You Shall Call His Name Joshua

I have an article on the Theopolis website, exploring some of the reasons for the naming of Jesus.

That ‘Jesus’ would be the name chosen for the Son in his incarnation might seem underwhelming. As a Greek form of the name Joshua, it was not an uncommon name; indeed, it was a name that the Child would have shared with many other boys. Its meaning, ‘the Lord saves’, was certainly uniquely apt for this bearer of the name. However, it is not difficult to imagine other names that would also have been fitting for this Child.

There was, of course, a famous bearer of the name Jesus/Joshua in Israel’s history, the successor of Moses, who had led the conquest of the Promised Land. Interestingly, Joshua was not given that name at his birth, but received it from Moses (Numbers 13:16); Joshua’s birth name appears to have been Hoshea.

While those familiar with the Old Testament might think of various ways in which Jesus could fittingly be associated with his namesake, Joshua, they might also wonder why Joshua was the one singled out for such an association with the divine Messiah. One might think that, of the large cast of Old Testament characters, several might have greater claims to being types of the promised Messiah.

You can read the whole piece here.

Merry Christmas!

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Bible, Genesis, Joshua, Matthew, NT, OT, Revelation, Theological, Theology, Theopolis. Bookmark the permalink.

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