What is the meaning of the words Jesus Christ


On the meaning of the words “Jesus” and "Christ"

So there I am on the deck of the Blue Riband enjoying a cappuccino with my long, rebel without a cause hair blowing in the wind and with me pondering zen and the maintenance of my Harley and Indian. Noah walks in and I look up the etymological distinction between the words “Jesus” and “Christ”. My traveling companion Noah wipes the beer suds from his mouth and beard. He pauses for a second and says:

“You know my good man, after a pint of Guinness and then some bangers and mash, we British have an answer to just about any question. In our advanced modern world we look up the answer to word questions in my famous dictionary. According to my dictionary, that is his name. We don’t tap away on a typewriter or whatever that thing is. He pull another pint of Guinness.”

I ponder what he has said and think about looking again on my Macbook Pro. Time travel and the internet do have its advantages.

Steve leans over and tells Noah that his company, Apple, invented the laptop for such a situation. Noah gives him an 1800s what-are-you-talking-about look. Steve sips his sparkling water.

I continue looking on the internet for the meaning of the words “Jesus” and “Christ”. Both words seem to mean anointed.

I need a little 21st century help back here in the 1800s.

[size=]So please distinguish between the meaning of the words Jesus and Christ.[/size]

Joyous Easter for he is truly risen!!
And a blessed Divine Mercy Sunday 2015!


Jesus means savior. That’s it, plain and simple. The Angel Gabriel told Joseph to name Mary’s Child Jesus because “he will save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21).

Christ means anointed. It is not a name, per se, but a title. Jesus is therefore “the Christ”, “the Anointed of God” prophesied in the OT.


Specifically, it means “The LORD saves”.

Christ means anointed. It is not a name, per se, but a title. Jesus is therefore “the Christ”, “the Anointed of God” prophesied in the OT.

Christos is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Messiah: the Anointed One. The same Greek root can be found in the name of the holy oil used for anointing (for ordinations and Confirmation): chrism.


Della, thanks for your reply. I’m still wondering about why two different sources both described a similar meaning. Perhaps it is because I do not read any of the original languages. I thought Jesus meant Messiah and not anointed.


Messiah, Christ and Anointed are the same thing.

“Jesus” means “The LORD saves.”

“Jesus” is the Saviour’s given name. His full name would likely have been (in Hebrew), Yeshua ben Yosef. Christ is a title, not a name.


Secular sources are notoriously unreliable for defining much of anything let alone religious definitions. :stuck_out_tongue: Better to use ones that know whereof they speak, such as the Catholic Encyclopedia: newadvent.org/cathen/08374x.htm.


Thanks Della for your referenced reply. After looking in the Catholic Encyclopedia, it seems that Jesus the Christ means:

He is salvation the anointed one

What do you think?


No. Hebrew doesn’t work like that. That would come out as something like “Hu Yeshua HaMashiah”.

As others have said:
Jesus = Yeshua. Ye=God (first part of YHVH) and shua = the root of the word meaning “salvation” or “redemption”. So it would literally be, something like “God saves”, or " God Redeems". Ye\Ya\Yeho with a verb added is an extremely common name form in Hebrew. For instance, Yehezkel (Ezekiel) = Ye Hazek, God strengthens. Yehonatan (Jonathan) = Yeho Natan, God gives. It should be noted, that Yeshua is actually a shortened form of Yehoshua (Joshua), which has the same meaning.

As for Christ, there were no last names in Hebrew back then, so people were called either based on their father’s names or their place of origin. So Jesus’s full name would have been either “Jesus son of Joseph” or “Jesus of Nazareth”. The title " Christ" means “annointed one” in Greek, a translation of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which has the same meaning. This was also a directly transliterated into English as “Messiah”.

A source of some confusion is the name " Yeshu". This is simply a transliteration back into Hebrew of the Greek “Jesu”.


Fr. Barron did a video about this during Advent. I don’t have time to look up which video it was, but he said some interesting things. Now I don’t know anything about Hebrew myself, so I’m just taking the word of others. In Hebrew, Jesus Christ is called something like Yeshua Mashiach. As others have said, Yeshua means “God Saves”, and Mashiach I guess is another way of saying Messiah, or in Greek, Christ, meaning “Anointed One”.

Here’s what he said that is interesting. Yeshua is related to the name Joshua. Joshua was of course the name of Moses’ successor, who led the people of Israel into the Promised Land. King David waso known as “the anointed one,” so this would show that Jesus is King David’s successor. Therefore, a Hebrew person reading the Gospel would immediately see that Jesus is a Joshua figure and a David figure. So, Jesus is a King who leads the new Israel (the Church) into the Promised Land of Heaven. This last observation I’m going to make is my own, so I don’t know if it’s right. Moses himself never made it into the promised land, because at one point he did not trust God. He basically led the Israelites to the gate, while Joshua led the people into the promised land. So, following the law of Moses will only get you so far, because as a human you will at some point break the law. You can only get into heaven with and through Jesus, since He Is the only One who is sinless.


Della the forum elder was right, do not rely on secular sources. I am humbled by the deep and wide knowledge that has shown up in this post. Now I have solid references to look back at.

Thank to the community for helping me.

Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday 2015!

PS- Have a Cappuccino and a piece of cake. I provided the cake. You the drink.


Very interesting!


On another interesting note, there is also another “God Saves”. Yishayahu (Isaiah) also has the same meaning. Note the similarity - Yeshu and Yisha


Thanks for your reply. I’m pretty much full up with good and accurate information and explanations now. Alas, even with my advanced education, I find the Catholic Encyclopedia a bit daunting and difficult to use, even though I have done research at a sophisticated level.


You’re simply not familiar with religious terms nor the history involved. It helps to have some background in Bible history and exegesis. Every field of study has its own language and means of verification. It can be quite daunting if you know very little about these things. :slight_smile:


www.catholic.org expressed that The word “Christ” became the name proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that “Christ” signifies.


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