Jesus to Yeshu-

Jesus to Yeshu-

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, present day Israel more than 2000 years ago in an Aramic speaking community. Considering this fact, he should have an aramic name which is obviously not ‘Jesus Christ’. ‘Yeshua’ is considered to be his original name. The name ‘yeshua’ refers to ‘yah saves’ or ‘yahweh is salvation’ (yah/yahweh = national god of ancient israel ).

Watch video on the topic (in Nepali language)

Bible consists of the Old and New testament.

The Old Testament deals with the prophecies surrounding the birth of Jesus, God’s son. Which was written in Hebrew, closest language to Aramaic but no proper name was mentioned. However in the New Testament that is stacked with the fulfillment of prophecies or the life and teachings of Jesus and his earliest followers denotes Christ as ‘Iēsous’. It was because the new testament was written in Greek. In Greek the ‘sh’ sound is absent and with the replacement  of it in ‘yeshu’ with ‘s’, it becomes ‘Iēsous’.

There was no alphabet ‘J’ till 16th century.

Likewise, the next big change came in the year 1524. Before this period there was no ‘j’ in the roman alphabet. Instead, ‘i’ was used. So, in the 16th century when the bible was being translated, the translators must have been confused and wrote ‘Jesous’ instead of ‘iseous’. That later on became Jesus. 

‘Christ’ is not actually a surname

As per his surname, in the era Jesus was born, there was no practice of surnames. In fact, ‘Christ’ isn’t a surname, rather it’s a title which means ‘the anointed one’. It originated from the Greek word ‘Khristos’ that means ‘Messiah’ in Hebrew. But due to the absence of the ‘kh’ sound in English, its pronunciation became ‘ka’. Later ‘kristos’ became ‘Christ’ in English.

The first Nepali bible

The Nepali utterance ‘Yeshu Khrist’ in Nepali is more authentic than ‘Jesus Christ’.

An interesting fact.

The first Nepali bible was published in 1914 by Ganga Prasad Pradhan with other Scottish missionaries stationed in india.

Pradhan, a young Newari boy who didn’t receive education got the opportunity to study in a Scottish missionary school when working in a tea plantation in Darjeeling. There he received his biblical education in Hindi local language. A lifetime christian devotee, he used to tell the gospels in Nepali around his town. And when he got the opportunity to make Christianity more accessible to ordinary Nepali, he dedicated more than 40 years of his life translating the Bible into Nepali. Before this William Carey who is credited for most of the Hindi languages bible translation attempted to translate into Nepali language but was successful to do only some parts from the New Testament.

Hereby we can associate that the Nepali utterance ‘Yeshu’ would be similar to the Hindi name ‘Yeshu’ of Jesus Christ.

But How come ‘Yeshu’ was used in the Hindi bible’?

Before the Hindi translations of bible began circulating, it is estimated that the land of Hindustan wasn’t unfamiliar with the name ‘Yeshu’.

It is believed that one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, Saint Thomas arrived in Kerala, India in 52 AD. Further, his grave seems to be located in a hill of Chennai. Likewise, it is an undisputed fact that due to the trade relation between India and Greece, israel. Traders  used to travel back and forth between these countries. So, it must not be surprising that the name ‘Yeshu’ was identified as early as in ancient India. 

Nevertheless, before the prints, Nepal had long been in contact with Christianity. Joao (John) Cabral was the first Jesuit missionary to come across Nepal. But it was Capuchin missionaries to have been a significant player in the history of Nepalese Christianity. The Roman priests who settled in Nepal for more than 50 years in the 18th century as Roman Catholics must have been familiar with the christian texts in hebrew or greek. And preached ‘Jesus’ as ‘Yeshu’.