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Jesus

The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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The human Name of our Lord, given to Him at His circumcision and meaning Saviour. The name Jesus was by no means an uncommon name among the Jews. It is in the Greek what Joshua is in Hebrew, who is twice called in the New Testament Jesus, as in Acts 7:45 and Heb. 4:8. In both these passages the word Jesus means Joshua, having reference to his work as a leader and deliverer of Israel. So also we meet with Jesus the Son of Sirach, who wrote the book Ecclesiasticus. St. Paul speaks of one Jesus who was called Justus (Col. 4:11), and in Acts 13:6, we read of "a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-Jesus," i.e., son of Jesus. Josephus mentions many of the same name. Thus our Lord took a common name, but a Name which henceforth was to be above every name.

As the Name Jesus is the same as Joshua, its significance may be learned from its derivation. Joshua the son of Nun was first called Oshea, but Moses changed it to Jehoshea, (contracted to Joshua) from Jah, (Jehovah) and Oshea, Saviour, and meaning, "He by whom God will save His people from their enemies." Thus Joshua was a type of the spiritual Saviour of the world. The name as borne by our Lord means "God our Saviour," as the angel declared, "for He shall save His people from their sins." The ancient prophecy that He should be called "Emmanuel, God with us," was fulfilled when our Lord was called JESUS. When then we profess our belief in JESSU as we do in the Creed, it is as if we said, "I believe that JESUS, in the highest and utmost importance of that Name, to be the Saviour of the world. I acknowledge there is no other way to Heaven beside that which He has shown us; there is no other means which can procure it for us but His Blood; there is no other person who shall confer it on us but Himself. And with this full acknowledgment I believe in JESUS." (See HOLY NAME.)

Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Jesus'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​acd/​j/jesus.html. 1901.
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