There are many amusing and interesting names of places across the land. How about Rough and Ready, Calif.? Or Two Egg, Fla.; Slickpoo, Idaho; Santa Claus, Ind.; Burnt Porcupine, Maine; Hot Coffee, Miss.; Mud Butte, S.D., or Lick Fork, W.Va.? A whole book could be written on unusual names of places and their origins. I purposely left out some names that would be inappropriate for a family print, even though they are real.
While a person could have quite a time browsing over funny names of individuals, some change their normal names to something outlandish. This doesn’t include (preposterous) nicknames that are acquired through family or circumstance. The cute or serious names we give to our pets would bring smiles or eye-rolls.
It doesn’t take much to look up the origins of names either for places or people. Have you ever looked up the historical root meaning of your name? Or where you live? Take the state of Pennsylvania. It means Penn’s woods. How many cities, towns, streets are named after somebody and how about the reader looking up the meaning and origin of their community?
As time goes on, much is named after people. I see bridges, sections of highway, streets, schools, airports, military bases, ships, parks, competitions, events, etc., named after people for the remembrance and honor their life represented or for popular association.
The Bible is replete with places named after events/circumstance. A few examples: Bethlehem means house of bread. Jerusalem means established by God. Isaac named a well Rehoboth meaning room enough, Gen 26:22. Jacob after seeing the stairway to heaven, named the place Bethel, meaning house of God, Gen 28:11-19.
And humans are named because of happenings. Jacob’s wife Leah gave names to her children, Gen 28 and 29, based upon the lack of affection from her husband and blessing from God. Pharaoh’s daughter saved a baby from the Nile river and named him Moses because she drew him (took) him out of the water. Exodus 2:1-10
Some people change their names for drama, humor, divorce, custody issues, or celebrity. In Scripture some had their names changed, no less than by God himself. Jacob to Israel, Abrahm to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Saul to Paul, Simon to Peter. Some folks are known by multiple names.
The question is asked: What are you known as? Does your name represent integrity? Credibility? Maturity? Honesty? When people think of you and associate your name with your character, does a positive reputation come to mind? How many have negative connotations attached to their personhood, or name?
Most of these thoughts come to bear on what is applicable to the name above all names. Jesus. Or Jesus the Christ. Or Jesus Christ. What does his name represent? What are the names and titles that Scripture ascribes to him? More originally, they named him Yehoshua, shortened to Yeshuah, then became the later Latin translation, kept into English, Jesus! Translated into English would be Joshua.
Keep in mind, Christ is not a last name but a title, a position, Christ meaning anointed one or messiah. Last names were not common when he was born. More appropriately, it is Jesus the Christ (Messiah or Anointed one). If needing a human reference back, then he would probably (conjecture) been referred to as Yeshua ben Yussuf. (Jesus, son of Joseph). In Luke 1:30-32 the angel Gabriel told Mary, you are to call his name “Jesus.” Original Hebrew is Yeshua, transliterated from Greek, to Latin, to English (Jesus).
Yeshua Hamashiach means Jesus the Messiah in Hebrew. But let’s be real here: God honors the translations. It’s nothing but a language issue. When we pray in the name of Jesus, we are praying to the son of Mary, and to the son of God. God doesn’t hold translations against anyone.
But I do know this about that name: Acts 4:12 NIV, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” And Phil 2:10 NIV, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and earth and under the earth, V11, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.”