Monthly Archives: June 2013

What Is The Original Hebrew Name For Jesus?

What Is The Original Hebrew Name For Jesus? And Is It True That The Name Jesus Is Really A Pagan Corruption Of The Name Zeus? – See more at: http://what-is-the-original-hebrew-name-for-jesus-and-is-it-true-that-the-name-jesus-is-really-a-pagan-corruption-of-the-name-zeus

I am continually amazed by how many people write to our ministry and ask us questions like this one, which came in last week: “Some Christians say we have to use the Hebrew name, Yashua. They say calling on the name of Jesus is calling on Zeus. That Jesus is a disguise name for Satan. What answers do you have for this? Where can we prove the name of Jesus is correct to use in its English translation and pronunciation?”

As bizarre as these questions are, the fact that they keep coming up means that they need to be addressed, so here are some simple responses (for more details, see 60 Questions Christians Ask About Jewish Beliefs and Practices, question #38).

The original Hebrew-Aramaic name of Jesus is yeshu‘a, which is short for yehōshu‘a (Joshua), just as Mike is short for Michael. The name yeshu‘a occurs 27 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, primarily referring to the high priest after the Babylonian exile, called both yehōshu‘a (see, e.g., Zechariah 3:3) and, more frequently, yeshu‘a (see, e.g., Ezra 3:2). So, Yeshua’s name was not unusual; in fact, as many as five different men had that name in the Old Testament. And this is how that name came to be “Jesus” in English: Simply stated, this is the etymological history of the name Jesus: Hebrew/Aramaic yeshu‘a became Greek Iēsous, then Latin Iesus, passing into German and then, ultimately, into English, as Jesus.

Why then do some people refer to Jesus as Yahshua? There is absolutely no support for this pronunciation—none at all—and I say this as someone holding a Ph.D. in Semitic languages. My educated guess is that some zealous but linguistically ignorant people thought that Yahweh’s name must have been a more overt part of our Savior’s name, hence YAHshua rather than Yeshua—but again, there is no support of any kind for this theory.

The Hebrew Bible has yeshu‘a; when the Septuagint authors rendered this name in Greek, they rendered it as Іησους (Iēsous, with no hint of yah at the beginning of the name); and the same can be said of the Peshitta translators when they rendered Yeshua’s name into Syriac (part of the Aramaic language family). All this is consistent and clear: The original form of the name Jesus is yeshu‘a, and there is no such name as yahshu‘a (or,yahushua or the like).

What about the alleged connection between the name Jesus (Greek Iēsous) and Zeus? This is one of the most ridiculous claims that has ever been made, but it has received more circulation in recent years (the Internet is an amazing tool of misinformation), and there are some believers who feel that it is not only preferable to use the original Hebrew/Aramaic name, Yeshua, but that it is wrong to use the name Jesus. Because of this, we will briefly examine this claim and expose the fallacies that underlie it.

According to the late A. B. Traina in his Holy Name Bible, “The name of the Son, Yahshua, has been substituted by Jesus, Iesus, and Ea-Zeus (Healing Zeus).”

In this one short sentence, two complete myths are stated as fact: First, there is no such name as Yahshua (as we have just explained), and second, there is no connection of any kind between the Greek name Iēsous (or the English name Jesus) and the name Zeus. Absolutely none! You might as well argue that Tiger Woods is the name of a tiger-infested jungle in India as try to connect the name Jesus to the pagan god Zeus. It is that absurd, and it is based on serious linguistic ignorance.

Here is another, equally absurd statement:

Basically, to keep it simple, “Jesus” is a very poor Roman translation from Latin, that was also poorly translated from the Greek, which IN NO WAY resembles His Hebrew name, “Yahushua.” Whew! Get all that? Moreover, according to the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, the name Ieusus (Jesus) is a combination of 2 mythical deities, IEU and SUS (ZEUS, a Greek god). In Gnostic and Greek mythologies they are actually one and the same pagan deity. So, it appears the name “Jesus” has some documented pagan origins. That’s not good! In fairness, some Messianic believers disagree and state that there is no definitive evidence to connect “Jesus” to “Zeus.” However, I disagree with them. (http://www.wwyd.org/)

The response to this statement (which has as much support as the latest Elvis sightings) is quite simple: We know where the name Iēsous came from: the Jewish Septuagint! In other words, this was not some later, pagan corruption of the Savior’s name; rather, it was the natural Greek way of rendering the Hebrew/Aramaic name Yeshua at least two centuries before His birth, and it is the form of the name found in more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. This is saying something! The name Iēsous is also found in Greek writings outside the New Testament and dating to that same general time frame.

Although it is claimed that the Encyclopedia Britannica says that “the name Ieusus (Jesus) is a combination of 2 mythical deities, IEU and SUS (ZEUS, a Greek god)” it actually says no such thing. This is a complete fabrication, intentional or not. In short, as one Jewish believer once stated, “Jesus is as much related to Zeus as Moses is to mice.”

Unfortunately, some popular teachers continue to espouse the Jesus-Zeus connection, and many believers follow the pseudo-scholarship in these fringe, “new revelation” teachings. Not only are these teachings and practices filled with error, but they do not profit in the least. So, to every English-speaking believer I say: Do not be ashamed to use the name JESUS! That is the proper way to say his name in English—just as Michael is the correct English way to say the Hebrew name mi-kha-el and Moses is the correct English way to say the Hebrew name mo-sheh. Pray in Jesus’ name, worship in Jesus’ name, and witness in Jesus’ name. And for those who want to relate to our Messiah’s Jewishness, then refer to him by His original name Yeshua—not Yahshua and not Yahushua—remembering that the power of the name is not in its pronunciation but in the person to whom it refers, our Lord and Redeemer and King.

See more at: http://askdrbrown.org/resource/what-is-the-original-hebrew-name-for-jesus-and-is-it-true-that-the-name-jesus-is-really-a-pagan-corruption-of-the-name-zeus/#sthash.lSDVton7.dpuf

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Breaking Point

Breaking Point

by Rev. Daniel Blair
http://danielsblog.org/

What is your breaking point? As we fast approach the end of days many are being faced with that question. How much can I endure before I break down emotionally, slip into the abyss of faithlessness, and lose all hope? How much can I suffer before I experience the trauma of a psychological breakdown and a life of psychotropic drugs? How much can I lose before I breakout to a life of lawlessness and depravity of spirit? We should be deeply saddened and grieved in the spirit that many in our day have already reached their breaking point; not only the unbeliever but those who profess Jesus Christ as Lord. How did they get there? What caused the believer to reach a breaking point in his life? The simple answer is they don’t have God’s Word hidden in their heart; it has not become a part of their life. So when the storms of life come crashing in on the believer he has nothing to draw on to help him stand firm. For example, when depression deepens due to responding to life’s problems without drawing exclusively on godly counsel, namely the proper application of His Word, then the breaking point is inevitable. Or if he is overcome by all the bad news in the world without filtering it through the theological lenses of faith and hope then he too is destined to experience the breaking point. Or if he or his family suffers due to the many tragedies striking the planet in the form of natural disasters, plagues, pestilence, and lawlessness without a clear understanding of the value of trials and tribulations then he too will reach his breaking point.

Dear Christian we must take time to build a solid theological belief system which is our only hope for standing firm in our faith. The starting point in building a theological belief system believes categorically that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (See II Peter 1:3-4). For we all have problems and they will increase in number and severity as we approach the end, therefore it is absolutely essential that we believe that God has an answer to all of our problems. Not only does He give comfort but He gives wisdom on how to respond correctly to each and every problem we face in this life. Although this is great news it takes a life time of prayerful study of the Bible and listening intently to the indwelling Holy Spirit. I have done just that in my new book: Stand Firm: Godly Counsel for the Last Days, which still must be appropriated into the life of each believer. Many Christians know the truth and can even quote the correct response to life’s problems from the Bible, but fall woefully short on application. They say application is the most difficult part, but with God all things are possible. Let me encourage you to respond to life’s problems correctly by using God’s Word as your guide.

As we look out on the horizon it is difficult to see good news. From a government that’s quickly losing its credibility by spying on their citizens, withholding the truth, and making questionable decisions on the world stage to the unfeigned talk of rebellion or a military coup we must refocus. As Christians we cannot get stuck in the mere of negative reporting, but we should look at the big picture. No matter what happens in this country or around the world our King is still the same. We are part of the unshakeable Kingdom that can never be moved. Our faith and hope is in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who one day will bring this world to a close and reward His faithful servants who stood the test by remaining faithful to Him alone in the midst of their greatest trials. Quite frankly, we cannot change the direction of this world that has been set on the path to destruction, but we can stand firm rescuing the perishing and actively building His Kingdom here on earth. As a fellow “watcher” in the affairs of men and the destruction coming upon the world, we must not lose focus by following world events, but we must constantly refocus on our eternal hope in Christ Jesus and working feverishly to build His Kingdom. Let us face the world with music in our heart from the old hymn: “My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.”

Finally, we will suffer greatly as we approach the end, but it will help to understand the value of our trials and tribulations. James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2-3). Consider it pure joy! How can we experience joy in trials, tribulations, persecution, and suffering? The joy comes from knowing that God uses it to strengthen our faith. A strong faith enables us to have a closer intimate relationship with God. It causes us to trust Him in every area of our life, becoming dependent upon Him for everything, thus experiencing the full measure of His love and grace. It gets better! Now a strong faith, which has gone through the fire, develops perseverance (patient endurance). And patient endurance will weather the storms of suffering and persecution making us mature, complete, and not lacking anything. It was Tertullian who famously declared, “That the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” The persecutions strengthened the faith of the early Christians, which in turn filled the church with mature and committed believers. Dear children, please don’t be counted among those who will reach their breaking point, but respond correctly to life’s problems by using God’s Holy Word, stay focused on Kingdom work rather than negative reporting, and stand firm in your faith allowing your trials and tribulation to develop patient endurance.

Copyright © 2013 Rev. Daniel W. Blair

Is universalism / universal salvation biblical ?

gotquestions.org

Universalism is the belief that everyone will be saved. There are many people today who hold to universal salvation and believe that all people eventually end up in heaven. Perhaps it is the thought of men and women living a life of eternal torment in hell that causes some to reject the teaching of Scripture on this issue. For some it is an over-emphasis on the love and compassion of God—and the neglect of the righteousness and justice of God—that leads them to believe God will have mercy on every living soul. But the Scriptures do teach that some people will spend eternity in hell.

First of all, the Bible is clear that unredeemed men will dwell forever in hell. Jesus’ own words confirm that the time spent in heaven for the redeemed will last as long as that of the unredeemed in hell. Matthew 25:46 says, “Then they [the unsaved] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” According to this verse, the punishment of the unsaved is just as eternal as the life of the righteous. Some believe that those in hell will eventually cease to exist, but the Lord Himself confirms that it will last forever. Matthew 25:41 and Mark 9:44 describe hell as “eternal fire” and “unquenchable fire.”

How does one avoid this unquenchable fire? Many people believe that all roads—all religions and beliefs—lead to heaven, or they consider that God is so full of love and mercy that He will allow all people into heaven. God is certainly full of love and mercy; it was these qualities that led Him to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the cross for us. Jesus Christ is the exclusive door that leads to an eternity in heaven. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” If we choose to reject God’s Son, we do not meet the requirements for salvation (John 3:16, 18, 36).

With verses such as these, it becomes clear that universalism and universal salvation are unbiblical beliefs. Universalism directly contradicts what Scripture teaches. While many people accuse Christians of being intolerant and “exclusive,” it is important to remember that these are the words of Christ Himself. Christians did not develop these ideas on their own; Christians are simply stating what the Lord has already said. People choose to reject the message because they do not want to face up to their sin and admit that they need the Lord to save them. To say that those who reject God’s provision of salvation through His Son will be saved is to belittle the holiness and justice of God and negate the need of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.

What Is a Tare?

Greg Laurie

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. (Matthew 13:24-25)

Jesus told a story known as the parable of the wheat and tares. In this particular story, He talked about a farmer who planted a crop of wheat. And during the night his enemy, probably a competitor, came along and sowed tares, or weeds, among the wheat.

The tare that Jesus described in this parable was also known as the darnel seed, which looks almost exactly like wheat in the beginning stages of its growth. But after it grows a little more, it becomes evident that it is a weed, and it actually uproots the wheat.

When one of the farmer’s workers asked him, “Shall we pull out the weeds?” the farmer replied, “No, you’ll hurt the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds and burn them and to put the wheat in the barn.”

Jesus told this story to point out that there are people in the church who have infiltrated our ranks. While there is wheat, there are also tares. We don’t know who is who, necessarily. You will find them sitting side by side in a pew, breathing the same air, and singing the same songs. One may be a believer, while the other may be an unbeliever. One may be wheat, and one may be a tare.

We always will have people who infiltrate our ranks, the Ananiases and Sapphiras and the Judas Iscariots—the satanic plants that undermine the Word of God. But it is not our job to weed those people out. We don’t see a person’s heart. Our concern should not be who the hypocrites are, but whether we are hypocrites ourselves. Our job is to take care of ourselves, to take heed and make sure that we are true believers.

Taken from “Wheat and Tares” (used by permission).