I posted this (more or less) on another thread, and received a very unsatisfying answer (which I’ll post). As I am not a linguistics expert, I am open to correction. The following, however, is what I have learned and what I propose for discussion:
What is Jesus’ name?
In Hebrew, it would be Yeshua (with the glutteral stop at the end - Yesh-UA). In the Qur’an, He’s called Isa (with the glutteral stop at the beginning - EEsau). In doing this, they draw a mistaken and quite horrible parallel with Esau (from Jacob and Esau). As there are NO other Esaus in the bible, it is clear that this is a mistake made by the author and NOT an alternate spelling of a “common” name.
Definite assertion: Jesus was not named “Esau”. Esau was the enemy of “Jacob”, a patriarck of the Jews who would be renamed “Israel”. Esau is the enemy of Israel. Would any patriotic and loyal American now name his child “Osama Bin Laden Smith” or “Saddam Husein Jenkins”? Not a chance. It is illogical and without basis for a parent to name their child after their sworn enemy. There are several James in the Bible, a couple of Marys, and even a few Joshuas - but there’s only one Esau. It would be like me naming my child LuciferL. It just wouldn’t happen.
The problem would appear to arise from either an un-discipled christian telling Muhammad what we believe or it may also have been that Jews were saying Jesus’ name was Esau in order to link Him to one accursed by Judaism. I found the following in a biography of Muhammad, which would lend credibility to this theory:
After the death of his grandfather, his uncle Abu Talib then assumed responsibility for raising Muhammad. Abu Talib was a businessman involved in trade so it is likely that Muhammad went with him on business trips and encountered both Jews, 280 miles to the north in Madina, and Christians also to the north and to the south in Nejran. History tells us that when he was 12 he accompanied his uncle on a trading caravan to Syria.
In any event, ***we ***(christians) know Jesus’ name because our Early Church Fathers thought He was God, and preserved His name for us in detail and in many verifiable documents. Muslims logically have no reason to claim they know the name of Jesus with any such certitude; their only argument is that because the Qur’an was “divinely revealed” to them, the New Testament simply cannot be believed - which is circular logic, really. How do you know the Qur’an is true? Because Muhammad says it is. How do you know Muhammad is true? Because the Qur’an says he is.
Additionally, there is the following conflict with regards to the Blessed Mother:
At length she brought (the babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms), They said: "O Mary! Truly a strange thing has thou brought! “O sister of Aaron, thy father was not a man of evil, nor your mother a woman unchaste!”
– Sura 19:27-28
And Mary, the daughter of `Imran, …
– Sura 66:12
Miriam was the sister of Aaron and Moses. Mary was not. They were separated by some 1400 years. Their names do sound alike, though… In any case, here we see how Muhammad would appear to have been led to believe that Miriam and Mary (Hebrew: Maryam) were the same person. Also, we know that Mary’s mother and father were Anna and Joachim (from the Proto-Evangelion of James and other traditions). What’s more, the Hadiths call Moses and Aaron the sons of 'Imran as well, which further confuses the issue by drawing an even stronger link to the Mary-'Imram direct relationship (sunnah.org/ibadaat/fasting/ascen3.htm ).