I started this entry several months ago. I work on it for a bit, then get bored. It’s a bit dry. I’ve decided to go ahead and publish what I have now as “Part 1″… I’ll get to part 2 later. I hope this helps someone!

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I often receive negative feedback from evangical-run pages on Facebook for saying things which are not “Biblically correct.” To be honest, I give that as much regard as I give someone telling me that I am not being “politically correct”–that is, the only ‘correctness’ about which I worry is actual correctness.

Since being “Biblically correct” is a concern, however, I would like to address some things which I see often posted on Facebook which are not Biblically correct, in the hopes that the authors may correct themselves:
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1. Jesus
Let’s be clear: to the best of my knowledge, no person by this name has ever walked the Earth.

The name “Jesus” is actually an Anglicization of the Latin form “Iesu/Iesus”–a special-case fourth-declension name. Note that, in being transliterated into English, the “i” becomes a “j”–a consonant which does not exist in the Latin alphabet. “Iesu”, in turn, is derived from the Greek “Ieso/Iesous” (I will use the English alphabet throughout this article, for ease of reading). Finally, “Ieso”, is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew “Yehoshua” (commonly contracted to “Yeshua”). The Aramaic pronunciation–which is important to me, but may not matter to others–is actually “Isho” (and note how much closer that is to the Greek transliteration, than “Yehoshua”).

Does that mean that everyone needs to start learning Hebrew and saying “Yehoshua” all the time? No. But the correct translation of “Yehoshua” into English–used for every other instance of this name throughout the Christian canon–is JOSHUA. So, “Yehoshua bar Yosef” should actually be read “Joshua, son of Joseph” in English.

2. Christ
Before we even get in to the etymology of “Christ”, let’s clear up something else. People read this word like it’s a last name–Jesus Christ, son (presumably) Joseph Christ and Mary Christ. This is where we begin down the road of reading the Bible like it was written in English, for an American audience, last week. Folks, first-century Aramaic Jewish culture did not have last names. They had given names, and they were either “son of (father’s name)”, or “daughter of (father’s name)”. There was no Christ family running around Nazareth. Yeshua was ‘Yeshua bar Yosef’, not ‘Yeshua Christ’. So, where does “Christ” come from?

We begin similarly to investigating ‘Jesus’: ‘Christ’ comes from the Latin ‘Christus’, which is a special-case transliteration of the Greek ‘Xristos’. It is a special case because the actual translation of ‘Xristos’ into Latin is ‘Servator’–that is, ‘Savior’. Unlike the case of ‘Iesous’, however, ‘Xristos’ is not a transliteration from Hebrew, but an actual translation–of the word (Meshiach). That is, ‘Messiah’; the savior.

Therefore, ‘Jesus Christ’ is correctly written ‘Jesus THE Christ’, and more correctly written ‘Joshua the Savior.’

3. Jehovah
Many of you will be familiar with the Third Commandment of the Decalogue, “You will not take the name of THE LORD, your god, in vain (I don’t do “thou shalt”s. I find no value in the archaic English; it just gives people an extra excuse for misintrepreting the text).” Many of you also would write it incorrectly, with “THE LORD” not in all caps–it is that way for a reason. The Jews have many names for God–Elohim, Adonai, Shaddai el Chai, etc. What is being referenced in this Commandment is a very specific name: the Tetragrammaton, which we would write in English as ‘YHVH’.

So, what the Third Commandment actually says is, “You will not use the name YHVH inappropriately.” Specifically, it could only be spoken by the Jewish High Priest on High Holy Day. Misunderstanding this Commandment has led not only to the common misconception that there is something wrong with saying the word “god”–there certainly isn’t–but also the recent creation of perhaps the most blasphemous song ever written, “At Your Name”, through what I can only assume was the tragically good-intentioned ignorance of one Phil Wickham.

So, where did “Jehovah” come from, if the name in question was “YHVH”? Well, here we come again to the fact that the Scriptures were not written in English. And if you happen to be a Rabbi teaching anything from basic Hebrew to QBLH in classical Judaic society, you’re going to be teaching out of the TaNaKh. Which means that you will run across the name, “YHVH”. And, if you happen not to be paying close enough attention, you will READ it.

Make no mistake, this was the biggest crime back then. Bigger than adultery, bigger than murder. Poeple got stoned for this–accidental or no. So, when someone got a bright idea and introduced the idea of vowel-makers to the Hebrew language, one of the first that was done was to start writing ‘YHVH’ with the WRONG vowel markers, so that mistakes like this wouldn’t happen. I’ll save you the tortuous journey through languages, but suffice it to say that “Jehovah” is derived from the letters of ‘YHVH’ with the vowel-markers from ‘Adonai’. So, while the actual pronunciation of YHVH is no longer known with certainty, we know that ‘Jehovah’ is absolutely not it (especially since there aren’t any ‘j’s in Hebrew).

Published by Little-Known Blogger

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer park outside of a tiny town in rural Missouri. I grew up to be a long-haired, gun-hating, military-hating, Presbyterian super-liberal. Well, perhaps the “growing up” happened later. While in high school, I was on the cross-country and wrestling teams, and actually won my weight-class in a State powerlifting competition. I went on to attend college on a Bright Flight scholarship, where I promptly became an atheist. I trained for a few years in Shotokan karate and Cheng-system taijiquan before training in my first real martial art, Hwarang-Do, under the late Franklin Fowlkes (later the Founder and Grandmaster of the Five Elements Martial Arts System). I married an older Taiwanese woman my junior year, got divorced in short order, and dropped out of college. After completing my AA in Psychology, I decided I needed a complete change of scenery and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (having early been assured that there was no way that a skinny liberal like me would ever survive Boot Camp). Contrary to what the Hipster Zombies will tell you, this did not “brainwash me into being a Conservative”. Instead, it made me a very unhappy, short-haired liberal, surrounded by guns and the military. However, I spent my whole contract (after schools) on the island of Okinawa, where I was exposed to points of view not dominated by the American liberal media. During this time, I taught ESL classes as a side-job, trained under some of the highest-ranking masters of karate on Okinawa, and discovered the practice of Buddhism. I also spent some time in Korea, where I got to train in hapkido. It was during this period that I came gradually to realize how stupid and evil American liberalism actually is. This was partly due to my Military Police command sending me to Small Arms Instructor school, which gave me more exposure to guns than I could ever have imagined—thus negating my idiotic liberal distaste for them. After the active-duty portion of my Marine Corps contract was over, I worked several jobs, from security contracts to operating a forklift in a warehouse. In 2002, however, when the invasion of Iraq was getting under way, I signed up with the Missouri Army National Guard, and have remained with them since, continuing as a Military Policeman. I am also full-time corrections officer, a member of the Anglican Church, and at one time was an Instructor Candidate in Dekiti-Tirsia Serradas Kali (until my instructor moved away). My hobbies (beyond blogging) include strength training, shooting sports, martial arts, creating digital art, and being a huge science and science-fiction geek.

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