“…an angel…appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David,… Mary…your wife…is conceived…from the Holy Spirit…. You are to give him the name “Jesus”, because he will save his people from their sins.'” (MT 1.20-20
Jesus’ last name most likely was “…son of Joseph, the wood-worker of Nazareth”. Very possibly Jesus’ name in the original language of Jesus’ birth was: “Yeshua bar-Yosef, tekton”. Wait for it, wait for it…we’ll take a look at the name: “Christ” a little later.
Let’s back into making an effort to understand the name of “Jesus”. The word that translates into English as “worker-of-wood” (tekton) has other possible definitions, It allows for: “carpenter”, “ship-builder/ carpenter”, “worker-in-wood”, “carver-of-wood”, or “one-who-whittles-wood”. Such differences in definition allow for some scholars to denigrate Jesus by saying something like: “Well he just whittled wood of no importance any more than tent pegs or children’s toys.” Personally, I cannot hold with such an appraisal. I think that Jesus in his young life was a carpenter – a builder of new boats and possibly a re-builder of old and/ or broken boats. To me this definition is most likely. The idea is important for understanding why Jesus chose the first apostles chosen.
This notion of mine helps me to understand why Jesus picked fishermen, rather than say vineyard workers, as his first apostles. If Jesus was a boat-builder, he would have known fishermen, possibly as intimate friends. That idea makes better sense to me than to think that Jesus just happened to be walking down by the lake one day when he decided that dirty, stinky fishermen would make great apostles, even if he did have divine guidance.
Now, as foretold, to the matter of just a smidgen of non-systematic Christology. The Christ is much, much more than the man Jesus. The Christ has his total being in the essence of God. The Christ was in the beginning. Christ is now. Christ will be after the end of everything we know. Science fiction, if not science itself, talks about there being a barrier at the end of space. Christ is with God beyond that barrier. Science proclaims that the universe began with a big bang. Pay very close attention to the pronunciation of any word you choose. That word begins with an explosion – a “big bang”.
Many, many Christians say, and believe, that the word “Christ” means Savior. Others say that translated “Christ” means “The Anointed One“. I can’t help it, to me “Christ” means “Savior” even though intellectually I know that the word “Christ” comes from the Greek word “Christos” or “the anointed one”. I believe that Jesus came into his full Christ-likeness when he was anointed by his cousin John (the baptizer/ baptist) in the Jordan and more especially when the dove of the Holy Spirited alighted on Jesus. Yes, yes I know Jesus performed a few miracles before his baptism. My contention is that these miracles were on the same level as the miracles performed by almost any of the prophets. Even Judaism and Islam acknowledge Jesus as a prophet. Thus, he was able to do a few rather “minor” miracles. I also propose that it was at his baptism (anointing) that Jesus became fully Christ. It was then that GOD pronounced Jesus to be GOD’s “beloved son”. It was then that the white dove of the Holy Spirit alighted on Jesus.
I have read some small smattering of the scholar that writes that “Christ” was poorly transfigured from the word “chrEst” (my cap “E”) meaning “good”. Therefore Jesus very often needed to tell people that only God was “good” or “chrest”.
We now have the word “Jesus”. Everyone knows that the word “Jesus” is more appropriately the word “Joshua.” Many people do not understand that the word “Joshua” means “Salvation” or “he saves”.
So, for me at least, “Christ” is not the last name of Jesus; neither is it the most important part of the name of the immaculate Son of God.
Loving and Almighty God, We give You our glory, honor, and praise that You’ve given us new knowledge about the name of Your Son, our Savior. We thank You that we have minds able to understand just a little bit of the knowledge about Jesus that so many of his followers knew how to interpret and understand so long ago. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
- What we believe about Jesus (legendacatholicstudent.wordpress.com)