Recently, a friend wrote and said:
I am confused about your spelling of Yahshua's name. You spell it differently than any I've ever seen, and I don't even know how to pronounce it. This might be a problem for me - I don't know if I can get used to it. Can anyone take a minute to explain the thinking behind it? Thank you so much!
I guess it is time for us to discuss this in more detail.
Ivriym (Hebrews) 4:8-9
For if Yahusha (the son of Nun) had given them rest, perchance another would speak again of this day. 9 There remains therefore a Shabbath for the people of YAH. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as YAHUAH did from his.
The reference in verse 8 is to Yahusha (the son of Nun) and not to “Jesus.”
Let’s compare verse 8-9 in a couple of other translations:
For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
For if Joshua had given them rest, God[b] would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
For if [d]Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
For if [d]Jesus had given them rest, then would he not after this have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
Now let’s take a look at the Greek. In verse 8, we see this:
8 ει γαρ αυτους ιησους . . . [ ei – if; gar – for; autos – them; Iesous - ?]
It is usually a given that Iesous would be interpreted as Jesus – although the 1611 KJV-AV and the 1560 Geneva both used the name Iesus instead of Jesus. Why, then, would the NKJV, NIV, ESV, and the NASB use the name Joshua?
Enter the Septuagint
JOSHUA / ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΝΑΥΗ 1:10-11
And Joshua commanded the scribes of the people, saying, 11 Go into the midst of the camp of the people, and command the people, saying, Prepare provisions; for yet three days and ye shall go over this Jordan, entering in to take possession of the land, which the Lord God of your fathers gives to you.
In the Greek:
ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΝΑΥΗ 1:10 Καὶ ἐνετείλατο ᾿Ιησοῦς (Iesous) τοῖς γραμματεῦσι τοῦ λαοῦ λέγων· 11 εἰσέλθατε κατὰ μέσον τῆς παρεμβολῆς τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ ἐντείλασθε τῷ λαῷ λέγοντες· ἑτοιμάζεσθε ἐπισιτισμόν, ὅτι ἔτι τρεῖς ἡμέραι καὶ ὑμεῖς διαβαίνετε τὸν ᾿Ιορδάνην τοῦτον εἰσελθόντες κατασχεῖν τὴν γῆν, ἣν Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς τῶν πατέρων ὑμῶν δίδωσιν ὑμῖν.
We see here that the word Ιησοῦς is the Greek word we interpret as Joshua in the English. Now let us compare it with Matthew 1 in the Stephanus Textus Receptus (Greek)
Matt 1:16 ιακωβ δε εγεννησεν τον ιωσηφ τον ανδρα μαριας εξ ης εγεννηθη ιησους (Iesous) ο λεγομενος χριστος (Christos).
We can therefore determine exactly what all of the modern scripture interpreters have concluded in the translation of the passage in Ivriym (Hebrews) 4:8. The Messiah has the same name as Joshua son of Nun. In the Greek, this name is Iesous (Ιησοῦς); so, what is Joshua’s name in the Hebrew?
Enter the Hebrew word יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Strong’s H3091). This word appears as YAHUSHA 197 times in the Masoretic text; in two occasions, the word is spelled יְהוֹשׁוּעַ (Yahushua).
In our view, this is conclusive evidence of the spelling of the name.
Now, as to its pronunciation: the tetragrammaton, according to Yocephus (Flavius Josephus) in The Wars of the Jews, Book 5, Chapter 5, Section 7, the tetragrammaton was pronounced as four vowels. We believe those four vowels are: ĒĂŪĂ (YAHUAH); However, יְהוֹשֻׁעַ is pronounced ĒĂŪSHǝ (YAHUSHA).
We realize that this is unusual, and that the Eth Cepher is the only text in the world which sets forth the English pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton and the true name of Mashiach (in accord with the accurate historical record). The Hebrew commentators would do well to consider that our task is to bring a comprehensive restoration of sacred scripture in the English language, - a language in which we have substantial expertise.
As much as the Ruach HaQodesh may allow the name of Jesus to remain in your lexicon, and as sweet is the name Yeshua (salvation) to the ear, we are called to restore an accurate record. Where the sacred names are concerned, we believe we are accurate in our presentation.
For further reading...
On the name יהוה
Would you still worship if His name was Joshua?
Who are the people called by his name?
And his name shall be called . . .
I come in the name of the Father