JESUS is the PN of the Savior of the world and son of MARY whose name is frequently mentioned in the book of Mormon. The resurrected JESUS also appears to the people in the New World in 3 Nephi. The PN JESUS is from Jesus of the Latin versions of the New Testament, itself from the Greek Iesous, from the Aramaic/HEBREW Yesuaʿ. Matthew 1:21 "Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." may be connected with Isaiah 52:7, "that publisheth salvation" (Heb. yesūaʿ).
One notable occurrence of the name JESUS is in 2 Nephi 33:6, in which NEPHI adds a personal pronoun to the name: “I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my JESUS, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.” This is the only place in the Book of Mormon, or in the other Standard Works, where such a pronoun is attached. The unique nature of this word structure added to the proximity of the introduction of the name JESUS in 2 Nephi 25, point to a possible reading: “I glory in my savior”. The follow-up line regarding redemption furthers this idea since “saving” and “freeing” are akin to the concept of “redemption” or “buying back”. Just as plainness and truth are paired in the previous lines. The linguistic roots shifting the word “savior” to the PN “JESUS” exist for HEBREW, but without knowledge of Book of Mormon grammar this assumption is impossible to verify. Nephi may have composed this as a double entendre or intended a play on words. The verse already has other marks of HEBREW poetry with the parallelism “I glory in plainness; I glory in truth”. Joseph Smith may have simply chosen one out of two possible translations of a homonym. It’s also possible there is no connection between the original language of the Book of Mormon words “JESUS” and “Savior”.
Deseret Alphabet: 𐐖𐐀𐐞𐐊𐐝 (dʒiːzʌs), 𐐖𐐀𐐞𐐇𐐝 (dʒiːzɛs)
- There are other possibly Greek names in the Book of Mormon: ANI-ANTI, ARCHEANTUS, CHRIST, JONAS, LACHONEUS, TIMOTHY
- JOSHUA appears in the Book of Mormon as a Lehite GN in Mormon 2:6. The possibly related name JOSH also appears as a Lehite GN and PN
- The name JESUS CHRIST appears earlier in the Original Manuscript and the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, in Nephi 12:18. Joseph Smith changed the name to Messiah for the 1837 edition. See Skousen, Royal. Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2004), v. 1, pp. 258-259.
- Tvedtnes, John A. “Faith and Truth,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3/2 (1994): 115.