Personal Name of God
Throughout our work we use the name Joshua instead of Jesus for the personal name of god. We have good reasons for this which I need to explain before we go any further.
Jacob and James
Early in our work we realized there were some other personal names that translated 2 different ways into English. The most obvious is the name Jacob, which in conventional English translations, but only in the New Testament, is translated as James. This convention seriously misleads the unwary reader. You cannot even consider the linkages between Jacob and James unless you know these are the same name.
Why? James shows up in New Testament English Bibles in deference to King James who paid for his famous early translation.
In order to "correct" this problem we had to be managing computerized source files for the entire Bible. We were doing this already as we were looking at the order of the Bible's books. So it was not hard to change the name of the book of James to Jacob, and to change all occurrences of the personal name James to Jacob.
This was the first name that we corrected, to Jacob exclusively, so even in our own reading we could begin to understand the intent of the original writers. The book of Jacob starts with "Jacob, to the 12 tribes scattered..." This, of course, makes no sense with the name James, but with the name Jacob, the father of the tribes, this has serious significance.
We found other words, not just names, with the same problem. The always plural term skies, for example, is sometimes translated sky, but at other times translated heaven. This word choice is even more arbitrary, based on some unstated theological framework of the translators. The translators are essentially inventing a secondary term from a single original language term. Just like Jacob, we corrected it to always be some grammatical variation on the root term skies.
Mary is another word with a similar problem. Mariam in the Old Testament is Mary in the new. With this term we began to use a rule where the first occurrence of the name should drive consistent translation throughout the rest of the book.
God is another term that gets strange translator attention. Capitalized when referencing the divine, but lower cased when not. We found enough trouble in that capitalization that we finally decided to follow the grammar of other titles, like teacher, and lower cased all occurrences of god except when at the start of a sentence.
Egypt is another troubled word, in a class nearly by itself. Most names in the Bible follow rules of transliteration. The idea being the English spelling should be driven by the original spelling. In this case Egypt has nothing to do with the original term. It hides a root that could be reasonably transliterated to Misery.
Spelling of Joshua
Eventually we discovered the spelling behind the name Joshua, as in Joshua son of Nun, is the same spelling as the name Jesus. The translators are thus committing a crime similar to the name James, or the word skies. In order to properly read the text, either Joshua in the Old Testament must read as Jesus, or Jesus in the New Testament must read as Joshua.
Though there are good reasons to disagree with the rules, Joshua is a proper rule based English transliteration of the underlying name. Jesus is an improper transliteration of that underlying name. So, we decided to use Joshua exclusively as the English language name. He prophetically confirmed he would rather be called by Joshua than by Jesus. There are very good reasons for this, covered in more detail below.
Messianic Jews transliterate that same name as Yahshua. They are following rules from Eastern European or Yiddish languages. Though a case can be made for this transliteration, all other names used in scripture would also need to be changed to be consistent with this other possible transliteration system. Because this transliteration system is still wrong and not based on proper spelling nor pronunciation, we have not adopted this convention. We will, eventually, provide proper Paleo transliterations for all names.
Ryan had been bugging me for weeks that we needed to change the name Jesus to Joshua. He had 2 strong arguments. The rule of first occurrence argued for Joshua instead of Jesus, and the rules of conventional English transliteration also argued for this. In his mind it was the same problem as Jacob and James. It needed to be fixed. I was slow in agreeing because this was so unconventional. Then, I had a dream.
In a dream I was told that the name Jesus sits within the context of the New Testament. Everything known about that name is what is written in the New Testament, alone. That name is not used anywhere else.
Joshua, on the other hand, is a name used across the Bible. The set of stories that explain things about Joshua is much different, much more extensive.
The recovery of the name Joshua goes with the recovery of the inspired text.
This was by intentional design. Giving up the name Jesus means giving up our improper understanding of who, exactly, was born to Miriam.
It was time to change the name.
Old Testament Divine Name
The Old Testament has a different divine name. Usually that name is transliterated as Yahweh, or some variation. This is not following the normal rules of transliteration to English, so at some level there is an objection to the English spelling. Jehovah is better, but it too has problems.
Yahweh, as a name, has other problems. Our letter based analysis of that word, and its use in places like the commandments, shows this to be an invalid word. It cannot be inspired. Even following the well known rules of inserted vowels, and removing the inserted vowel, this is still not a valid word.
There are various places in the New Testament that suggest the Old Testament's divine name was changed by an editor. What might the original name have been? The story of the birth of Joshua is pretty clear. The divine name is, and always has been, Joshua.
With some experimentation we could show that the spelling of Joshua, without its inserted vowel, was both a valid word, and valid within whole sentences, especially the commandments. So, we decided in our English drafts of the inspired scriptures to convert the uninspired Yahweh term to Joshua.
It was Joshua who appeared in the Garden. It was Joshua who warned Noah. It was Joshua who came down to Babel and confused the language. It was Joshua who appeared to Abraham. It was Joshua who visited with Moses on the mountain. It was Joshua who spoke to Joshua son of Nun, his name sake.
It was this same Joshua who was born of the virgin Miriam. It was the same Joshua who was crucified and rose again. It was the same Joshua who appeared to Paul on the Damascus road. It is the same Joshua who still appears in visions even to this day.
We use the term Joshua, instead of Jesus, because we mean the one who made appearances in all of these stories in the inspired scripture. Not just some of these stories.
There are 3 different genealogies given in the New Testament for Joshua. Only 1 of them is inspired. The New Testament was edited by someone who wanted Joshua to be of certain family lines, in contradiction to his actual family line.
As part of this cover-up some occurrences of the personal name Joshua were changed to titles like master. Some of his ancestor's names were also changed, through vowel pointing or outright word changes. We use context to find and restore this level of edit. So as you read our work, not only is Joshua occurring more frequently than convention would suggest, his family lines are more clearly identified as well.
What eventually settled me down on the change of name from Jesus to Joshua was a prayer exercise. Joshua answers prayer just as he did when we called him by the name Jesus. He will do the same for you, if you ask him.