“Good evening sir, I like your wonderful teachings on catholic doctrines, but permit
me to ask this question: Since Jesus lived on earth like us, and Joseph was his
foster father, and He is equally the Son of God, what is the surname of Jesus?
This question, however, funny it may seem, should
not be overlooked. 
Talking about the Surname of our Lord Jesus, we
have two principal points to consider: 
1. His Divinity
2. His Humanity.

Talking about his Divinity, we as
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that is, He is God in all its
fullness (Colossians 1:19, John 1:1, John 10:30 etc). Hence, the idea of
Surname is out of place here, that is, it does not fit in here.
Talking about his humanity,
it is appropriate at this point to understand the Jewish society at the time of
Jesus. In those days, the idea of a Surname or last name was not used as we do
today. An average Jew is referred to as the son of so and so alongside his
name… let us consider an example:
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus
said, “Blessed are you Simon- Bar Jona … This simply means Simon son of
John (or Jonah…the terms are the same thing). In other words, Simon Bar Jona is
another term for Simon Son of John. It can also be referred as Simon ben Jonah
(The terms “bar” and “ben” in Hebrew are often used to denote “sonship”, so it
can be considered the same)
Similarly, with the case of
Jesus, the gospel according to Matthew (Chap 1:16) makes us to understand that
“and Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the
mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.” Hence, following the Jewish
standard, Jesus would be referred as “Yeshua ben Yosef”, meaning “Jesus
ben Joseph” (Jesus son of Joseph). “The original Hebrew name for
Jesus is Yeshua”.
He was once addressed that way by one of his Apostles
in John 1:45 “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, we have found him of whom
Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of
Joseph.” This can be written in Hebrew as “Yeshua ben Yosef haNotzri” ~ Jesus
son of Joseph of Nazareth.


Subscribe to latest posts via email.

Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

View all posts
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Discover more from Fr. Chinaka's Media

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading