Saturday, September 15, 2018

Jesus or Isa? What's in a name?

Have you ever wondered why the Quran refers to Jesus as Isa rather than the Arabic name Yesu'a? Why the difference, and is it important? Watch the video to find out.


Jonathan said...

Not a comment, rather a question. Beginning at about 2:00, you state that Jesus is referred to as Esau in the Talmud. Could you tell me specifically where it does so? Thanks.

Tony Costa said...

Hi Jonathan. The following is the source for my argument. Taken from the 'Encylopedia of Islam'.

I. Etymology of the word ʿĪsā: Certain western writers (Marracci, ii, 39; cf. Landauer and Nöldeke in ZDMG, xlvi, 720) consider that the Jews induced Muḥammad to use the form ʿĪsā and he did so in good faith. In fact the Jews, in hatred, referred to Jesus as Esau () maintaining that the spirit of Esau had passed into him (cf. Lammens, in Machriq , i, 334). Others (cf. J. Derenbourg, in REJ, xviii, 126; Frankel, in WZKM, iv, 334; Vollers, in ZDMG, xlv, 352; Nestle, Dict . of Christ and the Gospels , i, 861) state that Yasūʿ derives, by a phonetic change, from the Syriac Yes̲h̲ūʿ (), itself coming from the Hebrew Yes̲h̲uaʿ, with harmonization with Mūsā. But it should be pointed out that it is used only five times with Mūsā, while it is mentioned 25 times altogether (cf. Parrinder, Jesus in the Qurʾan , London 1965, 16-7; Henninger, Spuren christlicher Glaubenswahrheiten im Koran , Freiburg 1951, 32-3). Finally some modern scholars have seen it as a reference to an ʿĪsā mentioned in the pre-Islamic inscriptions, ytc : a dialectical variant of hysc , a theory which has been strongly rejected by G. Ryckmans who disputes the reading in Analecta Bollandiana , lxvii (1949), 62 and in Les religions arabes préislamiques , 1951, 48. For the Muslim writers, see al-Bayḍāwī on III, 45 (ed. Fleischer, i, 156, l. 2).

-Anawati, G.C., “ʿĪsā”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 18 September 2018
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

Behieh Ruhi said...

It is always quite curious when people, who do not have any expertise in a subject, misguided and consumed by their hatred, read some materials, and without any understanding of the issue, assert ridiculous claims and think by providing a large number of references they are providing a proffer for their assertions.

In brief, to understand the etymological root of the word Yessa, or Iessa (Jesus) in Islam we need to see its relationship to the name of Mussa (Moses), which in Hebrew is "Moche" "משה". which we read in Exodus Torah that "וַיִּגְדַּל הַיֶּלֶד, וַתְּבִאֵהוּ לְבַת-פַּרְעֹה, וַיְהִי-לָהּ, לְבֵן; וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ, מֹשֶׁה, וַתֹּאמֶר, כִּי מִן-הַמַּיִם מְשִׁיתִהוּ" .

I am not here concerned about various hypotheses about the meaning of "משה". I am only arguing that if Arab Jews pronounce "משה" or Moche as Mussa it would be quite clear that they would also render the name " ישוע " or Yesua, or Ieshua, as Iessa. Of course, for Greeks pronouncing "ישוע " was also a challenge so they rendered it into Ἰησοῦς, or “Iey-soos” . Of course, in English the letter 'J' was most often substituted for 'I' or 'Y' . For instance; "יהודי" Yehudi is the original Hebrew word that in English has rendered Jewish, where in Arabic, is Yahud.

Of course, the word "Isa" is not Arabic, we know that Waraqa a cousin of the wife of the holy prophet was a Christian. So it would be strange that he be using a name for Jesus that was not used by Arab Christians!! Most scholars agree that Hebrew Geez, Aramaic, or Amheric do not provide any information about Jesus name. But we know that Armenians, a very old church, call him "հիսուս" that is Hisus , and Coptic Syrian and Chaldean churches call him "Isa" -- it would be bizarre to argue that they were taken the name from Islam.

Spreading falsehood would astray you from the straight path.