Chapter 8 Why was the Savior’s Name Changed from Yahshua to Jesus?
Dr. C. J. Koster further explains why and how they changed the Savior’s name in his book, Come out of Her My People, “a factual presentation of well researched material showing exactly which elements in ancient pagan and sun worship were adopted into the Church.” On page 60 we find the chapter entitled, “The Non-original, Substitute Name ‘Jesus,’ Traces Back to Sun-worship Too”:
“There is not a single authoritative reference source which gives the name Jesus or Iesous as the original name of our Saviour! All of them admit that the original form of the Name was Jehoshua or Yehoshua. Why then, was it changed from Jehoshua or Yehoshua to Jesus?
“Many Hebrew names of the Old Testament prophets have been “Hellenized” when these names were rewritten in the Greek New Testament. Thus, Isaiah became Isaias, Elisha became Elissaios or Elisseus (Eliseus), and Elijah became Helias in the Greek New Testament. The King James Version has retained some of these Hellenized names. Since the King James Version was published, the newer English versions have ignored these Hellenized names of the Greek New Testament, and have preferred, quite correctly, to render them as they are found in the Hebrew Old Testament, namely: Isaiah, Elisha, and Elijah.
“Incidentally, the similarity between the Hellenized Helias (instead of Elijah) and the Greek Sun-deity Helios, gave rise to the well-known assimilation of these two by the Church. Dr. A. B. Cook, in his book, Zeus—a Study in Ancient Religion, Vol. I, pp. 178-179, elaborates on this quoting the comments of a 5th century Christian poet and others on this. Imagine it, Elijah identified with Helios, the Greek Sun-deity!
“Returning to our discussion on the reluctance of the translators to persist with all of the Hellenized names in the Greek of the New Testament, one could very well ask: But why did they persist with the Hellenized Iesous of our Saviours’s Name, and its further Latinized form Iesus? It is accepted by all that our Saviour’s Hebrew Name was Jehoshua or Yehoshua. So why did the translators of the Scriptures not retain or restore it, as they did with the names of the Hebrew prophets?
“It is generally agreed that our Saviour’s Name is identical (or very similar) to that of the successor to Moses, Joshua. But “Joshua” was not the name of the man who led Israel into the Promised Land. The Greeks substituted the Old Testament “Yehoshua” with Iesous, the same word they used for our Saviour in the New Testament. Subsequently the Latins came and substituted it with Josue (Iosue) in the Old Testament (which became Josua in German and Joshua in English), but used Iesus in the New Testament.
“In the Hebrew Scriptures we do not find the word “Joshua.” In every place it is written: Yehoshua. However, after the Babylonian captivity we find the shortened form “Yeshua” in a few places—shortened, because they then omitted the second and third letters namely: WH. Everyone who sees the names Yehoshua and Iesous will agree: there is no resemblance between the names Yehoshua and Iesous or Jesus.
“Before we continue with our study of the words Iesous and Iesus, we would like to point out that we have been led to believe that the Saviour’s correct Name is: Yahushua. Our Saviour said in John 5:43, “I have come in My Father’s Name.” Again, in John 17:11 He prayed to His Father, “Keep them through Your Name which You have given Me.” According to the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, the United Bible Societies’ Third Edition, and the Majority Text. Therefore, in John 17:11 our Saviour states that His Father’s Name had been given to Him. Again he repeats this irrefutable fact in the next verse, John 17:12, “In your Name which You gave Me. And I guarded them (or it).” Read John 17:11-12 in any of the modern English versions.
“So we have our Saviour’s clear words, in three texts, that His Father’s Name was given to Him. Paul also testifies to this in Eph.3:14-15 as well as in Phil.2:9. What then is His Father’s Name? Although most scholars accept “Yahweh,” and many still cling to the older form “Yehowah” (or Jehovah), we are convinced that the correct form is Yahuweh.
“Two factors contributed greatly to the substitution and distortion of our Saviour’s Name. The first was the un-Scriptural superstitious teaching of the Jews that the Father’s Name is not to be uttered, that it is ineffable, that others will profane it when they use it, and that the Name must be “disguised” outside of the temple of Jerusalem.
“Because of the Father’s Name being in His Son’s Name, this same disastrous suppression of the Name resulted in them giving a Hellenized, in fact, a surrogate name for our Saviour. He did warn us in John 5:43, “I have come in My Father’s Name…if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.”
“The second factor was the strong anti-Judaism that prevailed amongst the Gentiles, as we have already pointed out. The Gentiles wanted a saviour, but not a Jewish one. They loathed the Jews, they even loathed the Elohim of the Old Testament. Thus, a Hellenized saviour was preferred. The Hellenized theological school at Alexandria, led by the syncretizing, allegorizing, philosophying, Gnostic-indoctrinated Clement and Origen, was the place where everything started to become distorted and adapted to suit the Gentiles. The Messianic Belief, and its Saviour, had to become Hellenized to be acceptable to the Gentiles.
“Where did Iesous and Iesus come from? In Bux and Schone, Worter-buch der Antike, under “Jesus,” we read, “JESUS: really named Jehoshua. Iesous (Greek), Iesus (Latin) is adapted from the Greek, possibly from the name of a Greek healing goddess Ieso (Iaso).
“Like all authoritative sources, this dictionary admits to the real true Name of our Saviour: Jehoshua (or as we believe: Yahushua). It then states, as most others, that the commonly known substitute, non-original, non-real name “Jesus” was adapted from the Greek. We must remember that our Saviour was born from a Hebrew maiden, not from a Greek one. His stepfather, His half-brothers and half-sisters, in fact all His people, were Hebrews…Furthermore, this dictionary then traces the substitute name back to the Latin Iesus, and the Greek Iesous. It then traces the origin of the name Iesous back as being possibly adapted from the Greek healing goddess Ieso (Iaso).
“To the uninformed I would like to point out that Iaso is the usual Greek form, while Ieso is from the Ionic dialect of the Greeks.
“This startling discovery of the connection between Ieso (Iaso) and Iesous, is also revealed to us by the highly respected and authoritative unabridged edition of Liddell and Scott, Greek-English Lexicon, p. 816, under “Iaso.”
“The third witness comes to us in a scholarly article by Hans Lamer in Philologische Wochenschrift, No. 25, 21 June 1930, pp. 763-765. In this article the author recalls the fact of Ieso being the Ionic Greek goddess of healing. Hans Lamer then postulates, because of all the evidence, that “next to Ieso man shaped a proper masculine Iesous. This was even more welcome to the Greeks who converted to Christianity.” He then continues, “If the above is true, then the name of our Lord which we commonly use goes back to a long lost form of the name of a Greek goddess of healing. But to Greeks who venerated a healing goddess Ieso, a saviour Iesous must have been most acceptable. The Hellenisa- tion was thus rather clever.”
“This then is the evidence of three sources who, like us, do not hide the fact of the Greek name Iesous being related to Ieso, the Greek goddess of healing. The Hellenization of our Saviour’s Name was indeed most cleverly done. To repeat our Savour’s words or warning in John 5:43, “I have come in My Father’s Name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.”
“There is no resemblance or identifiability between our Saviour’s Name, Yahushua, and the Greek substitute for it Iesous. The Father’s Name, Yah- or Yahu-, cannot be seen in the Greek Iesous or in the Latin Iesus, neither in the English or German Jesus.
“In spite of attempts made to justify the “translating” of the Father’s Name and His Son’s Name, the fact remains: A personal name cannot be translated! It is simply not done. The name of every single person on this earth remains the same in all languages. Nobody would make a fool of himself by calling Giuseppe Verdi by another name, Joseph Green, even though Giuseppe means Joseph and Verdi means Green. Satan’s name is the same in all languages. He has seen to it that his name has been left unmolested!
“However, let us further investigate the names Ieso (Iaso) and Iesous. According to ancient Greek religion, Apollo, their great Sun-deity, had a son by the name of Asclepius, the diety of healing, but also identified with the Sun. This Asclepius had daughters, and one of them was Iaso (Ieso), the Greek goddess of healing. Because of her father’s and grandfather’s identities as Sun-deities, she too is in the same family of Sun-deities. Therefore, the name Iesous, which is derived from Ieso, can be traced back to Sun-worship.
“We find other related names, all of them variants of the same name, Iasus, Iasion, Iasius, in ancient Greek religion, as being sons of Zeus. Even in India we find a similar name Issa or Issi, as surnames for their deity Shiva. Quite a few scholars have remarked on the similarity between the names of the Indian Issa or Issi, the Egyptian Isis and the Greek Iaso.
“In our research on the deity Isis we made two startling discoveries. The one was that the son of Isis was called Isu by some. However, the second discovery yielded even further light. The learned scholar of Egyptian religion, Hans Bonnet, reveals to us in his Reallexikon der agyptischen Religionsgeschichte, p. 326, that the name of Isis appears in the hieroglyphic inscriptions as ESU or ES. No wonder it has been remarked, “Between Isis and Jesus as names, confusion could arise.” This Isis also had a child, which was called Isu by some. This Isu or Esu sounds exactly like the “Jesu” that we find the Saviour called, in the translated Scriptures of many languages, e.g. many African languages.
“Rev. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p.164, also remarked on the similarity of Jesus and Isis. “IHS—Iesus Hominum Salvator—But let a Roman worshipper of Isis (for in the age of the emperors there were innumerable worshippers of Isis in Rome) cast his eyes upon them, and how will he read them, of course, according to his own well-known system of idolatry: Isis, Horus, Seb.” He then continues with a similar example of “skillful planning” by “the very same spirit, that converted the festival of the Pagan Oannes into the feast of the Christian Joannes.” (The Hebrew name of the baptizer, and that of the apostle as well, was Yochanan, or Yehochanan).
“Thus, by supplanting the Name of our Saviour Yahushua with that of the Hellenized Iesous (in capitals: IHSOUS), which became the Latinized Iesus, it was easy to make the pagans feel welcome—those pagans who worshipped the Greek Ieso (Iaso), of which the masculine counterpart is Iesous, as well as those who worshipped the Egyptian Esu (Isis)…
“As I have stated, there is no resemblance between the Name Yahushua and the name Jesus. Neither is there any resemblance between their meanings. Yahushua means: “the Salvation of Yah or Yahu.” “Jesus” is derived from Iesus, derived from Iesous (IHSOUS), obviously derived from the Greek goddess of healing, Ieso or Iaso…Further the short form, or original source of the name Iesous (IHSOUS) is Ies (HIS), the very surname of Bacchus, the Sun-deity.
“Therefore, the two names differ completely in their origin, and in their meaning. And more important: Our Saviour’s Name contains the Name of His Father, which the substitute name does not.”
Dr. Koster’s book Come out of Her My People can be ordered at this address:
Institute for Scripture Research
545 Newport Avenue, #151
Pawtucket, RI 02861