What’s in a name.

Does spelling matter? (Dec 23)

Indiana Jones got into trouble with the first letter of God’s name in search of the Holy Grail. There were translation issues with Latin.

He almost fell to his death. Video below.

Scripture and the sacred are not best sourced from fun family films.

Is it Emmanuel or Immanuel?
Does it matter on a Christmas card?

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel— which means, God with us.” Matthew 1:23 (NIVUK)

The NIV goes for an “I” so does NASB. But some, particularly older versions like the KJV, go for “E”. Has anything changed? How could it?

Scholars seek answers in New Testament (NT) Greek. I thought I should look at the end of Matthew 1:23 in a Greek New Testament.

Emmanuel starts with ‘E’ in the word, “᾿Εμμανουήλ”

NT Greek got it sorted. It’s Emmanuel.
Well, not quite.

Why do so many bible versions spell it Immanuel?

The Old and New Testaments are linked.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7v14 (NIVUK)

OT Hebrew language might help.

עמ        נו       אל


“Immanu” (with us) and “El” (God)
Immanuel with an “I” is a transliteration of the original Hebrew.

Name meaning reinforced.

David (14) clarifies relational inheritance of promises. Fulfilled by Jesus.

Scripture reinforces the cost of restored relationship. Lived out generationally and conclusively by our Immanuel. “Jesus,” meaning God Saves. (Link with Hebrew name, “Yehoshua” Joshua.)

OT and NT coexist. The naming and purpose of Jesus is consistently clear.

I’m not Indiana Jones!
Being letter perfect is not as lifesaving as the meaning.

Spelling? “Immanuel” favours the Hebrew.  “Emmanuel” favours the Greek. I’m happy with either.

I like the fact that many scholars keep the OT spelling in the NT translation. The end of Mat 1:20-23 in The Message version is simply superb.

God being with us should remain the focus at Christmas.  

Matthew emphasized the meaning for his audience.
God With Us.

Amazing truth however translated. Do we know his presence?

Immanuel. God with us in human form. He can be with us today.

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:19-21 (NIVUK)

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