Praying in the name of Isa = Jesus

CORRECTED VERSION, 27th January, see my follow-up post.

Daniel Cordell has sadly spread some false information in his post Praying in the Name of Isa. In response to Rick Warren’s prayer at President Obama’s inauguration, he wrote:

Today, in his Presidential Inauguration prayer, Rick Warren prayed in the name of “Yeshua”, “Isa” and “Jesus”. …

Even Arab Christians don´t refer to Isa,´ but to `Yesua.´ I´ve lived and studied Arabic in one of the same Muslim countries that Warren has visited, and I think he probably knows that the Arab Christian communities only refer to Jesus as `Yesua´ and not `Isa´ as the Muslims.

This has been quoted here and here. So the false information is spreading. And although this has been pointed out to Daniel, he has failed to correct his error in later posts.

The claim in the second paragraph quoted above is not true. I checked with a Palestinian Arab Christian, from a Roman Catholic background stretching back centuries. He confirmed my understanding (see also this comment) that “Isa” “Yasu” is the form of the name of Jesus which has been used by Arab Christians, or at least the great majority of them, since time immemorial. There may be some non-traditional Arab Christians who use “Yesua” but this form is never used in mainstream churches or Bible translations. “Isa” is also used by Christians in many, but not all, Muslim majority countries. This is what Rick Warren probably knows, and is the basis for what he explains in this YouTube video (sorry for the poor quality) apparently taken from a sermon yesterday.

The following information at this Wikipedia page is also incorrect:

Arabic-speaking Christians refer to Jesus as Yasu

This may be true for a minority, but not for all as the page suggests.

9 thoughts on “Praying in the name of Isa = Jesus

  1. Peter, I had missed the controversy over this. I am saddened by the way Christians have written and responded to Warren’s presence and prayer.

    I appreciate your efforts to counter rumor and falsehood.

  2. Pingback: The Jesus of Islam, the Muslim Christ, Rick Warren, and Isa. « The Church of Jesus Christ

  3. All of the Arab/muslims I’ve known have used ‘Isa’ exclusively, and that was the word I was taught to use to refer to Jesus. I’ve never heard anyone use ‘Yesua’ in any context before.

  4. I work for a missions organization and am personally involved with missionaries in Muslim countries and Muslim Background Believers. I’ve never heard any term other than “Isa” to refer to Jesus. Thanks for pointing this out. I considered responding on the author’s original post, but saw that others had already done so.

  5. Danny, thanks for your comment. But see my correction above and in the follow-up post. I would expect Muslim-background believers to use the form “Isa”, but in fact the form used in traditional Arab churches is “Yasu”.

  6. Pingback: Once more to the brink - Jesus, Isa, and the Golden Calf « The Church of Jesus Christ

  7. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Isa = Jesus revisited, with a correction

  8. Pingback: When it does matter how we say "Jesus" - Gentle Wisdom

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