On the subject of Jesus as “translator” of God, Fray Luis de León, the Spanish Dominican who was also a great writer, has left us an unforgettable formulation in his treatise on The Names of Christ. He says that the sacred Name of God in the Old Testament, יהוה, the unpronounceable tetragrammaton, is found again in the Hebrew name of Jesus, יהושׁע, with the addition of the radicals from the verb “to save” and the vowels necessary to pronounce the divine Name. In this way, while the proper Name of God is so holy, mysterious, and pure that it cannot be pronounced by a human mouth, the addition of Christ’s divine will to save mankind “translates”, that is, transfers, the sanctity of God to our level as creatures and at last makes it possible for us, too, to pronounce God’s true Name, which cannot be any other than JESUS, and thus be saved. All else that we subsequently come to know about God rests on this primary revelation: He is the One who saves us in Jesus.

Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapters 1–25, vol. 1 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996–2012), Page 71.

 

My Notes:  The name of Jesus in Hebrew (Jeshua) is a contraction of Yahweh-Shua with a full meaning of “I Am Who Am Saves”.

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