So recently someone, a christian, tried to respond to an article I has written a long time ago about Isaiah 49. He claimed that he saw the name “Yeshua” in the text which led him to accept him as Messiah. Let’s just say he didn’t like it when I disagreed.
You see, for this individual, it didn’t matter how the Hebrew word in Isaiah 49:6 was spelt. It didn’t matter that the context of Isaiah 49 stated nothing about the anointed Davidic promised king. It didn’t matter for this individual that the only characters in that text was just Isaiah (the speaker/writer), Israel, God and the nations. In fact, it didn’t even matter that the exact proper noun “Yeshua” was nowhere in that text, there is only the common noun yeshuah (meaning “deliverance” or “salvation”) which is spelt differently in Hebrew (actually, it’s a form of yeshuah that has been altered to include the suffix that means “my”). You see, with such an individual, the text doesn’t matter.
In the Hebrew text of Isaiah 49:6, there is a word there which I transliterate as y’shu’othi. This person wasn’t happy with the way I transliterated it because he wanted it transliterated as yeshuathiy for obvious reasons (i.e., the beginning part of his transliteration, at least in English letters, looks like the proper name “yeshua” which seems superficially and erroneously to support his claim). It had to be transliterated that exact way for him, although anyone with sufficient knowledge of Hebrew knows that Hebrew letters and sounds don’t always have exact equivalents in the English alphabet which is why certain words have a variety spellings once transliterated. I saw no point in sticking to one way for a Hebrew word to be transliterated into English when such a variation exists. Even his transliteration didn’t really help his point: the common noun yeshuathiy isn’t the proper name “Yeshua”. It isn’t even spelt the same way in Hebrew or when transliterated.
But without getting into the details of this unfortunate altercation with this individual, his method is one that I’ve seen before when I was going through the 300+ so called messianic prophecies. Wherever a certain type of christian sees anything resembling their notion of Jesus or Yeshua in the Jewish Bible, they are happy to even disregard the text itself to impose their vision of Jesus. In this case, a person will see the common Hebrew noun yeshuah and impose the supposed Hebrew name of their messiah figure upon the text. So a common notion of “rescue” – like how the Israelites were rescued from Egypt or how Israel was saved from the Midianites – become the christian idea of Jesus/Yeshua. Can you imagine how ludicrous that this becomes to the normal reader? Look what 1 Samuel 14:45 becomes when I use this notion consistently in the Bible, replacing “salvation” with “Yeshua”:
And the people said to Saul: ‘Shall Jonathan die, who has wrought this great Yeshua/Jesus in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground; for he has wrought with God this day.’ So the people rescued Jonathan, so that he didn’t die.
So Jonathan caused a great Jesus to happen in Israel? (I had to burst out laughing with I saw this.) Errr … I don’t think so.
Again, certain christians are so eager to have their Jesus/Yeshua in the text that they’ll even ignore what the text and context says in order to make sure their Jesus fits. That’s why it is so clear to me that for so many christians, their belief in Jesus/Yeshua is not from the Jewish Bible but rather in imposed on the Jewish Bible. Their acceptance of his messiahship doesn’t come from the text of God’s word, but must mutilate it and re-write to force their foreign concept into it.