Yahshua is one proposed transliteration of the original Hebrew or Aramaic name of Jesus commonly used by individuals in the Sacred Name Movement. The English spelling Yahshua originates at least as early as 1950 with Angelo Traina's The New Testament of our Messiah and Saviour Yahshua. The form Yahshua is used in some Sacred Name Bibles, including the Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition. It cannot be found used prior to that time, however, with that spelling.
Etymology and claimed Hebrew origins
The Hebrew Bible uses Yehoshua (יְהוֹשֻׁעַ) for Joshua, which means "Yah is Salvation." Christians, historians, and linguists outside the sacred name movement for the most part reject the term Yahshua (יהשע) in favor of Yeshua (ישוע) as the original pronunciation. Tal Ilan's Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity (2002), notes Yehoshua (יהושע), and the later Aramaic form Yeshua among many names containing Yah derived from YHWH.
An additional English spelling variant, Yahshuah (Hebrew: יהשוה), is found in Christian Kabbalah or occult speculations. Like Yahshua, this variant is not found in the Hebrew Bible. Another English spelling variant, Yeshu, occurs in polemical rabbinical texts, connected with Jesus in the Talmud and is the modern Israeli secular spelling of Jesus. The spelling is not applied to other Yeshuas and Yehoshuas. The spelling "Jesus" does not reflect the Greek pronunciation, as there is no "J" in Greek. Yashua's Greek name begins with an iota. The name is transliterated IESOUS and sounds like ee-ay-soos. Since the entire New Testament is written in Greek, not Hebrew, it suggests that God does not consider it inappropriate to use a name or title for Christ in keeping with that of another language or culture. The New Testament repeatedly calls the Hebrew Messiah by Greek names, several of them.
A silent 'waw'
Critics say that in their labor to get the pronunciation "Yahshua" out of יהושע, they are ignoring Hebrew linguistics that do not allow the waw to be silent so "Yahshua" is a questioned transliteration. However, the Assemblies of Yahweh point out that the following:
We must recognize that pronouncing two vowels together when they are standing side by side in a word produces a DIPHTHONG— Jacob O. Meyer, The Memorial Name Yahweh, p. 163
The problem with that assertion is that in the above case the vowels are NOT side by side but separated by a consonant: Yehoshuah'.
Yeshua or Yahshua
Most prefer to use the term Yeshua rather than Yahshua, using the "Ye" instead of "Yah", but the Assemblies of Yahweh believe that was a ploy to prevent the name of Yahweh (or Yah) appearing in the Messiah's name as follows:
The term 'Yeshua' appears (as the Kittel Theological Dictionary asserts) to date from the time when the rabbinical authorities turned toward employing a substitution for the Tetragrammaton Yahweh and using another name for the Almighty in their worship. In proper nouns - the names of people - the Tetragrammaton was omitted wherever possible, or it was distorted or obliterated by the addition of the vowel points for Adonai, the surrogate name of worship: viz - Jehovah, Yehoshua, Jehoshophat etc— The Memorial Name Yahweh
While some advocates of the "Yahshuah" spelling have asserted that "The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states that the "Greek form of a list of Old Testament characters who in pre-exilic Hebrew are called Yahshu'a and usually after the Exile Yeshu'a" that spelling does not appear anywhere in the Theological Dictionary. What Kittel actually says is, "The Greek form of a list of OT characters who in pre-exilic Hebrew are called יְהוֹשֻׁעַ [Yehoshua'] and usually after the Exile יֵשׁוּעַ [Yeshua'].
Definition of Yahshua
The Assemblies of Yahweh believe that the definition of the Messiah's name can be found in Matthew 1:21: "for he shall save his people from their sins". The 'he' relates to Yahweh, 'shall save' can relate to one of the four Hebrew verbs meaning salvation, most likely (-Yahsha) and 'his people' means Israel. Here you find an indication of the name Yahshua. Also in scriptures such as Acts 4:12 are found indications that the name of the Messiah was Yahshua meaning "Yah(weh) is salvation".
The name "Yahshua" cannot be found with that spelling anywhere in history or in Hebrew writings prior to the 1900s. The transcription of Hebrew-alphabet יהושע (Yehoshua) as Latin-alphabet "Yahshua" is first documented during the early days of the Sacred Name movement in the 1930s, perhaps developed by leaders such as Angelo B. Traina and Clarence Orvil Dodd.
"Yahshua" supporters, such as those of the Sacred Name movement, teach that since the Messiah will "come in his Father's Name" (John 5:43), then he must have the name of Yahweh, or at least the abbreviated form (Yah) in his spoken name. Another popular contraction is Yah'shua with the apostrophe ( ’ ) serving as a division to emphasise the "Yah" aspect of the name and the Hebrew shua (salvation), found in the Natural Israelite Bible, English Version.
- Tal Ilan (2002). Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity Part I: Palestine 330 BCE-200 CE (Texte und Studien zum Antiken Judentum 91). Tübingen, Germany: J.C.B. Mohr. p. 129.
- Peter Schäfer Jesus in the Talmud (9780691129266)
- Werner Foerster, “Ἰησοῦς,” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 284.
- Michael L. Brown 60 Questions Christians Ask About Jewish Beliefs and Practices 2011 "According to the late A. B. Traina in his Holy Name Bible, “The name of the Son, Yahshua, has been substituted by Jesus, Iesus, and Ea-Zeus (Healing Zeus).” In this one short sentence, two complete myths are stated as fact: First, ."
- J. Gordon Melton Encyclopedia of American religions 2003 "The association has as its goal the ascertaining of a clearer translation of the Scriptures, especially in restoring to them the name of the Creator, Yahweh, and of His Son, Yahshua, the Messiah. It was Traina's.. "
- The Messiah's Hebrew Name: "Yeshua" or "Yahshua"? - Daniel Botkin argues against "Yahshua" in favor of "Yeshua".
- Yahshua or Yeshua- What Is the Correct Pronunciation? - Bob Wirl, a Sacred Name minister, argues in favor of the name "Yahshua over Yeshua."
- What Is The Original Hebrew Name For Jesus? - Michael L. Brown about the name of Yashua or Yeshua.
- The truth behind the name of the Father