The Arabic Issa (Jesus) in the Qur’an: Shouldn’t he be a woman, a Hebrew one?

Michael Heiser is a very good Hebrew scholar. I thank him for his profoundly interesting series on the “Two powers” in the Hebrew Bible (The LORD and THE ANGEL of the LORD). What I want to touch on briefly here is the origin of the Qur’anic name for the Hebrew “Yeshua” (Jesus) with a little (unwitting, if not witty) help from Heiser.

In one of his replies to questions on his blog, he corrects one person referring to Yeshua as Yahusha: “… there is no such word as “Yahusha” in Hebrew. Israel’s Messiah was named “Yeshua” – that is the Hebrew word, if you can read Hebrew; or better yet “Eshoa” if you want to get real technical, since the everyday language and therefore naming-process was in Aramaic.”

In the Qur’an, Yeshua is called Issa. Critics have pointed out (for example, Sam Shamoun of that he doesn’t know where Allah/Muhammad got Issa from, because, Shamoun says, the Hebrew is Yeshua; and the Arabic for Yeshua would be a close equivalent and not anything like Issa. For one thing Arabic would not drop the initial consonant. The Aramaic “Eshoa” set me thinking. Muhammad had contact with the Eastern Syrian church whose Bible translation was in Syriac, a language similar to the Aramaic of Palestine. Actually the more accurate Syriac pronunciation of the Hebrew equivalent Yeshua seems to be “Isho.”

Ergo Isho (Syriac) -> Issa (Qur’an).

Now for proof that the Qur’an is divinely inspired or that Muhammad had a hearing problem:

If it was revealed or if he had heard the name “isha” instead, which is much closer to Issa, it wouldn’t look good calling Yeshua a woman (“isha” in Hebrew). Besides, Arabic is the eternal language of Allah. Also, with a name like Isha, Issa would only be half the man the Qur’an describes, because in Islam the witness of one woman is worth half a man’s.

Can you see it: Isha – “Go into half the world and bear witness to half the good news.”

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