He was to be named Emmanuel


I was just wondering. A student brought this up in class(RCIA) last night. The Angel Gabriel told Mary the name of the baby will be Emmanuel, whcih means, “God is with us.”

When and why did we start refering to him as Jesus Christ is what student wants to know?

I know all the definitions of the names, but I could not explain when and why to her.


what does a good literal translation say?

he will be named …
he will be called …

I think it is a translation & idiom issue. perhaps today we would say “he will be known as…”

it is used more as a description than a proper name


Jesus isn’t called this. Jesus lives this. Look to the last words of Matthew’s Gospel.

**"And behold, I AM with you always, until the end of the age."

Also, remember. Christ is not Jesus’ last name. It’s his title. Christ is the Greek translation of “the Messiah” or “the Annointed One”. So Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah.**


So every name that we use for Him is just and explination of who He IS?


I’m not sure.

But the angel in Luke’s Gospel specifically told Mary to name him Jesus.

Keep in mind, Matthew is trying to show that Jesus is the fulfillment of all OT prophecies. And God had prophecied that He would come down and be with His people and be their Shepherd.

I think Matthew is trying to show the fulfillment of these prophecies.


Well, let’s put God is with us in Matt 1:23, instead of Emmanuel. Let us see if there is any difference.

Matthew 1:23

“Behold, a virgin shall conceived and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.”

now without the name Emmanuel.

“Behold, a virgin shall be concieved and bear a son, and his name shall be called God is with us.”

There is no difference. Gabriel explains further to Joseph. “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Of course, we know who can save us from our sins. God can save us from our sins.

My first name by the way is Emmanuel.


Jesus, Who is “the Christos = Messiah = Anointed”, is also God-with-us.

*]Messiah (& its translations) is a title
*]Immanuel is a **title **applied to Him as a description
*]Jesus is a personal name[/LIST]- so, the three words have different semantic functions - they are all used for & point to Him, & do so in different ways. “Jesus” was a not uncommon name; He is Jesus Christos, as distinguished from Jesus Justus in (IIRC) the Book of Acts.


This is actually a paranthetical explanation by Matthew, showing how Jesus’ coming was a fulfillment of an Old Testament scripture, Isaiah 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (NIV)

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