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Assorted and general Bible questions that really don't fit any of the other categories

Why do the disciples have Western names?

Postby Harper » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:33 pm

Why do the disciples have western names like John and Paul? Shouldn't they have names like Mohammad and Al-Faruq?

Re: Why do the disciples have Western names?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:51 pm

Since the New Testament was written in Greek, the disciples' Hebrew names are translated to Greek. Hebrew evolved as a language in about 1000 BC, around the time of David. That is the source of the names of the disciples. Their names don't derive from Arabic, a language that only more fully evolved after Mohammad and the Islamic conquest of the Middle East.

"Jesus" was the Hebrew name "Joshua," pronounced "Yeshua." The Greek form is "Iesous." It evolved into English as "Jesus."

The Greek "Ioannes" (brought into German as Yohann and subsequently into English as "John") derived from the Hebrew Yochanan. It became more popular through the eras as various famous people bore that name. Because of John the Baptist and the Apostle John, the name became popular in the Christianized world.

"Saul" is also of Hebrew origin, from the Hebrew "Shaul," meaning to ask or to question.

So their names aren't Western at all. Instead, our Western names came from their Greek and Latin forms that came out of the Hebrew.

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