Jesus (name)

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Jesus is a male given name of biblical origin. Its most famous bearer is Jesus of Nazareth , whom Christians worship as Jesus Christ . Mostly derived from this name bearer, Jesus is used in many languages. The name is also found as a family name , as part of the designation of places, films, music and works of art, and in idioms.

Origin and variants

Jesus is the Latin form of the ancient Greek Ιησούς . In ancient Hellenized Judaism, this is the transcription of the Hebrew - Aramaic first name Yehoshua (יהושע) with its short forms Jeschua or Jeschu , extended by the Greek nominative ending -s , which is omitted or replaced in the other cases .

The etymology and thus a possible meaning of the name are uncertain. The Gospel of Matthew ( Mt 1,21  EU ) derives it from the Hebrew root jašaʿ , “to save”, and thus became the determining factor for the early Christian interpretation of the name.

This first name was widespread among Jews in the first century. He is often mentioned in the writings of the Jewish historian Flavius ​​Josephus , among others . According to this, four high priests alone were named between 37 BC. to 70 AD and 13 Palestinian Jews, mostly rebels like the Zealots , Yeschua . It was only in response to Christianity that Jews rarely called their sons that.

Another Latinization of this name is Joshua . The book of Joshua depicts Joshua, the son of Nun, as the direct successor of Moses and leader of the Israelites . The Greek translation of the Bible of the Tanach , the Septuagint , called him Jesus . It was only the Latin translation of the Bible by the church father Jerome that distinguished Joshua ( Old Testament ) from Jesus ( New Testament ). The name forms Joshua and Joshua remained common as first names for Jews and Christians at all times.


In German, the name was declined in Greco-Latin until the early 20th century : "This is Jesus, the Jew King" (nominative) - "They shared Jesus' clothes" (genitive) - "They gave Jesus a blow on the back" (dative) - “They led Jesus into the Richthaus” (accusative) - “Jesus, my joy” ( vocative ). Today, except in literary quotations, only the genitive Jesus is in use.


The Arabic form ʿĪsā is used today in several languages ​​of the Orient . The occurrence of the name in the Koran , as ʿĪsā ibn Maryam , is tried to be explained either by Jewish influence, by a modification of Syrian Yeshūʿ or with reference to pre-Islamic inscriptions. It is striking that in Hebrew the consonant Ajin , which is a fully valid consonant in Semitic languages , is at the end of the name, while the corresponding Arabic sound LautAin in the Arabic form at the beginning of the name. The Turkish form of the name is İsa . Arab Christians use Yasu ' a (Arabic: يسوع, Yasūʿ a ) instead .

In many Christian countries, Jesus is not used as a male first name. In Spanish, however, Jesús is a common first name to this day. The background is the Reconquista , during which the Islamic first name Mohammed was contrasted with the name Jesus.

In Germany , Jesus was not allowed as a first name for a long time. In 1996 the Bremen Higher Regional Court ruled that a first name acquired and used under South African law "Peace with God only through Jesus Christ" should be entered in the family book. In 1998, the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court ruled, also with regard to international customs, that registry offices should not refuse the parents' wish to name a child Jesus .

First name

Ancient name bearers


Middle, surname or nickname

family name

Ethiopian emperor

Ethiopian emperors of the Solomon dynasty were mostly named in reference to the Bible. Named after Jesus:


The exclamation “Jesus!” Is widespread in many languages, usually as an expression of astonishment or shock. Examples:

  • Lord! : The exclamation stands for "Lord Jesus", originally as an invocation in the sense of a quick prayer .
  • o jemine or oje : a short form of the Latin o Iesu Domine , "o Lord Jesus".
  • Jessas , Jesses: quick prayer, exclamation of horror; in English Jee (z) or Gee : a corruption
  • Jesus! in Spanish: stands for "health!" after sneezing

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ GC Anawati: Art. ʿĪsā. In: The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition Vol. 4 (1997), pp. 81–86, here p. 81.
  2. Press release on the name judgment of the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court ( Memento of the original from March 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Web links

Wiktionary: Jesus  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations