Defending the name of JESUS against the Yeshua crowd


May 18, 2015

Hey, everybody. Pastor Steven Anderson here from Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona, and today I want to talk to you about the name of Jesus, because the name of Jesus is under attack today, and people want to replace it with the name Yeshua, and you're seeing this more and more. Everywhere you turn: Yeshua, Yahweh, instead of using the Biblical words of "Jesus" and "the Lord," and so I'm going to explain to you why this is so bad, to switch over to this Yeshua thing, and not only that, but I'm going to prove to you that the name of Jesus is legitimate.

Now, the first point I want to make is that if God wanted us to call our savior by the name of Yeshua, then the name Yeshua would be found somewhere in the Bible, which it is not in the Bible at all. The King James Bible, which is my final authority, actually uses the name Jesus every single time. Not only that, but the original Greek New Testament, from which the King James Bible was translated, says Jesus every single time.

In fact, this is what it looks like in the Greek New Testament, the name of Jesus, okay? It's the same in all 27 books of the New Testament. You're going to find the name of Jesus spelled like this. Now, in Latin letters this would basically be I-E-S-O-U-S. Okay, some of the letters are different in Greek. This thing that is an "n" with the tail hanging down, is actually an eta, so it makes an "e" sound, and then this is an "s", believe it or not. I-E-S-O-U-S.

Now, this is where we derive our English word Jesus, directly from the Greek New Testament. Now, how did this become Jesus? Well, like I said, it's I-E-S-O-U-S. Well, in a King James Bible, and right here I have the 1611 edition, a replica of the 1611 ... In the King James, it was spelled I-E-S-U-S. Now you can see that that's very similar to what it is in Greek, and in fact, here's something that kind of shows the progression, okay, because right here we've got the Greek spelling, I-E-S-O-U-S, and then I put it in Latin letters so that you can see it, and then you can see what it is in a 1611 King James Bible.

I-E-S-U-S, and you can see that it's the exact same name, just brought into the English language for us. Now, just to prove to you that that was pronounced "Jesus" when the King James Bible came out in 1611: You can also find this word in a 1611 King James Bible that says Jews, this is how Jews was spelled, I-E-W-E-S, because a lot of people will say, "Well, how could his name be Jesus when the letter 'j' is only a couple hundred years old? There's no way his name's Jesus."

Now first of all, we're speaking English, so we're going to pronounce it in an English way. If we were speaking Spanish, we'd pronounce it "hey-soos". If we were speaking German, we'd pronounce it "yay-zooz". Either way, it's the same name. In Greek, it's "ee-soos", so we have "ee-soos", "yay-zooz", "hey-soos", "Jesus". No one knows exactly how it was pronounced 2000 years ago, but that is his name, and this name of Yeshua is a complete fraud. That name is found nowhere in the Greek New Testament, and it's nothing like this word in the Greek New Testament. Yahashua or Yeshua: That's not what this says. This says Iesus or Jesus or "hey-soos" or "yay-zooz". That's what it is.

Now you say, "Well, Pastor Anderson, we all know that Jesus Christ, he spoke Hebrew and he didn't speak Greek." Well, no, we don't all know that. Because of the fact that the whole New Testament's written in Greek, I believe that Jesus and his disciples spoke Greek. Now, I'm sure that they also spoke Aramaic, because the Bible does record the Lord Jesus Christ saying things in Aramaic, and I'm sure that they also understood Hebrew, because we see Jesus going into the synagogue and getting the scroll of Isaiah and reading from it.

The bottom line is that people throughout this world, throughout history and today, speak multiple languages. For example, if you talk to people today from India, they usually speak a local language, and then they'll speak a bigger regional language like Hindi or Bengali, and then they'll speak the global language, which would be English. Most of the people that I've met from India spoke at least 3 languages. They'd speak a local language, they'd speak Hindi, and then they'd speak English.

Also, you run into people all the time from Africa who speak 3 languages. They'll speak some kind of a local, tribal type language that very few people speak, then they'll speak Swahili, which is kind of a lingua franca in Africa, just kind of a universal second language in parts of east Africa, and then they'll speak English, kind of the big, overarching, global type language. I run into Africa all the time that speak 3 languages.

Now it just makes sense that the Lord Jesus Christ, if you look at the region that he lived in, probably spoke 3 languages. I'm sure he probably spoke Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek. You say, "Well, why would he speak Greek?" Well, if you look at Jesus's ministry, you'll see that people were coming from all over to hear Jesus's preaching.

They weren't just listening to him in Judea, but also people were coming from places like Decapolis, people were coming from Syria. The Bible talked about his fame going abroad and people coming from the surrounding areas to hear him preach, and he didn't even grow up in Judea. He grew up in Galilee of the Gentiles, so it makes perfect sense that if he's growing up in Galilee of the Gentiles, he's going to know Greek also, since Greek was the big Gentile language in that area.

Not only that, but since the whole New Testament is written in Greek, how did the apostles write the New Testament in Greek if they didn't speak Greek? I mean, are you going to try to convince me that they just said, "Okay, well I guess we better learn Greek. Now that we're adults and we've lived for decades not knowing Greek, we're just going to learn it so we can write the New Testament." No. Clearly they wrote the New Testament in a language that they spoke, so they wrote the New Testament in Greek.

Now you say, "Well, Pastor Anderson, I believe that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew," and this is what people are starting to say now. They're starting to say that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew. Well, here's the problem with that. Number one is that there are over 5,900 hand written manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. Ancient, hand written, Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, over 5,900. Well, guess how many ancient manuscripts of the Hebrew New Testament? Zero. Yet people will still insist, "Well, I think it was written originally in Hebrew." Why would the Book of Thessalonians be written in Hebrew when Thessalonica is a city in Greece?

I mean, look who the New Testament is addressed to: the Thessalonians, the Philippians. Where's Philippi? It's in Macedonia. It's written to all these Gentiles. Think about the Book of Revelation. He said, "Send it to the seven churches that are in Asia." Why would you send a book to seven churches in Asia and then put that book in the Hebrew language? What did they speak in Asia Minor at that time? They spoke Greek.

I believe that it's very possible that Jesus preached entire sermons in Greek. I'm sure that he and his apostles spoke the Greek language in addition to Aramaic and Hebrew, and you can prove that the New Testament was written in Greek in so many different ways, based on the internal evidence of the fact that it's addressed to all these Greek-speaking places, the fact that, for example, the sign that was above Jesus's head when he was on the cross was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Why those 3 languages? Well, Latin, because it was the Roman soldiers who were making the sign and nailing it to the cross. The Romans spoke Latin.

Why was it in Hebrew? Well, obviously, because they're in Jerusalem. That's the local language. Why was it in Greek, then? Because of the fact that Greek was another language that was spoken in that area at that time. It was the main language of the civilized world at that time, which is why God in His wisdom, gave us the New Testament in that language, so that it could get out to the most people in the shortest amount of time.

Now, once you understand that the New Testament was written in Greek, and that Jesus's name in Greek is spelled pretty much the same way it's spelled in English, then how can you sit there and say that his real name is Yeshua? No, here's the real name. Here's the evidence. It's all right here.

You say, "Well, Pastor Anderson, where's the 'j' coming from? I mean, that's an 'i'. I-E-S-U-S. How do you get a 'j' out of that?" Well, just because the letter "j" in modern English, quote unquote, had not been invented, this letter did the exact same thing. That's how they were pronouncing words like Jews and Jesus. It's like this. You say, "Well, how can that be?" Well, even today, the similarities between the letter "i" and the letter "j" are there.

For example, I remember when I walked into Spanish III class in high school, and the teacher kept saying, "Joe, Joe, Joe," and I went, "What is this word he's using, 'Joe'?" I figure, "I'm in Spanish III. I should understand this word that he keeps using over and over again." Finally I figured out that the word he was using was the word yo, Y-O, but he was pronouncing it "Joe" because he had learned Spanish in South America, and in fact, we have a lady in our church that's from South America, and when she says the word yes in English, she pronounces it "jess". She'll say "jess, jess". "Jess" or "no".

You say, "What in the world? Why?" Because that sound is very similar, the "yuh" sound and the "juh" sound, between the letter "i" and the letter "j" are so similar, that throughout history it'll go back and forth. Pronunciations change. We don't have a tape recorder of exactly what Greek sounded like back then, so we pronounce it in our own language. We pronounce it in English as "Jesus". Whether it's "hey-soos", whether it's "yay-zooz", it's the same name, but this Yeshua is a complete fraud, not found in the Bible.

You say, "Well, why does this issue matter?" Well, because if you're going to say that his real name is Yeshua, basically, you're saying that this book does not contain his real name, this Greek New Testament. You're saying that this book is a fraud. You're saying that all 27 books in here are wrong and that they're a fraud, and that the Epistles to the Thessalonians are a fraud, and the Epistle to Philippians ... Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all a fraud, and then you have just destroyed the foundation of Christianity. Everything that we believe is based on this book.

You say, "Well, it's the King James." Okay. The English King James Bible, but the English King James Bible was translated from this. You're destroying both of these books, you're attacking both of these books. When you claim that his real name is Yeshua, you're saying that both of these books are a fraud. I'm sorry, but these books are the final authority for our faith and practice, and if everything that we believe is supposed to come from the Bible, and the Bible can't even get the name right, how can we trust the Bible for anything else, if it got the savior's name wrong when it called his name Jesus?

You have to realize the seriousness, and that's why whenever I see anybody use this name of Yeshua, I correct them immediately and say, "Wait a minute. It's Jesus. On the authority of the Bible, it's Jesus. It's not Yeshua." Okay. That's why this is such a big deal, because they're basically destroying the foundations of the New Testament.

You say, "Well, what's behind it?" Well, because these Hebrew roots people, or sacred name movement, they want to creep in and they want to destroy the foundation of our faith, which is the New Testament, which is written in Greek, and they want to turn us all into Jews, is what they really want to do. They are satanic, false teachers who are creeping in and pretending to be Christian or messianic. They are unsaved false prophets, lying devils, whose real goal is to get us wrapped up in the satanic religion of Judaism.

Listen, if you don't think Judaism is satanic, you need to watch Marching to Zion, okay? This film lays Judaism bare for the synagogue of Satan that it is. That's what's behind it, folks. It's not just, "Oh, well, who cares. You know, Jesus, Yeshua, same thing." No, it's not the same thing.

First of all, I don't believe that anybody who attacks the name of Jesus is saved, because "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Secondly, when they attack the name of Jesus, they are pulling the rug out from under us of everything that we believe. The foundation of everything that we believe is this book, the New Testament. Whether you're reading it in English or in Greek, it says the same thing, and this is our foundation and our final authority in all matters of faith and practice, and when you mess with the name of Jesus, you are destroying that foundation.

That's why this is such a big issue. Don't let these Judaizers and these Hebrew roots false teachers convince you to call him by the name of Yeshua. It's a lie. Now you say, "Well, Yeshua, that's Hebrew, so therefore, it's the right name." First of all, this name Yeshua is modern Hebrew, which is a language that was invented in 1882, so I don't see how you can say, "Well, that's his original name."

You see, Hebrew was a dead language from around A.D. 100 to 1882. Sure, rabbis learned it as a second language in synagogues, just like today Catholic priests learn Latin and they speak Latin at the Vatican or whatever, but Latin is still considered a dead language, because people aren't being born and raised speaking Latin as their native language. It's just a scholarly language, just like Sanskrit is a dead language. Even though there are thousands of people who know it, it's still considered a dead language. It doesn't have native speakers.

That's how Hebrew was from A.D. 100 until 1882, when the first native, modern Hebrew speaker was born. Well, here's the thing about Hebrew: it doesn't have vowels, so nobody even knows how it was pronounced back 2000 years ago. There was no tape recording. It doesn't even have written vowels. You can't even know how it was pronounced back then, so we're just taking some modern Hebrew, made-up pronunciation, we're discarding the Greek New Testament, discard the King James Bible, discard every English Bible and say, "No, the real name is Yeshua."

Don't be fooled by the synagogue of Satan, and I don't care if these people call themselves messianics or claim to believe in Jesus. No. When they're talking about Yeshua, there's something wrong with that picture, my friend. Don't be fooled and don't think that this is not a serious issue. This is the number one issue. This is the name above all names, this is the name associated with salvation, and we need to fight for it. It's the name of Jesus.