Tuesday, May 26, 2015

History of the Name “Jesus”

The history of the name “Jesus” begins in the Torah in the account in which Yahweh commanded Moses to choose one man from each of the twelve tribes to spy out the land of Canaan.

Of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea[1] the son of Nun . . . These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Yehoshua.[1]

The root word of Hoshea is HOSHUA, which means "salvation." It is important to understand that "salvation" in the Hebrew Scriptures or the Jewish culture did not mean “go to Heaven after death.” It meant “being delivered from some danger or threat.” Read the complete blog at -- http://therealyesua.blogspot.com/2015/05/history-of-name-jesus.html

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How We Received the Words of Jesus

Jesus wasn't an American who lived in the 21st century and spoke native English to his audience. He wasn't a Christian and didn't attend a church every Sunday. Based on what we know from the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus was a Jew who lived in the 1st century, spoke Hebrew and Aramaic, practiced Judaism, attended a synagogue every Shabbat and engaged in rituals at the Jerusalem Temple. This is very important information to know when our goal is to linguistically understand the words of Jesus.

In the previous blog I introduced the linguistic model we use at the Biblical Heritage Center to determine the meanings of the words of our Bibles. Words originate from a Source (author/speaker) and they are passed on to one or more Receptors (readers/hearers).

(Click on the graphic above to enlarge.)

Our goal is to determine what the words meant to the original Sources.

Jesus lived in the first decades of the 1st century. We live in the first decades of the 21st century. It is safe to say that none of us attended any of the meetings at which Jesus taught. The point is -- Jesus is not the direct Source of the words of Jesus we read. 

How did the words of Jesus travel across 2,000 years and make it to us? 

(Click on the graphic above to enlarge.)

It is important to understand that in the communications process, people often wear two hats -- Source & Receptor. When we are working to understand the meanings of the words of our Bibles we must do our best to identify all of the people involved in the transmission chain and factor their lives into the process. It is clear that their cultures, time periods, geographical locations, and personal experiences factor into the messages that send to the next Receptor -- just as yours does when you explain what the words of Jesus mean.

(1) Jesus didn't write down his messages, he spoke them to followers.

(2) The earliest accounts of Jesus's words were made by his followers.

(3) Copies of copies of copies, etc. of those accounts were made by scribes.

(4) English translators chose which copies of the manuscripts of the scribes they would translate.

(5) The translators made their translations.

(6) Readers determine what the words of the translators mean based on what's in their minds.
For the past five hundred years people have been reading the Bible without understand the linguistic laws that govern the human mind. The result has been that hundreds of different translations of the Bible are in circulation and literally thousands of Christian denominations have been created through conflicts over what the words of our Bibles mean. We can change things by simply asking the simple question above and working to find the answers:

What did the words mean to the original Sources?

Jim Myers


Accurately Understanding the Words of the Bible