Messiah

As we teach the Bible, we’re always surprised to learn how many people don’t realize that Jesus’ name is not “Jesus Christ.”

The word Christ is English for the Greek word Christós. Christós is Greek for the Hebrew word Mashiach. Messiah is English for Mashiach. All these words mean the same thing: “anointed.”

Saying “Jesus Christ” is the same as saying “Jesus Messiah” or Yeshua (Jesus) Hamashiach (“the Messiah”) in Hebrew.

Christ is a title, not a name. Jesus is the Christ—the Messiah, the anointed One. Sixty-nine times in the New Testament He is called “Christ Jesus.” In today’s parlance, the title-name combination is the same as “President Lincoln,” for example.

Seeing the Messiah’s two advents in Scripture but unable to understand that both applied to the same Person, some Jewish scholars created a two-Messiah theory. The suffering servant they named “Messiah ben Joseph,” and the reigning and ruling Messiah they named “Messiah ben David.” The Hebrew word ben means “son.”

Interestingly, Jesus’ actual name would have been Yeshua ben Yoseph, meaning “Jesus son of Joseph.” Yet He is also “Jesus Son of David” because, in His incarnation, He was born a direct descendant of King David and the heir to the throne. So the names the rabbis picked both apply to Him.

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