Muddy Waters

There is and has been now for some time a movement of the Holy Spirit to awaken us to a better understanding of God the Father by studying the original Hebrew and Aramaic names for God and Jesus. In my own experience, this has enormous benefit. All the names for God in the Bible express different aspects of His infinite nature. He is our healer, our helper, our fortress, etc. Whatever situation we find our self in, there is a name for God that describes how He interacts with us in that situation. This is a wonderful blessing to us all and the richness of the names gives us a deeper and broader understanding of God's nature and our relationship to Him. We don't get that understanding directly from words such as Jesus, Lord, God. This moving of the spirit is a wonderful blessing.

I don't want to in any way dampen that movement of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, it seems that I have to play the role of spoiler here. It's a role that I don't particularly like, but it seems to go hand in hand with certain gifts I was given. Here's the thing:

There is no basis to the claim that Jesus is derived from Zeus. It's easy to prove. All you need to do is pick up a dictionary of the English language containing etymology of the words and look. What the dictionary says is that Jesus is an anglicized version of a Greek spelling of a Hebrew name. The etymology of Zeus is from the Indo-European root for the word "deity." You may want to say that the dictionary is just repeating an error, but I would advise against that. The people who write those dictionaries are professional linguists and are not likely to place their reputation at risk on a simple mistake like that. If you want to go against the American Heritage Dictionary, Webster's dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language, you better have some serious scholarship, research and evidence to back it up. Just because two Greek words sound similar is no basis for any claim that the words are related in meaning.

Now if all I was to do here is some nit-picking over word origins I'm wasting your time and mine. But I do have an important point to make. Whenever the Spirit of God begins to move forcefully in the Body of Christ, you can be very sure that our Adversary will set up a counter attack. One way this is done is to try and muddy the waters by inserting some false claims in amongst the truth. These false claims can then become a means to discredit the movement of the Spirit and discourage seekers of the truth. Soon we are diverted into endless bickering over details that doesn't do anyone any good. I don't really wish to do that. I just want to give a warning so that people don't get tripped up later on. So, watch out for it.

It's not that there is any real harm in this belief in and of itself. If someone believes that Jesus is derived from Zeus and so only uses the Hebrew or Aramaic words, that's not harmful to that person at all. It may in fact be quite beneficial to his spiritual growth. The problem comes in when these types of claims are used in the context of evangelism and witnessing. Imagine you are trying to witness to a lost soul or a back-slidden believer and you make the claim that Jesus


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