophet Muhammad , himself an unlettered and unschooled man, in far away Arabia to have known the true name of Jesus, which was lost for hundreds of years to the world, confirms what Allah states in the Qur’an:
“And We have sent down to you the Book in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and rectifying it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you…”
[al-Qur’aan, Surat al-Maa’idah, 5:48]