Q: What is the real Hebrew name of our Savior, the Messiah? The name “Jesus” is not a Hebrew name. — Afam, from Nigeria
A: You are right, Afam. Jesus is not a Hebrew name but the English translation of the Greek name Iēsous, which is a translation of the Hebrew name for Joshua (Yehoshua‘). Joshua means “the salvation of the Lord” or “the Lord will save.” A shortened form of the Hebrew name for Jesus is Yeshua. We understand the meaning of the name of Jesus from what the angel said to Joseph as recorded in Matthew 1:21: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Of course, Jesus is not the only name given to our Savior. He is called, “Christ” (meaning “Messiah”) in Matthew 1:16, and in Matthew 1:23 He is called “Immanuel,” which is another Hebrew name meaning “God with us.” (See Isaiah 7:14).
In the beautiful passage of Isaiah 9:6-7, immortalized by G.F. Handel’s oratorio, “The Messiah” we find this passage listing several names for the Promised One:
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”