“Again“ one of the African best writers, who is also a priest of International repute, Father Kelvin Ogwu has once more time write to correct Lousy Reno Omokri who has recently become jack of all trade but master of non.
Recall Reno Omokri has come out on social media to propagate wrong teaching on “Jesus & Yeshua “, perhaps, an act that has forced gentle Father Kelvin Ogwu to reply him in order to document the fact.
Father Kelvin Ogwu who has deep knowledge of theology writes thus:
“There is a reason why for a long time I avoided this Jesus versus Yeshua controversy.
I know of someone in my former parish that carries it on his head as though he is hawking beers to motorists in traffic jam and forcing everyone of them to buy.
If you ever mention the name “Jesus” in his presence, he will immediately start lecturing you how it is wrong and how it is Yeshua. He will go as far as saying that the name Jesus is from a Greek god called Zeus. . . Then he will conclude that any prayers in the name of Jesus is the same as praying to a Greek idol.
I avoided the controversy because most often when people are proudly ignorant, I switch on my “proudly ignore” mode.
But today, I think it will be good to teach those willing to learn. Let us do a little break down on how Yeshua became Jesus.
First, in translating a language to another language, names are mostly transliterated. Only in very few situations will you see names translated.
There is a difference between translation and transliteration. In translation you replace entirely the word of the original language with the word of the new language that expresses the same thing.
For example, what Greek language calls Θεός (Theós) Latin calls Deus and English calls God.
In fact, the name “God” is English translation of what Hebrews call יהוה (YHWH) or what they call אֱלֹהִים (Elohim).
When it comes to translation, you use the word of your language to replace the original language as long as it expresses the same thing.
This is why, instead of calling him Theós or YHWH or Deus, Igbos call him Chukwu, Chewas call him Mulungu, in Swahili he is called Mungu, Arabs call him Allah (الله) etc.
But in transliteration, it is totally different.
Next post. . .
Jesus Versus Yeshua Controversy (Part 2)
In transliteration, what you pay attention to is the sound not necessary the meaning. When transliterating, you carry over the sound of the original word to the new language. In doing this, you try to express it as closely as possible with the letters/alphabets of the new language.
In part 1 of this series I mentioned that יהוה is thesame as God. Because the letters of Hebrew are different from English, how many people can read יהוה ???
The English alphabets equivalent of יהוה is YHWH.
If you noticed, it is without vowels. What that means is that, you can’t pronounce it. But the Jews of those days knew the pronunciation by just looking at it.
And remember, in transliteration, what you pay attention to is the sound because that is what you carry over to the other language using its alphabets.
So when scholars wanted to transliterate the name YHWH (יהוה), they were lost on what the true pronunciation could be. It is in the bid to put vowels in-between so that it could be transliterated and pronounced that brought about some calling it YaHWeH (here they added the vowels “a” and “e”).
And others calling it YeHoWaH (here they added the vowels “e”, “o”, and “a”).
Note this: when the letter “J” is used in Latin, it is pronounced as “Y”. The same is applicable to “V” pronounced as “W”. This is why you have JeHoVaH even though it is pronounced differently in English.
But I digressed. Sorry! The controversy between the name Yahweh and Jehovah is a topic of another day, today we are dealing more with Yeshua and Jesus and I just wanted to demonstrate how transliteration works.
Jesus Versus Yeshua Controversy (Part 3)
Still on Transliteration
The name John in English went through series of transliterations. The original name in Hebrew is יוֹחָנָן (Yôḥānān). The longer form of that name is יְהוֹחָנָן (Yəhôḥānān).
Greek transliterated it from יוֹחָנָן to Ἰωάννης. That is from Hebrew Yôḥānān is Greek Iōánnēs, and then English equivalent became John and French became Jean.
Another example is the city called Jerusalem. The original Hebrew is Yerushalaim (ירושלם). Greek transliterated it to Ierousalēm (Ιερουσαλήμ) or Ierosolyma (Ιεροσόλυμα). And English equivalent is Jerusalem.
So from Yerushalaim in Greek, to Ierosolyma in Greek, then Jerusalem in English. The same name.
You can mention any biblical name you know. Moses is Moshe (מֹשֶׁה). Jacob is Ya’akov (יַעֲקֹב). Solomon was actually Shlomo (שְׁלֹמֹה) in Hebrew; Samson was Shimshon (שִׁמְשׁוֹן), and Samuel was Shmuel (שְׁמוּאֵל).
Let’s bring this home.
Most Malawians in my village cannot pronounce my name Kelvin. This is because in Chichewa language, consonants are mostly followed by vowels. So, you will hear the old women transliterating Kelvin to Akevini. The “A” added before K, is for respect. To call you kevini just like that is being impolite.
You get it now?
Now that we have cleared the ground, we can now proceed to why Yeshua became Jesus. And with that, you will also understand why names change when transliterating.
If you are just joining us, try and read part 1 and 2. Check my wall. And also share and follow the page so that you will be able to see our posts on your timeline.
Jesus Versus Yeshua Controversy (Part 4)
The summary of everything is that:
The Hebrew-aramaic name יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshua) was transliterated to Ἰησοῦς (Iesous) in Greek. And from Greek, it was transliterated to Iesus in Latin, then it became Jesus as we have it in English, Jesu in Igbo and Jisos in pidgin English.
It is important as we proceed that you carry in your minds that even the spelling “Yeshua” is already a transliteration. The original name is יֵשׁוּעַ written in Hebrew. Imagine asking a Yoruba person to pronounce and write in Yoruba alphabets the name Yeshua, there will be virations for sure.
Why was Yeshua transliterated to Greek?
For the people of Galilee, Samaria, and Judæa, the name יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshua) was not difficult for them to pronounce because they speak Aramaic and Hebrew,
But as the faith spread to the gentile world and encountered people that only speak Greek and Latin, it was difficult for these converts to pronounce the Hebrew name יֵשׁוּעַ Yeshua. They don’t even have same alphabets, so how can they write the name in Greek? This is usually the reason for transliteration.
Greek does not have the “sh” sound in Yeshua. That is why names like Shlomo in Hebrew became Solomon, Shimshon became Samson. Greek also don’t have “Y”, that is why it is often replaced by “I” and pronounced same way.
I told you already how my local people here can’t pronounce my name Kelvin, instead they say Akevini. Till date, non here had attempted to pronounce my surname “Ugwu” correctly. Their language does not have the “gwu” sound. The closest they come to pronouncing Ugwu sounded like “Nkhu”.
As you would have known already, the New Testament was not even written in Hebrew, it was written in what would qualify as pagan language in those days – Greek.
As I said earlier, the Greek alphabet has no “y” or “sh” sound, so in Greek writing, the “Ye” in Yeshua became an “eeay” sound which is “i” and the “sh” became an “s” sound.
The next letter was the Hebrew alphabet “waw”, written as “U” in Yeshua but sound more like “oo” as if you are pronouncing the word “too.”
To reproduce this sound in Greek, two Greek letters were combined: “O” for Omicron and “U” for upsilon.
So far, Yeshua has been transliterated to
Ye=I, sh=S, U=OU, and A=
The last letter “A”, which is called “ayin” in Hebrew has no equivalent in Greek. Now, Greek did not allow a male name to end in an “ah” sound, so the solution was to remove the last “a” in Yeshua and add an “s” to the end to make it masculine as many Greek male names have today.
This is the same reason that made Elijah to become Elias, Jehudah (Judah) to Judas, then Yeshua to become Iesous, pronounced yay-SOOS with the stress on the second syllable.
Before the end of the fourth century, the dominant and common language became Latin. Greek was more of a language for the elite, philosophers etc. Latin was like the pidgin English of their time.
To this, the Bible was translated from Greek to Latin, and Ἰησοῦς (Iesous) in Greek was transliterated to Iesus, pronounced as YAY-soos with the emphasis placed on the first syllable. This is largely because of the accent of the Romans.
So while in Greek it is pronounce yay-SOOS, in Latin the stress was on the first syllable, making it sound YAY-soos.
How did the “J” come in and made Iesus to become Jesus?
In a round up write up, Father Kelvin Ogwu also writes thus:
“Just for academic purposes. . .
If you have followed the series so far on Jesus Versus Yeshua Controversy, after reading this you might understand why I had to do a series on that topic.
Excerpts From Reno’s post. . .
“Another major difference between Christianity and Christendom is in the Name of Christ.”
“Christendom came up with a name for their God the Son and this name is Jesus. It will shock many so called Christians to know that the Name of Christ is not Jesus, but actually Yeshua. It will also shock many Christians to note that the Islamic name Isa is actually the same name as Yeshua. Y’isa is how the Arabs pronounced the name. They did not change it. They just pronounce it differently from Hebrews because of tonal differences in their pronunciation of the letter H when it features in the middle of a word. To understand this, ask a true Arabic speaker to pronounce the word Ahmed for you. If they pronounce it, it will sound different from the Ahmed most non Arabs are used to hearing. They pronounce the H almost like a K when it does not start a word.”
“Some Christians would argue there is nothing wrong with transliterating the name Yeshua to Jesus. But, why must the name be transliterated. How hard is it to pronounce the name Yeshua? Why not leave it as it is?”
Wahala dey o . . .
I won’t say much, let me allow you to analyze the post.
Things to note:
Arabic and Hebrew are semitic languages. Their structures, pronunciations and words resemble one another. . .but they still had to transliterate Yeshua based on what Reno called “tonal differences”. How hard is Yeshua for them to pronounce that they can’t leave it like that? Now imagine a language like Greek or Latin that are far from having any close relationship with Hebrew.
How come Isa is suddenly thesame with Yeshua, but other languages that also transliterated are not, is Reno trying to make new friends with Muslims?
So, only Arabs are allowed to transliterate due to their tonal differences. . . So those that speak Greek and Latin and English don’t have tonal differences?
Besides, do Christian Arabs also call Jesus Isa? Or is it just the Muslims?
Make una help me look into this matter!”