The Name of Jesus Christ
The Name of Jesus Christ
    Origin of the Name of Jesus Christ
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Origin of the Name of Jesus Christ
    In this article, we shall consider the two words which compose the Sacred Name.
    JESUS
    The word Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek Iesous, which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew Jeshua, or Joshua, or again Jehoshua, meaning "Jehovah is salvation." Though the name in one form or another occurs frequently in the Old Testament, it was not borne by a person of prominence between the time of Josue, the son of Nun and Josue, the high priest in the days of Zorobabel. It was also the name of the author of Ecclesiaticus of one of Christ's ancestors mentioned in the genealogy, found in the Third Gospel (Luke 3:29), and one of the St. Paul's companions (Colossians 4:11). During the Hellenizing period, Jason, a purely Greek analogon of Jesus, appears to have been adopted by many (I Machabees 8:17; 12:16; 14:22; II Machabees 1:7; 2:24; 4:7-26; 5:5-10; Acts 17:5-9; Romans 16:21). The Greek name is connected with verb iasthai, to heal; it is therefore, not surprising that some of the Greek Fathers allied the word Jesus with same root (Eusebius, "Dem. Ev.", IV; cf. Acts 9:34; 10:38). Though about the time of Christ the name Jesus appears to have been fairly common (Josephus, "Ant.", XV, ix, 2; XVII, xiii, 1; XX, ix, 1; "Bel. Jud.", III, ix, 7; IV, iii, 9; VI, v, 5; "Vit.", 22) it was imposed on our Lord by God's express order (Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21), to foreshow that the Child was destined to "save his people from their sins." Philo ("De Mutt. Nom.", 21) is therefore, right when he explains Iesous as meaning soteria kyrion; Eusebius (Dem., Ev., IV, ad fin.; P.G., XXII, 333) gives the meaning Theou soterion; while St. Cyril of Jerusalem interprets the word as equivalent to soter (Cat., x, 13; P.G., XXXIII, 677). This last writer, however, appears to agree with Clement of Alexandria in considering the word Iesous as of Greek origin (Paedag., III, xii; P.G., VIII, 677); St. Chrysostom emphasizes again the Hebrew derivation of the word and its meaning soter (Hom., ii, 2), thus agreeing with the exegesis of the angel speaking to St. Joseph (Matthew 1:21).
    CHRIST
    The word Christ, Christos, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messias, means "anointed." According to the Old Law, priests (Exodus 29:29; Leviticus 4:3), kings (I Kings 10:1; 24:7), and prophets (Isaias 61:1) were supposed to be anointed for their respective offices; now, the Christ, or the Messias, combined this threefold dignity in His Person. It is not surprising, therefore, that for centuries the Jews had referred to their expected Deliverer as "the Anointed"; perhaps this designation alludes to Isaias 61:1, and Daniel 9:24-26, or even to Psalms 2:2; 19:7; 44:8. Thus the term Christ or Messias was a title rather than a proper name: "Non proprium nomen est, sed nuncupatio potestatis et regni", says Lactantius (Inst. Div., IV, vii). The Evangelists recognize the same truth; excepting Matthew 1:1, 18; Mark 1:1; John 1:17; 17:3; 9:22; Mark 9:40; Luke 2:11; 22:2, the word Christ is always preceded by the article. Only after the Resurrection did the title gradually pass into a proper name, and the expression Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus became only one designation. But at this stage the Greeks and Romans understood little or nothing about the import of the word anointed; to them it did not convey any sacred conception. Hence they substituted Chrestus, or "excellent", for Christians or "anointed", and Chrestians instead of "Christians." There may be an allusion to this practice in I Peter 2:3; hoti chrestos ho kyrios, which is rendered "that the Lord is sweet." Justin Martyr (Apol., I, 4), Clement of Alexandria (Strom., II, iv, 18), Tertullian (Adv. Gentes, II), and Lactantius (Int. Div., IV, vii, 5), as well as St. Jerome (in Gal., V, 22), are acquainted with the pagan substitution of Chrestes for Christus, and are careful to explain the new term in a favourable sense. The pagans made little or no effort to learn anything accurate about Christ and the Christians; Suetonius, for instance, ascribes the expulsion of the Jews from Rome under Claudius to the constant instigation of sedition by Chrestus, whom he conceives as acting in Rome the part of a leader of insurgents.
    The use of the definite article before the word Christ and its gradual development into a proper name show the Christians identified the bearer with the promised Messias of the Jews. He combined in His person the offices of prophet (John 6:14; Matthew 13:57; Luke 13:33; 24:19) of king (Luke 23:2; Acts 17:7; I Corinthians 15:24; Apocalypse 15:3),and of priest (Hebrew 2:17; etc.); he fulfilled all the Messianic predictions in a fuller and a higher sense than had been given them by the teachers of the Synagogue.
    A. J. MAAS
    Transcribed by Joseph P. Thomas In Memory of Archbishop Mathew Kavukatt

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Classification Latter Day Saint movement Theology Nontrinitarian, Mormonism Governance …   Wikipedia

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Michigan — The Detroit Michigan Temple Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints arrived in Michigan in the 1830s. It did not have an organized presence in the state from the late 1850s into the 1870s. However missionary work was reopened… …   Wikipedia

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tonga — The Nuku alofa Tonga Temple The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (LDS Church) (Tongan: Siasi ʻo Sīsū Kalaisi ʻo e Kau Māʻoniʻoni ʻi he Ngaahi ʻAho Kimui Ní or Siasi Māmonga) was established in Tonga in 1891. According to the LDS Church …   Wikipedia

  • The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) — For other uses, see Church of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ Classification Restorationist Geographical areas Worldwide Headquarters Monongahela, Pennsylvania Origin April 6, 1830 …   Wikipedia

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Korea — As of year end 2006, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints had 79,652 members, 17 stakes, 6 districts, 96 wards, and 50 branches in South Korea. [LDS Newsroom (Statistical Information) [http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/contact… …   Wikipedia

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Der Salt Lake Tempel in Salt Lake City, Utah Die Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints) ist eine christliche Glaubensgemeinschaft. In den USA gilt sie mit knapp 2 % der Bevölkerung als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ghana — As of year end 2006, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints reported 32,965 members, 6 stakes, 44 wards, 40 branches, 2 missions, 5 districts and 1 temple in Ghana. [LDS Newsroom (Statistical Information)… …   Wikipedia

  • Beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Mormon doctrine redirects here. For the book by Bruce R. McConkie, see Mormon Doctrine (book). For more details on the study of Latter day Saint beliefs and practices as an academic field, see Mormon studies. Joseph Smith, Jr. said that he saw… …   Wikipedia

  • Culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — See also: Worship services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints A culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, reflecting the cultural impact of basic beliefs and traditions of the church, distinguishes church members …   Wikipedia

  • Blacks and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — From the end of the nineteenth century until 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints did not allow black men of African descent to be ordained to the priesthood or allow black men or women of African descent to participate in temple …   Wikipedia

  • History of The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) — History= Leadership of Joseph Smith, Jr. (1829–1844)The Church of Jesus Christ claims to be a continuation of the Church of Christ, which was the original church organization established by Joseph Smith, Jr. informally in 1829 and then as a legal …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”