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Joshua , fighting with the king of the Amalekites , representation from the Hortus Deliciarum the Herrad of Landsberg , 1175

Joshua [ ˈjoːzu̯a ] is a male given name . It is the German, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish variants of the Hebrew name Jehoshua (יְהוֹשֻׁעַ). The most famous bearer of the name is the Israelite leader Joshua, son of Nun , in the Hebrew Bible , after whom the book of Joshua is named. Even Jesus of Nazareth was the name. However, only its Greek name variant has been passed down.

Origin and meaning

Yehoshua, Yeshua in the variants of the Masoretic text

The oldest form Yehoshua is a theophoric name and means " YHWH is help, salvation , generosity , salvation ".

Already in the Masoretic text there are three different spellings and two different ways of speaking the name. The name Yehoshua was mostly used in the short form Yeshua in Palestine after the Babylonian exile . This is a very common personal name, which is also documented in numerous inscriptions. In the Hebrew Bible it is above all the name of the Israelite Yehoshua ben Nun , Josua, the son of Nun, who leads the people to the promised land of Canaan and after whom the book of Joshua is named in the Old Testament.

Translations from the Bible

The following spellings of the name are attested in the Bible and in its translations:

language Notation (noun)
Masoretic text יְהוֹשׁוּעַ; יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (J e hōschūʿa) ;יֵשׁוּעַ (Jēschūʿa)
Syrian versions Yeshua
Septuagint and New Testament Greek Ἰησοῦς (Iēsūs) ; Ωσηε (Ōsēe) ; Ἰἀσων (Iasōn)
Vulgate Iosue; Jesus
German translations Joshua; Josue; Yehoshua; Joshua
English translations Joshua ; Yehoshua

Name form Jesus

In the Septuagint , the Greek translation of the Tanakh , Joshua was always translated as Ἰησοῦς (Latin Jesus ). The Greek New Testament followed this transmission by designating the native Galilean Yehoshua Ben Joseph , who was probably called in a western Aramaic variant of Joshua ( i.e. Yeshua or Yeshu ), as Jesous Nazarenos - Jesus of Nazareth . Joshua in the Old Testament was differentiated from Jesus in the New Testament by the addition of Jesus, son of Nave , Greek Ιησους ο του Ναυη. This form of name can also be found in Latin Bible texts before the 5th century, e.g. B. with the church fathers Justin , Tertullian and Augustine of Hippo . The similarity of names in Greek gave Tertullian cause for typological interpretation of the Old Testament Joshua as a real prophetic prediction of the Jesus of the Gospels. Only since Jerome translated the Septuagint into Latin and wanted to reserve not just the title Christ , but the entire name of Jesus Christ for the person of the Savior , was there a consistent distinction between Joshua and Jesus in the Western Church. The name Jesus Nave for Joshua is still used today in the Orthodox Church and the liturgical texts and Bible translations that emerged from this tradition; so both persons have the same first name there.

Distribution and frequency

The first name Joshua has long been popular among both Christians and Jews. Today the name Joshua is common among Jews of former German origin in Israel as well as in Hungary , the Scandinavian countries Sweden and Norway and the German-speaking countries . According to the Duden first name lexicon, the first name Joshua could never be widely used in Germany , other sources assume a rather moderate frequency. According to Knud Bielefeld , Joshua was the 396th most frequently chosen first name in Germany in 2012. In English-speaking countries, Joshua is not among the 1,000 most common first names. In contrast, the name variation Joshua is far more common in the United States and in Europe since the early 1980s .

name day

Variants, nicknames and short forms

Well-known namesake

Biblical namesake


  • Yehoshua ben Chananja (approx. 1st – 2nd centuries), also: Josua ben Chananja, Tannaim
  • Yehoshua ben Qorcha (approx. 1st – 2nd centuries), also: Josua ben Qorcha, ancient Jewish scholar
  • Yehoshua ben Levi (approx. 3rd century), also: Josua ben Levi, important Amorae of the 1st generation
  • Joshua Stylites (approx. 5th - 6th centuries), is traditionally considered to be the author of a chronicle from around 507 about the events in late ancient Syria

middle Ages

Early modern age

19th century to the present

Fictitious namesake

Objects named Joshua

A Joshua palm lily (Yucca brevifolia)

Josua was the name of a Lübeck warship that sank off the coast of Gotland in the Three Crowns War in 1565 .

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints , known as Mormons, the native to the southwestern United States designated Agavengewächs Yucca brevifolia as "Joshua Tree" ( Yucca brevifolia ) because they compared his branches with the arms of the Old Testament popular leader from the Book of Joshua . The Josua and Caleb fountain by the artist Karl Donndorf in Stuttgart-Rotenberg, on the other hand, shows a scene from the 4th book of Moses . There was a pit Josua near Bergisch Gladbach .

The Joshua Hill is the highest hill in the Istanbul district of Beykoz in Istanbul and, according to the locals, is the tomb of the prophet Joshua (a.) [Yuscha], which is commemorated by a memorial.


Web links

Commons : Joshua  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files
Wiktionary: Joshua  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Jozua in the Nederlandse Voornamenbank des Meertens Instituut (Dutch)
  2. Beate Varnhorn (Red.): Bertelsmann, The large lexicon of first names. Wissen-Media-Verlag, Gütersloh et al. 2008, ISBN 978-3-577-07694-4 , p. 246.
  3. a b Joshua ,, accessed on February 15, 2014 (English)
  4. a b Rosa Kohlheim, Volker Kohlheim: Duden, The large first name dictionary. (Origin and meaning of over 8000 first names) . 4th, completely revised edition. Dudenverlag, Berlin et al. 2014, ISBN 978-3-411-06084-9 , p. 235.
  5. Heinz Schumacher (Ed.): The names of the Bible and their meaning in German. 11th edition. Paulus-Buchhandlung KG, Heilbronn 2005, ISBN 3-87618-027-9 , p. 114.
  6. a b c Joshua in the Ecumenical Lexicon of Saints , accessed on February 15, 2014
  7. 1 Sam 6.14  LXX
  8. Hellenizing form, see: 2 Makk 4.7  EU u. a.
  9. et incipit vocari Jesus… Hanc prius dicimus figuram futurorum fuisse. Nam quia Jesus Christ secundum populum, quod sumus nos, nati in saeculi desertis, introducturus erat in terram promissionis, melle et lacte manantem, id est vitae aeternae possessionem, qua nihil dulcius; idque non per Moysen, id est, non per legis disciplinam, sed per Jesum, id est per evangelii gratiam provenire habebat, circumcisis nobis petrina acie, id est Christi praeceptis; Petra enim Christ; ideo is vir, qui in huius sacramenti imagines parabatur, etiam nominis dominici inauguratus est figura, Jesus cognominatus. Tertullian: Adversus Judaeos , Cap. XI . Quoted in: Erich Auerbach : Figura. In: Archivum Romanicum. 22, 1938, pp. 436-489.
  10. Joshua ( Memento of the original from December 3, 2013 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. at (accessed on November 17, 2011) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. In Germany there are no official official statistics on first names. Since 2004, Knud Bielefeld has been calculating statistics from birth reports from hospitals and registry offices. See here
  12. First names 2012 - Top 500 at, accessed on February 15, 2014.
  13. Elke Gerr: The large first name book. Meaning and origin. Sorted by culture. Prominent namesake. 11th, completely revised edition. Humboldt, Hannover 2008, ISBN 978-3-89994-183-8 , p. 33.
  14. Joshua in the Ecumenical Lexicon of Saints , accessed February 15, 2014
  15. Rada języka Polskiego : Aneks do obowiązującego wykazu Imion. In: 2007, Retrieved November 16, 2012 (Polish).
  16. a b Cornelia Nitsch: Old first names rediscovered. Gräfe and Unzer, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-8338-0645-2 , p. 169.
  17. Zechariah 3,1  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in the crowd bible@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /