1 John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world: kai pan pneuma o me homologei (PAI) ton Iesoun ek tou theou ouk estin (3PAI) kai touto estin (3PAI) to tou antichristou o akekoate (2PPRAP) hoti erchetai (PM/PP) kai nun en to kosmo estin (3PAI) ede:
- 1Jn 2:18,22 2Th 2:7,8; 2Jn 1:7
THE TEST EXPRESSED
NLT But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
Wuest - and every spirit who does not confess this aforementioned Jesus (agree to the above teaching concerning Him), is not of God. And this is the (spirit) of the Antichrist which you have heard that it comes, and now in the world already is.
Hiebert on 1Jn 4:1-6 - These verses show no close connection with what follows and are best viewed as an elaboration of the reference to “the Spirit which he hath given us” in 1Jn 3:24. The conflict now presented forms the final aspect of the conflicts that mark the Christian life which John has been depicting since 1Jn 2:18. He has already dealt with the conflict between truth and falsehood (1Jn 2:18–28), the conflict between the children of God and the children of the Devil (1Jn 2:29–3:12), and the conflict between love and hatred (1Jn 3:13–24). This section points to the supernatural character of this conflict as ultimately involving “the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” It sets forth the crucial importance of the proclamation of a sound Christology for assurance and victory in the Christian community. (The Epistles of John- An Expositional Commentary)
And (kai) - And directly ties the negative with the preceding positive aspect of the test (1Jn 4:2-note) of the origin of a spirit. John continues the explanation of how you can know experientially the Spirit with which one speaks is not of God.
Hiebert - "The added “and” (kai) introduces the negative result that may flow from this testing of the spirits. For a complete picture concerning the spirits, this negative aspect is essential. Failure to recognize this negative fact would expose them to serious deception." (Ibid)
Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God - The negative aspect of the test of a false prophet or teacher. Every again marks the comprehensive nature of this test. The point is that an intermediate position "between the spirit that confesses Jesus Christ and the spirit that fails to confess Him."
Hiebert - John’s negative statement “every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus” is broader in scope than the positive “every spirit that denies Jesus” would have been. An open denial of “Jesus,” as just set forth, at once establishes such a spirit as “not of God,” not coming from nor proclaiming God’s truth. But John’s negative statement also includes any spirit that seeks to hide its true identity by endeavoring to avoid any discussion of the decisive issue. John knows that what such a spirit refrains from saying about “Jesus” in speaking of His person was also significant. In this epistle John never speaks about Jesus without adding some term to show that He is more than a mere man. (The Epistles of John- An Expositional Commentary)
So how should we test all who claim to speak for God today? John is saying we are to ask them what do they they think of Jesus? As Jesus Himself said to the disciples "Who do you say that I am?" Simon Kistemaker says that "Without exception, liberal theologians refuse to accept the biblical doctrine that Jesus Christ always has been, is, and will be the Son of God, that he came from heaven to redeem his people, that he took upon himself our humanity yet remained truly divine, that he rose bodily from the dead and ascended in his glorified body to heaven, and that he will return at God's appointed day in the same body in which he ascended." (New Testament Commentary - James, Epistles of John, Peter, and Jude)
In his second letter John instructs the believers that "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching (What teaching? see 2Jn 1:9 = "the teaching of Christ", do not receive him into [your] house, and do not give him a greeting." (2Jn 1:10) As Kistemaker says John is saying to us today that "you may receive the members of the sect into your home only when you intend to teach them about Jesus Christ."
- What is Mormonism- What do Mormons believe?
- Who are the Jehovah's Witnesses and what are their beliefs?
Not… not (me… ou) - the first negative is not as strong, but the second negative signifies absolute negation = they are absolutely not from God! In 1Jn 4:6-note John writes "he who is not (ou = absolutely not) from God does not (ou = absolutely not) listen to us."
Barclay - To be of (from) God a spirit must acknowledge that Jesus has come in the flesh. It was precisely this that the Gnostics could never accept. Since, in their view, matter was altogether evil, a real incarnation was an impossibility, for God could never take flesh upon himself. Augustine was later to say that in the pagan philosophers he could find parallels for everything in the New Testament except for one saying--"The Word became flesh." As John saw it, to deny the complete manhood of Jesus Christ was to strike at the very roots of the Christian faith… Nothing in Christianity is more central than the reality of the manhood of Jesus Christ. (William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)
William MacDonald - There are many today who are willing to say acceptable things about Jesus, but they will not confess Him as God Incarnate. They will say that Christ is “divine,” but not that He is God. (Believer's Bible Commentary- recommended commentary on the entire Bible)
A T Robertson on does not confess - which means “separates Jesus,” apparently an allusion to the Cerinthian heresy (distinction between Jesus and Christ) as the clause before refers to the Docetic heresy.
C. H. Dodd - No utterance, however inspired, which denies the reality of the Incarnation, can be accepted by Christians as true prophecy.
Westcott on confess Jesus - The substance of the confession which has been given in detail in the former verse is gathered up in the single human name of the Lord. To ‘confess Jesus,’ which in the connection can only mean to confess ‘Jesus as Lord’ (1Cor 12:3, Ro. 10:9), is to recognize divine sovereignty in One Who is truly man, or, in other words, to recognize the union of the divine and human in one Person, a truth which finds its only adequate expression in the fact of the Incarnation… It is of interest to notice the two negative signs which St John gives of ‘not being of God.’ In 1Jn 3:10 he writes "anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God." In the case of men the proof of the absence of the divine connection is found in the want of active righteousness: in the case of spirits in the failure to confess the Incarnation. The two tests exactly correspond to one another in the two spheres to which they severally belong. The confession of the Incarnation embodied in life must produce the effort after righteousness which finds its absolute spiritual support in the belief in the Incarnation. (1 John 4 Commentary)
Confess (acknowledge) (3670)(homologeo from homos = one and the same or together with+ lego = to say; confess from con = together, fateor = to say) literally means to say the same thing as another and so to agree with another's statements.
Vincent on the single Name Jesus - The simple Jesus emphasizes the humanity of our Lord considered in itself. See Romans 3:26; Romans 10:9; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Ephesians 4:21; Hebrews 2:9. (Vincent's Word Studies)
This is the spirit of the antichrist - Failure to confess Jesus as from God is evidence that these people are against Christ.
Earlier John wrote "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming (Ed: Referring to the Final world ruler, "The Antichrist"), even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour." (1Jn 2:18) And remember that they had identified themselves with believers before they went out of their midst.
In his second letter John gave a similar warning - 2John 1:7 For (a term of explanation which forces us to examine the context = 2Jn 1:6) many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ [as] coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist."
As noted below the anti of antichrist identifies this spirit as one which either opposes Christ ("against") or presents another Christ ("instead of"). Wherever "another Jesus" is promoted is the spirit of the antichrist.
Paul describes "another Jesus" in his Second letter to the Corinthians…
I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. (2Cor 11:1-4)
Comment: Paul is using sarcasm in this section in his discussion of false teachers. As Henry Morris says "The fact that a preacher or teacher talks about "Jesus" means little, for false prophets and false teachers have always invoked His name whenever it suited their purposes, and they still do. There are the "buddy" Jesus of country music, the socialist Jesus of liberal theology, the esoteric Jesus of the New Age and the ritualistic Jesus of sacramentalism, but none of these Jesus-figures is the Savior. The true Jesus is the Creator of the universe, the Word made flesh, the one Sacrifice for sins forever, the resurrected Lord and our coming King. There are many evil spirits at large in the world who would seek to counterfeit the Holy Spirit in the believer's experience if they could. We must "try the spirits." Paul warned against believing any man or even any angel who came preaching some other Gospel than the true saving Gospel of Christ which he had preached (Galatians 1:6-9-note). That Gospel includes the fullness of the person and work of Christ, from eternity to eternity. (Defender's Study Bible Notes)
Antichrist (500)(antichristos from anti = instead of or against + Christos = anointed) conveys one of two main meanings depending on how one interprets the prefix "anti." Anti can mean in lieu of, in place of, over against, opposite, instead of, and in comparisons it denotes contrast, substitution. John "defines" an Antichrist as anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ (1Jn 2:22-note).
- See Comparison of Christ and Antichrist
- John MacArthur's discussion of Antichrist - Christians and Antichrists, Part 1
Henry Morris on every spirit that does not confess Jesus - If, in any way, they try to separate Jesus from "the Christ," denying either the full deity or perfect humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, they are not from God. Some attempt to make Jesus a mere man upon whom "the Christ-spirit" came. Some argue that everyone can be "a Christ" in the same sense Jesus was. Many deny His miraculous conception, bodily resurrection or both. "Jesus" means "Jehovah our Savior" and "Christ" means "The Anointed One" which means God's anointed prophet, priest and king. Unless Jesus Christ was perfect man, He could not die for our sins. Unless He was God, He could not defeat death and thus could never save us. Any doctrine less than that of Jesus Christ as the God/Man, God and Man perfectly, united in the hypostatic union, is deadly heresy. Further, since He is the Creator and His Spirit inspired the Holy Scriptures, any dilution of the doctrines of special creation and Biblical inerrancy comes dangerously close to heresy and has often led their proponents into outright apostasy. It is thus extremely important to try the spirits to see whether they are of God.
Cerinthus, a false teacher of John’s day, denied the Incarnation by teaching that the divine Christ descended on the human Jesus at His baptism and then departed before His crucifixion (1Jn 2:22-note). John teaches that Jesus did not merely enter into an already existing human being, but He came as a human being. The Greek tense of the verb has come (1Jn 4:2) and the meaning of the noun flesh indicate that not only did Jesus come as a human being, He was still a human being even as John wrote. God the Son is forever fully God and fully man. He is immortal and has received a resurrected human body that does not age or die. A denial of Jesus’ full and true humanity proves that a teacher is not of God.
Do not try to "logically" separate Jesus' Deity from His Humanity! The truth that Jesus is fully God and fully Man at the same time is a divine, glorious mystery, one that is received by faith and not by intellectual reasoning!
Hiebert on which you have heard that it is coming - "In 1Jn 2:18-note John reminded them that they had been warned that the Antichrist was coming; here he reminds them that they knew that the spirit of the antichrist also was coming. The perfect tense, “ye have heard,” indicates that these realities were part of the regular Christian teaching concerning the future. (The Epistles of John- An Expositional Commentary)
Now is already in the world - "The prophecy had found fulfilment before the Church had looked for it” (Westcott). However, there is a sense of "already not yet" regarding the spirit of antichrist, for this spirit will have its consummation in the end-times political leader known as the Antichrist, the prince who is to come (Da 9:26-note), the man of lawlessness (2Th 2:3-4), the beast (Rev 13:2ff-note). The only place in Scripture where this person is specifically referred to as Antichrist is in 1Jn 2:18-note "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour."
- Nine Part Discussion of The Beast (Antichrist) of Revelation
- Questions on the Antichrist by Anthony Garland
- Studies in Eschatology - The Antichrist 1
- Studies in Eschatology -The Antichrist 2
Guzik - Today, there is a lot of curiosity about the "true Jesus." (Ed: An example of this genre of false teaching is the Jesus Seminar which attended to "reconstruct the life a the historical Jesus" and was formally disbanded in 2006.) Many modern academics say they want to discover the "true Jesus" and when they say this they often mean, "The true Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Biblical Jesus is make-believe. We need to discover the true Jesus behind the myths of the Bible. Not only is this position ignorant (ignoring the confirmed historical validity of the New Testament) it is also arrogant. Once any academic throws out the historical evidence of the New Testament and other reliable ancient writings, they can only base their understanding of Jesus on their own personal opinion. These academics present their baseless opinions as if they were scholarly facts.
GREEK & HEBREW WORD STUDIES:
JESUS, CHRIST, JOSHUA, MESSIAH
Jesus (2424)(Iesous) is transliteration of the Greek Iesous, which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew name Jehoshua (Yehoshua) or Jeshua (Yeshua) which mean Jehovah is help or Jehovah is salvation. Stated another way the Greek Iesous corresponds to the OT Jehoshua (Yehoshua) which is contracted as Jeshua (Yeshua).
NET Note on Jesus - The Greek form of the name Iēsous, which was translated into Latin as Jesus, is the same as the Hebrew Yeshua (Joshua), which means “Yahweh saves” (Yahweh is typically rendered as “LORD” in the OT).
As discussed below, most of the NT uses of Iesous refer to our Lord Jesus. In the Gospels the single Name Jesus (Iesous) is used as His personal Name and is found 538 times. In the Epistles Jesus is usually (but not always - e.g., Ro 3:26; 4:24; 1Cor 12:3; 2Cor 11:4; Phil 2:10; 1Th 4:14; Heb 7:22; 10:19, etc) used in combination with Christ or Lord (see next paragraph). Jesus is known by Christ alone some 44 times in the Gospels.
Looking at the entire NT we find Jesus in several combinations…
- Jesus Christ (137x in 134v)
- Christ Jesus (91x in 86v) All except one use (Acts 24:24) are by Paul.
- Lord Jesus Christ (63x in 63v).
- Lord Jesus (without Christ) (38x in 38v)
- Jesus the Christ occurs in Acts 3:20.
- Jesus is the Christ (Acts 9:22, cp Acts 17:3).
- Jesus was the Christ (Acts 18:5, 28).
- Jesus Christ the Nazarene (Acts 4:10).
- Jesus Christ our Lord (Ro 1:4)
After Paul was saved "immediately he began to proclaim Jesus (Textus Receptus - KJV has "preached Christ" in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God." (Acts 9:20)
One of my favorite (older) choruses is Jesus, Name Above All Names - YouTube
Jesus, Name above all names,
Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord.
Emanuel, God is with us,
Blessed Redeemer, Living Word.
As an aside the reader should realize that any attempt to "define" Iesous is fraught with huge gaps, for this Name (when applied to our Lord Jesus Christ) is indeed "the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth" (Php 2:9-10) and "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other Name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) Indeed, His very Name "Iesous" conveys His supreme purpose for coming to earth -- to save men dead in their trespasses and sins (Mt 1:21) Our goal should be to "fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and Perfecter of faith." (Heb 12:2)
Easton's Bible Dictionary has a good summary of the origin of the name Jesus - "This is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which was originally Hoshea (means "salvation") (Nu 13:8,16 ), but changed by Moses into Jehoshua (Yehoshua) (Nu 13:16; 1Chr 7:27 ) or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form Jeshua (Yeshua), whence the Greek form Jesus. It was given to our Lord to denote the object of his mission, to save (Matthew 1:21)."
(1) As noted above, most NT uses of Iesous refer to Jesus which is the Name the Father directed the angel of the Lord to give to Joseph so that His Name would clearly testify to His Mission - "And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." (Mt 1:21)
Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know,
And He's just the same
as His lovely name.
And that's the reason why I love Him so;
Jesus is the sweetest name I know.
-Lela B Long
Matthew in the first verse of the NT uses the Name Jesus writing "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Mt 1:1) and then he explicitly writes of "Jesus Who is called Christ." (Mt 1:16) and proceeds to describe "the birth of Jesus Christ." (Mt 1:18) Clearly Matthew wants to make certain that this Jesus is not any Jesus (and it was a relatively common Jewish name at the time), but that He was the prophesied Christos or Messiah of the Old Testament.
Most authorities interpret the combination Name "Jesus Christ" as an implicit reference to His humanity (Jesus) and His divinity (Christ). In Christ (Christos) we also see that He is the Anointed of God, to Israel, its Messiah.
(2) Iesous is translated as Joshua, Moses successor (Acts 7:45, Heb 4:8).
(3) Iesous was a relatively common name among the Jews in the first century and Paul mentions a man named Jesus who was apparently a believer in Jesus! (Col 4:11 = Jesus who is called Justus [a non-Semitic name]").
NIDNTT notes that "Reverence for the Name Jesus had as its logical outcome—and that very rapidly—the almost general renunciation on the part of Christians of its further secular use. But it is no less significant that by the end of the 1st cent. the name Jesus had become uncommon as a personal name among the Jews too. In its place the OT name Yehôšûa‘ reappeared with a wide distribution, accompanied by Iasōn as the Gk. equivalent among the Jews of the dispersion among whom, in the course of assimilation, the name had already been taken up for a long time (cf. Aristeas 49; Josephus Ant. 12, 10, 6). In the same context belongs the fact that Talmudic Judaism soon accustomed itself, when it was obliged to name Jesus of Nazareth, to referring to him as Yešû and not as Yēšua‘. Although the reason for this may lie in the purely external fact that the Christians referred to their Lord as Yešû (giving up the a‘ of the basic Heb. form), it is also an expression, not only of Jewish antipathy, but also of how far this name, among all names, had become unique to the Christians." (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology)
(4) Iesous refers to another "Joshua" in Lk 3:29, the son of Eliezer and in the line of the Messiah.
(5) Iesous as the first name of Barabbas (this ISBE article also discusses the name "Iesous" for Barabbas) - A number of resources note that there is some evidence that Barabbas' first name was Jesus. And so the highly respected New English Translation (NET) uses Jesus twice with Barabbas -- "At that time they had in custody a notorious prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. (Mt 27:16-17) The NET Note says that " Although the external evidence for the inclusion of “Jesus” before “Barabbas” (in vv. 16 and 17) is rather sparse, being restricted virtually to the Caesarean text (Θ f1 700* pc sys), the omission of the Lord’s name in apposition to “Barabbas” is such a strongly motivated reading that it can hardly be original. There is no good explanation for a scribe unintentionally adding Iēsoun before Barabban, especially since Barabbas is mentioned first in each verse (thus dittography is ruled out). Further, the addition of ton legomenon Christon, “who is called Christ”) to Iēsoun in Mt 27:17 makes better sense if Barabbas is also called “Jesus” (otherwise, a mere “Jesus” would have been a sufficient appellation to distinguish the two)… (Note on Mt 27:17) Again, as in Mt 27:16, the name “Jesus” is supplied before “Barabbas” in Θ f1 700* pc sys Ormss (Θ 700* lack the article ton before Barabban). The same argument for accepting the inclusion of “Jesus” as original in the previous verse applies here as well." Interesting! I suppose we will find out the answer we see our Lord some day! The NIDNTT adds that "There are fairly clear indications that even Barabbas, the Zealot between whom and Jesus Pilate asked the people to choose, had Jesus as his first name. "
Stephen Renn gives a more "descriptive" definition of Iesous by referring to the uses of this Name in specific passages - The angel of the Lord revealed this name directly to his mother Mary (cf. Mt 1:21).
The name Jesus Christ is found in a number of settings, such as in the genealogical listings of his Davidic ancestry (cf. Mt 1: 1); in significant events of his earthly life including his birth (cf. Mt 1:18); and as a formal introduction to His person at the beginning of the majority of New Testament books outside the gospels. In other contexts, the name Iesous Christos is associated with His person and work. For example, Jn 1:17 describes Jesus Christ as the source of grace and truth. See also Ro 5:15, 17, 21; 6:23; Gal. 2:16; Php. 1:11. References to Jesus’ divine authority and power are found in relation to forgiveness (Acts 2:38); and in association with his miracles (Acts 3: 6; 4:10; 16:18). Ro 6:11 declares Jesus Christ to be the sole means of gaining a personal relationship with God. He is the Lord of the universe (Php. 3:20) and the Lord of glory (Jas 2:1). The goal of sanctification and its realization in the lives of believers are bound up with the person of Jesus Christ. He is also declared, for example, to be co-creator with God (1Co. 8: 6); the founder of our faith (1Co. 3:11; Eph. 2:20); the one who rose from the dead (2Ti. 2: 8; 1Pe. 1: 3; 3:21); our great high priest (1Pe. 2:5); the ruler of the heavenly kingdom (2Pe 1:11); the full incarnation of God in human form (1Jn 4:2; 2Jn 1:7); the one whose blood cleanses his people from all their sin (1Jn 1: 7). The above list is by no means exhaustive. Use of the name Iesous by itself, especially in the Gospels, usually designates the activity and actions of our Lord during his earthly life. The Name “Jesus” occurs approximately six hundred times in the four gospels. Other New Testament occurrences of “Jesus” refer to aspects of his person and work. For example, Acts 1:11 affirms that the risen Jesus will return to earth in the same way he left to ascend into heaven. “Jesus” is the authoritative name under heaven before whom all people will one day bow (cf. Php. 2:10). Jesus is declared to be the Savior of the world (Acts 13:23; 1Th. 1:10); and a man attested by God with mighty works and signs (Acts 2:22; 10:38). He is also said to be the Christ (Acts 5:42; 17:33; 18:28); the crucified Christ (Acts 2:36); the risen Christ in heaven (Acts 7:55). References to Jesus as Lord are found in Acts 19:13; 20:21; Ro 4:24; 1Th. 4: 1. Jesus is also identified as our high priest (Heb. 4:14; 6:20); as the guarantor of a better covenant (Heb. 7:22); as the mediator of the new covenant (Heb. 12:24); and as the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12: 2). These references form an extensive, though not exhaustive, listing of the name of “Jesus” in the New Testament. (Expository Dictionary of Bible Words- Word Studies for Key English Bible Words)
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament- Abridged in One Volume (TDNT) - The name Iēsoús expresses Christ’s humanity. He goes by this name and is addressed and discussed by it. To distinguish Him from others who bear it, we find such additions as “from Nazareth of Galilee” (Mt. 21:11) or “the son of David” (Mk. 10:47-48) (cf. also Mk. 1:24; Mt. 27:37; Jn. 18:5, etc.). The Christian community confesses this Iēsoús as the prince of life (Acts 3:15), as the Christ of God, as Lord and Savior, and as God’s Son. But it makes no separation between Iēsoús and ho kýrios; Iēsoús is himself the one whom God has made both Lord and Judge (cf. Phil. 2:7; Gal. 3:1; Acts 17:31). In the Synoptic Gospels and Acts the simple Iēsoús is commonly used, though we also find ho kýrios (e.g., in Luke) and such fixed expressions as Iēsoús Christós and ho kýrios (kurios) Iēsoús Christós ("the Lord Jesus Christ"). In the rest of the NT, however, the simple Iēsoús is rare. Paul has it mostly when thinking of Christ’s life and death, as in 1Th 4:14; 2Cor. 4:11-13.; Php 2:10.
New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology - Iēsous is the Greek form of the OT Jewish name Yēšua’, arrived at by transcribing the Hebrew and adding an -s to the nom. to facilitate declension. Yēšua‘ (Joshua) seems to have come into general use about the time of the Babylonian exile in place of the older Yehôšûa‘. The LXX rendered both the ancient and more recent forms of the name uniformly as Iēsous. Joshua the son of Nun, who according to the tradition was Moses’ successor and completed his work in the occupation of the promised land by the tribes of Israel, appears under this name (cf. Ex 17:8–16; 24:13; 32:17; 33:11; Nu 11:27ff.; 13:8; 14:6–9, 30–38; 27:18; 21ff.; Dt. 31:3, 7, 8, 14f., 23; 34:9; and the Book of Joshua. It is the oldest name containing the divine name Yahweh, and means “Yahweh is help” or “Yahweh is salvation” (cf. the verb yasa'’, help, save). Joshua also appears in one post-exilic passage in the Hebrew OT (Neh 8:17) as Yēšua‘ the son of Nun, and not as in the older texts, Yehôšûa‘.
Marvin Vincent on Iesous - The Greek form of a Hebrew name, which had been borne by two illustrious individuals in former periods of the Jewish history - Joshua, the successor of Moses, and Jeshua, the high-priest, who with Zerubbabel took so active a part in the re-establishment of the civil and religious polity of the Jews on their return from Babylon. Its original and full form is Jehoshua, becoming by contraction Joshua or Jeshua. Joshua, the son of Nun, the successor of Moses, was originally named Hoshea (saving) which was altered by Moses into Jehoshua (Jehovah (our Salvation) (Nu 13:16). The meaning of the name, therefore, finds expression in the title Saviour, applied to our Lord (Lk 1:47; Lk 2:11; Jn 4:42).
Joshua, the son of Nun, is a type of Christ in his office of captain and deliverer of his people, in the military aspect of his saving work (Rev 19:11-16). As God's revelation to Moses was in the character of a law-giver, his revelation to Joshua was in that of the Lord of Hosts (Josh 5:13, Joshua 5:14). Under Joshua the enemies of Israel were conquered, and the people established in the Promised Land. So Jesus leads his people in the fight with sin and temptation. He is the leader of the faith which overcomes the world (Heb 12:2). Following him, we enter into rest.
The priestly office of Jesus is foreshadowed in the high-priest Jeshua, who appears in the vision of Zechariah (Zechariah 3:1-10; compare Ezra 2:2) in court before God, under accusation of Satan, and clad in filthy garments. Jeshua stands not only for himself, but as the representative of sinning and suffering Israel. Satan is defeated. The Lord rebukes him, and declares that he will redeem and restore this erring people; and in token thereof he commands that the accused priest be clad in clean robes and crowned with the priestly mitre.
Thus in this priestly Jeshua we have a type of our “Great High-Priest, touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and in all points tempted and tried like as we are;” confronting Satan in the wilderness; trying conclusions with him upon the victims of his malice - the sick, the sinful, and the demon-ridden. His royal robes are left behind. He counts not “equality with God a thing to be grasped at,” but “empties himself,” taking the “form of a servant,” humbling himself and becoming “obedient even unto death” (Philemon 2:6, Philemon 2:7, Rev.). He assumes the stained garments of our humanity. He who “knew no sin” is “made to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2Corinthians 5:21). He is at once priest and victim. He pleads for sinful man before God's throne. He will redeem him. He will rebuke the malice and cast down the power of Satan. He will behold him” as lightning fall from heaven” (Lk 10:18). He will raise and save and purify men of weak natures, rebellious wills, and furious passions - cowardly braggarts and deniers like Peter, persecutors like Saul of Tarsus, charred brands - and make them witnesses of his grace and preachers of his love and power. His kingdom shall be a kingdom of priests, and the song of his redeemed church shall be, “unto him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by his own blood, and made us to be a kingdom, to be priests unto his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Rev 1:5, 1:6).
It is no mere fancy which sees a suggestion and a foreshadowing of the prophetic work of Jesus in the economy of salvation, in a third name closely akin to the former. Hoshea, which we know in our English Bible as Hosea, was the original name of Joshua (compare Romans 9:25, Rev.) and means saving. He is, in a peculiar sense, the prophet of grace and salvation, placing his hope in God's personal coming as the refuge and strength of humanity; in the purification of human life by its contact with the divine. The great truth which he has to teach is the love of Jehovah to Israel as expressed in the relation of husband, an idea which pervades his prophecy, and which is generated by his own sad domestic experience. He foreshadows Jesus in his pointed warnings against sin, his repeated offers of divine mercy, and his patient, forbearing love, as manifested in his dealing with an unfaithful and dissolute wife, whose soul he succeeded in rescuing from sin and death (Hosea 1-3). So long as he lived, he was one continual, living prophecy of the tenderness of God toward sinners; a picture of God's love for us when alien from him, and with nothing in us to love. The faithfulness of the prophetic teacher thus blends in Hosea, as in our Lord, with the compassion and sympathy and sacrifice of the priest." (Vincent)
Josephus on Jesus: (Note that the this Jewish man calls Jesus "Christ" and speaks of His crucifixion and then His resurrection!) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (A.D. 33, April 3) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (April 5) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3)
- Jesus - The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Jesus Christ - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
- Why is Jesus often called "Jesus of Nazareth"? (Mt 26:71, Mk 1:24, Lk 4:34, 18:37, Jn 1:45)
Iesous - 917x in 878v in the NT (NAS) -
Mt 1:1, 16, 18, 21, 25; 2:1; 3:13, 15f; 4:1, 7, 10, 17; 7:28; 8:4, 10, 13f, 18, 20, 22, 34; 9:2, 4, 9f, 15, 19, 22f, 27f, 30, 35; 10:5; 11:1, 4, 7, 25; 12:1, 15; 13:1, 34, 53, 57; 14:1, 12f, 16, 27, 29, 31; 15:1, 21, 28f, 32, 34; 16:6, 8, 13, 17, 21, 24; 17:1, 4, 7ff, 17ff, 22, 25f; 18:1, 22; 19:1, 14, 18, 21, 23, 26, 28; 20:17, 22, 25, 30, 32, 34; 21:1, 6, 11f, 16, 21, 24, 27, 31, 42; 22:1, 18, 29, 41; 23:1; 24:1, 4; 26:1, 4, 6, 10, 17, 19, 26, 31, 34, 36, 49ff, 55, 57, 59, 63f, 69, 71, 75; 27:1, 11, 16f, 20, 22, 26f, 37, 46, 50, 54f, 57f; 28:5, 9f, 16, 18; Mark 1:1, 9, 14, 17, 24f; 2:5, 8, 15, 17, 19; 3:7; 5:6f, 15, 20f, 27, 30, 36; 6:4, 30; 8:27; 9:2, 4f, 8, 23, 25, 27, 39; 10:5, 14, 18, 21, 23f, 27, 29, 32, 38f, 42, 47, 49ff; 11:6f, 22, 29, 33; 12:17, 24, 29, 34f; 13:2, 5; 14:6, 18, 27, 30, 48, 53, 55, 60, 62, 67, 72; 15:1, 5, 15, 34, 37, 43; 16:6, 8, 19; Luke 1:31; 2:21, 27, 43, 52; 3:21, 23, 29; 4:1, 4, 8, 12, 14, 34f; 5:8, 10, 12, 19, 22, 31, 34; 6:3, 9, 11; 7:3f, 6, 9, 40; 8:28, 30, 35, 39ff, 45f, 50; 9:33, 36, 41f, 47, 50, 58, 62; 10:29f, 37; 13:12, 14; 14:3; 17:13, 17; 18:16, 19, 22, 24, 37f, 40, 42; 19:3, 5, 9, 35; 20:8, 34; 22:47f, 51f; 23:8, 20, 25f, 28, 34, 42, 46, 52; 24:3, 15, 19; John 1:17, 29, 36ff, 42f, 45, 47f, 50; 2:1ff, 7, 11, 13, 19, 22, 24; 3:3, 5, 10, 22; 4:1f, 6f, 10, 13, 17, 21, 26, 34, 44, 47f, 50, 53f; 5:1, 6, 8, 13ff, 19; 6:1, 3, 5, 10f, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29, 32, 35, 42f, 53, 61, 64, 67, 70; 7:1, 6, 14, 16, 21, 28, 33, 37, 39; 8:1, 6, 10ff, 14, 19, 25, 28, 31, 34, 39, 42, 49, 54, 58f; 9:3, 11, 14, 35, 37, 39, 41; 10:6f, 23, 25, 32, 34; 11:4f, 9, 13f, 17, 20f, 23, 25, 30, 32f, 35, 38ff, 44, 46, 51, 54, 56; 12:1, 3, 7, 9, 11f, 14, 16, 21ff, 30, 35f, 44; 13:1, 7f, 10, 21, 23, 25ff, 29, 31, 36, 38; 14:6, 9, 23; 16:19, 31; 17:1, 3; 18:1f, 4f, 7f, 11f, 15, 19f, 22f, 28, 32ff, 36f; 19:1, 5, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18ff, 23, 25f, 28, 30, 33, 38, 40, 42; 20:2, 12, 14ff, 19, 21, 24, 26, 29ff; 21:1, 4f, 7, 10, 12ff, 17, 20ff, 25; Acts 1:1, 11, 14, 16, 21; 2:22, 32, 36, 38; 3:6, 13, 20; 4:2, 10, 13, 18, 27, 30, 33; 5:30, 40, 42; 6:14; 7:45, 55, 59; 8:12, 16, 35; 9:5, 17, 20, 27, 34; 10:36, 38, 48; 11:17, 20; 13:23, 33; 15:11, 26; 16:7, 18, 31; 17:3, 7, 18; 18:5, 25, 28; 19:4f, 13, 15, 17; 20:21, 24, 35; 21:13; 22:8; 24:24; 25:19; 26:9, 15; 28:23, 31; Rom 1:1, 4, 6ff; 2:16; 3:22, 24, 26; 4:24; 5:1, 11, 15, 17, 21; 6:3, 11, 23; 7:25; 8:1f, 11, 34, 39; 10:9; 13:14; 14:14; 15:5f, 16f, 30; 16:3, 20, 25, 27; 1 Cor 1:1ff, 7ff, 30; 2:2; 3:11; 4:15, 17; 5:4; 6:11; 8:6; 9:1; 11:23; 12:3; 15:31, 57; 16:23f; 2 Cor 1:1ff, 14, 19; 4:5f, 10f, 14; 8:9; 11:4, 31; 13:5, 13; Gal 1:1, 3, 12; 2:4, 16; 3:1, 14, 22, 26, 28; 4:14; 5:6, 24; 6:14, 17f; Eph 1:1ff, 5, 15, 17; 2:6f, 10, 13, 20; 3:1, 6, 11, 21; 4:21; 5:20; 6:23f; Phil 1:1f, 6, 8, 11, 19, 26; 2:5, 10f, 19, 21; 3:3, 8, 12, 14, 20; 4:7, 19, 21, 23; Col 1:1, 3f; 2:6; 3:17; 4:11f; 1 Thess 1:1, 3, 10; 2:14f, 19; 3:11, 13; 4:1f, 14; 5:9, 18, 23, 28; 2 Thess 1:1f, 7f, 12; 2:1, 8, 14, 16; 3:6, 12, 18; 1 Tim 1:1f, 12, 14ff; 2:5; 3:13; 4:6; 5:21; 6:3, 13f; 2Tim 1:1f, 9f, 13; 2:1, 3, 8, 10; 3:12, 15; 4:1; Titus 1:1, 4; 2:13; 3:6; Phlm 1:1, 3, 5, 9, 23, 25; Heb 2:9; 3:1; 4:8, 14; 6:20; 7:22; 10:10, 19; 12:2, 24; 13:8, 12, 20f; Jas 1:1; 2:1; 1 Pet 1:1ff, 7, 13; 2:5; 3:21; 4:11; 5:10; 2 Pet 1:1f, 8, 11, 14, 16; 2:20; 3:18; 1 John 1:3, 7; 2:1, 22; 3:23; 4:2f, 15; 5:1, 5f, 20; 2 John 1:3, 7; Jude 1:1, 4, 17, 21, 25; Rev 1:1f, 5, 9; 12:17; 14:12; 17:6; 19:10; 20:4; 22:16, 20f
Iesous - approximately 217v in the Septuagint -
Ex 17:9f, 13f; 24:13, 15; 32:17; 33:11; Num 11:28; 13:16; 14:6, 30, 38; 26:65; 27:18, 22; 32:12, 28; 34:17; Deut 1:38; 3:21, 28; 31:3, 7, 14, 23; 32:44; 34:9; Josh 1:1, 10, 12, 16; 2:1, 23f; 3:1, 5ff, 9; 4:1, 4, 8ff, 14f, 17, 20; 5:2ff, 7, 9, 13ff; 6:2, 6, 10, 12, 16, 21f, 25ff; 7:2f, 6f, 10, 16, 19f, 22ff; 8:1, 3, 9f, 15, 18, 21, 23f, 27ff; 9:6, 8, 15, 22, 24, 26f; 10:1, 4, 6ff, 12, 17f, 20ff, 24ff, 29, 31, 33f, 36, 38, 40, 42; 11:6f, 9f, 12f, 15f, 18, 21, 23; 12:7; 13:1; 14:1f, 6, 13; 15:13; 17:4, 14f, 17; 18:3, 8ff; 19:49, 51; 20:1; 21:1, 12, 42; 22:1, 6f, 34; 23:1f; 24:1f, 19, 21f, 24ff, 31; Judg 1:1; 2:6ff, 21, 23; 2 Kgs 23:8; 1 Chr 24:11; 2 Chr 31:15;
POST-EXILIC BOOKS - Ezra 2:2, 36, 40; 3:2, 8f; 4:3; 5:2; 8:33; 10:18; Neh 3:19; 7:7, 11, 39, 43; 8:7, 17; 9:4f; 10:9; 12:1, 7, 10, 26; Hag 1:1, 12, 14; 2:2, 4; Zech 3:1, 3, 6, 8f; 6:11.
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament- Abridged in One Volume (TDNT) notes that "Iēsoús is the Greek form of the OT Joshua (the name of the son of Nun in Exodus etc., of the high priest in Haggai and Zechariah, of two men in 1Sa 6:14 and 2Kgs. 23:8, and of a Levite in 2 Chr. 31:15)."
I like the way Pastor Alan Carr summed up the Name Jesus in his sermon What Makes Jesus So Special? - He Is Exalted In His Name. We are told that He has been given “a name that is above every name”. What is that Name? The Greeks knew Him as Kurios Iesous Christos. The Hebrews called Him Yeshua Ha-Mashiach! The redeemed saints of God just know Him as Jesus!
At the mention of that precious Name:
• Lives are altered.
• Fevered brows become cool.
• Blinded eyes open.
• Deaf ears unstop.
• Sin’s bars open and the shackles of spiritual bondage fall away.
• Night turns to day.
• Defeat is swallowed up in victory.
• Hope replaced despair.
• Dead men live.
• The lost are found.
• Devils tremble.
• Sinners are broken.
• Saints shout.
• Angels bow.
More has been done through the agency and power of that Name than of all the names of all other people combined. There really is just something about that Name!
• The name Jesus is the sweetest Name ever to fall upon human ears!
• That Name is a cause for celebration in Heaven.
• That Name strikes fear into the hearts of the inhabitants of Hell.
• That Name changed my life, opened my eyes and saved my soul!
Like the songwriter said:
There's a name above all others,
Wonderful to hear, bringing hope and cheer.
It's the lovely name of Jesus,
Evermore the same, what a lovely name.
What a lovely name, the name of Jesus.
Reaching higher far, than the brightest star.
Sweeter than the songs they sing in heaven.
Let the world proclaim, what a lovely name.
Another songwriter said: There's Something About That Name (an oldie but a goodie)
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
There's just something about that name.
Master, Savior, Jesus,
Like the fragrance after the rain.
JesusJesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Let all heaven and earth proclaim,
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away
But there's something about that name.
Pastor Carr adds that "there must be something very special about this Name (Iesous - Jesus) I feel that it is special because:
A. It Is A Name Picked By The Father - The name Jesus was not given to our Lord by Mary and Joseph. It was a name handpicked by God, Mt. 1:21. This alone makes it a name that stands out as special. A name that is worthy of further investigation.
B. It Is A Name That Points Back To The Father - The name Jesus means, "Jehovah Is Salvation." This precious, sweet name reveals a side of Jesus that many fail to grasp. While God is a God of wrath and judgment, He is purely and wholly love, 1John 4:8; 16. God is love and everything He does is an outgrowth and an expression of His love. Therefore, when the Father sent Jesus to come into the world, He was sending a message to humanity. It was a message that said, "I have not forgotten, nor forsaken you. I love you and I give you my Son who will reveal me to you." (Ill. John 14:9)
C. It Is A Name That Paint's God's Portrait - The name Jesus at once reveals the Son's mission, (Ill. Luke 19:10), and the Father's heart, (Ill. 2Pet. 3:9). God isn't in the damning business. He is in the saving business! He wants no one to go to Hell. In fact, He tells us that hell was not made for the lost, it was made for the devil and his angels, Matt. 25:41. When the Father chose the name Jesus as the one His Son would bear during the time of His humiliation, He was telling every creature in His universe in one word that His goal was the redemption and salvation of mankind. This is what He wanted and this is what He accomplished through the Name of Jesus! (The Name Above Every Name)
Christ (Anointed One) (5547)(Christos from chrio = to rub or anoint, consecrate to an office) means one who has been anointed, symbolizing appointment to a task. The majority of the NT uses refer to Jesus (exceptions = "false Christs" - Mt 24:24, Mk 13:22).
See discussion of related word - messias
Christos is translated in the NAS 1995 edition as Christ (516x), Christ's (11x) and Messiah (4x - Mt 1:1, 16, 17, 2:4). The NIV and ESV never translate Christos as Messiah, but always as Christ. The Holman Christian Standard Bible has an interesting approach and translates Christos as Messiah many times depending on the context (see explanatory note) The NLT paraphrase translates Christos as Messiah over 80 times. The NET translates Christos as Messiah in Jn 4:29, Acts 3:20, Eph 2:12.
Many interpreters over the ages have commented on a possible wordplay between the Greek words for good (chrestos) and Christ (Christos), which as you note differ by only a single Greek letter. Whether a wordplay is intended or not, every believer can personally attest to the truth that Christos is chrestos!
THE ANOINTED ONE
As Christ was anointed for ministry at its inception (Lk 4:18 uses the root chrio, quoting Isa 61:1), so too believers are anointed for ministry. Kostenberger writes that 'What becomes clear, then, is that the anointing of Jesus with the Holy Spirit at his baptism, which marks the beginning of his messianic mission, serves as the paradigm for believers’ reception (or “anointing with”) the Holy Spirit at conversion. This marks them as “little anointed ones,” (cp 1Jn 2:20-note, 1Jn 2:27-note) followers of Jesus the Messiah, who, like he, have the Holy Spirit rest on them. (Ed: Christians are NOT "little Christs"! Only Christ is THE Christos! "Little Christs" is a false teaching from new age gurus!) This “anointing,” in turn, provides them with accurate teaching regarding Jesus and marks them as belonging to God as a seal of his ownership of them. (A Theology of John's Gospel and Letters) (Comment: When one receives Jesus as the Christ [the "Anointed One" - Christos], he or she experiences an anointing, a chrisma, which is a wonderful play on words! cp 1Jn 2:20-note, 2Cor 1:21 we are " in Christ and anointed" [chrio] by God.)
The New Testament repeatedly testifies that Jesus is the Anointed One - (Mk 1:10–11; Lk 4:18-19, Isa 61:1-3, Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38; Heb 1:9).
The Septuagint occasionally uses Christos to prophetically refer to the coming Messiah. And so in Psalm 2:2 David wrote that "The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed (Hebrew = mashiach/masiah; Lxx = Christos) (Young's Literal = "against His Messiah") Spurgeon commenting on Ps 2 writes "We shall not greatly err in our summary of this sublime Psalm if we call it THE PSALM OF MESSIAH THE PRINCE; for it sets forth, as in a wondrous vision, the tumult of the people against the Lord's anointed, the determinate purpose of God to exalt his own Son, and the ultimate reign of that Son over all his enemies. Let us read it with the eye of faith, beholding, as in a glass, the final triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over all his enemies… God's Anointed is appointed, and shall not be disappointed!" (Treasury of David—Psalm 2)
In Daniel 9 we read a most incredible prediction of the time of the coming of the Messiah and of His crucifixion ("cut off") - “So you are to know and discern [that] from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah (Hebrew = mashiach/masiah; Lxx = Christos) the Prince [there will be] seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26“Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah (Hebrew = mashiach/masiah; Lxx = Christos) will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end [will come] with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. (Daniel 9:25-note, Daniel 9:26-note)
NIDNTT - Christ is derived via the Latin Christus from the Greek Christos, which in the Septuagint and the NT is the Greek equivalent of the Aramaic mešîha’. This in turn corresponds to the Hebrew mashiach/masiah and denotes someone who has been ceremonially anointed for an office. The Greek transliteration of mešîhā’ is Messias, which like Iēsous is made declinable by the added -s. (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology)
The word Messiah in John 1:41 and John 4:25 is a different Greek word messias but is clearly synonymous with Christos. Jesus' disciple Andrew helps us understand the relationship between Christos and Messiah (messias transliteration of mashiach/masiah) declaring to his brother Simon Peter "We have found the Messiah (messias) (which translated means Christ [Christos])." (John 1:41) Similarly, the Samaritan woman at the well declared to Jesus "I know that Messiah (messias) is coming (He who is called Christ [Christos]); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us."
Christos is used 55x in 54v in the Gospels not as Jesus' personal name but as an official designation for the One Whom the Jews were expecting (Mt 2:4, Lk 3:15). Over time as the human Jesus came to be recognized and accepted as the personal Messiah, the definite article ("the") was dropped and the designation Christ came to be used as a personal name.
As alluded to above in the discussion of "Anointed One," as Jesus began His ministry in the synagogue, He used the verb chrio (to anoint) explaining "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed (chrio) me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,." (Lk 4:18)
Jesus Himself asked a question of His disciples which in a sense is the question He asks of every person ever born - "Who do you say that I am?" (Mt 16:15, Mk 8:29, Lk 9:20) Peter's answer was "Thou art the Christ (Christos), the Son of the living God (Ed: the last phrase is unique to Matthew)." (Mt 16:16, cp Mk 8:29, Lk 9:20) "Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal [this] to you, but My Father Who is in heaven" (Mt 16:17) It is worth noting that Peter used the definite article ("the" - Greek = ho) which means "the one and only Christ." The Lord Jesus is the one and the only Anointed One, the one and only Son of God, the one and only Savior! Many of the uses of Christos with the definitive article are found in the Gospels (Mt. 1:17; 2:4; 11:2, 16:16, 20, 22:42, 23:10, 24:5, 23, 26:63, Mk 8:29, 12:35; 13:21, 14:61, 15:32; Lk 2:26, 3:15, 4:41; 9:20, 20:41, 22:67, 23:35, 39, 24:26, 46; Jn 1:20, 25, 3:28, 4:29, 7:26, 31, 41, 42, 10:42, 11:27, 12:34, 20:31)
Darrell Bock comments on Jesus' question "Who do you say that I am?" in Lk 9:20 - "Although Jesus replies in terms of the Son of Man (Lk 9:22), he is not rejecting the title that Peter uses (Christos). Rather, Christos needs to be defined in terms of the totality of Jesus’ mission, something that Jesus begins to do immediately. (Ed: Luke himself had already focused on this key title of Jesus as - read Lk 2:11, 2:26, 3:15, 4:41) The title (Christos) will not come into view again until the critical events of the last week of Jesus’ life, a climactic period in which it will again occupy a central place (Lk 20:41; 22:67; 23:2, 35, 39; 24:26, 46). Jesus as Christ is the point of scriptural promises, as Lk 24:46 shows. Christos is also a central title in Jesus’ trial (Lk 22:67) and crucifixion (Lk 23:35). This Christological point is also made in Acts 3:18 and Acts 4:26–27… (Bock adds that) "The issue of Jesus' promised regal status is basic to Luke. It is crucial to remember that to call Jesus Messiah (Ed: In the Greek Christos which is usually translated Christ in most versions, but Messiah in others such as HCSB and NLT which interpret it as Messiah depending on the context. See note) is to confess His rule, since the title is a regal one… (In his trial before Pilate, Pilate asked "saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And He answered him and said, "It is as you say." to which Bock comments) Jesus declares Himself to be an Anointed One, a King. Basileus, king explains what Christos (Messiah or Christ) means, since Rome would not appreciate the significance of this Jewish title (Christos)." (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the NT: Luke 1:1-9:50)
In his first epistle John uses the definite article writing "Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son." (1Jn 2:22) and "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the [child] born of Him." (1Jn 5:1, John also uses the definite article with Christos in 2Jn 1:9, Rev 11:15, 12:10, 20:4, 20:6)
Herod asked the Jewish religious leaders where "the Messiah," prophesied in the OT, was to be born - "And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he [began] to inquire of them where the Messiah (Christos) was to be born." (Mt 2:4)
The Jews questioned Jesus as to whether He was the Christos, the Messiah? - "The Jews therefore gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ (Christos), tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s Name, these bear witness of Me." (John 10:24-25)
John sums up the purpose of his Gospel writing that "these (What is "these?" - see Jn 20:30) have been written so that (purpose clause) you may believe that Jesus (The Man) is the Christ (The Anointed One - Prophet, Priest and King), the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:31)
The angels, good and bad, clearly understood that Jesus was the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah…
(The angel's announced that) "today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord." (Lk 2:11)
And demons also were coming out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Son of God!” And rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ. (Lk 4:41)
David speaking as a prophet (Acts 2:30, 2Sa 23:2) understood God's oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne "looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ." (Acts 2:31, cp Ps 16:10; See Davidic covenant or more in depth article = The Davidic Covenant) As an aside every legitimate OT king of Israel was in a sense a "messiah" (1Sa 16:13, 2Ki 11:12), but the OT writers made it very clear that there was a greater coming King Who would be God's Anointed One, His Messiah (cp Isa 9:2-7, Jer 23:5-6, Ezek 34:23-24, et al). After over 3 years with Jesus, His disciples seem to finally have understood His purpose asking Him "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom (implying that they were speaking to the King of that kingdom) to Israel?." (Acts 1:6)
Paul wrote "we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness. but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
" (1Cor 1:23-24)
Acts 8:5 And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them.
In Acts we repeatedly see the apostles teaching that Jesus and the Christ were one in the same. Keep in mind that at this time Christos was a sacred word among the Jews, but for the most part they repudiated (refused to have anything to do with) the claim that Jesus was the Christos, the Messiah…
Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Acts 3:19-20 Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,
Acts 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus [as] the Christ.
Acts 9:22 But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this [Jesus] is the Christ.
Acts 17:3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and [saying,] “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”
Acts 18:5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul [began] devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
Acts 18:28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
The Jews of first century "were in a state of expectation" looking for the Christ (christos with definite article = the one and only Messiah - Lk 3:15, cp John the Baptist's "Are You the Expected One?" ~ Are you the Christos? Lk 7:19-20; see also Messianic Expectations). And yet, as Dr John Walvoord explains, "Though a number of Jews believed, many others could not accept the idea that the Messiah would die an ignominious death by crucifixion. Most of the Jews who heard Jesus teach had also refused to receive Him as their Messiah and so they rejected Him. He Himself said that He must “be rejected by this generation” (Luke 17:25), and the apostle John wrote that “his own did not receive him” (John 1:11). But at His second coming the nation Israel will turn to the Lord and will welcome Jesus as their Messiah. He will reign over the world from Jerusalem as the King of kings and Lord of lords and also as Israel's Messiah.
CHRISTOS & BELIEVERS
Paul develops an important concept in his writings that every believer is "in Christ." In Christ describes every believer's new position and new sphere of existence. Before we were born again into the Kingdom of God (Jn 3:3,5), our existence was in Adam (1Co 15:22, Ro 5:12-note = spiritually dead and under the dominion [supreme authority, power, jurisdiction, sway, control, absolute ownership] of the Sin "virus" we inherited from Adam - see Adam in the NT), in the flesh (under the dominion of the flesh - note, believers can "act fleshly" but strictly speaking are no longer "in the flesh" - see Ro 8:9-note, 2Co10:3-note Gal 2:20-note use "in the flesh" to refer to the human body not the "anti-God" influence), in (under the influence of) the world, and in the kingdom of the Devil (under his dominion - Acts 26:18, Col 1:13-note). In the Upper Room Discourse just prior to His crucifixion Jesus alluded to the idea of in Christ when He declared "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." (Jn 14:20). Have you ever considered your present, permanent position "in Christ?" Take a moment and look over the simple studies (there is some duplication): In Christ, In Christ, In Christ Jesus.
NIDNTT has an interesting note on the Secular use of Christos - The Gk. word comes from chriein, to rub lightly, spread (over something) and requires, apart from its use in the NT, more precise information about what is used. It can be done with oil, as for example with a human body after bathing (as early as Homer), but also with poison, as in the preparation of arrows for battle (also Homer), paint, whitewash (cf. also however Jer 22:14), or even cosmetics. Basically the word (christos) describes a thoroughly secular, everyday process, and has no sacral undertones at all. Naturally this is true for Greek ears also of the verbal adjective christos derived from it. It characterizes an object or a person as rubbed or smeared with whitewash, cosmetics, paint etc., and in given cases anointed. It is anything but an expression of honor. Where it refers to people, it even tends towards the disrespectful. This is certainly the reason why, on the one hand, in non-Christian circles Christos, in its reference to Jesus, was soon confused with the Gk. name Chrēstos (pronounced Christos with long i), and why, on the other hand, the Jewish translator of the Bible, Aquila, thought it right in his Greek version of the OT to render māšîah or mešîhā’, not by christos but by ēleimmenos from aleiphein which, unlike chriein, always means to anoint. In any case, the meaning of the root is an essential condition for christos, as used of Jesus of Nazareth, to have been able so disproportionately quickly and so completely to acquire the character of a proper name. Nevertheless, one must not overlook in this connection the fact that the Hebrew verb masah, for which chriein is the LXX equivalent, seems to be fundamentally connected with fat or oil in the sense of to grease (with oil). (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology)
Vincent has a lengthy discussion on Christos - Properly an adjective, not a noun, and meaning anointed (chrio = to anoint). It is a translation of the Hebrew Messiah, the king and spiritual ruler from David's race, promised under that name in the Old Testament (Ps 2:2; Daniel 9:25, Daniel 9:26). Hence Andrew says to Simon, “We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, Christ (John 1:41; cp Acts 4:27; Acts 10:38; Acts 19:28). To us “Christ “has become a proper name, and is therefore written without the definite article; but, in the body of the Gospel narratives, since the identity of Jesus with the promised Messiah was still in question with the people, the article is habitually used, and the name should therefore be translated “the Christ.” After the resurrection, when the recognition of Jesus as Messiah has become general, we find the word beginning to be used as a proper name, with or without the article. Anointing was applied to kings (1Sa 9:16; 1Sa 10:1, 1Sa 15:1, 17, 1Sa 16:12), to prophets (1Ki 19:16), and to priests (Ex 29:7, 29; Ex 40:15; Lev 8:12, 16:32) at their inauguration. “The Lord's anointed” was a common title of the king (1Sa 12:3, 12:5; 2Sa 1:14,16). Prophets are called “Messiahs,” or anointed ones (1Chr 16:22; Ps 105:15). Cyrus is also called “the Lord's Anointed,” because called to the throne to deliver the Jews out of captivity (Isa 45:1). Hence the word Christ was representative of our Lord, who united in himself the offices of king, prophet, and priest.
It is interesting to see how anointing attaches to our Lord in other and minor particulars (Ed: Most of Vincent's examples represent uses of the root verb chrio). Anointing was an act of hospitality and a sign of festivity and cheerfulness. Jesus was anointed by the woman when a guest in the house of Simon the Pharisee, and rebuked his host for omitting this mark of respect toward hint (Lk 7:35, 46). In the Epistle to the Hebrews (Heb 1:8, 9), the words of the Messianic psalm (Ps 45:7) are applied to Jesus, “God, even thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Anointing was practiced upon the sick (Mk 6:13; Lk 10:34:; Jas 5:14). Jesus, “the Great Physician,” is described by Isaiah (Isa 61:1, 2; cp Lk 4:18) as anointed by God to bind up the broken-hearted, and to give the mournful the oil of joy for mourning. He Himself anointed the eyes of the blind man (John 9:6, John 9:11); and the twelve, in His name, “anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them” (Mk 6:13). Anointing was practiced upon the dead. Of her who brake the alabaster upon his head at Bethany, Jesus said, “she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial” (Mark 14:8; see also Lk 23:56).
Thoralf Gilbrant on the use of christos in the Septuagint - The anointing oil was sprinkled on things but poured on the head of people, leaving the perfumed aroma as an identifying characteristic. The person who experienced such anointing was often called simply “the Lord’s anointed” (cf. 1Sa 26:9; 2Sal 23:1). In the case of David it is clear that he was “anointed by God” before he was anointed by Samuel (1Sa 16:6); ideally, the human act was a verification of God’s prior action. (Complete Biblical Library)
John Walvoord - The English word Christ transliterates the Greek christos, meaning “anointed one,” which translates the Old Testament word mashiach/masiah. Just as priests (Ex. 28:41; Lev. 8:12), the tabernacle and its furniture (Lev. 8:10-11; Nu 7:1), and kings (1Sa 9:15-16; 10:1; 15:1; 16:12-13; 2Sa 2:4; 1Ki 1:39; Ps 89:20) were anointed with oil in an act of consecration, setting them apart to spiritual service, so Christ was God's “Anointed One” (Ps. 2:2; Acts 4:26). Even Daniel referred to Him as the “Anointed One” (Da 9:25-26). (Theological Wordbook)
Christos - 529x in 499v -
Mt 1:1, 16ff; 2:4; 11:2; 16:16, 20; 22:42; 23:10; 24:5, 23; 26:63, 68; 27:17, 22; Mark 1:1; 8:29; 9:41; 12:35; 13:21; 14:61; 15:32; Luke 2:11, 26; 3:15; 4:41; 9:20; 20:41; 22:67; 23:2, 35, 39; 24:26, 46; John 1:17, 20, 25, 41; 3:28; 4:25, 29; 7:26f, 31, 41f; 9:22; 10:24; 11:27; 12:34; 17:3; 20:31; Acts 2:31, 36, 38; 3:6, 18, 20; 4:10, 26; 5:42; 8:5, 12; 9:22, 34; 10:36, 48; 11:17; 15:26; 16:18; 17:3; 18:5, 28; 24:24; 26:23; 28:31; Rom 1:1, 4, 6ff; 2:16; 3:22, 24; 5:1, 6, 8, 11, 15, 17, 21; 6:3f, 8f, 11, 23; 7:4, 25; 8:1f, 9ff, 17, 34f, 39; 9:1, 3, 5; 10:4, 6f, 17; 12:5; 13:14; 14:9, 15, 18; 15:3, 5ff, 16ff, 29f; 16:3, 5, 7, 9f, 16, 18, 25, 27; 1 Cor 1:1ff, 6ff, 12f, 17, 23f, 30; 2:2, 16; 3:1, 11, 23; 4:1, 10, 15, 17; 5:7; 6:11, 15; 7:22; 8:6, 11f; 9:12, 21; 10:4, 9, 16; 11:1, 3; 12:12, 27; 15:3, 12ff, 22f, 31, 57; 16:24; 2Cor 1:1ff, 5, 19, 21; 2:10, 12, 14f, 17; 3:3f, 14; 4:4ff; 5:10, 14, 16ff; 6:15; 8:9, 23; 9:13; 10:1, 5, 7, 14; 11:2f, 10, 13, 23; 12:2, 9f, 19; 13:3, 5, 13; Gal 1:1, 3, 6f, 10, 12, 22; 2:4, 16f, 19ff; 3:1, 13f, 16, 22, 24, 26ff; 4:14, 19; 5:1f, 4, 6, 24; 6:2, 12, 14, 18; Eph 1:1ff, 5, 10, 12, 17, 20; 2:5ff, 10, 12f, 20; 3:1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 17, 19, 21; 4:7, 12f, 15, 20, 32; 5:2, 5, 14, 20f, 23ff, 29, 32; 6:5f, 23f; Phil 1:1f, 6, 8, 10f, 13, 15, 17ff, 23, 26f, 29; 2:1, 5, 11, 16, 21, 30; 3:3, 7ff, 12, 14, 18, 20; 4:7, 19, 21, 23; Col 1:1ff, 7, 24, 27f; 2:2, 5f, 8, 11, 17, 20; 3:1, 3f, 11, 15f, 24; 4:3, 12; 1Th 1:1, 3; 2:7, 14; 3:2; 4:16; 5:9, 18, 23, 28; 2 Thess 1:1f, 12; 2:1, 14, 16; 3:5f, 12, 18; 1 Tim 1:1f, 12, 14ff; 2:5; 3:13; 4:6; 5:11, 21; 6:3, 13f; 2 Tim 1:1f, 9f, 13; 2:1, 3, 8, 10; 3:12, 15; 4:1; Titus 1:1, 4; 2:13; 3:6; Philemon 1:1, 3, 6, 8f, 20, 23, 25; Heb 3:6, 14; 5:5; 6:1; 9:11, 14, 24, 28; 10:10; 11:26; 13:8, 21; Jas 1:1; 2:1; 1 Pet 1:1ff, 7, 11, 13, 19; 2:5, 21; 3:15f, 18, 21; 4:1, 11, 13f; 5:1, 10, 14; 2 Pet 1:1, 8, 11, 14, 16; 2:20; 3:18; 1 John 1:3; 2:1, 22; 3:23; 4:2; 5:1, 6, 20; 2 John 1:3, 7, 9; Jude 1:1, 4, 17, 21, 25; Rev 1:1f, 5; 11:15; 12:10; 20:4, 6
Christos - 40x in the Septuagint -
Lev 4:5, 16; 6:22; 21:10, 12; 1Sa 2:10, 35; 12:3, 5; 16:6; 24:6, 10; 26:9, 11, 16, 23; 2Sa 1:14, 16; 2:5; 19:21; 22:51; 23:1; 1Chr 16:22; 2 Chr 6:42; 22:7; Ps 2:2; 18:50; 20:6; 28:8; 84:9; 89:38, 51; 105:15; 132:10, 17; Isa 45:1; Lam 4:20; Dan 9:25-26; Amos 4:13; Hab 3:13;
Christos is first found in the Septuagint describing "the anointed (Heb = mashiach/masiah; Lxx - Christos) priest (hiereus)" (Lev 4:5, 16; 6:22). Lev 21:10,12 describe anointing oil). In 1Sa 2:10 the Hebrew word mashiach is used in a Messianic prophecy "The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed (Hebrew = mashiach; Lxx - Christos)." From this point on in the OT, mashiach (translated in the Lxx by Christos) most often referred to a king ("the anointed of the LORD" or the "LORD's anointed") (1Sa 12:3, 24:6, 26:9, 11, 16, 2Sa 1:14, 16, 2Sa 19:21). The kings of Israel (especially David) foreshadowed the Lord's ultimate anointed King ("the King of Israel" - Mk 15:32). The English word "Messiah" is from the Hebrew word mashiach used in these passages to mean "anointed."
Allen Ross on Christos in the Septuagint of the OT as referring to the anointing of the human kings - Every king who came to the throne of David was “anointed” and so a "messiah;" but as time passed the prophets began to write of the great coming King, THE Messiah. And His kingdom, or the age that He would usher in, called the Messianic Age (Ed: See interesting non-Christian article Messiah in Judaism). This Messianic hope was the desire of the nation, as Malachi 3:1-note says.
Explanatory Note: The Holman CSB translates the Greek word Christos ("anointed one") as either "Christ" or "Messiah" based on its use in different NT contexts. Where the NT emphasizes Christos as a name of our Lord or has a Gentile context, "Christ" is used (Eph 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus… "). Where the NT Christos has a Jewish context, the title "Messiah" is used (Eph 2:12 "… we who had already put our hope in the Messiah").
Lehman Strauss - "Christ is risen!" was the thrilling note that rang through the early Church as Christians saluted each other on joyful Easter days. In response to this glorious greeting always came back the triumphant answer "He is risen indeed!" Christians throughout the Greek-speaking world, as they met, exclaimed "Christos anestee!" ("Christ is risen!"), and then would come the reply: "Aleethos anestee!" ("He is truly risen!"). Early Christian greetings were full of life as saints celebrated this festival in commemoration of the personal, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. How vital His life was to them! Today how tepid our Easter conversation is as we salute one another with flat Easter greetings when little if any mention of our Saviour's triumph over death and the grave is made. (Certainties for Today)
Spurgeon Morning and Evening mentions Christos - 1 John 2:1 "If any man sin, we have an advocate." Yes, though we sin, we have him still. John does not say, "If any man sin he has forfeited his advocate," but "we have an advocate," sinners though we are. All the sin that a believer ever did, or can be allowed to commit, cannot destroy his interest in the Lord Jesus Christ, as his advocate. The name here given to our Lord is suggestive. "Jesus." Ah! then he is an advocate such as we need, for Jesus is the name of one whose business and delight it is to save. "They shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." His sweetest name implies his success. Next, it is "Jesus Christ"-Christos, the anointed. This shows his authority to plead. The Christ has a right to plead, for he is the Father's own appointed advocate and elected priest. If he were of our choosing he might fail, but if God hath laid help upon one that is mighty, we may safely lay our trouble where God has laid his help. He is Christ, and therefore authorized; he is Christ, and therefore qualified, for the anointing has fully fitted him for his work. He can plead so as to move the heart of God and prevail. What words of tenderness, what sentences of persuasion will the anointed use when he stands up to plead for me! One more letter of his name remains, "Jesus Christ the righteous." This is not only his character BUT his plea. It is his character, and if the Righteous One be my advocate, then my cause is good, or he would not have espoused it. It is his plea, for he meets the charge of unrighteousness against me by the plea that he is righteous. He declares himself my substitute and puts his obedience to my account. My soul, thou hast a friend well fitted to be thine advocate, he cannot but succeed; leave thyself entirely in his hands.
1. "He was Moses’ successor (Nu 27:12–23; Dt. 34:9–12), picked by the Lord to conquer the Promised Land (Josh 1:1–5) that had been given to Israel. His name was previously Hoshea (“salvation”), son of Nun (Nu 13:16). He was from the tribe of Ephraim (Num. 13:8). In his first appearance, he showed himself an exceptionally capable military commander, defeating the Amalekites (Ex 17:8–16). He became Moses’ personal scribe, administrator, and intimate aide. He accompanied Moses often when others were not permitted to do so (Ex. 24:13; 32:17; 33:11). His respect and faithfulness to Moses as God’s picked leader never wavered (Num. 11:28). He was one of the spies sent into Canaan and never doubted that Israel could conquer the land (Num. 14:5–9). He and Caleb lived to enter the Promised Land (Num. 26:65). He led Israel successfully, and the Lord fulfilled every promise He had made to Joshua and Israel (Josh. 21:43–45). He was buried in the land which he had conquered for God’s people (Josh. 24:29–30)." (Baker)
2 a resident of Beth-shemesh on whose land the Ark of the Covenant came to a stop after the Philistines returned it (1Sa 6:13, 14)..
3 son of Jehozadak and high priest after the restoration. (Zech 6:11-12)
4 governor of Jerusalem under king Josiah who gave his name to a gate of the city of Jerusalem. (2Ki 23:8–9).
Yehoshua is translated in the NAS as Jeshua(28), Joshua(219).
Yehoshua - 228v -
Ex 17:9f, 13f; 24:13; 32:17; 33:11; Num 11:28; 13:16; 14:6, 30, 38; 26:65; 27:18, 22; 32:12, 28; 34:17; Deut 1:38; 3:21, 28; 31:3, 7, 14, 23; 34:9; Josh 1:1, 10, 12, 16; 2:1, 23f; 3:1, 5ff, 9f; 4:1, 4f, 8ff, 14f, 17, 20; 5:2ff, 7, 9, 13ff; 6:2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 22, 25ff; 7:2f, 6f, 10, 16, 19f, 22ff; 8:1, 3, 9f, 13, 15f, 18, 21, 23, 26ff, 35; 9:2f, 6, 8, 15, 22, 24, 27; 10:1, 4, 6ff, 12, 15, 17f, 20ff, 24ff, 31, 33f, 36, 38, 40ff; 11:6f, 9f, 12f, 15f, 18, 21, 23; 12:7; 13:1; 14:1, 6, 13; 15:13; 17:4, 14f, 17; 18:3, 8ff; 19:49, 51; 20:1; 21:1; 22:1, 6f; 23:1f; 24:1f, 19, 21f, 24ff, 31; Jdg 1:1; 2:6ff, 21, 23; 1 Sam 6:14, 18; 1 Kgs 16:34; 2 Kgs 23:8; 1 Chr 7:27; 24:11; 2 Chr 31:15; Ezra 2:2, 6, 36, 40; 3:2, 8f; 4:3; 8:33; 10:18; Neh 3:19; 7:7, 11, 39, 43; 8:7, 17; 9:4f; 10:9; 11:26; 12:1, 7f, 10, 24, 26; Hag 1:1, 12, 14; 2:2, 4; Zech 3:1, 3, 6, 8f; 6:11
- Joshua - Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Joshua - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Joshua - Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Joshua - Holman Bible Dictionary
Messiah (3323)(messias) is the Hellenized transliteration of mashiach/masiah and means a consecrated or anointed one. Messias is a masculine proper noun which corresponds to the Greek word Christos, Christ. Messias is used only twice in the NT (not at all in the Septuagint) both uses illustrating the correspondence of Messias and Christos…
The Samaritan woman at the well declared to Jesus "I know that Messiah (Greek = messias) is coming (He who is called Christ [Christos]); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us." (John 1:41) John records Phillip's declaration "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote (Messianic Prophecies), Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." (Jn 1:45). In summary three English terms are virtually synonymous…
MESSIAH = THE ANOINTED ONE = THE CHRIST
In the Old Testament three major groups were anointed for consecrated (set apart) service - kings, priests and prophets. Jesus fulfilled all three offices - Prophet (Dt 18:15), Priest (Heb 4:14), and King (Rev 19:16).
See discussion of related word - Christos
What Do Orthodox Jews Believe about the Messiah? "Belief in the eventual coming of the mashiach is a basic and fundamental part of traditional Judaism. It is part of Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith, the minimum requirements of Jewish belief. In the Shemoneh Esrei prayer, recited three times daily, we pray for all of the elements of the coming of the mashiach: ingathering of the exiles; restoration of the religious courts of justice; an end of wickedness, sin and heresy; reward to the righteous; rebuilding of Jerusalem; restoration of the line of King David; and restoration of Temple service… The term "mashiach" literally means "the anointed one," and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne. The mashiach is the one who will be anointed as king in the End of Days. The word "mashiach" does not mean "savior." The notion of an innocent, divine or semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought. Unfortunately, this Christian concept has become so deeply ingrained in the English word "messiah" that this English word can no longer be used to refer to the Jewish concept. The word "mashiach" will be used throughout this page." (The Messiah)
Messianic Expectations - Craig A. Evans - "Messianism" and "messianic expectation" are ways of describing the expectation that an anointed person will come to redeem Israel and/or the Church. Christians believe that Messiah has already come in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The appearance of Messiah is understood to be part of a larger eschatological drama whereby human activity on earth is appreciably altered by the in-breaking of the "kingdom of God," a time when God's will on earth is more tangibly and permanently experienced. It is usually believed that this anointed figure is part of the climax of human history. The Origin of Messianic Expectation - The messianic expectations in the Jewish and Christian faiths are traced back to God's covenant with King David (2Sa 7:12-16 - Ed: see Davidic covenant or more in depth article = The Davidic Covenant) and the aftermath of exile and cessation of the Davidic dynasty. Hope arose that God would someday restore a godly king to Israel. Some of Israel's prophets foretold the coming of a regal Davidic descendant, and their descriptions seem to portray him as far more than a mere mortal. Isaiah foretold the coming of a "child" and "son" who "will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace," and whose kingdom will never end (Isa 9:6-7). Again Isaiah prophesied the coming of a Branch of David, on whom the Spirit of God will rest, who will rule the earth with justice and equity (Isa 11:1-5). Descriptions such as these hinted that the coming anointed one, the Messiah, would be God Himself. In the intertestament period (ca 400 B.C. to the birth of Christ) several passages of Old Testament Scripture are interpreted in the light of the messianic hope. Besides Isa 11:1-5, Ge 49:10 ("The scepter will not depart from Judah or the staff from between his feet.") and Nu 24:17 ("A star will come from Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel") are often appealed to. First-century philosopher Philo of Alexandria and Josephus, historian and survivor of the great rebellion (A.D. 66-70), both allude to these passages as pertaining to Messiah. Isaiah 11 is of special interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls. 1QSb 5 applies portions of Isa 11:2-5 to the awaited Messiah, while 4Q161, a major commentary on the book of Isaiah, interprets Isa 10:34-11:5 as a prophecy of the coming Messiah, called the "Branch of David," who will destroy Israel's enemies, the Romans (called the "Kittim"). 4Q285 quotes Isaiah 10:34-11:1 and interprets it as a reference to the coming Messiah, called the "Branch of David" and "leader of the community" (that is, the leader of the Qumran community). It is said that he will put to death the "king of the Kittim," or the Roman emperor (see also the parallel 11Q14). Jesus and Messianic Expectation - Jesus' willingness to suffer and die stands in marked contrast to the widespread expectation of a coming Messiah who would slay His enemies. The fact that He did not attempt to overthrow the Roman occupiers and reclaim Israel's throne may explain in part why He was widely rejected by Jewish authorities. They wished for Him to pursue violent, military goals whereas He came instead to usher in the merciful, forgiving rule of God. As for Jesus' fulfillment of the Bible's messianic expectations, it must not be missed that He came first to suffer and die on behalf of sinners (as predicted in Isa 52:13-53:12), but will come again as conquering King (2Th 1:7-10). (A Closer Look- Messianic Expectations)
Williamson - In the time of Jesus, there were competing views about the Messiah. Some held a “low” Christology (earthly in origin), viewing the Messiah as a Davidic king, who would arise to rid Israel of its century-long Roman occupation. Others espoused a “high” Christology, envisioning the Messiah as a heavenly redeemer figure. This view was partly informed by the description of the enthronement in heaven of a Son of Man figure in Da 7:13–14. (1, 2, & 3 John: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition).
Youngblood on Messiah - the one anointed by God and empowered by God’s spirit to deliver His people and establish His kingdom. In Jewish thought, the Messiah would be the king of the Jews, a political leader who would defeat their enemies and bring in a golden era of peace and prosperity. In Christian thought, the term Messiah refers to Jesus’ role as a spiritual deliverer, setting His people free from sin and death. The word Messiah comes from a Hebrew term that means “anointed one.” Its Greek counterpart is Christos, from which the word Christ comes. Messiah was one of the titles used by early Christians to describe who Jesus was.
In Old Testament times, part of the ritual of commissioning a person for a special task was to anoint him with oil. The phrase “anointed” one was applied to a person in such cases. In the Old Testament, Messiah is used more than 30 times to describe kings (2 Sam. 1:14, 16), priests (Lev. 4:3, 5, 16), the patriarchs (Ps. 105:15), and even the Persian King Cyrus (Is. 45:1). The word is also used in connection with King David, who became the model of the messianic king who would come at the end of the age (2 Sam. 22:51; Ps. 2:2). But it was not until the time of Daniel (sixth century B.C.) that Messiah was used as an actual title of a king who would come in the future (Dan. 9:25–26). Still later, as the Jewish people struggled against their political enemies, the Messiah came to be thought of as a political, military ruler.
From the New Testament we learn more about the people’s expectations. They thought the Messiah would come soon to perform signs (John 7:31) and to deliver His people, after which He would live and rule forever (John 12:34). Some even thought that John the Baptist was the Messiah (John 1:20). Others said that the Messiah was to come from Bethlehem (John 7:42). Most expected the Messiah to be a political leader, a king who would defeat the Romans and provide for the physical needs of the Israelites.
According to the Gospel of John, a woman of Samaria said to Jesus, “I know that Messiah is coming.” Jesus replied, “I who speak to you am He” (John 4:25–26). In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, however, Jesus never directly referred to Himself as the Messiah, except privately to His disciples, until the crucifixion (Matt. 26:63–64; Mark 14:61–62; Luke 22:67–70). He did accept the title and function of messiahship privately (Matt. 16:16–17). Yet Jesus constantly avoided being called “Messiah” in public (Mark 8:29–30). This is known as Jesus’ “messianic secret.” He was the Messiah, but He did not want it known publicly.
The reason for this is that Jesus’ kingdom was not political but spiritual (John 18:36). If Jesus had used the title “Messiah,” people would have thought he was a political king. But Jesus understood that the Messiah, God’s Anointed One, was to be the Suffering Servant (Is. 52:13–53:12). The fact that Jesus was a suffering Messiah—a crucified deliverer—was a “stumbling block” to many of the Jews (1 Cor. 1:23). They saw the cross as a sign of Jesus’ weakness, powerlessness, and failure. They rejected the concept of a crucified Messiah.
But the message of the early church centered around the fact that the crucified and risen Jesus is the Christ (Acts 5:42; 17:3; 18:5). They proclaimed the “scandalous” gospel of a crucified Messiah as the power and wisdom of God (1Cor. 1:23–24). John wrote, “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ [the Messiah]?” (1 John 2:22).
By the time of the apostle Paul, “Christ” was in the process of changing from a title to a proper name. The name is found mostly in close association with the name “Jesus,” as in “Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24) or “Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:1). When the church moved onto Gentile soil, the converts lacked the Jewish background for understanding the title, and it lost much of its significance. Luke wrote, “The disciples were first called Christians [those who belong to and follow the Messiah in Antioch” (Acts 1).
As the Messiah, Jesus is the divinely appointed king who brought God’s kingdom to earth (Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20). His way to victory was not by physical force and violence, but through love, humility, and service. (Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
Related Resources (several not Christian but included to give perspective):
- What does 'Christ' mean?
- What does Messiah mean?
- Messiah - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
- Messiah - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Messiah - Holman Bible Dictionary - Ralph Martin
- Messiah - Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Messianic Prophecies
- Messiah - The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia
- Messiah - Wikipedia
- Mashiach - The Messiah in Judaism - Interesting!
- The Messiah - Jewish Virtual Library
Messiah (anointed) (04899)(click main word study on mashiach/masiah from masah = to smear, anoint - "anoint the tabernacle… altar… laver" Ex 40:9-11) is a noun which means anointed one. It can function as an adjective as when it describes "the anointed priest" (Lev 4:3, 5, 16, 6:22). Mashiach/masiah is used as a synonym for king (Heb = melek), referred to as the Lord's "anointed one" in most of the uses in First and Second Samuel (see Scriptures below). Two uses refer to the prophets (Ps 105:15, 1Chr 16:22)
Anointing was used to set the subject apart for special service before Yahweh. However, with reference to the Davidic dynasty, mashiach/masiah clearly had a future messianic ideal that went beyond the national king (2Sa 22:51; 2Chr. 6:42; Ps 18:50; 132:10, 17).
In several OT passages mashiach/masiah is transliterated in our English Bibles as "Messiah." And so in Ps 2:2 (Young's Literal = Station themselves do kings of the earth, And princes have been united together, Against Jehovah, and against His Messiah) (see note), Da 9:25-26, mashiach/masiah refers prophetically to the anointed of the LORD, of the Messianic Redeemer King Jesus. As an aside be aware that some of the well known Hebrew lexicons state specifically that this word mashiach/masiah is never used of "an eschatological savior in the OT" (HALOT) or "never of the future Messiah" (Gesenius). That would be true if one does not see the prophecy of Daniel 9 as a reference to the first coming of the Messiah! This type of teaching makes the point that just because a statement is made by a theologian (even with much linguistic training and many degrees), their statements need to be carefully compared with clear teaching of the Scriptures! Be a Berean (Acts 17:11 - read 1Jn 2:27-note)
In Isa 45:1 the LORD CALLS "Cyrus His anointed" and even though he was a pagan, he was used by the LORD as Israel's shepherd (Isa 44:28). "The Isaiah passage suggests that masiah be understood as one singled out or “chosen” (bāsar q.v.) for a task, characteristically one of deliverance—a deliverance of Israel from their Babylonian captors returning them to their homeland." (TWOT)
Vine - As is true of the verb, mashiach/masiah implies an anointing for a special office or function. Thus, David refused to harm Saul because Saul was “the Lord’s anointed” (1Sa 24:6). The Psalms often express the messianic ideals attached to the Davidic line by using the phrase “the Lord’s anointed” (Ps. 2:2; 18:50; 89:38, 51).
Mounce on mashiach/masiah - usually refers to pouring or smearing sacred oil on a person in a ceremony of dedication, possibly symbolizing divine empowering to accomplish the task or office;
The Lxx usually translates mashiach/masiah with Christos.
Mashiach/masiah Usage: Anointed(1), anointed(34), anointed ones(2), Messiah(2).
Mashiach - 38v -
Lev 4:3, 5, 16; Lev 6:22; 1Sa 2:10, 35; 12:3, 5; 16:6; 24:6, 10; 26:9, 11, 16, 23; 2 Sam 1:14, 16, 21; 19:21; 22:51; 23:1; 1Chr 16:22; 2Chr 6:42; Ps 2:2; 18:50; 20:6; 28:8; 84:9; 89:38, 51; 105:15; 132:10, 17; Isa 45:1; Lam 4:20; Da 9:25-26; Hab 3:13