Jesus and Christ Pagan?

“We have a book here that claims the name Jesus should be Joshua and that both Jesus and Christ both come from pagan rituals. Could you comment? – A.S., MS”

Jesus is a Greek word. It does indeed correspond with the Hebrew word, Joshua. And, the name was not uncommon until one unique individual was given that name. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The Son of God was given that name because of what it indicates, that He will be a Savior to the world. Although other people were named Joshua and Jesus, the Jesus of the New Testament is unique.

The same principle applies to the term Christ. This is also a Greek word that translates the Hebrew word, Messiah. The Messiah was the chosen one, picked by God to redeem and lead His people. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek. So, many of the concepts from the Old Testament took on Greek names and meanings. But, again, this title is given, not by pagan religions (some of whom may have used the terms) but by God. “Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). – David Thurman

Excerpted from Volume 63, Number 3 of Gospel Minutes. Gospel Minutes is a publication originating from Forth Worth, Texas; Clem Thurman, Editor, David Thurman, Associate Editor.

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