Friday, 20 November 2009

Jesus Means Salvation - Literally!

If you're like me, permeated with a Western philosophical mindset which likes to look at everything (including good and evil) in abstraction, that's to say, independent of the context in which those things are embedded, then you will be as surprised as I was to discover the following...

One of the Hebrew words we translate as "Salvation" is Yeshua. Yeshua is the Old Testament version of the name Jesus. (It's where we get Joshua from)

This word is used many times in the Old Testament. One of the best examples is Isaiah 12:3

We've translated it: With joy you shall draw water from the wells of salvation. Literally it would be from the wells of Yeshua - Jesus.

Jesus identifies himself directly to this when he calls all who are thirsty, to himself. It's not so much that Jesus offers us salvation, in the Western philosophical sense, something abstract and separate from himself to be received from him like an extravagant birthday present which is taken off and played with in another room, but rather to receive salvation is to receive him.

Salvation is not from Jesus, it is Jesus.

To get technical for a bit... when we're talking about the origin of salvation we can of course say it's from Jesus, but when we are talking about what salvation is, what it's like to experience, we can only say that it is Jesus, we cannot divorce the work from the person as we are so want to do!!

Have a look at those references and each time you come across the word salvation or deliverance, replace it with the name Jesus. It doesn't always work, but you'll be surprised at how many times it does. It also helps to show that those who, like Abraham, were of the true faith in the Old Testament, looked for exactly the same person (that is Christ) as we now do.


dave bish said...


Anders Branderud said...

You claim that ”Yeshua” means salvation.

Here is the etymological definition:
י--ה [is] national-salvation or military-salvation; contracted to the cognomen יְשוּעַ (Yәshu′a), from the unused root verb יַשַׁע (to deliver nationally or militarily, to save nationally or militarily). This term is never used of the Hellenist concept of "personal salvation" in the Bible or in Judaism. The verb is used in the hiph•il′: הוֹשִׁיעַ(ho•shi′a; he saved nationally or militarily, delivered nationally or militarily or came to the rescue nationally or militarily).

The verb is used in the same sense as its English counterpart was used in the old west: "The calvary will save us"—except for Jews ha-Sheim will save us (nationally and militarily from our enemies). There is no support for the "personal salvation" doctrine of Christianity. At the personal level there is, instead, ki•pur′—restricted to those who do their utmost to keep Tor•âh′. (from in which you also will find the teachings of the historical Ribi Yehoshua ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) ;Glossaries; slightly edited)

Anders Branderud

Richard Walker said...

So Anders, are you saying that Messiah comes to save a people not just individuals?