—you can't get there from here ...
Did you know that the pool of names available in first-century Palestine was considerably smaller than what it is today?
Parents did not have access to the baby-name books that are so popular in our present era.
If we could somehow be placed in that period there is a very high degree of probability that our name (as men) would be Jonas, John, Lazarus, Simon, Joseph, even Jesus.
As women, our name would likely be Mary, Salome, Martha or Joanna.
In the case of the male names the "J" would of course be missing. There is no "J" in Hebrew. As a matter of fact, there was no "J" in English until the 17th century.
So the names, Jonas, John, Joseph and Jesus would be rendered as Ionas, Iohn, Ioseph and Iesu.
It should also be noted that the "I" would be pronounced as if it were a "Y."
The "s" is left off of Jesus (Iesu) because the placement of a consonent at the end of a name is a purely Greek convention, merely signifying that it was the name of a man.
But Jesus (Iesu) was not Greek. He was a Jew, which means that his name would conform to the standards of Hebrew coinage.
According to the language scholars the name that is so popularly bandied about as Jesus was actually Yeshua, which is nigh impossible to transliterate into Greek due to the fact that it has no "sh" sound.
Yeshua is clearly but an instance of Joshua (again, without the "J").
If we take into account the popularity of that figure, we can reasonably conclude the the odds of being named such were fairly high.
If we could get our hands on a time machine and travel back to first-century Palestine for the purpose of establishing some form of confirmation regarding the actual existence of one Jesus Christ, we would fail miserably.
Since there was no such thing as the letter "J" (in Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic) we would of course never find any such individual.
But if we were to put forth the effort to shape the name into its actual form (Yeshua) we would experience the opposite effect. We would encounter any number of people bearing that name.
But which one might be Yeshua Christ?
Since the word "Christ" is of Greek derivation we would begin by replacing it with its Hebrew counterpart - Moschiach. Both words have the same meaning: anointed. We would therefore be looking for Yeshua Moshiach.
We would wrestle with some difficulty with this as well. There is no record in the New Testament of Jesus ever being anointed.
The best we could likely do would be to locate one Yeshua from Nazareth, and since there would likely be any number of such individuals, we would need to find one approximately 30 years of age somewhere near the years 24-27.
If ever we were to locate such an individual, and note that he had a following, especially of twelve disciples, we could be reasonably certain that we had found our quarry.
But whatever would we do if we could somehow succeed in finding him?
As responsible time travelers we would of course do nothing overt, not even introduce ourselves (especially not introduce ourselves). If any activity in this world would operate on the basis of a prime directive it is surely time travel.
Time travelers never mess with the timeline! It is utterly taboo, verboten. As we are so often warned when in the presence of beautiful women, we would be under strict orders to look, but not touch.
It is highly unlikely that the events recorded as miracles, upon direct observation, would be accounted as such, in much the same way that those considered to have demons would simply be listed as suffering from some form of mental illness.
In short, a great deal of the sheer drama would be redacted from the story. It would be similar to the experience that many have had as the result of studying their family history. They quite often wish that they hadn't! It can be disquieting to discover that we are related madams, criminals and con artists.
August 29, 2017